New Book Acquisitions

Biosocial Surveys, Maxine Weinstein, James W. Vaupel, and Kenneth W. Wachter. Published by the National Academies Press, 2007.

Biosocial Surveys analyzes the latest research on the increasing number of multipurpose household surveys that collect biological data along with the more familiar interviewer respondent information. This book serves as a follow-up to the 2003 volume, Cells and Surveys: Should Biological Measures Be Included in Social Science Research? and asks these questions: What have the social sciences, especially demography, learned from those efforts and the greater interdisciplinary communication that has resulted from them? Which biological or genetic information has proven most useful to researchers? How can better models be developed to help integrate biological and social science information in ways that can broaden scientific understanding? This volume contains a collection of 17 papers by distinguished experts in demography, biology, economics, epidemiology, and survey methodology. It is an invaluable sourcebook for social and behavioral science researchers who are working with biosocial data.

Redefining Retirement: How Will Boomers Fare? Edited by Brigitte Madrian, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Beth J. Soldo. Published by Oxford University Press, 2007.

As the leading edge of the ‘Baby Boom’ generation attains age 60, members of this unusually large cohort born 1946-66 are poised to redefine retirement – just as they have restructured educational, housing, and labor markets in prior days. Looking ahead, their numbers and energy are sure to have a major impact on national pensions, healthcare, and social safety nets. Contributors to this volume note that ‘Boomers’ will be better off than their predecessors in many ways, having benefited from the long run-up in housing prices, dramatic improvements in healthcare, and the expanding economy. On the other hand, the generation’s sheer size will surely squeeze resources and require new approaches to retirement risk management. This volume paints a complex and fascinating picture as Boomers move into retirement. On average they are in better financial and physical health than prior cohorts, and they can be anticipated to fare better than current retirees in absolute terms. Yet the distribution of retiree income and wealth will be less equal than in earlier years, and in relative terms, many Boomers will be less well off than their forebears. Contributors to the volume use many invaluable models and datasets, including the incomparable Health and Retirement Study (HRS) which affords unique insights into the status of mature adults surveyed at the same age and hence same point in their life cycles, but at three different time periods. Analysts offer new evidence about prospects for health and income during retirement, as well as pensions and housing equity, health, portfolio allocation, and financial literacy. This book offers readers an invaluable and first book-length study of Boomers as they march into retirement. As such, it represents an invaluable addition to the Pension Research Council/Oxford University Press series. It will be especially useful for scholars and policymakers seeking to understand retirement preparedness, to actuaries and tax specialists concerned with retirement system regulation, and to plan sponsors interested in the determinants of work and retirement at older ages.

Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage, by Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas. Published by University of California Press, 2005

Millie Acevedo bore her first child before the age of 16 and dropped out of high school to care for her newborn. Now 27, she is the unmarried mother of three and is raising her kids in one of Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhoods. Would she and her children be better off if she had waited to have them and had married their father first? Why do so many poor American youth like Millie continue to have children before they can afford to take care of them?
Over a span of five years, sociologists Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas talked in-depth with 162 low-income single moms like Millie to learn how they think about marriage and family. Promises I Can Keep offers an intimate look at what marriage and motherhood mean to these women and provides the most extensive on-the-ground study to date of why they put children before marriage despite the daunting challenges they know lie ahead.

Measurement Errors in Surveys, Paul P. Biemer, Robert M. Groves, Lars E. Lyberg, Nancy A. Mathiowetz, and Seymour Sudman. Published by Wiley-Interscience, 2004.

Measurement Errors in Surveys documents the current state of the field, reports new research findings, and promotes interdisciplinary exchanges in modeling, assessing, and reducing measurement errors in surveys. Providing a fundamental approach to measurement errors, the book features sections on the questionnaire, respondents and responses, interviewers and other means of data collection, the respondent-interviewer relationship, and the effects of measurement errors on estimation and data analysis.

These books may be found on the New Acquisitions display.

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