About Evelyn Blumenberg (Edit profile)

Evelyn Blumenberg is Professor and Chair of Urban Planning in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles (eblumenb@ucla.edu).

A Driving Factor in Moving to Opportunity

Evelyn Blumenberg and Gregory Pierce

In 1992, the US Congress authorized the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) housing voucher program to operate in five large metropolitan areas: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. The MTO program represented a radical departure from standard housing assistance programs, which clustered participants in very poor neighborhoods that offered few opportunities. Running counter to previous policy, MTO used an experimental framework to assess how moving households on assistance to low-poverty neighborhoods can affect their employment, education, and household income. Under the program, residents were randomly assigned into three groups. The first group received housing vouchers that could be used only in neighborhoods with poverty rates under 10 percent. The second group received similar housing vouchers but with no neighborhood restrictions. The third group did not receive vouchers but remained eligible for public housing and other social programs.

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Going Mental: Everyday Travel and the Cognitive Map

Andrew Mondschein, Evelyn Blumenberg, and Brian D. Taylor

How do you get to work? Do you have a preferred route to your favorite restaurant? To the nearest hospital? To Disneyland? If you know—or think you know—the answers to any of these questions, then your cognitive map is at work. Humans rely on mental maps to store knowledge of places and routes in order to engage in travel and activities. People use their cognitive maps to decide where to go and how to get there. But accessibility research has largely ignored this essential aspect of travel behavior, despite the fact that a trip won’t happen without prior knowledge of a destination and potential routes to it. As cities become larger and more dispersed, good information about opportunities and travel systems is more important than ever. Download the PDF.

Falling Immigration Rates Mean Falling Transit Ridership

Evelyn Blumenberg and Alexandra Norton

From almost every angle, immigration generates interest and controversy. Scholars, pundits and policymakers regularly debate immigration and its effects: on culture, on jobs, on schooling. In particular, both academic and popular commentators have focused on whether immigration is associated with increases in unemployment, use of public benefits, or crime. Examinations of these questions have generally revealed that immigration has no effect, or that the effect, if present, is small. Even in the heated debate about immigration and employment, which receives the most popular attention, academics on both sides agree that the effects, be they negative or positive, are modest when compared to the economy as a whole.

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2018-02-14T21:28:22+00:00Categories: ACCESS 37, Fall 2010|Tags: , |

THE ACCESS ALMANAC: Transportation Costs And Economic Opportunity Among The Poor

Evelyn Blumenberg

A widely cited report says transportation costs are increasing and comprise a much larger share of expenditures in lower-than in higher-income households. The report, Transportation Costs and the American Dream, published by the Surface Transportation Policy Project in 2001, blames automobiles and says that rising transportation costs are hindering home ownership. However, the facts do not support this conclusion. Expenditure data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Survey reveal that low-income households actually spend slightly less than high-income households on transportation, a pattern that has held since the early 1980s. Figure 1 shows the distribution of expenditures for all households and compares them with households in the bottom income quintile. The graph shows transportation expenses are, indeed, a significant expenditure for everyone, but that low-income households spend a slightly smaller percentage on transportation than all households (and a higher percentage on housing).

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Can Welfare Recipients Afford to Work Far From Home?

Evelyn Blumenberg and Paul Ong

In 1995, 13.6 million people nationwide received welfare benefits totaling $22 billion. Critics have considered this sum unnecessary and the welfare program inefficient. With the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, welfare reformers established time limits for receiving benefits, hoping to speed the transition from public assistance to employment.

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