Monthly Archive for July, 2011

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

Coverage of Infertility Treatment and Fertility Outcomes: Do Women Catch Up?
Matilde P. Machado, Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano
Abstract; PDF

Antidepressants and Age
David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald
Abstract; PDF

International Migration, Imperfect Information, and Brain Drain
Vianney Dequiedt, Yves Zenou
Abstract; PDF

Social Networks and Parental Behavior in the Intergenerational Transmission of Religion
Eleonora Patacchini, Yves Zenou
Abstract; PDF

Life-Cycle Bias and the Returns to Schooling in Current and Lifetime Earnings
Manudeep Bhuller, Magne Mogstad, Kjell G. Salvanes
Abstract; PDF

Parental Leave and Mothers’ Careers: The Relative Importance of Job Protection and Cash Benefits
Rafael Lalive, Analia Schlosser, Andreas Steinhauer, Josef Zweimüller
Abstract; PDF

A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long Run Outcomes of Children
Pedro Carneiro, Katrine V. Loken, Kjell G. Salvanes
Abstract; PDF

Fat Chance! Obesity and the Transition from Unemployment to Employment
Marco Caliendo, Wang-Sheng Lee
Abstract; PDF

The Happiness-Income Paradox Revisited
(published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010, 107 (52), 22463-22468)
Richard A. Easterlin, Laura Angelescu McVey, Malgorzata Switek, Onnicha Sawangfa, Jacqueline Smith Zweig
Abstract; PDF

Does Early Life Health Predict Schooling Within Twin Pairs?
Petter Lundborg, Anton Nilsson, Dan-Olof Rooth
Abstract; PDF

Early Life Health and Adult Earnings: Evidence from a Large Sample of Siblings and Twins
Petter Lundborg, Anton Nilsson, Dan-Olof Rooth
Abstract; PDF

Self-Employment of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China
(forthcoming in: International Journal of Manpower, 2011)
Corrado Giulietti, Guangjie Ning, Klaus F. Zimmermann
Abstract; PDF

Which Measures of Time Preference Best Predict Outcomes? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment
Stephen V. Burks, Jeffrey P. Carpenter, Lorenz Goette, Aldo Rustichini
Abstract; PDF

Destined for (Un)Happiness: Does Childhood Predict Adult Life Satisfaction?
Paul Frijters, David W. Johnston, Michael A. Shields
Abstract; PDF

Unfit for Service: The Implications of Rising Obesity for U.S. Military Recruitment
John Cawley, Johanna Catherine Maclean
Abstract; PDF

Head Start and the Changing Demographics of Today’s Young Children

Head Start and the Changing Demographics of Today’s Young Children
By: Oliva Golden
Source: Urban Institute


The increasing diversity of America’s young children has important implications for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This paper summarizes recent changes in the racial and ethnic composition of young children, particularly increases in Hispanic and Asian children, as well as shifts in where young children live, with some northeastern and Midwestern states losing children while southern and southwestern states are rapidly gaining. Based on these trends and recent Urban Institute research, the paper makes four recommendations about how local Head Start practitioners can best meet the needs of today’s young children and their families.

Full text (PDF)

Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs – Hispanics Hit Hardest

Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics
By: Rakesh Kochhar, Richard Fry and Paul Taylor
Source: Pew Research Center

From report:

The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.

These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009.

Recession Study Finds Hispanics Hit the Hardest
By Sabrina Tavernise
Source: New York Times

From article:

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Hispanic families accounted for the largest single decline in wealth of any ethnic and racial group in the country during the recession, according to a study published Tuesday by the Pew Foundation.

The study, which used data collected by the Census Bureau, found that the median wealth of Hispanic households fell by 66 percent from 2005 to 2009. By contrast, the median wealth of whites fell by just 16 percent over the same period. African Americans saw their wealth drop by 53 percent. Asians also saw a big decline, with household wealth dropping 54 percent.

Pew Research report (PDF); Methodology
New York Time Article

Peer review: Pros and Cons from RAND (Europe)

Alternatives to peer review in research project funding
Helen Wu, Sharif Ismail,Susan Guthrie,Steven Wooding | RAND Europe
May 2011

This document provides an overview of a number of the alternatives to peer review for assessing research funding applications. It is intended to be used as a tool by research funders, outlining some of the options available, with illustrative examples,
to help develop the most appropriate approach to funding allocation for their
specific research needs.

Executive Summary

Full report

The Structure of Borders in a Small World

C Thiemann, F Theis, D Grady, R Brune, D Brockmann | PlosOne
November 18, 2010

Territorial subdivisions and geographic borders are essential for understanding phenomena in sociology, political science, history, and economics. They influence the interregional flow of information and cross-border trade and affect the diffusion of innovation and technology.

Imagery showing effective subdivisions and borders in the United States based on bank note distributions

Connected States of America

The Connected State of America
The Connected States of America illustrates the emerging communities based on the social interactions through the use of anatomized mobile phone data.

CommonCensus Map Project: Revealing Communities of Interest
Information Aesthetics | July 19, 2011

The CommonCensus Map Project [] aims to ‘redraw’ the map of the United States based on the input of its citizens, in order to reveal the boundaries people ‘feel’, as opposed to the state and county boundaries drawn by politicians. It relies on the reports of over 60,591 people who volunteered to reveal the names of places with which they identify themselves the most, in addition to their favorite sports team.

Why States Matter
Urbanophile | July 18, 2011
Obviously states aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but a number of folks have suggested that state’s aren’t just obsolete, they are downright pernicious in their effects on local economies.

Are States an Anachronism?

Urbanophile | July 18, 2011

There are a lot of reasons why, despite their obvious flaws, states continue to play a crucial role in our nation. The first is that in a huge, multi-regional, multi-polar country like the United States, we can’t effectively govern the entire place from a single city on the east coast (with perhaps administrative subdivisions), nor would we want to.

Jurisdictions contesting the 2010 Census Count

Jurisdictions contesting the 2010 Census Count
HOPE YEN| Associated Press
June 29, 2011

With jobs and federal aid at stake, U.S. cities are lining up to contest their 2010 census counts as too low.

More on the Canadian Census Disaster

Census decision a slow-motion train wreck
Stephen Gordon | The Globe and Mail
July 13, 2011

The census story is a train wreck in slow motion; the latest car to pile on the flaming ruins is the recent report that Statistics Canada has resigned itself to accepting incomplete responses to the National Household Survey (NHS).

The following publication is referenced in the Globe and Mail (July 13) article.
The Importance of the Long Form Census to Canada
David A. Green and Kevin Milligan | Canadian Public Policy, Volume 36, No 3
September 2010

All voluntary Statistics Canada surveys come with a set of weights of this type that researchers need to use to obtain accurate statistics. But constructing those weights requires having a “true” population benchmark, and the census is that benchmark. Thus, without the census, both the stratification and weighting stages of all other surveys would be affected.

Statscan settles for incomplete long-form surveys in 2011 census
Jennifer Ditchburn | The Globe and Mail
July 6, 2011

“On the [short] census, we will follow up since the census is mandatory, so if we don’t have a minimum amount of information or there are inconsistencies, it is possible that we’ll call people to clarify the information that was provided,” said Marc Hamel, director general of the census management office.

“We don’t do that on the National Household Survey. We make the assumption … if they have omitted to complete one question or a section, we go on the assumption knowing that it’s a voluntary survey that they’ve omitted to complete that on purpose.”

Is census data usable? ‘Our thinking has evolved.’
Steven Chase and Tavia Grant | The Globe and Mail
February 14, 2011

Wayne Smith, who replaced Munir Sheikh as Canada’s chief statistician during the census controversy, gives an interview in his Ottawa office on Feb. 11, 2011. Snippets from the interview.

I guess the answer is it depends.

We’ve never done a survey on this scale, on a voluntary basis before.

So we’re in unexplored territory.

What happens is going to depend …

The only difference that’s different in 2011 for the National Household Survey is that the survey is voluntary and the sample is bigger.

Chief statistician asked to rethink census for 2016
Steven Chase and Tavia Grant | The Globe and Mail
February 11, 2011

The Harper government, which last year scrapped the mandatory long-form census on the grounds it was wrong to coerce Canadians into answering intrusive questions, has asked Statistics Canada to rethink the way it collects population data.

Chances are, however, he may be overseeing even bigger changes at Statistics Canada – not for the 2011 census, already under way – but for the next one, in 2016.

The Nagging Effect: Better Health for Married Men

The Nagging Effect: Better Health for Married Men
Tara Parker-Pope | New York Times
July 19, 2011

Relationship researchers have long known that marriage is associated with better health, particularly for men. One reason is that wives often take on the role of caregiver, setting up doctor appointments and reminding, even nagging, their husbands to go.

NARA Looks to Privatizing Access to 1940 Census

NARA looks to privatizing 1940 Census
Submitted by jajacobs | Free Government Info (FGI)
July 20, 2011

Early next year the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) can make the 1940 Census Schedules available to the public for the first time. (See “Background” below.) NARA has digitized these files and created metadata for them in preparation for making this valuable trove of information accessible on the web.