Monthly Archive for July, 2010

Stronger Fathers Initiative

Strengthening Families Through Stronger Fathers Initiative: Process Evaluation Report
By: Tess Tannehill, Carolyn T. O’Brien, and Elaine Sorensen
Source: Urban Institute

Abstract:

New York conducted a three-year pilot project (2006-2009) in five locations to help unemployed parents without custody of their children find work called the Strengthening Families Through Stronger Fathers Initiative. This report describes the implementation of this initiative and discusses challenges encountered and lessons learned. While all programs used a case management model to deliver employment and supportive services, the intensity of those services, the linkages to the child support program, the recruitment strategies, and the organizational structure of the programs varied. Despite these variations, programs successfully recruited and served a large number of participants, avoiding some of the challenges experienced by earlier fatherhood programs.

Full report (PDF)

Food Security Assessment, 2010-20

Food Security Assessment, 2010-20
By: Shahla Shapouri, Stacey Rosen, May Peters, Felix Baquedano, and Summer Allen
Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

Food security in 70 developing countries is estimated to have improved between 2009 and 2010, in part due to economic recovery in many of these countries. The number of food-insecure people in the developing countries analyzed by ERS researchers is estimated to decrease about 7.5 percent from 2009 to 882 million in 2010. The number of food-insecure people at the aggregate level will not improve much over the next decade, declining by only 1 percent. While there will be notable improvements in Asia and Latin America, the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to deteriorate after 2010. Food-insecure people are defined as those consuming less than the nutritional target of 2,100 calories per day per person.

Report summary (PDF)
Entire report (PDF)

Supporting data (Excel spreadsheets):

The Age of Reason

What is the Age of Reason
By: Sumit Agarwal, John C. Driscoll, Xavier Gabaix, and David Laibson
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

From the introduction:

Most U.S. households have accumulated significant assets by retirement, but these assets are often accompanied by significant liabilities. Including net home equity, households with a head age 65-74 had a median net worth of $239,400 in 2007, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). At the same time, the SCF reports that 48 percent had debt secured by a residential property, 26 percent had installment loans, and 37 percent carried credit card balances from month to month. Overall, about two-thirds of these households had at least one form of debt. This brief raises the question of whether older households have the ability to manage their increasingly large and complex balance sheets.

Full text of the brief (PDF)

New Working Papers from the NBER

Field Experiments in Labor Economics
By: John A. List, Imran Rasul
Abstract; PDF

Evaluating the Effects of Large Scale Health Interventions in Developing Countries: The Zambian Malaria Initiative
By: Nava Ashraf, Guenther Fink, David N. Weil
Abstract; PDF

Effects of Welfare Reform on Illicit Drug Use of Adult Women
By: Hope Corman, Dhaval M. Dave, Nancy E. Reichman, Dhiman Das
Abstract; PDF

Social Structure and Development: A Legacy of the Holocaust in Russia
By: Daron Acemoglu, Tarek A. Hassan, James A. Robinson #16083 (DAE POL AG)
Abstract; PDF

Trends in World Inequality in Life Span Since 1970
By: Ryan D. Edwards
Abstract; PDF

Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education
By: Sean Corcoran, William N. Evans
Abstract; PDF

Building Bridges Between Structural and Program Evaluation Approaches to Evaluating Policy
By: James J. Heckman
Abstract; PDF

HIV and Fertility Revisited
By: Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Belgi Turan
Abstract; PDF

Binge Drinking & Sex in High School
By: Jeffrey S. DeSimone
Abstract; PDF

Inequality and Infant and Childhood Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century
By: Michael R. Haines
Abstract; PDF

The Construction of Life Tables for the American Indian Population at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
By: J. David Hacker, Michael R. Haines #16134 (DAE)
Abstract; PDF

Fertility in New York State in the Civil War Era
By: Michael R. Haines, Avery M. Guest #16135 (DAE)
Abstract; PDF

Suburbanization, Demographic Change and the Consequences for School Finance
By: David N. Figlio, Deborah Fletcher
Abstract; PDF

New Working Papers from the NBER

A Cluster-Grid Projection Method: Solving Problems with High Dimensionality
By: Kenneth L. Judd, Lilia Maliar, Serguei Maliar
Abstract; PDF

Targeting the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia
By: Vivi Alatas, Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Benjamin A. Olken, Julia Tobias
Abstract; PDF

Social Welfare Expenditures in the United States and the Nordic Countries: 1900-2003
By: Price V. Fishback
Abstract; PDF

Worker replacement
By: Guido Menzio, Espen R. Moen
Abstract; PDF

Fertility and the Personal Exemption: Comment
By: Richard Crump, Gopi Shah Goda, Kevin Mumford
Abstract; PDF

The Contribution of Trade to Wage Inequality: The Role of Skill, Gender, and Nationality
By: Michael W. Klein, Christoph Moser, Dieter M. Urban
Abstract; PDF

Joblessness and Perceptions about the Effectiveness of Democracy
By: Duha Tore Altindag, Naci H. Mocan
Abstract; PDF

Econometric Methods for Research in Education
By: Costas Meghir, Steven G. Rivkin
Abstract; PDF

Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults
By: Sandra E. Black, Paul J. Devereux, Kjell G. Salvanes
Abstract; PDF

Medicare Part D and its Effect on the Use of Prescription Drugs, Use of Other Health Care Services and Health of the Elderly
By: Robert Kaestner, Nasreen Khan #16011 (HC HE PE)
Abstract; PDF

The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain
By: Damon Clark, Heather Royer
Abstract; PDF

Program Evaluation and Research Designs
By: John DiNardo, David S. Lee
Abstract; PDF

Economic Opportunities and Gender Differences in Human Capital: Experimental Evidence for India
By: Robert T. Jensen
Abstract; PDF

Genetic Interactions with Prenatal Social Environment: Effects on Academic and Behavioral Outcomes
By: Dalton Conley, Emily Rauscher
Abstract; PDF

Unpacking Neighborhood Influences on Education Outcomes: Setting the Stage for Future Research
By: David J. Harding, Lisa Gennetian, Christopher Winship, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Jeffrey R. Kling
Abstract; PDF

Segregation and Tiebout Sorting: Investigating the Link between Investments in Public Goods and Neighborhood Tipping
By: H. Spencer Banzhaf, Randall P. Walsh
Abstract; PDF

Genetic Markers of Adult Obesity Risk Are Associated with Greater Early Infancy Weight Gain and Growth

Genetic Markers of Adult Obesity Risk Are Associated with Greater Early Infancy Weight Gain and Growth
By: Cathy E. Elks, et al.
Source: PLoS Medicine

Abstract:
Genome-wide studies have identified several common genetic variants that are robustly associated with adult obesity risk. Exploration of these genotype associations in children may provide insights into the timing of weight changes leading to adult obesity.

Methods and Findings

Children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort were genotyped for ten genetic variants previously associated with adult BMI. Eight variants that showed individual associations with childhood BMI (in/near: FTO, MC4R, TMEM18, GNPDA2, KCTD15, NEGR1, BDNF, and ETV5) were used to derive an “obesity-risk-allele score” comprising the total number of risk alleles (range: 2–15 alleles) in each child with complete genotype data (n = 7,146). Repeated measurements of weight, length/height, and body mass index from birth to age 11 years were expressed as standard deviation scores (SDS). Early infancy was defined as birth to age 6 weeks, and early infancy failure to thrive was defined as weight gain between below the 5th centile, adjusted for birth weight. The obesity-risk-allele score showed little association with birth weight (regression coefficient: 0.01 SDS per allele; 95% CI 0.00–0.02), but had an apparently much larger positive effect on early infancy weight gain (0.119 SDS/allele/year; 0.023–0.216) than on subsequent childhood weight gain (0.004 SDS/allele/year; 0.004–0.005). The obesity-risk-allele score was also positively associated with early infancy length gain (0.158 SDS/allele/year; 0.032–0.284) and with reduced risk of early infancy failure to thrive (odds ratio = 0.92 per allele; 0.86–0.98; p = 0.009).

Conclusions

The use of robust genetic markers identified greater early infancy gains in weight and length as being on the pathway to adult obesity risk in a contemporary birth cohort.

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How do employers cope with an ageing workforce?

How do employers cope with an ageing workforce? Views from employers and employees
By: Hendrik P. Van Dalen, Kène Henkens, and Joop Schippers
Source: Demographic Research

Abstract:
How age-conscious are human resource policies? Using a survey of Dutch employers, we examine how employers deal with the prospect of an ageing work force. We supplement our analysis with an additional survey of Dutch employees to compare human resource policies to practices. Results show that a small minority of employers are taking measures to enhance productivity (training programmes) or bring productivity in line with pay (demotion). Personnel policies tend to ‘spare’ older workers: giving them extra leave, early retirement, or generous employment protection: older workers who perform poorly are allowed to stay, whereas younger workers under similar conditions are dismissed.

Texas Gains, Suburbs Lose in 2010 Census Preview

Texas Gains, Suburbs Lose in 2010 Census Preview
By: William H. Frey
Source: Brookings, Metropolitan Policy Program

The election of George W. Bush in 2000 seemed to have crowned Texas the nation’s political winner, among states, as the “Aughts” decade began. When results from the 2010 Census are tallied, the Lone Star state will surely turn out to be the demographic winner for the decade as well.

The Census Bureau all but confirmed Texas’ ascendance this week with the release of population estimates for cities through 2009. These estimates, the last before the actual 2010 headcount gets reported in December, confirm trends seen in previous 2009 estimates for states, metropolitan areas and counties. Those earlier estimates not only showed that Texas is likely to gain 4 congressional seats through reapportionment, but also highlighted the abrupt slowdown in late-decade population gains in Sunbelt states (especially Florida) and metropolitan areas (like Phoenix and Las Vegas). The latter areas suffered from the migration slowdown associated with the bursting of the housing bubble and the ensuing Great Recession.

Full text
Download Table and Figures (3): Table 1, Figure 1, Figure 2.

Changing Dynamics of Migration in the Americas

On the Other Side of the Fence: Changing Dynamics of Migration in the Americas
By: Jacqueline Mazza and Eleanor Sohnen
Source: Migration Policy Institute

In Latin America and the Caribbean, policymakers are noting labor movements inconceivable as little as 10 years ago: Hondurans and Guatemalans crossing to El Salvador for agriculture and construction work; Bolivians and Paraguayans working in large numbers in Argentina; Mexicans from the state of Chiapas moving to the Yucatan for work, with Guatemalans replacing them at even lower wages to harvest Chiapan crops; Ecuadorians and Colombians having moved in large numbers to Spain.

These shifts demonstrate a growing globalization of Latin American labor markets both within and outside the region. Migration to the United States and Europe appears to have slowed in the wake of the recent global financial crisis, and return migration to the region appears limited.

Full text

Contraceptive Use in the United States

Facts on Contraceptive Use in the United States
Source: Guttmacher Institute

Information on who uses contraception, methods, trends and funding.

Full text
PDF