Peter Frase, The Costs of Compromise: Andrew Cuomo and the Working Families Party vote in the 2010 elections.  R/LaTeX source code available under a Creative Commons license.

In the 2010 elections, the Working Families Party provoked controversy among its left-wing base by giving its endorsement and ballot line to Andrew Cuomo and signing on to his conservative policy agenda. In this paper I attempt to assess whether this move was a necessary compromise (as its proponents claimed) or a counter-productive capitulation that alienated left-wing voters (as critics alleged). I find strong evidence that that the Cuomo endorsement cost the WFP votes. Across the state, Cuomo received fewer WFP votes than any of the other four state-wide candidates who had WFP ballot lines. This contrasts with 2006, when the WFP’s nominee for governer equalled or exceeded the vote totals of other statewide WFP candidates. In addition, the Green Party greatly increased its vote totals for governor between 2006 and 2010, indicating that some left-wing voters defected from Cuomo while voting for other WFP candidates.

Working Time

Peter Frase and Janet Gornick. The Time Divide In Cross-National Perspective: The Work Week, Gender and Education in 17 Countries.

Prior empirical studies have found that American workers report longer hours than workers in other highly industrialized countries, and that the highly educated report the longest hours relative to other educational levels. This paper analyzes disparities in working hours by gender and education levels in 17 high- and middle-income countries in order to assess whether this finding holds cross-nationally. In contrast to many prior studies of working time, we use a measure of weekly rather than annual hours worked, which we argue provides a better window on the discretionary time available to individuals and households. We find that: 1) average weekly male hours in the United States do not appear exceptional, with averages exceeding 40 hours per week in both the U.S. and most western European countries; 2) U.S. women work longer hours than women in most other rich countries; 3) the within-country difference in average hours by education is not uniform, with higher-income countries more likely to show the U.S. pattern, and middle-income countries showing the reverse pattern, with the less educated reporting longer hours. We conclude by assessing some possible macro-level explanations for this variation, including per capita GDP, tax rates, unionization, and earnings inequality.

Revised version published as: “The Time Divide in Cross-National Perspective: The Work Week, Education and Institutions That Matter.” Peter Frase; Janet C. Gornick. Social Forces 2012; doi: 10.1093/sf/sos189


Sharon Zukin, Valerie Trujillo, Peter Frase, Danielle Jackson, Tim Recuber, and Abraham Walker. (2009). New Retail Capital and Neighborhood Change: Boutiques and Gentrification in New York City. City and Community 8(1), pp. 47-64.

Since the 1970s, certain types of upscale restaurants, cafés, and stores have emerged as highly visible signs of gentrification in cities all over the world. Taking Harlem and Williamsburg as field sites, we explore the role of these new stores and services (“boutiques”) as agents of change in New York City through data on changing composition of retail and services, interviews with new store owners, and discursive analysis of print media. Since the 1990s, the share of boutiques, including those owned by small local chains, has dramatically increased, while the share of corporate capital (large chain stores) has increased somewhat, and the share of traditional local stores and services has greatly declined. The media, state, and quasi-public organizations all value boutiques, which they see as symbols and agents of revitalization. Meanwhile, new retail investors—many, in Harlem, from the new black middle class—are actively changing the social class and ethnic character of the neighborhoods. Despite owners’ responsiveness to community identity and racial solidarity, “boutiquing” calls attention to displacement of local retail stores and services on which long-term, lower class residents rely and to the state’s failure to take responsibility for their retention, especially in a time of economic crisis.

Urban labor markets

Joseph Pereira, Peter Frase and John Mollenkopf. (2008). The Future of Low Wage Work in Metropolitan America. Center for Urban Research.

Given the changing economic circumstances of recent years, the time is ripe for – and the field requires – a fresh and comprehensive look at current labor market conditions and trends. In particular, the philanthropic community, labor market scholars, and those working in and with government to help low wage workers and new labor force entrants to move into better jobs all face the challenge of better understanding: 1) how the workforce has changed in terms of its size, geographic distribution, social and demographic characteristics; 2) how the low wage workforce has changed in terms of is socio-demographic composition and geographic distribution; 3) how the demographics of those who work in these industries and occupations are changing, 4) how these trends vary across metropolitan areas, and 5) which metropolitan areas and labor force segments show the most interesting trends, in terms of upward mobility. This study provides information useful in addressing these questions for the period from 1980 to 2006, with a particular focus on the trends between 2000 and 2006.

Other work

Patrick J. Egan and Kenneth Sherrill. (2009). California’s Proposition 8: What Happened and What Does the Future Hold? (Additional data analysis by Peter Frase.)