Archive for the 'Human Capital, Labor & Wealth' Category

Federal Register Notice: Some ACS questions on the chopping block

You can comment on the Census Bureau’s plans to remove some questions from the American Community Survey (marriage history and field of study in college) via the Federal Register:

link to Federal Register Notice

A working paper by Kennedy and Ruggles provides some talking points on the marriage history question: “Breaking up is Hard to Count . . . ” And, quite a number of researchers of the STEM population, including the migration of STEM folks, ought to be interested in the field of study question.

It is interesting to note that questions that were thought to be vulnerable (flush toilet, leaving time for work, income, and mental/emotional disability) were unscathed. For historical purposes (e.g., April 2014) it is interesting to review a summary of these touchy questions.

Here is a summary of how the Census Bureau came up with the questions to be eliminated. It comes down to a grid of mandated/required questions x user burden/cost:

American Community Survey (ACS) Content Review
Gary Chappell |Census Bureau
October 9, 2014

Other helpful links are on the ACS Content Review website.

2 or More Children Raises Productivity, At Least For Academic Economists

By Ylan Q. Mui
Source: Wonkblog

A word of encouragement for my working moms: You are actually more productive than your childless peers.

That’s the conclusion of a recent study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which found that over the course of a 30-year career, mothers outperformed women without children at almost every stage of the game. In fact, mothers with at least two kids were the most productive of all.

Full story on Wonkblog
Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Working Paper

The Economics of Parenting

By: Roberto A. Ferdman
Source: Wonkblog (Washington Post)

Strict parents — the sort who practice an authoritarian form of parenting that restricts children’s choices — are more common in countries with high inequality, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study used the World Value Survey to measure whether parents in different countries care more about qualities desired by stricter parents, like “hard work” and “obedience,” or qualities desired more by passive parents, like “imagination” and “independence.

It found that the more unequal a society, the more likely people were to favor strict parenting.

Wonkblog post
NBER Working Paper (PDF)

U.S. High School On-Time Graduate Rate is Growing

By: Ben Casselman
Source: FiveThirtyEight

In 2013, 85 percent of Elkhart’s students graduated on time, putting the district close to the state average. Perhaps even more remarkably, the graduation rate among Hispanics is now equal to — or even slightly above — that of the district’s overall population.

Elkhart’s improvement is a particularly dramatic example of a nation-wide trend: Graduation rates are improving, especially for Latinos. Nationally, the on-time graduation rate topped 80 percent for the first time in 2012, up from 74 percent five years earlier. For Latinos, the graduation rate is up more than 10 percentage points over the past five years, to 76 percent.

Read the full story

Rental America

By Chico Harlan
Source: Washington Post

From the article:

Five years into a national economic recovery that has further strained the poor working class, an entire industry has grown around handing them a lifeline to the material rewards of middle-class life. Retailers in the post-Great Recession years have become even more likely to work with customers who don’t have the money upfront, instead offering a widening spectrum of payment plans that ultimately cost far more and add to the burdens of life on the economy’s fringes.

Related: How America’s poor are slipping further behind — in 3 charts and Fed Chair Yellen is “greatly” concerned about growing inequality

The Aging of Student Debt

Student-Loan Debt Skyrockets for Elderly, Government Report Says
By Max Lewontin
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

People over 65 make up a small percentage of borrowers with student loans, but the amount of debt held by older Americans has increased sixfold in less than a decade. Those borrowers held $2.8-billion in student-loan debt in 2005 and $18.2-billion in 2013, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office.

Read the full article
GAO Report Highlights; download PDF

Top Economically Diverse Colleges

Top Colleges That Enroll Rich, Middle Class and Poor
By: David Leonhardt
Source: New York Times

Vassar has taken steps to hold down spending on faculty and staff. Amherst and the University of Florida have raised new money specifically to spend on financial aid for low-income students. American University reallocated scholarships from well-off students to needy ones. Grinnell set a floor on the share of every freshman class – 15 percent – whose parents didn’t go to college.

Over the last decade, dozens of colleges have proclaimed that recruiting a more economically diverse student body was a top priority. Many of those colleges have not matched their words with actions. But some have.

Access the interactive graphic here.

How Has the Class of 2008 Fared?

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The Class of 2008 graduated from college in the early months of the Great Recession. New government data show that, four years later, 69 percent of its members were working and not enrolled in a postsecondary program, while 10.7 percent were both employed and enrolled. Nearly 6 percent were enrolled but not working, while 6.7 percent were unemployed and 7.9 percent were out of the work force.

Read the full story.
National Center for Education Statistics report, “Baccalaureate and Beyond: A First Look at the Employment Experiences and Lives of College Graduates, 4 Years On”

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)

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.