Monthly Archive for July, 2011

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America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011
Source: Forum of Child and Family Statistics

From foreword:

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011 is a compendium of indicators depicting both the promises and the challenges confronting our Nation’s young people. The report, the 15th in an ongoing series, presents 41 key indicators on important aspects of children’s lives. These indicators are drawn from our most reliable statistics, are easily understood by broad audiences, are objectively based on substantial research, are balanced so that no single area of children’s lives dominates the report, are measured regularly so that they can be updated to show trends over time, and are representative of large segments of the population rather than one particular group.

This year’s report continues to present key indicators in seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. The report incorporates several modifications that reflect the Forum’s efforts to improve its quality and comprehensiveness. In addition to updating data sources and substantively expanding several indicators, the report presents a special feature on adoption.

Available online
Printer friendly PDF version

House Bill Guts the Census Bureau Budget

The Consequences of Budget Cuts
Director’s Blog (Census Bureau) | July 15, 2011

A cut of this magnitude in our periodic programs account means we cannot do all the work the Congress has asked us to do. Our ability to provide high quality and comprehensive statistical data will be severely diminished if we sustain such a large budget cut and we will be forced to cancel major programs that provide critical benchmark measures.

Census Budget: House Bill Would Gut Economic Monitoring, Endanger GDP and Other Stats
PeopleUnlikeUs | July 12, 2011

“It’s essentially turning out the lights as economic policymakers are trying to do their work,” said Andrew Reamer, a George Washington University professor who focuses on economics and U.S. competitiveness.

“It would have major, permanent impacts on the nation’s economic and demographic statistics,” the bureau said, according to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), a member and past chair of the House Joint Economic Committee.

“There’s a misunderstanding if they think the Census has nothing to do with GDP,” said Reamer.

“That’s false, absolutely false,” echoed Haver. “The basic data that go into the national accounts are born at the Census Bureau.”

Still, the survey has fallen into disfavor and suspicion recently, especially on the right.

“I just have no clue what they are thinking,” Haver said. “If you want to run the country not based on information but just based on your ideology, this is fine — if you don’t need to know what’s going on out there.”

Census Cuts Could End Some Surveys
Carol Morello | Washington Post
July 12, 2011

“Given the huge debate we are having about the state of the economy and what we should be doing for the next 10 years to grow jobs, it makes no sense to be gutting the data collection that tells us where we have been and where we are going,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Kenneth Prewitt, who headed the Census bureau during the 2000 count, said the cuts would make policymaking more difficult.

“It means the people who have to make decisions are going to scurry around to find second-rate, substitute information instead of sophisticated, carefully collected statistics that the Census Bureau, and only the Census Bureau, can provide,” he said.

The Mexican-American Boom: Births Overtake Immigration

The Mexican-American Boom: Births Overtake Immigration
Source: Pew Hispanic Center

From overview:

Births have surpassed immigration as the main driver of the dynamic growth in the U.S. Hispanic population. This new trend is especially evident among the largest of all Hispanic groups-Mexican-Americans, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the Mexican-American population grew by 7.2 million as a result of births and 4.2 million as a result of new immigrant arrivals. This is a change from the previous two decades when the number of new immigrants either matched or exceeded the number of births.

Full report (PDF)

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

Patients Whose GP Knows Complementary Medicine Tend to Have Lower Costs and Live Longer
(forthcoming in: European Journal of Health Economics)
Peter Kooreman, Erik W. Baars
Abstract; PDF

Give Me Your Wired and Your Highly Skilled: Measuring the Impact of Immigration Policy on Employers and Shareholders
Carl Lin
Abstract; PDF

Mobility, Taxation and Welfare
Sami Bibi, Jean-Yves Duclos, Abdelkrim Araar
Abstract; PDF

Time Costs of Children as Parents’ Foregone Leisure
Olivia Ekert-Jaffe, Shoshana Grossbard
Abstract; PDF

Time for Children: Trends in the Employment Patterns of Parents, 1967-2009
Liana Fox, Wen-Jui Han, Christopher J. Ruhm, Jane Waldfogel
Abstract; PDF

The Shadow Economy and Shadow Economy Labor Force: What Do We (Not) Know?
Friedrich Schneider
Abstract; PDF

Use of Time and Value of Unpaid Family Care Work: A Comparison between Italy and Poland
Francesca Francavilla, Gianna Claudia Giannelli, Gabriela Grotkowska, Mieczyslaw Socha
Abstract; PDF

Sexual Orientation, Prejudice and Segregation
Erik Plug, Dinand Webbink, Nicholas G. Martin
Abstract; PDF

Knocking on Heaven’s Door? Protestantism and Suicide
Sascha O. Becker, Ludger Woessmann
Abstract; PDF

Wage Rigidity and Disinflation in Emerging Countries
Julián Messina, Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano
Abstract; PDF

New Working Papers from the NBER

Early Non-marital Childbearing and the “Culture of Despair”
by Melissa Schettini Kearney, Phillip B. Levine
Abstract; PDF

Smoking Policies and Birth Outcomes: Estimates From a New Era
by Sara Markowitz, E. Kathleen Adams, Patricia M. Dietz, Viji Kannan, Van Tong
Abstract; PDF

A “Second Opinion” on the Economic Health of the American Middle Class
by Richard V. Burkhauser, Jeff Larrimore, Kosali I. Simon
Abstract; PDF

Residential Rivalry and Constraints on the Availability of Child Labor
by Richard Akresh, Eric V. Edmonds
Abstract; PDF

The Incidence of Local Labor Demand Shocks
by Matthew J. Notowidigdo
Abstract; PDF

The Impacts of the Affordable Care Act: How Reasonable Are the Projections?
by Jonathan Gruber
Abstract; PDF

How Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement
by Matthew Ronfeldt, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, James Wyckoff
Abstract; PDF

Effective Schools: Teacher Hiring, Assignment, Development, and Retention
by Susanna Loeb, Demetra Kalogrides, Tara Beteille
Abstract; PDF

Weekends and Subjective Well-Being
by John F. Helliwell, Shun Wang
Abstract; PDF

The Empirical Content of Models with Multiple Equilibria in Economies with Social Interactions
by Alberto Bisin, Andrea Moro, Giorgio Topa
Abstract; PDF

The Labor Market Impact of Employer Health Benefit Mandates: Evidence from San Francisco’s Health Care Security Ordinance
by Carrie H. Colla, William H. Dow, Arindrajit Dube
Abstract; PDF

Economic Preparation for Retirement
by Michael D. Hurd, Susann Rohwedder
Abstract; PDF

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

Too Far to Go? Does Distance Determine Study Choices?
(published also in German as “Der Einfluss des lokalen Hochschulangebots auf die Studienwahl” in: Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 2010, 13(4), 683-706)
Stefan Denzler, Stefan Wolter
Abstract; PDF

Rising Food Prices and Household Welfare: Evidence from Brazil in 2008
Francisco H.G. Ferreira, Anna Fruttero, Phillippe Leite, Leonardo Lucchetti
Abstract; PDF

Poisoning the Mind: Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water Wells and Children’s Educational Achievement in Rural Bangladesh
(forthcoming in: Economics of Education Review)
Niaz Asadullah, Nazmul Chaudhury
Abstract; PDF

The Welfare Impact of Price Changes on Household Welfare and Inequality 1999-2010
Jason Loughrey, Cathal O’Donoghue
Abstract; PDF

Religiosity and Migration: Travel into One’s Self versus Travel across Cultures
Mariya Aleksynska, Barry R. Chiswick
Abstract; PDF

The Economics of Risky Health Behaviors
(forthcoming in: Handbook of Health Economics)
John Cawley, Christopher J. Ruhm
Abstract; PDF

A Panel Data Analysis of Racial/Ethnic Differences in Married Women’s Labor Supply
Kenneth Troske, Alexandru Voicu
Abstract; PDF

The Effects of Cooperation: A Structural Model of Siblings’ Caregiving Interactions
Marike Knoef, Peter Kooreman
Abstract; PDF

A Note on Inequality Aversion Across Countries, Using Two New Measures
Diane Macunovich
Abstract; PDF

On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough
Alberto Alesina, Paola Giuliano, Nathan Nunn
Abstract; PDF

Gender Earnings Gaps in the World
Hugo Nopo, Nancy Daza, Johanna Ramos
Abstract; PDF

Flu Shots, Mammograms, and the Perception of Probabilities
Katherine Grace Carman, Peter Kooreman
Abstract; PDF

Health Effects on Children’s Willingness to Compete
(forthcoming in: Experimental Economics)
Björn Bartling, Ernst Fehr, Daniel Schunk
Abstract; PDF

Gender Patterns in Vietnam’s Child Mortality
Thong Le Pham, Peter Kooreman, Ruud H. Koning, Doede Wiersma
Abstract; PDF

Do Guns Displace Books? The Impact of Compulsory Military Service on Educational Attainment
Thomas Bauer, Stefan Bender, Alfredo Paloyo, Christoph M. Schmidt
Abstract; PDF

Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low Income Families
(forthcoming in: Review of Economic Studies)
Richard Blundell, Andrew Shephard
Abstract; PDF

Unobserved Heterogeneity in Multiple-Spell Multiple-States Duration Models
(forthcoming as “Multistate event history analysis with frailty” in: Demographic Research)
Govert Bijwaard
Abstract; PDF

The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills During Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Silke Anger
Abstract; PDF

Immigration and Status Exchange in Australia and the United States
Kate H. Choi, Marta Tienda, Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, Mathias Sinning
Abstract; PDF

The Employment of Mothers: Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany
(forthcoming in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik (Journal of Economics and Statistics))
Barbara Hanel, Regina T. Riphahn
Abstract; PDF

Childhood Health and Differences in Late-Life Health Outcomes between England and the United States

Childhood Health and Differences in Late-Life Health Outcomes between England and the United States
By: James Banks, Zoe Oldfield, James P. Smith
Source: RAND Corporation


In this paper the authors examine the link between retrospectively reported measures of childhood health and the prevalence of various major and minor diseases at older ages. Their analysis is based on comparable retrospective questionnaires placed in the Health and Retirement Study and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing — nationally representative surveys of the age 50 plus population in America and England respectively. They show that the origins of poorer adult health among older Americans compared to the English trace right back into the childhood years — the American middle and old-age population report higher rates of specific childhood health conditions than their English counterparts. The transmission into poor health in mid life and older ages of these higher rates of childhood illnesses also appears to be higher in America compared to England. Both factors contribute to higher rates of adult illness in the United States compared to England although even in combination they do not explain the full extent of the country difference in late-life health outcomes.

Full text (PDF)

High School Longitudinal Study of 2009

High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09): A First Look at Fall 2009 9th-Graders
By: Steven J. Ingels, Ben Dalton, Tommy E. Holder, Jr., Erich Lauff, and Laura J. Burns
Source: National Center for Education Statistics

From press release:

On June 28, the National Center for Education Statistics will release High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09): A First Look at Fall 2009 Ninth-Graders.

This report features initial findings from the base year of a new longitudinal study that started with a nationally representative cohort of ninth-graders in the fall of 2009 and will follow these students through postsecondary education and the world of work. The base year data focus on students’ transitions into high school, especially their decisions about courses and plans for postsecondary education and careers. The HSLS:09 study captures these decisions, plans, expectations, and activities generally but also specifically in math and science.

Findings include the news that half of America’s ninth-graders are taking algebra 1 (51%) and 22% are taking geometry. About 86% of ninth-graders are proficient in understanding algebraic expressions based on their HSLS:09 math assessment scores, but just 18% are proficient at understanding systems of equations and 9% are proficient at understanding linear functions, both of which are more advanced topics within algebra. Of students whose parents hold a master’s degree or higher, 44% are in the top quintile of math performance and 5% in the bottom quintile. Of students whose parents have earned a high school diploma or equivalent, 24% are in the bottom quintile of performance on the assessment and 15% are in the top quintile.

At this age, about 22% of students did not report any educational expectations, while 39% report expecting to earn a graduate or professional degree. More female ninth-graders than male ninth-graders expect to obtain a graduate or professional degree (44% versus 35%). More socioeconomically advantaged ninth-graders expect to earn a graduate or professional degree than their peers in the lowest socioeconomic stratum (56% versus 27%). Over half – 53% of Asian students and 52% of Black students – report that they definitely can complete college, compared to 40% of Hispanic students and 49% of white students who report the same confidence.

Full text (PDF)

How the 2011 Food Prices Are Affecting Poor People

Living on a Spike: How is the 2011 Food Price Crisis Affecting Poor People?
By: Naomi Hossain and Duncan Green
Source: Oxfam GB

From summary:

The human face of global food price rises is often missing amongst the abstract discussions of macro-economic trends and global food price indices. In order to understand the impact of the rise in global food prices through much of 2010 and into early 2011, Oxfam and research partners from the Institute of Development Studies spoke to people effected in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, and Zambia.

The research offers insights into how economic shocks of this kind work to increase and perpetuate inequality, producing consistent patterns of ‘weak losers’ and ‘strong winners’. Key findings show that poor people do not merely cope by working harder, eating less, living more frugally, drawing down resources and assets, and managing on a day-to-day basis. They also respond politically: they contest official explanations of the causes, and they roundly criticise their governments for failing to act effectively. They analyse the causes of the problems they face as political problems, identifying a lack of responsiveness to their needs, and corruption and collusion among powerful politicians and business interests, as among the sources of the problems they face.

Such findings point to the need for a twin-track response to food price spikes: dynamic, accountable and progressive action by national governments, backed by greatly improved, co-ordinated responses at the global level. Whether the primary concern is people’s well-being, or political stability, food price spikes should be a cause both for concern and for action. At a time of growing political unrest around the world, the stress and discontent fuelled by high food prices merits close attention.

Full report