Poverty Estimates for Children by Iowa School Districts

U.S. Census Bureau released poverty and income estimates for small areas, including counties and school districts, in an interactive map. Here is a picture of poverty estimates for children (between 5 and 17 years-old) by Iowa school district. Darker areas represent a higher proportion of kids in poverty. Pockets of high poverty, 30%+, are predominately […]

More on Midwest Urbanization

Kyle Munson from The Des Moines Register wrote a featured article on the changing population base in the Midwest based on new Census data. Below is the graph from the article: The lower-left graphic–dependence on manufacturing jobs–is one of the first items I mention to folks when discussing Iowa’s economy. Rural areas rely more on manufacturing […]

Hollowing Out?

Well-written books like Hollowing Out the Middle and Caught in the Middle have noted the net outward migration of education populations to urban areas. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago shows that real per capita income shows there is not as much disparity in real income per capita between the upper Midwest metro areas and non-metro areas […]

Earnings and Unemployment by Major

Wall Street Journal posted data from the venerable Center on Education and the Workforce on earnings and unemployment by college major. There is a relative floor at $40,000 with a wide variation of unemployment (poor clinical psychology). There is a negative correlation between earnings and unemployment rate, but it might be too presumptuous to presume […]

Increasing Inaccuracy of State Revenue Estimates

Every year, every state projects upcoming state tax revenues. It matters a lot. These estimates are used by legislators, technocrats, and the governor to determine spending for schools, health care, and agency or program in government. Sometimes, when states are on a biannual budget, spending must determine spending for two years. Imagine trying to estimate […]

Iowa Projected Revenues Up Again

As expected, the Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference are estimating higher state tax revenues for the current and next year than previously thought. Last year, I predicted these revenue estimates would be underestimated. These models tend not to predict changes in the economy, so they tend to overestimate revenues during recessions and underestimate revenues during economic […]

Potential graduate-student unionization re-re-reversal?

New York University graduate students seems to have prevailed in letting a regional director of National Labor Relations Board hear arguments on a long-standing union drive at the university. NYU graduate students have the magic touch, since they were the first to overturn a 40-year 28-year precedent prohibiting graduate-student unions at private universities in 2000–only […]

Tale of Two Stimuli

Two notable progress reports were released last Wednesday. The first is an essay by economists Alan Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank and Princeton economics, and Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics and former advisor to presidential candidate John McCain, on the impact of the federal stimulus program: …without the […]

Non-economic Benefits to Graduate-student Unionization

I’ve done quantitative research on graduate-student unionization before. In my research I found unionization has a modest effect on increasing wages and little to no impact on reducing wage inequality for graduate assistants. However, I wasn’t able to investigate non-pecuniary effects of unionization. For instance, a union may want to specify manger-employ protocol. University of […]