Monthly Archive for September, 2010

Gerrymandering: The Movie [October 6, 2010 at Ford School]

This is a good extra credit project for classes:

Gerrymandering: The Movie
October 6, 2010
Special Free Screening/Discussion, sponsored by Ford School

One segment of the movie discusses prison-based gerrymandering. Due to census residence rules, prisoners are counted in their institutions, not where they come from/will move back to. This can have an effect on the districts with big prison populations, often in white, rural areas. For more info see the following website:

Prisoners of the Census

In May 2011, the Census Bureau will be publishing on its FTP site the state, county, tract and block level counts for group quarters. This national file will be the same file as will later appear as Table P41 in Summary File 1. This will allow jurisdictions to remove the group quarters populations (prisoners, college students, etc.) for the purpose of redistricting.

Finally, while gerrymandering is a real issue, sometimes what looks like gerrymandering is not. Take a look at an analysis of the Florida Congressional delegation following the 2000 election.

Tobler’s Law, Urbanization, and Electoral Bias: Why Compact, Contiguous Districts are Bad for the Democrats
Jowei Chen and Jonathan Rodden
We conduct legislative districting simulations using only the apolitical criteria of drawing compact and contiguous districts. We show that the Republican party naturally wins a disproportionately large share of legislative seats in Florida, even without gerrymandering. This result emerges because Democratic voters tend to live in highly concentrated, urban cores, thus “wasting” their electoral strength on a number of landslide Democratic districts. Republican voters are geographically dispersed more evenly throughout the hinterlands, allowing the Republican party to win a disproportionate share of districts by a slight margin.

The Republican National Party (RNC) and the ACS

Canadian conservatives have had an effect on the Canadian Census:

Canadians and the 2011 Census: Mandatory or not

Not to be outdone, the RNC has a position on the American Community Survey (ACS). Short version is: (a) get rid of it; (b) make it optional.

Here are some articles relevant to this:

Taking Leave of Their Census
TerriAnn Lowenthal | The Census Project Blog
August 24, 2010

Census Survey Asks Too Much
Sam Roberts | New York Times
August 19, 2010

Resolution Concerning the American Community Survey
Republican National Committee
August 6, 2010

And this concern for privacy goes back a long way. Here’s an article on the 1940 Census when Senator Charles W. Tobey, (R, NH) had a crusade against the census questions as ‘un-American and a menace to the processes of self-government.”

Hopkins’ Blast in Census Fight Arouses Tobey: Senator Blases in Wrath at Attack – Threats to Delay Canvas
UP | Pittsburgh Press
March 17, 1940

National Poverty Center Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Fellowships

Research and Training Program on Poverty and Public Policy

Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Fellowships, 2011


• To provide outstanding American minority scholars and other scholars who are members of a group that is underrepresented in the social sciences the opportunity to spend a year or two conducting research and pursuing extensive training in residence at the National Poverty Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

• To expand knowledge in all of the social sciences on a broad range of issues related to poverty and public policy.

• To encourage interdisciplinary research through course work, independent study and faculty interaction.

Application Deadline: January 14, 2011 at 5PM Eastern Standard Time

Award Notification: March 31, 2011

National Poverty Center 2011 Small Grants Competition

2011 Small Grants Competition: Research Related to TANF Reauthorization

Application Deadline: Monday, October 18, 2010 at 5PM Eastern Standard Time
Request for proposals (PDF)


The National Poverty Center (NPC) at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan seeks to fund research that will broaden and/or deepen our understanding of issues related to the future reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program. The NPC anticipates funding up to 4 proposals, up to a maximum of $12,500 per award. Funds for this competition are contingent on the funds being provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

New Working Papers from the NBER

Trade, Poverty and the Lagging Regions of South Asia
Pravin Krishna, Devashish Mitra, Asha Sundaram
Abstract; PDF

The Importance of Being an Optimist: Evidence from Labor Markets
Ron Kaniel, Cade Massey, David T. Robinson
Abstract; PDF

Does Drinking Impair College Performance? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach
Scott E. Carrell, Mark Hoekstra, James E. West #16330 (ED HE LS PE) Abstract; PDF

Multivariate Fractional Regression Estimation of Econometric Share Models
John Mullahy
Abstract; PDF

The Unexpected Long-Run Impact of the Minimum Wage: An Educational Cascade
Richard Sutch
Abstract; PDF

Does Labor Supply Matter During a Recession? Evidence from the Seasonal Cycle
Casey B. Mulligan
Abstract; PDF

The Effects of College Counseling on High-Achieving, Low-Income Students
Christopher Avery
Abstract; PDF

Unemployment and Productivity in the Long Run: The Role of Macroeconomic Volatility
Pierpaolo Benigno, Luca Antonio Ricci, Paolo Surico
Abstract; PDF

Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2009

Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2009
By: B. Tejada-Vera B, PD Sutton
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Data shown here are provisional and include only events occurring within the United States (50 states and the District of Columbia). Provisional birth, death, and infant death data in this report are based on a combination of counts of events provided by each reporting area and registered vital events processed into National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data files. Some of these may not have occurred in the specified month of this report. Monthly provisional birth, death, and infant death data may be updated during the course of a data year. Updates based on registered events will be included in the month the event occurred. However, updates based on counts received from the states may include the event in the month it was processed rather than the month in which it occurred. This may result in a low figure for a given month followed by a high figure for the month(s) in which the delayed records were processed. Once the provisional data year has ended, updates cease. Thus, provisional birth, death, and infant death data may not accurately track either the preliminary or the final number of events registered.

Full text (PDF)

Cohabitation and Allocation of Childcare Responsibilities (Western Europe)

´Just Living Together’: Implications of cohabitation for fathers’ participation in child care in Western Europe
By: María-José González, Pau Miret, Rocío Treviño
Source: Demographic Research

This article tests the assumption that cohabitation makes a difference in the allocation of child care responsibilities within couples. It has often been presumed that cohabiting individuals are less likely to adhere to traditional gender ideology than married persons, because they tend to have a lower tolerance for poorly functioning relationships, assign more value to individual freedom and base their relationship on egalitarian individualism rather than on the joint utility maximization of married couples. So far, however, most studies have focused on the determinants and consequences of being in cohabitation and have overlooked its gender implications. Here we explore whether fathers in consensual unions are more prone than fathers in marital unions to share childcare responsibilities with their female partners. We use multilevel regression models for panel data to analyse ECHP in the period between 1996 and 2001. Our sample included around 13,000 couples living in heterosexual partnerships with small children (at least one child below age 13), and yielded around 45,000 observations over this period of time in ten Western European nations. We found weak evidence of the influence of cohabitation on gender equality as compared to married couples, while discovering that the diffusion of cohabitation at the societal level is associated with more equal allotment of child care among partners.

Full text (PDF)

Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups

Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups
By: Susan Aud, Mary Ann Fox, and Angelina KewalRamani
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

This report profiles current conditions and recent trends in the education of students by racial and ethnic group. It presents a selection of indicators that illustrate the educational achievement and attainment of White, Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander students. This report presents 29 indicators that provide information and examine (1) demographics, (2) patterns of preprimary, elementary, and secondary school enrollment; (3) student achievement, (4)persistence; (5) student behaviors that can affect their education; (6) participation in postsecondary education; and (7) outcomes of education.

Full report (PDF)

Poverty Persists for Half of Babies Born Poor

Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences
By: Caroline Ratcliffe and Signe-Mary McKernan
Source: Urban Institute


Already off to a tough start in life, 49 percent of American babies born into poor families will be poor for at least half their childhoods, a new Urban Institute study finds. Among children who are not poor at birth, only 4 percent will be “persistently” poor as children.

Full brief (PDF)

U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Flows Are Down Sharply Since Mid-Decade

U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Flows Are Down Sharply Since Mid-Decade
By Jeffrey Passel and D’Vera Cohn
Source: Pew Hispanic Center

The annual inflow of unauthorized immigrants to the United States was nearly two-thirds smaller in the March 2007 to March 2009 period than it had been from March 2000 to March 2005, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.

This sharp decline has contributed to an overall reduction of 8% in the number of unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S.-to 11.1 million in March 2009 from a peak of 12 million in March 2007, according to the estimates. The decrease represents the first significant reversal in the growth of this population over the past two decades.

Full report (PDF)
Interactive map