Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Effect of Sleep on Wages: Time Use and Productivity

While economists have long been interested in effects of health and human capital on productivity, less attention has been paid to the influence of time use. We investigate the productivity effects of the single largest use of time--sleep. Because sleep influences performance on memory and focus intensive tasks, it plausibly affects economic outcomes. We identify the effect of sleep on wages by exploiting the relationship between sunset time and sleep duration. Using a large, nationally representative set of time use diaries from the United States, we provide the first causal estimates of the impact of sleep on wages: a one-hour increase in long-run average sleep increases wages by 16%, equivalent to more than one year of schooling. We also document the nonlinearity of the sleep-wage relationship. Our results highlight the economic importance of sleep and pose potentially fruitful questions about the effects of time use on labor market outcomes.
Source: UCSD Department of Economics [via e-scholarship repository]

Download full pdf publication
View abstract online

Survey Finds That The Public Favors a shift in U.S. Policy to Expedite the Legal Processing of Central American Children.

From the online overview:

As the president and Congress struggle over how to deal with the influx of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America across the U.S.-Mexican border, a new survey finds that the public favors a shift in U.S. policy to expedite the legal processing of the children.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted July 8-14 among 1,805 adults, finds that about half (53%) think that the legal process for dealing with Central American children who cross the border illegally should be accelerated, even if that means that some children who are eligible for asylum are deported. Fewer (39%) support staying with the current policy, even though the process could take a long time and the children will stay in the U.S. in the interim.

Most Republicans (60%) and independents (56%) think legal processing of the children should be sped up even if it means some children who are eligible for asylum are deported. Democrats are divided: 46% favor an expedited legal process, but about as many (47%) favor maintaining the current policy, though that might result in a lengthy legal process and a long stay in the U.S. for the children.
Source: Pew Research Center

Read online overview
Download full pdf report
Download topline questionnaire

How Americans Feel About Religious Groups: Jews, Catholics & Evangelicals Rated Warmly, Atheists and Muslims More Coldly

From the online overview:
Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating – all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher).

Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons receive neutral ratings on average, ranging from 48 for Mormons to 53 for Buddhists. The public views atheists and Muslims more coldly; atheists receive an average rating of 41, and Muslims an average rating of 40. Fully 41% of the public rates Muslims in the coldest part of the thermometer (33 or below), and 40% rate atheists in the coldest part.

These are some of the key findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted May 30-June 30, 2014, among 3,217 adults who are part of Pew Research’s new American Trends Panel, a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults.
Source: Pew Research Center

Read the entire overview (includes graphs)
Download the full pdf report
Download the topline questionnaire

Poor early language skills linked to later behavior and attention problems

From the news release:
Many previous studies have shown a correlation between behavior problems and language skill. Children with behavior problems, particularly those with attention deficits and hyperactivity, such as in ADHD, often have poor language skills. Whether one of these problems precedes the other and directly causes it was until recently an open question.

In a longitudinal study published last year, Petersen, Bates and several others concluded that the arrow points decisively from poor language ability to later behavioral problems, rather than the reverse. The current study shows that it does this by way of self-regulation, a varied concept that includes physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral control. Self-regulation is integral to children’s capacity to adapt to social situations and to direct their actions toward future goals. The absence of self-regulation abilities is a key predictor and component of future behavior problems.

A number of studies have sought to explain the role of language in the development of self-regulation in terms of the cognitive and neurological mechanisms by which they are linked. This study traces the way they unfold over time and the role of self-regulation in this process.
Source: Indiana University

Read full news release
Go to published study:  The role of language ability and self-regulation in the development of inattentive–hyperactive behavior problems. Development and Psychopathology, available on CJO2014. doi:10.1017/S0954579414000698. 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Prosecution & Racial Justice in New York County: Study Examines Racial Disparities in Criminal Case Outcomes

From the description:
The Vera Institute of Justice has released an NIJ-funded study involving researchers who partnered with the District Attorney of New York County (DANY) to examine racial and ethnic disparities in criminal case outcomes in New York County. The two-year study focused on the role of prosecutors during several points of a criminal case – case acceptance for prosecution, dismissals, pretrial detention, plea bargaining, and sentencing recommendations – and whether prosecutorial discretion contributes to racially and ethnically disparate outcomes.

The report found that the best predictors of case outcomes were factors that directly pertained to legal aspects of a case – including the seriousness of the charge, the defendant’s prior record, and the offense type, but race remained a factor in case outcomes. DANY prosecutes nearly all cases with no racial or ethnic difference at case screening, but for subsequent decisions, racially and ethnic disparities varied by prosecutor decision point and offense category. Compared to white defendants, black and Latino defendants were more likely to be detained, to receive a custodial plea offer, and to be incarcerated. They were also more likely to benefit from case dismissal. Asian defendants had the most favorable outcomes across all discretionary points.
Source: Vera Institute of Justice via National Institute of Justice

Download pdf report
Download pdf research summary

Monday, July 07, 2014

Behavioral consequences of eating past the point you are sated.

From the Stanford GSB Blog:
The research is important in the field of memory, where academics are engaged in questions about the relationship between time and memory and when our recency bias shows up. For instance, as you make decisions, do you more clearly remember the first piece of information or the last? Or, which do you weigh more in the decision-making process? What if you have many pieces of information to draw from?
Data and Sources:  
Garbinsky, Emily N., Carey K. Morewedge, and Baba Shiv (forthcoming), “Interference of the End: Why Recency Bias in Memory Determines When a Food is Consumed Again,” Psychological Science.
*Materials and Data: Study 1 Materials, Study 1 Data, Study 2 Materials, Study 2 Data, Study 3 Materials, Study 3 Data

Read more about it on the GSB Blog 

Net Threats: Experts say liberty online is challenged by nation-state crackdowns, surveillance, and pressures of commercialization of the Internet

From the summary:
As Internet experts look to the future of the Web, they have a number of concerns. This is not to say they are pessimistic: The majority of respondents to this 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing say they hope that by 2025 there will not be significant changes for the worse and hindrances to the ways in which people get and share content online today. And they said they expect that technology innovation will continue to afford more new opportunities for people to connect.

Still, some express wide levels of concern that this yearning for an open Internet will be challenged by trends that could sharply disrupt the way the Internet works for many users today as a source of largely unfettered content flows.
Source: Pew Research Internet Project

Download Complete Report (pdf)
Learn more from the complete online summary

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Topographic Map Explorer from the USGS

From the CitiLabs article:
With the help of ESRI, the new site gives users access to more than 178,000 of the USGS's maps dating back to 1884, also making them easily searchable by city.

Learn more by reading the "how-to" CitiLabs article.
Go directly to the USGS Map Explorer

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Closing the Race Gap: Alleviating Young African American Unemployment Through Education

From the description:
While the Great Recession continues to have ripple effects on our entire generation, young African Americans face unemployment rates that are twice that of their white peers. Closing the Race Gap takes an unprecedented look at the driving forces behind racial disparities in the job market, and how higher education can help fight joblessness.
Source: [via the Washington Post]

Download full pdf publication
Read article from the Washington Post: The economy’s troubling double standard for black men