Monthly Archive for August, 2009

Relationships in the United States

“Living Apart Together”: Relationships in the United States
By: Charles Strohm, Judith Seltzer, Susan Cochran, and Vickie Mays
Source: Demographic Research

We use two surveys to describe the demographic and attitudinal correlates of being in “Living Apart Together” (LAT), cohabiting, and marital relationships for heterosexuals, lesbians, and gay men. About one third of U.S. adults not married or cohabiting are in LAT relationships – these individuals would be classified as “single” in conventional studies that focus on residential unions. Gay men are somewhat more likely than heterosexual men to be in LAT relationships. For heterosexuals and lesbians, LAT relationships are more common among younger people. Heterosexuals in LAT unions are less likely to expect to marry their partners, but more likely to say that couples should be emotionally dependent than are cohabiters. Regardless of sexual orientation, people in LAT relationships perceive similar amounts of emotional support from partners, but less instrumental support than cohabiters perceive.

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2009 World Population Data Sheet

Source: Population Reference Bureau

Global population numbers are on track to reach 7 billion in 2011, just 12 years after reaching 6 billion in 1999. Virtually all of the growth is in developing countries. And the growth of the world’s youth population (ages 15 to 24) is shifting into the poorest of those countries.

The Population Reference Bureau’s 2009 World Population Data Sheet and its summary report, to be released on Aug. 12, offer detailed information about country, regional, and global population patterns.

“Even with declining fertility rates in many countries, world population is still growing at a rapid rate,” said Bill Butz, PRB’s president. “The increase from 6 billion to 7 billion is likely to take 12 years, as did the increase from 5 billion to 6 billion. Both events are unprecedented in world history.

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Mexican Immigrants: How Many Come? How Many Leave?

Mexican Immigrants: How Many Come? How Many Leave?
By: Jeffrey Passel and D’Vera Cohn
Source: Pew Hispanic Center
The flow of immigrants from Mexico to the United States has declined sharply since mid-decade, but there is no evidence of an increase during this period in the number of Mexican-born migrants returning home from the U.S., according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of government data from both countries.
The Mexican-born population in the U.S., which had been growing earlier in the decade, was 11.5 million in early 2009. That figure is not significantly different from the 11.6 million Mexican immigrants in 2008 or the 11.2 million in 2007.
The current recession has had a harsh impact on employment of Latino immigrants, raising the question of whether an increased number of Mexican-born residents are choosing to return home. This new Hispanic Center analysis finds no support for that hypothesis in government data from the United States or Mexico.
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School Meal Program Participation and Its Association with Dietary Patterns and Childhood Obesity

School Meal Program Participation and Its Association with Dietary Patterns and Childhood Obesity
By: Philip Gleason, Ronette Briefel, Ander Wilson, and Allison Hedley Dodd
Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

This study used data from the School Nutrition Dietary Assessment III Study to examine the dietary patterns of school meal program participants and nonparticipants and the relationship between school meal participation and children’s Body Mass Index (BMI). School Breakfast Program (SBP) participants ate more low-nutrient energy-dense (LNED) baked goods and more calories at breakfast than did nonparticipants. National School Lunch Program (NSLP) participants had lower intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and a lower percentage of calories from LNED foods and beverages than did nonparticipants. Overall, NSLP participation was not significantly related to students’ BMI, although participants were less likely to be overweight or obese than nonparticipants among Black students but more likely to be so among “other race” students. SBP participants had significantly lower BMI than did nonparticipants, possibly because SBP participants are more likely to eat breakfast and eat more at breakfast, spreading calorie intake more evenly over the course of the day.

This study was conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., under contract number 59-5000-6-0076. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ERS or USDA.

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Is Personal Insecurity a Cause of Cross-National Differences in the Intensity of Religious Belief?

Is Personal Insecurity a Cause of Cross-National Differences in the Intensity of Religious Belief? An Interchange between Psychology and Religion
By: Tomas James Rees
Source: Journal of Religion and Society

The cause of cross-national differences in individual-level religiosity has a rich history of scholarly debate rooted in observations of an apparent decline in religiosity in the modern era. Numerous causal factors have been proposed. A prominent strand of thought, originally formulated by Weber, supposes that greater education, along with the free and open transmission and discussion of ideas, undermines superstitious or non-naturalistic thinking. Empirical support for this includes the observation that national-level religiosity and scientific productivity are inversely correlated (Jaffe). Another strand, rooted in the work of Durkheim, suggests that the displacement of religious social institutions by secular ones leads to the gradual loss of importance of religious ideas. Complicating the debate are the multitudinous definitions of the term “secularization,” which has come to refer variously to a decline in religious participation or a decline in individual piety.

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New Working Papers from the NBER

A Note on Adapting Propensity Score Matching and Selection Models to Choice Based Samples
By: James J. Heckman, Petra E. Todd
Abstract; PDF
The Under-Reporting of Transfers in Household Surveys: Its Nature and Consequences
By Bruce D. Meyer, Wallace K. C. Mok, James X. Sullivan
Abstract; PDF
Empirics on the Origins of Preferences: The Case of College Major and Religiosity
By: Miles S. Kimball, Colter M. Mitchell, Arland D. Thornton, Linda C. Young-Demarco
Abstract; PDF
Social Ties and the Job Search of Recent Immigrants
By: Deepti Goel, Kevin Lang
Abstract; PDF
A Simple Nonparametric Estimator for the Distribution of Random Coefficients
By Patrick Bajari, Jeremy T. Fox, Kyoo il Kim, Stephen P. Ryan
Abstract; PDF
Evaluating Marginal Policy Changes and the Average Effect of Treatment for Individuals at the Margin
By: Pedro Carneiro, James J. Heckman, Edward J. Vytlacil
Abstract; PDF
Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?
By: Samuel H. Preston, Jessica Y. Ho
Abstract; PDF

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

Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting
Pedro S. Martins, Andy Snell, Jonathan P. Thomas
Abstract; PDF
Employment Fluctuations with Downward Wage Rigidity: The Role of Moral Hazard
James Costain, Marcel Jansen
Abstract; PDF
Caste and Punishment: The Legacy of Caste Culture in Norm Enforcement
Karla Hoff, Mayuresh Kshetramade, Ernst Fehr
Abstract; PDF
Marriage, Cohabitation and Commitment
Murat Iyigun
Abstract; PDF
Population and Health Policies
T. Paul Schultz
Abstract; PDF
Time and Income Poverty: An Interdependent Multidimensional Poverty Approach with German Time Use Diary Data
Joachim Merz, Tim Rathjen
Abstract; PDF
Smoking Persistence Across Countries: An Analysis Using Semi-Parametric Dynamic Panel Data Models with Selectivity
Dimitris Christelis, Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano
Abstract; PDF

The Macroeconomic Implications of HIV and AIDS on Women’s Time-tax Burdens

From Unpaid to Paid Care Work: The Macroeconomic Implications of HIV and AIDS on Women’s Time-tax Burdens
By: Rania Antonopoulos and Taun N. Toay
Source: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, Working Papers

This paper considers public employment guarantee programs in the context of South Africa as a means to address the nexus of poverty, unemployment, and unpaid work burdens—all factors exacerbated by HIV/AIDS. It further discusses the need for gender informed public job creation in areas that mitigate the “time-tax” burdens of women, and examines a South African initiative to address social sector service delivery deficits within the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme. The authors highlight the need for well-designed employment guarantee programs—specifically, programs centered on community and home-based care—as a potential way to help offset the destabilizing effects of HIV/AIDS and endemic poverty. The paper concludes with results from macroeconomic simulations of such a program, using a social accounting matrix framework, and sets out implications for both participants and policymakers.

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Expenditures on Children by Families, 2008

Expenditures on Children by Families, 2008
By: Mark Lino & Andrea Carlson
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
Since 1960, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided estimates of expenditures on children from birth through age 17. This technical report presents the most recent estimates for husband-wife and single-parent families using data from the 2005-06 Consumer Expenditure Survey, updated to 2008 dollars using the Consumer Price Index. Data and methods used in calculating annual child-rearing expenses are described. Estimates are provided for major components of the budget by age of child, family income, and region of residence. For the overall United States, annual child-rearing expense estimates ranged between $11,610 and $13,480 for a child in a two-child, married-couple family in the middle-income group. Adjustment factors for number of children in the household are also provided. Results of this study should be of use in developing State child support and foster care guidelines, as well as in family educational programs.
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Kids Count 2009

The 2009 Kids Count Data Book
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Counting What Counts: Taking Results Seriously for Vulnerable Children and Families: The 20th annual KIDS COUNT Data Book profiles the well-being of America’s children on a state-by-state basis and ranks states on 10 key measures of child well-being. The Data Book essay calls for a “data revolution” that uses timely and reliable information to track the progress and improve the lives of vulnerable children.

2009 Essay
Overall State Rankings
Kids Count Data Center