Research

2010

Policy makers are becoming increasingly concerned about the high percentage of students who attend postsecondary education without completing a degree. Researchers have studied numerous potential determinants of retention behavior for postsecondary students, such as financial aid, socioeconomic status, academic preparedness, academic and social integration, and expected future wages. However, none of these studies considers students’ earnings while in school as a potential determinant of retention.

The Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 is one of the longest serving place-based regional development programs in the U.S., and is the largest in terms of geographic scope. I use county-level data from the 1960 thru 2000 Decennial Censuses to evaluate the effect of ARDA on poverty rates and real per capita incomes in Appalachia. The intent to treat parameter is identified in a difference-in-difference-in-difference framework by comparing outcomes in Appalachia to her border counties.

Evidence indicates that domestic violence has negative consequences on victims’ employment; yet employers lag in recognizing this as a workplace issue. To address the problem, some states have established several policy solutions. To understand the scope of the public sector’s response to domestic violence as a workplace issue, a content analysis of state-level employment protection policies for domestic violence victims (N=369) was conducted.

This article extends research on the consequences of mass imprisonment and the factors shaping population health and health inequities by considering the effects of the imprisonment rate on population health and black-white inequality in population health using state-level panel data from the United States (1980-2004). My results imply that increases in the imprisonment rate harm population health, though the effects on the infant mortality rate and female life expectancy are more consistent than are the effects on male life expectancy.

Using data from the 2000 Census, this study examines the relationship between household living arrangements and economic resources among Mexican immigrant families with children. I model separately the relationships between family income and household structure and proportion of total household income contributed and household structure. The results show that families that coreside with extended kin and non-kin have higher incomes, all else equal, relative to those that reside in single-family households.

During the 1990 congressional redistricting many states were mandated to create additional majority minority-resident districts in order to elect more minorities to Congress. Civil rights groups and Republicans cheered. The Party views Democratic districts stripped of Black voters as opportunities to repaint blue districts red. The academic literature agrees, attributing the Republican return to House control in 1994 to race based redistricting.

Because of their different geographical distribution, US households are exposed to different levels and trends in cost of living. One contribution of this paper is to document that, as a consequence, the conditional difference between the wage of skilled workers and of unskilled workers is significantly lower in real terms than in nominal terms and has grown less. In 2000, the level of the college premium is 60% in nominal terms and only 51% in real terms.

This paper provides the first detailed empirical evidence of the labor-market returns to community college diplomas and certificates. Using detailed administrative data from Kentucky, we estimate panel-data models that control for differences among students in pre-college earnings and educational aspirations. Associate’s degrees and diplomas have quarterly earnings returns of nearly $2,000 for women, compared to returns of approximately $1,500 for men. Certificates have small positive returns for men and women in most specifications.

More than 40 years ago, the U.S. government adopted a policy of funding domestic family planning services, and the effects of these programs have been debated ever since. Within an event-study framework, I exploit community-level variation in the timing of federal grants for family planning services under the Economic Opportunity Act (1965 to 1974) and Title X (1970 to 1980) to evaluate their impact. The results provide robust evidence that federal family planning grants reduced birth rates in funded communities by four percent within six years.

The important points from our analyses are two-fold. First, the implications of family change for family poverty appeared to be larger in Appalachia than in non-Appalachian areas, independent of regional differences in employment opportunities, industrial structure, demographic variables, and unobserved state and county variables. Second, family effects, notably those associated with changing female headship, were estimated to be larger than those for conventional economic and human capital variables.