Class Notes: Housing assistance benefits, gender roles in Australia and more

People walk on the esplanade of La Defense, in the financial and business district, west of Paris, France, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau - RC1B9BB86D30
Editor's note:

If you want more content like this, subscribe to our newsletter.

This week in Class Notes:

Public housing and housing vouchers have positive effects for children’s long-term outcomes

How much does housing assistance for low-income families impact long-run outcomes for children? In a recent paper, Henry Pollakowski and co-authors use a national longitudinal dataset to look at how children participating in the Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV) and the public housing system fared as adults on outcomes such as earnings and rates of incarceration. Using a household fixed effects specification methodology, they find that “additional years of public housing increase earnings by 6.2% for females and 6.1% for males, while voucher-assisted housing increases earnings by 4.8% for females and 2.7% for males.” They also find that for children in Black households, each additional year of HCV-assisted housing reduced the likelihood of being incarcerated in April 2010 by 0.3 percentage points for males and 0.7 percentage points for females.

Girls did better in school in 1940 when they had female teachers

Previous literature has offered mixed evidence of female teachers on the academic and employment outcomes of girls and young women. In a new paper, David Card and co-authors look at the impact of female teachers in public schools on female students in 1940, focusing in particular on rural areas. This cohort of young women comprises of women who were more likely than previous generations to attend college and break into formerly closed-off professions. The authors find that female students had better outcomes in enrollment and grade completion when taught by female teachers, and that this was true for both white and Black students in the segregated South. They estimate, for example, that a girl taught by only female teachers would have been around 7 to 8 percentage points more likely to attend college.

How sex ratios in Australia influence masculinity norms and social outcomes

Norms around gender roles and masculinity may influence economic and cultural trends. Using historical data on varying sex ratios in specific areas of Australia, caused by differences in convict populations in the 18th and 19th centuries, Victoria Baranov and co-authors find that an increase in the historical sex ratio of men is associated with a 5.6% increase in the share of men who volunteered for World War I. Areas that historically had a heavier male bias also have more assaults, more sexual assaults, higher rates of male suicide, higher rates of prostate cancer, and greater reluctances among men to get the COVID vaccine. These areas also show lower levels of support for same-sex marriage and higher rates of boys being bullied in school. The authors conclude: “We interpret these results as manifestations of masculinity norms that emerged due to intense local male-male competition. Once established, masculinity norms persisted over time through family socialization as well as peer socialization in schools.”

Top chart: Job recovery post-Hurricane Maria driven by young and older workers

Last month, the Census Bureau released its first Quarterly Workforce Indicators for Puerto Rico, giving a more detailed snapshot of the labor market in the territory. The data also show that the employment recovery after Hurricane Maria in 2017 was largely driven by workers under 25 and those over 44. Their analysis finds that total employment had recovered by the end of 2019, after reaching its lowest point in the first quarter of recovery post maria

Choice opinion: Enrichment programs can only do so much to end systemic education injustices

“Simply adding more money to schools is unlikely to increase educational equity. We need to create policies at the local and national levels that address the root causes of the inequalities, like the impact of historical redlining which purposely kept Black communities from having access to the same resources as white communities,” writes Shawna Young in The Hechinger Report.

Self-promotion: The racial wealth gap, financial aid, and college access

In recent analysis, Phillip Levine and Dubravka Ritter examine the role of the U.S. college financial aid system in racial inequality. They show that the exclusion of home equity and retirement savings from the federal formula to determine aid results in an implicit subsidy for white families who hold more of these uncounted assets.

For your calendar: LGBTQ rights and public policy, ‘Of Boys and Men,’ and COVID-19’s impact on Latino families

Of Boys and Men: A conversation with Richard V. Reeves

American Enterprise Institute

Thursday, October 27, 2022

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM EDT

Racial Foundations of Public Policy: LGBTQ Rights

University of Michigan Ford School, Center for Racial Justice

Thursday, October 27, 2022

4:00 PM – 5:15 PM EDT

The socioeconomic consequences of COVID-19 for Latino families

The Brookings Institution

Tuesday, October 19, 2022

3:30 PM – 5:30 PM EDT