Monthly Archive for October, 2011

Trends in the Distribution of Income

Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007
Source: Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

From the CBO Director’s Blog:

From 1979 to 2007, real (inflation-adjusted) average household income, measured after government transfers and federal taxes, grew by 62 percent. That growth was not equal across the income distribution: Income after government transfers and federal taxes (denoted as after-tax income) for households at the higher end of the income scale rose much more rapidly than income for households in the middle and at the lower end of the income scale.

In a study prepared at the request of the Chairman and former Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance, CBO examines the trends in the distribution of household income between 1979 and 2007. (Those endpoints allow comparisons between periods of similar overall economic activity.)

Report summary (PDF)
Full report (PDF)

Work and Family: Latin American & Caribbean Women in Search of a New Balance

Work and Family: Latin American & Caribbean Women in Search of a New Balance
By: Laura Chioda
Source: World Bank

From Press Release:

Work and Family: Latin American & Caribbean Women in Search of a New Balance states that more than 70 million additional women have entered the labor force in the region since 1980, marking an unprecedented growth in female participation in the labor market. Three decades ago, only 36 percent of working age women were in the labor force. Since then female participation in LAC has risen faster than in any other region in the world. These results are closely linked to females scoring huge successes in education where they have been outperforming men on a number of indicators.

Girls are today more likely than boys to be enrolled in secondary and tertiary schooling and also more likely to complete both. But as the gender parity gap closes, new challenges arise, the report warns. A first generation of gender policies has addressed disparities and ensured equal access to services ranging from education to health. However, a new set of policies is needed now to help women balance the demands of their careers and family lives, experts say.

Download full report

U.S. Newspaper Reporters’ Perceptions and Use of Government Data

U.S. Newspaper Reporters’ Perceptions and Use of Government Data
By: Ming Dai, David Herzog, and Ken Fleming
Source: Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

From the highlights:

Reporters at U.S. daily newspapers routinely turn to local, state and federal government websites to hunt for data that they can use in their stories, a recent survey by the Reynolds Journalism Institute found.

Overall, the reporters contacted said that they looked for data on the government sites three to four days a week and were generally successful in finding what they needed. However, many of the 600 reporters surveyed by the Center for Advanced Social Research (CASR) at the Missouri School of Journalism said they found information that was outdated, poorly documented or incomplete.

Download full report (PDF)

Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972–2009

Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972–2009
By: Chris Chapman, Jennifer Laird, Nicole Ifill and Angelina KewalRamani
Source: National Center for Education Statistics


This report updates a series of NCES reports on high school dropout and completion rates that began in 1988. The report includes national and regional population estimates for the percentage of students who dropped out of high school between 2008 and 2009, the percentage of young people who were dropouts in 2009, and the percentage of young people who were not in high school and had some form of high school credential in 2009. Data are presented by a number of characteristics including race/ethnicity, sex, and age. Annual data for these population estimates are provided for the 1972-2009 period. Information about the high school class of 2009 is also presented in the form on on-time graduation rates from public high schools.

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The Economic Impact of Immigrant-Related Local Ordinances

The Economic Impact of Immigrant-Related Local Ordinances
Source: The Americas Society

From the publication page:

This Americas Society white paper provides the first comparative look at the average economic effects of how restrictive versus non-restrictive immigration-related city ordinances affect a city’s business environment. In a context of high unemployment and lackluster business growth, along with rising anxieties regarding immigration in the United States, we believe it essential to provide a better understanding of how policies that seek to restrict immigration and those that support more flexible approaches affect the economies of communities across the country.

Download the PDF of the white paper
Access an appendix of sources for city ordinances (PDF)

New Working Papers from the NBER

The Financial Crisis and the Well-Being of Americans
by Angus S. Deaton
Abstract; PDF

The Effects of Changes in Women’s Labor Market Attachment on Redistribution Under the Social Security Benefit Formula
by Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, Nahid Tabatabai
Abstract; PDF

Does Widowhood Explain Gender Differences in Out-of-Pocket Medical Spending Among the Elderly?

by Gopi Shah Goda, John B. Shoven, Sita Nataraj Slavov
Abstract; PDF

Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics
by Kevin Lang, Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann
Abstract; PDF

Insuring Long Term Care In the US
by Jeffrey Brown, Amy Finkelstein
Abstract; PDF

Does Head Start Do Any Lasting Good?
by Chloe Gibbs, Jens Ludwig, Douglas L. Miller
Abstract; PDF

Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Theory and Evidence

by Peter J. Kuhn, Kailing Shen
Abstract; PDF

Deterrence and the Death Penalty: Partial Identification Analysis Using Repeated Cross Sections
by Charles F. Manski, John V. Pepper
Abstract; PDF

Slum Clearance and Urban Renewal in the United States
by William J. Collins, Katharine L. Shester
Abstract; PDF

Substitution Between Immigrants, Natives, and Skill Groups
by George J. Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger, Gordon H. Hanson
Abstract; PDF

Racial Disparities in Job Finding and Offered Wages

by Roland G. Fryer, Jr, Devah Pager, Joerg L. Spenkuch
Abstract; PDF

Do Stronger Age Discrimination Laws Make Social Security Reforms More Effective?
by David Neumark, Joanne Song
Abstract; PDF

The Geographic Accessibility of Child Care Subsidies and Evidence on the Impact of Subsidy Receipt on Childhood Obesity
by Chris M. Herbst, Erdal Tekin
Abstract; PDF

Evidence on the Efficacy of School-Based Incentives for Healthy Living
by Harold E. Cuffe, William T. Harbaugh, Jason M. Lindo, Giancarlo Musto, Glen R. Waddell
Abstract; PDF

Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity
by Charles J. Courtemanche, Garth Heutel, Patrick McAlvanah
Abstract; PDF

House Prices and Birth Rates: The Impact of the Real Estate Market on the Decision to Have a Baby
by Lisa J. Dettling, Melissa Schettini Kearney
Abstract; PDF

Creating “No Excuses” (Traditional) Public Schools: Preliminary Evidence from an Experiment in Houston
by Roland G. Fryer, Jr
Abstract; PDF

The Wage Effects of Offshoring: Evidence from Danish Matched Worker-Firm Data
by David Hummels, Rasmus Jorgensen, Jakob R. Munch, Chong Xiang
Abstract; PDF

General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Life-Cycle
by Eric A. Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann, Lei Zhang
Abstract; PDF

Fathers and Youth’s Delinquent Behavior
by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, Erdal Tekin
Abstract; PDF

The Disappearing Gender Gap: The Impact of Divorce, Wages, and Preferences on Education Choices and Women’s Work

by Raquel Fernandez, Joyce Cheng Wong
Abstract; PDF

Identification and Inference with Many Invalid Instruments
by Michal Kolesar, Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Edward L. Glaeser, Guido W. Imbens
Abstract; PDF

Agricultural Policy, Migration, and Malaria in the 1930s United States
by Alan Barreca, Price V. Fishback, Shawn Kantor
Abstract; PDF

Teaching Practices and Social Capital
by Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc, Andrei Shleifer
Abstract; PDF

Allocating Time: Individuals’ Technologies, Household Technology, Perfect Substitutes, and Specialization
by Robert A. Pollak
Abstract; PDF

Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion
by Susan Dynarski, Joshua M. Hyman, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
Abstract; PDF

Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession
by Jesse Rothstein
Abstract; PDF

Housing Characteristics: 2010

Housing Characteristics: 2010
By: Christopher Mazur and Ellen Wilson
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

From the October 6 press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released a 2010 Census brief, Housing Characteristics: 2010, that shows the homeownership rate is the second highest on record, behind only 2000, since homeownership data collection began in 1890. However, the rate decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 65.1 percent between 2000 and 2010. The decrease is the largest since the period from 1930 to 1940.

Full report (PDF)

Romantic Attraction and Adolescent Smoking Trajectories

Romantic Attraction and Adolescent Smoking Trajectories
By: Michael Pollard, Joan S. Tucker, Harold D. Green, David P. Kennedy, and Myong-Hyun Go
Source: Addictive Behaviors, 36(12)


Research on sexual orientation and substance use has established that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals are more likely to smoke than heterosexuals. This analysis furthers the examination of smoking behaviors across sexual orientation groups by describing how same- and opposite-sex romantic attraction, and changes in romantic attraction, are associated with distinct six-year developmental trajectories of smoking. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health dataset is used to test our hypotheses. Multinomial logistic regressions predicting smoking trajectory membership as a function of romantic attraction were separately estimated for men and women. Romantic attraction effects were found only for women. The change from self-reported heterosexual attraction to lesbian or bisexual attraction was more predictive of higher smoking trajectories than was a consistent lesbian or bisexual attraction, with potentially important differences between the smoking patterns of these two groups.

Full article (PDF – UM Campus access only)

Economic Insecurity After the Great Recession

Women and Men Living on the Edge: Economic Insecurity After the Great Recession
By Jeff Hays and Heidi Hartmann
Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research

From Executive Summary:

The IWPR/Rockefeller Survey of Economic Security, like several other recent surveys, finds that the effects of the 2007–2009 recession, known as the Great Recession, are both broad and deep. The IWPR/Rockefeller survey shows that more than one and a half years after the recession came to an official end, and the recovery supposedly began, many women and men report that they are still suffering significant hardships. They are having difficulty paying for basics like food (26 million women and 15 million men), health care (46 million women and 34 million men), rent or mortgage (32 million women and 25 million men), transportation (37 million women and 28 million men), utility bills (41 million women and 27 million men), and they have difficulty saving for the future (65 million women and 53 million men). On almost every measure of insecurity and hardship the survey reveals the Great Recession has visited more hardship on women than it has on men.

Download full report

Global Hunger Index 2011

Global Hunger Index 2011. The challenge of hunger: Taming price spikes and excessive food price volatility
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

From the Summary:

This year’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) shows that global hunger has declined since 1990, but not dramatically, and remains at a level characterized as “serious.”

Across regions and countries, GHI scores vary greatly. The highest GHI scores occur in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. South Asia reduced its GHI score substantially between 1990 and 1996, but this fast progress could not be maintained. Though Sub-Saharan Africa made less progress than South Asia after 1990, it has caught up since the turn of the millennium.

Download Full Report (PDF)