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Author:Benton, Marques 

Discussion Paper
Reinvigorating Springfield's economy: lessons from resurgent cities

As part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's commitment to supporting efforts to revitalize the economy of Springfield, Massachusetts, this paper analyzes the economic development approaches of other mid-sized manufacturing-oriented cities during the past half century. From among a comparison group of 25 municipalities that were similar to Springfield in 1960, the study identifies 10 "resurgent cities" that have made substantial progress in improving living standards for their residents, and that are recognized as vital communities in a broader sense by experts on urban economic ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 09-6

Discussion Paper
The Boston Fed study of consumer behavior and payment choice: a survey of Federal Reserve System employees

The way people pay for goods and services is changing dramatically, but little data and research on consumer behavior and payment choice are publicly available. This paper describes the results of a survey of payment behavior and attitudes taken by Federal Reserve employees in 2004. Major contributions of the survey are that it asks: 1) why payment choices are made; 2) why individual payment behavior has changed; and 3) why individual-specific payment characteristics matter for payment choice. Although the survey is not statistically representative of U.S. consumers, and thus may not provide ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 07-1

Discussion Paper
Jobs in Springfield, Massachusetts: understanding and remedying the causes of low resident employment rates

As part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's commitment to supporting efforts to revitalize the economy of Springfield, Massachusetts, this paper explores the causes of and potential remedies for the city's low resident employment rates. When compared to the state as a whole and to other midsize New England cities, the share of employed city residents is low, particularly for residents of downtown Springfield and its nearby neighborhoods. By analyzing the availability of jobs across Springfield's various neighborhoods and in nearby towns and cities, this paper's goal is to learn why so few ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 09-11

Discussion Paper
Towards a more prosperous Springfield, Massachusetts: project introduction and motivation

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has committed to supporting ongoing efforts at the state and local levels to revitalize the City of Springfield, Massachusetts. Drawing upon its analytical capabilities, its experience working with community organizations and earlier research on poverty in Springfield, the Bank seeks to develop strategies that will enable Springfield residents, particularly those living in impoverished neighborhoods in and near downtown, to participate more fully in the Springfield economy and the revitalization process. The Bank?s efforts are also intended to complement the ...
Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers , Paper 2009-01

Discussion Paper
Towards a more prosperous Springfield, MA: what jobs exist for people without a college education?

This paper analyzes projections of Massachusetts employment opportunities by occupation to address concerns about a shortage of jobs for those who lack a college education. While occupations requiring a college degree will grow more rapidly over the period 2006-2016 than occupations that do not require college, replacement needs will ensure large numbers of job openings that do not require college. Wage levels in jobs that do not require college are generally low, however. The exceptions usually require meaningful training of another sort, such as long-term on-the-job training or courses in ...
Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers , Paper 2009-02

Discussion Paper
Does Springfield receive its fair share of municipal aid? : implications for aid formula reform in Massachusetts

This paper examines the distribution of unrestricted municipal aid in Massachusetts, which has been a major concern to civic leaders and elected officials of many communities, including Springfield. The paper develops a measure of the municipal fiscal gap indicating the relative need of municipalities for state aid. The analysis shows that in recent years, unrestricted municipal aid has not been distributed in proportion to the gap measure among the 10 largest cities in Massachusetts. For example, despite having the largest municipal gap, Springfield received almost the lowest per capita ...
Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers , Paper 2010-2

Discussion Paper
Housing policy and poverty in Springfield

This essay considers whether housing policies may have contributed to the concentration of poverty in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts ? a question that emerged in conversations with local leaders. Springfield is not alone in having large numbers of lower income households living downtown. This pattern is common in American cities. Recent research emphasizes the role of public transportation in causing lower income households to live closer to downtown. However, spillover effects and government policies, including housing policies, have reinforced this tendency. The essay reviews federal ...
Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers , Paper 2011-1

Journal Article
The Business Consortium Fund: working capital for MBEs

The New England Minority Purchasing Council offers minority business enterprises (MBEs) help in obtaining short-term working capital.
Communities and Banking , Issue Sum , Pages 13-15

Discussion Paper
Toward a more prosperous Springfield : a look at the barriers to employment from the perspective of residents and supporting organizations

Compared to the city, the region, and the state, labor force participation rates in Springfield's downtown and surrounding neighborhoods are very low. Residents and community leaders have expressed concerns about the employment prospects for the low-income residents that make up these neighborhoods. The purpose of this discussion paper is to highlight the perspectives of residents and community-based organizations on why so few residents of Springfield?s downtown neighborhoods are employed and to look at the some of the resources available to Springfield residents to help them address ...
Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers , Paper 2010-1

Discussion Paper
Greater Springfield employment challenges: findings of employer survey and interviews

This paper presents the findings from in-depth interviews and a survey of employers in the Greater Springfield area regarding (a) employment opportunities for entry-level workers with limited skills and (b) barriers that residents of Springfield's low-income neighborhoods face in accessing these jobs. The survey and interviews indicate that entry-level jobs that do not require college are available in the Springfield area. However, even entry-level jobs require the ability to perform a variety of tasks, and many applicants lack the skills needed to perform these jobs or have work readiness ...
Public and Community Affairs Discussion Papers , Paper 2009-04

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