Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Library of Congress Publication: Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving

From the description:

In addition to the challenges institutions face with preserving their large collections of digital material, individuals are also facing the same challenges.  The challenge is – how to preserve these valuable materials for the long term, more and more of which are in digital format?  The ease involved in creating all this personal digital “content” – whether it’s email, digital photographs, scanned documents, etc. – belies the fact that all digital material, whether in large amounts or small, is fragile.  This fragility can be due to software/hardware obsolescence, not being able to find the files, or even just physical damage.
 Source Library of Congress

Download Library of Congress Publication: Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving

Difference Among Latina/o, Asian American, and White Online [voter] Registrants in California

From the Introduction: 

On 19 September 2012, the state of California launched its online voter registration system. During the just under five-week window available for eligible voters to register online, 839,297 took advantage of this option.1 This large take-up by voters is especially notable given the state did not advertise its availability, nor did it launch a media campaign to inform voters about this option. Given that, it is reasonable to assume that voters heard about online voter registration from their social networks or from visits to the secretary of state’s website.

 22.6% percent of online registrants were Latina/o (N=189,502); 11.1% were of Asian origin (N=92,923); and 59.8% were white (N=501,614).2 These numbers are similar to the ethnoracial distribution of November 2012 registrants overall, of whom 22% were Latina/o, 9.1% were Asian American, and 61.4% were white. Our analysis of these voters shows that young Latinas/os were most likely to register online, Latina/o and Asian American online registrants were strongly Democratic in their party identification, and Latina and Asian American women registered online and turned out at higher rates than Latino and Asian American men. We also find that majorities of Latina/o and white online registrants were low or middle income, rather than affluent. Our analysis makes clear that studies of the California voting population need to look comparatively across ethnoracial3 groups and to consider gender, class, and age differences within those groups.
Source: Policy Reports and Research Briefs, Center for Latino Policy Research, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication: Difference Among Latina/o, Asian American, and White Online [voter] Registrants in California

Monday, March 11, 2013

NIJ Report: Predicting and Preventing Wrongful Convictions

From the overview:

Why are innocent people wrongfully convicted in certain cases yet acquitted in others? Could policy interventions prevent future erroneous convictions? NIJ-funded researchers at American University studied 460 violent felonies that occurred between 1980 and 2012 to find the answers.
The researchers did not study the factors that lead to the factually innocent people entering the criminal justice system in the first place. They focused instead on why some innocent people are convicted while others are released.

The researchers used a case comparison method — with a control group and logistic regression analysis — instead of the "case study" method researchers have used in the past. A group of 260 cases were identified from across the country where an innocent defendant was exonerated after conviction. These were matched with 200 "near miss" cases in which an innocent defendant was acquitted or the charges were dismissed before trial.

Source: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Download full pdf publication (433 pgs) | Download segments of report on the website

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Individual Creativity, Ex-ante Goals and Financial Incentives


Creativity is a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon that has hardly been considered by economists, despite a great deal of economic importance. This paper presents a series of experiments where subjects face creativity tasks where, in one case, ex-ante goals and constraints are imposed on their answers, and in the other case no restrictions apply. The effects of financial incentives in stimulating creativity in both types of tasks is then tested, together with the impact of personal features like risk and ambiguity aversion. Our findings show that, in general,financial incentives affect “in-box” (constrained) creativity, but do not facilitate “blue sky”(unconstrained) creativity. However, in the latter case incentives do play a role for ambiguity averse agents, who tend to be significantly less creative and seem to need extrinsic motivation to exert effort in a task whose odds of success they don’t know. We do find that measures of creative style, sensation-seeking preferences, and past involvement in artistic endeavors are related to our creativity score, but do not find any difference across gender for either form of creativity.

Source: Departmental Working Papers, Department of Economics, UCSB, UC Santa Barbara

Download full pdf publication:  Individual Creativity, Ex-ante Goals and Financial Incentives

Student Survey on Financial Literacy Shows Early Debt Correlates with Risky Behavior

About the Report:

Money Matters on Campus is a new report detailing the findings from a survey of 40,000 first-year college students from across the U.S. and demonstrating to colleges and universities how student financial problems not only impact individual student outcomes but also the institutional mission.

 The study—conducted by EverFi and sponsored by Higher One—surveyed students on banking, savings, credit cards and school loans. The majority of participants (91.2 percent) were first-year college students (mean age = 18.2 years). One of the many survey findings revealed a strong correlation between incurring early debt and not being affiliated with a banking institution. Further, an increased risk of negative financially related outcomes, as students and later in life, was correlated with current risky financial attitudes/behaviors.
Download pdf Report: Money Matters on Campus

Food Hardship in America Report

From the Press Release:
Millions of Americans continued in 2012 to struggle to afford enough food, according to new, up-to-date food hardship data from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). More than one in six Americans (18.2 percent) said in 2012 that there had been times over the past 12 months that they didn’t have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed.

 FRAC’s food hardship report – Food Hardship in America 2012 (pdf) – analyzes data that were collected by Gallup and provided to FRAC. The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which has been interviewing almost 1,000 households daily since January 2008. FRAC has analyzed responses to the question: “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?” The report contains data throughout 2012 for every state, region, congressional district, and 100 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas (MSA).
Source:  Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

Download FRAC’s food hardship pdf report – Food Hardship in America 2012

Recent college graduates in the U.S. labor force: data from the Current Population Survey

From the press release:

Data collected each October in the School Enrollment Supplement to the Current Population Survey provide an annual snapshot of the demographic characteristics, labor force activity, and school enrollment status of each year's cohort of recent college graduates 

Every year, thousands of recent graduates of colleges and universities across the United States enter the labor force with newly minted degrees and high hopes about their employment prospects.1 In October 2011, 74.5 percent of the 1.3 million 2011 recent college graduates were employed, according to data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The unemployment rate for the 2011 cohort of recent college graduates was 12.6 percent. CPS data also show variation in the labor force status of bachelor's and advanced degree recipients.
Download full pdf publication

Pew Research: Twitter Reaction to Events Often at Odds with Overall Public Opinion

Online Report:

The reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys. This is the conclusion of a year-long Pew Research Center study that compared the results of national polls to the tone of tweets in response to eight major news events, including the outcome of the presidential election, the first presidential debate and major speeches by Barack Obama.

At times the Twitter conversation is more liberal than survey responses, while at other times it is more conservative. Often it is the overall negativity that stands out. Much of the difference may have to do with both the narrow sliver of the public represented on Twitter as well as who among that slice chose to take part in any one conversation.
Source: Pew Research Center

Read online report: Twitter Reaction to Events Often at Odds with Overall Public Opinion