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.

In these notes, I provide some general ideas on how to conceptualize poverty traps and speculate on their applicability to understanding Appalachian poverty. My goal is to stimulate thinking on Appalachia that exploits contemporary perspectives in economics on the sources of persistent poverty and inequality. To do this, I focus on both the theory of poverty traps as well as issues in the econometric assessment of their empirical salience.

In 2005, Florida implemented an internet-based service delivery system for eligibility determination in public assistance programs, including the Food Stamp, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Medicaid programs. At the same time, Florida switched from a caseworker model to a technology-driven model and decreased staffing levels of employees involved in social service delivery. We conduct an evaluative case study of the effects of these policy changes on the Food Stamp caseload.

Capturing the conditions of children of color living in single-parent families has become more complex due to the growing presence of interracial households. This analysis assesses the size and poverty status of single-female headed families housing multiracial children. Using data from the 2000 Census, we find that 9 percent of female-headed families house either children who are classified with more than one race or are classified as a single race different than their mother’s compared to only 3 percent of married couple families.