Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Perspectives of Chief Ethics and Compliance Officers on the Detection and Prevention of Corporate Misdeeds

"Improvements in corporate compliance, ethics, and oversight have been a significant policy goal for the U.S. government at least since the enactment of the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines in 1991 and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. Notwithstanding these earlier government initiatives, the collapse of financial markets in late 2008 has invited renewed questions about the governance, compliance, and ethics practices of firms throughout the U.S. economy. On March 5, 2009, RAND convened a conference in Washington, D.C., on the role and perspectives of corporate chief ethics and compliance officers (CECOs) in supporting organizations in the detection and prevention of corporate misdeeds. The conference brought together leaders from among ethics and compliance officers in the corporate community, as well as stakeholders in the nonprofit sector, academia, and government. Discussions focused on the challenges facing corporate ethics and compliance programs as a first line of defense against malfeasance and misbehavior; on the role of CECOs as champions for implementation in their companies; and on potential steps that might be taken by government to empower CECOs and, by extension, the corporate ethics and compliance programs that they oversee." Source: RAND Corporation

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

New Indicators of Career/Technical Education Coursetaking

This Statistics in Brief uses data from the 2005 High School Transcript Study (HSTS) to examine the career/technical education (CTE) coursetaking of public high school graduates using new indicators of participation. These indicators examine the extent to which students participate in CTE and in specific occupational areas (such as agriculture and business) broadly (many students earning credits) versus deeply (many credits earned by participating students). First, the brief looks at student participation across the three main CTE curriculum areas (family and consumer sciences education, general labor market preparation, and occupational education). Second, the brief looks at coursetaking within occupational areas, including occupational concentration. Finally, the brief examines coursetaking across occupational areas, including the areas that students tend to combine. Findings indicate that high school graduates’ use of the CTE curriculum is generally broad rather than narrow in the sense that most (70 percent) earn credits in both occupational education and either general labor market preparation or family and consumer sciences education, and most (58 percent) earn credits in more than one occupational area. Five occupational areas had the broadest participation (i.e., had the greatest number of graduates earning credits in the area): business; communications and design; manufacturing, repair, and transportation; consumer and culinary services; and computer and information sciences). The occupational areas with the deepest levels of participation were manufacturing, repair, and transportation; agriculture and natural resources; health sciences; and construction and architecture. Finally, some occupational areas were more likely than others to be taken together. For example, marketing coursetakers were more likely than other occupational coursetakers to earn credits in business. Source National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Monday, April 27, 2009

United Nations Report : Children and armed conflict

The report includes information on compliance with applicable international law to end
the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict and other grave violations being committed against children affected by armed conflict;1 information on progress made in the implementation of the monitoring and reporting mechanism and action plans to halt the recruitment and use of children, as well as progress made in mainstreaming children and armed conflict issues in United Nations peacekeeping and political missions; and a brief summary of the conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, and of its progress.

The report includes a proposal to strengthen the monitoring and reporting on
rape and other grave sexual violence against children.

Download full pdf report

Survey on the Attitudes of Europeans towards Tourism

This Flash Eurobarometer survey (Flash Eurobarometer 258 on the “Survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism” was conducted at the request of Directorate General Enterprise and Industry to collect citizens‟ views, details of holidays and travel in 2007 and 2008 and their plans regarding holidays in 2009.

This analytical report includes the average results for the EU and highlightsvariances in responses based on the interviewees‟ country of residence, their socio-demographic background and fundamental attitudes towards holidays and travel. It also examined how EU citizens chose a holiday destination.

A special emphasis was put on the financial aspect of taking a holiday, as this is becoming the prime concern for travellers as well as for the tourism industry in the midst of a serious economic downturn affecting all economies of the EU.

Source: Gallup Corporation

Download full pdf report

Technical Report: Understanding Muslim Ethnic Communities

"This technical report accompanies the research and reports on thirteen Muslim ethnic communities in England undertaken for Communities and Local Government in 2008. The reports covered communities originating from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Turkey." Source: Communities and Local Government UK :

Download full pdf technical report | Link to site

Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2008

"The Asia-Pacific region is home to 4.1 billion people – more than 60 per cent of the world’s population. But population growth has been slowing: since 2000, it has fallen to 1.1 per cent per year. Growth is higher in the landlocked developing countries at 1.9 per cent, in the least developed countries at 1.8 per cent, and in the small island developing States at 1.7 per cent. In the middle-income economies, on the other hand growth is only 1.0 per cent, and in the high-income economies only 0.2 per cent."
Source: United Nations

Download full Statistical Yearbook in pdf format | Link to site and online overview

Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.

"Americans change religious affiliation early and often. In total, about half of American adults have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives. Most people who change their religion leave their childhood faith before age 24, and many of those who change religion do so more than once. These are among the key findings of a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. The survey documents the fluidity of religious affiliation in the U.S. and describes in detail the patterns and reasons for change."

Pew Research Center : Forum on Religion and Public Life

Link to Pew online report with tables and graphics

What's the Difference? - Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data

"There is a large and growing difference between the official trade statistics released by the United States and the People's Republic of China. According to the United States, the 2008 bilateral trade deficit with China was $266.3 billion. According to China, its trade surplus with the United States was $170.8 billion—$95.5 billion less. This paper examines the differences in the trade data from the two nations in two ways. First, it compares the trade figures at the two digit level using the Harmonized System to discern any patterns in the discrepancies between the U.S. and Chinese data. This comparison reveals that over two-thirds of the difference in the value of China's exports to the United States is attributable to five types of goods. The second approach to examining the differing trade data involves a review of the existing literature on the technical and non-technical sources of the trade data discrepancies. This report is updated annually, after the release of official trade data by China and the United States." Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Setting and Valuing Health Insurance Benefits

This report briefly describes some of the key concepts and policy issues around specifying and valuing health insurance benefits. "Actuarial value" is a summary measure of a health insurance plan's benefit generosity. It is expressed as the percentage of medical expenses estimated to be paid by the insurer for a standard population and set of allowed charges. An actuarial value may also be referred to as a "benefit rate." One purpose of an actuarial value is to distill all the benefit and enrollee cost-sharing provisions of a health insurance plan into a single number, for easier comparisons among plans. Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract

Million Dollar Corporate Donations Database

The NonProfit Times created this free database of corporate giving of $1 million and over. You can search by business name, location, or recipient cause.

Link to Corporate Donations Database

Executive PayWatch Database

Compensation data for the CEOs of some of the largest companies in the United States are included here in the Executive PayWatch database. If you're looking for the executive pay data at a Russell 3000 corporation, this database will lead you to the following information:

* What the CEO of your company took in last year.
* How his/her pay package compares with yours, how long you would have to work to earn what the CEO gets in one year and the number of workers at your salary the CEO's compensation would support.
* How his/her pay package compares with that of the average worker, a minimum wage earner and the president of the United States.
* A fact sheet on all of these comparisons.

Link to executive paywatch database | Link to list of 100 highest paid corporate CEOs

Source: AFL-CIO

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Corporate Misgovernance at the World Bank

We test for evidence of corporate misgovernance at the World Bank. Most major decisions at the World Bank are made by its Board of Executive Directors. However, in any given year the majority of the Bank's member countries do not get a chance to serve on this powerful body. In this paper, we empirically investigate whether board membership leads to higher funding from the World Bank's two main development financing institutions, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). We find that developing countries serving on the Board of Executive Directors can expect an approximate doubling of funding from the IBRD. In absolute terms, countries serving on the board are rewarded with an average $60 million "bonus" in IBRD loans. This is more likely driven by soft forces like boardroom culture rather than by the power of the vote itself. We find no significant effect in IDA funding.

Source: Harvard Business School Faculty Working papers

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract and other HBR working papers

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2008

"A joint effort by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics, this annual report examines crime occurring in school as well as on the way to and from school. It provides the most current detailed statistical information to inform the Nation on the nature of crime in schools. This report presents data on crime at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population from an array of sources--the National Crime Victimization Survey, the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the School Survey on Crime and Safety and the School and Staffing Survey. Data on crime away from school are also presented to place school crime in the context of crime in the larger society." Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dropping the Ax: Illegal Firings During Union Election Campaigns, 1951-2007

This report updates an earlier report from January of 2007, which found a steep rise in illegal firings of pro-union workers in the 2000s relative to the last half of the 1990s. It updates the index of the probability that a pro-union worker will be fired in the course of a union election campaign, using published data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It also takes into consideration the increase in card-check organizing campaigns that began in the mid-1990s and adjusts the index for this factor.

By 2007, pro-union workers involved in union election campaigns faced about a 1.8 percent chance of being illegally fired during the course of the campaign. If we assume that employers target union organizers and activists, and that union organizers and activists make up about 10 percent of pro-union workers, our estimates suggest that almost one-in-five union organizers or activists can expect to be fired as a result of their activities in a union election campaign. Since 2000, illegal firings have marred over one-in-four NLRB-sponsored union elections, reaching 30 percent of elections in 2007.

Source: Center for economic policy and research

Download full pdf report
| Link to online abstract

Teen Births: Examining the Recent Increase

"This research brief explores whether the data reflect a short-term blip or a true reversal in the decline of the U.S. teen birth rate. It also considers potential explanations for the uptick in teen births, and raises data and research gaps that must be filled to inform public and private prevention efforts.

Among the findings:

--Declines in teen contraceptive use may have played some role in the teen birth rate increase. Between 2003 and 2005, a slightly greater percentage of high school girls reported using no method of birth control the last time they had sex.

--Recent declines in teen sexual activity have stalled.

--Economic hardship and the rising cost of certain birth control methods may also have made contraception less affordable for some teens.

--National data indicate a significant decline between 1995 and 2002 in the percentage of students who report having received formal contraceptive education.

This brief is based on a paper by Kristin Anderson Moore, Ph.D., that resulted from a meeting of experts and researchers convened by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy."

Download issue brief
| Link to Issue Lab

God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World

"In God Is Back, our speakers explore the thriving nature and far-reaching impact of religious faith throughout the world. Their book is an attempt to explain and understand how and why God has found his way back into the modern world. In so doing, they pay special attention to the pervasiveness of religion in America and tell us how this phenomenon will influence the global economy, politics, and more."

Talk with John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, authors

Source: Carnegie Council transcripts.

Link to transcript | Watch video of presentation | Link to audio

A Historical Look at the Power and Impact of Stimulus

"Will President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package be an antidote for an economy that’s on life support—spurring spending and creating jobs? Or will it simply drive the federal debt to a record-high $1.75 trillion, prolong inefficient industry practices and reward bad choices, while saddling the country with crippling debt that guarantees higher inflation and taxes down the road?

Faculty from Emory University and its Goizueta Business School weighed in on the question, looking back at past jump-start packages and ahead at the likely effects of this one." Source: Knowledge@Emory

Link to online article

Report of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on his mission to the Great Lakes region from 22 November to 5

"The root causes of the current conflict in the eastern part of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo are primarily political and economic and not related to
identity. However, extreme ethnic polarization and hatred have become associated
with that conflict.
The Special Adviser believes that the risk of ethnic targeting in North Kivu is
significantly pronounced above other underlying potential causes of genocide.
References to genocide having occurred in the past or allegedly going on at present
are powerfully used to predict that genocide may occur again in the future, in
particular against the Tutsi, who are popularly viewed as the principal perpetrators of
mass atrocities. The likelihood of ethnically motivated killings by armed groups and
the escalation of genocidal hysteria among the civilian populations are factors that
must be addressed in earnest. The regional dimensions of such a prospect must also
be taken into account." Source: United Nations

Download full pdf report
| Link to Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

Statistical Profile : Mexican Immigrants in the United States

"This statistical profile provides historical data on the flow of migrants from Mexico to the U.S. The profile also describes the demographic, employment and income characteristics of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. using data from the March 2008 Current Population Survey."

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf factsheet

Most Now Say News Paints Mixed Economic Picture

"The latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted April 9-13 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, finds that the share saying they are hearing a mix of economic news has increased across partisan lines, but most notably among Republicans. Last month, nearly twice as many Republicans said they were hearing mostly bad economic news (65%) as said they were hearing both good and bad news (33%). Today, about as many Republicans say they are hearing a mix of both good and bad economic news (50%) as say they are hearing predominantly negative news (48%). " Source: Pew Research Center for people and the press.

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

Baby Boomers Embracing Popular Consumer Technology Applications Nearly 20 Times Faster Than Generation Y

From the summary:

"For the past two years, Accenture has been conducting in-depth research about the usage patterns of various types of consumer technology products and services among US consumers. The data represents research completed in the winter of 2008-09 and provides direct comparisons with last winter’s 2007-08 research data. The goal was to determine if there had been any changes in usage between Baby Boomers + (age 45 and older) and Generation Y (ages 18 to 24). The research uncovered several interesting trends."

Link to key findings

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Center for Responsive Politics now provides 20 years of downloadable money-in-politics data--for free

From the press release:

"For the first time in CRP's 26-year history, the nonprofit research group's most popular data archives are fully and freely downloadable for non-commercial purposes from the Center's website, four-time Webby winner for best politics site online."

"...skilled data-divers can explore the information that's already aggregated on to its full depth. Web developers and database experts can grab federal money-in-politics data that CRP's researchers have standardized and coded, and mash it up with other data sets. Timelines, charts, maps, other graphics and mobile applications are just some of the projects that could result--all powered by CRP's unparalleled data."

Link to CRP's Open Secrets data site

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Western Soundscape Archive (WSA)

"...features audio recordings of animals and environments throughout the western United States. Begun in November of 2007, the archive is housed at the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library and features recordings contributed by volunteers, state and federal agencies, and conservation groups. The website continues to grow and currently includes representative sounds of approximately 80% of the West's bird species, 90% of the region’s frog and toad species, and numerous mammals and reptiles. In September of 2007, the archive was the recipient of a three-year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)." [via ResearchBuzz]

Link to Western Soundscape Archive

Unions and Upward Mobility for Service-Sector Workers

This report uses national data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) to show that unionization raises the wages of the typical service sector worker by 10.1 percent compared to their non-union peers. The study goes on to show that unionization also increases the likelihood that a service sector worker will have health insurance and a pension. The report also notes that workers with service jobs benefit as much from unionization as workers with manufacturing jobs. Source: Center for economic and policy research

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online abstract

Charter Schools in Eight States : Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration, and Competition

The first U.S. charter school opened in 1992, and the scale of the charter movement has since grown to 4,000 schools and more than a million students in 40 states plus the District of Columbia. With this growth has also come a contentious debate about the effects of the schools on their own students and on students in nearby traditional public schools (TPSs). In recent years, research has begun to inform this debate, but many of the key outcomes have not been adequately examined, or have been examined in only a few states. Do the conflicting conclusions of different studies reflect real differences in effects driven by variation in charter laws and policies? Or do they reflect differences in research approaches — some of which may be biased? This book examines four primary research questions: (1) What are the characteristics of students transferring to charter schools? (2) What effect do charter schools have on test-score gains for students who transfer between TPSs and charter schools? (3) What is the effect of attending a charter high school on the probability of graduating and of entering college? (4) What effect does the introduction of charter schools have on test scores of students in nearby TPSs? Source: RAND Corporation

Download full pdf publication
| Download pdf executive summary

Smokers Can't Blow Off Stress

"Ask cigarette smokers why they light up and one answer you're likely to hear is that it relieves stress.

But if that's the goal, it's not at all clear that cigarettes deliver the goods. Half (50%) of all smokers say they "frequently" experience stress in their daily lives, compared with just 35% of those who once smoked and have now quit and 31% of those who never smoked, according to a Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends survey conducted June 16-July16, 2008 among a nationally representative sample of 2,250 adults."

Source: Pew Research Center

Link to online memo

Cost of Florida's Ban on Adoption by GLB Individuals and Same-Sex Couples

This memo estimates the impact on children and the cost to the State of Florida of the current prohibition on adoption by gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) individuals and same-sex couples. We use data about the number of children adopted each year as a way to estimate the number of GLB individuals and same-sex couples who would be likely to serve as adoptive parents if the ban were not in place. Prohibiting GLB individuals and same-sex couples from adopting means that 165 children must remain in foster care or must have alternative adoptive homes recruited for them. As a result, we estimate that the ban costs the State of Florida over $2.5 million in per year. As explained below, this estimate is conservative since some likely additional costs are difficult to quantify. In addition, because of the current prohibition on GLB individuals and same-sex couples adopting children in Florida, it is possible that more GLB individuals and same-sex couples would be interested in adopting if the ban were lifted. We estimate that if the ban were lifted, both adoption and foster care by GLB individuals and same-sex couples would increase to the average United States level, leading to 219 children being adopted, and saving the State of Florida $3.4 million dollars in the first year. Source: The Williams Institute. U.C.L.A.

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

The Economics of Structured Finance

"This paper investigates the spectacular rise and fall of structured finance. HBS professor Joshua Coval, Princeton professor Jakub Jurek, and HBS professor Erik Stafford begin by examining how the structured finance machinery works. They construct simple examples of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that show how pooling and tranching a collection of assets permits credit enhancement of the senior claims. They then explore the challenge faced by rating agencies, examining, in particular, the parameter and modeling assumptions that are required to arrive at accurate ratings of structured finance products. They conclude with an assessment of what went wrong and the relative importance of rating agency errors, investor credulity, and perverse incentives and suspect behavior on the part of issuers, rating agencies, and borrowers." Source: HBS Working Paper Number: 09-060

Download pdf publication | Link to online summary

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues

"U.S. ratification of the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereafter referred to as CRC or the Convention) may be a key area of focus during the 111th Congress, particularly if the Barack Obama Administration seeks the advice and consent of the Senate. CRC is an international treaty that aims to protect the rights of children worldwide. It defines a child as any human being under the age of 18, and calls on States Parties to take all appropriate measures to ensure that children’s rights are protected – including the right to a name and nationality, freedom of speech and thought, access to healthcare and education, and freedom from exploitation, torture, and abuse. CRC entered into force in September 1990, and has been ratified by 183 countries, making it the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. Two countries, the United States and Somalia, have not ratified CRC. The President has not transmitted CRC to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification." Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Hispanics and the Criminal Justice System

"At a time when Latinos are interacting more than ever with police, courts and prisons, their confidence in the U.S. criminal justice system is closer to the low levels expressed by blacks than to the high levels expressed by whites, according to a pair of nationwide surveys by the Pew Research Center."

Download full pdf publication | Link to Pew Research Center

Science Watch Sci-Bytes provides Journal Impact Rankings

Thompson Reuter's provides updates on trends in science online via Science Watch. The Sci-Bytes section releases news and journal rankings in various disciplines.

A few recent releases:
Journals Ranked by Impact: Education & Educational Research

Top Journals in Education: Ranked by 2007 Impact Factor

Journals Ranked by Impact: Political Science

Monday, April 06, 2009

Active-duty military service, cohabiting unions, and the transition to marriage

"A small but growing body of research has begun to identify the consequences of military service during the all-voluntary era. In this article, we examine the relationship between military service and the likelihood that cohabiting unions will be converted into marriages. Our paper extends previous research by making a distinction between the effects of active-duty verses reserve-duty service on the transition to marriage using data from the 1979-2004 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Our findings indicate that there is a positive relationship between active-duty service and cohabitors transitioning to marriage." Source: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online abstract

Reining in the Imperial Presidency: Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the Presidency of George W. Bush

From the press release:

"The report, titled "Reining in the Imperial Presidency: Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the Presidency of George W. Bush," contains 50 separate recommendations designed to correct the imbalanced separation of power that characterized the George W. Bush presidency. Chief among Conyers’ recommendations include continued congressional investigations like those the Judiciary Committee has pursued concerning Karl Rove’s interactions with the Justice Department, a blue ribbon commission similar to the panel proposed in Chairman Conyers’ H.R. 104, and independent criminal probes to be conducted by federal prosecutors."

Source: Judiciary Chairman, U.S. House of Representatives

Download full pdf report
| Link to press release

I Feel what You Feel if You Are Similar to Me

"Social interactions are influenced by the perception of others as similar or dissimilar to the self. Such judgements could depend on physical and semantic characteristics, such as membership in an ethnic or political group. In the present study we tested whether social representations of the self and of others could affect the perception of touch. To this aim, we assessed tactile perception on the face when subjects observed a face being touched by fingers. In different conditions we manipulated the identity of the shown face. In a first experiment, Caucasian and Maghrebian participants viewed a face belonging either to their own or to a different ethnic group; in a second experiment, Liberal and Conservative politically active participants viewed faces of politicians belonging to their own or to the opposite political party. The results showed that viewing a touched face most strongly enhanced the perception of touch on the observer's face when the observed face belonged to his/her own ethnic or political group."

Source: Serino A, Giovagnoli G, Làdavas E, 2009 I Feel what You Feel if You Are Similar to Me. PLoS ONE 4(3): e4930. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004930

Link to PloS ONE
| Download article in pdf format

Authoritative Resources on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

"The following list of authoritative resources is designed to assist in responding to a broad range of constituent questions and concerns about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), P.L. 111-5. Links to the full text of the act, Congressional Budget Office estimates, White House fact sheets, and federal, state, and municipal government websites are included, along with other useful information. This list reflects information that is currently available on the Internet. It will be updated regularly as other relevant material becomes available." Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract

Americans Favor Carbon Cap, Gays in the Military and Renewing U.S.-Cuba Ties

"Washington’s policy agenda has been dominated by the economy and financial crisis during President Obama’s first two months in office. Yet a number of other policy proposals are currently being considered or may emerge in the future. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 9-12 among 1,308 adults, included public attitudes toward setting limits on carbon emissions, allowing gays to serve openly in the military, and re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba." Source: Pew research for People and the Press

Download full pdf report
| Download pdf topline questionnaire |

Sharp Growth in Suburban Minority Enrollment Yields Modest Gains in School Diversity

"The student population of America's suburban public schools has shot up by 3.4 million in the past decade and a half, and virtually all of this increase (99%) has been due to the enrollment of new Latino, black and Asian students, according to an analysis of public school data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. Once a largely white enclave, suburban school districts in 2006-07 educated a student population that was 41.4% non-white, up from 28% in 1993-94 and not much different from the 43.7% non-white share of the nation's overall public school student population. At the same time, suburban school districts have been gaining "market share"; they educated 38% of the nation's public school students in 2006-07, up from 35% in 1993-94."

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf report | Link to report summary

Kinship and Family Relations

"Core aspects of the kinship system in ancient Egypt are discussed here. The six basic terms through which Egyptians expressed relationships of marriage, descent, and collaterality are considered, as well as the principles that regulated marriage and inheritance. The existence of different terms for kin groups is also taken into account. Lastly, the importance of kinship in ancient Egyptian social organization—both in Predynastic and Dynastic times—is analyzed with consideration of its prominence among the peasantry, in elite contexts, and in the world of the gods."

Source: UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology [via California eScholarship repository]

Download the full pdf report | Link to online abstract

Supreme Court of Japan

"The website of the Supreme Court of Japan provides information about the Supreme Court and the affiliated Legal Training and Research Institute. The website provides an excellent overview of the judicial system in Japan, as well as a guide to judicial proceedings in Japan. The important judgments of the Supreme Court since 1950 are available in full text HTML in English and can be searched by the date of the judgment, case number, bench type (i.e., Grand or Petty), key word, and original court. Biographies of the current justices of the Supreme Court are available with their photos. The website includes a section about the Legal Training and Research Institute, which is the national agency responsible for "nurturing persons entering the legal profession." The website is available in both Japanese and English, and is keyword-searchable." source: Cornell Law Library

Link to site:

(India) National Commission for Women

The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 ( Act No. 20 of 1990 of Govt.of India ) to :

* review the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women ;
* recommend remedial legislative measures ;
* facilitate redressal of grievances and
* advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.

In keeping with its mandate, the Commission initiated various steps to improve the status of women and worked for their economic empowerment during the year under report. The Commission completed its visits to all the States/UTs except Lakshdweep and prepared Gender Profiles to assess the status of women and their empowerment. It received a large number of complaints and acted suo-moto in several cases to provide speedy justice. It took up the issue of child marriage, sponsored legal awareness programmes, Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats and reviewed laws such as Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, PNDT Act 1994, Indian Penal Code 1860 and the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 to make them more stringent and effective. It organized workshops/consultations, constituted expert committees on economic empowerment of women, conducted workshops/seminars for gender awareness and took up publicity campaign against female foeticide, violence against women, etc. in order to generate awareness in the society against these social evils.

Link to site: