4/F Main Library

May 13 2013

New publications are available at the Scout Report!

Urban Institute: CHA Families and the Plan for Transformation

The Urban Institute provides high-quality research on economic and social policy, addressing topics such as education, employment, crime, and governance. This clutch of documents looks at the transformation of the Chicago Housing Authority and the provision of public housing in the city. The five briefs “describe key successes and challenges faced by CHA and its residents.” Titles address topics like “How Chicago’s Public Housing Transformation Can Inform Federal Policy?” and “Chronic Violence: Beyond the Developments.” Along with these insightful documents, you can also look over the Previous Briefs area. Here you will find “The Health Crisis for CHA Families,” “CHA After Wells-Where are the Residents Now?” and a dozen other briefs.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 17, April 26, 2013]

OECD Working Papers Series
The mantra of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is “Better Policies for Better Lives.” OECD’s work spans the world and features a team of economists, sociologists, and others working on problems as diverse as higher education, access to clean water, and energy policy. The OECD Working Papers Series spans 19 crucial areas, including agriculture, development, environment, finance, and health care. You should definitely check out the Tourism papers, as they include the compelling work “Green Innovation in Tourism Services.” The Local Economic and Employment (LEED) papers are quite good as well, covering timely topics like urban governance and regional policy decision making. You can sign up to receive updates about new papers as they are released to the site.

[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 18, May 3, 2013]


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May 17 2012

Latest resources from Urban Institute

  2. What We Talk about When We Talk about Fairness

    To watch the video webcast or a recording, you may click here.

    This forum will tackle the many dimensions of fairness through multiple lenses: economics, history, and philosophy, especially as they come into play in debates over taxes, spending, and public policy more generally. With election season heating up and candidates drafting their stump speeches, they’ll be making a lot of claims about fairness. Are there ways to assess these claims beyond whether the policy prescriptions agree with ours?

  4. Medicare, Medicaid and the Deficit Debate” – By John Holahan and Stacey McMorrow

    Between 2000 and 2010, Medicare enrollment increased due to the aging population and Medicaid enrollment increased because of two recessions, with more poor people qualifying for the latter. However, expenditure growth per enrollee was 2.7 percent per year, slightly below that of private insurance. Thus, spending growth in both programs on a per-enrollee basis is close to growth in GDP per capita, the target often advocated by those concerned with the nation’s deficit. Deficit-reduction proposals such as premium support and block grants will have a hard time achieving better outcomes. They produce savings primarily by shifting costs onto existing enrollees and, in the case of Medicaid, onto the states as well.

  6. Downward Mobility from the Middle Class: Waking Up from the American Dream” – By Gregory Acs

    A third of Americans raised in the middle class (between the 30th and 70th percentiles of the income distribution) fall out of that category as adults. Marital status, education, test scores, and drug use have a strong influence on whether a middle-class child loses economic ground as an adult. Only among whites are women more downwardly mobile than men: 30 percent of white women fall out of the middle class, compared with 21 percent of white men.

  8. What Federal Tax Reform Means for State and Local Tax and Fiscal Policies” – By Kim Rueben

    The need for fundamental federal tax reform is critical, but it is important to consider how any changes shape not only federal revenues and economic activity but the tax and fiscal policies of state and local governments, Kim Rueben told the Senate Finance Committee.

  10. WIC Participants and Their Growing Need for Coverage” – By Michael Martinez-Schiferl

    In 2009, 2.7 million infants, 9.5 million children, and 2.9 million women were eligible for benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), but only 2.2 million infants, 4.8 million children, and 2.2 million women received them. This brief summarizes key features of the WIC program, including eligibility rules, participation rates, benefits, and administration.

  12. Read more at http://www.urban.org/publications/901498.html.
    Fragile households seeking solid footing in a weak economy will receive reinvigorated support as Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and South Carolina take up the challenge of streamlining services aiding low-income working families. The six states have been awarded three-year grants to test and implement easy-to-navigate, quick-to-deliver public benefit systems. The grants, the centerpiece of the Work Support Strategies: Streamlining Access, Strengthening Families (WSS) initiative, average about $460,000 per state for each year. The Ford Foundation, the WSS project’s lead funder, has committed $21 million over five years. The Open Society Foundations and the Annie E. Casey Foundation have provided additional support.

[Source: Urban Institute]


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Apr 25 2012

Latest resources from Urban Institute

  2. Tax expenditures are getting increased scrutiny from budget hawks and tax reformers. New Treasury estimates, released as part of President Obama’s recent budget, indicate that these tax preferences will reduce individual and corporate income tax revenues by almost $1.1 trillion in 2012. Those provisions will also increase spending on refundable tax credits by $91 billion and will reduce payroll and excise tax receipts by $113 billion. Together, tax expenditures will total almost $1.3 trillion this year.
  3.  Institute’s Health Policy Center is tracking implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 10 states: Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Each case study chronicles successes and hurdles, with a special look at exchange establishment, private-market reforms, and preparations for Medicaid expansion.
  4. At a conference cosponsored by the Urban Institute, the Pension Rights Center, and Covington & Burling, Institute fellow Eugene Steuerle presented options for allowing workers to purchase annuities within Social Security, as well as granting partial benefits to accommodate phased retirement. While such options technically exist today, they are buried deep within the maze of Social Security’s complex provisions. Simplifying and clarifying these options would enable workers to provide themselves with a greater degree of inflation-protected longevity insurance in retirement.
  6.  “On health care, what’s ‘proper’?” – By Stan Dorn
    The most worrisome part of the Supreme Court’s three-day hearing on the Affordable Care Act completely escaped mention in all the oceans of real and virtual ink that were spilled to cover the case. Stan Dorn explains in his “proper” commentary for the McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
  8. Watch a spirited debate on such pressing issues as whether there should be a “Buffett Rule” to ensure that high-income taxpayers pay a minimum tax rate.
  10. Unemployment Statistics on Older Americans: Updated April 6, 2012” – By Richard Johnson and Janice Park
    Retirement Account Balances (Updated 4/12)” – By Barbara Butrica and Philip Issa


    [Source: Urban Institute]


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Apr 10 2012

Latest resources from Urban Institute


  • The Impact of Changes in Couples’ Earnings on Married Women’s Social Security Benefits” – By Barbara Butrica and Karen Smith
  • The share of married women receiving Social Security benefits based on their own work history is projected to increase from 55 percent for war babies (born 1936–1945) to 75 percent for GenXers (born 1966–1975).

  • Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Retirement Prospects of Divorced Women in the Baby Boom and Generation X Cohorts” – By Barbara Butrica and Karen Smith
  • A college degree, a strong work history, Social Security benefits, and a pension, retirement account, or assets contribute to higher retirement incomes regardless of race and ethnicity. Because divorced minority women are less likely to have these attributes than divorced white women, their projected average retirement incomes are lower than those of divorced white women. Among divorced women born 1946–1975, 15 percent of Hispanics are likely to be poor at age 70, compared with 13 percent of blacks and 7 percent of whites.

  • The Retirement Prospects of Divorced Women” – By Barbara Butrica and Karen Smith
  • The proportion of divorced women at age 70 with a 10-year marriage, which qualifies them for Social Security benefits based on their ex-spouse’s earnings, will decline from 80 percent of war babies (born between 1936 and 1945) to 70 percent of GenXers (born between 1966 and 1975). Among war babies, 37 percent will receive only retired-worker benefits because they do not have a qualifying marriage, compared to 51 percent of GenXers.


  • This Is Not Your Parents’ Retirement: Comparing Retirement Income across Generations” – By Barbara Butrica, Karen Smith, and Howard Iams
  • The typical GenX retiree (born between 1966 and 1975) is projected to have an income of $46,000 at age 67. In contrast, the typical Depression baby retiree (born between 1926 and 1935) had income of only $28,000. However, the income of the GenX retiree will replace only 84 percent of preretirement income, compared with 98 percent for Depression baby retirees. Retirement income gains are projected to be larger for higher than for lower socioeconomic groups, leading to increased income inequality among future retirees.


  • Reducing the Deficit by Increasing Individual Income Tax Rates” – By Eric Toder, Jim Nunns, and Joseph Rosenberg
  • This paper analyzes three options to increase individual income tax rates to reduce the projected debt-to-GDP ratio to 60 percent by 2020, 2025, or 2035. Option 1 increases all individual income tax rates, option 2 raises only the top three rates, and option 3 boosts only the top two rates. The options are analyzed using a current law baseline (2001–2003 tax cuts expire) and current policy baseline (2001–2003 tax cuts are extended). Under current policy, options 2 and 3 would not meet all targets, even with rates near 100 percent. Under current law, required top rates would range from 44 percent (option 1) to 58 percent (option 3).


  • The Urban Institute, Child Trends, and Social Solutions launched PerformWell, a web site with performance indicators, measurement techniques and questionnaires, and performance management strategies human service organizations can use to deliver more effective social programs.
[Source: Urban Institute]

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Nov 08 2011

Latest Urban Institute Reports


  • Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s America: Six Experts Face the Facts – by C. Eugene Steuerle…[et al.]
  • Urban Institute scholars from diverse disciplines tackle a simple-to-state, hard-to-answer question: How can solutions to our national and state budget crises fit the facts about children in the United States? In their responses, the contributors wrestle with recent and approaching economic and demographic challenges in different ways and bring very different experiences to bear.


    Watch a conversation on this topic, moderated by PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, at



  • Children of Immigrants: Growing National and State Diversity – by Karina Fortuny and Ajay Chaudry
  • Between 2000 and 2009, minorities’ share of U.S. children under age 18 increased from 38 to 44 percent, driven by growth in the number of Hispanic and Asian children and a decline in white children. Children of immigrants accounted for most of the growth. This brief highlights trends in the changing demographics of the U.S. child population nationally and across states.


  • Children of Immigrants: The Changing Face of Metropolitan America – by Ajay Chaudry and Karina Fortuny
  • Of the 17 million children of immigrants in the United States, 84 percent live in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. The share of minority children reached 51 percent in 2009 in these metros, many of which became “majority minority.”


[Source: Urban Institute]


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Aug 10 2011

Children of Immigrants Data Tool

The Urban Institute Children of Immigrants Data Tool is an interactive tool designed to generate charts and tables with indicators on children, age 0 to 17, for the United States and for the 50 states and the District of Columbia using data from the American Community Survey. The Children of Immigrants Data Tool presents data on a number of population groups of children defined by the children nativity and citizenship and the nativity, citizenship, and origin of their parents, such as children with immigrant parents, children with noncitizen parents, and children with Mexican parents. The available data include child characteristics (e.g. child’s school enrollment), parent characteristics (e.g. English proficiency of parents), and family characteristics (e.g. family poverty). 

Updated immigrants data tool: The interactive Children of Immigrants Data Tool web site has been updated with 2008 and 2009 American Community Survey data. The tool can generate customized graphs and charts for every state and the District of Columbia. Statistics on 26 indicators include citizenship and the immigrant status (foreign vs. native-born) of children and their parents; children’s race, ethnicity, and school enrollment; parents’ education and English proficiency; and family composition, income, work effort, homeownership, and food stamp receipt. In 2009, 16.8 million children 17 years old or younger had at least one immigrant parent. That’s a one-third increase from 2000’s 13.3 million children and a twofold increase from 1990’s 8.3 million young people.


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Jul 26 2011

Free Resources about Public Administration

  1. Fed in Print
  2. This database provides access to research published by the Board of Governors and all 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Coverage includes the core economic reviews, as well as specialized regional and international publications, working papers, and annual report essays…

  3. Australian Parliamentary Library
  4. This site has different kinds of publications, mainly parliamentary documents. It also covers various topics such as Climate Change, Social Policy, Politics and Public Administration and so on. Users can also access the publications via this search function

  5. UK Parliament
  6. Parliament examines what the UK Government is doing, makes new laws, holds the power to set taxes and debates the issues of the day. From this website, about 350 topics of research briefings and parliament-related publications can be accessed…

  7. U.S. Department of State
  8. Key U.S. Government Reports Archive provides Congressional Research Service Reports (CRS) and Issue Briefs which can be accessed by region and date. It contains Policy Issues, Democracy and Global Affairs, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs etc…

  9. Urban Institute
  10. The Urban Institute gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs and offers technical assistance overseas so as to foster sound public policy and effective government. Various types of associated publications can be obtained for example governing…


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