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  • Individual Author: Gould, Elise; Cooper, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Policymakers considering changes to social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare must consider the economic realities confronting elderly Americans. Many of America’s 41 million seniors are just one bad economic shock away from significant material hardship. Most seniors live on modest retirement incomes, which often are barely adequate—and sometimes inadequate—to cover the costs of basic necessities and support a simple, yet dignified, quality of life. For these seniors, and even for those with greater means, Social Security and Medicare are the bedrock of their financial security. Any proposed changes to these programs must be evaluated not just for their impact on future budget deficits, but for their impact on living standards of the elderly. In this study, we use the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) from the U.S. Census Bureau to assess the economic health of the elderly population in the United States, overall and by age, gender, and race and ethnicity. Using evidence on elderly economic insecurity from Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), we identify...

    Policymakers considering changes to social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare must consider the economic realities confronting elderly Americans. Many of America’s 41 million seniors are just one bad economic shock away from significant material hardship. Most seniors live on modest retirement incomes, which often are barely adequate—and sometimes inadequate—to cover the costs of basic necessities and support a simple, yet dignified, quality of life. For these seniors, and even for those with greater means, Social Security and Medicare are the bedrock of their financial security. Any proposed changes to these programs must be evaluated not just for their impact on future budget deficits, but for their impact on living standards of the elderly. In this study, we use the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) from the U.S. Census Bureau to assess the economic health of the elderly population in the United States, overall and by age, gender, and race and ethnicity. Using evidence on elderly economic insecurity from Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), we identify the share of the elderly population that is particularly vulnerable to changes in social programs. Our analysis enables us to estimate how proposed increased cost-sharing by Medicare beneficiaries or reduced Social Security benefits would impact the well-being of a significant portion of the elderly population. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jansuwan, Sarawut; Chen, Anthony; Christensen, Keith
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Older adults, low-income individuals, and individuals with disabilities are generally considered “low-mobility” individuals, having less access to transportation options and often marginalized in the social environment of the community. This study assessed the transportation needs of low-mobility individuals using three dimensions: (1) travel characteristics, (2) social strength in terms of transportation assistance received from their social networks, and (3) accessibility to public transportation. A mixed survey method combining an in-person interview at the collaborating organizations and a mail-back survey were used. Results showed that older adults remain mobile and make more frequent short trips. The results also showed a much higher reliance on private vehicles among older adults and individuals with low income, whereas a much higher reliance on public transportation and much lower reliance on private transportation was found among individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities were still active, as almost half of them travel to work frequently. However, the...

    Older adults, low-income individuals, and individuals with disabilities are generally considered “low-mobility” individuals, having less access to transportation options and often marginalized in the social environment of the community. This study assessed the transportation needs of low-mobility individuals using three dimensions: (1) travel characteristics, (2) social strength in terms of transportation assistance received from their social networks, and (3) accessibility to public transportation. A mixed survey method combining an in-person interview at the collaborating organizations and a mail-back survey were used. Results showed that older adults remain mobile and make more frequent short trips. The results also showed a much higher reliance on private vehicles among older adults and individuals with low income, whereas a much higher reliance on public transportation and much lower reliance on private transportation was found among individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities were still active, as almost half of them travel to work frequently. However, the number of nonwork trips made by individuals with disabilities was significantly low. These findings indicated a positive relationship between transportation mode choices and social dependence with family and friends. Individuals with stronger family social ties were more likely to receive adequate help meeting their transportation needs. The accessibility analysis revealed that low-mobility individuals in Cache County, Utah, have difficulties accessing transit due to the long walking distances from their residences. These findings may be used to guide policy for improving public transportation and paratransit services to meet low-mobility individuals’ needs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sheran, Michelle; Swann, Christopher A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    Many children in private kinship care arrangements live in families that endure financial hardships. Even though these families are eligible for TANF child-only grants, only one in five receives cash assistance. The purpose of this study is to better understand the take-up of cash assistance for this group. Using national level data, we explore the relationships among child and caregiver characteristics and the receipt of cash assistance. We provide evidence that disadvantaged families are more likely to receive cash assistance than less disadvantaged families. For example, older caregivers and those with less education have higher take-up rates than their counterparts. Similarly, being poor and having received welfare in the past increase the likelihood that assistance is received. Nonetheless, it is important to note that take-up rates are low compared to other social programs. Our results suggest some possible reasons for this. For instance, our findings point to the possibility that many private kinship care families do not take-up cash assistance because they do not know...

    Many children in private kinship care arrangements live in families that endure financial hardships. Even though these families are eligible for TANF child-only grants, only one in five receives cash assistance. The purpose of this study is to better understand the take-up of cash assistance for this group. Using national level data, we explore the relationships among child and caregiver characteristics and the receipt of cash assistance. We provide evidence that disadvantaged families are more likely to receive cash assistance than less disadvantaged families. For example, older caregivers and those with less education have higher take-up rates than their counterparts. Similarly, being poor and having received welfare in the past increase the likelihood that assistance is received. Nonetheless, it is important to note that take-up rates are low compared to other social programs. Our results suggest some possible reasons for this. For instance, our findings point to the possibility that many private kinship care families do not take-up cash assistance because they do not know that they are eligible for it through the TANF program. This suggests that outreach may improve participation. It also raises the issue of whether the receipt of cash assistance could be improved if benefits were provided through a program other than TANF. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Andrews, Nancy; Erickson, David
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2012

    One in six Americans now lives in poverty — the highest level in half a century. Poverty has spread beyond cities to suburbs and rural communities and is being transferred from one generation to the next. At the same time, we know more about what it takes to build vibrant communities and to help people lead healthy, productive lives. We also know that expanding access to affordable housing, good schools, transportation, jobs, and even supermarkets and parks, can mean better health and life outcomes for people and revitalize whole communities.

    Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a new book that calls on leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build on what we know is working to move the needle on poverty. The book’s impressive list of authors represents a broad range of sectors including federal agencies, philanthropy, housing academia, health, and the private sector. This collection of essays provides dozens of innovative ideas that can bring new opportunities to America’s struggling communities. It calls on leaders, from the...

    One in six Americans now lives in poverty — the highest level in half a century. Poverty has spread beyond cities to suburbs and rural communities and is being transferred from one generation to the next. At the same time, we know more about what it takes to build vibrant communities and to help people lead healthy, productive lives. We also know that expanding access to affordable housing, good schools, transportation, jobs, and even supermarkets and parks, can mean better health and life outcomes for people and revitalize whole communities.

    Investing in What Works for America’s Communities is a new book that calls on leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build on what we know is working to move the needle on poverty. The book’s impressive list of authors represents a broad range of sectors including federal agencies, philanthropy, housing academia, health, and the private sector. This collection of essays provides dozens of innovative ideas that can bring new opportunities to America’s struggling communities. It calls on leaders, from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to recognize that they can work smarter and achieve more by working together.

    Table of Contents:

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    FOREWORD : Building Sustainable Communities, Elizabeth A. Duke, Governor, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

    I COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: PAST AND PRESENT

    • The Past, Present, and Future of Community Development in the United States, Alexander von Hoffman, Harvard University
    • The Continuing Evolution of American Poverty and Its Implications for Community Development, Alan Berube, Brookings Institution
    • Crossing Over to an Improved Era of Community Development, Eric Belsky, Harvard University and Jennifer Fauth, City of New York

    II OPEN FORUM: VOICES AND OPINIONS FROM LEADERS IN POLICY, THE FIELD, AND ACADEMIA

    FROM LEADERS IN POLICY

    • Fighting Poverty through Community Development, Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education; and, Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

    FROM LEADERS IN THE FIELD

    • America’s Tomorrow: Race, Place, and the Equity Agenda, Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink
    • People Transforming Communities. For Good., Angela Blanchard, Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
    • Future of Community Development: How CDFIs Can Best Ride the Impact Investing Wave, Antony Bugg-Levine, Nonprofit Finance Fund
    • Community Development in Rural America: Collaborative, Regional, and Comprehensive, Cynthia M. Duncan, AGree
    • It Takes a Neighborhood: Purpose Built Communities and Neighborhood Transformation, Shirley Franklin, Purpose Built Communities and David Edwards, IBM Corporation
    • The Future of Community Development, Paul Grogan, The Boston Foundation
    • From Community to Prosperity, Ben Hecht, Living Cities
    • Owning Your Own Job Is a Beautiful Thing: Community Wealth Building in Cleveland, Ohio, Ted Howard, Democracy Collaborative
    • Why Health, Poverty, and Community Development Are Inseparable, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    • The World Has Changed and So Must We, Clara Miller, F. B. Heron Foundation
    • Getting to Scale: The Need for a New Model in Housing and Community Development, Sister Lillian Murphy, Mercy Housing and Janet Falk, Mercy Housing
    • What Problem Are We Trying to Solve?, Mark A. Pinsky, Opportunity Finance Network
    • Transit-Oriented Development Is Good Community Development, John Robert Smith, Reconnecting America and Allison Brooks, Reconnecting America
    • Household and Community Financial Stability: Essential and Interconnected, Jennifer Tescher, Center for Financial Services Innovation

    FROM LEADERS IN ACADEMIA

    • Assessing Health Effects of Community Development, Nancy E. Adler, University of California, San Francisco
    • Deep Democracy Is Not Meetings That Last Forever: Community Development Next, Xavier de Souza Briggs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  and J. Phillip Thompson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Rules, Not Resources, Mark Calabria, Cato Institute
    • Our History with Concentrated Poverty, Peter Edelman, Georgetown University Law Center
    • Crime and Community Development, Ingrid Gould Ellen, New York University
    • Early Childhood Development: Creating Healthy Communities with Greater Efficiency and Effectiveness, Gabriella Conti, University of Chicago and James J. Heckman, University of Chicago
    • Mobilizing Science to Reduce Intergenerational Poverty, James M. Radner, University of Toronto and Jack P. Shonkoff, Harvard University

    III MAPPING THE FUTURE: SYNTHESIZING THEMES AND

    IDEAS FOR NEXT STEPS

    • Integration and Innovation in a Time of Stress: Doing the Best for People and Place, Ellen Seidman, Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
    • Routinizing the Extraordinary, David Erickson, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Ian Galloway, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; and, Naomi Cytron, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
    • Inflection Point: New Vision, New Strategy, New Organization, Nancy O. Andrews, Low Income Investment Fund  and Nicolas Retsinas, Harvard Business School

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cawley, John; Moran, John; Simon, Kosali
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    his paper estimates the impact of income on the body weight and clinical weight classification of elderly Americans using a natural experiment that led otherwise identical retirees to receive significantly different Social Security payments based on their year of birth. We estimate models of instrumental variables using data from the National Health Interview Surveys and find no significant effect of income on weight. The confidence intervals rule out even moderate effects of income on weight and on the probability of being underweight or obese, especially for men. For example, they indicate that the income elasticity of body mass index is not greater in absolute value than 0.06 for men or 0.14 for women. (author abstract)

    This article was previously published as a working paper by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

    his paper estimates the impact of income on the body weight and clinical weight classification of elderly Americans using a natural experiment that led otherwise identical retirees to receive significantly different Social Security payments based on their year of birth. We estimate models of instrumental variables using data from the National Health Interview Surveys and find no significant effect of income on weight. The confidence intervals rule out even moderate effects of income on weight and on the probability of being underweight or obese, especially for men. For example, they indicate that the income elasticity of body mass index is not greater in absolute value than 0.06 for men or 0.14 for women. (author abstract)

    This article was previously published as a working paper by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

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