Archive for the 'Socioeconomic & Spatial Mobility/Inequality' Category

Opoid Use and Labor Force Participation

US Map Opoids and LFP

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Alan Krueger has a paper in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity on opoid use and labor force participation and it got quite a bit of press coverage as well. And, luckily for us, the data are also available:

Where have all the workers gone? An inquiry into the decline of the U.S. labor force participation rate
Alan Kruger | Brooking Papers on Economic Activity
Fall 2017
This paper is part of the Fall 2017 edition of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, the leading conference series and journal in economics for timely, cutting-edge research about real-world policy issues.

Paper | Data | Slides [Krueger] | Slides [Katz, discussant] | Slides [Notowidigdo, discussant]

Additional Coverage
How the opioid epidemic has affected the U.S. labor force, county-by-county
Fred Dews | Brookings Now
September 7, 2017

The Opioid Crisis Is Taking a Toll on the American Labor Force
Eric Levitz | New York Magazine
Sep 7, 2017

The stunning prevalence of painkiller use among unemployed men
Danielle Paquette | WonkBlog: Washington Post
Sep 7, 2017

Drugs Are Why 1 in 5 Men Drop Out of the Labor Market
Sy Mukherjee | Fortune
Sep 7, 2017

One in Five Men Leave Workforce due to Opioid Epidemic, so Drugs – not Immigrants – are Stealing Jobs
John Haltiwanger | Newsweek
Sep 7, 2017

How to Measure Affordable Housing? Include Transportation Costs

Logo for an index


The Housing and Transportation H+T Affordability Index
This index provides a comprehensive way of thinking about the true affordability of place. The H+T Index offers an expanded view of affordability, one that combines housing and transportation costs and sets the benchmark at no more than 45% of household income. It presents housing and transportation data as maps, charts and statistics for 917 metro and micro areas. Costs can be seen from regional to neighborhood level.

Below is an article that references this H+T Index:

It’s Time to Change How We Measure Affordable Housing
Joe Cortright | City Lab
June 23, 2017
A cheap home isn’t affordable if it comes with high transportation costs

. . . .There are lots of reasons to believe that a single, fixed percentage of income standard does a poor job of reflecting whether housing is priced appropriately, and whether households are being asked to spend too much. I’ve explored some of these issues before, but today I want to focus on one key issue: the tradeoff between cheap rents and costly transportation.

. . .

What this means as a practical matter that you can’t judge whether an individual household’s living situation is affordable just by looking at whether they spend less than 30 percent of their income directly on housing.

Where does old housing stock dominate?

Here’s a nice map of the US by zip code that shows the time period when the plurality of houses had been built. So, a fast growing area did not have most of its housing stock by 1960. Conversely, there are plenty of areas where most of the housing stock was built by 1940 (think Northeast and lots of the plains states).

age of housing stock

The data source for this is the American Community Survey. The actual map came from the MapPorn site on reddit.

Two final notes:
This map is based on contemporary information so it doesn’t necessarily really reflect the history of housing stock in a zip code. If housing built in the 1920s was demolished during urban renewal in the 1970s, this stock is no longer available to be reported on by the current residents.

And, just by chance, here’s another image from Reddit on the age of the housing stock by districts in Germany. The dark shades represent either the oldest (purple) or the newest (green).

age of German housing stock

New Data Visualization Technique

Here are several examples of data visualizations that show the results by state, but order the data by the geographic location of the state. Note that these are also good sources for geographically referenced data:

Higher Education Spending by State
The Assault on Colleges – and the American Dream
David Leonhardt | New York Times
May 25, 2017

higher ed funding by state

Data Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Coal Consumption
States’ Appetite for Coal Shrinks, Except in Nebraska
Yvette Romero | Bloomberg
May 30, 2017

coal consumption by state

Data Source: Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Here is one more example from Bloomberg on the availability of Planned Parenthood clinics across states

Planned Parenthood Closings Leave Some Patients With No Options
Yvette Romero | Bloomberg
June 1, 2017

planned parenthood clinics by states

Detroit’s Home Lending Market

This recent article in Crain’s Detroit shows how far Detroit’s comeback has to go to be successful. Only 19% of home sales were via mortgages; however, that is an improvement.

Home mortgages remain a Detroit rarity
Joel Kurth and Mike Wilkinson | Crain’s Detroit
March 30, 2017
Can you call it a comeback if home loans are written only in a few neighborhoods?

The article has an interactive graphic that allows one to get more information on home sales – cash/mortgage, year built, and price. And, you can zero in on specific neighborhoods and streets. The data are from Real Comp II

detroit home sales

[Click to explore home sales data]

The Forgotten Men Index

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The Economist has created an index based on the unemployment rate, labor force participation rate, and average hourly wages. The index compares the fortunes of white working class men (WWCM) to all men. It will be updated monthly. So far, the index stands at 100; it was at 62 in 1994.

Details – but not enough, are in the articles below:

Daily Chart: Tracking the fortunes of America’s white working-class men
The Data Team | The Economist
February 20, 2017

The forgotten men index: Tracking the fortunes of the white working-class
The Economist
February 18, 2017

It might be interesting to look at this at lower levels of geography (states, counties, etc.) based on the American Community Survey instead of the original sources, which aren’t necessarily suitable for sub-national geographies.

W.E.B. DuBois and the Hand-Drawn Infographic

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[Link to W.E.B. DuBois infographics at the Library of Congress]
In preparation for an exhibition at the Paris World’s Fair, W.E.B. DuBois commissioned hand-drawn infographics that illuminated how black Americans lived in the 1900s – mostly illustrating the great progress of this population since the end of slavery. In addition to the overview of the life of blacks in the United States, there was a special focus on “The Georgia Negro.” At the time, Georgia had the largest black population among all the states. These infographics were drawn by his students at Atlanta University – now Clark Atlanta University. He wanted his students to combat racism with empirical data.

Link to infographics: Library of Congress
Note that the metadata for each image gives details such as ink and watercolor, size (710 x 560 mm), and material (board).

Hand-drawn infographics commissioned by W.E.B. Du Bois illuminate how black Americans lived in the 1900s
Anne Quito | Quartz
February 10, 2017

W.E.B. Du Bois Was A Master Of The Hand-Drawn Infographic
Meg Miller | Fastcodesign.com
February 9, 2017

Mapping gun violence

The Guardian has some interesting maps showing where gun violence is concentrated, by city and neighborhood.

Even within those cities, violence is further concentrated in the tiny neighborhood areas that saw two or more gun homicide incidents in a single year.

Four and a half million Americans live in areas of these cities with the highest numbers of gun homicide, which are marked by intense poverty, low levels of education, and racial segregation. Geographically, these neighborhood areas are small: a total of about 1,200 neighborhood census tracts, which, laid side by side, would fit into an area just 42 miles wide by 42 miles long.

H/T Flowing Data

New Orleans Bail System

The Vera Institute of Justice released a report finding that New Orleans collected $4.5 million in the form of bail, fines and fees, another $4.7 million was paid to for-profit bail bond agents and in 2015, the city spent $6.4 million to jail those who could not afford the bail, fines and fees.

Last week the New Orleans city council voted unanimously to end bail requirements for most nonviolent city crimes. However, it won’t do much to reduce the portion of the jail population who could not afford bail, fees and fines (about 550 people) because most of them have been charged with felonies and excluded misdemeanors or state crimes.

H/T FiveThirtyEight

Great Tweetstorm: Most important year in Economics?

This is from the blogger @undercoverhistorian. We had a previous post on the site she maintains. Below is an interesting set of almost 50 tweets – some illustrated – where she defends 1952 as the most important year.

twitter feed
Click here for tweetstorm