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Recent Publications

Build Baby Build?: Housing Submarkets and the Effects of New Construction on Existing Rents

Damiano, Anthony and Chris Frenier Published in .

In the past 20 years, after decades of disinvestment and decline, central cities have seen a reversal of fortune and are experiencing rapid growth, particularly in the urban core. Many large cities are now struggling with housing shortages and affordability problems. There is vigorous debate amongst policy makers, scholars, and activists about the role that new market-rate apartments play in alleviating housing affordability issues.

Agglomeration Economies

Cao, Jason, Michael Iacono, David Levison, and Mengying Cui Published in .

Economists have long recognized the importance of urban areas as focal points of economic production and exchange. In recent decades, they have also come to better understand the productivity benefits of firms being located in large urban areas. A variety of advantages may accrue to firms that cluster together in large cities relating, for example, to access to specialized labor, information spillovers, and interactions with customers or suppliers.

MnPASS Pricing and Its Benefits to Drivers

Xie, Chunying Published in .

The MnPASS system allows solo drivers to travel in carpool lanes for a fee. The system was implemented in 2005 when it was clear that carpool lanes on I-394 were underutilized. Drivers purchase a transponder that reports when they are using the carpool lane—now called the High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane. This article uses real data to determine the impact of that system on traffic flows and to document the benefits. The research finds this real-time pricing system is working well for both those in the HOT lane and those in general-purpose lanes.

Minnesota’s Changing Consumer Economy

Schwartau, Bruce and Will Craig Published in .

Minnesota’s economy recovered well from the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Based on an analysis of 2015 Minnesota Department of Revenue (MDOR) sales tax receipts from retail and consumer service businesses, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota show consumer spending at prerecession levels. Or nearly so.

K–12 Achievement Gap Is a National Problem

Craig, Will and Tom Scott Published in .

Minnesota is understandably concerned about the statewide gap in achievement between White students and students of color, especially Black students. In fact, every state has such a gap. While Minnesota’s gap is large compared to most states, it is often the result of White students performing at levels above the average while Black students score at or near the national average for their races.

CURA Reporter Spring 2017

This issue contains the following articles: Boomers at Work and in Transition By Phyllis Moen, Erik Kojola, and Kate Schaefers /  Understanding Youth Resilience by Leveraging the Youth Development Study Archive 

Understanding Youth Resilience by Leveraging the Youth Development Study Archive

Mortimer, Jeylan T., Dominique J. Rolando, and Carol Zierman Published in 2017.

Boomers at Work and in Transition

Moen, Phyllis, Erik Kojola, and Kate Schaefers Published in 2017.

This study investigated the experience and expectations of Minnesota Boomers as well as innovative organizations in the Twin Cities area that are recognizing and responding to their aging workforces. We find Boomers no longer expect a one-way, one-time simultaneous exit from both their career jobs and the labor force. Rather, they are following a variety of paths. Organizations leading in recognizing population and workforce aging are adopting less age-graded policies—providing flexible and reduced work options as well as training to all workers, regardless of their ages or career stages.

Racially Concentrated Areas of Affluence: A Preliminary Investigation - DRAFT REPORT

Goetz, Edward G., Tony Damiano, and Jason Hicks Published in .

Racial segregation continues to be a significant problem in American cities despite passage of the Fair Housing Act 46 years ago. Since the 1980s, concentrations of poverty have combined with racial segregation to produce conditions that have been the target of urban and housing policy for 25 years. Recent federal housing policy has consciously acknowledged this phenomenon, with the federal government requiring local municipalities to undertake studies of “Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty” (RCAPs) in order to inform local efforts to further fair housing goals.

CURA Reporter Spring 2016

This issue contains the following articles: The Social Determinants of Native Youth Gang Involvement, by Ross VeLure Roholt, Katie Johnston-Goodstar, and Don Eubanks / Creativity Testing, Achievement, and Higher-Order Thinking in Schoolchildren, by Brad Hokanson and William Bart / Poverty Explains Some of the Achievement Gap, bu

Poverty Explains Some of the Achievement Gap, but Not All

Craig, Will Published in 2016.

The Twin Cities have one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation. On third-grade reading tests, 70% of White students meet the achievement standards, while only 38% of students of color meet those standards. This article attempts to understand the causes of that gap. It focuses on family income and finds it explains much of the gap. Some schools in the Metro area have been able to close the remaining gap for low-income students of color.

Creativity Testing, Achievement, and Higher-Order Thinking in Schoolchildren

Hokanson, Bart, and William Bart Published in 2016.

Abstract: Creativity and innovation are seen as critical factors in economic growth and personal success. This article presents research about the creative capability of Minnesota schoolchildren and the correlation between creativity and academic success. Creativity, as a measured skill, has declined in American schoolchildren since 1991, and this decline will have a greater impact on economic vitality than shortfalls in science or math.

The Social Determinants of Native Youth Gang Involvement

Roholt, Ross VeLure, Katie Johnston-Goodstar, and Don Eubanks Published in 2016.

While youth gang involvement nationally is believed to be on the rise, few policies and services are in place to address this issue, leaving primary responsibility to law enforcement. The focus of such responses shift quickly to deterrence and suppression strategies, tactics aimed at reducing crimes committed by gangs. These strategies alone are typically unsuccessful. This article describes a community-based participatory research project investigating the presence and activities of youth gangs in one Native American tribal community in the Midwest.

CURA Reporter Spring/Summer 2015

This issue contains the following articles: Reforming Teacher Contracts: A Look at the Impact of Q Comp on Student Achievement in Minnesota, by Elton Mykerezi, Aaron Sojourner, and Kristine West /

CURA Annual Report, 2013–2014

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) was created in 1968 to connect the University of Minnesota with the community and issues facing the state. This report summarizes the activities during the past year. For more information on any of the programs listed, visit our website at cura.umn.edu.

CURA Reporter Winter 2014

This issue contains the following articles: Assessing Minneapolis–St.

CURA Reporter Winter/Spring 2014

This issue contains the following articles: The Nutritional Quality of Foods Donated by Individuals to the Emergency Foodshelf Network, by Megan Harrison, Lisa Harnack, and M.

Planning for Transit Oriented Development in the Twin Cities: A Baseline Study for Corridors of Opportunity.

Boulay, William. Published in 2012.

This report is the result of a study done for the Corridors of Opportunity project designed to measure the extent to which cities have planned for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) around transit stations. The study evaluated the planning activities of 20 cities along 6 transitways in the Corridors project: Hiawatha Light Rail, Northstar Commuter Rail, Cedar Avenue Bus Rapid Transit, Central Corridor Light Rail, Southwest Light Rail, and Bottineau Boulevard Light Rail. The study measured three specific planning activities: comprehensive planning, station area planning (SAP), and zoning.

CURA Reporter Summer/Fall 2013.

CURA Annual Report, 2012–2013

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