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Urban Institute Update
Urban Institute

March, 2010

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Urban Institute Update

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Welcome to the March 25, 2010 edition of Urban Institute Update, your weekly connection to the latest events, publications, commentaries, and data from the Urban Institute.


"Double Trouble: Metro Areas Wracked by Housing and Job Shocks"
April 6
Noon–1:30 p.m. ET

To attend in person in Washington, D.C., RSVP at

To listen to a live audio webcast, register at

Michael Belitzky, policy analyst, Washington office of Florida Governor Charlie Crist
Jeff Finkle, president and CEO, International Economic Development Council
Christopher Hoene, director, Center for Research and Innovation, National League of Cities
Robert Lerman, Institute fellow, Urban Institute
Margery Austin Turner, vice president for research, Urban Institute (moderator)

The nation’s loss of over 6.4 million jobs between 2007 and late 2009 coincided with a 12 percent drop in home values and a dramatic increase in foreclosures. But the recession’s pain has not been uniformly distributed. Why are some metro areas in the grip of “double trouble”—big declines in house prices coupled with severe job losses—while others are coming through the downturn relatively unscathed, with flat house prices and much smaller job losses (or even small employment gains)?

This forum will dig beneath the data—found on MetroTrends, a new Urban Institute resource about conditions in the nation’s metropolitan regions—and discuss what the public and private sectors should (or shouldn’t) do to lift population centers out of their doldrums.

At the Urban Institute
2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.
Lunch will be provided at 11:45 a.m. The forum begins promptly at noon.

Webcast note: You will need to register for the webcast on the same computer you will use to listen. You can register anytime up to and during the event. To access the webcast, go to the same link where you registered,



MetroTrends is a new Urban Institute web site that provides information and perspectives on the economic and social well-being of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan regions. MetroTrends debuts with analyses of interlocking trends related to employment growth, mortgage lending and house prices, earnings and material hardship, immigration and diversity, and the well-being of children.


"What if All Physician Services Were Paid Under the Medicare Fee Schedule?: An Analysis Using Medical Group Management Association Data"
By Robert A. Berenson, Stephen Zuckerman, Karen Stockley, and additional authors

The researchers studied the effect of applying the Medicare Fee Schedule to all physician services and found substantial differences in actual hourly and annual compensation across specialties. The non-surgical specialties, particularly cardiology, did relatively better under the Medicare Fee Schedule than under current reimbursements.


"Atlantic Exchange: Case Studies of Housing and Community Redevelopment in the US and the UK"
By Diane K. Levy, Harris Beider, Susan J. Popkin, David Price, and Aurelie Broeckerhoff

This report describes two case studies of previously distressed communities—one in the United States and one in the United Kingdom—that have been redeveloped and revitalized. Both countries face similar public housing challenges and have taken similar approaches to address them. The researchers visited both case study communities, evaluated their transformations, and gathered lessons learned that can be applied to similar initiatives.


Growth in Health Insurance Premiums without Reform

Under the worst case economic scenario—slow growth in incomes and continuing high growth rates for health care costs—premiums for single and family policies would more than double by 2020, increasing from $4,800 to $10,300 for single policies and from $12,100 to $25,600 for family policies. Even in the best case, single premiums would rise to $7,800 and family premiums would rise to $19,500 within 10 years, increasing much faster than incomes.

From "The Cost of Failure to Enact Health Reform: 2010 – 2020 (Updated)" by Bowen Garrett, Matthew Buettgens, Lan Doan, Irene Headen, and John Holahan.

The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational organization that examines the nation's social, economic, and governance challenges.


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