Friday, March 31, 2006

Paperback Swap

"What is PaperBackSwap? We are a group of real people who have formed a Club to swap paperback books with each other. No gimmicks. No spam. No advertising. No kidding. We are not a large corporation trying to sell you something. We're just a group of real folks who wanted a way of trading paperbacks with each other through the U.S. mail. Please read the testimonials and you will understand that this book club is for real.

When another member requests one of your books, you mail it to them. Yes, you pay for the postage. But then another member returns the favor when you request a book from them and they mail it to you. And that way the books are always free because we are all trading books with club members!" [thanks to Laura Beth]

Link to Paperback Swap

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the U.S.

"Analysis of the March 2005 Current Population Survey shows that there were 11.1 million unauthorized migrants in the United States a year ago. Based on analysis of other data sources that offer indications of the pace of growth in the foreign-born population, the Center developed an estimate of 11.5 to 12 million for the unauthorized population as of March 2006." Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download PDF Executive Summary | Download Entire Report (PDF)

Legal Immigrants: A Voice of Reason in the Immigration Debate

Bendixen & Associates interviewed 800 legal immigrants by telephone between February 24 and March 21, 2006. The sample was designed to be representative of the 26 million legal immigrants that reside in the United States according to the U.S. Census. Approximately three-fifths of the legal immigrants interviewed for the poll are citizens of the United States and about three-fourths of them (citizens) are registered voters. Source: New American Media

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The Runaway and Homeless Youth Program: Administration, Funding, and Legislative Actions

"The exact number of runaway and homeless youth in the nation is not known. Various sources estimate that at any given time, the number of such youth falls between 500,000 and 2.8 million. In the early 1970s, concern about runaway youth gained national prominence because of a noticeable increase in the number of such youth. At that time, it was reported that one million youth in the nation left home without parental or guardian permission. In January 1972, two-day congressional hearings began a process that eventually led to the passage of the 1974 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA, P.L. 93-415). As Title III of JJDPA, the Runaway Youth Act (RYA) encouraged states to improve local treatment of at-risk youth. Federal funding was provided to states that agreed to deinstitutionalize runaway youth and other status offenders (such as truants) and provide them with shelter, food, counseling and other necessities. Such emergency assistance, through what was termed the Basic Center Program (BCP), was delivered apart from the law enforcement, mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems. In 1977, RYA was expanded to include homeless youth, and the name of the act changed to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA)." Source: Congressional Research Service

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Money and Diversity: 2004 State Legislative Elections

Thirteen percent of the candidates elected to state legislatures in 2003 and 2004 were members of a racial minority. This study looks at the fund-raising experiences of these winners and finds that they typically raised less campaign money than did white legislators. Source: The Institute on Money in State Politics

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Women in Iraq: Background and Issues for U.S. Policy

"The issue of women's rights in Iraq has taken on new relevance, following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, efforts to reconstruct Iraq, and recent elections for a Transitional National Assembly (TNA). Over the past three years, the Bush Administration has reiterated its interest in ensuring that Iraqi women participate in politics and ongoing reconstruction efforts in Iraq. There has also been a widening debate regarding the extent to which the U.S.-led reconstruction efforts have been able to enhance women's rights in Iraq and encourage their participation in Iraq's governing institutions.

According to some observers, political uncertainty, conservative Iraqi culture, and an increase in popular religious activism, has called into question the future involvement of Iraqi women in nation-building and their role in public life. Also, Iraqis, in general, and Iraqi women, in particular, have complained that the volatile security situation and continuing insurgency have contributed to a deterioration in their status. Others note that Iraqi women are making inroads into the political process, citing the example of the January 30, 2005 national election, which resulted in Iraqi women gaining 87 out of 275 seats in the TNA. While Iraqi women captured 31% of Assembly seats, a primary challenge will be the drafting of a new permanent constitution, which some feel must institutionalize the rights of women as equal citizens in the state of Iraq. Another challenge Iraqi policymakers face is how to best ensure Iraqi women are represented in traditionally male-dominated areas such as the judiciary, state ministries, and local government." Source : Congressional Research Service

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The Narrowing of the U.S. Gender Earnings Gap, 1959-1999: A Cohort-Based Analysis

"Using Census and Current Population Survey data spanning 1959 through 1999, we assess the relative contributions of two factors to the decline in the gender wage gap: changes across cohorts in the relative slopes of men’s and women’s age-earnings profiles, versus changes in relative earnings levels at labor market entry. We find that changes in relative slopes account for about one-third of the narrowing of the gender wage gap over the past 40 years. Under quite general conditions, we argue that this provides an upper bound estimate of the contribution of changes in work experience and other post-school investments (PSIs) to the decline of the gender wage gap." Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

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Prison-Based Education and Re-Entry into the Mainstream Labor Market

"We estimate the post-release economic effects of participation in prison-based General Educational Development (GED) programs using a panel of earnings records and a rich set of individual information from administrative data in the state of Florida. Fixed effects estimates of the impact of participating in the GED education program show post-release quarterly earnings gains of about 15 percent for program participants relative to observationally similar non-participants. We also show, however, that these earnings gains accrue only to racial/ethnic minority offenders and any GED-related earnings gains for this group seem to fade in the third year after release from prison. Estimates comparing offenders who obtained a GED to those who participated in GED-related prison education programs but left prison without a GED show no systematic evidence of an independent impact of the credential itself on post-release quarterly earnings." Source : National Bureau of Economic Research

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Effects of Title IX and Sports Participation on Girls' Physical Activity and Weight

"In this study, we examined the association between girls’ participation in high school sports and the physical activity, weight, body mass and body composition of adolescent females during the 1970s when girls’ sports participation was dramatically increasing as a result of Title IX. We found that increases in girls’ participation in high school sports, a proxy for expanded athletic opportunities for adolescent females, were associated with an increase in physical activity and an improvement in weight and body mass among girls. In contrast, adolescent boys experienced a decline in physical activity and an increase in weight and body mass during the period when girls’ athletic opportunities were expanding. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that Title IX and the increase in athletic opportunities among adolescent females it engendered had a beneficial effect on the health of adolescent girls." Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Online News: For many home broadband users, the internet is a primary news source

"By the end of 2005, 50 million Americans got news online on a typical day, a sizable increase since 2002. Much of that growth has been fueled by the rise in home broadband connections over the last four years. For a group of “high-powered” online users – early adopters of home broadband who are the heaviest internet users – the internet is their primary news source on the average day." Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project.

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Developing Graduate Students of Color for the Professoriate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

ABSTRACT:"This paper presents part of the results of a completed study entitled A Longitudinal Study of Minority Ph.D.s from 1980-1990: Progress and Outcomes in Science and Engineering at the University of California during Graduate School and Professional Life. It focuses particularly on the graduate school experience and degree of preparation for the professoriate of African American doctoral students in the sciences and engineering, and presents the results of a survey of 33 African American STEM Ph.D.s from the University of California earned between 1980-1990. Relationships with thesis advisors and principal investigators are evaluated by the study participants in fifteen specific areas from highly-ranked intellectual development to low-ranked training in grant writing. Deficits in training and socialization are discussed along with the tension between being both an African American and a graduate student. Career choices and outcomes are presented. These findings, in conjunction with current analyses of graduate education in STEM, suggest ways in which graduate training for all could be improved." Source: Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley

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Repression and Denial in Criminal Lawyering

"For criminal defense attorneys, being asked to justify defending 'those people' is such a predictable part of the job it may as well be included in the job description. Laypeople want to find out how criminal lawyers can represent people who hurt other people. Scholars are interested in the same question, albeit in more sophisticated garb. For scholars, the central question of legal ethics arises because lawyers are sometimes asked or required, in their role as lawyers, to do things that strike all conscientious people&as morally suspect. Yet this is a topic that fascinates mostly laypeople and scholars. Defense attorneys, as a rule, are comfortable with their ethical obligation to offer a zealous defense and do not find the question, as posed, very interesting."

Susan Bandes, "Repression and Denial in Criminal Lawyering" (March 27, 2006). Center for the Study of Law and Society Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program. JSP/Center for the Study of Law and Society Faculty Working Papers. Paper 36.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

General principles for international remittance services

"The flow of funds from migrant workers back to their families in their home country is an important source of income in many developing economies. The total value of these remittances has been increasing steadily over the past decade and it is estimated that in 2005 the total value worldwide was over $230 billion equivalent, involving some 175 million migrants. However, sending remittances can be expensive relative to the often low incomes of migrant workers and to the rather small amounts sent (typically no more than a few hundred dollars or its equivalent at a time). Also, it may not be easy for migrants to access remittance services if they do not speak the local language or do not have the necessary documentation, while the relatively undeveloped financial infrastructure in some countries may make it difficult for recipients to collect the remittances. In some cases, the services are unreliable, particularly concerning the time taken for the funds to be transferred. In addition, some markets are uncompetitive or have regulatory barriers to the provision of remittance services." Source: The World Bank

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Effects of Task Difficulty on Use of Advice

"Although prior studies have found that people generally underweight advice from others, such discounting of advice is not universal. Two studies examined the impact of task difficulty on the use of advice. In both studies, the strategy participants used to weigh advice varied with task difficulty even when it should have not. In particular, the results show that people overweight advice on difficult tasks and underweight advice on easy tasks. This pattern held regardless of whether advice was automatically provided or whether people had to seek it out. The paper discusses implications for the circumstances under which people will be open to influence by advisors." Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

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Highlights of Foundation Giving Trends

"Among major subject areas, science and health experienced the fastest growth. Health’s share of overall giving reached a record 22.3 percent in the latest year, boosted by a $750 million ten-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Only three major subject fields failed to register increases in funding. Nonetheless, across all fields, growth in grant dollars continued to lag behind the dramatic gains realized in the late 1990s." Source: The Foundation Center

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health

Abstract: "Of the ten million uninsured children in 1996, nearly half were eligible for Medicaid, the public health insurance program for poor families, but not enrolled. In response, policy efforts to improve coverage have shifted to increasing Medicaid take-up among those already eligible rather than expanding eligibility. However, little is known about the reasons poor families fail to use public programs or the consequences of failing to enroll. The latter is of particular relevance to Medicaid given that children are typically enrolled when they become sufficiently sick as to require hospitalization. Using new data on Medicaid outreach, enrollment and child hospitalizations in California, I find that information and administrative costs are important barriers to program enrollment, with the latter particularly true for Hispanic and Asian families. In addition, enrolling children in Medicaid before they get sick promotes the use of preventative care, reduces the need for hospitalization and improves health." Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

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Characteristics of Schools, Districts, Teachers, Principals, and School Libraries in the United States

"The Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) is the nation’s most extensive sample survey of elementary and secondary schools and the teachers and administrators who staff them. This report introduces the data from the fifth administration (2003-04) of SASS. It is intended to give the reader an overview of the SASS data for the school year 2003-04 through tables of estimates for public, private, and BIA-funded schools and their staff. For example, one of the findings from the data is that 77 percent of public school districts required full standard state certification in the field to be taught when considering teaching applicants. Also, 82 percent of all public school teachers reported having 4 or more years of full-time teaching experience. These highlights, and others in the report, were not selected to emphasize any particular issue, and they should not be interpreted as representing the most important findings in the data. They are simply examples of the kinds of data that are available in the 2003-04 SASS. In addition, complex interactions and relationships have not been explored." Source: National Center for Education Statistics.

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Institutions and Group Identity

Abstract : In this paper I model the effect of institutional design on ethnic identification in a setting in which ethnicity is a strategic choice. I first provide an existence result for pure and mixed strategy equilibria of a general form of the game. I then apply the model to a setting where individuals face a trade-off between ethnic and nationalistic identification. Predictions are made about the types of groups that should be institutionally favored when the institutional goal is to minimize the likelihood of ethnic identification and maximize the likelihood of identification with the state. Source : Institute of Governmental Studies, U.C. Berkeley

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Online exhibition of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire

The San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection contains over 1,700 digitized images of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

These images depict scenes taken both during and after the three-day event, and include neighborhoods, buildings, refugee camps, and the process of reconstruction.

Source: San Francisco Public Library

Link to site

Gender Equality from a Constitutional Perspective - The Case of Turkey

ABSTRACT:"Turkey, a bridge connecting Asia and Europe, occupies the geographic border zone between two vastly different regions of the world: the East and the West. This gives Turkey a unique position, as it has cultural, social, and legal characteristics of both regions and tries to achieve the values of both in its current search for identity. This makes it difficult and puzzling to evaluate the status of women in Turkey." Source: Global & International Studies Program. Paper 39, U.C. Santa Barbara

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Who Is at Greatest Risk for Receiving Poor-Quality Health Care?


"Background: American adults frequently do not receive recommended health care. The extent to which the quality of health care varies among sociodemographic groups is unknown.

Methods: We used data from medical records and telephone interviews of a random sample of people living in 12 communities to assess the quality of care received by those who had made at least one visit to a health care provider during the previous two years. We constructed aggregate scores from 439 indicators of the quality of care for 30 chronic and acute conditions and for disease prevention. We estimated the rates at which members of different sociodemographic subgroups received recommended care, with adjustment for the number of chronic and acute conditions, use of health care services, and other sociodemographic characteristics.

Results: Overall, participants received 54.9 percent of recommended care. Even after adjustment, there was only moderate variation in quality-of-care scores among sociodemographic subgroups. Women had higher overall scores than men (56.6 percent vs. 52.3 percent, P<0.001), and participants below the age of 31 years had higher scores than those over the age of 64 years (57.5 percent vs. 52.1 percent, P<0.001). Blacks (57.6 percent) and Hispanics (57.5 percent) had slightly higher scores than whites (54.1 percent, P<0.001 for both comparisons). Those with annual household incomes over $50,000 had higher scores than those with incomes of less than $15,000 (56.6 percent vs. 53.1 percent, P<0.001).

Conclusions The differences among sociodemographic subgroups in the observed quality of health care are small in comparison with the gap for each subgroup between observed and desirable quality of health care. Quality-improvement programs that focus solely on reducing disparities among sociodemographic subgroups may miss larger opportunities to improve care." Source: New England Journal of Medicine

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Friday, March 17, 2006

One Sick Child Away from Being Fired: When "Opting Out" Isn't an Option

Depictions of work/family conflict have documented the tribulations of America's professional workers for decades, but a new study shows that the working class suffers severe punishments when choosing family over work. Source: WorkLife Law (U.C. Hastings)

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The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy

"The centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy is its intimate relationship with Israel. Though often justified as reflecting shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, the U.S. commitment to Israel is due primarily to the activities of the “Israel Lobby.” This paper describes the various activities that pro-Israel groups have undertaken in order to shift U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction." Source: Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Faculty Research Working Paper Series

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The Repopulation of New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina

The population of New Orleans will likely reach about 272,000 in September 2008 – amounting to 56 percent of the population of 485,000 before Hurricane Katrina struck in August, according to a study issued today by the RAND Corporation.

The report, produced by the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, estimates the city's current population at about 155,000 and forecasts it will rise to about 198,000 in September. Only a few thousand people were living in New Orleans last September.

The new RAND study provides the most detailed estimates to date of the likely rate at which residents may return to New Orleans. It was prepared at the request of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission and is designed to help government officials plan the city's rebuilding.

The study says a key factor determining how quickly New Orleans can be repopulated is the availability of housing. The faster housing becomes available, the faster people can return to the city. Services, employment, federal funding and schools will be restored more rapidly as the population rises, the report says. Source: RAND Corporation

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Activities to Combat Human Trafficking

Trafficking in persons — also known as "human trafficking" — is a form of modern-day slavery. Traffickers often prey on individuals who are poor, frequently unemployed or underemployed, and who may lack access to social safety nets, predominantly women and children in certain countries. Victims are often lured with false promises of good jobs and better lives, and then forced to work under brutal and inhuman conditions.

It is a high priority of the Department of Justice to pursue and prosecute human traffickers. Human trafficking frequently involves the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation, a brutal crime the Department is committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting. Trafficking also often involves exploitation of agricultural and sweat shop workers, as well as individuals working as domestic servants.Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Report on Activities to Combat Human Trafficking, Fiscal Years 2001-2005
(Released: 03/15/06) Download PDF Report

Thursday, March 16, 2006

United Nations Online Database : Membership of the Security Council

The United Nations has released an online database containing information about non-permanent members of the Security Council since its inception in 1946. Available in all six official languages, the data may be accessed by year and by country, and includes a list of member states never elected. Information about the overall structure of the Council is also available on the site.

Link to site

Keeping Score When It Counts : Graduation Rates for 2006 NCAA Men's Division 1 Basketball Tournament Teams

"The study takes a look at Federal Graduation Rates (FGRs), Graduation Success Rates (GSR), and the Academic Progress Rates (APR) for the tournament teams, as reported by the NCAA during the past two months. The study also compares the performance in the classroom for African- American and white basketball student-athletes. Dr. Richard Lapchick, the primary author of the study, is director of the Institute and Eminent Scholar Chair of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program at UCF. The study was co-authored this year by Ryan Vandament." Source : Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, University of Central Florida.

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Also Available..2006 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament Team Academic Progress

Intelligence in the Civil War

"Though the idea of centralized intelligence gathering was decades away, the age-old resistance to the idea was present even then. Neither side saw the need to create such intelligence organizations, but each side approached the idea of effectively acquiring intelligence in their own way.... Each side still used age-old intelligence techniques, such as code-breaking, deception, and covert surveillance. However, into this modern war came two innovations that would endure as tools of espionage: wiretapping and overhead reconnaissance. What follows is a look at some of the highlights of how the North and the South gathered and used their information, the important missions, and the personalities. From this special view, the focus is not on the battlefield, but on a battle of wits." Source: Central Intelligence Agency

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Characteristics of Private Schools in the United States

"This report on the 2003-2004 Private School Universe Survey presents data on private schools in the United States with grades kindergarten through twelve by selected characteristics such as school size, school level, religious orientation, association membership, geographic region, community type, and program emphasis. The number of teachers and students are reported by the same categories and the number of students is reported by grade level. In the fall of 2003, there were 28,384 private schools in the United States, enrolling 5,122,772 students, and employing 425,238 FTE teachers. Private school students represented approximately 10 percent of the total elementary and secondary enrollment in the United States in 2003-2004." Source: National Center for Education Statistics.

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Federal, State, and Local Governments: University Patrons, Partners, or Protagonists?

"Charles Vest gave the first of three Clark Kerr Lectures on the Role of Higher Education in Society on April 19, 2005 on the Berkeley campus. This essay argues that research-intensive public and private universities increasingly have far more similarities than differences in missions, structures, and even financial support. For both, the federal government, despite numerous tensions, remains our indispensable partner. At the same time, the role of state governments toward their public universities has evolved from that of patron to that of partner - sometimes a minor partner financially. Yet at every level - federal, state, and local - governments and universities each consider themselves to be the protagonist having the central role, moral authority, and last word in setting the objective and the course. Despite its complexities and tensions, out of this stew (with philanthropists and the private sector thrown in for good measure), we have forged the greatest system of higher education in the world and we must work hard and effectively to sustain and continuously improve it. We must strive for innovation and excellence, but also nurture broad access to this system and stay true to our fundamental mission of creating opportunity." Source: Center for Studies in Higher Education. Paper CSHE-3-06.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Population Characteristics, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2004

"This report examins the levels of voting and registration in the November 2004 presidential election, the characteristics of citizens who reported that they were registered for or voted in the election, and the reasons why registered voters did not vote.

The data on voting and registration in this report are based on responses to the November 2004 current Population Survey (CPS) Voting and Registration Supplement, which surveys the civilian noninstitutionalized population in the United States. The estimates presented in this report may differ from those based on administrative data or data from exit polls."

Source: U. S. Census Bureau

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Changing Lives of Older Couples Study (CLOC)

"The Changing Lives of Older Couples Study (CLOC) is a large multi-wave prospective study of spousal bereavement. The CLOC study is based on a two-stage area probability sample of 1,532 married men and women from the Detroit, Michigan Standardized Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA). To be eligible for the study, respondents had to be English-speaking members of a married couple, where the husband was at least age 65. All respondents were non-institutionalized and were capable of participating in a two-hour face-to-face interview. "

"While primarily a study of spousal bereavement, the dataset also includes a host of other psychosocial and biomedical variables. The combined dataset includes 1532 cases and over 3000 variables that cover every aspect of social, psychological, and physical functioning of older adults. The analysis and distribution of this data set is made possible by a grant from the National Institute on Aging to the University of Michigan (Randolph Nesse, PI). This website provides ready access to the data and codebooks as well as information on projects underway or completed. It is intended to encourage other researchers to make use of this remarkable resource."

Site includes access to datasets, codebooks and a list of resulting publications.

link to site

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Census Bureau Facts for St. Patrick's Day

Special report on St. Patrick's Day and Irish-American Heritage Month (March). "Although not an official “federal” holiday in the United States, St. Patrick’s Day has a long history of being celebrated with parades and general goodwill for all things Irish. The day commemorates St. Patrick, believed to have died on March 17, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. Because many Americans celebrate their Irish lineage on St. Patrick’s Day, March was picked as Irish-American Heritage Month. The month was first proclaimed in 1995 by Congress. Each year, the U.S. president also issues an Irish-American Heritage Month proclamation."

Fun facts include:
The number of U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry...the number of gallons of beer consumed per capita by Americans annually... The number of St. Patrick’s Day cards Americans exchanged last year and many others.

Link to site

Enron Trial Exhibits and Releases

Documents from federal prosecution of former Enron chief executives in United States v. Jeffrey K. Skilling and Kenneth L. Lay. The site provides "publicly released documents, including exhibits entered into evidence by the government and any press releases related to court proceedings." You'll find reports, memos, email messages, calendar entries, earnings releases, a list of witnesses, etc. Source: U.S. Department of Justice.

Link to online resource

Exploring the Economic Structure of Harry Potter’s World

"What do animagus, extendable ears, Muggles and quidditch have in common with, say, price setting, supply of public goods and optimal taxation? Not much unless you are studying the social organization of economic activity in J.K. Rowlings' Harry Potter series. Daniel Levy, an adjunct professor of economics and an expert in pricing at Emory University, along with a doctoral student have done just that in their new paper, "Popular Perceptions and Political Economy in the Contrived World of Harry Potter." While not reflecting one single economy, the Potterian economy does reveal norms, hopes, perceptions and opinions of its readers." Source: Emory University

Link to online Report

Katrina: Six Months Later; Has Anything Changed?

"As U.S. President Bush makes his tenth visit to New Orleans this week, the questions surrounding the recovery effort, rebuilding, and costs continue to murk an already besieged area. In September, a panel of experts from various disciplines across Emory University gathered to discuss the ethical responses to Hurricane Katrina. It's been six months since the disaster. Recently, Knowledge@Emory revisited with the faculty members to find out their thoughts on the progress -- or lack of it." Emory University

Link to online article

Helping Youth Succeed Through Out-of-School Time

"It is clear to us that OST programs are an essential component in any strategy to improve the life chances and outcomes for youth, particularly disadvantaged youth. Out-of-school time programs add productive time to the day and year for young people to develop a myriad of important skills, to supplement academic learning, to connect with caring adults, and to support their healthy development. As high school reform becomes paramount, OST programs must be viewed as a rich resource in the struggle to improve learning for high school-aged youth." Source: American Youth Policy Forum

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Instructional Focus in First Grade

"The major findings of the brief are that more than 90 percent of first-graders received daily instruction in reading and mathematics, while the most common length of time spent per day on reading is more than 90 minutes and on mathematics is between 31 and 60 minutes. The most common reading or language arts activities used in first grade classrooms were working on phonics and instruction in capitalization and punctuation."
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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Japan-China Relations: Four Fallacies Masquerading as Common Sense

"To gain insight into the future of the Sino-Japanese relationship, we need to clear up the misconceptions, misunderstandings, and errors that beset the two countries’ relations and take an intellectual scalpel to their source. Some of the errors are related to the way people think about or perceive themselves, while others stem from the thinking or attitudes of the other party; still others are linked to the history of Japan-China relations. Here, in four questions and answers, are errors currently regarded as virtually self-evident truths." Source: MIT Center for International Studies

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Salary Survey results from CUPA-HR

"Faculty salaries rose 3.4 percent this year, just a little more than last year, according to a survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

Salaries at private institutions increased 3.7 percent, while those at public institutions rose 3.1 percent. A year ago, faculty salaries increased 3.2 percent over all."

Source: College and University Professional Organization for Human Resources. [via Chronicle of Higher Ed.]

Link to download more information and tables (pdf)

Link to site with more Higher Ed Salary Surveys

Diversity Spreads Out: Metropolitan Shifts in Hispanic, Asian, and Black Populations Since 2000

"Analysis of Census Bureau population estimates detailing the distribution of racial and ethnic groups within and across U.S. metropolitan areas since Census 2000 reveals that:..."

"Hispanic, Asian, and black populations continue to migrate to, and expand their presence in, new destinations. They are increasingly living in suburbs, in rapidly growing job centers in the South and West, and in more affordable areas adjacent to higher-priced coastal metro areas. The wider dispersal of minority populations signifies the broadening relevance of policies aimed at more diverse, including immigrant, communities." Source: The Brookings Institution

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Does Television Rot your Brain? New Evidence from the Coleman Study

"Abstract: We use heterogeneity in the timing of television's introduction to different local markets to identify the effect of preschool television exposure on standardized test scores later in life. Our preferred point estimate indicates that an additional year of preschool television exposure raises average test scores by about .02 standard deviations. We are able to reject negative effects larger than about .03 standard deviations per year of television exposure. For reading and general knowledge scores, the positive effects we find are marginally statistically significant, and these effects are largest for children from households where English is not the primary language, for children whose mothers have less than a high school education, and for non-white children. To capture more general effects on human capital, we also study the effect of childhood television exposure on school completion and subsequent labor market earnings, and again find no evidence of a negative effect." Source: University of Chicago | NBER working paper

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Economic Report of the President

"The Economic Report of the President is an annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. It overviews the nation's economic progress using text and extensive data appendices. The Economic Report of the President is transmitted to Congress no later than ten days after the submission of the Budget of the United States Government. Supplementary reports can be issued to the Congress which contain additional and/or revised recommendations. Documents are available as ASCII text and PDF files." Source: Council of Economic Advisors

Link to report files

Lessons Learned Report on Human Capital Management

"This report on the use of human resources within the U.S. reconstruction program in Iraq reveals a central if unsurprising point: there was insufficient systematic planning for human capital management in Iraq before and during the U.S.-directed stabilization and reconstruction operations. The practical limitations ensuing from this shortfall adversely affected reconstruction in post-war Iraq. Moreover, the somewhat fitful creation of the initial coalition reconstruction organizations, and the unanticipated post-war collapse of virtually all Iraqi governing structures, substantially hindered coalition efforts to develop and rapidly execute an effective
reconstruction program." Source: Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR)

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Recognizing and Understanding Revolutionary Change in Warfare: The Sovereignty of Context

"The author provides a critical audit of the great RMA debate and of some actual RMA behavior and warns against a transformation that is highly potent only in a narrow range of strategic cases. He warns that the military effectiveness of a process of revolutionary change in a "way of war" can only be judged by the test of battle, and possibly not even then, if the terms of combat are very heavily weighted in favor of the United States. On balance, the concept of revolutionary change is found to be quite useful, provided it is employed and applied with some reservations and in a manner that allows for flexibility and adaptability. The contexts of warfare, especially the political, determine how effective a transforming military establishment will be."
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

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What’s Love Got To Do With It? Equality, Equity, Commitment and Women’s Marital Quality

"The companionate theory of marriage suggests that egalitarianism in practice and belief leads to higher marital quality for wives and higher levels of positive emotion work on the part of husbands. Our analysis of women’s marital quality and men’s marital emotion work provides little evidence in support of this theory. Rather, in examining women’s marital quality and men’s emotional investments in marriage, we find that dyadic commitment to institutional ideals about marriage and women’s contentment with the division of household tasks are more critical. We also show that men’s marital emotion work is a very important determinant of women’s marital quality. We conclude by noting that 'her' marriage is happiest when it combines elements of the new and old: that is, gender equity and normative commitment to the institution of marriage."
Source: Social Forces, University of Virginia

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Political Bias and War

We examine the incentives for countries to go to war as they depend on the com-parison between how much their pivotal decision-makers have at risk and how much they stand to gain from a war. How this ratio compares to the country at large is what we term political bias. If there is no political bias, then there are always payments that one country would like to make to the other that will avoid a war in the presence of commitment or enforceability of peace treaties. If there is a bias on the part of one or both countries, then war can result and in some cases cannot be prevented by any transfer payments. We examine how war technology and relative wealth levels interact with political bias in determining whether countries make transfers, go to war, and form alliances. Our results shed some new light on the uneven contender paradox and the interpretation of the democratic peace. Source: U.C. Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies

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Good bye Lenin (or not?): The effect of Communism on people's preferences

Preferences for redistribution, as well as the generosities of welfare states, differ significantly across countries. In this paper, we test whether there exists a feedback process of the economic regime on individual preferences. We exploit the "experiment" of German separation and reunification to establish exogeneity of the economic system. From 1945 to 1990, East Germans lived under a Communist regime with heavy state intervention and extensive redistribution. We find that, after German reunification, East Germans are more in favor of redistribution and state intervention than West Germans, even after controlling for economic incentives. This effet is especially strong for older cohorts who lived under Communism for a longer time period. We further find that East Germans' preferences converge towards those of West Germans. We calculate that it will take one to two generations for preferences to converge completely. Source: U.C. Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers' Voting on Women's Issues

Economists have long concerned themselves with environmental influences, such as neighborhood, peers and family on individuals' beliefs and behaviors. However, the impact of children on parents' behavior has been little studied. Parenting daughters, psychologists have shown, increases feminist sympathies. I test the hypothesis that children, much like neighbors or peers, can influence adult behavior. I demonstrate that the propensity to vote liberally on reproductive rights is significantly increasing in a congress person's proportion of daughters. The result demonstrates not only the relevance of child to parent behavioral influence, but also the importance of personal ideology in a legislator's voting decisions as it is not explained away by voter preferences. Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Healthy Start for the Los Angeles Healthy Kids Program: Findings From the First Evaluation Site Visit

"The Los Angeles Healthy Kids program was implemented in July 2003 and extended health coverage to uninsured children from birth through age five, in families with income below 300 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), who are ineligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families. Supported initially by an allocation of $100 million from First 5 LA, the program was expanded in May 2004 to cover all uninsured children through age 18 with additional funds raised by the Children s Health Initiative (CHI) Coalition of Greater Los Angeles. Results from this first case study report on Healthy Kids implementation, completed by the Urban Institute and partners under contract with First 5 LA, indicate that the program is off to a very positive start. Researchers found that the program, carefully designed to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families in the County, was implemented smoothly, with few notable problems. Furthermore, it has been nurtured during its early development through the ongoing oversight of the CHI and, in particular, leadership of First 5 LA, L.A. Care Health Plan , The California Endowment, and the County Department of Health Services." Source: The Foundation Center

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