Former Texas House Representative Michael U. Villarreal, D-Antonio, joined the Ray Marshall Center in June as a Visiting Researcher (his title has since been updated to Research Fellow). Mr. Villarreal is currently pursuing his PhD in education policy at UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, where he hopes to apply his concentration in education policy to a teaching career in the future. Since joining the RMC team, Michael has spearheaded the Student Futures Network of Region 20, a joint effort of the RMC and participating school districts that are members of the Education Service Center, Region 20. Read more about the SFN here.
RMC researchers Cynthia Juniper and Heath Prince co-authored a report that has recently been added to the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s Online Journal for Workforce Education and Development (OJWED). The report, Behavioral Economics and Workforce Development: A Review of the Literature from Labor Economics and the Broader Field, is intended to explore the strengths and limitations of applying tools of behavioral sciences to increase the participation and completion rate of training for lower-wage, front-line incumbent workers in ways that benefit both workers and sponsoring firms. You can view OJWED’s publication here.
Dr. Heath Prince and Cynthia Juniper, with support from the Hitachi Foundation, attended the Behavioral Exchange 2016 conference at Harvard University on June 6 & 7, 2016. The Hitachi Foundation also sponsored a luncheon convening of experts to discuss the application of Behavioral Sciences to training low-wage, front line incumbent workers. Juniper and Prince recently completed a literature review, Behavioral Economics and Workforce Development: A Review of the Literature from Labor Economics and the Broader Field, to be published this fall in the Online Journal for Workforce Education and Development.
For more information about RMC’s “Behavioral Economics and Workforce Development” project funded by the Hitachi Foundation and to read the full literature review, please see the project page. Please note that the published version from the OJWED is scheduled to be released in August 2016.
Dr. Daniel Schroeder, RMC Research Scientist, and Ms. Ashweeta Patnaik, RMC Social Science Research Associate, were invited to present their findings from the ADARE-SNAP study to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) during a meeting held in Washington D.C. on June 7, 2016. The multi-state Administrative Data Research and Evaluation (ADARE) Alliance’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Study was funded by USDA ERS. The goals of the ADARE-SNAP study were to (1) analyze the interaction of SNAP caseload and recipient household composition dynamics aligned with receipt of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and participation in UI covered employment, and (2) demonstrate by state-specific approaches and accomplishments how analyses based on longitudinal files of linked confidential state administrative data can be replicated in other states, and extended and refined by the partners in the consortium states. During this meeting, Dr. Schroeder and Ms.Patnaik discussed how the two safety net programs jointly operated in the unique economic conditions and policy environment of Texas, and in particular how they responded to the Great Recession and its aftermath. Study partners from other states in the alliance also attended the meeting and shared highlights from their state-specific analyses. The meeting was organized by the The Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore and hosted by USDA ERS.
An article written by RMC researchers Drs. Chris King and Heath Prince is featured on the front page of the July 2016 newsletter for the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP). This article, titled “Scaling Sectoral and Career Pathway Programs,” is based on the chapter co-authored by the two in the book Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century (Federal Reserve 2015). You can access the newsletter here, the chapter here, and the book here.
Five years ago, young people in the Middle East and North Africa led a major uprising with hopes for a better life. Dr. Heath Prince, a University of Texas labor market expert, explains why little has changed in this article published online for The Conversation. You can check out the article here. The full paper can be found here.
Dr. Chris King, RMC Senior Research Scientist & Lecturer at The LBJ School, testified on March 1st during the United States House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources hearing entitled Getting Incentives Right: Connecting Low-Income Individuals with Jobs. At the hearing, members discussed opportunities to reform our welfare system to better meet the needs of job seekers and job creators, grow our economy, and move more American families forward. The entire hearing can be viewed here.
The Ray Marshall Center, in collaboration with the Workers Defense Project, co-sponsored a press release of their report The Failed Promise of the Texas Miracle: Corporate Subsidies in the Lone Star State in February. RMC Research Associate Dan O’Shea and Director Dr. Heath Prince joined researchers at the Workers Defense Project in examining whether or not tax subsidies and other corporate incentives have improved or worsened economic- and education-related inequalities faced by working Texas families.
RMC Senior Research Scientist Dr. Christopher King presented The Promise of Two-Generation Anti-poverty Strategies to ChildCareGroup and other Dallas partners in January. Recent evidence suggests that Dallas may be well-suited to continue two-generation research.
RMC Director Dr. Heath Prince’s book review of The Political Economy of Development: The World Bank, Neoliberalism and Development Research was published by Sage Journal’s Review of Radical Political Economics in January. Dr. Prince’s review offers acclaim and criticism of the book considered by many to be essential reading for policymakers and scholars interested in The World Bank’s approach to policy and development research.