Author Archive for ljridley

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U.S. Income Inequality in 2 Graphs

graph of income growth 1917 to 2012

Quoctrung Bui of Planet Money used the World Top Incomes Database to construct 2 graphs showing the fall and rise of U.S. income inequality from 1920-2012.

Formatting Data in R

image of data

Nathan Yau of Flowing Data recently published a tutorial on loading data and basic formatting in R. The tutorial covers loading data from CSV files, subsetting data frames, editing data to make it easier to manage and merging multiple datasets.

Diminishing Returns of Incarceration

In an article for the FiveThirtyEight website, Oliver Roeder discusses a report he co-authored with Lauren-Brooke Eisen and Julia Bowling for the Brennan Center for Justice which examines the limited effect of incarceration on crime rates.

Report abstract:

What Caused the Crime Decline? examines one of the nation’s least understood recent phenomena – the dramatic decline in crime nationwide over the past two decades – and analyzes various theories for why it occurred, by reviewing more than 40 years of data from all 50 states and the 50 largest cities. It concludes that over-harsh criminal justice policies, particularly increased incarceration, which rose even more dramatically over the same period, were not the main drivers of the crime decline. In fact, the report finds that increased incarceration has been declining in its effectiveness as a crime control tactic for more than 30 years. Its effect on crime rates since 1990 has been limited, and has been non-existent since 2000.

More important were various social, economic, and environmental factors, such as growth in income and an aging population. The introduction of CompStat, a data-driven policing technique, also played a significant role in reducing crime in cities that introduced it.

The report concludes that considering the immense social, fiscal, and economic costs of mass incarceration, programs that improve economic opportunities, modernize policing practices, and expand treatment and rehabilitation programs, all could be a better public safety investment.

FiveThirtyEight article, The Imprisoner’s Dilemma
Brennan Center for Justice Report, What Caused the Crime Decline?

Segregation in 20th Century America

Emily Badger of Wonkblog discusses a new study by Trevon Logan and John Parman which examines the rise of segregation in the United States from 1880 to 1940 using the Census records gathered by counters walking door-to-door, “They show patterns of fine-grained racial segregation that are impossible to see in public Census data today where privacy concerns override precision.”

Read the full Wonkblog article.
Logan and Parman’s paper, “The National Rise in Residential Segregation”.

Comparing 4 World Cities

Ricky Burdett of LSE Cities compares the economic, political and environmental shifts in London, Delhi, Tokyo, and Bogota in an article for the Guardian.

America’s Middle Class

Both the New York Times Upshot and the Pew Research Center recently examined trends in middle-income households.

The Pew Research report is here.
The Upshot report is here. The related New York Times article is here.

Hispanic Segregation

Ana Swanson at WonkBlog discusses a map by William H. Frey showing the areas of the countries where Hispanics are segregated.

Unemployment and Unemployment Benefits

Ben Casselman of the FiveThirtyEight blog discusses the changing nature of unemployment and the failure of the benefit structure to keep up with those changes.

Read the full article.

The Gap in Public and Scientist’s Views on Science and Society

The Pew Research Center explores the differences between the ways scientists and the public view science and society.

Read the full article
Complete report (PDF)
Topline Questionnaire (PDF)
Interactive graphs

New NBER Working Papers

Efficacy vs. Equity: What Happens When States Tinker with College Admissions in a Race-Blind Era?
by Sandra E. Black, Kalena E. Cortes, Jane Arnold Lincove #20804
Abstract; PDF

The Effects of Youth Employment: Evidence from New York City Summer Youth Employment Program Lotteries
by Alexander Gelber, Adam Isen, Judd B. Kessler #20810
Abstract; PDF

The Roles of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills in Moderating the Effects of Mixed-Ability Schools on Long-Term Health
by Anirban Basu, Andrew M. Jones, Pedro Rosa Dias #20811
Abstract; PDF

Measuring Consumer Valuation of Limited Provider Networks
by Keith Marzilli Ericson, Amanda Starc #20812
Abstract; PDF

Field of Study, Earnings, and Self-Selection
by Lars Kirkeboen, Edwin Leuven, Magne Mogstad #20816
Abstract; PDF

Can Health Insurance Competition Work? Evidence from Medicare Advantage
by Vilsa Curto, Liran Einav, Jonathan Levin, Jay Bhattacharya #20818
Abstract; PDF

Leveling Up: Early Results from a Randomized Evaluation of Post-Secondary Aid
by Joshua Angrist, David Autor, Sally Hudson, Amanda Pallais #20800
Abstract; PDF

Income-based Inequality in Educational Outcomes: Learning from State Longitudinal Data Systems
by John P. Papay, Richard J. Murnane, John B. Willett #20802
Abstract; PDF

The Fluidity of Race: “Passing” in the United States, 1880-1940
by Emily Nix, Nancy Qian #20828
Abstract; PDF

Patronage Politics and the Development of the Welfare State: Confederate Pensions in the American South
by Shari Eli, Laura Salisbury #20829
Abstract; PDF

The Returns to the Federal Tax Credits for Higher Education
by George B. Bulman, Caroline M. Hoxby #20833
Abstract; PDF

Cognitive Economics
by Miles S. Kimball #20834
Abstract; PDF

Medicaid as an Investment in Children: What is the Long-Term Impact on Tax Receipts?
by David W. Brown, Amanda E. Kowalski, Ithai Z. Lurie #20835
Abstract; PDF

Bounding the Labor Supply Responses to a Randomized Welfare Experiment: A Revealed Preference Approach
by Patrick Kline, Melissa Tartari #20838
Abstract; PDF

Does Delay Cause Decay? The Effect of Administrative Decision Time on the Labor Force Participation and Earnings of Disability Applicants
by David H. Autor, Nicole Maestas, Kathleen J. Mullen, Alexander Strand #20840
Abstract; PDF

Technology and Labor Regulations: Theory and Evidence
by Alberto Alesina, Michele Battisti, Joseph Zeira #20841
Abstract; PDF

Long Run Effects of Free School Choice: College Attainment, Employment, Earnings, and Social Outcomes at Adulthood
by Victor Lavy #20843
Abstract; PDF

Migration, Congestion Externalities, and the Evaluation of Spatial Investments
by Taryn Dinkelman, Sam Schulhofer-Wohl #20842
Abstract; PDF

The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms
by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, Claudia Persico #20847
Abstract; PDF

Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy
by Lance Lochner, Alexander Monge-Naranjo #20849
Abstract; PDF

Borrowing Trouble? Student Loans, the Cost of Borrowing, and Implications for the Effectiveness of Need-Based Grant Aid
by Benjamin M. Marx, Lesley J. Turner #20850
Abstract; PDF

Accounting for Changes in Between-Group Inequality
by Ariel Burstein, Eduardo Morales, Jonathan Vogel #20855
Abstract; PDF

What High-Achieving Low-Income Students Know About College
by Caroline Hoxby, Sarah Turner #20861
Abstract; PDF

Municipal Housekeeping: The Impact of Women’s Suffrage on Public Education
by Celeste K. Carruthers, Marianne H. Wanamaker #20864
Abstract; PDF

Microeconomic Origins of Macroeconomic Tail Risks
by Daron Acemoglu, Asuman Ozdaglar, Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi #20865
Abstract; PDF

Sacred Values? The Effect of Information on Attitudes toward Payments for Human Organs
by Julio J. Elias, Nicola Lacetera, Mario Macis #20866
Abstract; PDF

The Effect of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment Insurance Receipt: New Evidence from a Regression Kink Design in Missouri, 2003-2013
by David Card, Andrew Johnston, Pauline Leung, Alexandre Mas, Zhuan Pei #20869
Abstract; PDF