Thursday, May 29, 2014

Annual report: Women in the Labor Force: A Databook

This report presents historical and current labor force and earnings data for women from the Current Population Survey.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey

Download full pdf databook
View other charts and tables from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

A Soldier’s Morality, Religion, and Our Professional Ethic: Does the Army’s Culture Facilitate Integration, Character Development, and Trust in the Profession?

The authors argue that an urgent leadership issue has arisen which is strongly, but not favorably, influencing our professional culture--a hostility toward religion and its correct expressions within the military. Setting aside the role of Chaplains as a separate issue, the focus here is on the role religion may play in the moral character of individual soldiers--especially leaders--and how their personal morality, faith-based or not, is to be integrated with their profession's ethic so they can serve in all cases "without reservation" as their oath requires.
Source: U.S. Army War College

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Something Changed: The Social and Legal Status of Homosexuality in America as Reported by the New York Times

Homosexuality, though proven to be a naturally occurring phenomenon, has been a recurring subject of controversy: for years, homosexuality was classified as a disease, labeling gay citizens as sick at best, perverts at worst. As recently as fifty years ago, seen the best reception an active homosexual could hope for was to be seen as having a terrible affliction which must be cured. Gay citizens were treated as second-class citizens, with every aspect of their lifestyles condemned by society and the government. This thesis is a history of the changing social and legal status of homosexuality in the United States, from the 1920′s. Something certainly has changed, in law and society, and I propose to explore the change and to explain why and how it happened. 
Source: Florida State University (Berard – Open Access Honors Thesis)

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Racial and Ethnic Differences in Exposure to Suicide Prevention Messaging, Confidence in One's Ability to Intervene with Someone at Risk, and Resource Preferences

Report assesses differences in racial and ethnic groups' exposure to suicide prevention messaging, preferences for suicide crisis services, and confidence in their ability to intervene with persons at risk of suicide.
Source: RAND Corporation

NCES Report: The Condition of Education

From the Introduction:
This website has the key indicators of the condition of education in the United States. These indicators summarize important developments and trends using the latest statistics and are updated as data become available. A Congressionally mandated annual report on these indicators is provided to the White House and Congress each year.

In addition, this website has Spotlights on issues of current policy interest. These Spotlights take a more in-depth look at the issues through text, graphics and short videos.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf report on the Condition of Education
View the report website with links to tables and videos

Friday, May 23, 2014

Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour

The study investigates the underlying factors that drive forced labour, of which a major one is illegal profits. Figures will include a breakdown of profits by area of forced labour and by region.
Source: International Labour Organization

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Read the Press Release

The Role of the Corporation in Society: An Alternative View and Opportunities for Future Research

A long-standing ideology in business education has been that a corporation is run for the sole interest of its shareholders. I present an alternative view where increasing concentration of economic activity and power in the world’s largest corporations, the Global 1000, has opened the way for managers to consider the interests of a broader set of stakeholders rather than only shareholders. Having documented that this alternative view better fits actual corporate conduct, I discuss opportunities for future research. Specifically, I call for research on the materiality of environmental and social issues for the future financial performance of corporations, the design of incentive and control systems to guide strategy execution, corporate reporting, and the role of investors in this new paradigm.
Source: Social Science Research Network

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A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living with HIV

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and people living with HIV (PLWH) face pervasive discrimination at all stages of the criminal legal system, from policing, to adjudication, to incarceration, according to a new report published by the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School and co-authored by the Center for American Progress, The Center for HIV Law & Policy, and Streetwise & Safe (SAS).

The report, "A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People with HIV", is one of the first to offer comprehensive federal policy recommendations to address cycles of criminalization and discriminatory treatment faced by LGBT people and PLWH. Co-authored by Catherine Hanssens, Aisha-Moodie Millis, Andrea Ritchie, Dean Spade and Urvashi Vaid, with input from more than 50 legal, advocacy and grassroots organizations working on LGBT and criminal justice policy, the report provides an extensive outline of policy measures that federal agencies can adopt to address discriminatory and abusive policing practices, improve conditions for LGBT prisoners and immigrants in detention, decriminalize HIV, and prevent LGBT youth and adults from coming in contact with the system in the first place.
Source:  Center for American Progress
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Just in Time Research: Data Breaches in Higher Education

This “Just in Time” research is in response to recent discussions on the EDUCAUSE Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC) discussion list about data breaches in higher education. Using data from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, this research analyzes data breaches attributed to higher education.
Source: Educause

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Health and Economic Outcomes Among the Alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) offers support and raises public awareness of service members who have experienced physical or mental health conditions associated with their service on or after September 11, 2001. In this report, the authors use WWP's 2013 survey of its members (alumni) to understand the physical, mental, and economic challenges that Wounded Warriors face. The researchers find that at least half of alumni reported dealing with mental health conditions such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, and many of these alumni reported difficulties or delays in seeking mental health care, or not doing so at all. Alcohol misuse also poses a problem. A large proportion of alumni are overweight or obese, conditions that negatively affect their daily lives, exercise routines, and overall health. Almost half of alumni are not working, and there is low participation in veteran-specific employment and education programs. This information can be used to better understand the needs of WWP alumni and the ways that WWP can serve and support this constituency.
Source: RAND Corporation

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Read abstract at RAND Corporation

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 MTV/DBR Report on Millennials and Bias

As part of its multi‐year public affairs campaign to address bias, MTV Strategic Insights partnered with David Binder Research in 2014 on a study that provides an in‐depth look at millennials & bias. This research was designed to understand and measure how young people are experiencing, affected by and responding to issues associated with bias.

This reports the findings of an extensive MTV-commissioned survey of 3,000 14-to-24 year olds by David Binder Research. The surveys, taken over the last three months, are part of MTV's Look Different project, which aims to address biases – racial, ethnic, LGBT, and otherwise – by posing tough questions and making viewers aware.

Download pdf report: Part 1 | Part 2
Download Executive Summary

15th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies released new results from its 15th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey. This survey is one of the largest and longest-running of its kind. It explores retirement issues among American workers and their employers. The study is a robust, nationally representative survey conducted by an independent research company. The large sample enables TCRS to delve into comparisons across many demographics and provides a basis to educate the American public on trends, issues, and opportunities related to saving and planning for retirement and achieving financial security in retirement.

As part of the 15th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, this report examines current trends among American workers and compares the retirement outlooks of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.
Source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

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Maternity and paternity at work: Law and practice across the world

From the Abstract:
This report provides a picture of where we stand and what we have learned so far about maternity and paternity rights across the world. It offers a rich international comparative analysis of law and practice relating to maternity protection at work in 185 countries and territories, comprising leave, cash benefits, employment protection and non-discrimination, health protection, breastfeeding arrangements at work and childcare. Expanding on previous editions, it is based on an extensive set of new legal and statistical indicators, including coverage in law and in practice of paid maternity leave as well as statutory provision of paternity and parental leave and their evolution over the last 20 years. 

Source: International Labour Organization

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What Happens Before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway into Organizations

Little is known about how discrimination against women and minorities manifests before individuals formally apply to organizations or how it varies within and between organizations. We address this knowledge gap through an audit study in academia of over 6,500 professors at top U.S. universities drawn from 89 disciplines and 259 institutions. We hypothesized that discrimination would appear at the informal “pathway” preceding entry to academia and would vary by discipline and university as a function of faculty representation and pay. In our experiment, professors were contacted by fictional prospective students seeking to discuss research opportunities prior to applying to a doctoral program. Names of students were randomly assigned to signal gender and race (Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, Chinese), but messages were otherwise identical. We found that faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from Caucasian males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions. Counterintuitively, the representation of women and minorities and discrimination were uncorrelated, suggesting that greater representation cannot be assumed to reduce discrimination. This research highlights the importance of studying what happens before formal entry points into organizations and reveals that discrimination is not evenly distributed within and between organizations.
 Source: Social Science Resource Network

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The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (2014)

From the description:
The Growth of Incarceration in the United States examines research and analysis of the dramatic rise of incarceration rates and its affects. This study makes the case that the United States has gone far past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits and has reached a level where these high rates of incarceration themselves constitute a source of injustice and social harm.
Source: National Academies Press

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Why #NetNeutrality Matters to Higher Ed

From the article:
Net Neutrality is the principle that all Internet content should be treated equally. Current proposed changes by the FCC would allow Internet Service Providers like Comcast to charge content providers(say, Netflix or the DPLA) a premium for access to the fastest service. Why does this matter? Think about how quickly you lose interest if a website takes longer than usual to load.
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

Read the entire article Why #NetNeutrality Matters to Higher Ed.

Young Adults, Student Debt and Economic Well-Being

From the introduction:
An analysis of the most recent Survey of Consumer Finances finds that households headed by a young, college-educated adult without any student debt obligations have about seven times the typical net worth ($64,700) of households headed by a young, college-educated adult with student debt ($8,700). And the wealth gap is also large for households headed by young adults without a bachelor’s degree: Those with no student debt have accumulated roughly nine times as much wealth as debtor households ($10,900 vs. $1,200). This is true despite the fact that debtors and non-debtors have nearly identical household incomes in each group.
Source: Pew Research Center

Read article online at Pew Research
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Londonmapper: Social Atlas of London

...aims to provide comprehensive insights into the state of poverty and inequality in the [British] capital. It is a work in progress and we are just at the start of what will be a growing repository of a wide range of maps, visualisations and analyses on London.

The Atlantic says:
As a resource for understanding London, it’s invaluable, letting users chart anything from health problems to knife crime using data gleaned each year since the millennium.
General topics include:
Poverty and Wealth
Environment & Travel
Social harm

View all info, maps and data at:

Data Portal: Institute for Environment and Sustainability

The Institute for Environment and Sustainability hosts a large number of data portals and unique scientific databases. Find below a short description of the most relevant public data portals and databases with their respective links:
Here are just a few:
The INSPIRE Geoportal: The INSPIRE Geoportal is Europe's Internet access point to the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE). The user can discover and view the maps of his/her choice letting the Geoportal contact the necessary servers and combine the data.

The European Soil Portal
The European Soil Portal is an integral part of the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC) and brings together relevant data and information regarding soils at the European level.

Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) The Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) provides data on global past and present anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants by country on a spatial grid.

Global Land Cover 2000 Database
The Global Land Cover 2000 Database shows for the first time ever the complete land cover of the entire planet with a 1-km resolution. The project was carried out in collaboration with over 30 research teams from

Read the full list of datasets available at the Institute for Environment and Sustainability.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Questionnaire May Give Clues to Other Mental Health Problems

From the Press Release:

A shortened version of a questionnaire used by psychologists to assess risk factors for obsessive-compulsive disorder also may help determine the risk of depression and anxiety, according to a Baylor University study. The revision may be a good fit for assessing the risk of mental health issues stemming from certain beliefs — such as seeing threats as greater than they are and feeling that things are not right unless they are perfect. Such dysfunctional beliefs are central to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), said researcher Thomas Fergus, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences. The study was published in the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.

The Validity and Specificity of the Short-Form of the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire (OBQ)
Moulding et al. (Assessment 18:357–374, 2011) created a 20-item short-form of the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire (OBQ; Obsessive Compulsive Cognitions Working Group in Behaviour Research and Therapy 43:1527–1542, 2005) labeled the OBQ-20. To date, the psychometric properties of the OBQ-20 have yet to be examined among clinical respondents. It is also unknown whether the OBQ-20 addresses the limited specificity of prior OBQ versions to obsessive-compulsive symptoms. In Study 1, using a small clinical sample (N = 48), each OBQ-20 scale evidenced good internal consistency and shared a nearly identical correlation in magnitude with obsessive-compulsive symptoms relative to a corresponding full-length OBQ scale. In Study 2, using a large community sample (N = 507), the OBQ-20 scales generally correlated equivalently with obsessive-compulsive symptoms relative to both depression and generalized anxiety symptoms. The OBQ-20 demonstrated strong psychometric properties, but, like prior OBQ versions, did not emerge as specific to obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Given its brevity and potential transdiagnostic importance, the OBQ-20 will likely be a useful assessment tool in both research and clinical settings.
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Read the press release online

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Try This Tool: Awesome Screenshot

Awesome Screenshot is an easy way to quickly grab and annotate webpages. I find it particularly useful for long webpages. I created a little video tutorial for you.

AwesomeScreenshot Tutorial from Resource Connection on Vimeo.

Awesome Screenshot is a free plug-in for Firefox, Safari or Chrome browsers. And you can grab it at

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Integrating Environmental and Human Health

From the introduction:
Recognizing the importance of sustainable health care to the well-being of patients, the industry and the environment, Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and Johnson & Johnson co-sponsored a recent conference titled, “Metrics that Matter, Messages that Motivate.” Drawing on information gathered at that conference and interviews with Wharton faculty and industry experts, this special report focuses on how organizations can find the path to best practices in health care sustainability.
Source: Knowledge at Wharton

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New Tool: Online ‘Legislative Explorer’ uses big data to track decades of lawmaking

From the news release:

The Legislative Explorer tracks the progress of every bill and resolution introduced in Congress since 1973 — 250,000 in all. It notes each time a bill or resolution advances from one stage of the process to the next, in or out of committee or moves to the floor for consideration, totaling about 750,000 such movements.
Users can drill down through the graphically presented data in lots of ways, including by type of legislation, sponsors, party or chamber of origin. The tool also has filters allowing users to sort results many ways, including by gender of sponsoring legislator, committee affiliation and — perhaps most helpful of all — whether the legislation is considered major or minor.

Source: University of Washington

The free tool is available at

Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States

This statistical profile of the Latino population is based on Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). Users should exercise caution when comparing the 2012 estimates with estimates for previous years. Population estimates in the 2012 ACS are based on the latest information from the 2010 Decennial Census; the 2005 to 2009 ACS estimates are based on the latest information available for those surveys—updates of the 2000 Decennial Census. The impact of this discontinuity on comparisons between the 2010 and later ACS and earlier years is discussed in a Hispanic Trends Project.
Source: Pew Research Center
Report: Hispanic Nativity Shift
Download PDF of Tables
Download Excel Workbook
Related: Statistical Portrait of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States, 2012

Latino and Asian American Attitudes Toward the Building Blocks of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

From the abstract:
This paper speaks to three sets of scholarly questions.  First, I analyze the predictors of attitudes toward immigration policies in the contemporary debate among Latinos and Asian Americans.  Second, I assess whether there are predictable differences in these attitudes across immigrant generations.  Finally, I compare Latino and Asian American attitudes.
Source: Center for the Study of Democracy, UC Irvine [via eScholarship Repository]

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The Psychology of Eating Animals

Most people both eat animals and care about animals. Research has begun to examine the psychological processes that allow people to negotiate this “meat paradox.” To understand the psychology of eating animals, we examine characteristics of the eaters (people), the eaten (animals), and the eating (the behavior). People who value masculinity, enjoy meat and do not see it as a moral issue, and find dominance and inequality acceptable are most likely to consume animals. Perceiving animals as highly dissimilar to humans and as lacking mental attributes, such as the capacity for pain, also supports meat-eating. In addition to these beliefs, values, and perceptions, the act of eating meat triggers psychological processes that regulate negative emotions associated with eating animals. We conclude by discussing the implications of this research for understanding the psychology of morality. 

Source: Current Directions in Psychological Science (via APS News)

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The Shifting Religious Identity of Latinos in the United States

From the introduction:
Most Hispanics in the United States continue to belong to the Roman Catholic Church. But the Catholic share of the Hispanic population is declining, while rising numbers of Hispanics are Protestant or unaffiliated with any religion. Indeed, nearly one-in-four Hispanic adults (24%) are now former Catholics, according to a major, nationwide survey of more than 5,000 Hispanics by the Pew Research Center. Together, these trends suggest that some religious polarization is taking place in the Hispanic community, with the shrinking majority of Hispanic Catholics holding the middle ground between two growing groups (evangelical Protestants and the unaffiliated) that are at opposite ends of the U.S. religious spectrum.
Source: Pew Research on Religious Life

Download full pdf report
Read online introduction
View interactive chart on "religious switching"

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Teacher Diversity Revisited: A New State-by-State Analysis

From the introduction:
In the fall of 2011, the Center for American Progress released an issue brief looking at teacher diversity, and the findings were stark. We found that the demographics of the teacher workforce had not kept up with student demographics. In that study, we showed that students of color made up more than 40 percent of the school-age population. In contrast, teachers of color were only 17 percent of the teaching force.

Since we released our first report on teacher and student demographics, the nation has only grown more diverse.

...we decided to revisit the issue of teacher diversity, and we calculated again our groundbreaking “Teacher Diversity Index,” an approach we pioneered in our first paper that ranks states on the percentage-point difference between teachers of color and students of color. For our analysis, we relied on data from the 2012 Schools and Staffing Survey, a nationally representative survey of teachers and principals administered every four years by the National Center for Education Statistics.
We also relied on 2011 data from the Common Core of Data, which is also administered by the National Center for Education Statistics. And for the first time, we looked at teacher diversity within some select states. It should be noted that in this brief, we define “nonwhite” as anyone who is African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.
Source: Center for American Progress

Download pdf publication:  Teacher Diversity Revisited: A New State-by-State Analysis
Download pdf publication: America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of ColorGetting More Teachers of Color into the Classroom

Read articles on the Center for American Progress website.

Monday, May 05, 2014

International Comparison Program Summary Results Release Compares the Real Size of the World Economies

From the April 29, 2014 Press Release:
The International Comparison Program (ICP) released new data today showing that the world economy produced goods and services worth over $90 trillion in 2011, and that almost half of the world’s total output came from low and middle income countries.

Under the authority of the United Nations Statistical Commission, the 2011 round of ICP covered 199 economies - the most extensive effort to measure Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) across countries ever. ICP 2011 estimates benefited from a number of methodological improvements over past efforts to calculate PPPs.

The ICP’s principal outputs are PPPs for 2011 and estimates of PPP-based gross domestic product (GDP) and its major components in aggregate and per capita terms. When converting national economic measures (e.g. GDP), into a common currency, PPPs are a more direct measure of what money can buy than exchange rates.

ICP implementation was led and coordinated by the ICP Global Office, hosted by the World Bank, in partnership with regional agencies overseeing activities in eight geographic regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Asia, Pacific Islands, and the countries of the regular PPP program managed by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In addition, two “singleton” economies, Georgia and Iran, participated in bilateral exercises with partner economies, without being part of any regional comparisons.
Source: World Bank ICP

Download the Summary of Results and Findings of the 2011 International Comparison Program (PDF) published April 30, 2014
Read the press release

Friday, May 02, 2014

Compilation of U.S. Data Sources

Data collection and analysis are essential parts of National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership's (NNIP) work. Explore the pages below to see how NNIP partners are using these data sources in their local communities. We'll list additional data sources as our partners add new examples, so check back often. If you are interested in data sources not listed here, use the site's general search box.
Source: National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership

Visit NNIP site list to download data.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Findings of the Big Data and Privacy Working Group Review

From the blog post:
The big data revolution presents incredible opportunities in virtually every sector of the economy and every corner of society.

Big data is saving lives. Infections are dangerous—even deadly—for many babies born prematurely. By collecting and analyzing millions of data points from a NICU, one study was able to identify factors, like slight increases in body temperature and heart rate, that serve as early warning signs an infection may be taking root—subtle changes that even the most experienced doctors wouldn't have noticed on their own.

Big data is making the economy work better. Jet engines and delivery trucks now come outfitted with sensors that continuously monitor hundreds of data points and send automatic alerts when maintenance is needed. Utility companies are starting to use big data to predict periods of peak electric demand, adjusting the grid to be more efficient and potentially averting brown-outs.

Big data is making government work better and saving taxpayer dollars. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have begun using predictive analytics—a big data technique—to flag likely instances of reimbursement fraud before claims are paid. The Fraud Prevention System helps identify the highest-risk health care providers for waste, fraud, and abuse in real time and has already stopped, prevented, or identified $115 million in fraudulent payments.

But big data raises serious questions, too, about how we protect our privacy and other values in a world where data collection is increasingly ubiquitous and where analysis is conducted at speeds approaching real time. In particular, our review raised the question of whether the "notice and consent" framework, in which a user grants permission for a service to collect and use information about them, still allows us to meaningfully control our privacy as data about us is increasingly used and reused in ways that could not have been anticipated when it was collected.
Source: The White House Blog

Download Big Data Privacy Report
Read entire summary on The White House Blog

The Social, Political and Economic Event Database Project (SPEED)

SPEED is a technology-intensive effort to extract event data from a global archive of news reports covering the Post WWII era. This event data is generated by human analysts using a suite of sophisticated tools to implement carefully structured and pretested protocols. These protocols are category-specific electronic documents that are tailored to the information needs of a particular category of events (civil unrest, property rights, electoral processes, etc.). In generating these event data SPEED leverages tens of billions of dollars that have been invested in compiling news reports from throughout the world.  Currently, two datasets have been produced through the SPEED Project: destabilizing event data and a coup event data. 

Source: Cline Center for Democracy

Access to event data on the SPEED Project site.
SPEED Project White Papers

Employment Characteristics of Families — 2013

From the introduction:
In 2013, 9.6 percent of families included an unemployed person, down from 10.5 percent in 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of the nation's 80.4 million families, 80.0 percent had at least one employed member in 2013. These data on employment, unemployment, and family relationships are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of approximately 60,000 households.

 Data in this release are annual averages. Families are classified either as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses present. Unless otherwise noted, families include those without children as well as those with children under age 18.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Gender Pay Gaps among Highly Educated Professionals: Compensation Components Do Matter

Making use of panel data from a survey of highly educated professionals, gender pay gaps are explored with regard to total compensation as well as to individual compensation components. The results indicate meaningful male-female wage differentials for this quite homogeneous group of people working in one specific industry: in particular for more experienced employees in higher positions of firm hierarchies with children. Gender pay gaps are much more pronounced for bonus payments than they are for fixed salaries.

Source: Institute of Labour (IZA)

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Female Brain Drains and Women's Rights Gaps: A Gravity Model Analysis of Bilateral Migration Flows

In this paper we model the migration decisions of high-skilled women as a function of the benefits associated with moving from an origin with relatively low women's rights to a destination with a relatively high level of women's rights. However, the costs faced by women are decreasing in the level of women's rights provided. The model predicts a non-linear relationship between the relative levels of women's rights in destination versus origin countries (the women's rights gap) and the gender gap in high-skilled migration flows (the female brain drain ratio). In particular, starting from large values of the women's rights gap (where women's rights are very low in the origin) decreases in the gap may be associated with increases in the female brain drain ratio. However, starting from lower levels of the gap the relationship is positive: a greater gain in women's rights moving from origin to destination is, all else equal, associated with a greater likelihood of migration. Using a cross section of over 3,000 bilateral migration flows across OECD and non-OECD countries and the women's rights indices from the CIRI Human Rights Dataset, we report evidence consistent with the theory. A statistically significant and nonlinear relationship exists between women's rights gaps and female brain drain ratios. The evidence is particularly strong for the case of women's political rights. 

Source: Institute of Labour (IZA)
Read on the IZA site
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Justifying Atrocities: The Effect of Moral-Disengagement Strategies on Socially Shared Retrieval-Induced Forgetting

A burgeoning literature has established that exposure to atrocities committed by in-group members triggers moral-disengagement strategies. There is little research, however, on how such moral disengagement affects the degree to which conversations shape people’s memories of the atrocities and subsequent justifications for those atrocities. We built on the finding that a speaker’s selective recounting of past events can result in retrieval-induced forgetting of related, unretrieved memories for both the speaker and the listener. In the present study, we investigated whether American participants listening to the selective remembering of atrocities committed by American soldiers (in-group condition) or Afghan soldiers (out-group condition) resulted in the retrieval-induced forgetting of unmentioned justifications. Consistent with a motivated-recall account, results showed that the way people’s memories are shaped by selective discussions of atrocities depends on group-membership status. 

Source: Psychological Science [via LiveScience]

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Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking.

Four experiments demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after. In Experiment 1, while seated and then when walking on a treadmill, adults completed Guilford’s alternate uses (GAU) test of creative divergent thinking and the compound remote associates (CRA) test of convergent thinking. Walking increased 81% of participants’ creativity on the GAU, but only increased 23% of participants’ scores for the CRA. In Experiment 2, participants completed the GAU when seated and then walking, when walking and then seated, or when seated twice. Again, walking led to higher GAU scores. Moreover, when seated after walking, participants exhibited a residual creative boost. Experiment 3 generalized the prior effects to outdoor walking. Experiment 4 tested the effect of walking on creative analogy generation. Participants sat inside, walked on a treadmill inside, walked outside, or were rolled outside in a wheelchair. Walking outside produced the most novel and highest quality analogies. The effects of outdoor stimulation and walking were separable. Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.

Source:Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition [via NY Times]

Read the abstract online
Read the NY Times article about the study
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Environmental transmission of violent criminal behavior in siblings

From the news release:
If a sibling commits a violent criminal act, the risk that a younger sibling may follow in their footsteps is more likely than the transmission of that behavior to an older sibling, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden.

The findings provide insight into the social transmission of violent behaviors and suggest that environmental factors within families can be important when it comes to delinquent behavior. Down the road, the results may be used to inform strategies for prevention and treatment programs.

Background: Violent criminal behaviour (VCB) runs strongly in families partly because of shared environmental factors. Can we clarify the environmental processes that contribute to similarity of risk for VCB in siblings?

Method: We assessed VCB from the Swedish National Crime Register for the years 1973–2011 in siblings born 1950–1991. We examined by conditional logistic and Cox proportional hazard regression, respectively, whether resemblance for VCB in sibling pairs was influenced by their age difference and whether VCB was more strongly ‘transmitted’ from older→younger versus younger→older siblings.

Results: In our best-fit logistic model, for each year of age difference in full sibling pairs, the risk for VCB in the sibling of a case versus control proband declined by 2.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.2–3.0]. In our best-fit Cox model, the hazard rate for VCB in a sibling when the affected proband was older versus younger was 1.4, 2.1 and 2.9 respectively for a 1-, 5- and 10-year difference in siblings.

Conclusions: Controlling for genetic effects by examining only full siblings, sibling resemblance for risk for VCB was significantly greater in pairs closer versus more distant in age. Older siblings more strongly transmitted risk for VCB to their younger siblings than vice versa. These results strongly support the importance of familial–environmental influences on VCB and provide some insight into the possible mechanisms at work.
Source: Psychological Medicine

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