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Race, Ethnicity, Gender

Multi EthnicUrban Institute researchers examine gender inequalities, racial segregation, and the mutually reinforcing disparities they cause in education, housing, employment, income, and health care.

Our experts analyze race and gender gaps in student test scores, measure unequal treatment toward minorities in the housing market, and study the persistent discrimination that feeds wealth and income gaps. We also probe the unique challenges of single mothers, noncustodial fathers, and hard-to-employ young men—and evaluate the public and private programs designed to help them.

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Impact of the Great Recession and Beyond: Disparities in Wealth Building by Generation and Race (Occasional Paper)
Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, C. Eugene Steuerle, Sisi Zhang

This paper uses over two decades of Survey of Consumer Finances data and a pseudo-panel technique to measure the impact of the Great Recession on wealth relative to the counterfactual of what wealth would have been given wealth accumulation trajectories. Our regression-adjusted synthetic cohort-level models find that the Great Recession reduced the wealth of American families by 28.5 percent—nearly double the magnitude of previous pre-post mean descriptive estimates and double the magnitude of any previous recession since the 1980s. The housing market was only part of the story; all major wealth components fell as a result of the Great Recession.

Posted to Web: April 22, 2014Publication Date: April 22, 2014

Making Sense of Childhood Asthma: Lessons for Building a Better System of Care (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Susan J. Popkin, Judy Berman, Paola Barahona, Priya Saxena, Deborah Quint, Stephen J. Teach

This report highlights findings from a qualitative study about asthma care for low-income African American and Latino children ages 4-14 in Washington, DC, where nearly one in five children under age 18 has the condition. We interviewed medical providers, health administrators, policy makers and caregivers whose children had visited the IMPACT DC clinic (located in the emergency department of Children’s National Health System) about the primary barriers, challenges, and opportunities for improving asthma treatment in DC. The stakeholders each felt their school, clinic, agency, or department had a role to play in improving asthma care, and that many challenges were system-related. Three major areas where caregivers and stakeholders described system breakdowns were poor communication among caregivers, providers, and other stakeholders; inadequate access to both the quality and quantity of care needed to manage a child's asthma; and scarce long-term support to address both the social-emotional and financial burdens created by managing a chronic childhood illness.

Posted to Web: April 16, 2014Publication Date: April 16, 2014

Do Financial Knowledge, Behavior, and Well-Being Differ by Gender? (Research Report)
Brett Theodos, Emma Kalish, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe

Using the National Financial Capability Survey, we examine differences among men and women in financial knowledge, behavior, and well-being. We find that women are less financially knowledgeable than men. Women are less willing than men to take financial risks and have more credit cards than men. However, women are equally likely to pay their credit cards in full every month and are equally likely to save for retirement. More differences by gender arise when we separate men and women by family type. Unmarried women with dependent children are worse-off and likely have other financial stresses.

Posted to Web: March 31, 2014Publication Date: March 31, 2014

Organizational Efficiency and Early Disposition Programs in Federal Courts (Research Report)
KiDeuk Kim

Early disposition or "fast-track" programs in federal sentencing allow a prosecutor to offer a reduced sentence in exchange for a defendant's prompt guilty plea and waiver of certain legal rights. Based on immigration cases in federal districts, this study finds that fast-track participants received a modest reduction in sentence length compared to otherwise similar non-participants. The estimated reduction in case processing time attributable to fast-track programs was also of moderate consequence to the government. The report discusses policy implications of fast-track processing in terms of organizational efficiency and fair treatment of defendants in federal court.

Posted to Web: February 18, 2014Publication Date: January 24, 2014

The Feasibility of Using Electronic Health Data for Research on Small Populations (Research Report)
Kelly J. Devers, Bradford H. Gray, Christal Ramos, Arnav Shah, Fredric Blavin, Timothy Waidmann

This report explores the feasibility of using electronic health record (EHR) and other electronic health data for research on small populations. The first part of the report illustrates the challenges and limitations of using existing federal surveys and federal claims databases for studying small populations. The second part explores the potential of the increasingly available EHR and other existing electronic health data to complement federal data sources, as well as potential next steps to demonstrate and improve the feasibility of using EHRs for research on small populations.

Posted to Web: February 06, 2014Publication Date: September 01, 2013

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