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Header image of Hong Kong financial center courtesy of hleung on flickr.

I study fiscal issues: state and local budget, transportation finance, and nonprofit financial management. I use geeky stuff: statistics (with R), GIS, and LaTeX. In the blog I write about my work; so it is all about fiscal issues & geeky stuff.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spatial Factors of EMV: A Case Study

I am working on a project to analyze how highway accessibility affects assessed property values. The study area is in the north of City of Maple Grove, where a stretch of Trunk Highway, TH610, is half finished and still looking for additional sources for its completion. 

Nice data about land use and property valuations are available. Critical to the project is how I may control other variables, especially spatial or locational factors. Some of them are shown in the maps below: 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Population without Health Insurance

20120901 woc893

Medicaid Program in US is a shared responsibility between the Federal and state governments, with lots of variation across states on eligibility criteria and associated benefits.

The Economist (08/30) has a nice chart on the percentage of non-senior population (age under 65s) without health insurance in the states. (Americans ages 65 or older will be covered by a different program, Medicare.)

Massachusetts has the country's lowest rate of uninsured, at just 5.2%. At about 10%, Minnesota also belongs to the lowest group. In contrast, in Texas the uninsured rate is 26.3%. The sticking difference highlights the fact that the states vary significantly across service levels and spending priorities.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Interactive Guide to Reducing Government Debt

Check out the Economist’s new Daily Chart: The maths behind the madness. The interactive graph allows you to pick two counties/areas and then input your own long-term assumptions to project and compare the likely path of debt out to 2020.

Screenshot2012-04-19at7.42.06PM-2012-04-19-19-31.png

Key assumptions include real interest rate (r), GDP growth (g), primary budget balance (p), and inflation (i). In the government-debt dynamics, in any given period, the debt stock grows by the existing debt stock multiplied by (r-g), less the primary budget balance p. Inflation helps reduce the total debt stock over time, as the real value of debt decreased with inflation.

Too bad the chart does not include China, where local government debts have been skyrocketing in recent years.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs