Monthly Archive for February, 2008

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.

New Book Edited by Schoeni, House, Kaplan and Pollack

Making Americans Healthier: Social and Economic Policy As Health Policy, edited by Robert F. Schoeni, James S. House, George A. Kaplan, and Harold Pollack
The United States spends billions of dollars annually on social and economic policies aimed at improving the lives of its citizens, but the health consequences associated with these policies are rarely considered. In Making Americans Healthier, a group of multidisciplinary experts shows how social and economic policies seemingly unrelated to medical well-being have dramatic consequences for the health of the American people.
Most previous research concerning problems with health and healthcare in the United States has focused narrowly on issues of medical care and insurance coverage, but Making Americans Healthier demonstrates the important health consequences that policymakers overlook in traditional cost-benefit evaluations of social policy. The contributors examine six critical policy areas: civil rights, education, income support, employment, welfare, and neighborhood and housing. Among the important findings in this book, David Cutler and Adriana Lleras-Muney document the robust relationship between educational attainment and health, and estimate that the health benefits of education may exceed even the well-documented financial returns of education. Pamela Herd, James House, and Robert Schoeni discover notable health benefits associated with the Supplemental Security Income Program, which provides financial support for elderly and disabled Americans. George Kaplan, Nalini Ranjit, and Sarah Burgard document a large and unanticipated improvement in the health of African-American women following the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
Making Americans Healthier presents ground-breaking evidence that the health impact of many social policies is substantial. The important findings in this book pave the way for promising new avenues for intervention and convincingly demonstrate that ultimately social and economic policy is health policy.
This book is new in the PSC library and may be found on the PSC Authors display.

Paid Internship Opportunity

2008 Summer Internships: Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Social Security Administration
The Office of Retirement and Disability Policy of the Social Security Administration (SSA) is currently accepting applications for summer internships. Projects involve current and future issues for retirement and disability, such as the analysis of economic/social well-being, labor force participation, financial literacy, benefit applicants, work incentives, international policies, non-citizen issues, authentication, and evidentiary standards. Other opportunities include statistical reporting of beneficiary population characteristics (such as demographic characteristics, immigrant status, or patterns of employment history), computer programming, and developing business process applications.
More information may be found here:

Foundation Giving Trends

From Foundation Center, February 29, 2008

From the summary:

The nation’s largest foundations increased funding for all major subject areas in 2006, with a record number of exceptionally large grants helping to drive this growth. According to Foundation Giving Trends (2008 Edition), released today by the Foundation Center, six out of 10 fields posted double-digit rates of growth in the latest year, led by the field of international affairs/development/peace, which grew 72.5 percent.


County and City Data Book: 2007

Just Released: County and City Data Book: 2007, February 29, 2008
Compiled since the 1940s, the County and City Data Book incorporates demographic and economic information about the United States from Census Bureau surveys, as well as information from other government and private organizations. The data cover topics such as population, housing, vital statistics, health care, social programs, education, labor force, wholesale and retail trade, and weather.

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Role of Contraception in Preventing HIV

Source: Guttmacher Policy Review

Integrating the provision of voluntary contraceptive services into programs where HIV-positive women are going for HIV-related treatment is essential to make U.S. efforts to combat the AIDS epidemic more effective, according to a new Guttmacher Institute policy analysis. Unintended pregnancy prevention is a critical, but largely overlooked, component of any prevention strategy since so many HIV-positive women wish to delay or prevent pregnancy, the analysis finds.

Women of reproductive age comprise more than half of the 33 million people living with HIV around the world. But currently, programs designed to help prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child only reach about one in 10 eligible women in poor countries. Meanwhile, a large number of women in these programs say that their pregnancies were unintended.

Full Paper

Dissertation and Postdoctoral Fellowships

Dissertation Fellowships in Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development
Application Deadline: 4/1/2008
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is now accepting applications for the Dissertation Fellowship in Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development. The two-year fellowships of $20,000 per year will be awarded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and IIE. The fellowships are open to students currently enrolled in Ph.D. programs in the United States and Canada. Students in economics, economic demography, geography, and epidemiology are especially encouraged to apply.
YALE UNIVERSITY The Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE) seeks applications for a postdoctoral fellowship for one or more years, to start in Fall 2008.
Candidates should be interested and have experience in empirical
research with longitudinal data on the processes that generate
inequalities of social class, race/ethnicity, generation, and gender
across the life course.” Application deadline is Mar. 28, 2008).

British Society of Population Studies Call for Papers

The 2008 BSPS Conference will be held at Hulme Hall, the University of Manchester, from 10-12 September 2008
Deadline for abstracts of papers is Thursday 1 May 2008.
more information

Web of Knowledge New Interface

ISI has unveiled a new search interface for the ISI Web of Knowledge databases. To access individual databases like Web of Science or Current Contents, click on the “select databases” tab. Email psc-library if you have questions regarding searching or setting up alerts.

Recent Journal Articles by Center Researchers

Title: Accumulating disadvantage over the life course – Evidence from a longitudinal study investigating the relationship between educational advantage in youth and health in middle age
Author Full Names: Walsemann, Katrina M.; Geronimus, Arline T.; Gee, Gilbert C.
Source: RESEARCH ON AGING, 30 (2): 169-199 MAR 2008
Title:Declines in late-life disability: The role of early- and mid-life factors
Vicki A. Freedman, Linda G. Martin, Robert F. Schoeni and Jennifer C. Cornman
Social Science & Medicine, 66(7):1588-1602
Title: The relationship between income and material hardship
Author(s): Sullivan JX, Turner L, Danziger S
Source: JOURNAL OF POLICY ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT Volume: 27 Issue: 1 Pages: 63-81 Published: 2008
Title: Household and community income, economic shocks and risky sexual behavior of young adults: evidence from the Cape Area Panel Study 2002 and 2005
Author(s): Dinkelman, T; Lam, D; Leibbrandt, M
Source: AIDS Volume: 21 Pages: S49-S56 Published: 2007