The Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper Series addresses emerging and critical issues in community development. Our goal is to provide information on topics that will be useful to the many actors involved in community development—governments, nonprofits, financial institutions, and beneficiaries.
Restructuring the Eligibility Policies of the Child Care and Development Fund to Address Benefits Cliffs and Affordability
This paper explores how the current eligibility policies of the federal Child Care and Development Fund create benefits cliffs and affordability challenges that act as barriers to economic self-sufficiency.
Brittany Birken, Elias Ilin, Alexander Ruder, and Ellyn Terry
Discussion Paper 2021-1 (June 2021)
Abstract | Full text (1,326 KB)
Benefits Cliffs as a Barrier to Career Advancement for Low-Income Adults: Insights from Employment Services Providers
How do counselors explain benefits cliffs to clients who want to advance in their careers? The authors conducted focus groups with employment service providers to address this question.
Alexander Ruder, Julie Siwicki, Ellyn Terry, and Tamilore Toyin-Adelaja
Discussion Paper 2020-2 (March 2020)
Abstract | Full text (937 KB)
Benefits Cliffs and the Financial Incentives for Career Advancement: A Case Study of the Health Care Services Career Pathway
What are the financial trade-offs a single parent faces when moving up the career ladder? The authors develop a new methodology to study the impact of benefits cliffs on the financial incentives to advance in a career.
David Altig, Elias Ilin, Alexander Ruder, and Ellyn Terry
Discussion Paper 2020-1 (January 2020)
Abstract | Full text (1,342 KB)
Anchor Institution Strategies in the Southeast: Working with Hospitals and Universities to Support Inclusive Growth
Anchor institutions such as universities and hospitals can help drive inclusive economic development in their communities. The author examines efforts to launch anchor institution strategies in New Orleans, Atlanta, and the Miami area.
Discussion Paper 2019-2 (December 2019)
Abstract | Full text (546 KB)
What Works at Scale? A Framework to Scale Up Workforce Development Programs
The author examines a sample of recent randomized controlled trials of workforce development programs and discusses how this body of evidence could inform policymakers about what works at scale.
Discussion Paper 2019-1 (June 2019)
Abstract | Full text (1,724 KB)
Mind the Gap: How Do Credit Market Experiences and Borrowing Patterns Differ for Minority-Owned Firms?
How do small business financing experiences vary by the race or ethnicity of a firm’s ownership? A new discussion paper examines data on minority-owned small businesses’ borrowing patterns.
Mels de Zeeuw
Discussion Paper 2018-3 (September 2018)
Abstract | Full text (1,515 KB)
Rental Housing Affordability in the Southeast: Data from the Sixth District
The authors analyze data on housing costs and supply by household income level. They demonstrate the widespread shortage of housing that is affordable for low-income renters in large metros, small towns, suburbs, and nonmetro areas throughout the Southeast.
Discussion Paper 2018-2 (July 2018)
Abstract | Full text (2,916 KB)
How Do Firms Respond to Hiring Difficulties? Evidence from the Federal Reserve Banks' Small Business Credit Survey
Two-thirds of firms polled in the Fed's 2017 Small Business Credit Survey have had trouble hiring over the past year. A new discussion paper investigates how firms use compensation, training, and job restructuring to respond.
Mels de Zeeuw
Discussion Paper 2018-1 (March 2018)
Abstract | Full text (1,166 KB)
Can Community Development Improve Health? Emerging Opportunities for Collaboration between the Health and Community Development Sectors
Health and community development professionals are learning to collaborate to address the social determinants of health. The author investigates promising partnerships in the Southeast in this first of a two-part series.
Discussion Paper 2017-3 (December 2017)
Abstract | Full text (1,337 KB)
Informal Homeownership Issues: Tracking Contract for Deed Sales in the Southeast
The authors investigate the extent of seller-financed installment contracts for homes in four southeastern cities and the risks and opportunities they may pose for buyers.
Ann Carpenter, Abram Lueders, and Chris Thayer
Discussion Paper 2017-2 (June 2017)
Abstract | Full text (1,114 KB)
Developing Inclusive Communities: Challenges and Opportunities for Mixed-Income Housing
The authors conducted interviews with housing stakeholders in Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Nashville for their ideas on increasing the production of mixed-income housing in an environment of declining federal funding.
Renée Lewis Glover, Ann Carpenter, and Richard Duckworth
Discussion Paper 2017-1 (June 2017)
Abstract | Full text (1,113 KB)
Corporate Landlords, Institutional Investors, and Displacement: Eviction Rates in Single-Family Rentals
Institutional investors purchased thousands of homes across the country to rent them after the real estate and financial crisis. The authors examine how the rise of the large corporate landlord in the single-family rental market affected housing stability in Atlanta.
Elora Raymond, Richard Duckworth, Ben Miller, Michael Lucas, and Shiraj Pokharel
Discussion Paper 2016-4 (December 2016)
Abstract | Full text (848 KB)
Declines in Low-Cost Rented Housing Units in Eight Large Southeastern Cities
Renters in many metro areas, especially those with modest incomes, increasingly struggle to find affordable housing. The authors investigate the landscape of low-cost rented housing units and spatial patterns of change in eight cities in the Southeast.
Dan Immergluck, Ann Carpenter, and Abram Lueders
Discussion Paper 2016-3 (May 2016)
Abstract | Full text (2.01 MB)
Financing Workforce Development in a Devolutionary Era
Federal funding for the traditional workforce development system has declined dramatically over the past few decades. The author examines several promising alternative financing models for workforce development programs such as social impact bonds and income-share agreements.
Discussion Paper 2016-2 (April 2016)
Abstract | Full text (504 MB)
Negative Equity in the Sixth Federal Reserve District
Some cities have not recovered from the subprime and foreclosure crises, and negative equity—when a house is worth less than outstanding mortgage debt—remains a persistent problem. The author analyzes the characteristics of Southeast neighborhoods that continue to have negative equity.
Discussion Paper 2016-1 (March 2016)
Abstract | Full text (732 KB)
Blight Remediation in the Southeast: Local Approaches to Design and Implementation
Blight—or the proliferation of vacant, abandoned, or poorly maintained properties—is a critical issue that cities must address. The authors analyze New Orleans and Macon, which are committed to blight remediation and could become models for other cities to emulate.
Ann Carpenter, Emily Mitchell, and Shelley Price
Discussion Paper 2015-5 (November 2015)
Abstract | Full text (1.36 MB)
Leading, Lagging, and Left Behind: Identifying Metropolitan Leaders and Labor Market Outcomes
The percent of the population that gained a bachelor's degree or higher rose by 7.9 percentage points from 1990 to 2010. However, only 78 of 283 metro areas were above that 7.9 percentage point increase. The author examines four labor market outcomes in those 78 "leader metros."
Discussion Paper 2015-4 (October 2015)
Abstract | Full text (903 KB)
The Financing Experiences of Nonemployer Firms: Evidence from the 2014 Joint Small Business Credit Survey
Businesses without employees—or nonemployer firms—make up the majority of small businesses in the United States, but little is known about their financial lives, including their business financing needs and experiences.
Stephanie Rosoff and Ellie Terry
Discussion Paper 2015-3 (July 2015)
Abstract | Full text (1 MB)
Fragmentation in Workforce Development and Efforts to Coordinate Regional Workforce Development Systems
Job training programs and other entities often work independently in the workforce development field, which can lead to fragmentation and inefficiencies. The authors study the Atlanta area's challenges in coordinating workforce development and present best practices in other cities.
Stuart Andreason and Ann Carpenter
Discussion Paper 2015-2 (April 2015)
Abstract | Full text (1.33 MB)
Resilience in Planning: A Review of Comprehensive Plans in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina
This paper analyzes and compares the decisions communities made in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to determine to what extent post-Katrina comprehensive plans promote resilience based on built environment factors that have been shown to improve social networking, physical safety, and community building.
Discussion Paper 2015-1 (January 2015)
Abstract | Full text (824 KB)
Social Ties, Space, and Resilience: Literature Review of Community Resilience to Disasters and Constituent Social and Built Environment Factors
Communities have faced more frequent and severe natural disasters in recent decades. In a new paper, the author examines the literature to understand one particular aspect of resilience: how the built environment contributes to greater resilience by supporting and encouraging strong social networks.
Discussion Paper 2013-2 (September 2013)
Abstract | Full text (741 KB)
Locally Owned: Do Local Business Ownership and Size Matter for Local Economic Well-being?
An economic development approach that supports locally owned businesses over nonlocally owned businesses and small companies over large ones has gained popularity since the 1980s. In a new paper, the author examines the effects of locally based entrepreneurship on local economic performance.
Discussion Paper 2013-1 (August 2013)
Abstract | Full text (1 MB)
Intrametropolitan Patterns of Foreclosed Homes: ZIP-Code-Level Distributions of Real-Estate-Owned (REO) Properties during the U.S. Mortgage Crisis
Real-estate-owned (REO) properties are usually vacant and, particularly when geographically concentrated, can have destabilizing effects on neighborhoods and communities. The author studies intrametro REO distributions across different metro areas during the mortgage crisis.
Discussion Paper 1-09 (April 21, 2009)
Full text (4.75 MB)
The Accumulation of Foreclosed Properties: Trajectories of Metropolitan REO Inventories during the 2007–2008 Mortgage Crisis
What was the extent to which real-estate-owned (REO) properties accumulated in different housing markets during the mortgage crisis? The author examines characteristics of the inventory of REO properties in U.S. metro areas from 2006 to 2008.
Discussion Paper 2-08 (December 15, 2008)
Full text (1.55 MB)
Community Response to the Foreclosure Crisis: Thoughts on Local Interventions
Mortgage regulation and foreclosure laws are generally under federal and state governance, but local governments and organizations responded to rising foreclosures in various ways. The author presents a range of responses to the foreclosure crisis that local organizations have used.
Discussion Paper 1-08 (October 10, 2008)
Full text (181 KB)
The views expressed here are the authors' and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors' responsibility.
For further information, contact the Community and Economic Development Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309-4470, 404-498-8500.
Papers written by student interns within the Community and Economic Development Department are intended to add to the dialogue about and research of issues in the field. The papers provide a forum to share the students' independent work.
Exploring Concentrated Poverty in the Southeast
Concentrated poverty—the proportion of the poor living in high-poverty neighborhoods—is a serious problem. A recent Community and Economic Development student paper found U.S. concentrated poverty increased significantly since the year 2000. The author examines whether concentrated poverty in the Southeast has followed a similar trajectory.
Student Paper August 2016
Abstract | Full text (3,142 KB)