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

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Research on Black First Names

The first paper is by former PSC post-doc, Trevon Logan, which shows that blacks had distinctive names in the early 20th Century – that this is not new. He and his co-authors used historical census data as well as data from death certificates. The second paper explores whether searches involving ‘black’ names results in different ads being displayed via a Google search. Interestingly, one of the black names is ‘Trevon.’ Likewise, one of the female black names is ‘Latanya’ which is the author’s first name. The final paper is probably a familiar paper to most – does having a black name make a difference in interview call backs.

Distinctively Black Names in the American Past
Lisa Cook, Trevon Logan, and John Parman | NBER (Working paper 18802)
February 2013

Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery
Latanya Sweeney | Harvard University [working paper posted on arcxiv.org]
January 2013

Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination
Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan | NBER (working paper 9873)
July 2003

Big Data Reveals Job Change

Task Specialization in U.S. Cities from 1880-2000
Guy Michaels, Ferdinand Rauch, Stephen J. Redding | NBER Working Paper 18715
January 2013

In this study, economists Guy Michaels, Ferdinand Rauch, and Stephen J. Redding analyze the verbs used to describe jobs in the U.S. Dictionary of Occupational Titles during a 120 year time period. They do this by geographic area, correlating their findings with the spread of telephone service and transportation networks. They discover “a systematic reallocation of employment over time towards interactive occupations, which involve tasks described by verbs that appear in thesaurus categories concerned with thought, communication and inter-social activity.”

Tip from @TrendCop via Twitter

The Happy Planet Index: 2012 Report

A Global Index of Sustainable Well-Being
Source: The New Economics Foundation

From the Executive Summary:
There is a growing global consensus that we need new measures of progress. It is critical that these measures clearly reflect what we value – something the current approach fails to do.

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) measures what matters. It tells us how well nations are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now, while ensuring that others can do the same in the future, i.e. sustainable well-being for all.

The third global HPI report reveals that this is largely still an unhappy planet – with both high and low-income countries facing many challenges on their way to meeting this same overall goal. But it also demonstrates that good lives do not have to cost the Earth – that the countries where well-being is highest are not always the ones that have the biggest environmental impact.

The HPI is one of the first global measures of sustainable well-being. It uses global data on experienced well-being, life expectancy, and Ecological Footprint to generate an index revealing which countries are most efficient at producing long, happy lives for their inhabitants, whilst maintaining the conditions for future generations to do the same.

Full text available (PDF)

Olympic Britain

This is a book written by researchers of the House of Commons Library and published on 10 July 2012. It tells the story of social and economic change in the UK since the two previous London Games in 1908 and 1948, using data visualisations to bring to life a period during which our standards of living, the type of work we do, our leisure activities and our lifestyles have changed almost beyond recognition, much like the Olympics itself.

Full print version including charts and tables

Press release with sub-headings like Population, Housing and home life, Income and Education, etc.

First, the House prohibited funding for Political Science research; now it’s Economics

The House appropriations bill for Labor, Health & Human Services & Education attempts to eviscerate The Affordable Care Act by snuffing out NIH funding for health economics research. The scientific community reacts in the posts/tweets below:

NEWS ALERT: First, the House prohibited funding for Political Science research; now it’s Economics http://bit.ly/Q9OgWF

The dismal science gets dismal news from the 2013 Labor, Health & Human Services & Education Appropriations bill http://bit.ly/Q9OgWF

National Organizations and Universities Oppose NIH Economic Research Ban
Consortium of Social Science Associations
July 30, 2012

Panel Votes to End Prevention Fund, Cut Economic Studies, Freeze NIH
Jocelyn Kaiser | Science
July 2012

Last week, a House of Representatives panel passed a 2013 spending bill that would freeze the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), impose narrowly targeted cuts and restrictions on agencies that pay for science and health care analysis, and potentially strip $787 million from the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The draft bill, reflecting hostility to the Administration’s 2010 health care law and a desire to trim the Department of Health and Human Services, would wipe out HHS’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a backer of evidence-based medicine. It would also bar NIH from funding about $200 million in economics studies.

In the end, this may all be resolved by a continuing resolution, which will extend funding for six months beyond Oct 1. This would delay final votes and compromises on these controversial appropriations bills.

House appropriations bill targets health economics and evidence-based medicine
Jocelyn Kaiser | ScienceInsider
July 18, 2012
First paragraph says it all:

A flat budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) isn’t the only unpleasant surprise for research advocates in a House of Representatives spending bill released yesterday. The draft bill, which reflects Republicans’ desire to undo the 2010 health care law and trim the Department of Health and Human Services, would wipe out HHS’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the main supporter of evidence-based medicine. The bill also bars NIH from funding economics studies.

SNAP’s Role in the Great Recession and Beyond

By: Sheila R. Zedlewski, Elaine Waxman, and Craig Gundersen
Source: Urban Institute

Abstract:

During the Great Recession, millions of Americans turned to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, to help pay for food. This brief summarizes a roundtable discussion among experts, advocates and government officials focused on SNAP’s role during the recession and beyond, including its impact on poverty, food insecurity and health. Experts concluded that SNAP does more than combat hunger – it is an antipoverty program, a work support, a promoter of health and nutrition, and an automatic stabilizer in recessions.

Full document (PDF)

Employment Characteristics of Families, 2011

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

From the Summary:

In 2011, 11.5 percent of families included an unemployed person, falling from a peak of 12.4 percent in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Of the nation’s 78.4 million families, 79.8 percent had at least one employed member in 2011.

These data on employment, unemployment, and family relationships are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of approximately 60,000 households. Families are classified either as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses present. For further information about the CPS, see the Technical Note.

Table of Contents
Full text (PDF)

An Overview of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Source: Congressional Budget Office

From the Director’s Blog:

In fiscal year 2011, federal expenditures for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps)—$78 billion—and participation in the program were the highest they have ever been. In an average month that year, about one in seven U.S. residents received SNAP benefits.

In a report issued today, CBO describes the program, its beneficiaries, recent trends in participation and spending, and some possible approaches to changing how it operates. To provide a handy summary of some of the most pertinent information about SNAP, CBO also published an infographic on SNAP.

Report (PDF)
Infographic (PDF)

Global Monitoring Report 2012: Food Prices, Nutrition, and the Millennium Development Goals

Source: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

From Press Release:

The developing world’s progress is seriously lagging on global targets related to food and nutrition, with rates of child and maternal mortality still unacceptably high, says the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2012, released today by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Recent spikes in international food prices have stalled progress across several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the report says.

GMR 2012: Food Prices, Nutrition and the Millennium Development Goals reports good progress across some MDGs, with targets related to reducing extreme poverty and providing access to safe drinking water already achieved, several years ahead of the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs. Also, targets on education and ratio of girls to boys in schools are within reach.

In contrast, the world is significantly off-track on the MDGs to reduce mortality rates of children under five and mothers. As a result, these goals will not be met in any developing region by 2015. Progress is slowest on maternal mortality, with only one-third of the targeted reduction achieved thus far. Progress on reducing infant and child mortality is similarly dismal, with only 50 per cent of the targeted decline achieved.

Full report (PDF)
Overview (PDF)
See publication website for related materials

Food Insufficiency and Income Volatility in U.S. Households

The Effects of Imputed Earnings in the Survey of Income and Program Participation
By: Molly Dahl, Thomas DeLeire, and Shannon Mok
Source: Congressional Budget Office

Abstract:

This paper explores how the use of imputed earnings data to measure income in the Survey of Income and Program Participation affects the observed relationship between household income volatility and food insufficiency. The study finds that the inclusion of imputed earnings data when measuring income volatility substantially understates the association between large drops in household income and food insufficiency. After excluding observations with imputed earnings, large drops in income are associated with a 1.3 percentage point increase in the probability of food insufficiency, although the estimate is not statistically significant at conventional levels.

Full text (PDF)