Neil Irwin of NYTimes Upshot writes about why the the National Bureau of Economic Research decided to change the way working papers are presented in its weekly e-mail.
No editorial judgment goes into the sequence in which the working papers appear. It is random, based on the order in which the paper was submitted and in which the N.B.E.R. approval process was completed. In other words, there is no inherent reason to think that the first paper listed is more groundbreaking, important or interesting than the third or 17th.
But a lot more people read the first one listed. Showing up first in the email generated a 33 percent increase in the number of people who clicked on the working paper and a 29 percent increase in the number who downloaded it.
Here’s a great piece using a mix of administrative data (complaint calls to the police), on-line forums, spatial data, and traditional census data to see what happens in the transition zones across neighborhoods. The first link is to the easy-to-read version as reported in CityLab; the second is the original piece, with more details about the methodology.
When Racial Boundaries Are Blurry, Neighbors Take Complaints Straight to 311
Laura Bliss | CityLab
August 25, 2015
In NYC, calls about noise and blocked driveways are most frequent in zones between racially homogenous neighborhoods.
Contested Boundaries: Explaining Where Ethno-Racial Diversity Provokes Neighborhood Conflict
Joscha Legewie and Merlin Schaeffer | Presentated at the American Sociological Meetings
August 21, 2015
Eric Kelderman of the Chronicle of Higher Education writes about the context and history of Scott Walker’s views and policies on higher education in Wisconsin:
In January, when Governor Walker released his proposed budget for the next two years, he put the finances and mission of Wisconsin’s university system front and center. He recommended granting the system autonomy from several state regulations, but as part of the deal he proposed to cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin budget over two years while freezing tuition. In addition, he pushed to remove protections for tenure and shared governance from state law.
Note: this article is behind a paywall. University of Michigan readers may use this link to access the article.
See also Sarah Brown’s article on Washington States’s plan to cut tuition rates for public colleges.
The New York Times reports a study published in the latest issue of Science. “A painstaking yearslong effort to reproduce 100 studies published in three leading psychology journals has found that more than half of the findings did not hold up when retested.”
Many Psychology Findings not as Strong as Claimed.
Max Ehrenfreund of Wonkblog uses rumors of a revival of the Will Smith show “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” to discuss changes in the suburbs since that show first aired in the 1990’s.
It’s a show about what happens when a young black man moves out of the inner city and finds himself surrounded by the kind of culture and neighborhood traditionally associated with white America.
If Smith wants to bring the show up to date, he’ll have plenty of material. In the 25 years since “The Fresh Prince” first aired, hundreds of thousands of families of color have moved out of the city and into the suburbs over the past two decades, especially in the Sun Belt.
Etienne Racine has published a Visual Raster Cheat Sheet in RPubs.
H/T Urban Demographics.
Emily Badger of Wonkblog examines commuting data from the 2013 American Community Survey and reports that about 86% of Americans arrive to work in a car and 76% ride in that car alone.
America is still a country of lonely commuters. About 86 percent of us generally get to work in an automobile, according to new Census data from the 2013 American Community Survey released this week. And nearly as many — 76 percent — ride in that car all alone, accompanied only by the radio or the sound of mechanically muffled silence.
See also: Where Americans go to work when they don’t work near home and Where ‘speeding’ is legal.
Tariq Khokhar of World Bank uses the United Nation’s updated population figures and projections to create 4 charts which illustrate the future of the world’s population.
But before I dive in, how accurate are these projections? What kind of track record do UN demographers have? The most comprehensive answer I could find was Nico Keilman’s 2001 paper which Hans Rosling refers to in this video. He notes that in 1958, when the UN projected the population in 2000 to be ~6 Billion (it was then 42 years into the future) they ended up being out by less than 5%. The short answer is: these projections are pretty good.
Mona Chalabi of FiveThirtyEight examines the way the term “natural causes” is used by the CDC as a euphemism for a variety of causes of death.
According to the latest CDC data, 2,596,993 people died in the U.S. in 2013. The vast majority of those deaths, 92.5 percent, were of natural causes. Thankfully, the data is more detailed than that, though — there are 46 categories of natural causes of death listed, as well as 44 subcategories. In the chart below, I’ve summarized the 10 natural causes responsible for the most deaths in 2013.