The Other 49
The Rand Corporation released two studies this week that provide insight into summer education and health policy.
- The first report revolved around research in Pittsburgh that investigated the connection between summer learning opportunities and educational outcomes. Not surprisingly, the researchers found that access to summer programming was correlated to income and transportation. The authors argue that summer learning, or lack thereof, is a key driver in achievement gap metrics.
- The second report looked at prices paid to hospitals in Indiana from 2013 through 2016 by large, self-funded employer-sponsored health plans. This kind of pricing data is often hard to come by. Many health plans do not collect it in ways that are easy for researchers to use, and hospitals and insurance companies often view the information as proprietary. While data from Indiana only has limited effects on North Carolina, some of the report’s findings can still be instructive:
- Large hospital systems are paid higher prices but prices vary widely.
- Prices are particularly variant for outpatient services.
In addition, CityLab has an interesting “On the Road” series that profiles different local government innovations along the Lincoln Highway, the first coast-to-coast highway in the U.S. The ones on the Do-It-Yourself economy in York, PA and small town urbanism in Laramie, WY were particularly interesting.
The Urban Institute has a new state and local data tool that demonstrates the characteristics of preschool children in a given area. The tool allows for inputs about geography at the state or local census area level and then provides a snapshot of the data across 10 different areas, e.g., family income, parental nativity, number of parents present in the home. The tool is a great way to study specific areas of interest and include comparison based on similar data.
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