Author Archive for ljridley

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Reducing Prison Population

Erik Eckholm of the Upshot examines a new interactive “prison population forecaster” released by the Urban Institute.

Although the number of people held in state and federal prisons appears to have leveled off at about 1.6 million — 2.2 million if those in local jails are counted — some scholars and activists are calling for far more ambitious change. They ask: Why not reduce the prison population by a quarter or even by half? (That would still leave it far higher than it was a few decades back, when crime was more rampant than today.)

A new interactive “prison population forecaster,” posted online Tuesday by the Urban Institute, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, aims to help fill that void and yields some sobering conclusions.

Mixed Race Identity Rises in the South

William Frey, writing for the Brookings Institute, examines the increase in persons identifying as “White and Black” in the southern states.

Yet, the South is attracting blacks in large numbers, including multiracial blacks, from all parts of the country. Thus, it is significant that when states are ranked by the growth rates in their “white and black” multiracial populations in the first decade of the 2000s, it is these Southern states that lead all others.

Teens, Technology and Friendships

The Pew Research Center released a new report on the ways teenagers make and maintain friendships in the digital age.

For American teens, making friends isn’t just confined to the school yard, playing field or neighborhood – many are making new friends online. Fully 57% of teens ages 13 to 17 have made a new friend online, with 29% of teens indicating that they have made more than five new friends in online venues. Most of these friendships stay in the digital space; only 20% of all teens have met an online friend in person.

See also: 6 takeaways about teen friendships in the digital age and 5 facts about America’s students.

Comparing Age at Marriage and Divorce Risk in the U.S. and Europe

Jaap Dronkers writes a follow-up to Nicholas Wolfinger’s report, Want to Avoid Divorce? Wait to Get Married, But Not Too Long, which compares age at marriage and the risk of divorce in the United States and Europe.

Family Instability and Child Outcomes

Anna Sutherland, writing for the Family Studies blog, examines a recent article in the American Sociological Review by Dohoon Lee and Sara McLanahan which analyzes longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study.

Family instability is bad for kids. This generalization doesn’t apply to every case—children stand to benefit when their mother kicks out an abusive live-in boyfriend, for example—but as a description of how the phenomenon plays out on average, it is not subject to much dispute.

Researchers are still digging into the specifics behind the generalization, however. By what measures and to what extent does family instability hurt kids? Do the number and kinds of family transitions matter, and how so? Are there gender and racial/ethnic differences in how children are affected? How does the impact of family instability compare with that of other childhood disadvantages, such as poverty?

Statistical Atlas of the United States

Nathan Yau of Flowing Data set out to recreate the original 56 page Statistical Atlas of the United States, first published in 1874 using 1870 Census data. Yau’s version uses current, publicly available government data.

Now that the first 56 maps are complete, Yau has decided to continue the project and produce a more compete Statistical Atlas with more maps and chart. He plans to update these weekly.

Rules for Charts

Nathan Yau of Flowing Data discusses the handful of rules for charts and data visualization which should never be broken. These include baselines, pie slices, and encodings.

2015 Kids Count Data Book

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released it’s annual Kids Count Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being.

From the website:

The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book focuses on America’s children in the midst of the country’s economic recovery. While data show improvements in child health and education, more families are struggling to make ends meet, and a growing number of kids live in high-poverty neighborhoods. In addition to ranking states in several areas of child well-being, the report also examines the influence of parents’ education, health and other life circumstances on their children.

Go to the Kids Count Data Center to look at state data, as well as county, city and congressional district level data.

New York City Census FactFinder

The NYC Planning Department’s American Community Survey update to the NYC Census Factfinder application has been released. It is now possible to get 2009-2013 ACS profiles for Neighborhood Tabulation Areas and user defined census tract aggregations, in addition to demographic profiles from the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

See the full press release.

H/T Data Detectives

NBER Working Papers

Exact P-values for Network Interference
by Susan Athey, Dean Eckles, Guido W. Imbens #21313
Abstract; PDF

Aggregating Elasticities: Intensive and Extensive Margins of Female Labour Supply
by Orazio Attanasio, Peter Levell, Hamish Low, Virginia Sanchez-Marcos #21315
Abstract; PDF

Health Disparities Across Education: The Role of Differential Reporting Error
by John Cawley, Anna Choi #21317
Abstract; PDF

The Elasticity of Substitution Between Time and Market Goods: Evidence from the Great Recession
by Aviv Nevo, Arlene Wong #21318
Abstract; PDF

The Labor Market Effects of Opening the Border: New Evidence from Switzerland
by Andreas Beerli, Giovanni Peri #21319
Abstract; PDF

Governance and the Effectiveness of Public Health Subsidies
by Rebecca Dizon-Ross, Pascaline Dupas, Jonathan Robinson #21324
Abstract; PDF

Does Retirement Improve Health and Life Satisfaction?
by Aspen Gorry, Devon Gorry, Sita Slavov #21326
Abstract; PDF

Healthy(?), Wealthy and Wise: Birth Order and Adult Health
by Sandra E. Black, Paul J. Devereux, Kjell G. Salvanes #21337
Abstract; PDF

Effective Policy for Reducing Inequality? The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Distribution of Income
by Hilary W. Hoynes, Ankur J. Patel #21340
Abstract; PDF

The Long-Term Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription and Genotype on Smoking Behavior and Health
by Lauren Schmitz, Dalton Conley #21348
Abstract; PDF

Household Responses to Severe Health Shocks and the Design of Social Insurance
by Itzik Fadlon, Torben Heien Nielsen #21352
Abstract; PDF

Health and Unemployment during Macroeconomic Crises
by Prashant Bharadwaj, Petter Lundborg, Dan-Olof Rooth #21353
Abstract; PDF

Birth Weight in the Long Run
by Prashant Bharadwaj, Petter Lundborg, Dan-Olof Rooth #21354
Abstract; PDF

Fiscal Policies and the Prices of Labor: A Comparison of the U.K. and U.S.
by Casey B. Mulligan #21358
Abstract; PDF

Economic and Social Impacts of the Media
by Stefano DellaVigna, Eliana La Ferrara #21360
Abstract; PDF

Accounting for Adaptation in the Economics of Happiness
by Miles Kimball, Ryan Nunn, Dan Silverman #21365
Abstract; PDF

Apply Yourself: Racial and Ethnic Differences in College Application
by Sandra E. Black, Kalena E. Cortes, Jane Arnold Lincove #21368
Abstract; PDF

The Intergenerational Transmission of War
by Filipe Campante, David Yanagizawa-Drott #21371
Abstract; PDF

How was the Weekend? How the Social Context Underlies Weekend Effects in Happiness and other Emotions for US Workers
by John F. Helliwell, Shun Wang #21374
Abstract; PDF

Does Protecting Older Workers from Discrimination Make It Harder to Get Hired? Evidence from Disability Discrimination Laws
by David Neumark, Joanne Song, Patrick Button #21379
Abstract; PDF