Research Projects Beginning with U

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U.S. 2010: America after the First Decade of the New Century

This project brings together 14 research teams at different universities and several disciplines to analyze changes in U.S. society over the last several decades and particularly post-2000, using trend data from Census 2010, the American Community Survey, and Current Population Survey. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship between urban change and inequality.

Understanding the City Size Wage Gap

In 2000, hourly wages of prime-age men were 31% higher in metropolitan areas of over 2.5 million people than those of less than 100,000 people. Moreover, the relationship between wages and population monotonically increases by about 1 percentage point for each additional 100,000 in population over the full range of metropolitan area size. The existence of this city-size wage gap implies that workers are more productive in larger cities. Since 1980, a strong positive monotonic relationship between city size and wage inequality has also emerged.

Urban Life among Youth in Kisumu

Eliya Zulu (African Institute for Development Policy), Shelley Clark (McGill University)

This project aims to improve methods of data collection for sexual behavior among young men and women in urban Kisumu, Kenya. Using a life course approach, the project constructs retrospective relationship histories for a random sample of 1,275 youth ages 18-24 and interviews these respondents' marital and nonmarital sexual partners to create a unique matched partner sample. Fieldwork was conducted in spring and summer 2007.

Interview using the Relationship History Calendar.Interview using the Relationship History Calendar.

Urban Studies and Demography of China

In China, controls on movement of people to urban areas have been more explicit, as they were in apartheid South Africa. This control has altered the trajectory of these cities and created an underclass without full access to relevant service. Logan is building on a long history of work examining population distribution and stratification in Chinese cities. His recent work uses both original surveys and Chinese census microdata to evaluate residential restructuring, disparities in access to housing between local urbanites and migrants, and the development of private housing markets.

Urban Transportation and Economic Activity

Baum-Snow evaluates the role that transportation infrastructure plays in the spatial organization of population and economic activity. He investigates how the expansion of urban highway networks has led to decentralization of people and firms, and changed the spatial distribution of commutes in U.S. metropolitan areas. He has also evaluated the extent to which urban rail transit expansions have led to changes in commuting patterns and undertaken welfare analysis of such projects.

Urban Transportation, Land Use, and Growth: Evidence from China, 1995-2010

This project, focusing on China, studies the societal impacts of urban highway and rail infrastructure investments, the biggest (non-defense) public sector investment a country makes. By assembling data on key instrumental variables and policy contexts, Henderson estimates how these choices affect: 1) city population, employment, and GDP growth; 2) urban form, including the spread of developed land by use; 3) environmental outcomes; and 4) urban land-use patterns across residential, commercial, mixed and industrial categories.

Urbanization in Ghana and Kenya

In this new project, White will use geocoded DHS microdata to examine neighborhood-level disparities in health and socio-economic conditions and their relationship to urbanization in Ghana and Kenya. This work will provide insight into the relative importance of better provision of public health infrastructure in urban areas versus greater variation in access to resources due to income variation or to exclusionary policies in urban areas.

Using Community Participation to Improve the Health System in South India

Co-directors with studentsCo-directors with studentsAt the heart of this project on tuberculosis treatment in India is the simple and practical question of whether community volunteers can be used instead of professional monitors to ensure drug-therapy compliance; but the investigators use this idea in order to explore broader social science questions, including the extent to which caste membership creates effective generalized (as opposed to specific) reciprocity among its members.