Monthly Archive for May, 2008

World Health Statistics 2008

World Health Statistics
Source: World Health Organization

World Health Statistics 2008 presents the most recent health statistics for WHO’s 193 Member States. This fourth edition includes 10 highlights in health statistics, as well as an expanded set of over 70 key health indicators. It includes, for the first time, trend data where the statistics are available and of acceptable quality.

Mothers and Government Assistance

Participation of Mothers in Government Assistance Programs: 2004
By: Jane Lawler Dye
Source: U.S. Census, Household Economic Studies
Although participation in government assistance programs has risen somewhat in recent years among mothers with a birth in the last year, it is much lower than when welfare reform was enacted in 1996, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The report, Participation of Mothers in Government Assistance Programs: 2004 [PDF], analyzes the socioeconomic characteristics of mothers participating in six different public assistance programs. These include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); food stamps; Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); Medicaid; housing assistance; and other assistance. It shows that in 1996, 42 percent of mothers with a birth in the previous year were participants in at least one of these programs. The rate dipped to 29 percent in 2001 before climbing to 34 percent in 2004. The corresponding number, 1.6 million in 1996, dipped to 1.2 million in 2001 before rising to 1.4 million in 2004 .
Overall, 7.5 million mothers of childbearing age (15 to 44), or 22 percent, participated in one or more of these programs in 2004. Those with infants were more likely participants than those with older children (34 percent compared with 20 percent).
Mothers were also more likely to receive public assistance if they were younger than 25, living with either no other adult or with an unmarried partner, a minority, did not work in the past month, never attended college, or did not receive child support.

Medicaid Care for Children

Medicaid Managed Care for Children in Child Welfare
Kamala Allen
Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
Children in the child welfare system have an extremely high prevalence of physical and behavioral health problems. This issue brief examines the complex physical and behavioral health care needs and associated costs for children in child welfare and outlines critical opportunities and challenges within Medicaid to better manage care for this high-risk, high-cost population.


Economics and Early Childhood Policy

What Does Economics Tell Us About Early Childhood Policy?
By: M. Rebecca Kilburn, Lynn A. Karoly
RAND Research Brief

This research brief describes how insights from the field of economics — human capital theory and monetary payoffs — provide science-based guidance for early childhood policy.


State Children’s Health Insurance Program

Covering Uninsured Children in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
Source: Congressional Budget Office (Testimony)

SCHIP has significantly reduced the number of low-income children who lack health insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) estimates, the portion of children in families with income between 100 percent and 200 percent of the poverty level who were uninsured fell by about 25 percent between 1996 (the year before SCHIP was enacted) and 2006. In contrast, the rate of uninsurance among higher-income children remained relatively stable during that period. The difference probably reflects the impact of the SCHIP program.

New Book Acquisitions

Ageing in Southeast and East Asia: Family, Social Protection and Policy Challenges
Edited by Lee Hock Guan

Southeast and East Asian countries are undergoing varying stages of population ageing. The social, economic and political implications of population ageing will be enormous, and because of the fast speed of ageing in the region, the countries cannot afford the luxury of time for the gradual evolution of social and structural support systems and networks for the older population. The papers in this volume are selected from those presented at a 2004 workshop on Ageing and the Status of the Older Population in Southeast Asia. They critically examine national ageing policies and programmes, the sustainability of existing pension systems, housing and living arrangements, inter-generational transfer, and aspects of quality of life of the elderly population in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. While the findings show that most Southeast Asian countries have started to formulate and implement national ageing policies, they also indicate that the existing policies are by and large inadequate and underdeveloped in serving the needs of the older population and indeed much more must be done to prepare for the future.

Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference
By: William R. Shadish, Thomas D. Cook, and Donald T. Campbell

This long awaited successor of the original Cook/Campbell Quasi-Experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings represents updates in the field over the last two decades. The book covers four major topics in field experimentation:

* Theoretical matters: Experimentation, causation, and validity
* Quasi-experimental design: Regression discontinuity designs, interrupted time series designs, quasi-experimental designs that use both pretests and control groups, and other designs
* Randomized experiments: Logic and design issues, and practical problems involving ethics, recruitment, assignment, treatment implementation, and attrition
* Generalized causal inference: A grounded theory of generalized causal inference, along with methods for implementing that theory in single and multiple studies.

Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis: Modeling Change and Event Occurrence
By: Judith D. Singer, and John B. Willett

Change is constant in everyday life. Infants crawl and then walk, children learn to read and write, teenagers mature in myriad ways, the elderly become frail and forgetful. Beyond these natural processes and events, external forces and interventions instigate and disrupt change: test scores
may rise after a coaching course, drug abusers may remain abstinent after residential treatment. By charting changes over time and investigating whether and when events occur, researchers reveal the temporal rhythms of our lives. Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis is a much-needed professional book
for empirical researchers and graduate students in the behavioral, social, and biomedical sciences. It offers the first accessible in-depth presentation of two of today’s most popular statistical methods: multilevel models for individual change and hazard/survival models for event occurrence (in
both discrete- and continuous-time). Using clear, concise prose and real data sets from published studies, the authors take you step by step through complete analyses, from simple exploratory displays that reveal underlying patterns through sophisticated specifications of complex statistical models.

Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis offers readers a private consultation session with internationally recognized experts and represents a unique contribution to the literature on quantitative empirical methods.

Visit for:
* Downloadable data sets
* Library of computer programs in SAS, SPSS, Stata, HLM, MLwiN, and more
* Additional material for data analysis

The Biology of Human Longevity: Inflammation, Nutrition, and Aging in the Evolution of Lifespans
By: Caleb E. Finch

Written by Caleb Finch, one of the leading scientists of our time, The Biology of Human Longevity – Inflammation, Nutrition, and Aging in the Evolution of Lifespans synthesizes several decades of top research on the topic of human aging and longevity particularly on the recent theories of inflammation and its effects on human health. The book expands a number of existing major theories, including the Barker theory of fetal origins of adult disease to consider the role of inflammation and Harmon’s free radical theory of aging to include inflammatory damage. Future increases in lifespan are challenged by the obesity epidemic and spreading global infections which may reverse the gains made in lowering inflammatory exposure. This timely and topical book will be of interest to anyone studying aging from any scientific angle.

These books may be found on the New Acquisitions display.

New Discussion Papers from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Employment Effects of Welfare Reforms: Evidence from a Dynamic Structural Life-Cycle Model
Peter Haan, Victoria L. Prowse, Arne Uhlendorff
Abstract; PDF

Cognitive Abilities and Behavioral Biases
Jörg Oechssler, Andreas Roider, Patrick W. Schmitz
Abstract; PDF

Efficiency and Effectiveness of Social Spending
Peter Herrmann, Arno Tausch, Almas Heshmati, Chemen S. J. Bajalan
Abstract; PDF

Social Change
Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner
Abstract; PDF

Fixed Effects Bias in Panel Data Estimators
Hielke Buddelmeyer, Paul H. Jensen, Umut Oguzoglu, Elizabeth Webster
Abstract; PDF

The Lot of the Unemployed: A Time Use Perspective
Alan B. Krueger, Andreas Mueller
Abstract; PDF

Would a Legal Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty? A Microsimulation Study for Germany
Kai-Uwe Müller, Viktor Steiner
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of Household Capital Income on Income Inequality: A Factor Decomposition Analysis for Great Britain, Germany and the USA
Anna Fräßdorf, Markus M. Grabka, Johannes Schwarze
Abstract; PDF

Human Capital Externalities and the Urban Wage Premium: Two Literatures and their Interrelations
Benedikt Halfdanarson, Daniel F. Heuermann, Jens Suedekum
Abstract; PDF

Preliminary Datasets for the Mali DHS 2006

Preliminary datasets are now available for the Mali DHS 2006. MEASURE DHS makes all unrestricted survey data files available for legitimate academic research. Preliminary Data are a pre-release of the Standard Recode survey data. Since the data are still under review, the official release of the survey data may differ from the pre-release version. It is strongly recommended that analyses using these preliminary data, should be repeated when the final version of the data become available. Changes to these preliminary data sets are not recorded.
Datasets can be requested/downloaded at:
Data access instructions may be found here.

The Psychological Dimension of an Environmental Disaster

Enduring Mental Health Morbidity and Social Function Impairment in World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery and Cleanup Workers: The Psychological Dimension of an Environmental Health Disaster
Jeanne Mager Stellman, Rebecca P. Smith, Craig L. Katz, Vansh Sharma, Dennis S. Charney, Robin Herbert, Jacqueline Moline, Benjamin J. Luft, Steven Markowitz, Iris Udasin, Denise Harrison, Sherry Baron, Philip J. Landrigan, Stephen M. Levin, and Steven Southwick
Source: Environmental Health Perspectives

Workers’ service in 9/11 recovery operations is associated with chronic impairment of mental health and social functioning. Psychological distress and psychopathology in WTC workers greatly exceed population norms. Surveillance and treatment programs continue to be needed.


Life After Lockup

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community
Amy L. Solomon, Jenny W.L. Osborne, Stefan F. LoBuglio, Jeff Mellow, and Debbie A. Mukamal
Source: Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance/Urban Institute/John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Since 1998, criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, and researchers have focused substantial attention on the issue of prisoner reentry, people released from state and federal prisons. For a variety of reasons, until recently the policy discussion largely ignored the reentry issues of the millions released from local jails. Through the efforts of many in the field, that is no longer the case, and interest and activity in jail reentry has grown remarkably in the past several years. Though jail reentry can build on many of the ideas and approaches of prisoner reentry, the distinct differences in the nature of the operations and the status of the jail population require a new set of strategies.

In an effort to build knowledge on the topic, in 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance invested in the Jail Reentry Roundtable Initiative, a joint project of the Urban Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. Over the past two years, we have commissioned seven papers, convened a Jail Reentry Roundtable and two national advisory meetings, conducted a “scan of practice”, and interviewed dozens of practitioners around the country. This report aims to synthesize what we have learned through these efforts.