Healthcare and public services

Obamacare may be changing the way that American farms work

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The introduction of Obamacare has helped millions of Americans to obtain health insurance, and at lower cost. In new research, Mary Clare Ahearn looks at how Obamacare might affect the workforce of the 2.1 million farms in the US. She finds that Obamacare is likely to benefit farming families with low incomes, but that it has also given larger […]

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    Focusing on eligible products, not retailer markups, may be a more effective way to contain the WIC food assistance program’s costs.

Focusing on eligible products, not retailer markups, may be a more effective way to contain the WIC food assistance program’s costs.

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In new research, Tina Saitone, Richard Sexton, and Richard Volpe look at ways in which costs in the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) food assistance program might be contained. Using WIC purchasing data from California, they find that smaller stores charge significantly higher prices for WIC authorized foods. Using a simulation exercise which eliminates the least competitive, and highest […]

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    The performance of state Obamacare markets is heavily influenced by the size and makeup of coverage regions in the state.

The performance of state Obamacare markets is heavily influenced by the size and makeup of coverage regions in the state.

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While millions have signed up for health insurance under Obamacare since it launched in 2014, coverage across individual states has been uneven, with some signing up as many as 87 percent of those uninsured, while others signed up as few as 13 percent of those eligible. In new research which examines state by state differences in health insurance market […]

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    The US safety net caught some poor households during the Great Recession, but many just above the poverty line slipped through the cracks.

The US safety net caught some poor households during the Great Recession, but many just above the poverty line slipped through the cracks.

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The Great Recession saw large increases in unemployment and greater housing insecurity for many, which in turn led to increased take up of social safety net programs such as food stamps. In new research, Patricia M. Anderson, Kristin F. Butcher and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach find that while households that are below the poverty line were largely shielded from additional […]

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    The Lobbying You Have Never Heard Of: Targeting the US President’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs  

The Lobbying You Have Never Heard Of: Targeting the US President’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs  

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Lobbying has become a pervasive part of American politics with hundreds of organizations lobbying bills across thousands of issues. But, write Simon F. Haeder and Susan Webb Yackee, legislative lobbying is only half the story. In new research, they look at the lobbying of federal rulemaking agencies, such as the President’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). They […]

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    Why citizens don’t like paying for public goods with their taxes– and how institutions can change that

Why citizens don’t like paying for public goods with their taxes– and how institutions can change that

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Why are Americans so against paying taxes to fund basic government functions such as roads and education? In new research, Alan M. Jacobs and J. Scott Matthews find that many citizens object to paying for public investment because they do not trust politicians to spend new revenues as promised. Using online experiments with voting-age US citizens, they find that […]

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    Living in an urban food desert is a risk factor for weight gain during childhood.

Living in an urban food desert is a risk factor for weight gain during childhood.

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The past two decades have seen growing concerns over the rise of food deserts – areas where cheap and nutritious food is difficult to obtain. In new research which tracks childhood obesity rates, Michael R. Thomsen, Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr., Pedro A. Alviola, IV and Heather L. Rouse find that for elementary school children, living in a food desert […]

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    Internet access levels are not the sole determinant of how transparent government websites are.

Internet access levels are not the sole determinant of how transparent government websites are.

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Does increased Internet access lead to higher levels of governmental transparency? In new resealed, Grichawat Lowatcharin and Charles Menifield assess the impact of geographic, demographic, socioeconomic, and institutional factors on governmental transparency across more than 800 counties in the twelve U.S. Midwestern states.  They found that total land area, population density, percentage of minority population, educational attainment, and the council-manager […]

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    An aging and increasingly Hispanic population poses challenges for social welfare policy in the US

An aging and increasingly Hispanic population poses challenges for social welfare policy in the US

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The Hispanic population of the US is growing rapidly, and by 2040, all but the oldest ages in many states will be majority Hispanic.  Ron Angel writes that this ageing Hispanic population poses many challenges for social security in the US, with this group far more likely to lack a retirement plan or savings. He argues that the moves […]

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    How states can influence inequality with tax and spending tools.

How states can influence inequality with tax and spending tools.

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While much of the debate and discussion on how to address inequality has been focussed on the role of the federal government, state governments also have a role to play. In new research, Thomas Hayes and D. Xavier Medina Vidal find that states which have higher levels of cash assistance and unemployment compensation and higher corporate tax revenues have […]

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