Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alternative Welfare-to-Work Strategies for the Hard-to-Employ

From the Overview:
This report presents interim results from an evaluation of two different welfare-to-work strategies for hard-to-employ recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Philadelphia. The study is part of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project, which is testing innovative employment strategies for groups facing serious obstacles to finding and keeping a steady job. The project is sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. It is being conducted by MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, along with the Urban Institute and other partners.

Source: MDRC

Download full pdf report | Download pdf executive summary | Link to MDRC

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Millennials

Generations, like people, have personalities. Their collective identities typically begin to reveal themselves when their oldest members move into their teens and twenties and begin to act upon their values, attitudes and worldviews.

America's newest generation, the Millennials,1 is in the middle of this coming-of-age phase of its life cycle. Its oldest members are approaching age 30; its youngest are approaching adolescence.

Source: Pew Research

Link to various demographic and social trends of the Millennial Generation

Staying Safe Survey 2009 - Young People and Parents' Attitudes around Internet Safety

The Saying Safe Survey is the Department’s new tracking survey of young people and parents’ attitudes and confidence around a number of safety issues. The results in this report were commissioned specifically to inform the Department's work on child internet safety.

The survey was conducted through face-to-face in-home interviews with 1,433 parents and carers of children aged 0-17 and 833 with children and young people aged 12-17. Fieldwork took place between 12 June and 17 July 2009.

Source: United Kingdom Dept. for children, schools and family

Download full pdf publication
| Link to DCSF

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2009

Presents data on crime and safety at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, and principals. A joint effort by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics, this annual report examines crime occurring in school as well as on the way to and from school. It also provides the most current detailed statistical information on the nature of crime in schools and school environments and responses to violence and crime at school. Data are drawn from several federally funded collections including the National Crime Victimization Survey, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, School Survey on Crime and Safety, and the Schools and Staffing Survey.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Download full pdf publication | Link to Bureau of Justice Statistics

Federal Student Aid FY2009 Annual Report

In FY 2009, Federal Student Aid delivered or supported the delivery of approximately $113 billion in grant, work-study and loan assistance to almost 13 million postsecondary students and their families. These students attend approximately 6,200 active institutions of postsecondary education accredited by dozens of agencies. Many of these students also receive loans from approximately 2,900 lenders with 35 agencies administering the guarantee on those loans.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Education

Download full pdf report
| Link to Federal Student Aid gov site

Transcript : Berkeley Endowed Lecture on Law and Economics: "Transitions into--and out of--Liberal Democracy"

"I believe a society can be expected to evolve into a liberal democracy, including private property and the rule of law, only if producer groups can organize and exert enough influence to prevent government predation."

Williams, Honorable Stephen F.(2009). Berkeley Endowed Lecture on Law and Economics

UC Berkeley: Berkeley Program in Law and Economics. Retrieved from:

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Together We Must! End Violence against Women and Girls and HIV & AIDS

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) and HIV & AIDS are mutually reinforcing pandemics; the need and the opportunity for integrated approaches addressing their intersection are increasingly evident. To date, however, such strategies have not been implemented on a widespread scale. Advocates and communities working on HIV & AIDS and VAWG are just beginning to come together to explore common strategies.

This publication profiles ten organizations that are working on innovative strategies to address the intertwined pandemics. It highlights key elements to consider when implementing such strategies.

Source: United Nations Development fund for women

Download full pdf publication | Link to online summary

Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America

Hispanics are the largest and youngest minority group in the United States. One- in-five schoolchildren is Hispanic. One-in-four newborns is Hispanic. Never before in this country's history has a minority ethnic group made up so large a share of the youngest Americans. By force of numbers alone, the kinds of adults these young Latinos become will help shape the kind of society America becomes in the 21st century.

This report takes an in-depth look at Hispanics who are ages 16 to 25, a phase of life when young people make choices that-for better and worse-set their path to adulthood. For this particular ethnic group, it is also a time when they navigate the intricate, often porous borders between the two cultures they inhabit-American and Latin American.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

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| Link to online summary

Unemployment and Economic Recovery

From Summary

Even though the economy seems to be growing again, it may be a while before the unemployment rate begins to decline, and it may even continue rising for some time after the resumption of sustained economic growth. The unemployment rate is generally a lagging indicator, meaning that its ups and downs happen some time after the ups and downs of other broad indicators of economic activity. Unemployment may not fall appreciably when economic growth first picks up because some firms may have underutilized labor.

Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf publication | Link to online summary

The Copyright Registration Requirement and Federal Court Jurisdiction: A Legal Analysis of Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick

From the online overview:
Although an author need not register his or her work with the U.S. Copyright Office to obtain copyright protection, registration is a statutory prerequisite to bringing suit for infringement of the copyright, as mandated by 17 U.S.C. §411(a). The question in Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, is whether this section of the Copyright Act restricts the subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courts over copyright infringement actions.

Oral argument was heard in Reed Elsevier on October 7, 2009. The outcome of this case will not only affect the particular settlement at issue, but may well have broader implications for authors, publishers, and the general public.

Source: Congressional Research Service

Download pdf publication | Link to online overview

Does the Globalization of Anti-corruption Law Help Developing Countries?

What role do foreign institutions play in combating political corruption in developing countries? This chapter begins by describing the recently developed transnational anti-corruption regime, which encompasses legal instruments ranging from the dedicated multilateral agreements sponsored by the OECD and the United Nations, to the anti-corruption policies of international financial institutions, to components of the international antimony laundering regime, international norms governing government procurement, and private law norms concerning enforcement of corruptly procured contracts. It also surveys the evidence concerning a variety of claims about the potential advantages and disadvantages of having foreign institutions play a role in preventing, sanctioning, or providing redress for corruption on the part of local public officials. One of the main conclusions is that more attention ought to be paid to whether foreign institutions displace and undermine, or alternatively complement and enhance, local anti-corruption institutions. The analysis not only sheds light on the transnational anti-corruption regime, but also has implications for other efforts to rely on foreign legal institutions to address the problems of developing countries.

Source: New York University Law and Economics Working Papers

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| Link to online abstract

Monday, December 07, 2009

Educators See More Hungry Students in Their Classrooms

Educators across the nation report that, with increasing frequency, they are witnessing hunger among their students—which affects the ability to concentrate and learn—despite government and private nutrition programs intended to ensure children have enough to eat in and out of school, according to a new survey of classroom instructors released on Nov. 23.

AFT members—who include paraprofessionals, classified staff and food service workers, as well as teachers—will continue to track hunger in their schools by responding to an online question—giving examples of how the problem affects their students and identifying steps they believe would alleviate it. In addition to what the Share Our Strength survey found about teachers' responses to hungry students, AFT members have related other stories of cafeteria workers handing out extra food and classified staff keeping a snack drawer in the school office.

The survey of 740 elementary and middle school teachers was commissioned by Share Our Strength. It was conducted by Lake Research Partners through an online questionnaire Oct. 21-28. The results were released during an SOS-organized webinar that featured the stories of teachers who participated in the survey.

Download full pdf publication | Link to online summary

New Report Shows Paid Parental Leave Can Save Government Money in Turnover Costs

From Press Release:
The federal government could save an estimated $50 million in recruitment and retention costs by putting in place a paid parental leave benefit, according to new research by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). The report, and its conclusion, was presented today at a Capitol Hill briefing co-hosted by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).

“NTEU has long believed that commonsense benefits which assist employees in balancing competing work and home responsibilities help agencies hold on to talented workers,” said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley. “This report shows that is true, with an added benefit of saving the government money.”

The IWPR report calculates that an additional 2,650 employees would remain with the government each year, if this benefit were in place. That would save $50 million in recruitment and retention costs, according to the report.

Source: IWPR via NTEU

Download full pdf report | Link to online press release

The Devil Wears Prada? Effects of Exposure to Luxury Goods on Cognition and Decision Making

Although the concept of luxury has been widely discussed in social theories and marketing research, relatively little research has directly examined the psychological consequences of exposure to luxury goods. This paper demonstrates that exposure to luxury goods increases individuals' propensity to prioritize self-interests over others' interests, influencing the decisions they make. Experiment 1 found that participants primed with luxury goods were more likely than those primed with non-luxury goods to endorse business decisions that benefit themselves but could potentially harm others. Using a word recognition task, Experiment 2 further demonstrates that exposure to luxury is likely to activate self-interest but not necessarily the tendency to harm others. Implications of these findings were discussed.

Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

Download full pdf publication | Link to online Executive Summary

Transcript: Workplace Challenges: Managing Layoffs, and Motivating Those Left Behind

The current downturn has left many companies scrambling to manage workplace issues -- ranging from how to avoid a brain drain to how they can provide better value to customers and clients. Employees, for their part, face the challenges that arise from working in a leaner organization that demands increased productivity with fewer resources.

Knowledge@Wharton talked about these issues with Peter Cappelli, Wharton management professor and director of the school's Center for Human Resources, and Philip Miscimarra, a partner in the labor and employment practice in the Chicago office of law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, co-chair of the Morgan Lewis/Workforce Change practice, and managing director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources research advisory group.

Link to online transcript

U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful

Isolationist Sentiment Surges to Four-Decade High

The general public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations are apprehensive and uncertain about America’s place in the world. Growing numbers in both groups see the United States playing a less important role globally, while acknowledging the increasing stature of China. And the general public, which is in a decidedly inward-looking frame of mind when it comes to global affairs, is less supportive of increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan than are CFR members.

Source : Pew Research Center for People and the Press

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| Download topline questionnaire in pdf format | Link to online summary

Hispanics in the News: An Event-Driven Narrative

A study of more than 34,000 news stories that appeared in major media outlets finds that most of what the public learns about Hispanics comes not through focused coverage of the life and times of this population group but through event-driven news stories in which Hispanics are one of many elements.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download Complete pdf report | Link to online summary

Lobbying the Executive Branch: Current Practices and Options for Change

Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) of 1995, as amended, individuals are required to register with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate if they lobby either legislative or executive branch officials. In January 2009, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner placed further restrictions on the ability of lobbyists to contact executive branch officials responsible for dispersing Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA, P.L. 110-243) funds. Subsequently, President Barack Obama and Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), issued a series of memoranda between March and July 2009 that govern communication between federally registered lobbyists and executive branch employees administering American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) funds. Most recently, in October 2009, the White House directed executive agencies to prohibit, when possible, the appointment of federally registered lobbyists to federal advisory bodies and committees. The Recovery and Reinvestment Act lobbying restrictions focus on both written and oral communications between lobbyists and executive branch officials. Pursuant to the President's memoranda, restrictions have been placed on certain kinds of oral and written interactions between federally registered lobbyists and executive branch officials responsible for Recovery Act fund disbursement. The President's memoranda require each agency to post summaries of oral and written contacts with lobbyists on dedicated agency websites. EESA regulations are virtually identical. This report outlines the development of registration requirements for lobbyists engaging executive branch officials since 1995. It also summarizes steps taken by the Obama Administration to limit and monitor lobbying of the executive branch; discusses the development and implementation of restrictions placed on lobbying for Recovery Act and EESA funds; examines the Obama Administration's decision to stop appointing lobbyists to federal advisory bodies and committees; considers third-party criticism of current executive branch lobbying policies; and provides options for possible modifications in current lobbying laws and practices.

Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf publication | Link to online Summary

Parenting in Poverty and the Politics of Commitment: Promoting Marriage for Poor Families through Relationship Education

The federal government has recently taken an unprecedented role in actively promoting marriage through social policies to address family instability and poverty in America. In 1996, Congress overhauled welfare policy to encourage work and marriage as routes to economic self-sufficiency for poor American families. This policy focus eventually led to the creation of the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative, a program that primarily funds relationship skills classes to promote marriage. Using ethnographic data from a community-based marriage education program for poor parents funded through a healthy marriage grant, I analyze how government-sponsored relationships skills classes intended to promote marriage tailor their messages for poor families. In doing so, this study addresses a broader sociological question: how does policy co-opt and transform ideas about love, family, and interpersonal commitment in the service of a particular political agenda? Moreover, how do parents accept, contest, and transform these ideologies on the ground when such ideas come up against the lived experience of families trying to create and maintain love while raising children in poverty? Ultimately, without addressing the structural issues that undermine poor couples’ aspirations to marry, relationship education frames healthy marriage as an emotional and economic partnership, one in which communication, conflict resolution, and financial management skills can be a social and psychological bulwark against the stresses of parenting in poverty.

Source: U.C. Berkeley Institute for the Study of Social Change

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| Link to online article

Drug Industry Document Archive

The Drug Industry Document Archive (DIDA) contains over 2500 documents about pharmaceutical industry clinical trials, publication of study results, pricing, marketing, relations with physicians and involvement in continuing medical education.

Most of these previously secret documents were made public as a result of lawsuits against the following pharmaceutical companies: Merck & Co., Parke-Davis, Warner-Lambert, Wyeth, and Pfizer.

About the Project

The Drug Industry Document Archive (DIDA) was created by the Center for Knowledge Management at the University of California San Francisco Library in collaboration with faculty members C. Seth Landefeld, MD (CASBS Fellow 2009) and Michael Steinman, MD to house material pertaining to United States of America ex rel. David Franklin vs. Parke-Davis, Division of Warner-Lambert (now owned by Pfizer, Inc). Filed by former Parke-Davis employee David Franklin, the lawsuit alleged that the company violated federal regulations by engaging in systematic efforts to promote the drug gabapentin (Neurontin) for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Drs. Steinman and Landefeld were unpaid expert witnesses on behalf of the plaintiff and wrote an expert report for the court regarding marketing practices for gabapentin and its potential impact on physician prescribing.

Documents were obtained from public-access files of the United States District Court for Massachusetts and other sources including the plaintiff's law firm. These include materials written by Parke-Davis and companies with whom it worked which were entered as evidence, and legal documents outlining the progress of the litigation.

Source: UCSF

Users can search or browse by document type
Link to Drug Industry Document Archive