Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Record Label Promotional Decisions and Artistic Personas: The Importance of Gender and Sexualization

"Many scholars and commentators have acknowledged sexism in the music industry, but very little systematic research explores patterns of gender preference or discrimination in popular music worlds. Interviews and interpretive or ethnographic work suggests a gendered glass ceiling exists, supported by gendered stereotypes and practices, but little direct research exists on the behaviors of record label personnel. This paper fills these holes by examining the degree to which record label promoters favor men or women as a group, and whether or not it matters if these artists are sexualized. The analysis suggests that, counter to expectations, promoters favor women as a group, and that both male and female artists receive a promotional boost for emphasizing a sexualized persona that counts double for women, but that these patterns differ significantly within genres and by race." Source: UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Thinking Gender Papers. Paper TG08_LynneDonze. [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Monday, October 27, 2008

The 14th Biannual Youth Survey on Politics and Public Service by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics

"Eight years after our first national survey during the Spring of 2000 which came on the heels of the lowest national turnout for a presidential election in more than 50 years, we sought to understand the drivers behind political engagement and civic participation of a new generation. We found that while more than half of college students were engaged in some form of community service, far fewer were engaged in politics -or even voting.

Through the attitudinal and opinion data that we have collected over the course of fourteen in-depth editions of the Harvard University Institute of Politics’ Survey on Politics and Public Service we have seen dramatic changes in theway young Americans think about, relate to and engage in politics. More importantly we have seen record turnout by this generation during the 2008 primary season. " Source: Harvard Institute Of Politics

Link to Executive Summary
| Download topline data (pdf)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What’s Next? Report on the Forum on the Future of Higher Education in Canada

"Universities and colleges play a central role in delivering the skills and knowledge that underpin personal development, success in the labour market, an innovative and productive economy, and a citizenry engaged in their communities. There has been a great deal of research in recent years on post-secondary education, particularly on how best to promote equitable access, but also on issues of quality and accountability in post-secondary institutions. The Forum on the Future of Higher Education in Canada examined key trends in post-secondary education and discussed policy options in five areas: access, connections between PSE and the labour market, integration of the system, new ways to deliver programs, and the need for a pan-Canadian framework."
Source: Canadian Policy Research Networks

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Incarceration and the Family : A Review of Research and Promising Approaches for Serving Fathers and Families

Summary Points:

# The number of individuals involved in the criminal justice system is at a historic high. There are almost 2.3 million individuals in U.S. jails and prisons and more than 798,000 people on parole. It is estimated that 7,476,500 children have a parent who is in prison, in jail or under correctional supervision.
# Minority children are disproportionately affected by father imprisonment: In state prisons, 42% of fathers are African American, and African American children are seven and a half times more likely to have a parent in prison than white children (6.7% vs. 0.9%).
# Only 23% of state prisoners are married, but many are involved in intimate or co-parenting relationships.
# Father incarceration negatively affects family life. Spouses/partners face serious financial strains, social isolation and stigma, loneliness, and negative emotions such as anger and resentment.
# Children of incarcerated fathers also may experience numerous life stressors, including caregiver changes, increased poverty, and involvement with the child welfare system, in addition to the pain of parental separation. These stressors have been linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, learning problems, and aggression.
# Fathers in prison face a host of problems that limit their ability to be successful at reentry including substance abuse, mental illness, low educational attainment, and poor employment histories.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Link to more summary points

Download full pdf report

Eurostat Regional Yearbook

"Eurostat regional yearbook 2008, which this year includes candidate and EFTA countries, uses text and graphics to paint a statistical picture of life in the regions. Th e 13 chapters are written by specialists and presented in a language accessible to all.

The 2008 publication is an ideal opportunity to assess the progress made so far in regional policy programmes recently launched as part of the EU’s new cohesion policy. Th e latest results from the Urban Audit also provide us with a snapshot of city life across the regions.

Download pdf report | Eurostat regional yearbook 2008">

Europe @ Risk

"Ahead of the World Economic Forum on Europe and Central Asia, held 30 October - 1 November, the Global Risk Network has launched a new edition of Europe@Risk. This report examines the global risks most pertinent to Europe, Russia, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Central Asia relating to four areas: economic slowdown, energy security, demographic shifts and education. It considers how interrelated these areas are, and how they might impact all or parts of the wider region. As the report was being prepared, the financial crisis that began with the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market in the US in 2007 had reached a critical point.

Figures for Western Europe show that it is officially in recession and the level of uncertainty about the full extent, duration and longer term consequences of this crisis remains very high. This economic situation puts a number of the region’s challenges in new light; slower or no growth, combined with tighter credit conditions, will impact consumer, corporate and government spending. The mitigation of many of the risks considered in this report will require even greater collaboration across the region and considerable investment over the long term, be it in infrastructure, education or alternative energy." Source: World Economic Forum

Download full pdf report
| Link to World Economic Forum

Most States Are Setting Low Expectations for the Improvement of High School Graduation Rates

"Among industrialized nations, the United States is the only country in which today’s young people are less likely than their parents to have earned a high school diploma. Reversing this trend could hardly be more urgent.

Yet policymakers in many states are setting graduation improvement targets that won’t get our young people—or our nation—ready to compete in the knowledge-driven world of the 21st century. According to “Counting on Graduation,” a new report released today by The Education Trust, states must ratchet up expectations for high school graduation, substantially and immediately.

Federal law requires states to set benchmarks for improvements in reading and math achievement and for graduating high school students on time. However, the various methods states use to compute graduation rates obscure the reality that too few students are completing high school on time. Nationally, one of every four high school students fails to graduate on time. For African-American and Latino students, that rate increases to more than one in three." Source: The Education Trust

Download full pdf Report
| Link to online press release

Republicans: Still Happy Campers

"Chin up, Republicans. Despite the imploding stock market, the looming recession, the unpopular president and the dismal political polls, there's very good news in the one realm of life that's always been a special sanctuary for you.

Personal happiness.
Some 37% of you say you're "very happy" with your lives, compared with just 25% of Democrats who feel the same way, according to a new nationwide Pew Research Center survey conducted from Oct. 3 through Oct. 19 -- a period that's witnessed a race to the bottom between John McCain's poll numbers and the public's 401(k) account balances." Source: Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center

Link to online report : Social and Demographic Trends

Most Voters Say News Media Wants Obama to Win

Voters overwhelmingly believe that the media wants Barack Obama to win the presidential election. By a margin of 70%-9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on Nov. 4. Another 8% say journalists don't favor either candidate, and 13% say they don't know which candidate most reporters support.

A separate study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looks at the media’s recent campaign coverage and finds that McCain received significantly more negative than positive coverage between the GOP convention and the final debate. The study says that press treatment of Obama has been somewhat more positive than negative, but not markedly so. [See "Winning the Media Campaign" released October 22, 2008.] Source: Pew research center for people and the press

Download full pdf report
| Link to online summary

Latinos Account for Half of U.S. Population Growth Since 2000

"Since 2000 Hispanics have accounted for more than half (50.5%) of the overall population growth in the United States -- a significant new demographic milestone for the nation's largest minority group. During the 1990s, the Hispanic population also expanded rapidly, but in that decade its growth accounted for less than 40% of the nation's total population increase. In a reversal of past trends, Latino population growth in the new century has been more a product of the natural increase (births minus deaths) of the existing population than it has been of new international migration. As of mid-2007, Hispanics accounted for 15.1% of the total U.S. population." Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary | Link to State demographic data

Monday, October 20, 2008

Being Online is Not Enough: State Elections Web Sites

"In this report, Make Voting Work (MVW) examined the state elections Web sites in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine whether citizens can find the official election information they need to register to vote, check their registration status and locate their polling places. More importantly, MVW measured if potential voters can use the information on state elections Web sites and if it helps them. We found that every state has room for improvement. However, states can still take steps to help voters; as the election approaches, many states have updated their Web sites and developed tools to help voters this November." Source: Pew Charitable Trust

Download full pdf report
| Link to online summary

How Engaged Are Consumers in Their Health and Health Care, and Why Does It Matter

"Patient activation refers to a person’s ability to manage their health and health care. Engaging or activating consumers has become a priority for employers, health plans and policy makers. The level of patient activation varies considerably in the U.S. population, with less than half of the adult population at the highest level of activation, according to a new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). Activation levels are especially low for people with low incomes, less education, Medicaid enrollees, and people with poor self-reported health. Higher activation levels are associated with much lower levels of unmet need for medical care and greater support from health care providers for self-management of chronic conditions."

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

University Libraries in Google Project to Offer Backup Digital Library

"The project is called HathiTrust, and so far it consists of the members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of the 11 universities in the Big Ten Conference and the University of Chicago, and the 10 campuses in the University of California system. The University of Virginia is joining the project, it will be announced today, and officials hope to bring in other colleges as well.

All of the member universities participate in Google's ambitious effort to work with major libraries and with publishers to scan all the world's books. As part of the partnership, Google employees borrow and scan millions of volumes from each participating library to add them to their Google Book Search, and in return each library gets a digital copy of each of its scanned volumes." Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

"But there is an important catch. Because most of the millions of books are still under copyright protection, the libraries cannot offer the full text of the books to people off their campuses, though they can reveal details like how many pages of a given volume contain any passage that a user searches for."

Link to online article

Census Bureau Releases Comprehensive Health Insurance Coverage Estimates by County

“The Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) provide new and important detail on how health insurance coverage varies across counties,” said Lynn Blewett, director of the State Health Access Data Assistance Center in Minneapolis. “Analysts and policymakers can use this information to target outreach activities and other intervention strategies to increase coverage and access to needed health care services.”

"Currently, SAHIE are the only source for county-level estimates of health insurance coverage status. Starting next year the Census Bureau will also release such estimates from its American Community Survey. Single-year estimates will be available for all geographic areas with total populations of 65,000 or more, with three-year estimates being released in 2011 for all areas with total populations of at least 20,000. A health insurance question was added to the 2008 American Community Survey to permit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to more accurately distribute resources and better understand state and local health insurance needs."

Link to SAHIE (datasets available for download)

Auction Basics: Background for Assessing Proposed Treasury Purchases of MortgageBacked Securities

"To address the turmoil in financial markets, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA; H.R. 1424, P.L. 110-343), enacted on October 3, 2008, authorizes purchases of "troubled assets." The act passed the Senate on October 1, 2008, passed the House on October 3, 2008, and was signed into law the same day. The Administration proposed using reverse Dutch auctions to purchase troubled assets -- primarily mortgage-related securities from financial institutions. In reverse Dutch auctions, a buyer purchases multiple objects from private parties at a price set by the last accepted bid. The government has used reverse auctions since the Revolutionary War. Designing efficient reverse Dutch auctions may present some tradeoffs between enhancing competition among bidders and overpaying for assets relative to their quality. Careful auction design, however, can help minimize these problems. Auctions are especially useful for selling assets whose value to potential owners is unknown to the seller. Reverse auctions are useful when a buyer does not know what value sellers place on assets. Auction results could clarify the market value of troubled assets." Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf report
| Link to online abstract

Campaign Seen As Increasingly Negative : McCain Ads Seen as Less Truthful

"With less than three weeks to go before the election, there is a growing sense among the public that the tone of the presidential campaign has changed. A majority of Americans (55%) now say that the campaign is too negative. This is up significantly from 43% a month ago and represents a dramatic change from the beginning of the primary season when only 28% said the campaign was too negative. Perceptions of the tone of the current campaign are nearly identical to views of the 2004 presidential campaign. In October, 2004, 57% of registered voters said the campaign was too negative." Pew Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf publication
| Download pdf questionnaire | Link to online abstract

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tobacco industry targeting of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community: A white paper

Smoking prevalence in the lesbian and gay community exceeds that in nearly all other demographic groups. In 2001, we undertook a four-year research project to study tobacco industry targeting of the lesbian and gay community. We researched formerly-secret tobacco industry documents, analyzed tobacco content in the gay press, interviewed leaders of LGBT organizations, and conducted focus groups with LGBT smokers and nonsmokers.

We found that tobacco companies began to advertise in the gay press in the early 1990s, initially wary of unfavorable publicity and quick to deny doing so when confronted. At the same time, the tobacco industry began to sponsor community organizations and events, especially those for AIDS-related causes, which helped burnish the industry's reputation. Many leaders and members of the community viewed this attention from major corporations as a sign that the community was becoming visible and more acceptable.

Our study found that most LGBT leaders did not consider tobacco a "gay issue". Focused on gay-specific concerns, such as homophobia, they saw tobacco as irrelevant or even a distraction from their missions. Twenty two percent of organizations we studied reported accepting financial support from the tobacco industry. Only 24% thought tobacco was one of the top three health concerns of the community. Many believed that smoking was solely a personal choice, not an issue of concern for the community as a whole.

The queer press normalized smoking. Images of tobacco, most conveying positive or neutral messages, were common. We found that many ads for products other than cigarettes glamorized smoking, and many articles having nothing to do with smoking were illustrated with tobacco use images. Only 11% of all non-advertising items we found (images and text) imparted a negative message about tobacco use. Very few LGBT publications had policies against accepting tobacco ads.

By the time the study ended, an increasing number of LGBT advocates were working in tobacco control. We recommend activities that promote a community dialogue about the real costs of accepting tobacco industry advertising and funding. For example, some groups are urging LGBT politicians and organizations to sign pledges not to take tobacco industry money. As mainstream tobacco control has begun to recognize the need of the LGBT community for services, we recommend that LGBT organizations apply for funding, perhaps using the infrastructures the community has developed to provide services for breast cancer and HIV.

Additional research to develop models for getting tobacco on the community's agenda would be useful. For example, understanding how alcohol and other drugs became seen as gay-specific community concerns—even though, like tobacco, they affect everyone—could be helpful. Finding ways to challenge the views of some young gay people—that most queers smoke—might make it easier to help them remain smokefree. Perhaps a greater

understanding of the coming out process—in which one's authentic self challenges societal norms—could help arm young people with the strength to resist tobacco. Finally, one of the lessons of the larger LGBT movement itself—the importance of holding institutions accountable for the harm they cause—might help the community stop thinking of smoking as a personal issue, and think of it instead as a systemic issue, with a culpable industry at the heart of the problem.

* Many community organizations define themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). When possible, we included bisexual and transgender people in our study. Throughout this paper, the terms LGBT, queer, and gay are used interchangeably to acknowledge the diversity of the community and to respect the variety of ways in which LGBT people identify themselves.

Naphtali Offen, Elizabeth A. Smith, and Ruth E. Malone, "Tobacco industry targeting of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community: A white paper" (September 8, 2008). Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Tobacco Control Policy Making: United States. Paper LGBT2008.

Download full pdf report
| Link to online abstract

Untold Truths: The Exclusion of Enforced Sterilizations from the Peruvian Truth Commission's Final Report

"This Article argues that the exclusion of enforced sterilization cases from the Peruvian Truth Commission’s (CVR’s) investigation and Final Report effectively erases state responsibility and greatly decreases the likelihood for justice and reparations for women victims-survivors of state-sponsored violence in Peru. In a context of deep cultural and economic divides and violent conflict, this note recounts how healthcare providers violated Peruvian women’s reproductive rights by sterilizing low-income, indigenous Quechua-speaking women without informed consent through the State’s Family Planning Program. It challenges the reasons given by Commissioners themselves for excluding these cases in the Commission’s investigation and Final Report and also examines the effects of these omissions. Additionally, this Article argues that these systematic reproductive injustices constitute an act of genocide, proposes an independent inquiry and advocates for a more inclusive ! investigation and final report for future truth commissions whose goals include truth, accountability and justice for all victims-survivors of state-sponsored violence. Addressing these systematic violations of the fundamental human rights of Peruvian women is particularly important today as the State prosecutes former President Alberto Ken’ya Fujimori, holding him accountable for his alleged acts and omissions in violation of the fundamental human rights of Peruvians during the internal armed conflict. Leaders responsible for the enforced sterilization of more than 200,000 Peruvian women, including Fujimori, must be held accountable for past violations in order to fully realize future reconciliation and justice in Peru." Source: Cornell Law School. Cornell Law School Working Papers Series. Paper 43.

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Making Space for Urban Girls: A Politics of Geography and Gender

"This paper presents a multi-year case study of an after-school literacy initiative at an inner city high school. In order to understand the lived experiences and practices of urban girls, this study explores how African American girls, in particular, navigate public and private spaces of their everyday worlds. Spatial limitations, institutional pressures, and teens’ subjectivities shaped an extracurricular literacy program, built on a theoretical framework of participatory research and youth-led digital media production. By considering the politics of after-school programming and the landscape of urban contexts, I problematize programs such as Girlspace, as well as complicate understandings of youth literacies, geography, and participatory research. This paper argues that for youth development programs to succeed, the complexity of socio-cultural and spatial realities facing urban girls-- as well as their perspectives-- must be understood." Source: Institute for the Study of Social Change. U.C. Berkeley ISSC Fellows Working Papers. Paper ISSC_WP_31. [via escholarship repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Monday, October 13, 2008

Digital Quality of Life: Understanding the Personal and Social Benefits of the Information Technology Revolution

In the new global economy information technology (IT) is the major driver of both economic growth and improved quality of life. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in its 2007 report Digital Prosperity: Understanding the Economic Benefits of the Information Technology Revolution documented how IT, since the mid-1990s, has been the principal driver of increased economic growth not only in the United States but also in many other nations. However, IT is also at the core of dramatic improvements in the quality of life for individuals around the world. In our new report, we show how IT is the key enabler of many, if not most, of today’s key innovations and improvements in our lives and society—from better education and health care, to a cleaner and more energy-efficient environment, to safer and more secure communities and nations. Source: Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF)

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Sexually Assaulted Children: National Estimates and Characteristics

"Provides information on the estimated number and characteristics of children who were sexually assaulted in the United States in 1999. This Bulletin is the seventh in the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2) series. Information on sexual assault was gathered from NISMART–2 interviews with victims and their families." Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Download full pdf report | Link to Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2008

"This report examines both the educational progress of American Indian/Alaska Native children and adults and challenges in their education. It shows that over time more American Indian/Alaska Native students have gone on to college and that their attainment expectations have increased. Despite these gains, progress has been uneven and differences persist between American Indian/Alaska Native students and students of other racial/ethnic groups on key indicators of educational performance." Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf report
| Link to online Summary

Ashamed Not to Vote for an African-American; Ashamed to Vote for a Woman: An Analysis of the Bradley Effect from 1982-2006

"By systematically analyzing the universe of black, Latino, Asian American Senate and Gubernatorial candidates, a representative sample of female candidates, and a large sample of white male comparison cases, we demonstrate that there is a Bradley Effect for black candidates that continues to the present day. We also show that women are susceptible to a reverse Bradley Effect. In addition to this contribution, the article also introduces a model of preference falsification which fills a gap in the survey response bias literature and is consistent with our overall findings, though to our knowledge no data exists to test it directly."Source: Center for the Study of Democracy. U.C. Irvine Paper 08-08.

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online abstract

Untapped Potential: Latinos and California Community Colleges

"Latinos are now the largest group of students who begin their postsecondary studies at a California community college after graduating from a public high school. This represents an opportunity to improve bachelor degree attainment among Latinos via the community college transfer function. This research brief describes current transfer rates among Latinos, reviews the literature on the barriers to transfer, and concludes with a cohort analysis of Latino community college students that describes their demographic profiles, coursework patterns, transfer readiness and outcomes. The author concludes that California’s community college system is not close to reaching its potential as a stepping-stone to four-year colleges and universities for Latino students." Source: Center for Latino Policy Research. Policy Reports and Research Briefs: Paper Chavez2008.

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online Summary

Middle Class, By the Numbers

"With the economy in turmoil, the closing weeks of the presidential campaign are likely to focus increased attention on America's beleaguered middle class.

But just who is in the middle class? And how are things going for them?

The Pew Research Center surveyed 2,413 adults earlier this year, including 1,276 who identified themselves as "middle class." Pew researchers also analyzed U.S. Census data and other demographic and economic statistics." Source: Pew Research Center: Social and Demographic Trends

Download full report on Middle Class | Link to online summary

Trends in Unauthorized Immigration: Undocumented Inflow Now Trails Legal Inflow

"There were 11.9 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in March 2008, according to new Pew Hispanic Center estimates. The size of the unauthorized population appears to have declined since 2007, but this finding is inconclusive because of the margin of error in these estimates.

However, it is clear from the estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population grew more slowly in the period from 2005 to 2008 than it did earlier in the decade.

It also is clear that from 2005 to 2008, the inflow of immigrants who are undocumented fell below that of immigrants who are legal permanent residents. That reverses a trend that began a decade ago. The turnaround appears to have occurred in 2007." Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf report | Link to online Summary

Many Say Press Has Been Too Tough on Palin

"Strong majorities of the public say the press has been fair to John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. But fewer than four-in-ten (38%) say the press has been fair to Sarah Palin. Many more believe the press has been too tough on Palin (38%) than say it has been too easy (21%).

While opinions about Palin coverage are highly partisan, many independents share the view that the press has been too tough on the Alaska governor. Among independents, 41% say the press has been too hard on Palin, 20% say the press has been too easy and 36% say the press has been fair. Republicans overwhelmingly believe the press has been too hard on Palin (63%). Just 7% say the press has been too easy on her. Nearly one-in-five Democrats (18%) agree that coverage of Palin has been too tough." Source: PewResearch Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report | Download pdf questionnaire | Link to online summary

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Resolving the Foreclosure Crisis: Modification of Mortgages in Bankruptcy

Abstract: For over a century, bankruptcy has been the primary legal mechanism for resolving consumer financial distress. In the current foreclosure crisis, however, the bankruptcy system has been ineffective because of the special protection it gives most home mortgages. Debtors may modify the terms of all debts in bankruptcy except those secured by mortgages on their principal residences. A bankrupt debtor who wishes to keep her house must pay the mortgage according to its original terms down to the last penny. As a result, many homeowners who are unable to meet their mortgage payments are losing their homes in foreclosure, thereby creating significant economic and social deadweight costs and further depressing the housing market.

This Article empirically tests the economic assumption underlying the policy against bankruptcy modification of home mortgage debt - namely that protecting lenders from losses in bankruptcy encourages them to lend more and at lower rates, and thus encourages homeownership. The data show that the assumption is mistaken; permitting modification would have little or no impact on mortgage credit cost or availability. Because lenders face smaller losses from bankruptcy modification than from foreclosure, the market is unlikely to price against bankruptcy modification.

In light of market neutrality, the Article argues that permitting modification of home mortgages in bankruptcy presents the best solution to the foreclosure crisis. Unlike any other proposed response, bankruptcy modification offers immediate relief, solves the market problems created by securitization, addresses both problems of payment reset shock and negative equity, screens out speculators, spreads burdens between borrowers and lenders, and avoids both the costs and moral hazard of a government bailout. As the foreclosure crisis deepens, bankruptcy modification presents the best and least invasive method of stabilizing the housing market. Source: Georgetown Law. Georgetown Law Faculty Working Papers. Paper 86.

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online abstract

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Gender, Source Country Characteristics and Labor Market Assimilation Among Immigrants: 1980-2000

"We use 1980, 1990 and 2000 Census data to study the impact of source country characteristics on the labor supply assimilation profiles of married adult immigrant women and men. Women migrating from countries where women have high relative labor force participation rates work substantially more than women coming from countries with lower relative female labor supply rates, and this gap is roughly constant with time in the United States. These differences are substantial and hold up even when we control for wage offers and family formation decisions, as well as when we control for the emigration rate from the United States to the source country. Men's labor supply assimilation profiles are unaffected by source country female labor supply, a result that suggests that the female findings reflect notions of gender roles rather than overall work orientation. Findings for another indicator of traditional gender roles, source country fertility rates, are broadly similar, with substantial and persistent negative effects of source country fertility on the labor supply of female immigrants except when we control for presence of children, in which case the negative effects only become evident after ten years in the United States." Source: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Download pdf publication: Gender, Source Country Characteristics and Labor Market Assimilation Among Immigrants

Link to online abstract

Monday, October 06, 2008

Headed for a Crunch: An Update on Medicaid Spending, Coverage and Policy Heading into an Economic Downturn

"This annual 50-state survey of state officials on Medicaid and state budget actions by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) finds enrollment in Medicaid began to rise in fiscal year 2008 with states expecting even larger increases for fiscal year 2009 as they confront a weakening economy. With the increased enrollment, Medicaid spending is also rising more rapidly than in the recent past, raising the potential for program cutbacks as states confront the combined impact of more enrollees and fewer available resources.

The survey finds that Medicaid enrollment across the country grew 2.1 percent in fiscal year 2008, more than erasing a slight decline in enrollment experienced the previous year. States also experienced spending growth of 5.3 percent, up significantly from the previous two years. For fiscal year 2009, states expect to see even larger increases in Medicaid enrollment and spending.

Conducted by Kaiser researchers with the KCMU and researchers with Health Management Associates, the eighth annual budget survey of state officials found that more states made restorations, enhancements or expansions to their Medicaid programs than made cuts for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. These include changes to provider reimbursement levels, in Medicaid eligibility requirements and enrollment processes, in benefits, and in home- and community-based services for long-term care." Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

Download full pdf report
| Download pdf executive summary | Link to Press Release

Economy seems better to the educated, whites and Republicans, the National Annenberg Election Survey shows

"As widely reported, polls have shown that the percentage of the American public reporting that the economy is faltering has increased over the past year. Some groups see the situation as more dire than others do. Results from the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey show that college-educated adults, whites, and Republicans are less likely than their demographic counterparts to believe that economic conditions in the country today are worse than they were one year ago, even when controlling for gender, age, education, income, race, ethnicity, and party identification." Source: Annenberg Public Policy Center

Note: This is the work of Kathleen Hall Jameson (CASBS Fellow 2004)

Download full pdf release | Link to Annenberg Public Policy Center

American public has much to learn about presidential candidates’ issue positions, National Annenberg Election Survey shows

From Press Release:
"Many Americans are unable to identify where the major party candidates’ stand on various issues ranging from health care to abortion to free trade, according to recent data collected by the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey. Only a little over a quarter (28 percent) of adults were able to identify Senator John McCain as the presidential candidate more likely to support free trade agreements like NAFTA." Source: Annenberg Public Policy Center

Note: This is the work of Kathleen Hall Jameson (CASBS Fellow 2004)

Download full Release in pdf

2008 State of College Admission report

"As the number of high school graduates grows, so, too, does the number of applications they are submitting to the nation’s four-year colleges and universities, according to the 2008 State of College Admission report by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). The association released the sixth annual report during its national conference in Seattle, WA.

While the number of students and applications reached another all-time high, the average (mean) acceptance rate for four-year colleges and universities is much the same as it was when such statistics were first measured nationally in the 1980s. The increasing number of applications students submit may contribute to a more complicated admission environment, including increased uncertainty for colleges about who will attend if accepted, more admission strategies aimed at identifying students likely to attend, and greater attention to factors like a student’s interest in attending a college in the admission decision. Source: National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)."

Download full pdf report
| Link to NACAC

Demography Defeated: Florida's K-12 Reforms and Their Lessons for the Nation

This study examines the 10-year impact of these reforms and finds remarkable improvement in Florida’s test scores. Between 1992 and 1998, Florida’s already-low fourth-grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scores were declining. In 1999, when these reforms were enacted, nearly half of Florida fourth-graders scored “below basic” on the NAEP reading test, meaning that they could not read at a basic level. But by 2007, less than a decade after the education reforms took effect, 70 percent of Florida’s fourth-graders scored basic or above. Florida’s Hispanic students now have the second-highest statewide reading scores in the nation, and African-Americans score fourth-highest when compared with their peers. Source: Goldwater Institute

Download pdf publication: Demography Defeated: Florida's K-12 Reforms and their Lessons for the Nation.

Ten Questions and Answers About the Housing Crisis and the Financial Bailout— In Plain English

From the Press Release: "As Congress tries to hammer out a $700 billion financial rescue plan, many people are still trying to understand how our financial institutions got into so much trouble in the first place, and why the government needs to take action to bail them out. In a new issue brief from The Century Foundation, economist and senior fellow Bernard Wasow answers ten crucial questions about the housing crisis. In “A Guide to the Housing Crisis: Ten Questions and Answers” Wasow offers straightforward answers to basic questions such as:

* Why did lenders make so many bad loans for mortgages?
* Why are so many different banks and brokerages all over the world in hot water?
* Who will eventually own the real estate properties involved?
* What will happen to the bankers and brokers who operated the institutions that created all these bad loans?
* What is the “worst case” outcome of this crisis?
* What is the “best case” outcome of this crisis?"
Source: the Century Foundation

Download pdf of “A Guide to the Housing Crisis: Ten Questions and Answers”

Widespread Confusion About the Voting Rights of People with Criminal Records

"A report released by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law reveals widespread misunderstanding among state election officials of laws governing the right to vote of citizens with felony convictions.

A second ACLU report, also released today, finds that voter registration forms in states across the country fail to clearly explain the eligibility of voters with criminal records.

Both reports reveal widespread problems that endanger the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in a presidential election year. " Source: Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law

Download pdf of "De Facto Disenfranchisement" from Brennan Center
Download pdf of "Voting With a Criminal Record: How Registration Forms Frustrate Democracy" from the ACLU

Revolving Door

"Whether they are a presidential appointee plucked from an elite position in corporate America to run a government commission or an outgoing member of Congress looking for a more lucrative job in the influence industry, OpenSecrets.org's Revolving Door database tracks anyone whose résumé includes positions of influence in both the private and public sectors. Government employees may have had the president’s ear or may have simply been the doorkeeper of the congressional cloakrooms. Influence-peddlers merely have to be in a position to influence government policy on someone else's behalf, commonly as a "hired gun" at a K Street firm, an executive of a professional trade association or as a vice president of government relations for a large company." Source: OpenSecrets.org

Link to Revolving Door

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Public Vs. Private Good Research at Land-Grant Universities

"The basic concern of this paper is the effect of private sponsorship of university research on the allocation of expenditures between public good research and commercial applications. Throughout the land-grant university system, there is much concern that as a result of reduced government funding, fundamental research will be neglected at the expense of research that is geared toward commercial applications. This paper attempts to shed some light on the relationship between research priorities and the availability of public funding for university research. In particular, we use both a static and a dynamic model to investigate the conditions under which university/private research partnerships can "crowd-in" or "crowd-out" basic science research as public funding becomes scarcer." Source: Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley. CUDARE Working Paper 1066. [via escholarship repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract