Kartrin Anacker, social inclusion, and housing

The most recent Journal of Urban Affairs as a manuscript in it by Katrin Anacker, now I believe at George Mason:


ABSTRACT: Racial and ethnic inequality has manifested itself in wealth ownership and access to quality housing. Home ownership is considered a good basis on which to build equity. Whereas property values and their appreciation have been analyzed in those inner city neighborhoods that have high proportions of racially and ethnically underrepresented groups, not much systematic research has been undertaken on these issues in homogeneous versus mixed-race suburbs. By analyzing census tracts within select counties across the United States with weighted least squares (WLS) regressions, this article investigates differences among suburban census tracts in terms of several factors, including property values and their appreciation rates and factors, that have influenced property values. Based on the results, it is concluded that the assumption that home ownership in the suburbs leads to the building of housing wealth needs to be differentiated.

Anacker comes to the conclusion that home ownership isn’t always a route to higher asset wealth, and that outcomes depends on the suburb.

Maybe the trains aren’t faster anywhere

This is a bit dated, but it comes from the Metro Source blog:

The Source » The trains are always faster on the other side – other cities look to Metro for inspiration

What’s the point? Well, if statistics are to be believed, people who commute by transit, even in places where the transit is good, spend more time commuting than do those who own cars. Now, the truth is we don’t necessarily want to make too much of these differentials at low levels: anything below 20 minutes is a bit of a whatever, and I’m not sure people even think about differentials at such low times.

But the kicker with transit commutes, I suspect, is not the average but the standard deviation and the skew in the distribution. The only thing that disrupts a car commute is car trouble or traffic. Transit, from an individual perspective, has these problems plus the uncertainty of your arrival time jiving with the service, etc. And the only thing that vitiates that is service frequency.

The Difference Between Good Policy and Good Practice

Here’s a nice experiment on the effects of bike helmet laws on youth bike riding from the Freakonomics blog

Do Bike-Helmet Laws Discourage Bicycling? – Freakonomics Blog – NYTimes.com

We had this discussion a bit ago: helmet laws appear to dampen youth bicycling, which we don’t want to do since we want to promote both clean transport and physical activity. So the policy has a side effect we don’t like.

But it’s a whole lot better for kids to wear helmets: injury and death rates are significantly lower when they do, even controlling for the induced decrease.

So what’s to do? I’m not sure legislating behavior is a great idea (the policy) but the practice should be fairly clear to parents: helmets are a good idea. And not just for biking: skateboarding and rollerblading, too.*

I’ve always wondered why, if the helmet is an expense problem, we couldn’t subsidize purchasing helmets through schools, though.

*I’m so risk averse, though, that I think wearing a helmet in the bathroom is a good idea and I would if I didn’t prevent shampoo use.

Perceptions versus reality in women’s workforce outcomes

I’ve been pretty snarky about the WSJ here late, so I thought I’d put up a link to a story I actually liked.

It’s on men and women workers and their differential trajectory into management positions:

Study Asks: Who Has an Easier Way to the Top? – WSJ.com

This article strikes me as a good one because it explains a number of phenomenon that intuitively strike me as quite common: the perception among men that things are pretty equal now versus the actual reality of the numbers which show enormous difference. They also explain these factors using variables not commonly considered, like the types of managerial roles given to women when they do get opportunities for leadership.

The research on perceptions strikes me as very valuable, given that the worst aspect of social privilege is that you don’t generally know you have it. It’s like an invisible web of entitlements to the person who has it, blinding them to equity, justice, and social inclusion claims made by other people who don’t hold the same levels of privilege.

These are a couple of my favorite readings on privilege:

Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack of White Privilege by Peggy MacIntosh

The Male Privilege Checklist by Bruce Deutsch

Some have argued that the male privilege checklist does not apply to men of color. Take them together; they get you thinking.





California needs a high speed rail connection to ABBAWORLD

In the oh-no-they-didn’t category of sustainable development, developers have brought us our heart’s desire: ABBAWORLD, a theme park in London themed on…well, ABBA:

ABBAWORLD theme park opens in London – MSN Music News

These types of development opportunities are once in a lifetime, so I have gone ahead and scientifically determined (back off; I’m an experty expert) an optimized HSR route, which clearly needs a perpetual and infinite Congressional earmark because of its national significance.*

Here is the map:

Just THINK of the efficiency benefits and the jobs that will be created by building high speed rail from my house, on 9th street here in my little berg, all the way across the US and across the Atlantic to stop at ABBAWORLD. It’s carbon efficient!

Yes, some misguided souls may wring their hands over cost, but it’s all about livability and keeping America great and…GETTING TO ABBAWORLD. What child in America should grow up without ever visiting the World’s Largest Rubber Band Ball or ABBAWORLD? How will these children, our children, know that they must keep their eyes on the stars if not so inspired to give flight to their dreams? Did Edison’s parents oppose High Speed Rail or keep the young man from visiting the World’s Largest Thingies? Did Einstein’s? No! Of course they didn’t!

Think of all the real estate development. Maybe the Vatican could put a satellite campus in Pigeon Hole, Tennessee right by the Days Inn Dollywood. The possibilities are endless. Endless!

Someday, one day, that glorious trip between my house and ABBAWORLD will be a reality on comfortable and fast HSR. Until then, here’s ABBA with their superfantastic silvery shiney sparkly minis and gold go-go boots (can you have too many pairs? I think not!) and bubblicious candy-color-balloons-floating in-a-transparent-tube set on Japanese tv:

HT to Go Fug Yourself.

*If by any chance my dean is reading this, you should know all this is publishable research. Highly publishable. I’m on the cutting edge of something big here.