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Summer 2007 Volume II Issue II

1. Measuring Socio-Economic Disparities in the United States: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach Eric Horent, T. Wayne Parent

Abstract

Previous research from different disciplines has exposed how pervasive socio-economic disparities between Blacks and Whites remain in the United States. A consensus has emerged that these disparities cannot be reduced to a single dimension, however important it may be. Yet, no comprehensive measure of socio-economic disparities, encompassing the different facets of this plight, is available at the state or national level.

Using the most recent data available from the Census Bureau and other sources, this study measures racial disparities along four key socio-economic dimensions: Education, Health and Wellness, Economics and Business, and Politics and Justice. The average score of the four dimensions is computed to measure the overall level of socio-economic disparities in the United States, twenty-five states, and the District of Columbia.

The overall score of the United States on our Racial Disparity Index, based on a one hundred point scale, is 48.62. The state with the least socio-economic disparities between Blacks and whites is Kentucky with a score of 56.82, followed by Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana, and California. The state with the most socio-economic disparities is Wisconsin with a score of 41.26, preceded by Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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2. The Nature of the Honduran Debt and the Possible Impacts of its Debt Relief: a Vicious Cycle? Viveca Pavon, Asli K. Ogunc

Abstract

In this paper we examine the Honduran debt by providing a background of its economy, explaining how the debt was accumulated, and by giving a brief overview of the relief implications. We also run tests to help explain what the relief could do for the economy. Regression and Granger Causality were the tests prepared. The results for our tests indicate that debt relief is helpful for Honduras by increasing exports and decreasing imports. These results are subject to every other variable held constant. When considering the history of the economy and the trends followed by previous leaders corruption, social unrest, readily available loans, and natural disasters may cause debt to be a recurring issue.

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