Friday, May 28, 2010

Reputation Management and Social Media


More than half (57%) of adult internet users say they have used a search engine to look up their name and see what information was available about them online, up from 47% who did so in 2006. Young adults, far from being indifferent about their digital footprints, are the most active online reputation managers in several dimensions. For example, more than two-thirds (71%) of social networking users ages 18-29 have changed the privacy settings on their profile to limit what they share with others online.

Reputation management has now become a defining feature of online life for many internet users, especially the young. While some internet users are careful to project themselves online in a way that suits specific audiences, other internet users embrace an open approach to sharing information about themselves and do not take steps to restrict what they share.

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| Link to online overview

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Economic Consequences of Proposed California Budget Cuts

This policy brief compares the economic impact of the Governor's 2010-2011 budget with an alternative budget approach that includes revenue increases. The Governor's cuts-only approach would result in the loss of 331,000 full-time equivalent jobs, $36 billion in economic output and $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue, mostly as a result of cuts to major health and human services programs that bring in significant federal matching funds. A mixed budget approach that includes revenue increases would result in half the reduction in economic output, save $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenue, and save nearly 244,000 jobs.

Source: U.C. Berkeley Labor Center

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| Link to UC Berkeley Labor Center

A Profile of Criminal Incidents at School

This report uses NCVS data from three calendar years, 2003-05, to examine a range of characteristics of criminal incidents that occur at school, such as the location at school where the incident occurred, time of day when the incident occurred, whether the police were notified, and characteristics of offenders including their age, race, and whether they carried a weapon.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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| Link to online summary

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Job Market for New Economists: A Market Design Perspective

This paper provides an overview of the market for new Ph.D. economists. It describes the role of the American Economic Association (AEA) in the market and focuses in particular on two mechanisms adopted in recent years at the suggestion of our committee. First, job market applicants now have a signaling service to send an expression of special interest to up to two employers prior to interviews at the January Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) meetings. Second, the AEA now invites candidates who are still on the market, and employers whose positions are still vacant, to participate in a web-based "scramble" to reduce search costs and thicken the late part of the job market. We present statistics on the activity in these market mechanisms and present survey evidence that both mechanisms have facilitated matches. The paper concludes by discussing the emergence of platforms for transmitting job market information.

Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

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History of Street Gangs in the United States

The first active gangs in Western civilization were reported by Pike (1873, pp. 276-277), a widely respected chronicler of British crime. He documented the existence of gangs of highway robbers in England during the 17th century, and he speculates that similar gangs might well have existed in our mother country much earlier, perhaps as early as the 14th or even the 12th century. But it does not appear that these gangs had the features of modern-day, serious street gangs.1 More structured gangs did not appear until the early 1600s, when London was “terrorized by a series of organized gangs calling themselves the Mims, Hectors, Bugles, Dead Boys … who found amusement in breaking windows, [and] demolishing taverns, [and they] also fought pitched battles among themselves dressed with colored ribbons to distinguish the different factions” (Pearson, 1983, p. 188).

The history of street gangs in the United States begins with their emergence on the East Coast around 1783, as the American Revolution ended (Sante, 1991). But there is considerable justification for questioning the seriousness of these early gangs. The best available evidence suggests that the more serious street gangs likely did not emerge until the early part of the nineteenth century (Sante, 1991).

source: National Gang Center

Download full pdf publication | Link to National Gang Center

Preferences for Status: Evidence and Economic Implications

This chapter was prepared for Elsevier's Handbook of Social Economics (edited by Jess Benhabib, Alberto Bisin, and Matthew Jackson). It brings together some of the recent empirical and experimental evidence regarding preferences for social status. While briefly reviewing evidence from different literatures that is consistent with the existence of preferences for status, we pay special attention to experimental work that attempts to study status directly by inducing it in the lab. Finally, we discuss some economic implications.

Source: Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

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Federal Financial and Economic Literacy Education Programs

Financial literacy — the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being — is becoming more and more important as individuals and families become increasingly responsible for their own long-term financial well-being. Financial and economic literacy education programs have been shown to increase financial literacy and capability. Many federal agencies and departments have long-standing financial education programs, and, in recent years, steps have been taken to increase coordination of such efforts. In late 2009, a survey was conducted of 21 federal agencies, who reported offering a total of 56 financial and economic literacy education programs. In this report, the authors analyze the survey data, describing each program's purpose, content, delivery formats, target audience, and evaluation goals and method. The authors conclude with recommendations for future evaluations, emphasizing the need for a standardized definition of what constitutes a financial and economic literacy education program and for a standardized method of evaluating such programs across agencies.

Source: RAND Corporation

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The World Economic and Social Survey

The global economic crisis, coming on top of the food, fuel and climate change crises, has exposed the systemic weaknesses that led to the crisis and which the international community must find ways to overcome. These systemic weaknesses derive from the incoherence between the present set of institutions and rules, which were established more than 60 years ago, together with the founding of the United Nations and related institutions, and the much more extensive economic interdependence and complexity induced by decades of globalization. Reshaping global mechanisms and strengthening national capabilities in support of the shared goal of poverty reduction and development offer a feasible path towards overcoming these weaknesses and achieving policy coherence within the global economy.

Source: United Nations

Download full pdf report (English 202pgs) | Download pdf executive summary (English) | Links to report in other languages

Girls’ internalization of their female teacher’s anxiety: A “real-world” stereotype threat effect?

The deleterious effects that stereotypes can have on girls’ school performance in mathematics are best exemplified by the stereotype threat paradigm (1) showing that when women are reminded of stereotypes alleging male superiority in math, their math performance suffers (2). However, evidence is mixed on how much these threat effects apply to girls’ math performance in “real-world” settings (3), and how girls develop their vulnerability in the first place.

1. Steele CM, Aronson JM(1995) Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African-Americans. J Pers Soc Psychol 69:797–811.
2. Nguyen H-HD,Ryan AM (2008) Does stereotype threat affect test performance of minorities and women? A meta-analysis of experimental evidence. J Appl Psychol 93:1314–1334.

Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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| Link to online version at PNAS online

What Kind of Candidates are Voters Looking for in November?

Many Americans say they will look less favorably this fall at congressional candidates who supported the federal bailout of major banks and financial institutions in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

About half (49%) say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported the major government loans to banks; 14% say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the legislation, while 32% say this will make no difference.

By contrast, about as many say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the recently passed health care law (39%) as say they would be less likely to favor such a candidate (35%); 22% say a candidate's stance on health care legislation will make no difference.

Source: Pew Center for People and the Press

Link to online report

New Media, Old Media

News today is increasingly a shared, social experience. Half of Americans say they rely on the people around them to find out at least some of the news they need to know. [1] Some 44% of online news users get news at least a few times a week through emails, automatic updates or posts from social networking sites. In 2009, Twitter’s monthly audience increased by 200%. [2]

While most original reporting still comes from traditional journalists, technology makes it increasingly possible for the actions of citizens to influence a story’s total impact.

What types of news stories do consumers share and discuss the most? What issues do they have less interest in? What is the interplay of the various new media platforms? And how do their agendas compare with that of the mainstream press?

To answer these questions, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has gathered a year of data on the top news stories discussed and linked to on blogs and social media pages and seven months’ worth on Twitter. We also have analyzed a year of the most viewed news-related videos on YouTube. Several clear trends emerge.

Source: Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism

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TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

The 111th Congress recently passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148; PPACA), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152; HCERA). In general, PPACA did not make any significant changes to the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program or to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. However, many have sought clarification as to whether certain provisions in PPACA, such as a mandate for most individuals to have health insurance, or extending dependant coverage up to age 26, would apply to TRICARE and VA health care beneficiaries. To address some of these concerns, Congress has introduced and/or enacted legislation. On March 20, 2010, H.R. 4894 was introduced. This bill would, if enacted, amend PPACA to clarify that nothing in PPACA shall affect any health care services provided by TRICARE or the VA health care system, and that all health care programs administered by DOD and VA would meet the criteria for minimal essential coverage. The TRICARE Affirmation Act (H.R. 4887; P.L. 111- 159), signed into law on April 26, 2010, would affirm that TRICARE satisfies the minimum acceptable coverage requirement in PPACA. Similarly S. 3162 (passed by the Senate on March 26, 2010) and H.R. 5014 (introduced in the House on April 14, 2010) would, if enacted, clarify that the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), Spina Bifida Health Care Program, and the Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Health Care Program meet the "minimum essential coverage" requirement under PPACA. In addition, the TRICARE Dependent Coverage Extension Act (H.R. 4923; S. 3201), if enacted, would extend certain PPACA provisions to TRICARE beneficiaries. This report addresses key questions concerning how PPACA will likely affect TRICARE and VA health care.

Source: Congressional Research Service

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| Link to online summary

Latin America and the Caribbean: Illicit Drug Trafficking and U.S. Counterdrug Programs

Drug trafficking is viewed as a primary threat to citizen security and U.S. interests in Latin America and the Caribbean despite decades of anti-drug efforts by the United States and partner governments. The production and trafficking of popular illicit drugs--cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and methamphetamine--generates a multi-billion dollar black market in which Latin American criminal and terrorist organizations thrive. These groups challenge state authority in source and transit countries where governments are often fragile and easily corrupted. Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) largely control the U.S. illicit drug market and have been identified by the U.S. Department of Justice as the "greatest organized crime threat to the United States." Drug trafficking-related crime and violence in the region has escalated in recent years, raising the drug issue to the forefront of U.S. foreign policy concerns. Since the mid-1970s, the U.S. government has invested billions of dollars in anti-drug assistance programs aimed at reducing the flow of Latin American-sourced illicit drugs to the United States. Most of these programs have emphasized supply reduction tools, particularly drug crop eradication and interdiction of illicit narcotics, and have been designed on a bilateral or sub- regional level. Many would argue that the results of U.S.-led drug control efforts have been mixed.

Source: Congressional Research Service

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Marriage and life expectancy

Marriage is more beneficial for men than for women - at least for those who want a long life. Previous studies have shown that men with younger wives live longer. While it had long been assumed that women with younger husbands also live longer, in a new study Sven Drefahl from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany, has shown that this is not the case. Instead, the greater the age difference from the husband, the lower the wife’s life expectancy. This is the case irrespective of whether the woman is younger or older than her spouse.

Source: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Link to online report

Minority Influence Theory

The study of minority influence began as reaction to the portrayal of influence as the province of status and numbers and from a realization that minorities need not just be passive recipients of influence but can actively persuade. From these beginnings, a considerable body of research, including ours, has investigated how minority views prevail. . In the decades that followed, we concentrated, not so much on persuasion or attitude change but, rather, on the value of minority views for the stimulation of divergent thinking. Dissent, as has been repeatedly documented, “opens” the mind. People search for information, consider more options and, on balance, make better decisions and are more creative. Dissenters, rather than rogues or obstacles, provide value: They liberate people to say what they believe and they stimulate divergent and creative thought even when they are wrong. The implications for group decision making, whether in juries or companies, have been considerable and there is increasing interest in research and in practice for the value of authentic dissent in teams and in creating “cultures” of innovation.

Source: Working Paper Series, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley [via eScholarship repository]

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| Link to eScholarship repository

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement

An emerging economic literature over the past decade has made use of international tests of educational achievement to analyze the determinants and impacts of cognitive skills. The cross-country comparative approach provides a number of unique advantages over national studies: It can exploit institutional variation that does not exist within countries; draw on much larger variation than usually available within any country; reveal whether any result is country-specific or more general; test whether effects are systematically heterogeneous in different settings; circumvent selection issues that plague within-country identification by using system-level aggregated measures; and uncover general-equilibrium effects that often elude studies in a single country. The advantages come at the price of concerns about the limited number of country observations, the cross-sectional character of most available achievement data, and possible bias from unobserved country factors like culture. This chapter reviews the economic literature on international differences in educational achievement, restricting itself to comparative analyses that are not possible within single countries and placing particular emphasis on studies trying to address key issues of empirical identification. While quantitative input measures show little impact, several measures of institutional structures and of the quality of the teaching force can account for significant portions of the large international differences in the level and equity of student achievement. Variations in skills measured by the international tests are in turn strongly related to individual labor-market outcomes and, perhaps more importantly, to cross-country variations in economic growth.

Source: IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor

Download full pdf publication | Link to IZA

The Information Dividend: Can IT make you ‘happier’?

From the Press Release:
A new global study from BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, shows that access to information technology has a ‘statistically significant, positive impact on life satisfaction’.

‘Put simply, people with IT access are more satisfied with life even when taking account of income,’ said the study’s author, social scientist Michael Willmott.

‘Our analysis suggests that IT has an enabling and empowering role in people’s lives by increasing their sense of freedom and control, which has a positive impact on well-being or happiness,’ he continued.

Women and those on lower incomes or with fewer educational qualifications benefit most from access to and use of IT and appear to benefit more than those on higher incomes or with more qualifications.

The study also suggests that women in developing nations benefit even more than those in the developed world.

Called ‘The Information Dividend: Can IT make you happier?’ the report is based on an analysis of the World Values Survey, and contains responses from 35,000+ people globally. The findings suggest there may well be an ‘information dividend’ - a personal and social benefit which comes from access to information and IT.

Sosurce: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (formerly known as British Computer Society

Download full pdf publication | Link to online press release and summary of findings

Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary

The Workshop on the Role of Language in School Learning: Implications for Closing the Achievement Gap was held to explore three questions: What is known about the conditions that affect language development? What are the effects of early language development on school achievement? What instructional approaches help students meet school demands for language and reading comprehension? Of particular interest was the degree to which group differences in school achievement might be attributed to language differences, and whether language-related instruction might help to close gaps in achievement by helping students cope with language-intensive subject matter especially after the 3rd grade.

The workshop provided a forum for researchers and practitioners to review and discuss relevant research findings from varied perspectives. The disciplines and professions represented included: language development, child development, cognitive psychology, linguistics, reading, educationally disadvantaged student populations, literacy in content areas (math, science, social studies), and teacher education. The aim of the meeting was not to reach consensus or provide recommendations, but rather to offer expert insight into the issues that surround the study of language, academic learning, and achievement gaps, and to gather varied viewpoints on what available research findings might imply for future research and practice. This book summarizes and synthesizes two days of workshop presentations and discussion.

Source: National Academies Press

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Media Guidelines for The Portrayal of Disabilities

How people with disabilities are portrayed and the frequency with which they appear in the media has an enormous impact on how they are regarded in society. Portraying people with disabilities with dignity and respect in the media can help promote more inclusive and tolerant societies and stimulate a climate of non-discrimination and equal opportunity. These ILO Guidelines are intended as a tool for professional communicators.

Source: United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO)

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| Link to ILO

Hispanics, High School Dropouts and the GED

From the Summary:
Just one-in-ten Hispanic high school drop-outs has a General Educational Development (GED) credential, widely regarded as the best "second chance" pathway to college, vocational training and military service for adults who do not graduate high school. By contrast, two-in-ten black high school drop-outs and three-in-ten white high school drop-outs has a GED, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of newly-available educational attainment data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

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| Link to online Summary

Mobile How Group Dynamics May Be Killing Innovation

In a paper titled, "Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea (PDF)," Wharton operations and information management professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich argue that group dynamics are the enemy of businesses trying to develop one-of-a-kind new products, unique ways to save money or distinctive marketing strategies.

Terwiesch, Ulrich and co-author Karan Girotra, a professor of technology and operations management at INSEAD, found that a hybrid process -- in which people are given time to brainstorm on their own before discussing ideas with their peers -- resulted in more and better quality ideas than a purely team-oriented process. More importantly for companies striving for innovation, however, the trio says the absolute best idea in a hybrid process topped the Number One suggestion in a traditional model.

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

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| Link to Knowledge@Wharton article

Lawyering for Marriage Equality

Critiques of litigation seeking to establish the right of same-sex couples to marry argue that it has produced a backlash undercutting the movement for marriage equality. In this account, movement lawyers emerge as agents of backlash: naively turning to the courts ahead of public opinion, ignoring more productive political alternatives, and ultimately hurting the very cause they purport to advance by securing a court victory that mobilizes opponents to repeal it. This Article challenges the backlash thesis through a close analysis of the California case, which contradicts the portrait of movement lawyers as unsophisticated rights crusaders and casts doubt on the causal claim that court decisions upholding same-sex couples’ right to marry have harmed the movement.

Source: UCLA Public Law Series, UCLA School of Law, UC Los Angeles [via eScholarship Repository]

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| Link to eScholarship Repository

Gender and Japanese Immigrants to Peru, 1899 through World War II

This paper explores gender relations in the Japanese Peruvian community during its first 45 years of existence, with attention to gendered state policies in both Japan and Peru that affected the Nikkei community in Peru. Relying primarily on oral interviews, it follows Nikkei men and women's own descriptions their lives. Japanese cultural norms shaped patterns of migration, labor and family for emigrants to Peru, though late-Meiji ideology about women's role found relatively less echo than older rural patterns. As Japanese immigrants' labor patterns shifted, women found new roles, such as in store management, though they remained nearly exclusively responsible for child care and the reproduction of families. The relative scarcity of Japanese women in Peru had some effect on marriage and remarriage patterns, but ethnic associations and public sociability remained exclusively male spheres in Peru.

Source: Working Papers, UC World History Workshop, UC Berkeley [via eScholarship repository]

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| Link to eScholarship Repository

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Many Prostituted Juveniles Treated as Offenders, Not Victims

A new study by the Crimes against Children Research Center found that nearly a third of prostituted juveniles taken into custody by police are treated more as criminal offenders than as victims of the pimps and customers who sexually abuse them. Findings suggest the problem of prostituted juveniles is complicated and varied and requires a much more coordinated set of interventions than it currently receives.

Source: Crimes against Children Research Center, Univ. of NH

Download full pdf publication | Link to Crimes against Children Research Center

Monday, May 10, 2010

UK Centre for Economic Performance : Bankers’ Pay and Extreme Wage Inequality in the UK

It is well known that the distribution of income in the United Kingdom has widened considerably in the last three decades. This rise has been a result of a widening at both the top and bottom of the wage distribution. More recently, most of the action appears to have occurred at the top of the distribution with lower wage workers keeping pace with the median. This paper explores this increased dispersion at the very top of the wage distribution. We show that the growth has occurred primarily within the top few percentiles and that the rise in inequality in recent years is much more pronounced when we focus on annual earnings as opposed to weekly wages (where most work has concentrated). This is because annual wages include bonuses. By the end of the decade to 2008, the top tenth of earners received £20bn more purely due to the increase in their share (it would have been only £173bn had their share of the pie remained the same as 1998), and £12bn of this went to workers in the financial sector (almost all of which was bonus payments). We consider various reasons why the bankers have managed to capture an increasing share of the wage bill over the last decade.

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| Link to the CEP

Radicalization or Rehabilitation Understanding the challenge of extremist and radicalized prisoners

This study is the result of internally funded RAND Corporation research. It seeks to provide a preliminary overview of the challenges posed by radicalized and extremist prisoners, and to explore the potential for the radicalization of young European Muslims in the prison environment. The study draws on the body of existing prison theory literature, historical case examples and contemporary open sources. It draws a number of conclusions about the potential in prison for extremist activity, including radicalization, and highlights a number of areas where further research and action may be desirable.

Source: RAND Corporation

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Individual Account Retirement Assets Are Concentrated In Families with Common Characteristics, Study Reports

Assets in individual account retirement plans are concentrated in families with a set of common characteristics–higher net worth, higher family income, higher educational attainment, with older family heads, and with white, non-Hispanic heads, according to a study released today by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

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| Link to online Executive Summary

New Study: High-Standards States Far Exceed National [Education}Standards

...a detailed comparison of the March draft standards being proposed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and standards currently in place in states recognized to have high standards—California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas. The report is authored by Stanford University Mathematician Dr. R. James Milgram and Dr. Sandra Stotsky, a member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education who in the late 1990s oversaw the creation of Massachusetts' curriculum frameworks in the English language arts, mathematics, science/engineering, and history and social science.

The CCSSI, which is developing the draft K-12 mathematics and English national standards, was formed in 2009 by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to negotiate standards that could be adopted by all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The CCSSI effort has the explicit encouragement of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).

Adoption was originally going to be voluntary, but the Obama administration subsequently made adopting the national standards a criterion for receipt of federal "Race to the Top" grant funding. The administration has also floated the idea of making adoption of the new national standards a condition for receipt of federal Title I education funding.

Source: Pacific Research Institute

Download full pdf publication | Link to press release

IRS Releases Interim Report on Nonprofit Colleges and Universities Compliance Project

From the IRS Press Release: interim report summarizing responses to compliance questionnaires sent to 400 public and private colleges and universities in October 2008. Colleges and universities make up one of the largest nonprofit segments in terms of revenue and assets.

The interim report contains preliminary information on the respondents’ organizational structures, demographics, exempt and unrelated business activities, endowments, executive compensation as well as governance practices. Respondents are divided into three groups based on size of student population.

Source: U.S. Internal Revenue Service

Download full pdf publication | Link to online press release

The New Demography of American Motherhood

From the Executive Summary:

This report examines the changing demographic characteristics of U.S. mothers by comparing women who gave birth in 2008 with those who gave birth in 1990. It is based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Census Bureau. It also presents results of a nationwide Pew Research Center survey that asked a range of questions about parenthood.

Source: Pew Research Center

Download full pdf publication | Link to online Executive Summary

The Legal Regime Governing Transfer of Persons in the Fight Against Terrorism

The practice of rendition - the involuntary transfer of an individual across borders without recourse to extradition or deportation proceedings - is not new. Indeed, the practice has been used by governments for more than a century. Famous renditions include that of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann from Argentina to Israel, and terrorist Carlos “the Jackal” (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) from Sudan to France. Although such renditions have been controversial in human rights circles, they have been celebrated by many as crucial in the fight against impunity for grave crimes and are sometimes called “rendition to justice.”

The administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush was criticized for the new practice of “extraordinary rendition” - the transfer of suspects to countries known for the systematic use of torture. U.S. officials at the time defended the practice, relying on justifications developed to support “rendition to justice” and arguing that the practice was legal. Despite these justifications, international human rights bodies and intergovernmental bodies have determined that the extraordinary form of rendition is unlawful under human rights law. Although individuals have faced significant legal hurdles in fighting the practice in the U.S. legal system (most prominently in the form of the state secrets doctrine), there is little doubt among international law experts that extraordinary rendition is prohibited. Despite this clear consensus, there is no similar agreement concerning the practice of informal transfers - renditions of the non-“extraordinary” kind - more generally in the context of counter-terrorism efforts.

This article fills the void in the literature by examining the legal norms governing such transfers and setting out a minimum standard that must be upheld whenever a state transfers an individual. As a threshold matter, formal processes for transfer may not be intentionally bypassed and the transferring state must have a valid legal basis for apprehending the individual in contemplation of transfer. Substantive rules protect individuals against transfer to a real risk of: torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; persecution; enforced disappearance; or arbitrary deprivation of life. Procedural rules guarantee the individual the ability to challenge the basis for his or her apprehension/detention in advance of transfer before an independent decision-maker on the grounds provided for in international law. Where diplomatic assurances are used, they must be accompanied by rigorous safeguards including judicial review and effective post-return monitoring by the transferring state.

Source: NYU School of Law

Recommended Citation

Satterthwaite, Margaret L., "The Legal Regime Governing Transfer of Persons in the Fight Against Terrorism" (2010). New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers. Paper 192.

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| Link to online abstract

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Incidents of Jihadist Terrorist Radicalization in the United States Since September 11, 2001


Between September 11, 2001, and the end of 2009, 46 publicly reported cases of domestic radicalization and recruitment to jihadist terrorism occurred in the United States; 13 of those cases occurred in 2009. Most of the would-be jihadists were individuals who recruited themselves into the terrorist role. Some provided assistance to foreign terrorist organizations; some went abroad to join various jihad fronts; some plotted terrorist attacks in the United Sates, usually with little success because of intervention by the authorities. The threat of large-scale terrorist violence has pushed law enforcement toward prevention rather than criminal apprehension after an event — or, as one senior police official put it, “staying to the left of the boom,” which means stopping the explosions or attacks before they occur. This shift toward prevention requires both collecting domestic intelligence — always a delicate mission in a democracy — and maintaining community trust and cooperation.

Source: RAND Corporation

Download full pdf publication | Link to online overview at RAND

Teachers' Use of Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools: 2009

This First Look report presents data from a spring 2009 Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) survey on the availability and use of educational technology by public elementary/secondary school teachers. The teacher survey includes information on the use of computers and Internet access in the classroom; availability and use of computing devices, software, and school or district networks (including remote access) by teachers; students' use of educational technology; teachers' preparation to use educational technology for instruction; and technology-related professional development activities.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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| Link to online summary

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A Modern Framework for Measuring Poverty and Basic Economic Security

This report details how the dominant framework for understanding and measuring poverty in the United States has become a conservative one. The current U.S. approach to measuring poverty views poverty only in terms of having an extremely low level of annual income, and utilizes poverty thresholds that are adjusted only for inflation rather than for changes in overall living standards. As a result, the official poverty measure has effectively defined deprivation down over the last four decades, moving it further and further away from mainstream living standards over time, as well as from majority public opinion of the minimum amount needed to “get along” at a basic level. A new Supplemental Income Poverty Measure (SIPM) proposed by the Obama administration makes some important improvements to the current poverty measure. However, the SIPM remains a conservative approach that appears likely to lock in the poverty line at an extremely low level.

This report proposes a new framework for measuring poverty and basic economic security in the United States. Instead of being limited to the “extremely-low-income-only” approach the current poverty line and administration’s proposed Supplemental Income Poverty Measure (SIPM) represent, this framework should utilize measures of low income and other forms of economic hardship related to low income.

Source: Center for Economic and Policy Research

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America’s Future: Latino Child Well-Being in Numbers and Trends

America’s Future: Latino Child Well-Being in Numbers and Trends was produced by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). This data book offers a comprehensive overview of the state of Latino children by integrating a range of key factors and outcomes in the areas of demography, citizenship, family structure, poverty, health, education, and juvenile justice. It provides an overview of current national and state-level trends for Latino children under age 18 relative to non-Hispanic White and Black children, documenting both regional variations and changing trends since the year 2000.

Source: National Council of La Raza

Download full pdf publication | Link to NCLR

Better Data on Teacher Preparation Could Aid Efforts to Improve Education

A new report from the National Research Council on teacher education programs in the United States recommends that the U.S. Department of Education develop a national education data network to integrate existing information on teacher preparation, drive the collection of new data, and provide needed information to researchers and policymakers working toward better approaches to preparing K-12 teachers. The current paucity of data and well-targeted research severely limits the capacity of policymakers and the education community to draw conclusions about which approaches are effective and how to design better ones, said the committee that wrote the report.

Source: National Academies Press

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European Company Survey 2009

The European Company Survey 2009 on flexibility practices and social dialogue is the second European-wide establishment survey to be undertaken by Eurofound. The survey documents flexibility strategies in firms and is a unique source of comparative information on social dialogue at the workplace. According to management and employee representatives in 27,000 public and private establishments across Europe, working time flexibility is the most common type of flexibility available in European companies. More than half of all establishments with 10 or more employees in the EU27 use some type of flexi-time arrangement. This reflects a substantial increase on the situation four years ago as measured in the first European Company Survey, which covered 21 countries.

Source: EuroFound

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| Link to online summary

Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years

From press:
Public workers earn 11% to 12% less than workers in private companies, according to a joint study from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and National Institute on Retirement Security.

...analyzed 20 years of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also found that the pay gap has generally widened over the last two decades, as private compensation moved higher while earnings for state and local workers fell.

Source: Center for State and Local Government Excellence

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The motherhood wage penalty

The motherhood wage penalty is a substantial obstacle to progress in gender equality at work. Using matched employer–employee data from Norway (1979–1996, N = 236,857 individuals, N = 1,027,462 individual–years), a country with public policies that promote combining family and career, we investigate (a) whether the penalty arises from differential pay by employers or from the sorting of employees on occupations and establishments and (b) changes in the penalties during a period with major changes in
family policies. We find that: (a) The penalty to motherhood was mostly due to sorting on occupations and occupation–establishment units (mothers and nonmothers working in the same occupation and establishment received similar pay), and (b) The wage penalties to motherhood declined substantially over the 18-year period.

Petersen, Trond, Penner, Andrew M., & H√łgnsnes, Geir. (2010). The Within-Job Motherhood Wage Penalty in Norway, 1979–1996. UC Berkeley: Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Retrieved from:

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Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides the dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country.

Source: Congressional Research Service

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"Socialism" Not So Negative, "Capitalism" Not So Positive

A Political Rhetoric Test

"Socialism" is a negative for most Americans, but certainly not all Americans. "Capitalism" is regarded positively by a majority of public, though it is a thin majority. Among certain segments of the public -- notably, young people and Democrats -- both "isms" are rated about equally. And while most Americans have a negative reaction to the word "militia," the term is viewed more positively by Republican men than most other groups.

These are among the findings of a national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press that tests reactions to words and phrases frequently used in current political discourse. Overall, 29% say they have a positive reaction to the word "socialism," while 59% react negatively. The public's impressions of "capitalism," though far more positive, are somewhat mixed. Slightly more than half (52%) react positively to the word "capitalism," compared with 37% who say they have a negative reaction.

Link to report published online
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Hispanics and Arizona’s New Immigration Law

More Americans believe that Hispanics are the targets of a lot of discrimination in American society than say the same about any other major racial or ethnic group, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken prior to the recent enactment of an immigration enforcement law by the state of Arizona. These findings from the Pew Research Center's November 2009 survey are included in a new Pew Hispanic Center fact sheet that covers a range of issues, attitudes and trends related to the new Arizona measure and its potential impact on the Latino community and on the enforcement of the nation's immigration laws.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

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Government Spending Undercover: Spending Programs Administered by the IRS


When policymakers look to trim fat from the federal government they too often ignore half the problem: the vast and complicated set of spending programs administered by the IRS. These programs are often referred to as tax expenditures, but this paper argues that they should be viewed just like any other type of government spending. In fiscal year 2011 we will spend over $1 trillion on tax expenditures. Despite their big price tag, these programs fly under the radar of media and popular opinion. As a result, they are more likely than direct outlays to be ineffective initiatives or giveaways to the politically powerful.

This paper explains what IRS-administered spending programs are, and summarizes the obstacles to subjecting them to the same scrutiny as other government spending. It then offers four recommendations for working these programs into the budget process: (1) requiring a bipartisan commission or a designated agency to create rules for identifying provisions that should be treated as “IRS-administered spending programs,” (2) directing CBO to display alternative projections of federal revenue and spending that count all IRS-administered spending programs as revenue raised and then spent, (3) requiring the IRS to inform taxpayers of the benefits they receive from such programs, and (4) allowing taxpayers to claim these benefits separately from remitting taxes due.

Finally, this paper offers a framework of questions and principles that policymakers should bear in mind in giving these programs the critical evaluation that they deserve. Specifically, policymakers should consider whether each IRS-administered spending program furthers any public goals and, if so, whether it is structured as effectively as possible to achieve its objectives. If a program seeks to encourage consumers to act in their own interest, policymakers should consider replacing or supplementing it with default rules and “nudges” that facilitate better decisions. If a program seeks to encourage consumers to make choices that benefit others, policymakers should target its subsidies on the choices that benefit others the most and the taxpayers who are most likely to respond. Responsiveness can often be increased by offering the same subsidy to everyone, framing the subsidy as a match, or delivering it earlier in time. More fundamentally, such subsidies should not depend on the claimant’s marginal tax rate or itemizing status. This implies that IRS-administered spending program that seek to influence or reward socially-desirable choices should almost always be delivered in the form of refundable credits, instead of non-refundable credits, deferral, deductions, or exclusions.

Source: New York University Law and Economics Working Papers

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