Sunday, October 30, 2005

Halloween Facts

"The observance of Halloween, which dates from the Dark Ages, has long been associated with thoughts of witches, ghosts, devils and hobgoblins. In the United States, the first recorded instance of a Halloween celebration occurred in Anoka, Minn., in 1921. Over the years, the customs and rituals associated with Halloween have changed dramatically. Today, many of the young and “young-at-heart” take a more light-hearted approach — donning a scary disguise or one that may bring on smiles when they go door-to-door for treats or attend or host a Halloween party."

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Foreign Policy : Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

"Albert Einstein claimed he never thought of the future. “It comes soon enough,” he said. FOREIGN POLICY decided to not grant 16 leading thinkers that luxury. Instead, to mark our 35th anniversary, we asked them to speculate on the ideas, values, and institutions the world takes for granted that may disappear in the next 35 years. Their answers range from fields as diverse as morals and religion to geopolitics and technology. We may be happy to see some of these “endangered species” make an exit, but others will be mourned. All of them will leave a mark."

Contributors include Peter Singer, Lawrence Lessig, Shintaro Ishihara, Jacques Attali and many others.

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Encyclopedia of Statistics in Behavioral Science : Select Entries

Source : Department of Statistics, UCLA.

The following are select entries from the Encyclopedia of Statistics in Behavioral Science published in 2005. Click on entry titles to download PDF entries.

Unidimensional Scaling

Monotone Regression

Shepard Diagram

Multidimensional Unfolding

Linear Multilevel Models

High-dimensional Regression

Superstars and Rookies of the Year

Hiring new colleagues is a matter that engages individual faculty members intensely, for peer control of admission to the professoriate has been a highly successful source of academic quality in American higher education. "Super Stars and Rookies of the Year" analyzes the fixation on research acclaim as a negative version of academic hiring practices which has become embedded within the academic psyche. This fixation tends to be aroused by the rituals of recruitment and retention that take place on all campuses. But when recruitment becomes an exercise in what some economists have called "the-winner-take-all" mentality of our culture, departments, and programs can become unhealthy environments. When faculty and administrations insist on the extremely volatile criteria of early promise or current fame in choosing new colleagues, their efforts to build a community of scholars can become an exercise in professional pathology. When they neglect excellent current members of their departments to recruit outsiders at higher pay and richer benefits, they risk alienating their own excellent faculties. The antidote is a wise consideration of the total identity and mission of institutional departments in all recruitment efforts. Source: Center for Studies in Higher Education, U.C. Berkeley

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Developing a Practical Forecasting Screener for Domestic Violence Incidents for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

In this paper, we report on the development of a short screening tool that deputies in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department could use in the field to help forecast domestic violence incidents in particular households. The data come from over 500 households to which sheriff?s deputies were dispatched in the fall of 2003. Information on potential predictors was collected at the scene. Outcomes were measured during a three month follow-up. The data were analyzed with modern data mining procedures in which true forecasts were evaluated. A screening instrument was then developed based on a small fraction of the information collected. Making the screening instrument more complicated did not improve forecasting skill. Taking the relative costs of false positives and false negatives into account, the instrument correctly forecasted future calls for service about 60% of the time. Future calls involving domestic violence misdemeanors and felonies were correctly forecast about 50% of the time. The 50% figure is especially important because such calls require a law enforcement response and yet are a relatively small fraction of all domestic violence calls for service.Source : Department of Statistics, UCLA. Department of Statistics Papers.

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The Value of Higher Education: Individual and Societal Benefits

"Putting money into a four-year college education turns out to be a better financial investment – to the tune of $1 million more over one’s lifetime than people who have just a high school education. The rate of return on the money spent to earn a bachelor's degree is 12 percent per year, compared with the long-run average annual return on stocks of 7 percent. The net return is overall costs, including individual contribution and state appropriations, as well as income sacrificed while earning that degree. Despite the high return on investment, just 25 percent of the U.S. adult population has at least a bachelor’s degree. In comparison, more than 50 percent of Americans invest in the stock market, according to the American Shareholders Association." Source: Productivity and Prosperity Project, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

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Completed Suicide and Psychiatric Diagnoses in Young People: A Critical Examination of the Evidence

"Suicide rates of young people are increasing in many geographic areas. There is a need to recognize more precisely the role of specific mental disorders and their comparative importance for understanding suicide and its prevention. The authors reviewed the published English language research, where psychiatric diagnoses that met diagnostic criteria were reported, to reexamine the presence and distribution of mental disorders in cases of completed suicide among young people worldwide." Source: American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

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The Parable of the Hare and the Tortoise: Small Worlds, Diversity, and System Performance

"Whether as team members brainstorming, or cultures experimenting with new technologies, problem solvers communicate and share ideas. This paper examines how the structure of these communication networks can affect system-level performance. We present an agent-based model of information sharing, where the less successful emulate the more successful. Results suggest that where agents are dealing with a complex problem, the more efficient the network at disseminating information, and the higher the velocity of information over that network, the better the short run and lower the long run performance of the system. The dynamic underlying this result is that an inefficient network is better at exploration than an efficient network, supporting a more thorough search for solutions in the long run. This suggests that the efficient network is the hare-the fast starter-and the poorly connected network is the tortoise—slow at the start of the race, but ultimately triumphant."
Source: Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Faculty Research Working Paper Series

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Prisoners in 2004

"Reports the number of persons in State and Federal prisons at yearend, compares the increase in the prison population during 2004 with that of the previous year, and gives the prison growth rates since 1995. The report also provides the number of male and female prisoners on December 31, 2004. It includes incarceration rates for the States and the 5 highest and 5 lowest jurisdictions for selected characteristics, such as the growth rate, number of prisoners held, and incarceration rates. Tables present data on prison capacities and the use of local jails and privately operated prisons. Estimates are provided on the number of sentenced prisoners by age, gender, race, and Hispanic origin." Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Who people live with, not where, gives different picture of immigrants in U.S.

"Immigrants are more dispersed and far more entwined with American-born people when measured by the households in which they live rather than counted individually on the traditional basis of census tract, neighborhood, metropolitan area or state. Using federal Census Bureau data from 1997 through 2001, geographers Mark Ellis of the University of Washington and Richard Wright of Dartmouth College, found that there are about 17 million third-generation or more Americans living in households with immigrants or children of immigrants." Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (via University of Washington)

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Federal and State Laws Regarding Pharmacists Who Refuse to Dispense Contraceptives

"This report provides an analysis of federal and state laws that govern whether or not pharmacists may refuse to fill valid prescriptions for birth control and emergency contraceptives. Such laws are sometimes referred to as "conscience clause" laws because they allow medical providers to refuse to provide services to which they have religious or moral objections." Source : Congressional Research Service

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Ranking Law Schools: Using SSRN to Measure Scholarly Performance

"There are several methods for ranking the scholarly performance of law faculties, including reputation surveys (U.S. News, Leiter); publication counts (Lindgren & Seltzer, Leiter); and citation counts (Eisenberg & Wells, Leiter). Each offers a useful but partial picture of faculty performance. We explore here whether the new 'beta' SSRN-based measures (number of downloads and number of posted papers) can offer a different, also useful, albeit also partial, picture." Source: Indiana Law Journal (Black, Caron)

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Growth, Poverty and Inequality in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union

"Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union have witnessed a significant decrease in poverty since the Russian financial crisis of 1998-99. Almost 40 million people moved out of poverty from 1998-2003. Three key factors contributed to poverty reduction: growth in wages, growth in employment, and more adequate social transfers. But poverty and vulnerability persist: more than 60 million people live on less than $2 a day. In their recommendations, the report's authors urge countries to continue with enterprise sector reforms, boost rural growth, promote opportunities in lagging regions, increase access to good quality basic services, and produce better social safety nets especially for the working poor and children." Source: The World Bank

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Future Health and Medical Care Spending of the Elderly

"Policymakers face the challenge of understanding and managing future Medicare spending. Under current projections, it will rise from 2.6 percent of gross domestic product today to 9.2 percent in 2050. Demographics will be a key factor: The first wave of baby boomers turns 65 in 2010. But what if some biomedical advance revolutionizes medical practice? What if a cure were found for one of the deadliest diseases? What if the health status of the elderly continues to improve? Would such changes ease Medicare’s financing problems?

To answer such questions, a team of economists and physicians from the RAND Corporation, Stanford University, and the VA [Veterans Affairs] Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System explored how changes in medical technology, disease, and disability would affect health care spending for the population age 65 and older. Their key findings: Medical innovations will result in better health and longer life, but they will likely increase, not decrease, Medicare spending. Eliminating any one disease won’t save a great deal of money, but obesity might be an important exception."

Source: RAND Corporation

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Process Evaluation of Project Public Health Ready

An evaluation of the pilot year of Project Public Health Ready (PHR), which aims to prepare local public health agencies to respond to bioterrorism and to protect the public’s health-this report delineates PHR benefits and challenges. The program is voluntary and participants receive recognition for their efforts. Overall, PHR deadlines and requirements led agencies to become prepared earlier than if they had not participated in the program." Source: RAND Corporation

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Placing a Value on the Health Care Benefit for Active-Duty Personnel

"Using conservative estimates, the authors find that the value of military health care benefits can be quite considerable, ranging from hundreds of dollars per year for healthy single members, who use little health care but would face health insurance premiums in the civilian sector that they do not face in the military, to thousands of dollars for military families." Source: RAND Corporation

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Crime-Facilitating Speech

"Any attempts to suppress crime-facilitating speech will be highly imperfect, especially in the Internet age. Copies of instructions for making explosives, producing illegal drugs, or decrypting proprietary information will likely always be available somewhere, either on foreign sites or on American sites that the law hasn’t yet shut down or deterred. The Hit Man contract murder manual, for instance, is available for free on the Web, even though a civil lawsuit led its publisher to stop distributing it. (If the civil lawsuit that led the publisher to stop selling the book also made the publisher more reluctant to try to enforce the now-worthless copyright, the suit might thus have actually made the book more easily, cheaply, and anonymously available.) Source: Stanford Law Review (Volokh)

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Should Top Universities Be Led By Top Researchers and Are They?

"This study documents a positive correlation between the lifetime citations of a university's president and the position of that university in the global ranking. Better universities are run by better researchers. The results are not driven by outliers. That the top universities in the world -- who have the widest choice of candidates -- systematically appoint top researchers as their vice chancellors and presidents seems important to understand." Source: Cornell Higher Education Research Institute

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The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Biological Resources

"Winds, storm surge, and associated flooding from Hurricane Katrina appear to have had substantial impacts on the biological resources of the affected region. Some impacts caused by Katrina included wetland and timber loss, and declines in fisheries and wildlife populations. This report discusses the reported and potential impacts of Hurricane Katrina on the biological resources in the affected region. Most of the impacts reported have been anecdotal and estimated; few biological surveys have be done and little quantitative information is available. Several state and federal science agencies were initially involved in humanitarian efforts such as providing transport for victims and cleaning debris before investigating damage to biological resources. This report will summarize the known and estimated impacts of Hurricane Katrina on coastal ecosystems, forests, freshwater and marine bodies, fisheries, and wildlife. Questions for specifying the impacts on biological resources are listed and possible restoration activities are discussed." Source : Congressional Research Service

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The Retirement of Justice O'Connor: Quorum Requirements, Rehearings and Vote Counts in the Supreme Court

"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's announcement that she will retire from the Supreme Court of the United States effective upon the confirmation of her successor has raised questions regarding the conditions under which her vote may or may not be counted in certain cases. This report provides an overview of quorum requirements, rehearing procedures and vote count practices in the Supreme Court, with a focus on their application in relation to Justice O'Connor's pending retirement." Source : Congressional Research Service

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Ensuring (and Insuring?) Critical Information Infrastructure Protection

"To understand the obstacles for protecting critical information infrastructure and to consider solutions, over 25 experts from industry, government and academia met for the fifth annual Conference on Information Law and Policy for the Information Economy, organized by Professors Lewis M. Branscomb and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, with the support of Swiss Re, from June 16-18, 2005 at the Swiss Re Center for Global Dialogue in Rueschlikon, Switzerland. The meant not only as an analytical summary of the discussion, but also as a roadmap for future work." Source: Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Faculty Research Working Paper Series

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Papers of Harry A. Blackmun (1908-1999)

"Harry A. Blackmun was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1970 by Richard Nixon. In May 1997, Justice Blackmun gave his papers to the Library of Congress, where they joined the papers of thirty-eight other justices and chief justices in the Library of Congress. Because an individual's papers can best yield their riches when studied in conjunction with other related collections, Justice Blackmun's decision to place his papers in the Library of Congress should greatly facilitate historical research. At the time of the gift, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington stated, 'The papers of the justices are among our most treasured collections. Our holdings will be considerably enhanced by the Blackmun papers. We are honored that Justice Blackmun has placed his trust in the Library.'"

In anticipation of high research demand, selected materials from the collection -- including the 38-hour oral history video interviews and associated transcript -- have been digitized and are now publicly available online. Source : Library of Congress.

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The Legacy of Apartheid: Racial Inequalities in the New South Africa

Abstract : The legacy of 350 years of apartheid practice and 50 years of concerted apartheid policy has been to create racial differences in socioeconomic position larger than in any other nation in the world. Whites, who constitute 11 percent of the population, enjoy levels of education, occupational status, and income similar to and in many respects superior to those of the industrially-developed nations of Europe and the British diaspora. Within the White population, however, there is a sharp distinction between the one-third of English origin and the two-thirds of Afrikaner origin. Despite apartheid policies explicitly designed to improve the lot of Afrikaners at the expense of non-Whites, the historical difference between the two groups continues to be seen in socioeconomic differences at the end of the 20th century. Still, the disadvantages of Afrikaners are modest compared to those of non-Whites, particularly Coloureds and Blacks, who bear the brunt of apartheid policies. Ethnic penalties are especially large for people with lower levels of education. For those with less than a tertiary education, there appears to be an occupational floor under Whites and an occupational ceiling over non-Whites. For the small minority of Blacks and Coloureds with tertiary education, the likelihood of being employed and the kinds of jobs available differ relatively little from the opportunities of Asians and White; but for the vast majority lacking tertiary education the ethnic penalty is very large, particularly for Blacks. Most are unable even to find work, with about 40 percent of Black men and more than half of Black women unemployed; and those who are employed are relegated largely to semiand unskilled jobs. Although tertiary education minimizes racial differences in occupational opportunities, it has little effect on racial differences in income, which are large even among the well educated and even among those working in similar occupations. Source : California Center for Population Research, U.C.L.A. On-Line Working Paper Series. Paper CCPR-032-05.

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Trends in Educational Assortative Mating in Post-Socialist Central Europe: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary Between 1988 and 2000

"This article analyzes trends in educational homogamy in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary from 1988 to 2000. Our initial hypothesis is that educational homogamy strengthened in post-socialist countries as a result of changing socio-economic conditions during the post-communist transformation. We argue that people's behavior changes in reaction to a new socio-economic environment where risks associated with a poor marital match are more pronounced. We analyze key statistical data on all new marriages in the years 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997 and 2000 in each country. Log-linear and log-multiplicative models led to the rejection of our initial hypothesis. Between 1988 and 2000 educational homogamy remained low and constant in the Czech Republic and high and constant in Poland, whereas it increased slightly in Hungary and rather significantly in Slovakia. The article concludes with a discussion of some possible explanations of these varied trends in educational homogamy with regards to changes in demographic as well as social mobility processes in former socialist countries during the 1990s." Source : California Center for Population Research, U.C.L.A. On-Line Working Paper Series. Paper CCPR-033-05.

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Effects of Kindergarten Retention Policy on Children’s Cognitive Growth in Reading and Mathematics

"Grade retention has been controversial for many years, and current calls to end social promotion have lent new urgency to this issue.... Analyzing data from the US Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten cohort with the technique of multilevel propensity score stratification, we find no evidence that a policy of grade retention in kindergarten improves average achievement in mathematics or reading. Nor do we find evidence that the policy benefits children who would be promoted under the policy. However, the evidence does suggest that children who are retained learn less than they would have had they instead been promoted. The negative effect of grade retention on those retained has little influence on the overall mean achievement of children attending schools with a retention policy because the fraction of children retained in those schools is quite small. Nevertheless, the effect of retention on the retainees is considerably large."Source: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis

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USSC Reports on Courts' Response to Sentencing Guidelines Decision

"Federal courts continue to punish more than 60 percent of convicted criminals within guidelines set by the U.S. Sentencing Commission despite a Supreme Court decision that made the guidelines advisory, recent statistics show." Source: US Sentencing Commission

Link to online report | Link directly to statistics

ESI Special Topic: Terrorism

"This month in Special Topics, the focus is on terrorism. On the 10-year papers list, there are three prominent areas of research: psychological reactions to terrorism, specifically the 9/11 terror attacks; reports of the 2001 anthrax outbreak; and the more general psychological construct known as terror management. Other issues covered in the past decade include public health preparedness for bioterrorism, the potential for a smallpox bioterror incident, the concept of immune system recognition of foreign DNA as a cure for bioterrorism, laws with regard to antiterrorism, and the economic impact of prevention and post-intervention in terror attacks.

In the past two years, the focus remains largely on issues related to 9/11: post-terrorism post-traumatic stress disorder, resilience and emotions post-9/11, and surgical response to 9/11, to name a few. Other topics garnering attention in the past two years include studies of suicide bombers’ reasoning, the pathology and pathogenesis of the 2001 anthrax outbreak, and several studies looking at potential surveillance measures for bioterrorism. The papers are not limited to US-related terrorist attacks; two papers also look at terrorist attacks and patient care in Israel."

"The baseline time span for this database is 1995-2005 (third bimonthly). The resulting database contained 1,826 (10 years) and 871 (2 years) papers; 3,172 authors; 54 countries; 673 journals; and 1,146 institutions."
Source : Essential Science Indicators | ISI Web of Science

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U.S. Census Report : Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage

"This report presents data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States based on information collected in the 2005 and earlier Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau."

"This report has three main sections-- income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. Each one presents estimates by characteristics such as race, Hispanic origin, nativity, and region. Other topics include earnings of full-time, year-round workers; poverty among families; and health insurances coverage of children." Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Confederate Maps now online

The Hotchkiss Map Collection contains cartographic items made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), a topographic engineer in the Confederate Army. Hotchkiss made detailed battle maps primarily of the Shenandoah Valley, some of which were used by the Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson for their combat planning and strategy. Several of the maps have annotations of various military officers, demonstrating their importance in the military campaigns. The collection also includes maps made or used by Hotchkiss during his post-war years, including maps with information about railroads, minerals and mining, geology and history, most of which focus on Virginia and West Virginia, but also cover other states and even the world.

The collection consists of 341 sketchbooks, manuscripts, and annotated printed maps, the originals of which reside in the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division.

Link to map access

PEW Report : Digital Divisions

Sixty-eight percent of American adults,or about 137 million people, use the internet, up from 63% one year ago. Thirty-two percent of American adults, or about 65 million
people, do not go online, and i is not always by choice. Certain groups continue to lag in their internet adoption. For example:

  • 26% of Americans age 65 and older go online, compared with 67% ofthose age 50-64, 80% of those age 30-49, and 84% of those age 18-29.
  • 57% of African-Americans go online, compared with 70% of whites.
  • 29% of those who have not graduated from high school have access,compared with 61% of high school graduates and 89% of college graduates.
  • 60% of American adults who do not have a child living at home goonline, compared with 83% of parents of minor children.

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Health Risk, Income, and the Purchase of Private Health Insurance

Abstract : While many believe that an individual's health plays an important role in both their willingness and ability to obtain health insurance, relatively little agreement exists on how and why health status is likely to affect coverage rates, particularly for individuals purchasing coverage in the individual market. In this paper, we examine the relationship between health risk and the purchase of private health insurance and whether that relationship differs between people purchasing coverage in the individual and large group markets and between low and high income individuals. The data source for our analysis is the panel component of the 1996-2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). We find that health risk is positively associated with obtaining private health insurance coverage. The positive relationship between health risk and coverage is stronger for individuals obtaining coverage in the large group market than for individuals obtaining coverage in the individual market. In the large group market, rates of coverage increase more quickly with health risk for low than high income individuals. We conclude that high premiums for high risks are not a significant contributor to the large uninsured population in the U.S. Among low income individuals, high premiums may represent a barrier to low risks in the large group market. Source : NBER

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Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us Out to Dinner? Simulating the Transition Paths of the U.S., EU, Japan, and China

Abstract : This paper develops a dynamic, life-cycle, general equilibrium model to study the interdependent demographic, fiscal, and economic transition paths of China, Japan, the U.S., and the EU. Each of these countries/regions is entering a period of rapid and significant aging requiring major fiscal adjustments. In previous studies that excluded China we predicted that tax hikes needed to pay benefits along the developed world's demographic transition would lead to capital shortage, reducing real wages per unit of human capital. Adding China to the model dramatically alters this prediction. Even though China is aging rapidly, its saving behavior, growth rate, and fiscal policies are very different from those of developed countries. If this continues to be the case, the model's long run looks much brighter. China eventually becomes the world's saver and, thereby, the developed world's savoir with respect to its long-run supply of capital and long-run general equilibrium prospects. And, rather than seeing the real wage per unit of human capital fall, the West and Japan see it rise by one fifth by 2030 and by three fifths by 2100. These wage increases are over and above those associated with technical progress. Source : NBER

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Religious Extremism: The Good, The Bad, and The Deadly

Abstract : This paper challenges conventional views of violent religious extremism, particularly those that emphasize militant theology. We offer an alternative analysis that helps explain the persistent demand for religion, the different types of religious that naturally arise, and the special attributes of the “sectarian” type. Sects are adept at producing club goods both spiritual and material. Where governments and economies function poorly, sects often become major suppliers of social services, political action, and coercive force. Their success as providers is much more due to the advantages of their organizational structure than it is to their theology. Religious militancy is most effectively controlled through a combination of policies that raise the direct costs of violence, foster religious competition, improve social services, and encourage private enterprise. Source: NBER

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Human Rights and Rule of Law: What's The Relationship

This article considers several explanations for the international human rights movement’s sudden heightened attention to rule of law.

The human rights movement has increasingly encountered conceptual, normative and political challenges. Perhaps, as de Mello suggested, rule of law will be a “fruitful principle to guide us toward agreement and results,” and “a touchstone for us in spreading the culture of human rights.”

We still live in a world where widespread human rights violations are the norm rather than the exception. Rule of law is seen as directly integral to the implementation of rights.

Rule of law may also be indirectly related to better rights protection in that rule of law is associated with economic development, which is related to better rights performance.

Rule of law is integral to and necessary for democracy and good governance. Attempts to democratize without a functional legal system in place have resulted in social disorder.

Rule of law is said to facilitate geopolitical stability and global peace. According to some, it may help prevent wars from occurring in the first place. It also provides guidelines for how war is carried out, and is central to the establishment of a rights-respecting post-conflict regime.

Author : Randall P. Peerenboom Source : UCLA School of Law. UCLA Public Law Series. Paper 5-21

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Women in Contemporary Philippine Local Politics

Abstract: This study looks at the profiles of Filipino women provincial governors plus city and municipal mayors who were elected into office in 1992, 1995, 1998, and 2001. It presents their socio-economic profiles, their entry into politics, and the major projects they pursued as they got into office. The study validates more general studies that women politicians come from political families. However, the surveys show that they have had achievements as government administrators or professionals and business women before entering politics, or have served as local councilors or village heads (barangay chairs) before running for office. Once in office, they pursue projects which may not be immediately labeled as gender-oriented, such as agriculture or public works, with the more gendered social services (health and education). Nonetheless, some of them are aware of responding to issues important to mothers and children, and some have even started women's and/or children's programs. Many of them consider their being mothers as a big influence on the priority they give their projects. Lecture delivered in the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies Colloquium Series, October 11, 2005 Source : UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Author : Proserpina D. Tapales Ph.D., Professor of Public Administration, University of the Philippines

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Achieving State and National Literacy Goals, a Long Uphill Road: A Report to Carnegie Corporation of New York

"RAND gathered information from the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) on state assessment systems and student performance on reading or English language arts and writing assessments in order to measure adolescent’s (grades 4 through 12) performance toward state literacy goals. Also examines the relative performance of students against national standards represented by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)." Source : RAND Corp.

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Face the facts: Female pols suffer from "face-ism"

"Successful female politicians face a number of obstacles that don't burden their male peers. One of these, a new University of Michigan study shows, is 'face-ism'—a tendency to emphasize women's bodies rather than their faces.... The U-M researchers computed 'face-ism' scores for all the politicians by analyzing photos on the same website— They obtained the scores by measuring the size of the face from the top of the head, including the hair, to the lowest part of the chin, then dividing by the total size of the body image pictured. The result is a ratio expressing the proportion of the person's total image devoted to the face. Overall, the researchers found, the 504 male politicians had higher face-ism scores than the 84 female politicians. The heads of male politicians occupied 78 percent of their images, on average, while the heads of female politicians occupied 75 percent of their images—a statistically significant difference." Source: University of Michigan News Service

Link to Report | Link to .xls chart

Effective Foundation Boards: The Importance of Roles

Abstract : "Foundations are unique among organizations in the enormous latitude they have in determining their work and the manner in which it is done. This flexibility manifests itself particularly in the variety of roles that foundation board members can take. Most of the literature in the field focuses on best practices in board structure and processes. These are necessary in the spirit of responsiveness and legal accountability, but are not sufficient for effectiveness. Achieving role clarity, influence in decision-making and responsibility for impact are three keys to more effective foundation governance. These three attributes can be better understood and achieved by examining the roles of foundation board members as individuals and as a collective. Recognizing these important, often overlooked, phenomena will help boards not only have good work that will keep them enthused and committed, but also to produce the good work that the public expects." Source : Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Faculty Research Working Paper Series

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Protect our rights - a briefing document on the (U.K.) government's anti-terrorism proposals

"This briefing examines together the Home Secretary’s proposals for three new offences (18 July), the Association of Chief Police Officers’ demand for more powers (21 July), the Prime Minister’s twelve point statement (5 August) and the Home Office consultation document on deportation and exclusion (5 August). This kind of government by press release is not conducive to much-needed debate and does not amount to meaningful consultation. To avoid the growing suspicion about a possible September “stitch-up” the government should make its full intentions clear immediately so all in civil society can have their say." Source: Statewatch

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Supreme Court Nominee : Harriet Miers

Information about Supreme Court Nominee Harriet Miers including her legal background, and a brief discussion of justices who had not previously served in the judiciary (such as Earl Warren, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Louis Brandeis, and Abe Fortas). Source : National Public Radio (NPR).

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