Thursday, June 30, 2005

Travel Journal : The Hidden Tokyo

From Yahoo : "Marco Silvestri, a young Italian who works for 'various multinational companies active in the IT sector,' presents this strangely captivating travel portfolio. How could hundreds of pictures of Japanese airline food, appliances, public signs, and store fronts prove interesting? Because the real star of the show is Marco himself, who appears quite fond of stoic self-portraits and stunningly obvious captions. Every few pages he pops up, always sporting the same look: Head positioned at the bottom of the frame, eyes gazing outward, glazed expression. Sometimes he allows himself a wistful smile. The captions can be hypnotic and strangely soothing. Describing a vending machine: 'Note: hot drinks will come out HOT, probably warmed inside the machine.' Describing a sculpture of a large whale: 'Outside - a giant whale.' Marco has unwittingly turned a travel portfolio about Japan into a portfolio about himself."

Link to site

Seeding science, courting conclusions: Reexamining the intersection of science, corporate cash, and the law

Abstract : Social scientists have expressed strong views on corporate influences over science, but most attention has been devoted to broad, Black/White arguments, rather than to actual mechanisms of influence. This paper summarizes an experience where involvement in a lawsuit led to the discovery of an unexpected mechanism: A large corporation facing a multibillion-dollar court judgment quietly provided generous funding to well-known scientists (including at least one Nobel prize winner) who would submit articles to "open," peer-reviewed journals, so that their "unbiased science" could be cited in an appeal to the Supreme Court. On balance, the corporation's most effective techniques of influence may have been provided not by overt pressure, but by encouraging scientists to continue thinking of themselves as independent and impartial. Author : W R. Freudenburg, UCSB | Source : Sociological Forum

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Race, Income, and College in 25 Years: The Continuing Legacy of Segregation and Discrimination

Abstract : The rate at which racial gaps in pre-collegiate academic achievement can plausibly be expected to erode is a matter of great interest and much uncertainty. In her opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, Supreme Court Justice O'Connor took a firm stand: "We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary . . ." We evaluate the plausibility of Justice O'Connor's forecast, by projecting the racial composition and SAT distribution of the elite college applicant pool 25 years from now. We focus on two important margins: First, changes in the black-white relative distribution of income, and second, narrowing of the test score gap between black and white students within family income groups. Other things equal, progress on each margin can be expected to reduce the racial gap in qualifications among students pursuing admission to the most selective colleges. Under plausible assumptions, however, projected economic progress will not yield nearly as much racial diversity as is currently obtained with race-sensitive admissions. Simulations that assume additional increases in black students' test scores, beyond those deriving from changes in family income, yield more optimistic estimates. In this scenario, race-blind rules approach the black representation among admitted students seen today at moderately selective institutions, but continue to fall short at the most selective schools. Maintaining a critical mass of African American students at the most selective institutions would require policies at the elementary and secondary levels or changes in parenting practices that deliver unprecedented success in narrowing the test score gap in the next quarter century. Source : NBER

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The Growth of Executive Pay

Abstract : This paper examines both empirically and theoretically the growth of U.S. executive pay during the period 1993-2003. During this period, pay has grown much beyond the increase that could be explained by changes in firm size, performance and industry classification. Had the relationship of compensation to size, performance and industry classification remained the same in 2003 as it was in 1993, mean compensation in 2003 would have been only about half of its actual size. During the 1993-2003 period, equity-based compensation has increased considerably in both new economy and old economy firms, but this growth has not been accompanied by a substitution effect, i.e., a reduction in non-equity compensation. The aggregate compensation paid by public companies to their top-five executives during the considered period added up to about $350 billion, and the ratio of this aggregate top-five compensation to the aggregate earnings of these firms increased from 5% in 1993-1995 to about 10% in 2001-2003. After presenting evidence about the growth of pay, we discuss alternative explanations for it. We examine how this growth could be explained under either the arm's length bargaining model of executive compensation or the managerial power model. Among other things, we discuss the relevance of the parallel rise in market capitalizations and in the use of equity-based compensation. Source : NBER

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Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study

Abstract : As the baby boom cohort reaches retirement age, demographic pressures on public programs such as social security may cause policy makers to cut benefits and encourage employment at later ages. This paper reports on a labor market experiment to determine the hiring conditions for older women in entry-level jobs in Boston, MA and St. Petersburg, FL. Differential interviewing by age is found for these jobs. A younger worker is more than 40% more likely to be offered an interview than an older worker. No evidence is found to support taste-based discrimination as a reason for this differential and some suggestive evidence is found to support statistical discrimination. Source : NBER

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Census Bureau : Fourth of July Statistics

"On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, starting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country."

This "Facts for Features" special report provides interesting statistics about the U.S. population and celebrations on the Fourth of July. Did you know...

The number of hot dogs (all varieties) expected to be consumed by Americans on the Fourth is 150 million! (That’s one frankfurter for every two people.)

Read more...[link to site]

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

U.S. Image Up Slightly, But Still Negative

"American Character Gets Mixed Reviews: Anti-Americanism in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, which surged as a result of the U.S. war in Iraq, shows modest signs of abating. But the United States remains broadly disliked in most countries surveyed, and the opinion of the American people is not as positive as it once was." Source: Pew Global Attitudes Project

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Why Do Field Differentials In Average Faculty Salary Vary Across Universities?

"Our main finding is that differences in the quality of faculty present in different fields at a university, as measured by differences in the National Research Council ratings of graduate programs at the university, are important predictors of the field differences in average faculty salaries that exist at the full professor level at the university." (Forthcoming in the Economics of Education Review)
Source: Cornell Higher Education Research Institute

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Violence by Gang Members, 1993-2003

"Provides estimates of the number and rate of violent crimes committed by offenders that victims perceived to be members of gangs based on the National Crime Victimization Survey data. This Crime Data Brief also presents information on demographic characteristics of the victims of violence by gang members such as race, age, and gender, and characteristics of the incident such as police notification and number of offenders. Trends in violence by gang members are also examined."
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Three Years After: Next Steps in the War on Terror

"The RAND Corporation held a conference three years after 9/11 to share results from recent terrorism studies with government and military officials, congressional staff, foundations, NGOs, foreign embassy representatives, and the public. Participants discuss understanding the nature of the terrorist threat; taking direct action against terrorists and terrorist organizations; seeking to reduce support for terrorists; and protecting the homeland." Source: RAND Corporation

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One Face at the Border: Behind the Slogan

"In less than two years, the Department of Homeland Security’s ambitious One Face at the Border initiative has made strides toward creating a unified agency to inspect people and goods at U.S. air, land and sea ports, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute. However, author Deborah Meyers finds that the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) still has significant weaknesses that could undermine border security if they are not confronted squarely and soon." Source: Migration Policy Institute

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Red States Benefit from Economic Freedom, Says Study

"States that voted for George W. Bush in the last election tend to have less government regulation and more economic freedom than states that voted for Sen. John Kerry, according to a report released today by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) and Canada’s Fraser Institute. Ten of the 12 states with the most economic freedom were carried by President Bush (Red states), and 7 of the 12 least economically free states were carried by Sen. Kerry (Blue states)." Source: National Center for Policy Analysis/Fraser Institute

Download PDF Report | View online press release

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Report Details Civil Liberties Implications of Faulty Policies

"Academic freedom and scientific inquiry have come under sustained assault since September 11, 2001. Spurred by misguided and often disingenuous security concerns, the Bush Administration has sought to impose growing restrictions on the free flow of scientific information, unreasonable barriers to the use of scientific materials, and increased monitoring of and restrictions on foreign university students." Source : ACLU

Download Full PDF Report | Download Executive Summary (PDF)

Highlights of the Foundation Center's Foundations Yearbook

"Giving by the nation’s over 66,000 grantmaking foundations slipped 0.4 percent to $30.3 billion in 2003, following a 0.2 percent dip in the prior year. Nonetheless, foundations in the Northeast raised their level of giving 3.1 percent in the latest year, led by strong growth in funding by foundations based in Maine and New Jersey. Similarly, grantmakers in theWest managed a 1.3 percent increase in their giving, buoyed by gains in giving by foundations in Wyoming and California. In contrast, Midwestern and Southern foundations registered declines of 5.4 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. By share of overall giving, the Northeast continued to lead, followed by the South. The West ranked third, surpassing the Midwest for the first time on record." Source: Foundation Center

Download Highlights Report

The full report can be purchased from the Foundation Center

The Deep Throat File

FBI Memos Detail Mark Felt's Involvement in Efforts to Identify Secret Watergate Source

"The senior FBI official now revealed as "Deep Throat" - the Watergate source for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward - ordered his subordinates to "forcibly remind all agents of the need to be most circumspect in talking about this case with anyone outside the Bureau" according to declassified FBI documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Many of these documents - which were declassified in 1980 - have been cited in recent articles in The Nation magazine and the Washington Post."

"The documents show that Mark Felt, as the FBI's number two man in 1972, had intimate access to files pertaining to the FBI's Watergate investigation, putting him in a position where he was both leaking crucial information to Woodward and overseeing an FBI probe into the source of these leaks." Source: National Security Archive

Link to site containing declassified documents

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans

Abstract : Using Census and CPS data, we show that U.S.-born Mexican Americans who marry non-Mexicans are substantially more educated and English proficient, on average, than are Mexican Americans who marry co-ethnics (whether they be Mexican Americans or Mexican immigrants). In addition, the non-Mexican spouses of intermarried Mexican Americans possess relatively high levels of schooling and English proficiency, compared to the spouses of endogamously married Mexican Americans. The human capital selectivity of Mexican intermarriage generates corresponding differences in the employment and earnings of Mexican Americans and their spouses. Moreover, the children of intermarried Mexican Americans are much less likely to be identified as Mexican than are the children of endogamous Mexican marriages. These forces combine to produce strong negative correlations between the education, English proficiency, employment, and earnings of Mexican-American parents and the chances that their children retain a Mexican ethnicity. Such findings raise the possibility that selective ethnic attrition might bias observed measures of intergenerational progress for Mexican Americans. Authors : Brian Duncan, Stephen J. Trejo | Source : NBER

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Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling In Germany: Evidence and Interpretation

Abstract : We estimate the impact of compulsory schooling on earnings using the changes in compulsory schooling laws for secondary schools in West German states during the period from 1948 to 1970. While our research design is very similar to studies for various other countries, we find very different estimates of the returns. Most estimates in the literature indicate returns in the range of 10 to 15 percent. We find no return to compulsory schooling in Germany in terms of higher wages. We investigate whether this is due to labor market institutions or the existence of the apprenticeship training system in Germany, but find no evidence for these explanations. We conjecture that the result might be due to the fact that the basic skills most relevant for the labor market are learned earlier in Germany than in other countries. Authors : Jorn-Steffen Pischke, Till von Wachter | Source : NBER

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The Social Context of Childrearing: Public Spending in Oakland, 1970-2000

This paper takes stock of spending in Oakland on children from 1970-2000, in order to gauge the trends in families’ “collective consumption.” Using funding for schools, parks, libraries, museum and the police as a proxy for public spending on children’s lives generally, I find that while monies for parks and the museum declined, funding for police and libraries stayed level. Schools offer a more complex case, in which increases in per-pupil expenditures may be mitigated by ballooning needs for special education services, and in which parent-raised funds contribute further to intra- and inter-district inequality. I propose the notion of “concentric rings of consumption” to analytically treat these parent-raised funds, which are not quite private but not quite public either. After reviewing a case of privatized educational services, I suggest that public spending decreases lead to three linked and overlapping outcomes: “compensatory spending,” or the individual’s choice to buy goods and services, “public squalor,” or the fraying of public services left to those who have no other option, and “ambient privatization,” or the perception of the first two of these trends. Author : Allison Pugh, University of California, Berkeley | Source : Institute for the Study of Social Change. ISSC Fellows Working Papers.

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How Objective is Objectivity? A Critique of Current Trends in Educational Research

Abstract : This paper explores the question of objectivity, focusing considerable attention on its explicit and implicit goals. It engages the critiques of positivism and objectivity from a variety of theoretical lenses including critical theory, poststructuralism, critical pedagogy, postcolonialism and feminism. It then explores recent trends in educational research that tend to fit within the positivist framework, including the recent National Research Council report Scientific Research in Education. It concludes by offering an alternative vision of critical educational research, where objectivity is abandoned as a goal and standpoint theory and critical hermeneutics are combined to create a more reflexive, phenomenological and dialogical epistemology founded on clear ethical and political positionality. Author : Richard Van Heertum, University of California, Los Angeles | Source : InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies. Vol. 1, Issue 2, Article 5.

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Memory Slain: Recovering Cultural Heritage in Post-war Bosnia

Abstract : Violent conflicts between ethnic and religious groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the first half of the 1990s found both civilians and cultural heritage targeted for destruction. By attacking cultural heritage such as libraries, archives, museums, religious sites, and historic architecture, factions attempted to manipulate the collective memory of the region. Once the conflict ended, the people of Bosnia and others have made efforts to preserve remnants and reconstruct what was lost. Other routes to regaining the collective memory, including evidence presented in the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, should also be considered to supplement the documentary record. In this way, a more fully realized collective memory can be constructed, so that voices that were once silenced may be heard again. Author : Shannon Supple, University of California, Los Angeles | Source : InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies. Vol. 1, Issue 2, Article 8.

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The Politics of Reform in an Era of "Texas-style" Accountability: An Interview with Angela Valenzuela

"The following interview emerged from a mutual interest in understanding the nature and politics of school reform in an era, as Angela Valenzuela so pointedly asserts, of "Texas-style" accountability. We were particularly interested in discussing the implications, underlying narratives and motifs of education policy at the state and federal level. In light of these concerns and their role in shaping individually, socially and civically the communities we serve, we felt it necessary to end our discussion on a more personal note, with Angela sharing her views and experiences on actively transforming the status of education." Source : InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies. Vol. 1, Issue 2, Article 9.

Download (PDF) Interview

Review: Adolescent Boys: Exploring Diverse Cultures of Boyhood edited by Niobe Way and Judy Y. Chu.

Abstract : In their edited volume, Adolescent Boys: Exploring Diverse Cultures of Boyhood, Niobe Way and Judy Chu draw on empirical research to enrich current representations of boys development. They state that their main goal is to challenge stereotypes about adolescent boys propagated in social research and the popular media that is, to dispel myths of adolescent boys and, in particular, minority boys as "at-risk," "problematic," "not interested in intimacy, primarily interested in sex, and emotionally stoic" (p. 3). As editors, their commitment to a broader and deeper understanding of boys is reflected in the range of topics examined (e.g., identity development, family, peer, and romantic relationships, and schooling experiences), samples studied (e.g., boys from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds), and methods employed (e.g., quantitative and qualitative approaches are utilized). As a whole, although the volume highlights when generalizations about boys are appropriate and when they should be tempered, it should not be read as a comprehensive overview of previous research conducted on adolescent boys. Authors : Amy Bellmore, University of California, Los Angeles | Adrienne Nishina, University of California, Los Angeles Source :InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies. Vol. 1, Issue 2, Article 14.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

The Declining Significance of Race

Race-Based Affirmative Action in College Admissions between 1986 and 2003

Abstract : Using eighteen years of data from more than 1,300 four-year colleges and universities in the United States, we investigate the extent to which institutional prestige, school sector, ethnic composition relative to that of the state, and changes in state affirmative action policy influence the propensity of colleges to consider race/ethnicity in their admissions decisions. We find that stated preferences for minority students in admissions increase slightly from 1986 to the early 1990s but then decline sharply from the mid 1990s until 2003. The decline is more pronounced for public than otherwise similar private institutions. More prestigious institutions are more likely to engage in affirmative action than other institutions and public institutions are more likely to engage in affirmative action at the beginning of our period of study than private institutions. Institutional support for affirmative action is affected both directly and indirectly by court decisions and administrative policies that restrict affirmative action. Effects of other policies, including ballot initiatives and laws, are less clear. We argue that sociological theories of stratification are ill equipped to explain the observed patterns of institutional preferences for minority students and suggest a rearticulation of Turner’s notion of sponsored mobility as a useful theoretical alternative. Authors : Eric Grodsky, University of California, Davis , Demetra Kalogrides, University of California, Davis

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances

"Compares family and nonfamily violence statistics from victimization through the different stages of the justice system. Family violence is defined as all types of violent crime committed by an offender who is related to the victim and includes spouse abuse, parental violence against a child, and violence among other family members. Nonfamily relationships used for comparison include boyfriends and girlfriends, friends and acquaintances, and strangers. Data are drawn from victimization surveys, official police statistics, State and Federal court statistics, and surveys of inmates in State prisons and local jails." Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Statistical Tables are also available : [link to site]

State Activities to Improve Service Delivery Systems for Individuals with Co-Occurring Mental and Addictive Disorders

"individuals in the United States are estimated to suffer from co-occurring mental and substance abuse-related disorders. Many states are actively planning and implementing strategies to improve service delivery systems for this population. This paper investigates the programmatic, financing, organizational, and related strategies that nine states are pursuing, as well as practices and models that local programs in those states are employing to better serve people with co-occurring mental and addictive disorders." Source: RAND Corporation

Download PDF: Summary | Full Report

A New Perspective on the US-China Trade Debate: Asia's Emerging Union

"The United States needs to improve its competitiveness and productivity in response to the challenge of Asian integration. Priorities should include restoring control over government finances and raising national savings; coordinated measures to reduce global trade and financial imbalances; adopting new measures to open markets and enforce trade agreements; strengthening government commitments to basic science; ensuring that education reforms, worker training, and visa policies allow American businesses and universities to attract international talent; and seeking continued improvements to high-tech and traditional infrastructure." Source: The China Business Forum

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Survey Research on Voter Attitudes Toward Internet Security Issues

"Voters are becoming increasingly insecure about using the Internet. In fact, the fear of identity theft is keeping many consumers from doing business online. While voters may not be particularly well-versed in the details of 'spyware' and 'phishing,' they have little faith in the ability of the market to root out bad actors and instead feel that government ought to be doing more to keep the Internet safe. The more voters learn about spyware, the more concerned they get, but they also realize that there are differences between different kinds of software that operate in the background. Voters believe that the Congress – not the states – should pass spyware legislation that focuses on punishing perpetrators who use spyware for fraudulent purposes."

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Report of the Task Force on the United Nations: American Interests and UN Reform

"The bipartisan Task Force on the United Nations, led by Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and George Mitchell, former majority leader of the Senate, and coordinated by the Institute of Peace, released its report on June 15. Mandated by Congress at the request of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), the report offers an actionable agenda for Congress to strengthen the United Nations." Source : UNIP

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Employee Sentiment and Stock Option Compensation

Abstract : The use of equity-based compensation for employees in the lower ranks of large organizations is a puzzle for standard economic theory: undiversified employees should discount company equity heavily, and any positive incentive effects should be diminished by free rider problems. We analyze whether the popularity of option compensation for rank and file employees may be driven by employee optimism. We develop a model of optimal compensation policy for a firm faced with employees with positive or negative sentiment, and explicitly take into account that current and potential employees are able to purchase equity in the firm through the stock market. We show that employee optimism by itself is insufficient to make equity compensation optimal for the firm. Any behavioral explanation for equity compensation based on employee optimism requires two ingredients: first, employees need be over-optimistic about firm value, and second, firms must be able to extract part of the implied rents even though employees can purchase company equity in the market. Such rent extraction becomes feasible if employees prefer the non-traded compensation options offered by firms to the traded equity offered by the market, or if the traded equity is overvalued. We then provide empirical evidence confirming that firms use broad-based option compensation when boundedly rational employees are likely to be excessively optimistic about company stock, and when employees are likely to have a strict preference for options over stock. Authors : Nittai K. Bergman, Dirk Jenter | Source : NBER

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O.E.D. List of New Words

Amuse-bouche, ankle-biter, dagnabbit, ka-ching, Lib-Dem, and tankini are all new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary this month.

Here's the full list [link]

If you haven't played with the online O.E.D.yet, try it. Using the Advanced Search you can easily find the "first cited author," and "first cited date" of words. Did you know Jane Austen was the first cited author for the word "baseball" in 1815?

Most University libraries subscribe to the online O.E.D., if you're on the Stanford network you can access it through the following links : Main Page | Advanced Search Page

Monday, June 13, 2005

GlobalLex : A Guide to the U. S. Federal Legal System

"This guide was originally prepared to be added with similar guides for legal research of many foreign jurisdictions. The intended audience was global in scope and one without access to the printed sources and fee-based databases in American federal law. Since its first publication I have come to realize that the audience includes many internet users who require reliable legal sources through publicly accessible web-based databases. Many of the materials here are recent and not comprehensive in scope and date coverage. The guide is not intended to supplant traditional sources of legal research. It is my hope that it serves as an introduction to the field and leads the user to a more comprehensive exploration of American federal law."
Author: Gretchen Feltes, Faculty Services/Reference Librarian at New York University School of Law Library

What makes this site valuable to academic and scholarly researchers are the collected links to a wide variety of federal sources such as a list of presidential vetoes as far back as 1789, committee reports and documents, executive orders and proclimations, biographical information on federal judges etc.

There is also a link to the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents which include "statements, nominations, messages, speeches, press conferences and other Presidential materials released by the White House in the preceding week."

link to resource

World War II--Video Archive

This collection consists of short films and news clips, primarily in black and white, documenting Allied operations and activities during WWII. In addition to footage of campaigns in Europe and in the Pacific, the films document activities on the homefront, including the efforts of African American colleges and farmers, the relocation and internment of Japanese civilians, and the victory garden program sponsored by the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense. Source: Ball State University, Digital Library Initiative, Educational Resources Center

Link to site

Friday, June 10, 2005

WSSLinks : Women and Gender Studies Web Sites

Created and maintained by the Women's Studies Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries, WSSLinks is a collection of resources in support of Women's Studies. Collected into sections ranging from art, business, film, philosophy, music, science and technology, theology, history, archives, and more. Source : ACRL.

Link to site

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Article : College students have evolved from clients to consumers

"Before the 1960s, the college student's role was that of a client, seeking the expertise and knowledge of the faculty, said Roger L. Geiger, distinguished professor of higher education. But during the 1960s and 1970s, the situation began to change perceptibly when student activists and certain administrators made significant changes to their college's curriculum, such as eliminating required courses and adding more "relevant" courses demanded by students. Also, policies such as mandatory attendance and comprehensive final exams were relaxed." Source : Penn State Live

Link to online article

The 2004 Racial and Gender Report Card: College Sports

"The 2004 Racial and Gender Report Card for College Sport showed that NCAA member institutions improved their record for gender hiring practices but lost ground on hiring practices by race. This was the final part of the 2004 Report Card and followed the release of the reports on the NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and Major League Soccer." Source: Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, College of Business, University of Central Florida

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Other reports available for download from this site : [link]

Early Violent Death Among Delinquent Youth: A Prospective Longitudinal Study

"The study found that 65 young people died during the follow-up period, all from causes other than illness. In 95.5 percent of the deaths, the cause was homicide or injuries resulting from a police officer’s apprehension efforts; 1.1 percent were suicides; 1.3 percent were from motor vehicle accidents; 0.5 percent were from other accidents; and 1.6 percent were from other external causes. Among homicides, 93 percent were from gunshot wounds." Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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Assigning Deviant Youths to Minimize Total Harm

Abstract : A common practice in the fields of education, mental health, and juvenile justice is to segregate problem youths in groups with deviant peers. Assignments of this sort, which concentrate deviant youths, may facilitate deviant peer influence and lead to perverse outcomes. This possibility adds to the list of arguments in support of "mainstreaming" whenever possible. But there are other concerns that help justify segregated-group assignments, including efficiency of service delivery and protection of the public. Our analysis organizes the discussion about the relevant tradeoffs. First, the number of deviant youths (relative to the size of the relevant population, or to the number of assignment locations) affects whether the harm-minimizing assignment calls for diffusion or segregation. Second, the nature of the problematic behavior is relevant; behavior which has a direct, detrimental effect on others who share the assignment makes a stronger case for segregation. Third, the capacity for behavior control matters, and may make the difference in a choice between segregation and integration. We briefly discuss the empirical literature, which with some exceptions is inadequate to the task of providing clear guidance about harm-minimizing assignment strategies. Finally, we reflect briefly on the medical-practice principle "first do no harm," and contrast it with the claims of potential victims of deviants. Authors : Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig | Source : NBER

Download PDF (Available to Stanford Network)

BBC Four - Audio Interviews

Collection of over 100 audio clips of "cultural greats of the 20th Century talking about their work." The wide variety of interviews include clips and short biographies of Enid Blyton, Judi Dench, Le Corbusier, Bob Marley, Nureyev, Pele, Shaw, Tutu and political activist Michael Young (CASBS fellow 1959). Most of the clips are under 5 minutes long. Site is searchable and browsable by last name and clustered by categories such as writers, political activists, philosophers, actors, etc.

Link to site

The Role of Non-Farm Incomes in Reducing Rural Poverty and Inequality in China

Abstract : China’s record in reducing rural poverty has been nothing short of spectacular and should be a source of lessons for other countries. Rural poverty reduction is generally sought in the role of agriculture in contributing to farm incomes. However, non-farm employment in rural areas can also be a major contributor. Using detailed household survey data from Hubei province, we simulate the counterfactual of what rural households’ incomes, poverty, and inequality would be in the absence of access to non-farm sources of income. Results show that, without non-farm employment, rural poverty would be much higher and deeper, and that income inequality would be higher as well. We find that education, proximity to town, neighborhood effects, and village effects are crucial in helping particular households gain access to these opportunities. We also find that those who stay as pure farmers have non-observable characteristics that make them much more productive in agriculture, implying positive selection on these characteristics. Moreover, participation in non-farm activities has a positive spillover effect on household farm production.
Authors : Alain de Janvry, Elisabeth Sadoulet, and Nong Zhu | Source : Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, U. C. Berkeley

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Global Girl: How International Trade Liberalization Benefits Women

"This paper explains how trade improves the products and services we enjoy in America and helps create better jobs and spur economic growth. In particular, this paper focuses on how women benefit from the free flow of goods between countries and why they should support further efforts to liberalize the global market." Source: Indpendent Women's Forum

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Aggregating Conflict: The Impact of Municipal Boundaries on Electoral Politics

Abstract: This article examines the impact of city size on electoral competition for city council office. Models from election systems design are applied in the municipal contest in order to evaluate the impact of government structure as an intervening variable. Results show that city size matters even after electoral structure and socio-political diversity have been taken into account. District magnitude has a pronounced impact on electoral fragmentation, to the effect that each additional seat being contested adds two “effective” candidates to the race. Incumbency effects, election timing, and other institutional boundaries are also shown to be relevant factors conditioning electoral fragmentation. Author : Michael Latner, University of California, Irvine | Source : Center for the Study of Democracy, U.C. Irvine

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Oxytocin increases Trust in Humans

From Nature Article: "Can you bottle trust? The answer, it seems, is yes. Researchers have produced a potion that, when sniffed, makes people more likely to give their cash to someone to look after.

A Swiss-led research team tested their creation on volunteers playing an investment game for real money. When they inhaled the nasal spray, investors were more likely to hand over money to a trustee, knowing that, although they could make a hefty profit, they could also lose everything if the trustee decided not to give any of the money back."

Dr. Ernst Fehr, a professor of economics at the University of Zurich provides his paper online:

Oxytocin increases Trust in Humans, NATURE 435, 2 June 2005, 673-676 (with Michael Kosfeld, Markus Heinrichs, Paul Zak and Urs Fischbacher)

Download PDF Paper

Antonio Damasio on Brain Trust, NATURE 435, 2 June 2005, 571-572

Related research by Dr. Ernst Fehr :

Neuroeconomic Foundations of Trust and Social Preferences, forthcoming in American Economic Review (with Urs Fischbacher and Michael Kosfeld)

The Neuroeconomics of Mind Reading and Empathy, forthcoming in American Economic Review (with Tania Singer)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

China: National Library opens digital portal

"A digital portal to collections of the National Library of China was opened on May 29, providing online search and accession to digitalized resources of the library. As the latest public service platform launched by the library, the D-portal combines 37 Chinese-language data banks, 77 foreign language data banks, 16,000-odd periodicals in both Chinese and foreign languages, as well as special resources including local records..." Source: People's Daily

Link to Library Digital Portal | People's Daily Article

Revaluing the Yuan: Where Politics and Economics Collide

"As the Bush administration continues to pressure China to allow the yuan to rise against the dollar in order to stave off protectionist legislation in the U.S. Senate, Chinese officials continue to reply that they will not be coerced into taking action by a foreign government meddling in a matter of national sovereignty. Faculty members at Wharton and other China-watchers predict that China will eventually revalue the yuan, probably this year, because it is in China's own long-term interest to do so. These experts also note that the United States, by trying to force the issue in a vociferous, public manner, is possibly delaying the revaluation. In addition, they say, revaluing the yuan will not revitalize industries that have been battered by the movement of certain jobs to China, where labor and production costs are cheap." Source: Knowledge@Wharton

Link to full online article

No Child Left Behind: The Dangers of Centralized Education Policy

"Instead of using centralized decrees to turn mediocre institutions into excellent ones, as they have been trying but failing to do for the last several decades, the state and federal governments should be empowering individual families to 'vote with their feet' by transferring to the schools of their own choice. The key locus for such revolutionary reforms is the states. The best contribution the national government can make to educational improvement is to avoid educational policymaking and allow states to experiment with school choice programs." Source: The Cato Institute

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American Public Support for U.S. Military Operations from Mogadishu to Baghdad

"The support of the American public is widely held to be a critical prerequisite for undertaking military action abroad. This monograph describes American public opinion toward wars and other large military operations over the last decade, to delineate the sources of support and opposition for each war or operation, to identify the principal fault lines in support, and to illuminate those factors that are consistent predictors of support for and opposition to military operations." Source: RAND Corporation

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The Gender-Responsive Strategies Project: Jail Applications

"Current research about women offenders and strategies for evaluating current operating procedures related to women offenders are covered. Sections of this bulletin include: introduction; women in jail -- their numbers and characteristics; the Gender-Responsive Strategies project -- approach and findings; six gender-responsive guiding principles -- implications for jail administrators; jail classification and gender-responsive strategies for implementation in a jail setting; challenges and how to overcome them; parity and equity in programming; next steps; improving jail operations -- how jail administrators benefit from considering gender-responsive strategies; Maximizing Opportunities for Mothers to Succeed (MOMS): Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Oakland, California; and conclusion." Source: National Institute of Corrections

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An Investigation of the Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Policies on Youth Risky Sexual Behaviors

Abstract: The problems of teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and the high rates of other sexually transmitted diseases among youth have lead to widespread concern with the sexual behaviors of teenagers. Alcohol use is one of the most commonly cited correlates of risky sexual behavior. The purpose of this research is to investigate the causal role of alcohol in determining sexual activity and risky sexual behavior among teenagers and young adults. This research also addresses the question of whether there are public policies that can reduce the risky sexual behavior that results in harmful consequences. Individual and aggregate level data are used to investigate these questions. Results show that alcohol use appears to have no causal influence in determining whether or not a teenage has sex. However, alcohol use may lower contraception use among sexually active teens. Authors:Sara MarkowitzRobert Kaestner, Michael Grossman | Source : NBER

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

An Empirical Analysis of ‘Acting White'

"There is a debate among social scientists regarding the existence of a peer externality commonly referred to as ‘acting white.’ Using a newly available data set (the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health), which allows one to construct an objective measure of a student’s popularity, we demonstrate that there are large racial differences in the relationship between popularity and academic achievement; our (albeit narrow) definition of ‘acting white.’ The effect is intensified among high achievers and in schools with more interracial contact, but non-existent among students in predominantly black schools or private schools. The patterns in the data appear most consistent with a two-audience signaling model in which investments in education are thought to be indicative of an individual’s opportunity costs of peer group loyalty. Other models we consider, such as self-sabotage among black youth or the presence of an oppositional culture, all contradict the data in important ways." Source: Roland G. Fryer, Jr. and Paul Torelli (Harvard University)

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Diversity and the Ph.D.

"A new Woodrow Wilson report shows that, despite decades-long national efforts and some gains in enrollments, African Americans and Hispanics are still significantly underrepresented among recipients of Ph.D.s in the United States. The two groups, according to Diversity and the Ph.D., comprise 32% of all U.S. citizens in the typical age range of Ph.D. candidates (25-40), but just 11% of all U.S. citizens earning Ph.D.s—and only 7% of all doctoral recipients, including international students." Source: Woodrow Wilson Foundation

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The Condition of Education 2005

The Condition of Education 2005 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The report presents 40 indicators on the status and condition of education and a special analysis of the mobility of elementary and secondary school teachers. The indicators represent a consensus of professional judgment on the most significant national measures of the condition and progress of education for which accurate data are available. The 2005 print edition includes 40 indicators in six main areas:
(1) enrollment trends and student characteristics at all levels of the education system from elementary education to adult learning;
(2) student achievement and the longer term, enduring effects of education;
(3) student effort and rates of progress through the educational system among different population groups;
(4) the contexts of elementary and secondary education in terms of courses taken, teacher characteristics, and other factors;
(5) the contexts of postsecondary education; and
(6) societal support for learning, including parental and community support for learning, and public and private financial support of education at all levels.

The report is browsable through the website and indicators are downloadable as individual PDF reports.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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Do politicians use the press to get free advertising?

Abstract: "If the media is biased towards conflict, candidates and issues raised negatively will receive more news coverage. I test this hypothesis using a new data set from the 2000 California election. Preliminary results show negative campaigning increases press coverage."
Author:Garrett R. Asay, University of California, Irvine | Source: Center for the Study of Democracy Symposium: Democracy and Its Development.

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