December 7, 2016
States abdicate many of their federal responsibilities to local governments. They do not monitor local compliance with those laws; they disclaim responsibility for the actions of their local governments; and they deny state officials the legal capacity to bring local governments into compliance. When sued for noncompliance with these federal laws, states attempt to evade responsibility by arguing that local governments — and not the state — are responsible. These arguments create serious and unexplored barriers to enforcing federal law. They present thorny issues of federalism and liability, and courts struggle with them. Because neither courts resolving these conflicts nor advocates litigating them are aware that abdication occurs regularly across a number of policy areas, courts have failed to develop a consistent methodology for addressing it. This Article argues that courts should reject these state arguments in most cases and outlines the contours of a “nonabdication doctrine” that would be less solicitous and accommodating of existing state laws and more attentive to the language of federal laws.
This Article is the first to uncover these state arguments and mark them as a pattern across a surprisingly diverse set of states and federal policies: indigent defense, election law, public assistance, conditions of incarceration, and others. It uses state filings — including archived documents — as well as interviews with numerous advocates and state officials, to explore the concept of state abdication. It posits that abdication is a consequence of superimposing federal responsibilities onto the diverse legal and political relationships between states and their local governments. It suggests that abdication provides a new lens through which to reassess previous thinking on localism, federalism, and decentralization. Because abdication permits states to shelter noncompliance with federal law at the local level and mutes productive local dissent, it reveals a failure of decentralizing federal policy that federalism scholars currently overlook.
Source: Abdication and Federalism by Justin Weinstein-Tull :: SSRN
December 7, 2016
Powerful currents have reshaped the structure of families over the last century. There has been (i) a dramatic drop in fertility and greater parental investment in children; (ii) a rise in married female labor-force participation; (iii) a decline in marriage and a rise in divorce; (iv) a higher degree of assortative mating; (v) more children living with a single mother; (vi) shifts in social norms governing premarital sex and married women’s roles in the labor market. Macroeconomic models explaining these aggregate trends are surveyed. The relentless flow of technological progress and its role in shaping family life are stressed.
Source: Family Economics Writ Large by Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner, Guillaume Vandenbroucke :: SSRN
December 6, 2016
Historically, Medicare has operated under the assumption that health care providers respond to reductions in reimbursement through increased provision of services to offset declines in practice revenue; however, recent empirical work has found either small offsetting effects or evidence supporting a traditional supply response. Using multiple identification techniques and datasets, including distance matching a sample of physicians in close proximity but subject to distinct reimbursement rates and approximating physician practice costs, this study finds strong evidence in support of the offsetting assumption.
Source: Do Physicians Engage in Offsetting Behavior? Empirical Evidence from Medicare Part B by Christopher Scott Brunt, Joshua R. Hendrickson :: SSRN
December 6, 2016
While a growing literature documents the short-term effects of public programs providing children with nutritious food, there is scarce evidence of the long-term effects of such programs. This paper studies the long-term consequences of access to nutritious food using the rollout of a free school breakfast program in Norwegian cities. This program provided children with nutritious food and replaced a hot school meal at the end of the day with similar caloric value but less micronutrients. Our results indicate that access to a nutritious school breakfast increases education by 0.1 years and earnings by 2-4 percent.
Source: Childhood Nutrition and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a School Breakfast Program by Aline Butikofer, Eirin Mølland, Kjell G. Salvanes :: SSRN
December 5, 2016
This paper exploits the original introduction of Medicaid (1966-1970) and the federal mandate that states cover all cash welfare recipients to estimate the effect of childhood Medicaid eligibility on adult health, labor supply, program participation, and income. Cohorts born closer to Medicaid implementation and in states with higher pre-existing welfare-based eligibility accumulated more Medicaid eligibility in childhood but did not differ on a range of other health, socioeconomic, and policy characteristics. Early childhood Medicaid eligibility reduces mortality and disability and, for whites, increases extensive margin labor supply, and reduces receipt of disability transfer programs and public health insurance up to 50 years later. Total income does not change because earnings replace disability benefits. The government earns a discounted annual return of between 2 and 7 percent on the original cost of childhood coverage for these cohorts, most of which comes from lower cash transfer payments.
Source: The Long-Run Effects of Childhood Insurance Coverage: Medicaid Implementation, Adult Health, and Labor Market Outcomes
November 4, 2016
Large, unpredictable and not fully insurable health-care costs represent a source of background risk that might deter households’ financial risk taking. Using panel data from the Health and Retirement Study and fixed-effects estimation, we test whether universal health insurance, like Medicare for over-65 Americans, shields against this risk promoting stockholding. Households in poor health, who face a higher risk of medical expenses, are less likely to hold stocks than their healthier counterparts. Yet, this gap is mostly eliminated by Medicare eligibility. Notably, the offsetting is primarily experienced by households without private health insurance over the observation period.
Source: Public Health Insurance and Household Portfolio Choices: Unraveling Financial ‘Side Effects’ of Medicare by Marco Angrisani, Vincenzo Atella, Marianna Brunetti :: SSRN
October 29, 2016
Two devastating traps threaten taxes on newly legalized marijuana. One is the quicksand of inflexibility, leading to impotence during a whirlwind of market change. Static laws and price-based taxes lead into that trap.The trap other is playing favorites by favoring medical users, opening an abyss of tax evasion by recreational users pretending to be sick. California’s Proposition 64, on the ballot in November, avoids those traps better than the marijuana initiatives in Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada.It takes lessons from failed initiatives in California, Ohio, and Oregon, and laws on the books in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.
Source: Best Marijuana Taxes Yet: California’s Proposition 64 by Pat Oglesby :: SSRN