April 5, 2017

Penn IUR and Federal Reserve Banks Release New Publication on Economic Inequality

PHILADELPHIA, PA-- April 5, 2017— The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia and the Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) today published a series of articles in the journal, Cityscape, that address the new landscape of spatial inequality.

The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia have long been advocates for research and practice that promote greater economic opportunities for individuals in their regions and across the U.S.  To that end, the Philadelphia Fed recently launched its Economic Growth & Mobility Project (EGMP) to combine research with action to help communities and households prosper. Penn IUR is dedicated to informing urban decision-making and public policy on issues of sustainable and inclusive urban growth and development based on multidisciplinary research, instruction, and outreach.

Cityscape, working with the Atlanta Fed, the Philadelphia Fed, and Penn IUR, has published a collection of papers that detail successful strategies that dovetail with the EGMP’s mission.

The five papers were originally presented in September 2016 at the biennial “Reinventing Our Communities (ROC): Transforming Our Economies” conference hosted by the Philadelphia Fed in partnership with Penn IUR and several other cosponsors.

Edited by William Lambe of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Theresa Singleton of the Philadelphia Fed, and Susan Wachter of Penn IUR, the articles synthesize the factors that cause economic stagnation and they also offer potential solutions to the unequal opportunities seen across the nation.  Within the Cityscape issue:

  • Arthur Acolin and Susan Wachter describe an increased divergence in place based opportunity. The clustering of knowledge and innovation based industries and high-wage, high-skill jobs creates places rich with opportunity.But mobility  to these places is at historic lows with high housing costs limiting access.  Hence the need for comprehensive place based solutions to increase access to opportunity.
  • Andrés Rodriguez-Pose and Callum Wilkie describe the growing importance of placed-based approaches to economic development initiated by local governments. This trend toward local empowerment can better address local needs and conditions and lead to the creation of more stable and high-quality jobs.
  • Matthew Steinberg and Rand Quinn look at education policy in the U.S. and identify initiatives that improve educational outcomes, especially for children from low-income families.
  • Harry J. Holzer points to the importance of regional public–private collaboration to provide skills and training for the new economy.
  • Lance Freeman and Jenny Schuetz target the problem of housing affordability in revitalizing areas, identifying the most successful strategies for increasing the supply of affordable housing in these high-quality neighborhoods.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is focused on high-quality research on housing and community development.

Next Steps

The Atlanta Fed, the Philadelphia Fed, and Penn IUR are organizing a series of expert roundtable meetings focused on the theme of “Transforming Communities for Inclusive Growth.” These meetings will expand on three themes at the core of the ROC conference:

  • Affordable housing with access to opportunity
  • Investing in workforce development to connect people to jobs
  • Strengthening industry clusters that support innovation and entrepreneurship

Roundtables will allow practitioners, policy makers, and researchers to discuss innovative initiatives being implemented in the Philadelphia region and nationally. The goal of these meetings is to share best practices and identify new and expanded efforts that could potentially transform communities and sustain inclusive growth.


Media Contact:

Deborah Lang
Communications Director
dlang@upenn.edu
215-573-8386

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