The Wonk Salon, July 6, 2011

Kentucky Medicaid: Expensive and Ineffective
Bluegrass Institute

Obamacare will suck people people out of private health plans and accelerate the rising cost of Medicaid. Program incentives thwart sound medical practice, and participants show little improvement in their health.

Maternity Leave Has Little Impact on Childrens’ Cognitive Development
National Bureau of Economic Research
Paid maternity leave is often justified on the grounds that stay-at-home moms foster babies’ cognitive development. Turns out that, at least among Canadians, that’s not true.

Cut Driving to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and End Oil Imports
World Resources Institute
In 2008 transportation accounted for 71% of U.S. oil consumption and 31% of carbon dioxide emissions. Transportation spending should be targeted to projects that reduce both.

Making Transit-Oriented Development Equitable and Inclusive
Urban Land Institute
Transit-Oriented Development is a glorious thing but planners must take care not to price out the poor.

Meeting the Infrastructure Challenge
Urban Land Institute
The United States lags its global competition in investing in the infrastructure needed to support economic prosperity. Among the recommendations: Maintain what you’ve got, prioritize gateway regions, and institute user fees to generate sustainable revenue streams.

Most Local Government Pension Plans in Better Shape than State Funds
Center for Retirement Research
Despite some prominent exceptions, local governments are doing a better job overall than state governments in keeping their employee pension funds in sound actuarial condition.

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