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Archive for the ‘poverty’ Category

2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report — Chartbook on Care Coordination

July 17, 2015 Comments off

2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report — Chartbook on Care Coordination (PDF)
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

This Care Coordination Chartbook is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports (QDR). The QDR includes annual reports to Congress mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-129). These reports provide a comprehensive overview of the quality of health care received by the general U.S. population and disparities in care experienced by different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The purpose of the reports is to assess the performance of our health system and to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in the health care system along three main axes: access to health care, quality of health care, and priorities of the National Quality Strategy.

The reports are based on more than 250 measures of quality and disparities covering a broad array of health care services and settings. Data are generally available through 2012, although rates of uninsurance have been tracked through the first half of 2014. The reports are produced with the help of an Interagency Work Group led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and submitted on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Sources of Increasing Differential Mortality Among the Aged by Socioeconomic Status

July 16, 2015 Comments off

Sources of Increasing Differential Mortality Among the Aged by Socioeconomic Status
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

This paper uses data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to explore the extent and causes of widening differences in life expectancy by socioeconomic status (SES) for older persons. We construct alternative measures of SES using educational attainment and average (career) earnings in the prime working ages of 41-50. We also use information on causes of death, health status and various behavioral indicators (smoking, drinking, and obesity) that are believed to be predictors of premature death in an effort to explain the causes of the growing disparities in life expectancy between people of high and low SES.

The paper finds that:

  • There is strong statistical evidence in the HRS of a growing inequality of mortality risk by SES among more recent birth cohorts compared with cohorts born before 1930.
  • Both educational attainment and career earnings as constructed from Social Security records are equally useful indicators of SES, although the distinction in mortality risk by education is greatest for those with and without a college degree.
  • There has been a significant decline in the risk of dying from cancer or heart conditions for older Americans in the top half of the income distribution, but we find no such reduction of mortality risk in the bottom half of the distribution.
  • The inclusion of the behavioral variables and health status result in substantial improvement in the predictions of mortality, but they do not identify the sources of the increase in differential mortality.

The Income-Achievement Gap and Adult Outcome Inequality

July 14, 2015 Comments off

The Income-Achievement Gap and Adult Outcome Inequality (PDF)
Source: Federal Reserve Board

This paper discusses various methods for assessing group differences in academic achievement using only the ordinal content of achievement test scores. Researchers and policymakers frequently draw conclusions about achievement differences between various populations using methods that rely on the cardinal comparability of test scores. This paper shows that such methods can lead to erroneous conclusions in an important application: measuring changes over time in the achievement gap between youth from high- and low-income households. Commonly-employed, cardinal methods suggest that this “income-achievement gap” did not change between the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (NLSY) 1979 and 1997 surveys. In contrast, ordinal methods show that this gap narrowed substantially for reading achievement and may have narrowed for math achievement as well. In fact, any weighting scheme that places more value on higher test scores must conclude that the reading income-achievement gap decreased between these two surveys. The situation for math achievement is more complex, but low-income students in the middle and high deciles of the low-income math achievement distribution unambiguously gained relative to their high-income peers. Furthermore, an anchoring exercise suggests that the narrowing of the income-achievement gap corresponds to an economically significant convergence in lifetime labor wealth and school completion rates for youth from high- and low-income backgrounds.

See also: Achievement Gap Estimates and Deviations from Cardinal Comparability (PDF)

Exploring the Economic & Employment Challenges Facing U.S. Veterans

July 10, 2015 Comments off

Exploring the Economic & Employment Challenges Facing U.S. Veterans
Source: Volunteers of America

One of the biggest challenges that Volunteers of America’s programs grapple with every day is helping homeless and vulnerable veterans find and keep good jobs. In an effort to more effectively address this challenge, and continually improve our programs and services, we sponsored this original study exploring the economic and employment challenges facing America’s most vulnerable veterans.

Working with our partners University of Southern California’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families, we have identified several important themes in this research that will guide our programs for vulnerable veterans in the future:

  • The need for “civilian basic training” that helps veterans transition to post-military life and workplaces
  • Benefits of veteran peer programs
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remains a leading predictor of veteran unemployment.
  • Employment programs should help all veterans, including those with other than honorable discharges and involvement in the justice system

Improving the Assessment of SNAP Targeting Using Administrative Records

July 9, 2015 Comments off

Improving the Assessment of SNAP Targeting Using Administrative Records
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

SNAP provides food and nutrition benefits to low-income households based on a formula that adjusts for monthly need. This study assesses how well SNAP is targeted to low-income households by estimating benefit receipt by household income relative to poverty for the period 2008 to 2012.

The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty

July 7, 2015 Comments off

The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty
Source: Institute for Policy Studies

Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and even incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans. A broken taillight, an unpaid parking ticket, a minor drug offense, sitting on a sidewalk, or sleeping in a park can all result in jail time. In this report, we seek to understand the multi-faceted, growing phenomenon of the “criminalization of poverty.”

In many ways, this phenomenon is not new: The introduction of public assistance programs gave rise to prejudices against beneficiaries and to systemic efforts to obstruct access to the assistance.

This form of criminalizing poverty — racial profiling or the targeting of poor black and Latina single mothers trying to access public assistance — is a relatively familiar reality. Less well-known known are the new and growing trends which increase this criminalization of being poor that affect or will affect hundreds of millions of Americans. These troubling trends are eliminating their chances to get out of poverty and access resources that make a safe and decent life possible.

Alternative Policies to Agricultural Export Taxes That Are Less Market Distorting

June 11, 2015 Comments off

Alternative Policies to Agricultural Export Taxes That Are Less Market Distorting
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

Many economists believe that export restrictions increase world prices for food commodities, thereby exacerbating food insecurity and poverty among the world’s poorest people. The authors examine alternative policies to a conventional export tax that are less market distorting and less welfare diminishing.

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