Monthly Archive for May, 2014

The Rise of Life Sentences in the US: a Conversation with Nicole Porter of the Sentencing Project

May 23, 2014
4:00pm – 6:00pm
School of Social Work Building – Educational Conference Center, 1840

U-M Crime Control, Poverty and Justice Workgroup, in partnership with the American Friends Service Committee, is hosting a talk with Nicole Porter, Director of State Advocacy with the Sentencing Project. Nicole will discuss life sentences, the aging prison population, and issues of racial justice in the US Criminal Justice Policy. In addition, there will be a panel of former prisoners who have served time on a life sentence in the Michigan Department of Corrections.

SPONSOR: School of Social Work Office of Alumni Relations
WEBSITE: https://ssw.umich.edu/events/list/2014/05/23/46367-the-rise-of-life-sentences-in-the-us-a-conversation-with-nicole-porter-of-the-sentencing-project

The Fastest Growing US Cities Are Mostly In the West

via The Washington Post

Seven of the 15 fastest growing cities in America are in the booming state of Texas, according to the annual ranking released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

And three of those eight are in the vicinity of Austin, the state’s capital city.

One of those three, San Marcos, population 54,076, holds the distinction of being the fastest-growing city for two consecutive years. Its population increased by 8 percent between July 2012 and July 2013 — the period covered by the survey. It grew 44 percent in the past 15 years.

Full text of the article
Census Bureau Population Estimates

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)

A Tape-Measure for Well-Being

by Tom Barlett
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

From the article:

Pretty much everyone seems happy. In Australia, 93 percent of the population is either happy or very happy. In China, it’s 85 percent. Jordan: 86 percent. They’re chipper in Colombia at 92. Belarus is below average, at 64, but it still has a solid majority of happy campers. In the United States, 90 percent of us are happy and presumably steering clear of the sour-faced 10-percenters.

Those figures come from the latest round, released in April, of the World Values Survey, which has been tracking the beliefs and feelings of humanity since 1981. How do surveyors determine whether people are happy? They ask them. This is what social scientists usually do when they want to find out such things.

The theory is that you are the best source of information about your own happiness. But is that the case?

Read the full article and watch the video for Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”.

Another rule from NIH: Demographers might get to ignore this one

NIH wants the routine gender bias in basic research to end. This mostly applies to animals used in laboratory research, e.g. mice or cell cultures. An earlier directive from NIH required clinical trials to include women and minorities.

Policy: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies
Janine A. Clayton and Francis S. Collins | Nature
May 14, 2014
html | pdf

Labs Are Told to Start Including a Neglected Variable: Females
Roni Rabin | New York Times
May 15, 2014

Related History:
Monitoring Adherence to the NIH Policy on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Clinical Research
National Institutes of Health (NIH) | 2013

Research on Health Disparities: Incarceration Matters

High Incarceration Rates among Black Men Enrolled in Clinical Studies may Compromise Ability to Identify Disparities
Emily Wang, et.al. | Health Affairs
May 13, 2014
html | pdf

This is a nice note, which examines the selectivity introduced into studies when participants are lost to a study due to incarceration – primarily black men. The paper discusses a suggested change in the IRB regulations on studying prisoners, which would help address this selectivity issue. The Vox article below discusses the history of IRB rules, given that this would not be common knowledge among a more general reader pool.

Doctors can’t research the health of black men, because they keep getting sent to prison
Dara Lind | Vox
May 13, 2014

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.

Working Papers from NBER

An Empirical Model of Wage Dispersion with Sorting
by Jesper Bagger, Rasmus Lentz #20031
Abstract; PDF

Retirement, Early Retirement and Disability: Explaining Labor Force Participation after 55 in France
by Luc Behaghel, Didier Blanchet, Muriel Roger #20030
Abstract; PDF

Health Status, Disability and Retirement Incentives in Belgium
by Alain Jousten, Mathieu Lefebvre, Sergio Perelman #20035
Abstract; PDF

Health Care in a Multipayer System: The Effects of Health Care Service Demand among Adults under 65 on Utilization and Outcomes in Medicare
by Sherry A. Glied #20045
Abstract; PDF

Place-Based Policies
by David Neumark, Helen Simpson #20049
Abstract; PDF

How Do Providers Respond to Public Health Insurance Expansions? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits
by Thomas C. Buchmueller, Sarah Miller, Marko Vujicic #20053
Abstract; PDF

Inflation in the Great Recession and New Keynesian Models
by Marco Del Negro, Marc P. Giannoni, Frank Schorfheide #20055
Abstract; PDF

Promise Scholarship Programs as Place-Making Policy: Evidence from School Enrollment and Housing Prices
by Michael LeGower, Randall Walsh #20056
Abstract; PDF

Co-residence, Life-Cycle Savings and Inter-generational Support in Urban China
by Mark R. Rosenzweig, Junsen Zhang #20057
Abstract; PDF

Bequests and Heterogeneity in Retirement Wealth
by Mariacristina De Nardi, Fang Yang #20058
Abstract; PDF

Economic Well-being and Anti-Semitic, Xenophobic, and Racist Attitudes in Germany
by Naci H. Mocan, Christian Raschke #20059
Abstract; PDF

Declining Migration within the U.S.: The Role of the Labor Market
by Raven Molloy, Christopher L. Smith, Abigail Wozniak #20065
Abstract; PDF

Disease and Development: A Reply to Bloom, Canning, and Fink
by Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson #20064
Abstract; PDF

Job Displacement and the Duration of Joblessness: The Role of Spatial Mismatch
by Fredrik Andersson, John C. Haltiwanger, Mark J. Kutzbach, Henry O. Pollakowski, Daniel H. Weinberg #20066
Abstract; PDF

On the Distributive Costs of Drug-Related Homicides
by Nicolas Ajzenman, Sebastian Galiani, Enrique Seira #20067
Abstract; PDF

Discrimination and the Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment
by Abigail K. Wozniak #20095
Abstract; PDF

Is Smoking Inferior? Evidence from Variation in the Earned Income Tax Credit
by Donald S. Kenkel, Maximilian D. Schmeiser, Carly J. Urban #20097
Abstract; PDF

Communicating Uncertainty in Official Economic Statistics
by Charles F. Manski #20098
Abstract; PDF

Two Reports from the PRB On Malawi’s Population Structure

Malawi’s Pathway to a Demographic Dividend.
“Over the past decade, countries throughout Africa have experienced sustained economic growth. Despite this growth, almost two of every three people—or 600 million—are still living on less than $2 per day. Like many of its neighbours, Malawi experienced consistent economic growth during the mid-2000s, though this growth had little effect on poverty.”
Download full report (PDF).

A Vision for the Health and Well-Being of Malawi’s Young People.
“Malawi’s large population of young people has special significance for national development. Today, Malawi has the largest population of youth in its history, accounting for 40 percent of Malawi’s total population (16.3 million people).”
Download full report (PDF).

See also: 2012 PRB article, Why Population Matters to Malawi’s Development.

Changing Race From One Census to the Next

Via D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center, FactTank

Millions of Americans counted in the 2000 census changed their race or Hispanic-origin categories when they filled out their 2010 census forms, according to new research presented at the annual Population Association of America meeting last week. Hispanics, Americans of mixed race, American Indians and Pacific Islanders were among those most likely to check different boxes from one census to the next.