Race, Place, and the Persisting Income Divide in the U.S. Southeast, 2000–2014

Source: Madhuri Sharma, Growth and Change, Early View, First published: 11 August 2017
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From the abstract:
Despite economic growth since the recession, the gap between the richest and the poorest segments of the population remains one of the most pressing concerns of contemporary America. This paper uses IR-95/20, IR-80/20, and IR-65/35 ratios to measure the income divides between the richest and the poorest segments in the mid-to-large-sized metropolises of the U.S. Southeast, their variation across ethnicities, and their association with metropolitan level attributes such as diversity, segregation, socio-economic, and other built-environment, and labor characteristics. The income divide ratios serve as the dependent variables whereas principal components along with state-dummy variables serve as the explanatory variables in regressions analyses. The metropolises that are large, diverse, and better educated are the most income-divided whereas those with lower educated people are less divided. Metropolises with larger shares of their labor engaged in primary sectors of economy have higher income divides; this observation also holds true for African Americans and Hispanics. Metropolises that gained in intermixing during 2000–2014 are associated with a lower income divide and vice versa.

Can State Tax Policy Increase Economic Activity and Reduce Inequality?

Source: Harvey Cutler, Martin Shields and Stephen Davies, Growth and Change, Early View, September 10, 2017
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From the abstract:
Previous research shows that when changes in national commodity and income tax rates affect labor supply decisions differently, relative rates can be altered to increase welfare. In the U.S., 40 states impose both a sales and income tax; however, the reliance varies widely. This paper uses a computable general equilibrium model to examine tax policy changes in Colorado. The findings suggest that the revenue neutral changes to income and sales tax rates can affect both the level of economic activity and the distribution of income. When labor force participation is highly sensitive to income tax rate changes—which this paper suggests is the case—progressive changes to Colorado’s tax policy changes can both reduce inequality and increase output and employment.

The Direct and Indirect (Spillover) Effects of Productive Government Spending on State Economic Growth

Source: Andrew Ojede, Bebonchu Atems, Steven Yamarik, Growth and Change, Early View, September 25, 2017
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From the abstract:
Using data on 48 contiguous U.S. states and a spatial econometric approach, this paper examines short- and long-run effects of productive higher education and highway infrastructure spending financed by different revenue sources on state economic growth. Following the Lagrange Multiplier, Wald, and Likelihood Ratio tests, the data are found to be characterized by both spatial lag and spatial error processes, leading to the estimation of a dynamic spatial Durbin model. By decomposing results of the dynamic spatial Durbin model into short- and long-run direct as well as indirect (spillover) effects, we show that accounting for spillover effects provides a more comprehensive approach to uncovering the effects of productive government spending on growth. We find that, regardless of the financing source, productive higher education and highway spending have statistically significant short- and long-run direct as well as spillover effects on state income growth.

A New Study Shows Just How Many Americans Were Blocked From Voting in Wisconsin Last Year

Source: Ari Berman, Mother Jones, September 25, 2017

Trump won the state by 22,748 votes. ….

…..Even though Brinkman was already registered in Wisconsin and had other forms of ID, poll workers only allowed her to cast a provisional ballot. It was never counted. “I was very frustrated,” she said. “This past election was kind of a big one.” She described herself as “liberal” and said she didn’t vote for Donald Trump, who carried the state by just 22,000 votes.

A comprehensive study released today suggests how many missing votes can be attributed to the new law. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison surveyed registered voters who didn’t cast a 2016 ballot in the state’s two biggest counties—Milwaukee and Dane, which is home to Madison. More than 1 out of 10 nonvoters (11.2 percent) said they lacked acceptable voter ID and cited the law as a reason why they didn’t vote; 6.4 percent of respondents said the voter ID law was the “main reason” they didn’t vote.

The study’s lead author, University of Wisconsin political scientist Kenneth Mayer, says between roughly 9,000 and 23,000 registered voters in the reliably Democratic counties were deterred from voting by the ID law. Extrapolating statewide, he says the data suggests as many as 45,000 voters sat out the election, though he cautioned that it was difficult to produce an estimate from just two counties.*….

Related:
Elections Center Affiliates Release Initial Results from Voter ID Study
Source: Professor Kenneth R. Mayer (Principal Investigator) and Ph.D. candidate Michael G. DeCrescenzo, September 25, 2017

Initial findings from a new study on the effects of Wisconsin’s voter ID requirement.

  • Press Release
  • Background Study and Technical Documentation
  • Questions and Answers
  • Survey Instrument (Questionnaire)
  • Enhancing transnational labour solidarity: the unfulfilled promise of the Internet and social media

    Source: Torsten Geelan and Andy Hodder, Industrial Relations Journal, Early View, September 14, 2017
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    From the abstract:
    This article examines the activities of Union Solidarity International (USI), a new UK-based organisation in the international union arena. USI seeks to encourage and support international solidarity between trade unions and other worker movements around the world by harnessing the dynamism of the Internet and social media. Drawing on a combination of in-depth semi-structured interviews, documentary analysis, Google Analytics and social media data, the findings of this case study suggest that USI is successfully developing an international audience in the United States, the UK and Ireland. However, USI’s ability to reach beyond English-speaking countries and mobilise people to engage in collective action appears limited. The article makes an important contribution to the growing literature on social media in industrial relations through analysing the extent to which digital technologies can contribute to effective transnational labour solidarity.

    Partners in protest: parents, unions and anti-academy campaigns

    Source: Suzanne Muna, Industrial Relations Journal, Early View, September 25, 2017
    (subscription required)

    From the abstract:
    An analytical framework has been developed in order to enhance our ability to interrogate and understand the critical factors for successful union–community coalitions. The framework is then tested on a single case study, a campaign run by trade unions, parents and community groups engaged in opposing academisation of their community school. The framework helps structure analysis and aids evaluation of the impact of activists’ choices on campaign outcomes.

    The United Auto Workers’ Attempts to Unionize Volkswagen Chattanooga

    Source: Stephen J. Silvia, ILR Review, Online First, August 3, 2017
    (subscription required)

    From the abstract:
    The author examines attempts by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to unionize the Volkswagen (VW) plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. These efforts were a pivotal test of labor’s ability to organize in the South. The UAW failed to organize the entire plant, despite an amenable employer, because of heavy intervention by external actors, the union’s failure to develop community support, and a paragraph in the pre-election agreement that promised wage restraint. VW management’s fear of losing state subsidies and their desire to not alienate the local business and political establishment took the card-check procedure for recognition off the table. VW management’s adoption of an accommodating position toward unionization for the entire plant, but resistance to it for the small skilled-mechanics unit, suggests that the company was willing to accept unionization only as a means to the end of creating a works council rather than out of a commitment to collective bargaining as a practice.

    2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey

    Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, September 2017

    From the abstract:
    This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and employer practices. The 2017 survey included more than 2,100 interviews with non-federal public and private firms. Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $18,764 this year, up 3% from last year, with workers on average paying $5,714 towards the cost of their coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Education Trust 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey. The 2017 survey includes information on the use of incentives for employer wellness programs, plan cost sharing, and firm offer rates. Survey results are released in a variety of ways, including a full report with downloadable tables on a variety of topics, summary of findings, and an article published in the journal Health Affairs.
    Related:
    Press Release
    Summary of Findings
    Survey Design and Methods
    Health Affairs
    The peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs has published an article with key findings from the 2017 survey: Health Benefits In 2017: Stable Coverage, Workers Faced Considerable Variation in Costs.

    Web Briefing
    On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) held a reporters-only web briefing to release the 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey.

    Interactive Graphic
    This graphing tool allows users to look at changes in premiums and worker contributions for covered workers at different types of firms over time: Premiums and Worker Contributions Among Workers Covered by Employer-Sponsored Coverage, 1999-2017.

    Key Exhibits-Chartpack
    Over twenty overview slides from the 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey are available as a slideshow or PDF.

    Additional Resources
    Standard errors for selected estimates are available in the Technical Supplement here.
    Employer Health Benefits Surveys from 1998-2016 are available here. Please note that historic survey reports have not been revised with methodological changes.
    Researchers may request a public use dataset by going to Contact Us and choosing “TOPIC: Health Costs.”

    New onset of asthma and job status change among world trade center responders and workers

    Source: Hyun Kim, Sherry Baron, Navneet K. Baidwan, Adam Schwartz and Jacqueline Moline, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, First published: September 14, 2017
    (subscription required)

    From the abstract:
    Background:
    Despite the high rates, the consequences of new onset asthma among the World Trade Center (WTC) responders in terms of the change in job status have not been studied.

    Methods:
    This study consists of a cohort of 8132 WTC responders out of the total 25 787 responders who held a full-time job at the baseline visit, and participated in at least one follow-up visit.

    Results:
    Overall, 34% of the study cohort changed their job status from full-time at a follow-up visit. Multivariable models showed that asthmatics were respectively 27% and 47% more likely to have any job status change and get retired, and twice as likely to become disabled as compared to non-asthmatics.

    Conclusions:
    With asthma incidence from WTC exposure, negative job status change should be considered as a potential long-term consequence of WTC exposure.

    Democracy Counts: A Report On U.S. College And University Student Voting

    Source: Nancy Thomas, Inger Bergom, Ishara Casellas Connors, Prabhat Gautam, Adam Gismondi, And Alena Roshko, Tufts University – Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life – Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, 2017

    From the summary:
    The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement is a study of U.S. college and university student voting. At the time of this report, the database consists of deidentified records for 9,511,711 and 9,784,931 students enrolled at the time of the 2012 and 2016 elections, respectively. These students attended 1,023 higher education institutions in the U.S. across all 50 states. Participating institutions give NSLVE permission for their student enrollment records to be matched with public voting records, yielding precise data on their students’ turnout. The demographics of the nearly 10 million students in NSLVE resemble those of the approximately 20 million college students in the U.S.
    • Turnout rose
    • Women voted more
    • Hispanic and Asian turnout up; Black turnout down from a high baseline
    • Youngest students saw turnout increase
    • Social science majors voted at significantly higher rates than STEM majors
    • Turnout rose in private four-year institutions and women’s colleges, fell at HBCUs Institutions in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania led the turnout increases

    Related:
    Data Portal