Social Security faces a long-term financing problem. The program now spends more than it collects each year, and Social Security’s trustees project that it will be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2034. Reducing the payment period by raising the age at which beneficiaries can begin collecting benefits would improve Social Security’s finances. But some older people, especially those with limited education and incomes,

November 15, 2018
Research Report
 

This report is intended as a practical tool for those seeking to understand how capital does and does not flow to communities, businesses, and households. This can inform efforts by community developers to identify projects in need of financing, raise capital, and design and market new financial products and services. We provide a concise how-to guide across five approaches to assessing community need, a four-step process to

November 14, 2018
Research Report
 

In February 2016, the city of Denver and eight private investors closed on the city’s first social impact bond (SIB), an $8.6 million investment to fund a supportive housing program for 250 of the city’s most frequent users of the criminal justice system. The city will make outcome payments over five years based on the initiative’s goals of housing stability and decreased jail days. This report details the second assessment of

November 14, 2018
Brief
 

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Urban Institute is undertaking a comprehensive monitoring and tracking project to examine the implementation and effects of health reform. We examine silver benchmark premiums for every rating region for 2016 and 2017, differentiating between predominantly urban and rural premium rating areas. We use 2016 and 2017 data because these are the most recent years

November 14, 2018
Brief
 

In February 2016, the City of Denver and eight private investors closed on the city’s first social impact bond (SIB), an $8.6 million investment to fund a supportive housing program for 250 of the city’s most frequent users of the criminal justice system. The city will make outcome payments over five years based on the initiative’s goals of housing stability and decreased jail days. This report discusses the process partners

November 14, 2018
Research Report
 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act modestly decreased federal individual income taxes for most low- and middle-income families. However, the federal tax changes interacted with state laws in ways that meant some of these same families could see state tax increases. This brief discusses how implementing state child tax credits (CTCs) could help low- and middle-income families avoid these state tax increases, as well as the benefits these

November 14, 2018
Brief
 

This report provides a framework for the development of a new taxonomy to collect, categorize, and report on sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault experiences on the Uber rideshare platform. Drawing from the literature on sexual violence data collection and reporting, Urban researchers and their partners at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center created a more accurate, evidence-based system for

November 13, 2018
Research Report
 

Firm migration is seen as a barometer of business climate and economic health. State and local governments feel the pressure to retain and attract jobs, often by competing using economic development packages. To better understand local employment changes, and the prevalence of job migration, we conducted a study of six metropolitan areas using establishment-level information from National Establishment Time Series (NETS) data

November 13, 2018
Research Report
 

The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables contains Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) policies for each state as of October 1, 2017. The tables are based on information in the CCDF Policies Database, a database tracking child care subsidy policies over time and across the States, D.C., and the Territories. The Book summarizes a subset of the information available in the database, including information about eligibility

November 13, 2018
Research Report
 

Free and reduced-price lunch status has long been used as a proxy measure for student poverty. This brief offers a short history of school lunch and its recent decline as a measure of economic disadvantage. It then provides a primer on “direct certification,” the most promising alternative, which links student enrollment with public benefits data to directly assess students’ household income. Under direct certification,

November 12, 2018
Brief
 

In this brief, the fourth in a series prepared by HFPC researchers with support from the mortgage servicing collaborative, the authors discuss the benefits that would accrue to consumers and servicers if uniform data standards were adopted for exchanging mortgage servicing data. Standardization will increase data accuracy, lower the risk of data errors and the potential for consumer harm during servicing transfers, as well

November 11, 2018
Brief
 

Whether the coverage provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would lead to adverse labor market consequences in the form of reduced employment, hours worked, or earnings has been the subject of substantial debate and analysis. This brief assesses whether coverage gains from 2010 to 2016 were associated with changes in labor market outcomes across occupations. Using data from the American Community Survey and the Current

November 7, 2018
Brief
 

Diagnostic accuracy is essential for treatment decisions but is largely unaccounted for by payers, including in fee-for-service Medicare and proposed Alternative Payment Models (APMs). We discuss three payment-related approaches to reducing diagnostic error. First, coding changes in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule could facilitate the more effective use of teamwork and information technology in the diagnostic process and

November 5, 2018
Journal Article
 

US safety net programs are often evaluated in isolation, though families typically participate in multiple programs. Our analysis measures the simultaneous effect of three programs and accounts for behavioral responses. We find that participation in TANF, SNAP, or Medicaid/SCHIP reduces the number of hardships low-income families with children experience by 1.23 (on average) and food insufficiency by 18.5 percentage points. Our

November 4, 2018
Research Report
 

Have real median incomes in the U.S. stagnated or achieved modest growth? Answers often vary depending on the price index one uses. Several researchers have argued that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) overstates inflation and understates real income growth. The CPI’s approach to estimating homeowner shelter inflation is owners’ equivalent rent. In this paper, we investigate a user cost approach for estimating

November 4, 2018
Brief
 

The goal of this brief is to equip governors—especially a new governor and their policy or transition team, charged with developing an agenda for the first term of office—to build research, evaluation, and evidence-based policymaking into that agenda. It offers recommendations for communicating about the value of evidence, effective strategies for implementation and retaining the focus on evidence despite constant demands for

November 4, 2018
Research Report
 

What is at risk in federal efforts to shift priorities away from the safety net? This study evaluates the effects of key income-tested programs on material hardship in the United States. It is the first study we are aware of to measure the effects of multiple program receipt on unmet medical or dental need and the total number of hardships experienced. These are our key findings: Participating in Temporary Assistance for Needy

November 4, 2018
Brief
 

In recent years, housing costs have soared for both homeowners and renters while incomes have stagnated, trends that potentially threaten the financial security of vulnerable populations. Compounded with the fact that housing is the biggest monthly expense for many households, those who find themselves struggling to keep a roof overhead may be faced with the difficult choice of foregoing other basic needs such as food and health

November 1, 2018
Brief
 

This report provides insights for training programs and policymakers on the benefits and drawbacks of certified nursing assistant (CNA) training and ways to incorporate career pathway advancement opportunities. It draws from information in the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program, which provides healthcare education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income

November 1, 2018
Research Report
 

We undertake the first rigorous evaluation of financial coaching using a randomized controlled trial at two sites. We estimate both treatment uptake and treatment outcomes, including intent to treat estimates and complier average causal effects. Data are drawn from individual-level credit reporting firm records and baseline and follow-up surveys. Results indicate that financial coaching produces a number of significant effects

November 1, 2018
Journal Article
 

Interest in evidence-based programs is increasing—not just among policymakers, but among philanthropic organizations. Simultaneously, more foundations are interested in supporting efforts that advance racial equity in research and in the field. To providers serving less well-researched communities, applying for grants amid these parallel movements can feel like a trade-off. This brief discusses the tension between implementing

October 31, 2018
Brief
 

The state of Nebraska provides funds to local school districts through a funding formula that has changed little since 1990. The formula’s core components calculate estimated resources and estimated needs for each district, with the state funding any difference. In this brief, we describe how the formula works and calculate how it distributes funding across districts that differ in their mix of student poverty rates, student

October 30, 2018
Brief
 

Projecting future enrollment is an essential responsibility of school districts that municipalities and districts rely on for planning, budgeting, and evaluation. The District of Columbia uses next-year projections for annual education appropriations for District of Columbia Public Schools and charter schools and long-term enrollment projections for educational facility capital planning. This study presents a process to assure

October 30, 2018
Research Report
 

The first edition of Urban’s new State Tax and Economic Review finds total state tax revenue from all sources showed strong growth in the final quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. The largest increases were in individual income tax revenues. State government tax revenue grew mostly in response to income shifting due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and other one-time factors. In addition, a handful of states facing

October 30, 2018
Research Report