Archive for the 'Group Disparities' Category

Income Inequality and Political Polarization

Ana Swanson of Wonkblog examines a new study by Nolan McCarty, John Voorheis and Boris Shor that shows that the growing ideological gap between Republicans and Democrats may be due in part to the widening gap between rich and poor.

By looking at extensive data on U.S. states over the last few decades, the researchers show that the widening gap between the rich and the poor in recent decades has moved state legislatures toward the right overall, while also increasing the ideological distance between those on the right and those on the left.

The paper is Unequal Incomes, Ideology and Gridlock: How Rising Inequality Increases Political Polarization

Police calls and blurry neighborhood boundaries

Here’s a great piece using a mix of administrative data (complaint calls to the police), on-line forums, spatial data, and traditional census data to see what happens in the transition zones across neighborhoods. The first link is to the easy-to-read version as reported in CityLab; the second is the original piece, with more details about the methodology.

When Racial Boundaries Are Blurry, Neighbors Take Complaints Straight to 311
Laura Bliss | CityLab
August 25, 2015
In NYC, calls about noise and blocked driveways are most frequent in zones between racially homogenous neighborhoods.

Contested Boundaries: Explaining Where Ethno-Racial Diversity Provokes Neighborhood Conflict
Joscha Legewie and Merlin Schaeffer | Presentated at the American Sociological Meetings
August 21, 2015

The Geography of Childhood

Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham of Wonkblog use data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count to map the best and worst states for children on a variety of indicators, including poverty, food security, housing, family structure, education, exercise, and incarceration rates.

See also, The growing wealth gap that nobody is talking about.

The Influence of Economic Segregation

Emily Badger of Wonkblog examines the policy effects of economic segregation, particularly the skewed view the wealthy have of poverty:

The wealthy, surrounded by other wealthy people, generally believed the U.S. population was wealthier than it actually is. It’s easy to imagine why they might make this mistake: If you look around you and see few poor people — on the street, in your child’s classroom, at the grocery store — you may think poverty is pretty rare.

See also: Dawtry, Sutton & Sibley, Why Wealthier People Think People Are Wealthier, and Why It Matters

Housing Costs for American Renters

Jonnelle Marte of Wonkblog examines the costs of renting.

For many households, the monthly rent check is so big that it eats up the majority of their paycheck — and the burden is growing. Some 20.7 million rental households — or about half of all renters– spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing in 2013, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. About 11 million of those households spent more than half of their paycheck on rent and utilities, up 37 percent from 2003, the study found. (Financial advisers typically recommend that people spend less than a third of their pay on housing costs.)

Click here for an interactive map.

Railroads, Highways and Racial Segregation

Emily Badger and Darla Cameron of Wonkblog examine the ways railroads, highways and other man-made lines divided American cities by race.

Like many metaphors, “the other side of the tracks” was originally a literal epithet. Blacks were often historically restricted to neighborhoods separated from whites by railroads, turning the tracks into iron barriers of race and class.

In many cities, these dividing lines persist to this day — a reflection of decades of discriminatory policies and racism, but also of the power of infrastructure itself to segregate.

Children and Poverty

The Pew Research Center examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau report “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013” and found that the poverty rate for black children has stayed steady even as the rate for other groups declines.

Hispanics and Education

Jens Manuel Krogstad of Pew Research Center lists 5 Facts About Latinos and Education:

Educational attainment among U.S. Latinos has been changing rapidly in recent years, reflecting the group’s growth in the nation’s public K-12 schools and colleges. Over the past decade, the Hispanic high school dropout rate has declined and college enrollment has increased, even as Hispanics trail other groups in earning a bachelor’s degree.

Family Income and College Chances

The New York Times Upshot continues to make interesting use of Raj Chetty’s Equality of Opportunity project. In an article posted today, they ask readers to draw a graph of their best guess of how family income affects children’s college chances, then explore (in real time) how other readers are guessing compared with the actual data.

PRB Webinar: Extreme Poverty and Health in the United State

When: Thursday, June 11, 2015, 1:00-2:30 pm (EDT)

From the e-mail invitation:

Studies show that a growing number of U.S. families have incomes so low that the difficulties of their living situations may be masked by thinking of the poor as a homogeneous group. For instance, since the mid-1990s the number of families living on less than $2.00 in cash per person per day has more than doubled. Over the same interval, a smaller share of government social welfare spending has gone to the deeply poor.

This webinar will address issues such as how these families subsist, what public assistance they receive, and what their health challenges are. It will feature presentations from key Johns Hopkins researchers on this topic: sociologist Kathryn Edin, economist Robert Moffitt, and epidemiologist Jacky Jennings. It will be moderated by sociologist Andrew Cherlin.

Their presentations will be followed by 10-15 minutes of Q&A.

This webinar is co-hosted by the Hopkins Population Center and PRB’s Center for Public Information on Population Research, with funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Joining the online webinar is free. Participants who choose to listen to the audio via telephone are responsible for their own standard long-distance rates.