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

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Robert Putnam On Growing Up Poor

An article in Wonkblog explores Robert Putnam’s new book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis and the influence he has had on politicians as diverse as President Obama and congressman Paul Ryan.

From the article:

For the past three years, Putnam has been nursing an outlandish ambition. He wants inequality of opportunity for kids to be the central issue in the 2016 presidential election. Not how big government should be or what the “fair share” is for the wealthy, but what’s happening to children boxed out of the American dream.

His manifesto, “ Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” will be published Tuesday. It places brain science, sociology and census data alongside stories of children growing up on both sides of the divide. Many of the findings draw on the work of other researchers who have long studied families, education or neuroscience. But Putnam has gathered up these strands under a single thesis: that instead of talking about inequality of wealth or income among adults, we ought to focus on inequalities in all of the ways children accumulate — or never touch — opportunity.

Time Use of the Nonemployed

Josh Katz of the NYTimes blog The Upshot pulled data from the American Time Use Survey to examine how nonemployed men and women spend their weekdays:

Nonworkers spend much more time doing housework. Men without jobs, in particular, spend more time watching television, while women without jobs spend more time taking care of others. And the nonemployed of both sexes spend more time sleeping than their employed counterparts.

Read the whole article, including interactive charts and graphs.

Education and Health

The Connector, the NIH OBSSR’s blog, has a couple of posts examining the links between education and health. The first one, Contextualizing the link between education and health, discusses the results of a partnership between the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies which resulted in two workshops and a special issue of Social Science and Medicine, “Educational Attainment and Adult Health: Contextualizing Causality“.

In the second post, Compulsory schooling and health: What the evidence says, Lauren Fordyce looks at the impact of compulsory education on health outcomes.

Geography of Class, Education, and Income in the United States

ArcGIS has three interactive maps showing “the current occupational class, income and educational landscape across the United States. These maps allow the user to explore the various socio-economic divides that exist in our cities and towns at the census tract level.”

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.

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.

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.

Chicago’s Summer Jobs Program Lowers Violent Crime Rate

By: Emily Badger
Via: Wonkblog

A couple of years ago, the city of Chicago started a summer jobs program for teenagers attending high schools in some of the city’s high-crime, low-income neighborhoods. The program was meant, of course, to connect students to work. But officials also hoped that it might curb the kinds of problems — like higher crime — that arise when there’s no work to be found.

Read the rest of the article
Research on the program was conducted by the University of Chicago Crime Lab and published in the journal Science.

Persistence of Neighborhood Poverty

By: Emily Badger
Via: Washington Post Wonkblog

Despite their ubiquity in the media, gentrifying neighborhoods that evolve over time from low-income to well-off are quite rare. It is far, far more common that once-poor neighborhoods stay that way over time — or, worse, that they grow poorer.

The article is based on the report “Lost in Place” (PDF) by Joe Cortright and Dillon Mahmoudi for City Observatory

See also Marketplace’s series, York & Fig, on neighborhood gentrification.

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.