Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama, Jesus and Martin Luther King Top List of America’s “Heroes”

When "The Harris Poll" asked a cross-section of adult Americans to say whom they admire enough to call their heroes, President Barack Obama was mentioned most often, followed by Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King. Others in the top ten, in descending order, were Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger and Mother Teresa.

These heroes were named spontaneously. Those surveyed were not shown or read a list of people to choose from. The Harris Poll was conducted online among a sample of 2,634 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Interactive® between January 12 and 19,

Source: Harris Interactive

Download Harris Poll detailed information (PDF)

Curbing Medicare Advantage overpayments could benefit millions of low-income and minority Americans

From Online Summary:
More than 25 million Americans belonging to minority groups lack health coverage; minorities constitute 34 percent of the nation’s population but nearly 55 percent of the uninsured. Enactment of comprehensive health reform that achieves universal coverage would therefore disproportionately benefit minorities.

One way to help finance universal coverage, as President Obama has noted, would be to curb excessive payments to the private insurance companies that serve some Medicare beneficiaries through the Medicare Advantage program. Although private insurers were brought into Medicare to reduce costs, Medicare pays them an average of $1,000 more per beneficiary per year than it costs to treat the same beneficiaries through traditional Medicare. These overpayments threaten Medicare’s finances and increase the premiums paid by participants in traditional Medicare. As a result, Congress’ official expert advisory body on Medicare payment policy, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, has recommended “leveling the playing field” and paying private plans the same amounts as traditional Medicare.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary and key findings

Effects of a Performance-Based Scholarship Program for Low-Income Parents

From Online Overview:
An investment in postsecondary education has been repeatedly shown to pay high monetary and nonmonetary dividends to students and society at large. Despite such benefits, research shows that close to half of all students who matriculate at a community college drop out before graduating and do not complete a degree at any other college or university within a six-year time frame. The reasons for this are many, ranging from weak academic preparation to difficulties balancing work, family, and school obligations.

To study the effect of supplemental financial aid with an incentive component to encourage academic success and persistence, two New Orleans-area colleges operated a performance-based scholarship program with counseling in 2004-2005. The program was targeted to low-income parents as part of MDRC’s multisite Opening Doors demonstration. With funding from the Louisiana Department of Social Services and the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the colleges offered students $1,000 for each of two semesters ($2,000 total) — distributed in three separate payments each semester — if they met two conditions: They had to enroll in college at least half time and they had to maintain an average grade of “C” or better. Students did not have to be welfare recipients, and the scholarships were paid in addition to federal Pell Grants. Program counselors monitored whether students met benchmarks, and physically handed the students their checks at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester.

Source: MDRC

Download full pdf report | Download pdf executive summary | Link to online overview

Impact Evaluation of Teacher Preparation Models

From website summary:
Every year, thousands of new teachers pass through hundreds of different teacher preparation programs and are hired to teach in the nation's schools. In recent years, "alternative teacher certification" programs have expanded rapidly, offering an increasingly popular route into teaching that differs from that offered by traditional certification programs. Despite the expansion of these new routes into teaching, there exists little research to provide guidance as to the effectiveness of these diverse teacher training strategies.

Mathematica's evaluation of teacher preparation models examined the efficacy of different teacher preparation methods in contributing to students' academic achievement. The study focused on the performance of teachers from two alternative models of teacher preparation—one model with less selective recruiting and substantial coursework requirements, and the other with less selective recruiting and minimal coursework requirements—compared with traditionally prepared teachers teaching in the same schools and grades. Students were randomly assigned to teachers prior to the start of the school year. Nonexperimental methods were used to separate the effects of different preparation strategies from the effects of other teacher characteristics.

The study, conducted for the Institute of Education Sciences, was implemented in 68 schools throughout the country during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 school years. We administered standardized tests to all students in the sample, collected school records data and teacher test scores, conducted classroom observations, and administered a teacher survey. We also conducted interviews with teacher preparation program directors and school principals.

Source: Mathematica Policy Research Inc.

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

Measuring Up: The Problem of Grade Inflation and What Trustees Can Do

From the Press release: "The guide brings together and assesses various strategies that universities across the country have adopted to address grade inflation. It concludes that the first step is to initiate a vigorous campus-wide conversation on the subject, as the University of Colorado recently did with success."

Source: American Council of Trustees and Alumni

Download pdf of "Measuring Up: The Problem of Grade Inflation and What Trustees Can Do"

2009 State of the State Speeches

Most governors unveil their priorities in “state of the state addresses” or budget speeches presented to the legislatures early in the year.

Stateline.org provides a list of this year's speeches and links to those that have occurred.

Link to Stateline.org State of the State Speeches page.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

In 1953, the Abraham Lincoln Association published The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, a multi-volume set of Lincoln's correspondence, speeches, and other writings. Roy P. Basler and his editorial staff, with the continued support of the association, spent five years transcribing and annotating Lincoln's papers. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln represented the first major scholarly effort to collect and publish the complete writings of Abraham Lincoln, and the edition has remained an invaluable resource to Lincoln scholars. Through the efforts of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the edition is now available in electronic form. Source: University of Michigan

Link to "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln"

The Task of the Latino/a Archivist: On Archiving Identity and Community

Taking into account the very complexity and contestability of the terms “Latino” and “Hispanic” to identify its subject matter, this paper draws on contemporary research on archives and identity, philosophy, Latino Studies, and efforts to chronicle the history of Latinos in New York State to ask how the Latino/a archivist can document Latino groups in the United States without restricting the multifaceted ways in which they construct and negotiate their identities. Is the establishment of a historical narrative for various Latino groups necessarily indicative of a codification of identity? Can the stuff of communal history be deployed in such a way as to encourage difference and not essential notions of what it meant and means to be “Latino” and/or “Hispanic” in the United States? These are some of the questions this paper explores in the hopes of teasing out the tensions that exist between historical validity and essentialism, historical re-inscription and foreclosure. Source: InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies. Vol. 5, Issue 1, Article 3.

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Friday, February 20, 2009

Survey: Most Feel a Personal Stake in Tracking Economic News

From the Online Summary:
Americans continue to follow news about the economic crisis closely because they feel it is directly relevant to their lives. More than eight-in-ten (85%) say even when the economic news is bad they feel better knowing what’s going on, while 77% say they need to stay on top of economic news because it matters in the financial decisions they make.

At the same time, close to half (46%) of the public says they often feel they don’t have enough background information to follow economic news stories, according to the Pew Research Center’s weekly News Interest Index survey conducted Feb. 13-16. As the crisis takes a heavy toll on jobs, homes, retirement savings and entire communities, 49% also say the economic news seems to be the same all the time with nothing ever really changing; another 44% say they find themselves looking for lighter news as a diversion from negative economic reports.

But relatively few are turning off economic news because it is too disheartening. Fewer than three-in-ten (28%) say they often feel the news is so depressing, they would rather not hear about it.

Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report | Download Topline Questionnaire | Link to online summary

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tobacco Industry Interference with Tobacco Control World Health Organization

Partial Abstract:
A large body of evidence demonstrates that tobacco companies use a wide range of tactics to interfere with tobacco control. Such strategies include direct and indirect political lobbying and campaign contributions, financing of research, attempting to affect the course of regulatory and policy machinery and engaging in social responsibility initiatives as part of public relations campaigns.

Although more and more is known about tobacco industry tactics, a systematic, comprehensive guide is needed to assist regulators and policy-makers in combating those practices. Guidelines and recommendations exist for countering and monitoring industry marketing, and recommendations have been issued to refuse industry funding of certain activities, but no broad policy has been published to assist government officials, policy-makers and nongovernmental organizations in their interactions with the tobacco industry.

Source: World Health Organization via Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education

Download full pdf report | Link to full Abstract online

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Building Knowledge About Successful Prisoner Reentry Strategies

"There is broad agreement on the need to reduce recidivism among the 700,000 people who are released from prison each year, and many local, state, and federal agencies have mounted ambitious reentry initiatives. Unfortunately, there is almost no hard evidence about which reentry approaches, if any, are effective. Without a body of reliable research showing that the new strategies are making a difference, public support for reentry programming may dissipate. While a handful of rigorous studies are underway — and some promising results are starting to emerge — a much larger, more systematic series of evaluations is needed." Source: MDRC

Link to MDRC online policy recommendation

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Unemployment Rises Sharply Among Latino Immigrants in 2008

From summary:

The current recession is having an especially severe impact on employment prospects for immigrant Hispanics, according to an analysis of the latest Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. The unemployment rate for foreign-born Hispanics increased from 5.1% to 8.0%, or by 2.9 percentage points, from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2008. During this same time period, the unemployment rate for all persons in the labor market increased from 4.6% to 6.6%, or by 2.0 percentage points.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf report
| Link to online summary

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering is a report that provides information about the participation of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. Information on the site is organized by topic and group. Links to additional data sources and reports are provided.

Source: National Science Foundation

Download updated pdf report | Link to site with additional data

Giving by Foundations in the National Capital Region: How Much Stays Local?

From Press Release:
Foundations in the Washington metropolitan area granted nearly $186 million in 2006 to locally-focused organizations in Greater Washington, according to Giving by Foundations in the National Capital Region, a report released today by the Foundation Center, with support from the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation.

This study — the first ever to examine locally-focused giving within a specific metropolitan area anywhere in the United States — analyzes the giving of 1,191 foundations based in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and northern Virginia to determine how much of their grantmaking was targeted to Greater Washington organizations with a predominantly local focus. The report also examines giving by the 26 largest foundations in the sample to identify the subject areas in which these grants were given.

Source: Foundation Center

Download full pdf report

The Global Gender Gap Report 2008

Norway (1) leads the world in closing the gender gap between men and women, according to the overall ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2008. Three other Nordic countries – Finland (2), Sweden (3) and Iceland (4) – also top the Report’s Gender Gap Index. Previously higher ranking countries such as Germany (11), United Kingdom (13) and Spain (17) slipped down the Index but stayed in the top 20, while Netherlands (9), Latvia (10), Sri Lanka (12) and France (15) made significant gains. Featuring a total of 130 countries, this year’s Report provides an insight into the gaps between women and men in over 92% of the world’s population. Source: World Economic Forum

Download full pdf report
| Link to World Economic Forum Site to download excel data and view video interviews with authors

Ernst & Young Report: Global megatrends 2009

Purpose of Global megatrends 2009

This report presents an Ernst & Young perspective of some of the most significant trends we see today in the marketplace. We offer a snapshot of the main themes and concepts within each trend: a concise view to raise questions and spark new ideas, rather than a comprehensive set of answers.

These megatrends have been written at a time of particular flux: we are in the midst of a financial crisis and there is a considerable amount of uncertainty about the future. Despite this unstable environment, we still need to think about the trends that were unfolding before the crisis — questioning how they will evolve and what new directions they might follow — as well as considering new trends that are emerging

Download full pdf report
| Link to Global Megatrends site (Ernst & Young)

Finance and Labor: Perspectives on Risk, Inequality, and Democracy


We live in an era of financialization. Since 1980, capital markets have expanded around the world; capital shuttles the global instantaneously. Shareholder concerns drive executive decision making and compensation, while the fluctuations of stock markets are a source of public anxiety. So are the financial scandals that have regularly occurred in recent years: junk bonds in the 1980s; lax accounting and stock manipulation in the early 2000s; and debt securitization today. We also live in an era of rising income inequality and employment risk. The gaps between top and bottom incomes and between top and middle incomes have widened since 1980. Greater risk takes various forms, such as wage and employment volatility and the shift from employers to employees of responsibility for pensions and, in the United States, for health insurance. There is an enormous literature on financial development and another on inequality. But relatively few studies consider the intersection of these phenomena. Standard explanations for rising inequality--skill-biased technological change and trade--account for only 30% of the variation in aggregate inequality. What else matters? We argue here that an omitted factor is financial development. This study explores the relationship between financial markets and labor markets along three dimensions: contemporary, historical, and comparative. For the world’s industrialized nations, we find that financial development waxes and wanes in line with top income shares. Since 1980, however, there have been national divergences between financial development--defined here as the economic prominence of equity and credit markets--and inequality. In the U.S. and U.K., there remains a strong positive correlation but in other parts of Europe and in Japan the relationship is weaker.

Source: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Paper Jacoby01.

Download full pdf publication | Link to eScholarship Repository

Patents Are Property: A Fundamental But Important Concept

Patents have historically been viewed as property and patent owners have traditionally been entitled to property remedies for patent infringement. This essay argues that a shift to liability remedies in lieu of property remedies for patent infringement is unjustified despite the 2006 Supreme Court decision in eBay v. MercExchange.

Suffolk University Law School. Suffolk University Law School Faculty Publications. Paper 54.

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is an Alternative Globalization Possible?

Building on Polanyi’s concept of the “double-movement” through which society defends itself against domination by the self-regulating market, this article sets out some key organizational and ideological hurdles that the contemporary “movement of movements” must surmount to challenge the hegemony of neo-liberal globalization. After outlining neo-liberalism’s failures, it makes an argument for the possibility of “counter-hegemonic globalization,” defined as a globally organized project of transformation aimed at replacing the dominant (hegemonic) global regime with one that maximizes democratic political control and makes the equitable development of human capabilities and environmental stewardship its priorities.

Source: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Paper Evans03.

Download full pdf report
| Link to online abstract

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Diaspora without Homeland: Being Korean in Japan

"More than one-half million people of Korean descent reside in Japan today—the largest ethnic minority in a country often assumed to be homogeneous. This timely, interdisciplinary volume blends original empirical research with the vibrant field of diaspora studies to understand the complicated history, identity, and status of the Korean minority in Japan. An international group of scholars explores commonalities and contradictions in the Korean diasporic experience, touching on such issues as citizenship and belonging, the personal and the political, and homeland and hostland. Contributors: Mark E. Caprio, Erin Aeran Chung, Chikako Kashiwazaki, Ichiro Kuraishi, John Lie, Youngmi Lim, Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Sonia Ryang, Yu Jia" Source: University of California Press / UC Global, Area, and International Archive, vol. #8, 2009. http://repositories.cdlib.org/gaia/gaia_books/8/1

Download full pdf of publication | Link to eScholarship Repository

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

After-School Programs in Public Elementary Schools

"This study provides a national profile of various types of formal after-school programs physically located at public elementary schools in 2008. These programs included stand-alone programs that focus primarily on a single type of service (e.g., only day care) and broad-based programs that provide a combination of services such as academic enrichment and cultural activities. This report focuses on four broad types of after-school programs: (1) fee-based stand-alone day care programs for which parents paid fees; (2) stand-alone academic instruction/tutoring programs that focus exclusively on academic instruction or tutoring, including Supplemental Educational Services in schools that did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress; (3) the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLCs) administered through the federally funded 21st CCLC Program to provide academic enrichment opportunities; and (4) other types of formal stand-alone or broad-based after-school programs." Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf report
| Link to NCES site

Monday, February 09, 2009

Unemployed and Uninsured in America

Report from Families USA "analyzes the health coverage status of unemployed workers with low and moderate incomes, including national and state-level data." (February 2009)

Download full pdf report | Link to Families USA

Assessing and Addressing Disparities Faced by Boys and Men of Color in California

The study identifies some of the greatest disparities for boys and men of color relative to their white counterparts across specific socioeconomic, health, safety, and school readiness indicators in California and provides information about different strategies for reducing the disparities — including effective programs, practices, and policies — that can begin making an important difference in changing the life course of boys and men of color. Source: RAND Corp.

Download full pdf report | Download pdf summary | Link to site

Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2006 (released February 2009)

This report provides a broad income picture of a cross section of the population aged 55 or older, with special emphasis on income of the population aged 65 or older. The tabulations focus on the major sources and amounts of income in 2006, both separately and combined, for those age groups. The relative importance of particular sources to total income is measured for individual units, and the share of aggregate income from particular sources is measured for the aged as a whole. Proportions of the aged below the poverty line are presented in terms of the income of the families with whom they live. Several tables describe the economic situation of the aged with varying levels of Social Security benefits and total money income. These data are a valuable resource for policymakers and researchers in government and in the private sector. Source: Social Security Administration

Download full pdf report | Link to download site with access to table data

The Association Between Retirement and Emotional Well-Being: Does Prior Work-Family Conflict Matter?

"This study investigates whether the association between retirement and emotional well-being depends on prior experience of work-family conflict. Methods. We use data from the 1993 and 2004 waves of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to estimate linear regression models of emotional well-being, including symptoms of depression and positive psychological functioning. We also use fixed effects models to investigate whether key findings persist after controlling for stable but unobserved characteristics of individuals. Results. Retirement is associated with a relatively greater reduction in depressive symptoms among individuals previously experiencing high levels of work stress interfering with family life. We find suggestive evidence of a similar improvement in well-being with respect to positive psychological functioning after accounting for unobserved characteristics of individuals such as personality or coping style. Among those previously exposed to high levels of family stress spilling into work at midlife, our results suggest that retirement tends to bring greater improvements in emotional well-being among men than women. Discussion. Retirement may come more as a relief than a stressor for individuals previously experiencing high levels of work demands interfering with family life. However, particularly among women, retirement may not relieve the burdens of family life stressors." Source: California Center for Population Research. On-Line Working Paper Series. Paper CCPR-052-08. eScholarship repository.

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide

"It is expected that the Obama Administration will ultimately develop a national broadband policy or strategy that will seek to reduce or eliminate the "digital divide" with respect to broadband. It is likely that elements of a national broadband policy, in tandem with broadband investment measures in the American Recovery and Reinvestment stimulus package will significantly shape and possibly expand federal policies and programs to promote broadband deployment and adoption. A key issue is how to strike a balance between providing federal assistance for unserved and underserved areas where the private sector may not be providing acceptable levels of broadband service, while at the same time minimizing any deleterious effects that government intervention in the marketplace may have on competition and private sector investment." Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

On Darwin's 200th Birthday, Americans Still Divided About Evolution

"Opinion polls over the past two decades have found the American public deeply divided in its beliefs about the origins and development of life on earth. Surveys are fairly consistent in their estimates of how many Americans believe in evolution or creationism. Approximately 40%-50% of the public accepts a biblical creationist account of the origins of life, while comparable or slightly larger numbers accept the idea that humans evolved over time. The wording of survey questions generally makes little systematic difference in this division of opinion, and there has been little change in the percentage of the public who reject the idea of evolution." Source: Pew Research Center

Link to online report

Wealth : crucial but not sufficient evidence from Pakistan on economic growth, Child labor, and schooling

Summary: "The relationship between wealth and child labor has been widely examined. This paper uses three rounds of time-series, cross-sectional data to examine the relationship between wealth and child labor and schooling. The paper finds that wealth is crucial in determining a child's activities, but that this factor is far from being a sufficient condition to enroll a child in school. This is particularly the case for rural girls. Nonparametric analysis shows a universal increase in school enrollment for rural girls from 1998 to 2006. This increase is independent of wealth (measured by per capita expenditure). Multinomial logit regression further shows that wealth is insignificant in determining rural girls' activity decisions. Thus, interventions to increase school enrollment should incorporate broad-targeted, demand-side interventions as well as supply-side interventions." Source: World Bank Policy Research Working Paper

Download full pdf publication | Link to online summary

Drug Advertising Claims: Preemption's New Frontier

"To date, the U.S. Supreme Court's focus has been on preemption of traditional tort claims impugning the safety of medical devices and drugs either through design defect or failure-to-warn claims. Even if the Court forecloses such tort claims, in whole or in part, most likely the nascent, but ever-expanding, realm of related consumer fraud claims arising from prescription drug advertising will emerge unscathed.

The historical model for an end run around preemption of failure-to-warn claims is provided by the watershed case Cipollone v. Liggett Group, which forged a distinction between health and safety specific failure-to-warn claims-which were expressly preempted under the federal cigarette labeling statute-and general fraudulent misrepresentation claims-which were not preempted. Altria Group, Inc. v. Good, decided this Term breathes new life into efforts to structure state law fraud claims around federal preemption.

The crux of the preemption debate centers on whether the decision-maker adjudges the FDA's regulation a floor (or minimal) or ceiling (or optimal) standard-the former permitting complementary state actions; the latter foreclosing them as meddlesome substitutes. The FDA's advertisement review process appears to provide a (rather weak) floor rather than an optimal regulatory standard. On the whole, the FDA does not appear to be engaged in an exercise of optimization, weighing the costs and benefits of the DTCA. For this reason, it would be rare for pursuit of the state law tort action to be characterized as a "redo" of what the FDA has already determined. And thus, consumer fraud claims arising from drug advertisements should withstand preemption challenges." Source: New York University School of Law. New York University Law and Economics Working Papers. Paper 170.

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online abstract

Monday, February 02, 2009

ILO Global Wage Report 2008/09

Minimum wages and collective bargaining: Towards policy coherence

"The ILO’s first Global Wage Report predicts that difficult times lie ahead for workers. Slow or negative economic growth, combined with highly volatile prices, will erode the real wages of many workers, particularly the low-wage and poorer households. In many countries, the middle classes will also be seriously affected. Tensions are likely to intensify over wages, and the workplace may become more vulnerable to wage-related disputes. Based on International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates and forecasts of global economic growth released in October 2008, and given the past statistical relationships between economic growth and wages, the report estimates that in 2009 wages will grow at best by 0.1 per cent in industrial countries and by 1.7 per cent globally. Revised figures released after the preparation of this report suggest that in 2009 wages will in fact decline by 0.5 per cent in industrial countries and grow by no more than 1.1 per cent globally." Source: International Labour Organization

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

Flowing Data: 5 Best Data Visualization Projects of the Year

"FlowingData explores how statisticians, designers, and computer scientists are using data to help us understand more about ourselves and our surroundings."

I love a website that gives Edward Tufte's (CASBS fellow 1974) books as prizes.

Link to FlowingData

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Supplemental appropriations for job creation and preservation infrastructure investment, energy efficiency/science, assistance to the unemployed, and State/local fiscal stabilization. Source: Gov. Printing Office.

Download pdf : American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism Launches New Media Index

The New Media Index is a weekly report that captures the leading commentary of blogs and social media sites focused on news and compares those subjects to that of the mainstream press.

PEJ is launching the New Media Index as a companion to its weekly News Coverage Index. Blogs and other new media are an important part of creating today's news information narrative and in shaping the way Americans interact with the news. The expansion of online blogs and other social media sites has allowed news-consumers and others outside the mainstream press to have more of a role in agenda setting, dissemination and interpretation. PEJ wanted to find out what subjects in the national news the online sites focus on, and how that compared with the narrative in the traditional press. Source: Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Link to New Media Index

Foreign-Born Exceed the Native-Born in Advanced Degrees

From Press Release: A larger percentage of foreign-born than native-born residents had a master’s degree or higher in 2007, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Nationally, 11 percent of foreign-born — people from another country now living in the United States — and 10 percent of U.S.-born residents had an advanced degree.

These statistics come from Educational Attainment in the United States: 2007 [PDF], a report that describes the degree or level of school completed by adults 25 and older.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Download full pdf report

Forecasts for the U.K. Economy: 2009

A comparison of independent forecasts compiled by the U.K. Macroeconomic Prospects Team
"This edition of the comparison contains 29 new forecasts, all of which were received between January 5th and January 14th, 2009."

Download full pdf publication
| Link to H.M. Treasury site for data and tools.

Google & the Future of Books

"How can we navigate through the information landscape that is only beginning to come into view? The question is more urgent than ever following the recent settlement between Google and the authors and publishers who were suing it for alleged breach of copyright. For the last four years, Google has been digitizing millions of books, including many covered by copyright, from the collections of major research libraries, and making the texts searchable online. The authors and publishers objected that digitizing constituted a violation of their copyrights. After lengthy negotiations, the plaintiffs and Google agreed on a settlement, which will have a profound effect on the way books reach readers for the foreseeable future. What will that future be?" Robert Darton (CASBS Fellow 1974) New York Review of Books

Link to online article: Google & the Future of Books

Government Transfers and Political Support

Abstract: We estimate the impact of a large anti-poverty program – the Uruguayan PANES – on political support for the government that implemented it. The program mainly consisted of a monthly cash transfer for a period of roughly two and half years. Using the discontinuity in program assignment based on a pre-treatment score, we find that beneficiary households are 21 to 28 percentage points more likely to favor the current government (relative to the previous government). Impacts on political support are larger among poorer households and for those near the center of the political spectrum, consistent with the probabilistic voting model in political economy. Effects persist after the cash transfer program ends. We estimate that the annual cost of increasing government political support by 1 percentage point is roughly 0.9% of annual government social expenditures. Source: Center for International and Development Economics Research. Paper C09-152.

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract