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Which Way to Recovery? Housing Market Outcomes and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program
To help communities recover from the foreclosure crisis, Congress enacted a set of policies known as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). NSP's objective was to mitigate the impact of foreclosures on neighboring properties, through reducing the stock of distressed properties and removing sources of visual blight. This paper presents evidence on production outcomes achieved through the second round of NSP funding (NSP2), and discusses the housing market context under which the program operated from 2010 to 2013. Two key findings emerge. First, local grantees undertook quite different ...
Fewer Vacants, Fewer Crimes? Impacts of Neighborhood Revitalization Policies on Crime
The relationship between neighborhood physical environment and social disorder, particularly crime, is of critical interest to urban economists and sociologists, as well as local governments. Over the past 50 years, various policy interventions to improve physical conditions in distressed neighborhoods have also been heralded for their potential to reduce crime. Urban renewal programs in the mid-20th century and public housing redevelopment in the 1990s both subscribed to the idea that signs of physical disorder invite social disorder. More recently, the federal Neighborhood Stabilization ...
The long road to recovery: New York Schools in the aftermath of the Great Recession
Schools play a crucial role in human capital development, and were one of the many elements of government adversely affected by the Great Recession. Using a rich panel data set of New York State school districts and a trend-shift analysis, we examine how the funding and expenditure dynamics of districts have changed in the four years since the recession hit. We find that although the stimulus prevented major cuts to expenditures while it was in place, once the stimulus funding was used up districts faced strong budget constraints and made deep cuts to their expenditures. While state and local ...
Do Stay-at-Home Orders Cause People to Stay at Home? Effects of Stay-at-Home Orders on Consumer Behavior (REVISED May 2020)
We link the county-level rollout of stay-at-home orders to anonymized cell phone records and consumer spending data. We document three patterns. First, stay-at-home orders caused people to stay at home: County-level measures of mobility declined 9–13% by the day after the stay-at-home order went into effect. Second, stay-at-home orders caused large reductions in spending in sectors associated with mobility: restaurants and retail stores. However, consumers sharply increased spending on food delivery services after orders went into effect. Third, while the response of residents to ...
Not in My Backyard? Not So Fast. The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Neighborhood Crime
This paper studies the effects of marijuana legalization on neighborhood crime using unique geospatial data from Denver, Colorado. We construct a highly local panel data set that includes changes in the location of marijuana dispensaries and changes in neighborhood crime. To account for endogenous retail dispensary locations, we use a novel identification strategy that exploits exogenous changes in demand across different locations. The change in geographic demand arises from the increased importance of access to external markets caused by a change in state and local policy. The results imply ...