Monday, June 28, 2010

The Efficacy of Self-Funding a Political Campaign

Whitman and Fiorina take note: while candidates with big war chests hold a significant advantage over their opponents, the advantage is diffused when most of the money comes from a candidate's own pockets. The traditional advantages of being the top fundraiser in a race, or being an incumbent, don't confer the same level of success to self-financiers. That trend holds true for candidates from all parties. In fact, in the last nine years, only 11 percent of self-financed candidates won their races. Early primary results in 2010 show this trend may be continuing.

Source: National Institute on Money and State Politics

Link to online publication

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication

This document is a code of best practices that helps U.S. communication scholars to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances—especially when the cultural or social benefits of the use are predominant. It is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question.

This guide identifies four situations that represent the current consensus within the community of communication scholars about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials.

Source: Center for Social Media Funded by the Ford Foundation through the Center for Social Media’s Future of Public Media Project

Download full pdf guide
|Link to online overview

Now available from Google Books : Ancient Greek and Latin Texts

As part of its mission to make the world's books searchable and discoverable, Google has digitized over five hundred ancient Greek and Latin books. We present them here downloadable as zip files of images and plain text, and as links to Google Books web pages where you can read them online in full or download PDFs. This collection was selected by Prof. Greg Crane and Alison Babeu of Tufts University, and compiled by Will Brockman and Jon Orwant of Google. Enjoy!

Link to Google Books Ancient Greek and Latin Texts.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Long-term unemployment experience of the jobless

By the end of 2009, the jobless rate stood at 10.0 percent and the number of unemployed persons at 15.3 million. Among the unemployed, 4 in 10(6.1 million) had been jobless for 27 weeks or more, by far the highest proportion of long-term unemployment on record, with data back to 1948. This brief report compares the incidence of long-term joblessness among different age groups during the current recession."

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Download pdf publication | Link to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report 2010

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

This annual report presents the most comprehensive global assessment of progress to date, based on data provided by a large number of international organizations within and outside the United Nations system. The aggregate figures in the report provide an overview of regional progress under the eight goals and are a convenient way to track advances over time. The report is coordinated and published by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Source: United Nations

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Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data


Traditional estimates of minimum wage effects include controls for state unemployment rates and state and year fixed-effects. Using CPS data on teens for the period 1990 – 2009, we show that such estimates fail to account for heterogeneous employment patterns that are correlated with selectivity among states with minimum wages. As a result, the estimates are often biased and vary with the source of identifying variation. Including controls for long-term growth differences among states and for heterogeneous economic shocks renders the employment and hours elasticities indistinguishable from zero and rules out any but small disemployment effects. Dynamic evidence further shows the nature of bias in traditional estimates, and it also rules out more negative long run effects. We do not find evidence of heterogeneous employment effects in different parts of the business cycle. We also consider predictable versus unpredictable changes in the minimum wage by looking at indexation of the minimum wage in some states.

Source: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley [via escholarship repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to eScholarship repository

Ernst & Young's European attractiveness survey Report

Ernst & Young's European attractiveness survey is based on a two-fold, original methodology that reflects, first, Europe's real attractiveness for foreign direct investors, based on Ernst & Young's European Investment Monitor (EIM), and second the ‘perceived’ attractiveness of Europe and its competitors by a representative panel of approximately 800 international decision-makers.

Source: Ernst & Young

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The World Cup and Economics

The 2010 book on the World Cup and Economics is the fourth since the 1998 finals in Paris. A companion to the competition, the book includes a number of new features and contributions from guests such as former South African Central Bank Governor Tito Mboweni, Andy Anson, CEO of England's 2018 World Cup bid, and Kevin Roberts, editorial director of Sports Business Group. As usual, the likely semi-finalists are also tentatively suggested - always a highly contentious move.

Source: Goldman Sachs

Download pdf publication | Link to online abstract at Goldman Sachs

Childlessness Up Among All Women; Down Among Women with Advanced Degrees

From Introduction:
Nearly one-in-five American women ends her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s. While childlessness has risen for all racial and ethnic groups, and most education levels, it has fallen over the past decade for women with advanced degrees.

Source: Pew Social and Demographic Trends

Download full pdf report | Link to report online

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Transforming the High School Experience How New York City’s New Small Schools Are Boosting Student Achievement and Graduation Rates

From Overview:
Since 2002, New York City has closed more than 20 underperforming public high schools, opened more than 200 new secondary schools, and introduced a centralized high school admissions process in which approximately 80,000 students a year indicate their school preferences from a wide-ranging choice of programs. At the heart of these reforms lie 123 new “small schools of choice” (SSCs) — small, academically nonselective, four-year public high schools for students in grades 9 through 12. Open to students at all levels of academic achievement and located in historically disadvantaged communities, SSCs were intended to be viable alternatives to the neighborhood high schools that were closing.

Source: MDRC

Download full pdf publication | Download pdf Executive Summary | Link to overview

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in HIV Prevention and Care in Central America


Faith-based organizations (FBOs) have historically played an important role in delivering health and social services in developing countries; however, little research has been done on their role in HIV prevention and care, particularly in Latin America. This study describes FBO involvement in HIV/AIDS in three Central American countries hard hit by this epidemic: Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Summarizing the results of key informant and stakeholder interviews with health and FBO leaders and site visits to FBO-sponsored HIV/AIDS clinics, hospices, programs, and other activities, the authors describe the range of FBO activities and assess the advantages of FBO involvement in addressing HIV/AIDS, such as churches' diverse presence and extensive reach, and the challenges to such involvement, such as the unwillingness of some FBOs to discuss condom use and their lack of experience in evaluating the impact of programs. The authors conclude with a discussion of possible ways that FBOs can address the HIV epidemic, both independently and in collaboration with other organizations, such as government ministries of health.

Source: RAND Corporation

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| Link to RAND Record for this item

Monday, June 07, 2010

No Path to Glory: Deterring Homegrown Terrorism

Testimony presented before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment on May 26, 2010.

Source: RAND Corporation

Download full pdf publication
| Link to RAND Corporation

Marrying Out : One-in-Seven New U.S. Marriages is Interracial or Interethnic

From the Executive Summary:

A record 14.6% of all new marriages in the United States in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another. This includes marriages between a Hispanic and non-Hispanic (Hispanics are an ethnic group, not a race) as well as marriages between spouses of different races -- be they white, black, Asian, American Indian or those who identify as being of multiple races or "some other" race.

This report is based primarily on two data sources: the Pew Research Center's analysis of demographic data about new marriages in 2008 from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) and the Pew Research Center's analysis of its own data from a nationwide telephone survey conducted from October 28 through November 30, 2009 among a nationally representative sample of 2,884 adults.

Source: Pew Research Center

Download full pdf publication | Link to online executive summary

Americans' Acceptance of Gay Relations Crosses 50% Threshold

Gallup Poll

Americans' Acceptance of Gay Relations Crosses 50% Threshold
Increased acceptance by men driving the change

Americans' support for the moral acceptability of gay and lesbian relations crossed the symbolic 50% threshold in 2010. At the same time, the percentage calling these relations "morally wrong" dropped to 43%, the lowest in Gallup's decade-long trend.

Link to online report and graphs

STAR METRICS: New Way to Measure the Impact of Federally Funded Research

From the Press Release:
A new initiative promises to monitor the impact of federal science investments on employment, knowledge generation, and health outcomes. The initiative–Science and Technology for America’s Reinvestment: Measuring the Effect of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science, or STAR METRICS–is a multi-agency venture led by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

STAR METRICS will help the federal government document the value of its investments in research and development, to a degree not previously possible. Together, NSF and NIH have committed $1 million for the program’s first year.

Source: National Science Foundation

Link to press release and more information at NSF

Child Marriage in the Middle East and North Africa

Child marriage is a human rights violation. Several international human rights agreements protect children from child marriage, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Convention of Eradication of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990). All call for the free and full consent of both parties to marriage, a minimum age of marriage of 18, designation of child marriage as a harmful practice, and protection for the rights of children from all forms of exploitation.

Source: Population Reference Bureau

Link to online report

Poverty and inequality in the UK: 2010

In this Commentary, we assess the changes to average incomes, inequality and poverty that have occurred since 1979, with a particular focus on the changes that have occurred in the latest year of data (2008-09) and since 1996-97. This analysis is based upon the latest figures from the DWP's Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series, published on 20 May 2010 (Department for Work and Pensions, 2010). The HBAI series takes household income as its measure of living standards, and is derived from the Family Resources Survey, a survey of around 25,000 households in the United Kingdom that asks detailed questions about income from a range of sources.

Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies

Download full pdf publication | Link to online introduction

How Responsive is Higher Education? The Linkages between Higher Education and the Labor Market

Higher education is considered vital for developing a productive and dynamic labor force to meet the demands of the global economy. How effectively does the US higher education sector respond to labor market signals? We match US post-secondary degree completions from 1984 to 2008 with occupational employment statistics and employ an instrumental variables strategy to examine the supply response to changes in occupation specific demand. The supply of educated workers appears weakly responsive to short-term wage signals and moderately responsive to longer-term employment conditions. Analysis reveals a sizeable degree of heterogeneity and lag in the responsiveness across specific occupation-degree pairings. Failure to respond rapidly to changes in labor demand may be one factor driving inequality in wages across occupations and in the aggregate economy. We suggest some simple policy measures to help increase the responsiveness of the higher education sector, both in terms of the output of specific degree programs and the overall mix and composition of graduate completions.

Source: Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Gaining Insight into Cultural Geography through the Study of Musical Instruments

From Abstract:
At present, the need for an understanding of both physical and cultural geography is increasingly urgent in America’s schools. The present study explores using music as focus for the exploration of geography. Not only is music strongly linked to culture and environment but also its study provides an experiential understanding of a given culture in a way that few others can. Instrumental music, unfettered by practical, semantic, or representational constraints of other traditional art forms, can be considered as one of the most direct forms of cultural expression, reflecting primarily the collective imagination of the culture that developed it and the environment in which it developed. Musical instruments are shaped by a culture’s aesthetics and made using locally available materials and technologies.

The present article takes as a case study a class at the Museum School, a San Diego Unified School District charter school that emphasizes experiential learning and the arts in its daily curriculum. In this case study, 23 children in grades 4-6 focused their attention on the culture and geography of the Island of Bali, Indonesia, through studying its instrumental music, known as “gamelan.”

Source: Center for Learning through the Arts and Technology, UC Irvine

Download full pdf publication | Link to eScholarship Repository

Arts Impact: Lessons From ArtsBridge

Arts Impact summarizes lessons learned at the ArtsBridge Program. It is informed by in-depth participant observation, logic modeling, and quantitative evaluation of program impact on K-12 students in inner city schools and arts students at the University of California Los Angeles over a two year period. The case study frames its analysis through a literary overview of the following social issues: 1) how educational attainment relates to poverty in California; 2) the importance of the creative economy in Los Angeles; and 3) the failure of California to reach federally mandated goals in arts education--particularly for under-resourced neighborhoods. Data finds statistically significant positive impacts on participants’ views of self and others. This case study suggests important roles for higher education partnerships with under-resourced K-12 schools, the significance of quality teacher preparation in the arts at the university level, and the positive impact of arts education for empowering student and teacher learning.

Source: Center for Learning through the Arts and Technology, UC Irvine

Download full pdf publication | Link to eScholarship Repository