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.

Russell Sage announcing new journal: RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences

The Russell Sage Foundation announced the launch of a new social science journal, RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences. “RSF is intended to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations on timely topics of interest to social scientists and other academic researchers, policymakers, and the public at large. Each issue will be thematic in nature and will focus on a specific research question or area of interest. The introduction to each issue will provide an accessible, broad, and synthetic overview of the research question under consideration and the current thinking from various fields. RSF will be a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research by both established and emerging scholars. The first issue is scheduled to be published in fall 2015.”

The Growth of Incarcaration in the United States

From the National Academies Press
Authors: Committee on Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration; Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ); Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE); National Research Council

From the description:

The Growth of Incarceration in the United States examines research and analysis of the dramatic rise of incarceration rates and its affects. This study makes the case that the United States has gone far past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits and has reached a level where these high rates of incarceration themselves constitute a source of injustice and social harm.

Information from the NAP website and read the book online

Caught in Poverty

The New York Times is beginning a series examining hardship 50 years after the war on poverty. The first in the series is “50 Years Into the War on Poverty, Hardship Hits Back” by Trip Gabriel:

McDowell County, W.Va., has been a public face of hardship for more than a half-century. But today, it is burdened with a different, less tractable kind of poverty.

Interactive Map: Mapping Poverty in America

A questionnaire change: politics or not?

The Census Bureau has changed how it will measure insurance coverage in the Current Population Survey – Census Bureau announcement.

Many on both the left and right are unhappy with this change because of the discontinuity with the insurance measure over time – in other words, before Obamacare and after Obamacare.

Many of the comments reflect ignorance on how much research goes into changing, adding, deleting questions or that OMB always reviews questionnaire changes (even under Republican presidents). Also this change is to the questionnaire in the CPS, not the American Community Survey (or long-form census).

But, this quote probably reflects the view of many health analysts: “Getting worked up into an increasingly heated health nerd rage about the Census changes. We’re losing our best data source on Obamacare.” via Twitter. [See tweet and comments]

Here is a compilation of articles in the order they were published:

Census Bureau: Sorry, We’re Going to Have a Hard Time Measuring . .
Patrick Brennan | National Review Online
April 15, 2014

Obama Hijacks Census to Whitewash ObamaCare’s Failure
B. Christopher Agee | Western Journalism
April 15, 2014

Both Sides in Obamacare Fight Slam Census Bureau
Rob Garver | Fiscal Times
April 15, 2014

Census Survey Revisions Mask Health Law Effects
Robert Pear | New York Times
April 15, 2014

Want Useful Data on Obamacare? The Census Bureau Won’t Help
Peter Suderman | Reason (blog)
April 15, 2014

Manipulating Obamacare Stats: The Census Bureau’s Suspect Timing
Guy Benson | Town Hall (blog)
April 15, 2014

Obama’s cooking the Census for Obamacare?
Megan McArdle | Newsday
April 15, 2014

“You Had One Job” [Federal Health Insurance Statistics Edition]
Ben Mathis-Lilley | Slate
April 15, 2014

Republicans Accuse Census Bureau of Trying to ‘Hide the Effects of Obamacare’
Michael McAuliff | Huffington Post
April 15, 2014

Finding “war brides” in the ACS

Several years ago the Census Bureau added a “what year were you married” question to the American Community Survey. This was an uncontroversial change to the questionnaire because it helped shore up data on marriages.

See link from the IPUMS for all the new marriage/divorce timing variables

The CDC used to collate marriage and divorce certificate data from state vital statistics offices, but ceased this operation in the mid-1990s due to budgetary constraints [See sad note to this effect].

Here is a nice illustration from Philip Cohen’s Family Inequality blog on using these data to find out how many World War II “war brides” are still alive.

How many WWII war brides are still living?
Philip Cohen | Family Inequality blog
April 14, 2014

If you don’t like his definition of a war bride, make your own and write it up in your own blog.

The Effects of Rurality on College Access and Choice

Via: Chronicle of Higher Education, The Ticker

By: Michael Andrew Koicich, Texas Tech University
Presented at:
AERA 2014 Annual Meeting
April 4, 2014

Abstract:

Students from rural areas have a history of lower educational attainment at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels, yet this population remains understudied. This study seeks to update past studies of rural youth by examining college attendance and choice decisions for students from non-metropolitan counties. Logistic regression is used to study the postsecondary attendance and institutional choice for rural students. Data are taken from two national data sets, the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 and the 2004 County Typologies published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which are then combined to conduct this analysis. The results of this study reveal clear disadvantages in postsecondary attendance, institutional level, selectivity, and other indicators resulting simply from living in a non-metropolitan county. The effect of most student characteristics did not vary substantially between rural and non-rural areas, but the analysis did reveal one interesting finding: The relationship between college attendance and choice and a student’s socioeconomic status was weaker for rural students than for non-rural students. Some systematic variation across rural communities was revealed, as well.

Full paper (PDF)

Working Papers from NBER

Using Social Media to Measure Labor Market Flows
by Dolan Antenucci, Michael Cafarella, Margaret C. Levenstein, Christopher Re, Matthew D. Shapiro #20010
Abstract; PDF

Why Stars Matter
by Ajay Agrawal, John McHale, Alexander Oettl #20012
Abstract; PDF

Preferences, Selection, and Value Added: A Structural Approach
by Saziye Pelin Akyol, Kala Krishna #20013
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of Emerging Climate Risks on Urban Real Estate Price Dynamics
by Devin Bunten, Matthew E. Kahn #20018
Abstract; PDF

The ACA: Some Unpleasant Welfare Arithmetic
by Casey B. Mulligan #20020
Abstract; PDF

How Much Favorable Selection Is Left in Medicare Advantage?
by Joseph P. Newhouse, Mary Price, J. Michael McWilliams, John Hsu, Thomas G. McGuire #20021
Abstract; PDF

Behavioral and Descriptive Forms of Choice Models
by Ariel Pakes #20022
Abstract; PDF

Input Diffusion and the Evolution of Production Networks
by Vasco Carvalho, Nico Voigtlaender #20025
Abstract; PDF

Which Peers Matter? The Relative Impacts of Collaborators, Colleagues, and Competitors
by George J. Borjas, Kirk B. Doran #20026
Abstract; PDF

Census Bureau is considering adding a new Middle East/North Africa ethnic category

Source: Pew Research Center, Fact Tank
By: Jens Manuel Grogstad

From the FactTank story:

The new category would be broader than the Arab ancestry data collected by the Census Bureau since 1980. The Arab-American population is small but growing, and its exact size is disputed. The Census Bureau estimates there are 1.8 million Arab-Americans in the U.S., up 51% since 2000. But the Arab American Institute Foundation estimates there are nearly 3.7 million Arab Americans living in the country. The Arab-American population is also diverse, with people claiming ties to 22 countries and various religious backgrounds.

Read the full story
A story from earlier in the month about other Census form race and ethnicity changes