Finance

Child Poverty in the U.S.: An Evidence-Based Conceptual Framework for Programs and Policies

Child Poverty in the U.S.: An Evidence-Based Conceptual Framework for Programs and Policies
In R. M. Lerner, F. Jacobs, & D. Wertlieb (Eds.) Promoting positive child, adolescent, and family development: A handbook of program and policy innovations, (pp. 81-136). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications,

Gershoff, E.T., Aber, J.L. & Raver, C.C.
01/01/2003

Introduce the concrete reality of family finances when living on the line. Describe the great variation in "supports" for low-income families & their children within & across States.

Distinguishing Good Schools from Bad in Principle and Practice: A Comparison of Four Methods

Distinguishing Good Schools from Bad in Principle and Practice: A Comparison of Four Methods
in Developments in School Finance 2003, National Center for Education Statistics.

Schwartz, A.E., Rubenstein, R., Stiefel, L. & Bel Hadj Amor, H.
01/01/2003

For over a decade, perhaps no other issue in education has generated the same level of debate and policy activity as school accountability. At their most basic, accountability policies tie school rewards and sanctions to measures of school performance, typically specified as either performance levels (for example, aggregate percentile ranks or the percentage of students meeting specified benchmarks) or changes in performance (for example, increases in aggregate test scores or in the percentage of students meeting benchmarks). While most accountability efforts have been enacted at the state and local level, the peak of this movement may be the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, which requires states to demonstrate adequate yearly progress in reading and mathematics performance by school and by subgroups within schools. Common to these reform efforts is the underlying notion that incentives based upon measures of school performance will spur improvements in student performance.

Financing the State: Campaign Finance and Its Discontents

Financing the State: Campaign Finance and Its Discontents
Critical Review 2003, Volume 15.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2003

Among the principal targets of criticism in recent American politics has been the alleged corruption, inequity, overall cost, and regulatory complexity of the U.S. campaign-finance system. Scholarship has not borne out any of these criticisms, and, if anything, empirical investigation suggests that the current system does a fair job in addressing�as much as this is possible under modern conditions�the problem of public ignorance in mass democracies.

Is Microfinance an Effective Strategy to Reach the Millenium Development Goals?

Is Microfinance an Effective Strategy to Reach the Millenium Development Goals?
Focus Note No. 24. Washington, DC: Consultative Group to Assist the Poor. July

Morduch, J., Hashemi, S. & Littlefield, E.
01/01/2003

The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have galvanized the development community with an urgent challenge to improve the welfare of the world's neediest people. This paper reviews the mounting body of evidence showing that the availability of financial services for poor households is a critical contextual factor with strong impact on the achievement of MDGs. Evidence from the millions of microfinance clients around the world demonstrates that access to financial services enables poor people to increase their household incomes, build assets, and reduce their vulnerability to the crises that are so much a part of their daily lives.

Low Response Rate Schools in Surveys of Adolescent Risk-Taking Behaviors: Possible Biases, Possible Solution

Low Response Rate Schools in Surveys of Adolescent Risk-Taking Behaviors: Possible Biases, Possible Solution
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 57:1 , pp. 63-7.

Weitzman, B.C., Guttmacher, S., Weinberg, S. & Kapadia, F.
01/01/2003

Objectives. This investigation examined the effectiveness of intensive efforts to include frequently absent students in order to reduce bias in classroom-based studies.

Methods. Grade 10 students in 13 New York City high schools (n = 2049) completed self administered confidential surveys in 4 different phases: a 1-day classroom capture, a 1-day follow-up, and 2 separate 1-week follow-ups. Financial incentives were offered, along with opportunities for out-of-classroom participation.

Results. Findings showed that frequently absent students engaged in more risk behaviors than those who were rarely absent. Intensive efforts to locate and survey chronically absent students did not, however, significantly alter estimates of risk behavior. Weighting the data for individual absences marginally improved the estimates.

Conclusions. This study showed that intensive efforts to capture absent students in classroom-based investigations are not warranted by the small improvements produced in regard to risk behavior estimates.

Restructuring Local Government Finance in Developing Countries: Lessons from South Africa

Restructuring Local Government Finance in Developing Countries: Lessons from South Africa
Edited with R. Bahl. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing,

Smoke, P.
01/01/2003

Examining cutting-edge issues of international relevance in the ongoing redesign of the South African local government fiscal system, the contributors to this volume analyze the major changes that have taken place since the demise of apartheid. The 1996 Constitution and subsequent legislation dramatically redefined the public sector, mandating the development of democratic local governments empowered to provide a wide variety of key public services. However, the definition and implementation of new local functions and the supporting democratic decision-making and managerial capabilities are emerging more slowly than expected. Some difficult choices and challenges commonly faced by developing countries must be dealt with before the system can evolve to more effectively meet the substantial role envisioned for local governments.

School Budgeting and School Performance: The Impact of New York City’s Performance Driven Budgeting Initiative

School Budgeting and School Performance: The Impact of New York City’s Performance Driven Budgeting Initiative
Journal of Education Finance, Volume 28, Number 3, pages 403-424.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Kim, D.Y. & Portas, C.
01/01/2003

Performance Driven Budgeting (PDB) is a school-based budgeting initiative that was instituted in a select group of New York City schools beginning in the 1997-1998 school year. This paper analyzes the impact of the initiative on student test scores in the fourth and fifth grades and on spending patterns. Using school-level data provided by the New York City Board of Education, we construct a panel dataset of 609 elementary and middle schools over a span of four years, 1995-96 through 1998-99. To analyze the impact of the initiative we estimate school production function models that incorporate school fixed effects and an indicator for participation in PDB. After controlling for these and other student-body characteristics, we find that PDB had a positive effect on some student test scores and led to a change in the mix of spending, but not its level.

Strengthening the Highway Trust Fund: Short-Term Options

Strengthening the Highway Trust Fund: Short-Term Options
New York Transportation Journal, Spring/Summer 2003, Vol. 6, No. 3.

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
01/01/2003

In existence since 1956, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the source of all Federal highway funding and roughly four-fifths of all Federal transit funding. With budgetary firewalls in place since 1998 as a result of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the Highway Trust Fund is integral to the long-term transportation planning of all 50 States. However, Congressional Budget Office forecasts show that at current baselines (i.e. spending at currently enacted levels with adjustments for inflation within the context of current tax policies), the HTF will be unable to keep up with national transportation needs.
How to meet these needs - which are projected to require an estimated average annual investment over the next 20 years of between $90.7 billion and $110.9 billion just to maintain the system and between $127.5 billion and $169.5 billion to improve it - is a source of considerable debate. Short-term options that should be seriously considered by both State and Federal governments are raising and indexing motor fuel taxes.

Teaching Future Healthcare Financial Managers to Use Evidence

Teaching Future Healthcare Financial Managers to Use Evidence
Journal of Health Administration Education, Vol. 20, No. 4, pages 243-261.

Finkler, S.A.
01/01/2003

There is a growing movement toward evidence-based management in healthcare. This movement extends to healthcare financial management. However, there are barriers to the use of evidence by healthcare financial managers. These barriers are largely the result of culture (management culture is substantially different from clinical culture) and education. If healthcare financial managers are to become better at generating and using evidence, educators must do a better job of preparing them to do so. If we provide more education regarding the goals of research and about the different types of research methods, then healthcare financial managers can become educated consumers of evidence. If we provide more examples of evidence that has been generated by research in our classes, and if we give the students experience in gathering evidence, we have a chance of increasing the use of evidence-based management in healthcare.

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