Monthly Archive for May, 2011

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Is a happier society possible?

Is a happier society possible?
By: Richard Layard
Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

From the website:

What can we do to create a happier society?

This lecture was presented by Lord Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at LSE, on 10 March 2011. He explores four critical areas of our lives that can be optimised to increase happiness: income, human relationships, altruism and work. He goes on to discuss the Action for Happiness movement, which launches on 12 April 2011 and aims to encourage a mass movement of people pursuing a better way of life. The Action for Happiness website provides ten keys for happier living.

This was the fourth Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture, delivered at the University of York on 10 March 2011. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture is an annual public lecture aimed at significantly advancing research and public understanding in the areas of welfare, poverty and social justice. The lecture is co-hosted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the University of York’s School of Politics, Economics and Philosophy.


Summary (PDF)

Full audio can be found here (1 hr. 20 mins.)

How Good is the 2010 Census Count? An Update

How Good is the 2010 Census Count? An Update
By: D’Vera Cohn
Source: Pew Research Center

From the report:

In addition to publishing detailed numbers from the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau has been releasing performance indicators from the count. They offer clues to help answer the question of how well the bureau did in counting the entire U.S. population, only once, and in the right place.

The most crucial evidence, an independent post-census quality survey, will not be published until next year. That survey will produce measurements of undercounts and overcounts of specific race and Hispanic groups. However, other information is available now that speaks to the completeness of the count as well as to its data quality. This posting explains some of these key metrics and places them in a chronological narrative of the census-taking process.

Full text
For more on the 2010 Census from the Pew Research Center: All Things Census.

History and Family in Britain

History and Family: Setting the Records Straight. A rebuttal to the British Academy pamphlet Happy families?
By: Rebecca Probert and Samantha Callan
Source: The Centre for Social Justice

From the press release:

Britain’s levels of births outside marriage are at the highest point for at least 200 years, according to a major new study of the history of the family from a leading think-tank. Cohabitation levels have also soared from under 5% pre-1945 to 90% today.

The inquiry finds that births outside marriage were at low levels throughout the 19th Century and stayed flat until the 1960s. But since then they have soared, from a long-standing baseline of 5 per cent to 45 per cent today.

Full report (PDF)

Working away at the cost of ageing

Working away at the cost of ageing: the labour market adjusted dependency ratio
By: Benedetta Guerzoni and Fabian Zuleeg
Source: European Policy Centre

From website:

Population ageing and its implications on public finances (especially pensions and care) is one of the greatest challenges that EU economies and societies will be facing over the next couple of decades. In this Issue Paper, Fabian Zuleeg and Benedetta Guerzoni argue that pension system reforms will not be sufficient to guarantee the sustainability of the EU welfare systems, if they are not coupled with increased participation to the labour market. In order to assess the EU Member States’ performance, this paper proposes an indicator – the Labour Market Adjusted Dependency Ratio – which combines the demographic trend with the labour market dimension. The analysis shows that slightly less than half of the EU population is not working due to unemployment, retirement or other reasons, with this figure notably growing up by 2050. The authors suggest that policy-makers can play a significant role in tackling the demographic challenge, by boosting labour market participation and reshaping the structure of European labour force.

Full text (PDF)