Credit FAQ: New GASB Statements 74 And 75 Provide Transparency For Assessing Budgetary Stress On U.S. State & Local Government OPEBs

Source: S&P Global Ratings, March 14, 2018
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This report answers frequently asked questions investors might have on how S&P Global Ratings will determine its ratings on state and local governments based on these new accounting standards as well as the implications the changes will have on how OPEB liabilities are reported.

Statistics Resources and Big Data 2018

Source: Marcus P. Zillman, LLRX, March 25, 2018

This new guide is a comprehensive resource for all researchers who require access to reliable and accurate publicly available statistics and Big Data sets that address diverse and timely subject matter. The resources included in this guide are developed and maintained by a range of organizations, including: academic and scholarly sources, the federal government, the corporate and business sectors, open source contributions, advocacy groups, NGOs and IGOs.

U.S. Employment and Opioids: Is There a Connection?

Source: Janet Currie, Jonas Y. Jin, Molly Schnell NBER Working Paper No. 24440, March 2018
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From the abstract:
This paper uses quarterly county-level data to examine the relationship between opioid prescription rates and employment-to-population ratios from 2006–2014. We first estimate models of the effect of opioid prescription rates on employment-to-population ratios, instrumenting opioid prescriptions for younger ages using opioid prescriptions to the elderly. We also estimate models of the effect of employment-to-population ratios on opioid prescription rates using a shift-share instrument. We find that the estimated effect of opioids on employment-to-population ratios is positive but small for women, but there is no relationship for men. These findings suggest that although they are addictive and dangerous, opioids may allow some women to work who would otherwise leave the labor force. When we examine the effect of employment-to-population ratios on opioid prescriptions, our results are more ambiguous. Overall, our findings suggest that there is no simple causal relationship between economic conditions and the abuse of opioids. Therefore, while improving economic conditions in depressed areas is desirable for many reasons, it is unlikely to curb the opioid epidemic.

Drug Overdose Rates Are Highest in Places With the Most Economic and Family Distress

Source: Shannon Monnat, Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, National Issue Brief #134, Spring 2018

From the summary:
The U.S. drug overdose problem has reached epidemic levels, prompting President Trump to declare a public health emergency. Since 2000, 786,781 people in the United States have died from drug overdoses and other drug-related causes, with nearly 40 percent of those deaths occurring in the last three years alone.

The news media regularly portrays the drug overdose epidemic as a national crisis, but some places have much higher drug mortality rates than others. On average, rates are higher in counties with higher levels of economic distress and family dissolution, and they are lower in counties with a larger per capita presence of religious establishments. These findings hold even when controlling for demographic differences, urban or rural status, and health care supply.

KEY FINDINGS
– In 2016, the national drug-related mortality rate per 100,000 persons ranged from a low of 9.9 in Nebraska to a high of 60.3 in West Virginia.
– From 2006 to 2015, counties with the highest levels of economic distress experienced an average of 7.9 more drug-related deaths per 100,000 persons than counties with the lowest levels. This difference is the equivalent of nearly 40,000 excess deaths in the most economically distressed counties over the 10-year period.
– Counties with the highest levels of family dissolution (divorce/separation and single-parent families) had an average of 8.1 more drug-related deaths per 100,000 persons than counties with the lowest levels.
– Counties with the highest per capita presence of religious establishments had an average of 4.7 fewer drug-related deaths per 100,000 persons than counties with the lowest presence of religious establishments.

Related:
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State & Local Government Snapshot

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, February 15, 2018

Use this tool to explore aggregated Revenue, Expenditure and Employment data for State and Local Governments. Customize the view by using the drop-down menus, and selectable category buttons. Receive additional information by hovering over each data element. Please note, all Revenue and Expenditure data are annual while Employment data have been annualized from each year’s March statistics.  Dollar amounts are displayed in whole dollars.

Employment Effects of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansions

Source: Pauline Leung, Alexandre Mas, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Volume 57, Issue 2, April 2018
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From the abstract:
We examine whether the recent expansions in Medicaid from the Affordable Care Act reduced “employment lock” among childless adults who were previously ineligible for public coverage. We compare employment in states that chose to expand Medicaid versus those that chose not to expand, before and after implementation. We find that although the expansion increased Medicaid coverage by 3.0 percentage points among childless adults, there was no significant impact on employment.

Governors’ Party Affiliation and Unions

Source: Louis‐Philippe Beland, Bulent Unel, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Volume 57, Issue 2, April 2018
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From the abstract:
Employing a regression discontinuity (RD) approach on gubernatorial elections in the United States over the last three decades, this paper investigates the causal effects of governors’ party affiliation (Democrat versus Republican) on unionization of workers, and unionized workers’ working hours and earnings. Surprisingly, we find no significant impact from the party affiliation of governors on union membership and union workers’ labor‐market outcomes.