Research Quick Take

Here at the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (COSSPP), our faculty have been quite busy! Here are some of the projects that our faculty have recently published.

“Place plus Race Effects in Bureaucratic Discretionary Power: An Analysis of Residential Segregation and Police Stop Decisions” by Dr. James E. Wright II

In his recent article, Dr. Wright examines the discrepancies in who gets stopped by the police and what happens once they get stopped. To do so, he examines the effect of officers’ decisions when performing vehicle stops and conducting vehicle or person searches, as measured at the block group level in Minneapolis neighborhoods. He finds that majority African American areas of high segregation have 40% more vehicle or person searches than other parts of the city. Second, we find that in predominately African American areas with growing pockets of East African immigrant areas will be subject to 50% more vehicle and person searches.

“Climatic sensitivity of species’ vegetative and reproductive phenology in a Hawaiian montane wet forest” by Dr. Stephanie Pau

Stephanie Pau - Department of Geography

In her recent article, Dr. Pau examines how tropical tree phenology responds to the climate. To do so, she examined the effects of temperature, rainfall, and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) on seed phenology of four dominant species and community-level leaf phenology in a montane wet forest on the island of Hawaiʻi using monthly data collected over ~ 6 years. For three species, seed production declined with increasing maximum temperatures and increased with rainfall. There was considerable variation in monthly seed and leaf production not explained by climatic factors, and there was some evidence for a mediating effect of daylength. Thus, the impact of future climate change on this forest will depend on how climate change interacts with other factors such as daylength, biotic, and/or evolutionary constraints.

“The impact of place-based poverty relief: Evidence from the Federal Promise Zone Program” by Dr. Carl Kitchens

In his recent article, Dr. Kitchens investigates the impact of targeted, federal spending in an economically depressed urban area by exploring the effects of the Los Angeles Promise Zone (LAPZ), a program that sought to identify and assist struggling areas by providing them with primary access to grants from multiple federal agencies. He finds that property values within the LAPZ differentially increased by approximately 6–11 percent (3–5 percent using an alternative estimator (DDNNM)) following the awarding of Promise Zone status in 2014, an increase of at least $50,000 on average. This indicates that this increase in property value stems from increases in land value, rather than through property improvements.

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