Daniel A. Underwood

Peninsula College, Port Angeles, Washington, United States

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Publications (6)2.1 Total impact

  • Article: Policy Note
    Daniel A. Underwood · Dan Friesner · Jason Cross ·
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    ABSTRACT: We present a three-fold test for sustainability on policies addressing environmental and natural resource management. The first — ecological holism — requires that management of natural systems not only ensure the long term viability of ecosystem functions and enhanced diversity of wildlife within that ecosystem, but also facilitate the provision of renewable energy and material resources. The second — community centeredness — is an assessment of the improvement (or reduction) in economic wellbeing of local populations measured by employment and income and in quality of life for the larger community resulting from that policy. The third — institutional legitimacy — evaluates the level of justice that a policy and its outcome(s) bring to the entire community (here, just policies will satisfy Rawll’s’ “veil of ignorance” test). Three policies for National Forest management on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula are examined and results are compared: the Northwest Forest Plan, the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012 (Wild Olympics), and The Third Way (an alternative forest management option). Each policy satisfies the first test of ecological holism, but not in equal measures. Success in this regard can be differentially ranked because the relative impacts are not neutral. Both the Northwest Forest Plan and Wild Olympics fail the test of community centeredness. In contrast, The Third Way promotes community centeredness and ecological holism. We assert that, as a result, it would satisfy John Rawl s’s test for justice, and is institutionally legitimate.
    Journal of Economic Issues 09/2014; 48(3):871-886. DOI:10.2753/JEI0021-3624480313 · 0.32 Impact Factor
  • Hal W. Snarr · Dan Friesner · Daniel A. Underwood ·
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past decade narrowly focused studies have evaluated the effectiveness of state-level welfare policies. In general, they evaluate reforms within a particular state, focus on a small number of outcome variables (usually caseload levels) and/or use a very narrowly defined time period. This narrow and partial analysis is perplexing, from an institutional perspective, as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) forces states into a zero-sum funding game, where shares depend on differential relative success in achieving policy objectives metrics. This institutional structure incentivizes states to mimic and improve upon more successful counterparts to recapture a larger share of TANF block grants. Given this dynamic institutional structure, an evolutionary evaluation of state TANF programmes is warranted. This article uses cluster analysis to explore evolutionary changes in state TANF policies (as characterized by a comprehensive set of outcome variables) immediately following the imposition of TANF (1997–2005). We identify or benchmark clusters of ‘successful’ and ‘less successful’ TANF programmes. The results allow us to track which states in which year fall into the ‘successful’ and ‘less successful’ clusters over the 9-year period. The results support the notion that initially unsuccessful states mimic other successful state programmes over time.
    Applied Economics Letters 11/2012; 19(17):1753-1758. DOI:10.1080/13504851.2011.650326 · 0.23 Impact Factor
  • Daniel A. Underwood · Dan Axelsen · Dan Friesner ·
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    ABSTRACT: Recent empirical work has identified the existence of cultural filters â demographically non-neutral processes whereby employers differentially screen applicants to evaluative attributes and characteristics - and analyzed how they affect differential employment success rates and wage levels. Women are filtered differently than men, and the outcome is disproportionately lower levels of employment and wages. The analysis explores the proposition that, for women to obtain long-term employment at reasonable wages, alternative strategies for workforce participation should be developed at the regional level to better match needs of employers - and the way they filter applicants for those needs, through investment in the target population.
    Journal of Economic Issues 06/2010; 44(2):429-440. DOI:10.2753/JEI0021-3624440215 · 0.32 Impact Factor
  • Daniel A. Underwood · Dan Axelsen · Dan Friesner ·
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    ABSTRACT: This paper empirically identifies and isolates the role demographics and cultural filters - >i>a priori>/i> attributes used to screen applicants differentially - play in determining employment patterns by industry and region. Our analysis focuses on three geographically and culturally distinct areas of Washington State with high WorkFirst (Washington's TANF program) eligible populations and industries where those individuals are likely to seek employment. Using data from a panel of WorkFirst participants, empirical results indicate that employment levels and wage premiums vary significantly by demographics, both within and across regions, and that cultural filtering partly explains these variations. It is argued that if the shared goal of WorkFirst and TANF is to move people from welfare to work, participants should be directed toward those industries in which they have a relatively high probability of being favorably "filtered," be better prepared to possess those attributes filtered for, and for WorkFirst to take on an active role as "match-maker" between program participants and employers.
    Journal of Economic Issues 03/2010; 44(1):225-242. DOI:10.2753/JEI0021-3624440111 · 0.32 Impact Factor
  • Dan Axelsen · Daniel A. Underwood · Dan Friesner ·
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we perform an initial, exploratory analysis to determine whether firms use "cultural filters" as indirect and direct proxies for human capital when screening potential applicants for employment opportunities. Using data collected from three counties in Washington State, we find that these filters do, indeed, influence hiring decisions. As a result, it may be advantageous for policy makers to consider restructuring welfare policies to account for the effects of these cultural filters.
    Journal of Socio-Economics 06/2009; 38(3):495-508. DOI:10.1016/j.socec.2009.02.002 · 0.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Dan Friesner · Dan Axelsen · Daniel A. Underwood ·
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    ABSTRACT: The Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation (PRWORA) Act of 1997 marked a significant change in US welfare policy. Under the terms of this legislation, welfare recipients are limited to 24 consecutive months of monetary benefits, not to exceed 60 months over an individual's lifetime. The primary intent of PRWORA is to force people off of welfare roles and into the work force. However, it may also have created a second effect; namely that wel- fare recipients treat the 60 months of welfare benefits as a stockpile of wealth. If so, recipients might strategically move on and off of the welfare roles in order to increase the length of time before one exhausts his or her total lifetime benefits. This leads to a high number of "welfare spells", each relatively short in duration. We present an empirical analysis using data from three counties in Washington State to test whether (and how) an individual's ability to maxim- ize welfare spells varies by their potential employment opportunities and their socio-economic characteristics. We find that socio-economic characteristics such as race and gender, family structure and educational attainment all significantly influence welfare spells. Additionally, welfare spells differed significantly by county, indicating that local labor market conditions specific to those counties are also important in decisions to "bank" welfare benefits.