Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

National media cite La Follette faculty

Two La Follette School economists have had their research cited in the national news recently.

A New York Times article on economic mobility in the United States mentions a study co-authored by director Tom DeLeire. He and Leonard M. Lopoo wrote Family Structure and the Economic Mobility of Children for the Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project. The report explores how absolute and relative economic mobility rates of children whose mothers were continuously married differ from those of children of divorced mothers and from those of children born to unmarried mothers. After accounting for family size, DeLeire and Lopoo found, 81 percent of Americans have higher incomes than their parents, the Times notes.

A Washington Post columnist cited the same study. The writer notes that the Pew project's research on the link between marriage and children's mobility is cause for serious economic concern given the continuing decline in marriage rates. "[A]mong children who started in the bottom third of income, only one-fourth of those with divorced parents moved up to the middle or top third as adults," Ruth Marcus wrote. "By comparison, half of children with continuously married parents — and, somewhat surprisingly, 42 percent of those born to unmarried mothers — moved up the income ladder as adults."

Andrew Reschovsky's work on tax policy related to home ownership is mentioned in the New York Times. Yale University economist Robert J. Shiller cites Reschovsky's analysis conducted with Richard K. Green of the University of Southern California. Green and Reschovsky have proposed creating a refundable tax credit as a percentage of mortgage interest payments to benefit lower-income taxpayers.

The Washington Post quoted Reschovsky about the national housing crisis and its effect on local governments as they begin to adjust downward their property assessments and their expected revenue from property taxes. "'We'll see, over the next few years, the real impact of the recession and housing crisis on local governments,'" Reschovsky told the Post. "'I think the case can be made that we have not yet seen the worst of the impact on local governments. Ă˘â‚¬Â¦ That seems to be accelerating."

Two La Follette School experts on education won recognition from Education Week and blogger Rick Hess, the Capital Times reported. Doug Harris and John Witte were ranked 45th and 71st respectively out of 121 university-based academics substantially contribute to public debates about schools and schooling. La Follette faculty affiliate Sara Goldrick-Rab was ranked 31st.

Harris published an op-ed on NBC describing a new Milwaukee Public Schools program that promises a $12,000 college scholarship, enough to cover all tuition and fees for a two-year degree and more than a full year of tuition and fees at a four-year public college. The selected ninth-graders would have to earn at least a 2.5 grade-point average, attend class regularly and graduate from high school. Harris helped develop the program and will be studying how it benefits the nearly 2,600 recipients of the promise to provide aid.

Reschovsky also commented in the Racine Journal Times about the income gap between residents of Racine and nearby Caledonia in Wisconsin.

Harder for Americans to Rise From Lower Rungs, January 4, 2012, New York Times

The marriage gap presents a real cost, December 17, 2011, Washington Post

I Just Got Here, but I Know Trouble When I See It: A Tax Credit to Fix a Housing Mess, December 31, 2011, New York Times

Falling home values mean budget crunches for cities, December 25, 2011, Washington Post

Campus Connect: UW education scholars shine in 'public presence' rankings, January 5, 2012, Capital Times

A 'Promise' to Make College Affordable for Milwaukee High School Students , November 28, 2011, NBC News Education Nation

The employment gap — Experts explain why Racine and Caledonia sit at opposite ends of the jobs spectrum, December 28, 2011, Journal Times