Finance

Wage inequality, health care, and infant mortality in 19 industrialized countries

Wage inequality, health care, and infant mortality in 19 industrialized countries
Social Science & Medicine Volume 58 Number 2, pages 279-292.

Macinko, J., Shi, L. & Starfield, B.
01/01/2004

This pooled, cross-sectional, time-series study assesses the impact of health system variables on the relationship between wage inequality and infant mortality in 19 OECD countries over the period 1970-1996. Data are derived from the OECD, World Value Surveys, Luxembourg Income Study, and political economy databases. Analyses include Pearson correlation and fixed-effects multivariate regression. In year-specific and time-series analyses, the Theil measure of wage inequality (based on industrial sector wages) is positively and statistically significantly associated with infant mortality rates--even while controlling for GDP per capita. Health system variables--in particular the method of healthcare financing and the supply of physicians--significantly attenuated the effect of wage inequality on infant mortality. In fixed effects multivariate regression models controlling for GDP per capita and wage inequality, variables generally associated with better health include income per capita, the method of healthcare financing, and physicians per 1000 population. Alcohol consumption, the proportion of the population in unions, and government expenditures on health were associated with poorer health outcomes. Ambiguous effects were seen for the consumer price index, unemployment rates, the openness of the economy, and voting rates. This study provides international evidence for the impact of wage inequalities on infant mortality. Results suggest that improving aspects of the healthcare system may be one way to partially compensate for the negative effects of social inequalities on population health.

What’s Happened to the Price of College? Quality Adjusted Net Price Indices for Four Year Colleges

What’s Happened to the Price of College? Quality Adjusted Net Price Indices for Four Year Colleges
Journal of Human Resources. 2004, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 723-45.

Schwartz, A.E. & Scafidi, B.P.
01/01/2004

In this paper we estimate hedonic models of the (consumer) price of college to construct quality-adjusted net price indexes for U.S. four-year colleges, where the net price of college is defined as tuition and fees minus financial aid. For academic years 1990-91 to 1994-95, we find adjusting for financial aid leads to a 22 percent decline in the estimated price index for all four-year colleges, while quality adjusting the results leads to a further, albeit smaller, decline. Nevertheless, public comprehensive colleges, perhaps an important gateway to college for students from low-income backgrounds, experienced the largest net price increases.

Evidence Based Financial Management

Evidence Based Financial Management
Healthcare Financial Management, October

Finkler, S.A., Henley, R.J. & Ward, D.M.
10/01/2003

Focuses on the importance of evidence-based financial management of hospitals in the U.S. Concept behind evidenced-based financial management; Mechanics of an evidence-based financial management; Benefits provided by this type of financial management; Financial implications if this type of financial management is used.

Funding Analysis for Long-Term Planning

Funding Analysis for Long-Term Planning
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, July

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
07/01/2003

In existence since 1956, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the source of nearly all federal highway funding and roughly four-fifths of all federal transit funding. The Highway Trust Fund is integral to the long-term transportation planning of all 50 states. However, recent Congressional Budget Office forecasts show that at the current baselines (i.e. spending at currently enacted levels with adjustments for inflation within the context of current tax policies), the Highway Account of the HTF would be depleted by 2006 and the Mass Transit Account would fall to $0 three years later. These projections have been made in the midst of discussions regarding the reauthorization for surface transportation and the looming national needs in transportation that require an estimated average annual investment from all levels of government 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.

Local Government Finance and the Economics of Property Tax Exemption

Local Government Finance and the Economics of Property Tax Exemption
State Tax Notes, June 23, pp. 1053-1069.

Netzer, D.
06/01/2003

Looks at the role of the property tax exemption for charities in local government finance. If services produced by nonprofits are largely exported from a jurisdiction, then requiring full property taxes or payments in lieu of taxes is a way of exporting local tax burdens.

Microfinance: Analytical Issues for India

Microfinance: Analytical Issues for India
India's Financial Sector: Issues, Challenges and Policy Options. Edited by Basu, Priya. Oxford University Press

Morduch, J. & Rutherford, S.
04/04/2003

Poor households face many constraints in trying to save, invest, and protect their livelihoods. They take financial intermediation seriously and devote considerable effort to finding workable solutions. Most of the solutions are found in the informal sector, which, so far, offers low-income households convenience and flexibility unmatched by formal intermediaries. The microfinance movement is striving to match the convenience and flexibility of the informal sector, while adding reliability and the promise of continuity, and in some countries it is already doing this on a significant scale. Getting to this point - reaching poor people on a massive scale with popular products on a continuous basis - has involved rethinking basic assumptions along the way. One by one, the keywords of the 1980s and 1990s - women, groups, graduation, microbusinesses, and credit - are giving way to those of the new century - convenience, reliability, continuity, and a flexible range of services. We describe the elements that we feel have contributed most and that are most relevant for India.

A Nonprofit Organization

A Nonprofit Organization
in Ruth Towse, editor, A Handbook of Cultural Economics. Cheltenham, U.K. and Nothhampton, MA: Edward Elgar,

Netzer, D.
01/01/2003

In all rich countries, firms organized on a not-for-profit basis produce cultural goods and services, along with for-profit firms (including independent professional artists) and the state. This is also true in many poorer countries. Non-profit firms are defined as organizations that have a formal structure and governance, which differ greatly among countries but share the characteristics that (1) the managers of the organization do not own the enterprise or have an economic interest that can be sold to other firms or individuals and (2) any surplus of revenue over expenditure may not be appropriated by the managers of the organization, but must be reinvested in ways that further the stated purposes of the organization. Obviously, such organizations will not be formed and continue to exist unless the organizers and managers expect and realize some economic rewards, including money compensation for their own services and non-financial rewards like consumption benefits (producing cultural goods and services that they want to enjoy but which will not be produced without their efforts) and personal status.

Access to Care Among Vulnerable Populations Enrolled in Commercial HMOs

Access to Care Among Vulnerable Populations Enrolled in Commercial HMOs
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Volume 14, Number 3, pages 372-385.

Carlson, M. & Blustein, J.
01/01/2003

This cross-sectional study compares self-reported access to care among a representative sample of 13,952 HMO enrollees in New Jersey. Using multivariate logistic regression, this study found that compared with college graduates, those with less than a high school education reported more difficulty obtaining tests or treatment. Compared with whites, Hispanics were more likely to report difficulty seeing their primary care provider, and African Americans reported greater difficulty seeing a specialist and obtaining tests and treatment. Enrollees in poor health were more likely to report problems seeing a specialist and obtaining tests and treatment than enrollees in excellent health. Income was not a consistent predictor of access. Nonfinancial barriers appear to be more influential than financial barriers for predicting access problems in commercial HMOs. More work is needed to identify the source of nonfinancial barriers to care among vulnerable populations.

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.

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