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Wolfe, B.I.


Barbara Wolfe

Barbara Wolfe, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1943. Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Professor of Economics and Preventative Medicine and Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Fellow (1 September 1996 - 30 June 1997)

During my year at NIAS, I made substantial progress on three research projects and completed papers on several other topics. The three projects involve:

The use of twenty years of longitudinal data in studying the determinants of the choices made by young adults in regard to education and early fertility, emphasising the individual, family, neighbourhood and opportunity aspects of these choices in a structural model framework (joint with Robert Haveman). We have completed four papers, which are under review at journals.

Estimation of the changes in well-being of disabled and elderly people over the last decade relative to such changes among nondisabled and younger people, emphasising the role of social insurance benefits in sustaining the well-being of the elderly and disabled (joint with Robert Haveman). We have completed two papers, one of which was presented at the meetings of the American Economic Association; the papers are being prepared for journal submission.

Analysis of the role of fringe benefits in explaining earnings inequality in the United States. I have focused on the role of the government mandate requiring nondiscrimination in the provision of health insurance, along with increasing costs of health insurance, in explaining deterioration in both the job market opportunities facing low-wage workers and the reduced probability that they will be offered private health insurance. I have also explored how this model can explain some of the unemployment in EU countries. Three papers have been completed and will soon be submitted to journals.

    I have also completed several other papers, including one (joint with Robert Haveman) which presents a comprehensive review and assessment of research on the economics of disability and disability policy for a handbook of health economics; a paper on outcomes of interest, constituencies, and the primary trade-offs in evaluating new state-based changes in U.S. welfare policy; a paper on a method to estimate the nonearning impacts of education; and a paper exploring the effectiveness of special education in the elementary grades.

    I have given a number of lectures/seminars during my year at NIAS, including a lecture at NIAS, four lectures to Departments of Economics in the Netherlands, lectures at several international meetings and universities in Europe.

    This year has been a very productive and rewarding one for me. The environment and resources at NIAS have permitted me to accomplish a great deal.

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