Trends in U. S. family income mobility, 1969-2006
Much of America's promise is predicated on economic mobility?the idea that people are not limited or defined by where they start, but can move up the economic ladder based on their efforts and accomplishments. Family income mobility?changes in individual families' income positions over time?is one indicator of the degree to which the eventual economic wellbeing of any family is tethered to its starting point. In the United States, family income inequality has risen from year to year since the mid-1970s; given this rising cross-sectional inequality, changes over time in mobility determine the ...
Can local governments give citizens what they want? Referendum outcomes in Massachusetts
Economists and political scientists have long debated the nature of the process that determines government taxation and service levels in a democracy. During the 1980s, the role of referenda in determining city and town property taxes, and hence local spending, increased dramatically in Massachusetts. This article uses recent Massachusetts experience to examine the degree to which citizens "get what they want" from the local public sector and what it is they seem to want. ; The passage of Proposition 21/2 in November 1980 signalled both a shift in statewide voter sentiment against local ...
U. S. labor supply in the twenty-first century
The American labor force will be transformed as the twenty-first century unfolds, a change that will confront policymakers and business firms with new challenges and new opportunities. The impending slowdown of labor force growth that will accompany the retirement of the baby boom generation already is playing a central role in national debates over the future solvency of Social Security and Medicare, as well as U.S. immigration policies. But labor supply changes will be influenced by other dimensions as well. In the coming decades, American workers are likely to be, on average, older and ...
Growing inequality of family incomes: changing families and changing wages
It is widely known that the incomes of U.S. families became more unequal during the 1980s. The reasons for this rise, however, are not at all clear. Numerous factors have been implicated including slow growth, rising demand for highly educated workers, and shifts in family structure and family members' work patterns.> This article describes the 1973-94 increase in inequality of family incomes and related shifts in wage inequality, work trends, and family patterns. The author also examines patterns of inequality among the nine Census regions in the United States and differences in their ...
How much do expansions reduce the black-white employment gap?
School quality and Massachusetts enrollment shifts in the context of tax limitations
Like most states, Massachusetts underwent a large shift in public school enrollment between the 1980s and 1990s, requiring a number of sizable fiscal and educational adjustments by individual school districts. Between 1980 and 1989, the number of students in kindergarten through grade 12 fell 21 percent, from 1.04 million to 825,000. As children of baby boomers reached school age, the picture changed and enrollments grew more than 90,000 over the next seven years. These aggregate trends gloss over even more marked shifts at the local level. This ...
The responsiveness of married women’s labor force participation to income and wages: recent changes and possible explanations
One contributor to the twentieth century rise in married women's labor force participation was declining responsiveness to husbands? wages and other family income. Now that the rapid rise in married women?s participation has slowed and even begun to reverse, this paper asks whether married women?s cross-wage elasticities have continued to fall. Using the outgoing rotation group of the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) and estimating coefficients separately for each year from 1994 through 2006, we find that the decline in responsiveness to husbands? wages has come to an end?at least for ...
School district spending and state aid: why disparities persist
Most decisions about the level of local public school spending are made by local school districts. Their choices are conditioned by local resources and the availability of external funds, mostly from state governments. A major purpose of this substantial state aid is to further the goal of equal educational opportunity by helping to make spending more equal in rich and poor districts. ; This article investigates the link between school spending disparities and state school aid by using data on school finances and community attributes to model the determinants of per-pupil operating spending ...
Geographic patterns of mortgage lending in Boston, 1982-1987