Friday, September 30, 2005

Stonewalled: Police abuse and misconduct against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the US

"In a new report titled Stonewalled: Police abuse and misconduct against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the US, Amnesty International (AI) documents serious patterns of police misconduct and brutality — including abuses that amount to torture and ill-treatment — against LGBT individuals. Profiling of LGBT individuals as criminal; selective enforcement of laws; sexual, physical and verbal abuse; inappropriate searches and mistreatment in detention remain commonplace, as does a lack of accountability for perpetrators." Source: Amnesty International

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When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2003 Homicide Data

"This annual report details national and state-by-state information on female homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender. The VPC releases the study each year to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. In 2003, the most recent data available from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report, firearms were the most common weapon used by males to murder females (835 of 1,678 homicides or 50 percent). Of these, 77 percent (647 of 835) were committed with handguns. Alaska ranks first in the nation in the rate of women killed by men. Ranked behind Alaska are: Nevada, Louisiana, New Mexico, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. Nationally, the rate was 1.31 per 100,000." Source: Violence Policy Center

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Election Day Survey

"In the fall of 2004, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) distributed the first-ever Election Day Survey, requesting voting and elections information from election officials throughout the country. Collecting this information is part of EAC's mission to provide resources and guidance to policy makers and election officials as we work together to make sure every vote is counted fairly and accurately. The 2004 Election Day Survey is the largest and most comprehensive survey on election administration ever conducted by a U.S. governmental organization, and we thank the nation's secretaries of state and state and local elections officials for their cooperation and contribution." Source: United States Election Assistance Commission

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Also available : State Data Tables

Rise, Peak and Decline: Trends in U.S. Immigration 1992 – 2004

"The number of migrants coming to the United States each year, legally and illegally, grew very rapidly starting in the mid-1990s, hit a peak at the end of the decade, and then declined substantially after 2001. By 2004, the annual inflow of foreign-born persons was down 24% from its all-time high in 2000, according to the Pew Hispanic Center analysis of multiple datasets collected by the Census Bureau and other government agencies." Source : Pew Hispanic Center

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Chasing the Dragon: Assessing China’s System of Export Controls for WMD-Related Goods and Technologies

"China’s export controls on equipment, materials, and technologies used to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have evolved significantly since the early 1980s. This monograph examines the structure and operation of the Chinese government’s system of controls on exports that could be used in the production of WMD and WMD-related delivery systems. The author identifies the key organizations involved in export control decisionmaking, relevant laws and regulations, and the interactions among government organizations involved in vetting sensitive exports." Source : RAND Corp.

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Does Private Money Buy Public Policy? Campaign Contributions and Regulatory Outcomes in Telecommunications

Abstract : To what extent can market participants affect the outcomes of regulatory policy? In this paper, we study the effects of one potential source of influence - campaign contributions - from competing interests in the local telecommunications industry, on regulatory policy decisions of state public utility commissions. Using a unique new data set, we find, in contrast to much of the literature on campaign contributions, that there is a significant effect of private money on regulatory outcomes. Indeed, this result is robust to numerous alternative specifications and persists with instrumentation. We also assess the extent of omitted variable bias that would have to exist to obviate the estimated result. We find that for our result to be spurious, omitted variables would have to explain more than five times the variation in the mix of private money as is explained by the variables included in our analysis. We consider this to be very unlikely. Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Berkeley

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Networks and Small Groups

Abstract : Homans' insights that interaction and sentiment are in a feedback loop that includes clique formation, social ranking and leadership are formalized and derived from a set of limited assumptions and propositions. Freeman's model of groups is used to detect pure informal groups, those that are not consequential upon anything else than sheer hanging around. It produces a system of cliques and rankings based purely on the rates of transitive triads that may include a third who is only weakly connected to the other two. Two assumptions about motivation in networks - the need for safety and efficacy are then combined with Gould's modeling of asymmetric relations in which members are valued for either intrinsic or extrinsic merits. The ratings tend to cascade according to the "Matthew Effect." Finally, people like to choose others who are more attractive than they are, subject to the condition that too much unrequited love is painful. Gould's Formalization of these ideas for the case of small groups produces, among other results, the consequence that those who are chosen more often than others also tend to direct interaction more towards others with lesser rank, a non-intuitive result observed by Homans, but explained by him in substantive rather than formal terms. The logic of rank further dictates that groups become segmented by structural equivalence. Other results are also summarized. Author : Charles Kadushin, Brandeis University

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Neighborhood Choice and Neighborhood Change

Abstract : This paper examines the relationships between the residential choices of individuals and aggregate patterns of neighborhood change. We investigate the conditions under which individuals' preferences for the race-ethnic composition of their neighborhoods produce high levels of segregation. Using computational models, we find that high levels of segregation occur only when individuals' preferences follow a threshold function. If individuals make finer-grained distinctions among neighborhoods that vary in racial composition, preferences alone do not lead to segregation. Vignette data from the Detroit Area Study and the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality indicate that individuals respond in a continuous way to variations in the racial makeup of neighborhoods rather than to a threshold. Our findings suggest that race preferences alone are insufficient to account for the high levels of segregation observed in American cities. Source : California Center for Population Research University of California, Los Angeles

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Formal Aspects of the Emergence of Institutions

Abstract : We argue that social institutions emerge on the basis of the human cognitive ability to integrate an evaluation of the behavior and performances of other group members over long time periods. The results of those evaluations are condensed into the social status of an individual, and that status is the link between short time achievements and long term success within the group. Altruistic behavior on a short time scale can be advantageous for an individual on a longer time scale as it contributes to her or his status. Conversely, for example, building mating decisions not on events that may be quite random on a short time scale, but on long term accumulations is an evolutionarily rational behavior because it reduces stochastic fluctuations by averaging. Our proposal does not need any group selection scheme. It calls some approaches to computer simulations of social dynamics into question. It is based on considerations from system theory, in particular, concerning the integration of different temporal scales. It utilizes a new concept of emergence as opposed to self-organization through non-linear interactions of simple elements. It requires further studies from the social sciences to understand that scale shift as encoded in social status.Source : Juergen Jost, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, U.C. Irvine

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Lost, Dysfunctional or Evolving? A View of Business Schools from Silicon Valley

Abstract : Recent articles have rekindled discussions around the direction and relevance of US business schools. The two main viewpoints are distinct but equally critical. On one hand, business schools are considered overly focused on "scientific research" and having lost their connection to "real world" and management issues. On the other hand, schools are considered "dysfunctionally" focused on media rankings and short-term superficial marketing fixes. Our study of educational opportunities and workforce development in Silicon Valley suggests a different viewpoint. We agree that both approaches correctly identify the challenge of preparing managers in globalized world. However, we believe they misdiagnose the cause of the failure. Rather than being lost or dysfunctional, we believe business programs -- like the firms and students they serve -- are in the process of evolving to meet a shifting global and local environment. Our findings indicate that business schools face structural, content, and program shifts. Educationally, business programs continue to be seen as doing a good job of educating their students in core functional areas and processes. However, they do less well in teaching their graduates interpersonal skills, real-time decision-making, recognition of contexts, and integration across functional areas. These are increasingly the skills demanded by the global business environment. Even more challenging is meeting the demand for both sets of skills within very specialized fields like technology management. Structurally, new types of students and learning demands are placing stresses on traditional full-time two-year programs and their business models. Women and minority groups increasingly form the majority of the future student population, with distinct needs and demands for part-time and executive education. This shift is also evident in demands for life-long learning and engagement as opposed to a fixed, one-shot program experiences. These challenges require business schools to build upon what they do well, while innovating to serve new business and student needs. Source : University of California, Santa Cruz Center for Global, International and Regional Studies

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Friday, September 23, 2005

The Behavioralist Meets the Market: Measuring Social Preferences and Reputation Effects in Actual Transactions.

Abstract : The role of the market in mitigating and mediating various forms of behavior is perhaps the central issue facing behavioral economics today. This study designs a field experiment that is explicitly linked to a controlled laboratory experiment to examine whether, and to what extent, social preferences influence outcomes in actual market transactions. While agents drawn from a well-functioning marketplace behave in accord with social preference models in tightly controlled laboratory experiments, when observed in their naturally occurring settings their behavior approaches what is predicted by self-interest theory. In the limit, much of the observed behavior in the marketplace that is consistent with social preferences is due to reputational concerns: suppliers who expect to have future interactions with buyers provide higher product quality only when the buyer can verify quality via a third-party certifier. The data also speak to theories of how reputation effects enhance market performance. In particular, reputation and the monitoring of quality are found to be complements, and findings suggest that the private market can solve the lemons problem through third party verification. Source : NBER

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A Month after Katrina: Lessons from Leadership Failures

"Hurricane Katrina not only devastated the city of New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast of the U.S., it initiated a bitter debate about the leadership -- or lack thereof -- exhibited by government officials before, during and after the storm. Called into question have been the actions of an array of leaders: President Bush, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown. To identify some of the leadership challenges raised by the New Orleans disaster, Knowledge@Wharton interviewed two Wharton faculty members and a former Wharton vice dean who is now dean of the business school at Arizona State University."

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Why Employees Walk: 2005 Retention Initiatives Report

"Workers still consider a competitive pay and benefits package to be indispensable, but employers need to offer more than that to keep employees satisfied and on the job. Nearly all of the workforce (96 percent) rated a fair salary as very or somewhat important and 93 percent said the same for benefits. However, when workers’ needs regarding career advancement, the relationship with their manager, and training are not being met, they are more likely to look for a new job than when their salary and benefits are poor." Source: Hudson (The Hudson Employment Index) Raw data available from site.

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"Huge Racial Divide Over Katrina and Its Consequences"

Two-In-Three Critical Of Bush's Relief Efforts : "The American public is highly critical of President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Two-in-three Americans (67%) believe he could have done more to speed up relief efforts, while just 28% think he did all he could to get them going quickly. At the same time, Bush's overall job approval rating has slipped to 40% and his disapproval rating has climbed to 52%, among the highest for his presidency. Uncharacteristically, the president's ratings have slipped the most among his core constituents Republicans and conservatives." Report consists of Summary, questionnaire, and detailed demographic tables. Source : Pew Research Center

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Understanding Katrina: Perspectives from the Social Sciences

"As analyses and 'spin' of the Katrina crisis grow, we confront the sort of public issue to which a social science response is urgently needed. Accordingly, the SSRC has organized this web forum addressing the implications of the tragedy that extend beyond 'natural disaster,' 'engineering failures,' 'cronyism' or other categories of interpretation that do not directly examine the underlying issues—political, social and economic—laid bare by the events surrounding Katrina. Essays on this site explore a number of subjects...."Source: Social Science Research Council

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Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act

"This Guide is intended to serve as a general introduction to the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act. It offers neither a comprehensive explanation of the details of these acts nor an analysis of case law. The Guide will enable those who are unfamiliar with the laws to understand the process and to make a request. In addition, the complete text of each law is included in an appendix." Source: House Committee on Government Reform

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Memo to John Roberts: The Gender Wage Gap is Real

"Equal pay and the wage gap have become central issues in discussions of John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court. Roberts authored documents in 1983 and 1984 suggesting he did not believe that that there was a gender pay gap or that women experienced pay discrimination, and voicing opposition to proposed actions to promote pay equity, including the Equal Rights Amendment and comparable worth remedies.... Census Bureau data show that the gender pay gap was quite real in the 1980’s, and persists today, even among men and women with comparable education levels." Source: Institute for Women's Policy Research

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Grand Jury Report on the Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy

"This report contains the findings of the Grand Jury: how dozens of priests sexually abused hundreds of children; how Philadelphia Archdiocese officials – including Cardinal Bevilacqua and Cardinal Krol – excused and enabled the abuse; and how the law must be changed so that it doesn’t happen again. Some may be tempted to describe these events as tragic. Tragedies such as tidal waves, however, are outside human control. What we found were not acts of God, but of men who acted in His name and defiled it."
Source: Philadelphia District Attorney's Office

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The Chief Justice of the United States: Responsibilites of the Office and Process for Appointment

"All other things being equal, the appointment of a Chief Justice, owing to the responsibilities of the office and its symbolic importance, is foremost among the appointments that a President makes to the Supreme Court. Under any circumstances, it will command the attention of Congress, especially the Senate, which votes on whether to confirm judicial nominations. Even more attention is expected in the current political environment, in light of the controversy that has recently surrounded the judicial appointment process and the importance that the President and Senators of both parties have attached to upcoming Supreme Court appointments." Source : Congressional Research Service

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Exploring Religious Conflict

"Reports the result of a workshop that brought together intelligence analysts and experts on religion with the goal of providing background and a frame of reference for assessing religious motivations in international politics and discovering what causes religiously rooted violence and how states have sought to take advantage of or contain religious violence — with emphasis on radical Islam."Source: RAND Corporation

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Friday, September 16, 2005

The Cost of Sexual Violence in the U.S. Armed Forces

"Violence against women choosing to serve in the armed forces is a public health concern. Women who are raped or assaulted while on active duty are more likely to report chronic health problems, prescription medication use for emotional problems, failure to complete college, and annual incomes of less than $25,000. Decades after experiencing rape or physical assault during military service, women report decreased health-related quality of life, with limitations of physical and emotional health, education and financial attainment, and severe, recurrent problems with social activities..." Source: The Miles Foundation

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The Participation of Women in Western Armed Forces: Between a Gender and Politic Dimension

"From a documentary research, this article outlines the differences of the women’s participation in some western armed forces (including Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom) throughout a sociological and political viewpoint." Source: Baldy Center For Law & Social Policy, University at Buffalo Law School (Military Culture and Gender Conference)

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Do Accountability and Voucher Threats Improve Low-Performing Schools?

Abstract : In this paper we study the effects of the threat of school vouchers and school stigma in Florida on the performance of "low-performing" schools using student-level data from a subset of districts. Estimates of the change in school-level high-stakes test scores from the first year of the reform are consistent with the early results used by the state of Florida to claim large-scale improvements associated with the threat of voucher assignment. However, we also find that much of this estimated effect may be due to other factors. While we estimate a small relative improvement in reading scores on the high-stakes test for voucher-threatened/stigmatized schools, we estimate a much smaller relative improvement on a lower-stakes, nationally norm-referenced, test. Further, the relative gains in reading scores are explained largely by changing student characteristics. We find more evidence for a positive differential effect on math test scores on both the low- and highstakes tests, however, the results from the lower-stakes test appear primarily limited to students in the high-stakes grade. Finally, we find some evidence that the relative improvements following the introduction of the A Plan by low-performing schools were more due to the stigma of receiving the low grade rather than the threat of vouchers. Authors: David N. Figlio and Cecilia Elena Rouse | Source: NBER

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"Why Are Some Public Officials more Corrupt Than Others?

Abstract : Using detailed Peruvian data measuring bribery, I assess which types of public official are most corrupt and why. I distinguish between the bribery rate and the size of bribes received, and seek to explain the variation in each across public institutions. The characteristics of officials’ clients explain most of the variation for bribery rates, but none for bribe amounts. A measure of the speed of honest service at the institution explains much of the remaining variation for both bribery rates and amounts. The results indicate that the bribery rate is higher at institutions with bribe-prone clients, and that bribery rates and bribe amounts are higher where clients are frustrated at slow service. Faster and better service would reduce corruption. Overall, the judiciary and the police are by far the most corrupt institutions. Author : Jennifer Hunt | Source : National Bureau of Economic Research

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The Limits of Multiculturalism

Abstract : Since the antiracist debates of the 1990s, it has been proper parlance in leftist circles to speak of multiculturalism as a particular kind of racism.

But what does the subject of racism have to do with multiculturalism? Even if one were to disregard the unreasonable conception that the subject is racist in the sense of a “full subordination of the individual under a paranoid system of meanings and perceptions of the world” (Demirovic, 1991), a link is all too quickly forged between the violent racism of Neo-Nazis and a concept of multiculturalism that was originally located in the context of antiracist practice. Succinctly put, “In the antiracist scene, it has lately become a common position to criticize multiculturalism in civil society as racism” (Bojadzijev/Tsianos 2000).

The use of the concept “racism” thus plays a dual, ambivalent role. In the 1990s, it took hold on the left as a political concept to describe local relations; throughout the 1980s, the term had been used more broadly in relation to South Africa’s apartheid regime or to describe “racial unrest” in the USA. In contrast, racist practices and ideologies in the Federal Republic of Germany have been identified in part with the concept of xenophobia. While xenophobia appeared to have more to do with a subject’s diffuse and irrational disposition, “racism” engaged in a systematic dispute with discriminatory, racializing practices in state and societal relations. At the same time, in the post-War era in Europe, the term racism was linked with the folkish-racist politics of National Socialism to the extent that the political weight of western liberal democracies’ condemnatory declarations resonated with the racism concept as well. Against this backdrop, allegations of racism were a political weapon not to be underestimated. Author : Serhat Karakayali, University of Frankfurt | Source : TRANSIT, U.C. Berkeley Department of German

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Policy Preferences and Congressional Representation: The Relationship Between Public Opinion and Policymaking in Today's Congress

Abstract : For what kind of policies are elected officials more likely to be responsive to public opinion? The limited research in this area has found varying degrees of strength in the relationship between public opinion and policy on different policy domains. But scholarship about this important question has been handicapped by a lack of adequate measures and estimates of constituency opinion on policy issues. In this paper, I use the unprecedented statistical power and breadth of the 2000 National Annenberg Election Study (NAES) to explore the representation of constituency interests in Congress in greater detail than has previously been possible. I examine the relationship between congressional roll-call votes and constituency opinion on 20 different public policy issues. I find that in the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2000, the roll-call votes cast by members of Congress were responsive to public opinion to a significant degree on a wide range of policy issues, including abortion, military spending, education, crime, taxes and the environment. Democratic and Republican lawmakers are responsive to public opinion on substantially different subsets of policies, suggesting a typology of issue responsiveness that is highly dependent on the varying levels of credibility that parties establish with voters on different issues. Source :Institute of Governmental Studies, U.C. Berkeley

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Policy Agendas Project : Policy Analysis tool

"The Policy Agendas Project codes policymaking activity in 19 major topics and 220 subtopics. Each event (a Senate hearing in 1991 for example) is designated as being primarily about one, and only one, major topic, and one subtopic within that major topic."

"The Policy Analysis tool allows you to chart and analyze trends of these major topics over time. Users can analyze attention to different policy topics across venues, utilizing the tool's access to all of the Policy Agendas Projects' databases. In addition, several of the datasets include various filters which if selected will narrow your search. These filters are not mutually exclusive and records can be selected based on any number of characteristics. For example, if you select several of the Hearing dataset's filters, each record will either be included or excluded in the analysis depending on whether it has satisfied all of your criteria."

Supported by grants from NSF and funding from the University of Washington and Penn State.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Provisional Multiculturalism

"Distinguishing between descriptive and normative conceptions of multiculturalism, I argue that multiculturalisms emerged historically to challenge dominant presumptions of demographic, social, and cultural homogeneity. Focusing on contrasting pictures in the US and South Africa, I map the historical curtailments of heterogeneities in each. I conclude by urging multicultural commitments as provisional to the establishment of robust social heterogeneities." Author : David Theo Goldberg, University of California, Irvine/UCHRI | Source : TRANSIT: Vol. 1: No. 1.

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What It’s Worth: Field of Training and Economic Status

From Press Release: "An update on the value of an education, with national earnings data for men and women by level of educational attainment. Data provided by race and Hispanic origin as well. Includes a section on the amount of time it takes people to complete degrees beyond high school." Source : U.S. Census Bureau

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Gender Differences in Major Federal External Grant Programs

"At the request of the National Science Foundation (NSF), this report analyzes administrative data from fiscal years 2001 through 2003 describing the outcomes of grant applications submitted by women versus men to federal agencies. The report focuses on three federal agencies: the National Institutes of Health, NSF, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture." Source: RAND Corporation

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Women doctors and their careers: what now?

"Outmoded career structures and attitudes mean that the UK risks losing out on the valuable contribution women doctors can make, especially in the second half of their careers." Source : British Medical Journal

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The Final Draft of the Iraqi Constitution: Analysis and Commentary

"Iraq’s new draft constitution, originally due on August 15, is finally scheduled to go to the printing presses so that it can be distributed throughout the country. The final text addresses some of the difficult issues—such as federalism, women's rights, religion, and the country's identity—while sidestepping or even complicating many others. The country's voters will head to the polls on October 15 to decide whether to accept or reject the controversial document. Nathan J. Brown, an authority on Arab constitutions, has been closely following the drafting process and offers a detailed, article-by-article commentary on the proposed constitution. Brown explores how the document would change Iraqi politics and what loopholes and gaps still remain. He identifies the many questions the constitution simply postpones, how it is likely to lead to a fairly loose confederation rather than a tighter federal structure, and how its rights provisions are far less revolutionary than has been claimed." Source : Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

NSF Funding Available for Katrina Research

"The Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) priority area of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it will accept SGER proposals for research related to Hurricane Katrina. The HSD priority area seeks to stimulate breakthroughs in knowledge about human action and development, as well as organizational, cultural, and societal adaptation and change."

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The Internet’s impact on college faculty

A "survey of 2,316 U.S. faculty in 48 institutions. The sample is quite diverse and stacks up pretty well with the demographic breakdown of the overall U.S. professor population when it is compared to U.S. Department of Education data. However, it is not a random sample, nor should it be considered the same as a representetive sample of the entire faculty population of the country."

"The report starts at an obvious point by noting that professors are heavy users of the internet, compared to the general population. The remainder of the report has positive and negative findings. On the up side, most faculty interviewed for this research say their use of the internet and email have increased their communication with students and improved their interactions. On the down side, many professors worry about the internet's impact on plagiarism. Further, the professors in this sample reported mixed results about the internet's impact on students' overall performance." Sources : Pew Internet and American Life Project and First Monday.

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Let the People Know the Facts: Can Government Information Removed From the Internet Be Reclaimed?

Abstract : This article examines the legal bases of the public's right to access government information, and examines and analyzes the types of information that have recently been removed from the Internet and the rationales given for the removals. The concerted use of FOIA by public interest groups and their constituents is suggested as a possible method of returning the information to the Internet. The article concludes with a brief review of recent FOIA cases that might provide some guidance on the litigation sure to follow such concerted requests. Author : Susan Nevelow Mart | Source : U.C.Hastings College of Law

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Chronicle of Higher Education : Katrina Update

Here you will find "announcements from affected colleges, and from associations and government agencies." Recent information includes statements from higher-education institutions damaged or closed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and offers from other colleges to accept transfer students or provide other assistance. Source : The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Technological Evolution and Radical Innovation

"Technological change is perhaps the most powerful engine of growth in markets today. To harness this source of growth, firms need answers to key questions about the dynamics of technological change: (1) How do new technologies evolve? (2) How do rival technologies compete? and (3) How do firms deal with technological evolution? Currently, the literature suggests that a new technology seems to evolve along an S-shaped path, which starts below that of an old technology, intersects it once, and ends above the old technology. This belief is based on scattered empirical evidence and some circular definitions. Using new definitions and data on 14 technologies from four markets, the authors examine the shape and competitive dynamics of technological evolution. The results contradict the prediction of a single S-curve. Instead, technological evolution seems to follow a step function, with sharp improvements in performance following long periods of no improvement. Moreover, paths of rival technologies may cross more than once or not at all." Source : Journal of Marketing and Knowledge@Emory

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Arts and Humanities: Background on Funding

"Funding for the arts and humanities is a perennial issue in Congress. Although arts funding represents less than 1% of the Bush Administration’s FY2006 total estimated budget authority, Congress continues to address the concern of whether federal funding is crucial to sustain arts institutions. The majority of federally funded arts and humanities programs are contained in the Department of Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill." Source : Congressional Research Service

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U.S. Sole Proprietorships: A Gender Comparison, 1985-2000

"Between 1985 and 2000, female-owned sole proprietorships grew at a faster rate than those owned by men. Business earnings and activities are different among male and female business owners.... Nearly two thirds of female sole proprietors were in the services industry." Source: U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Do Race, Gender, and Age Differences Affect Manager-Employee Relations? An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm

Using data from a large U.S. retail employer, we examine how demographic differences between manager and subordinate affect the subordinate’s rate of quits, dismissals, and promotions. We distinguish between two effects that demographic differences can produce: (1) the effects of dissimilarity per se, and (2) the effects of role breaking where the differences violate traditional social roles and status norms (e.g., non-whites managing whites). Our results suggest that both dissimilarity and role breaking can have statistically significant effects. Race: Dismissals and Promotions: Blacks and Hispanics with dissimilar managers are much more likely to be fired, and less likely to be promoted. We interpret these as dissimilarity effects. By contrast, white employees with non-white managers are less likely to be dismissed than whites with white managers, and more likely to be promoted. This suggests role breaking leads non-white managers to defer to white employees. Quits: While dissimilarity surprisingly has no effect on black quit rates, it does cause a moderate increase in Hispanic quits. Racial differences also cause a moderate rise in white quit rates. We expected the effect for whites to be larger because it is the sum of dissimilarity and role-breaking effects. Further analysis suggests the effect for whites is suppressed by pre-hire sorting; whites who dislike having non-white managers tend to avoid working for non-whites in the first place. Age: Age dissimilarity per se does not have effects. However, role breaking does; employees who are at least 20 percent older than their managers are much less likely to be dismissed, and more likely to be promoted. Gender: Gender differences have modest, adverse effects on all three employment outcomes. Source : Center for Responsible Business, U.C. Berkeley

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Census Bureau : Blacks in the United States

This report provides a portrait of the Black or African American population in the United States and discusses sex differences within this population at the national level. It is part of the Census 2000 Special Reports series that presents several demographic, social and economic characteristics collected from Census 2000.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

In the First Person

"In the First Person provides in-depth indexing of more than 2,500 collections of oral history in English from around the world. With future releases, the index will broaden to identify other first-person content, including letters, diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies, and other personal narratives."

"It allows for keyword searching of more than 260,000 pages of full-text by more than 9,000 individuals from all walks of life. It also contains pointers to at least 2,500 audio and video files and 16,000 bibliographic records."

The oral histories are browsable by collection, date, repository, place, and historical event.

[Link to site]