Archive for the 'Areas (Subject)' Category

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Most segregated schools are now in the Northeast not the South

From an article in the Washington Post:

Sixty years ago this Saturday, the Supreme Court found state laws imposing segregation unconstitutional.

Progress has been made, but the nation has been slipping, according to a new report analyzing government data from UCLA’s Civil Rights Project. And the states where segregation is most prevalent today are not the ones where it reached its boiling point in the 1950s and 1960s.

Washington Post article
Civil Rights Project Report: Executive Summary and Full Report (PDF)

A Tape-Measure for Well-Being

by Tom Barlett
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

From the article:

Pretty much everyone seems happy. In Australia, 93 percent of the population is either happy or very happy. In China, it’s 85 percent. Jordan: 86 percent. They’re chipper in Colombia at 92. Belarus is below average, at 64, but it still has a solid majority of happy campers. In the United States, 90 percent of us are happy and presumably steering clear of the sour-faced 10-percenters.

Those figures come from the latest round, released in April, of the World Values Survey, which has been tracking the beliefs and feelings of humanity since 1981. How do surveyors determine whether people are happy? They ask them. This is what social scientists usually do when they want to find out such things.

The theory is that you are the best source of information about your own happiness. But is that the case?

Read the full article and watch the video for Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”.

Another rule from NIH: Demographers might get to ignore this one

NIH wants the routine gender bias in basic research to end. This mostly applies to animals used in laboratory research, e.g. mice or cell cultures. An earlier directive from NIH required clinical trials to include women and minorities.

Policy: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies
Janine A. Clayton and Francis S. Collins | Nature
May 14, 2014
html | pdf

Labs Are Told to Start Including a Neglected Variable: Females
Roni Rabin | New York Times
May 15, 2014

Related History:
Monitoring Adherence to the NIH Policy on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Clinical Research
National Institutes of Health (NIH) | 2013

Research on Health Disparities: Incarceration Matters

High Incarceration Rates among Black Men Enrolled in Clinical Studies may Compromise Ability to Identify Disparities
Emily Wang, et.al. | Health Affairs
May 13, 2014
html | pdf

This is a nice note, which examines the selectivity introduced into studies when participants are lost to a study due to incarceration – primarily black men. The paper discusses a suggested change in the IRB regulations on studying prisoners, which would help address this selectivity issue. The Vox article below discusses the history of IRB rules, given that this would not be common knowledge among a more general reader pool.

Doctors can’t research the health of black men, because they keep getting sent to prison
Dara Lind | Vox
May 13, 2014

The Chronicle Review Special Issue on Inequality

Full table of contents are here. Some highlights include:

Capital Man
by Emily Eakin
Thomas Piketty is economics’ biggest sensation. He’s also the field’s fiercest critic.

Campus Reflection
by John Quiggin
Inequalities in higher education mirror those in society at large.

Is Wedlock for the Weathy?
by June Carbone and Naomi Cahn
Marriage is waning among the poor and increasing among the affluent, but the law hasn’t kept up with those trends.

Impoverished Thinking
Interview by Peter Monaghan
Sendhil Mullainathan discusses scarcity and the economic mind.

Two Reports from the PRB On Malawi’s Population Structure

Malawi’s Pathway to a Demographic Dividend.
“Over the past decade, countries throughout Africa have experienced sustained economic growth. Despite this growth, almost two of every three people—or 600 million—are still living on less than $2 per day. Like many of its neighbours, Malawi experienced consistent economic growth during the mid-2000s, though this growth had little effect on poverty.”
Download full report (PDF).

A Vision for the Health and Well-Being of Malawi’s Young People.
“Malawi’s large population of young people has special significance for national development. Today, Malawi has the largest population of youth in its history, accounting for 40 percent of Malawi’s total population (16.3 million people).”
Download full report (PDF).

See also: 2012 PRB article, Why Population Matters to Malawi’s Development.

Changing Race From One Census to the Next

Via D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center, FactTank

Millions of Americans counted in the 2000 census changed their race or Hispanic-origin categories when they filled out their 2010 census forms, according to new research presented at the annual Population Association of America meeting last week. Hispanics, Americans of mixed race, American Indians and Pacific Islanders were among those most likely to check different boxes from one census to the next.

The Growth of Incarcaration in the United States

From the National Academies Press
Authors: Committee on Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration; Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ); Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE); National Research Council

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.

Information from the NAP website and read the book online

Caught in Poverty

The New York Times is beginning a series examining hardship 50 years after the war on poverty. The first in the series is “50 Years Into the War on Poverty, Hardship Hits Back” by Trip Gabriel:

McDowell County, W.Va., has been a public face of hardship for more than a half-century. But today, it is burdened with a different, less tractable kind of poverty.

Interactive Map: Mapping Poverty in America

A questionnaire change: politics or not?

The Census Bureau has changed how it will measure insurance coverage in the Current Population Survey – Census Bureau announcement.

Many on both the left and right are unhappy with this change because of the discontinuity with the insurance measure over time – in other words, before Obamacare and after Obamacare.

Many of the comments reflect ignorance on how much research goes into changing, adding, deleting questions or that OMB always reviews questionnaire changes (even under Republican presidents). Also this change is to the questionnaire in the CPS, not the American Community Survey (or long-form census).

But, this quote probably reflects the view of many health analysts: “Getting worked up into an increasingly heated health nerd rage about the Census changes. We’re losing our best data source on Obamacare.” via Twitter. [See tweet and comments]

Here is a compilation of articles in the order they were published:

Census Bureau: Sorry, We’re Going to Have a Hard Time Measuring . .
Patrick Brennan | National Review Online
April 15, 2014

Obama Hijacks Census to Whitewash ObamaCare’s Failure
B. Christopher Agee | Western Journalism
April 15, 2014

Both Sides in Obamacare Fight Slam Census Bureau
Rob Garver | Fiscal Times
April 15, 2014

Census Survey Revisions Mask Health Law Effects
Robert Pear | New York Times
April 15, 2014

Want Useful Data on Obamacare? The Census Bureau Won’t Help
Peter Suderman | Reason (blog)
April 15, 2014

Manipulating Obamacare Stats: The Census Bureau’s Suspect Timing
Guy Benson | Town Hall (blog)
April 15, 2014

Obama’s cooking the Census for Obamacare?
Megan McArdle | Newsday
April 15, 2014

“You Had One Job” [Federal Health Insurance Statistics Edition]
Ben Mathis-Lilley | Slate
April 15, 2014

Republicans Accuse Census Bureau of Trying to ‘Hide the Effects of Obamacare’
Michael McAuliff | Huffington Post
April 15, 2014