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July 28, 2009

New Book Acquisitions

Survey Methodology, 2nd Edition
By: Robert Groves, et al. 2009.

This new edition of Survey Methodology continues to provide a state-of-the-science presentation of essential survey methodology topics and techniques. The volume's six world-renowned authors have updated this Second Edition to present newly emerging approaches to survey research and provide more comprehensive coverage of the major considerations in designing and conducting a sample survey.

Key topics in survey methodology are clearly explained in the book's chapters, with coverage including sampling frame evaluation, sample design, development of questionnaires, evaluation of questions, alternative modes of data collection, interviewing, nonresponse, post-collection processing of survey data, and practices for maintaining scientific integrity. Acknowledging the growing advances in research and technology, the Second Edition features:

* Updated explanations of sampling frame issues for mobile telephone and web surveys
*New scientific insight on the relationship between nonresponse rates and nonresponse errors
*Restructured discussion of ethical issues in survey research, emphasizing the growing research results on privacy, informed consent, and confidentiality issues
*The latest research findings on effective questionnaire development techniques
* The addition of 50% more exercises at the end of each chapter, illustrating basic principles of survey design
*An expanded FAQ chapter that addresses the concerns that accompany newly established methods

Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method
By: Don A. Dillman, Jolene D. Smyth, and Leah Melani Christian. 2008.

A complete, start-to-finish guide for every researcher to successfully plan and conduct Internet, mail, and telephone surveys, Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, Third Edition presents a succinct review of survey research methods, equipping you to increase the validity and reliability, as well as response rates, of your surveys. Now thoroughly updated and revised with information about all aspects of survey research grounded -- in the most current research -- the new edition provides practical how-to guidelines on optimally using the Internet, mail, and phone channels to your advantage.

The Psychology of Survey Response
By: Roger Tourangeau, Lance J. Rips and Kenneth Rasinski. 2000.

Drawing on classic and modern research from cognitive psychology, social psychology, and survey methodology, this book examines the psychological roots of survey data, how survey responses are formulated, and how seemingly unimportant features of the survey can affect the answers obtained. Topics include the comprehension of survey questions, the recall of relevant facts and beliefs, estimation and inferential processes people use to answer survey questions, the sources of the apparent instability of public opinion, the difficulties in getting responses into the required format, and distortions introduced into surveys by deliberate misreporting.

Generalized Latent Variable Modeling: Multilevel, Longitudinal, and Structural Equation Models
By: Anders Skrondal and Sophia Rabe-Hesketh. 2004.

This book unifies and extends latent variable models, including multilevel or generalized linear mixed models, longitudinal or panel models, item response or factor models, latent class or finite mixture models, and structural equation models. Following a gentle introduction to latent variable modeling, a wide range of estimation and prediction methods from biostatistics, psychometrics, econometrics, and statistics are explained and contrasted in a simple way. Exciting and realistic applications demonstrate how researchers can use latent variable modeling to solve concrete problems in areas as diverse as medicine, economics, and psychology. Many nonstandard response types are considered including ordinal, nominal, count, and survival data. Joint modeling of mixed responses such as survival and longitudinal data is also illustrated. Numerous displays, figures, and graphs make the text vivid and easy to read.

Cultural Anthropology, 13th Edition
By: Conrad Philip Kottak. 2009.

A recent National Academy of Sciences inductee, Conrad Phillip Kottak offers an up-to-date holistic introduction to cultural anthropology. Kottak emphasizes why anthropology should matter to students and how students can use anthropology to better understand themselves. "Bringing It All Together" essays found on the online learning center demonstrate the integrated and comparative nature of anthropology. New "Through the Eyes of Others" essays offer the perspectives of foreign students and recent graduates who present their own cultures of origin in contrast with contemporary American culture. Thought-provoking questions now begin each chapter to highlight key themes and spark discussions and critical thinking.

Population Ageing and the Well-Being of Older Persons in Thailand: Past Trends, Current Situation and Future Challenges
By: John Knodel and Napaporn Chayovan. 2008.

This report focuses on the rapid demographic change that has taken place in Thailand during the last three to four decades leading to the country becoming the most “aged” in South-East Asia next only to Singapore. This is explained by the significant declines in fertility (from 6.4 to 1.8) and improvements in longevity (from 52 to 71 years) during the second half of the 20th century. These trends can be attributed to effective government and civil society programmes to improve the health of the population and promote voluntary family planning. This led to population ageing that poses new challenges to families, communities as well as to nations as a whole.

Dissecting the social: on the principles of analytical sociology
By: Peter Hedström. 2005.

Over the past few decades serious reservations have been expressed about the explanatory power of sociological theory and research. In this important book leading sociologist Peter Hedström outlines the foundations of an analytically oriented sociology that seeks to address this criticism. Building on his earlier influential contributions to contemporary debates, Professor Hedström argues for a systematic development of sociological theory so that it has the explanatory power and precision to inform sociological research and understanding. He discusses various mechanisms of action and interaction and shows how strong links can be forged between the micro and the macro, and between theory and empirical research. Combining new approaches to theory and methodology and using extensive examples to illustrate how they might be applied, this clear, concise and original book will appeal to a broad range of social scientists.

Applied regression analysis and generalized linear models
By: John Fox. 2008.

Combining a modern, data-analytic perspective with a focus on applications in the social sciences, the Second Edition of Applied Regression Analysis and Generalized Linear Models provides in-depth coverage of regression analysis, generalized linear models, and closely related methods. Although the text is largely accessible to readers with a modest background in statistics and mathematics, author John Fox also presents more advanced material throughout the book.

Key Updates to the Second Edition:
• Provides greatly enhanced coverage of generalized linear models, with an emphasis on models for categorical and count data
• Offers new chapters on missing data in regression models and on methods of model selection
• Includes expanded treatment of robust regression, time-series regression, nonlinear regression, and nonparametric regression
• Incorporates new examples using larger data sets
• Includes an extensive Web site at http://www.sagepub.com/fox that presents appendixes, data sets used in the book and for data-analytic exercises, and the data-analytic exercises themselves

Posted by ljridley at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

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

Caught in the Trap? The Disincentive Effect of Social Assistance
Olivier Bargain, Karina Doorley
Abstract; PDF

The End of Destitution
Ian Gazeley, Andrew T. Newell
Abstract; PDF

Gender and Competition
Alison L. Booth
Abstract; PDF

Neighborhood Dynamics and the Housing Price Effects of Spatially Targeted Economic Development Policy
Douglas J. Krupka, Douglas S. Noonan
Abstract; PDF

The Effect of Joint Custody on Marriage and Divorce
Martin Halla
Abstract; PDF

Symbolic Values, Value Formation and Interpersonal Relations
Giacomo Corneo
Abstract; PDF

Posted by ljridley at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2009

New Working Papers from the NBER

Educational Choices, Subjective Expectations, and Credit Constraints
By: Orazio Attanasio, Katja Kaufmann
Abstract; PDF

Changing the Price of Marriage: Evidence from Blood Test Requirements
By: Kasey S. Buckles, Melanie E. Guldi, Joseph Price
Abstract; PDF

Does Health Insurance Make You Fat?
By: Jay Bhattacharya, Kate Bundorf, Noemi Pace, Neeraj Sood
Abstract; PDF

Anti-Lemons: School Reputation and Educational Quality
By: W. Bentley MacLeod, Miguel Urquiola
Abstract; PDF

Public Policy, Health Insurance and the Transition to Adulthood
By: Phillip B. Levine, Robin McKnight, Samantha Heep
Abstract; PDF

Cumulative Effects of Job Characteristics on Health
By: Jason M. Fletcher, Jody L. Sindelar, Shintaro Yamaguchi
Abstract; PDF

Job Loss: Eat, drink and try to be merry?
By: Partha Deb, William T. Gallo, Padmaja Ayyagari, Jason M. Fletcher, Jody L. Sindelar
Abstract; PDF

Tobacco Use, Taxation and Self Control in Adolescence
By: Jason M. Fletcher, Partha Deb, Jody L. Sindelar
Abstract; PDF

Disease and Development Revisited
By: David E. Bloom, David Canning, Günther Fink
Abstract; PDF

Identifying Heterogeneity in Economic Choice Models
By: Jeremy T. Fox, Amit Gandhi
Abstract; PDF

Using Genetic Lotteries within Families to Examine the Causal Impact of Poor Health on Academic Achievement
By: Jason M. Fletcher, Steven F. Lehrer
Abstract; PDF

Inequality and Specialization: The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs in the United States
By: David H. Autor, David Dorn
Abstract; PDF

The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization: Evidence from an Historical Experiment
By: Nathan Nunn, Nancy Qian
Abstract; PDF

Posted by ljridley at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food—Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress

Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food—Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress
By: Michele Ver Ploeg, Vince Breneman, Tracey Farrigan, Karen Hamrick, David Hopkins, Phil Kaufman, Biing-Hwan Lin, Mark Nord, Travis Smith, Ryan Williams, Kelly Kinnison, Carol Olander, Anita Singh, and Elizabeth Tuckermanty
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

This report fills a request for a study of food deserts—areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food—from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The report summarizes findings of a national-level assessment of the extent and characteristics of food deserts, analysis of the consequences of food deserts, lessons learned from related Federal programs, and a discussion of policy options for alleviating the effects of food deserts. Overall, findings show that a small percentage of consumers are constrained in their ability to access affordable nutritious food because they live far from a supermarket or large grocery store and do not have easy access to transportation.

Table of contents
Full report (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

Musings on privacy issues in health research involving disaggregate geographic data about individuals

Musings on privacy issues in health research involving disaggregate geographic data about individuals (Editorial)
By: Maged N Kamel Boulos, Andrew J Curtis, and Philip AbdelMalik
Source: International Journal of Health Geographics

This paper offers a state-of-the-art overview of the intertwined privacy, confidentiality, and security issues that are commonly encountered in health research involving disaggregate geographic data about individuals. Key definitions are provided, along with some examples of actual and potential security and confidentiality breaches and related incidents that captured mainstream media and public interest in recent months and years. The paper then goes on to present a brief survey of the research literature on location privacy/confidentiality concerns and on privacy-preserving solutions in conventional health research and beyond, touching on the emerging privacy issues associated with online consumer geoinformatics and location-based services. The ‘missing ring’ (in many treatments of the topic) of data security is also discussed. Personal information and privacy legislations in two countries, Canada and the UK, are covered, as well as some examples of recent research projects and events about the subject. Select highlights from a June 2009 URISA (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) workshop entitled ‘Protecting Privacy and Confidentiality of Geographic Data in Health Research’ are then presented. The paper concludes by briefly charting the complexity of the domain and the many challenges associated with it, and proposing a novel, ‘one stop shop’ case-based reasoning framework to streamline the provision of clear and individualised guidance for the design and approval of new research projects (involving geographical identifiers about individuals), including crisp recommendations on which specific privacy-preserving solutions and approaches would be suitable in each case.

Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

Geospatial Information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Current Issues and Future Challenges

Geospatial Information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Current Issues and Future Challenges
By: Peter Folger
Source: Congressional Research Service (via OpenCRS)

Geospatial information is data referenced to a place—a set of geographic coordinates—which can often be gathered, manipulated, and displayed in real time. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information. In recent years consumer demand has skyrocketed for geospatial information and for tools like GIS to manipulate and display geospatial information.

Challenges to coordinating how geospatial data are acquired and used—collecting duplicative data sets, for example—at the local, state, and federal levels, in collaboration with the private sector, are not yet resolved.

The federal government has recognized the need to organize and coordinate the collection and management of geospatial data since at least 1990, when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) revised Circular A-16 to establish the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and to promote the coordinated use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data nationwide. OMB Circular A-16 also called for development of a national digital spatial information resource to enable the sharing and transfer of spatial data between users and producers, linked by criteria and standards. Executive Order 12906, issued in 1994, strengthened and enhanced Circular A-16, and specified that FGDC shall coordinate development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).

Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

Unprecedented Global Aging Examined in New Census Bureau Report

Unprecedented Global Aging Examined in New Census Bureau Report
By: Kevin Kinsella and Wan He
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, commissioned by the National Institute on Aging

The average age of the world’s population is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The number of people worldwide 65 and older is estimated at 506 million as of midyear 2008; by 2040, that number will hit 1.3 billion. Thus, in just over 30 years, the proportion of older people will double from 7 percent to 14 percent of the total world population, according to a new report, An Aging World: 2008 [PDF].

The report examines the demographic and socioeconomic trends accompanying this phenomenon. It was commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health and produced by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The world’s population of people over age 65 is growing rapidly, and with it will come a number of challenges and opportunities,” said NIA Director Dr. Richard J. Hodes. “NIA and our partners at the Census Bureau are committed to providing the best data possible so that we can better understand the course of population aging and its implications.”

An Aging World: 2008 examines nine international population trends identified in 2007 by the NIA and the U.S. Department of State (“Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective”). The report also contains detailed information on life expectancy, health, disability, gender balance, marital status, living arrangements, education and literacy, labor force participation and retirement and pensions among older people around the world.

An Aging World: 2008 (PDF)

Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

Adolescent Women’s Contraceptive Use Is Less Consistent Than That of Adult Women, With a Much Higher Failure Rate

Adolescent Women’s Contraceptive Use Is Less Consistent Than That of Adult Women, With a Much Higher Failure Rate: New Analysis Compares Evidence from More Than 40 Countries
By: Ann K. Blanc, Amy O. Tsui, Trevor N. Croft and Jamie L. Trevit
Source: International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (via Guttmacher Institute)

CONTEXT: The reproductive choices made by young women and men have an enormous impact on their health, schooling, employment prospects and overall transition to adulthood. As the largest cohort of young people in history enter their childbearing years, their reproductive behavior will determine the growth and size of the world's population for decades to come.

METHODS: Demographic and Health Survey data from more than 40 countries were used to examine the proportions of 15–19-year-old women who are currently married or are unmarried but sexually active; their rates of contraceptive adoption, current use, discontinuation, method switching and contraceptive failure; trends in these indicators; and comparisons with older women.

RESULTS: In many countries, the proportion of adolescent women using contraceptives increased substantially over the last two decades; prevalence among adolescents increased faster than among older women. Greater proportions of adolescents than of older women discontinued using a contraceptive method within a year or experienced contraceptive failure.

CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent contraceptive use is growing, and compared with adult use, is characterized by shorter periods of consistent use with more contraceptive failure and more stopping for other reasons. Use through the reproductive years is likely to grow, fueled further by growth in the numbers of young people. An expanded demand for contraceptive supplies, services and information can be expected to challenge the preparedness, capacity and resources of existing family planning programs and providers.

Full text (HTML)
Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2009

Remittance Flows to Developing Countries to Decline By 7.3% in 2009, Predicts World Bank

Remittance Flows to Developing Countries to Decline By 7.3% in 2009, Predicts World Bank
By: Dilip Ratha, Sanket Mohapatra, and Ani Silwal
Source: World Bank

Remittance flows to developing countries are expected to be $304 billion in 2009, down from an estimated $328 billion in 2008, said the World Bank today, releasing a new migration and remittances brief to coincide with an International Diaspora and Development Conference running from July 13-14.

The predicted decline in remittances by -7.3% this year is far smaller than that for private flows to developing countries. According to the World Bank, remittances are relatively resilient because, while new migration flows have declined, the number of migrants living overseas has been relatively unaffected by the crisis.

Full text (PDF)
Data (Excel)
More information on Migration and Remittances

Posted by ljridley at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

Prevalence of Obesity Among Black, White, and Hispanic Adults

Differences in Prevalence of Obesity Among Black, White, and Hispanic Adults --- United States, 2006--2008
By: L Pan, B Sherry, AS Hunter, GE Rutledge, WH Dietz, and LS Balluz
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly

An overarching goal of Healthy People 2010 is to eliminate health disparities among racial/ethnic populations. To assess differences in prevalence of obesity among non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics, CDC analyzed data from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys conducted during 2006--2008. Overall, for the 3-year period, 25.6% of non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics were obese. Non-Hispanic blacks (35.7%) had 51% greater prevalence of obesity, and Hispanics (28.7%) had 21% greater prevalence, when compared with non-Hispanic whites (23.7%). This pattern was consistent across most U.S. states. However, state prevalences varied substantially, ranging from 23.0% (New Hampshire) to 45.1% (Maine) for non-Hispanic blacks, from 21.0% (Maryland) to 36.7% (Tennessee) for Hispanics, and from 9.0% (District of Columbia [DC]) to 30.2% (West Virginia) for non-Hispanic whites. Given the overall high prevalence of obesity and the significant differences among non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics, effective policies and environmental strategies that promote healthy eating and physical activity are needed for all populations and geographic areas, but particularly for those populations and areas disproportionally affected by obesity.

Full text (HTML)
Full text of journal issue, 58(27) (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2009

Intergenerational social mobility in European OECD countries

Intergenerational social mobility in European OECD countries
By: Orsetta Causa, Sophie Dantan and Åsa Johansson
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Economics Department

This paper breaks new ground by providing comparable estimates of intergenerational wage and education persistence across 14 European OECD countries based on a new micro data from Eurostat. A further novelty is that it examines the potential role of public policies and labour and product market institutions in explaining observed differences in intergenerational wage mobility across countries. The empirical estimates show that intergenerational wage persistence is relatively high in southern European countries, as well as in the United Kingdom. Likewise, intergenerational persistence in education is relatively high both in southern European countries and in Luxembourg and Ireland. By contrast, both persistence in wages and education tends to be lower in Nordic countries. In addition, empirical results show that education is one important driver of intergenerational wage persistence across European countries. There is a positive crosscountry correlation between intergenerational wage mobility and redistributive policies, as well as a positive correlation between wage-setting institutions that compress the wage distribution and mobility.

Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)

Truth in Giving: Experimental Evidence on the Welfare Effects of Informed Giving to the Poor

Truth in Giving: Experimental Evidence on the Welfare Effects of Informed Giving to the Poor
By: Christina Fong and Felix Oberholzer-Gee
Source: Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers


It is often difficult for donors to predict the value of charitable giving because they know little about the persons who receive their help. This concern is particularly acute when making contributions to organizations that serve heterogeneous populations. While we have considerable evidence that donors are more generous if they know their assistance benefits a preferred group, we know little about the demand for such information. To start closing this gap, we study transfers of income to real-world poor people in the context of dictator games. Our dictators can purchase signals about why the recipients are poor. We find that a third of the dictators are willing to pay a dollar to learn more about their recipient. Dictators who devote resources to acquiring information are individuals whose giving is particularly responsive to recipient type. They use the information mainly to withhold resources from "undeserving" types, leading to a drastic decline in aggregate transfers. With endogenous information about recipients, we find that all types of poor subjects are worse off. Our results suggest that the effects of truth-in-giving policies are highly responsive to recipient heterogeneity and biased against more generous giving.

Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

A spatial evaluation of socio demographics surrounding National Priorities List sites in Florida using a distance-based approach

A spatial evaluation of socio demographics surrounding National Priorities List sites in Florida using a distance-based approach
By: Greg Kearney and Gebre-Egziabher Kiros
Source: International Journal of Health Geographics


BACKGROUND: Over the last two decades, various spatial techniques have been demonstrated using geographical information systems (GIS) to adequately estimate and characterize inequities of minority populations living near environmentally hazardous facilities. However, these methods have produced mixed results. In this study, we use recently developed variations of the "distance based" approach to spatially evaluate and compare demographic and socioeconomic disparities surrounding the worst hazardous waste sites in Florida.

METHODS: We used data from the 2000 US Census Bureau and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to identify selected socio and economic variables within one (1) mile of 71 National Priorities List (NPL) or Superfund sites in Florida. ArcMap (ESRI, v. 9.2) was used to map the centroid locations of each of the NPL sites as well as identify and estimate the number of host and non-host tracts. The unit of analysis in this study was at the census tract level. Logistic regression (SAS v9.1.3) was used to determine if race/ethnicity and socioeconomic indicators are significant predictors of the location of NPL sites.

RESULTS: There were significant differences in race/ethnicity composition and socio-economic factors between NPL host census tracts and non-host census tracts in Florida. The percentages of Blacks (OR = 5.7, p < 0.001), the percentage of Hispanic/Latino (OR = 5.84, p < 0.001), and percent employed in blue collar occupations (OR = 2.7, p < 0.01) were significant predictors of location of NPL facilities. CONCLUSION: The recently developed distance-based method supports previous studies and suggests that race and ethnicity play substantial roles in where hazardous facilities are located in Florida. Recommendations include using distance-based methods to evaluate socio and demographic characteristics surrounding other less known environmental hazardous facilities, such as landfills, or Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites.

Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009
Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2009 is a compendium of indicators illustrating both the promises and the difficulties confronting our Nation’s young people. The report presents 40 key indicators on important aspects of children’s lives. These indicators are drawn from our most reliable statistics, easily understood by broad audiences, objectively based on substantial research, balanced so that no single area of children’s lives dominates the report, measured regularly so that they can be updated to show trends over time, and representative of large segments of the population rather than one particular group.

This year’s report continues to present key indicators grouped by the seven sections identified in the restructured 10th anniversary report (2007): 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 ongoing efforts to improve its quality and comprehensiveness: updates to data sources and substantive expansions or clarifications have been made for several indicators; a regular indicator on adolescent depression has been added, addressing an ongoing data gap on the mental heath of children; and a special feature, Children with Special Health Care Needs, has been included.

Foreword and Table of Contents
Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2009

New Working Papers from the NBER

Modern Medicine and the 20th Century Decline in Mortality: Evidence on the Impact of Sulfa Drugs
Seema Jayachandran, Adriana Lleras-Muney, Kimberly V. Smith
Abstract; PDF

Life at the top: the benefits of height
Angus S. Deaton, Raksha Arora
Abstract; PDF

Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight
Dana Goldman, Darius Lakdawalla, Yuhui Zheng
Abstract; PDF

Abortion and Crime: A Review
Theodore J. Joyce
Abstract; PDF

Crime and Body Weight in the Nineteenth Century: Was there a Relationship between Brawn, Employment Opportunities and Crime?
Howard Bodenhorn, Gregory Price
Abstract; PDF

Obesity, Self-esteem and Wages
Naci H. Mocan, Erdal Tekin
Abstract; PDF

Posted by ljridley at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

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

Inequality and Specialization: The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs in the United States
David Autor, David Dorn
Abstract; PDF

Flexible Labor Supply Models
(forthcoming in: Economics Letters )
Olivier Bargain
Abstract; PDF

The Informal Sector Wage Gap: New Evidence Using Quantile Estimations on Panel Data
Olivier Bargain, Prudence Kwenda
Abstract; PDF

Circular Migration or Permanent Return: What Determines Different Forms of Migration?
Florin Vadean, Matloob Piracha
Abstract; PDF

Linking Individuals and Societies
(forthcoming in: Journal of Mathematical Sociology )
Guillermina Jasso
Abstract; PDF

Posted by ljridley at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

Obesity Among U.S. Adults Continues to Rise

Obesity Among U.S. Adults Continues to Rise
Source: Centers for Disease Control

The proportion of U.S. adults who are obese increased to 26.1 percent in 2008 compared to 25.6 percent in 2007. The data come from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based phone survey that collects health information from adults aged 18 and over.

In six states – Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia – adult obesity prevalence was 30 percent or more. Thirty-two states, including those six, had obesity prevalence of 25 percent or more. Only one state, Colorado, had a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent. But no state showed a significant decrease in obesity prevalence from 2007 to 2008.

More than 400,000 U.S. adults were surveyed in the 2008 BRFSS, which is the world’s largest telephone health survey. To assess obesity prevalence, survey respondents are asked to provide their height and weight, which is used to calculate their body mass index (BMI). A person is considered obese if they have a BMI of 30 or above.

“Obesity is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. As obesity increases among all age groups, we are seeing chronic diseases in much younger adults compared to a few decades ago,” said Dr. William Dietz, director, CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.
“For example, we now see young adults who suffer from heart disease risk factors and other conditions such as type 2 diabetes that were unheard of in the past.”

The 2008 BRFSS obesity data indicate that none of the 50 states or the District of Columbia has achieved the Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing obesity prevalence to 15 percent or less.

“The latest BRFSS survey data show that the obesity problem in this country is getting worse,” said Liping Pan, CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the 2008 BRFSS obesity map analysis. “If this trend continues we will likely see increases in health care costs for obesity related diseases.”

For more information on obesity trends, including an animated map, visit www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html.

Posted by ljridley at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

Medicaid Funding and Abortion

Restrictions on Medicaid Funding for Abortions: A Literature Review
By: Stanley K. Henshaw, Theodore J. Joyce, Amanda Dennis, Lawrence B. Finer and Kelly Blanchard
Source: Guttmacher Institute

Approximately one-fourth of women who would obtain a Medicaid-funded abortion if given the option are instead forced to carry their pregnancy to term when state laws restrict Medicaid funding for abortion, because they lack the money to pay for the procedure themselves. According to a new report, “Restrictions on Medicaid Funding for Abortions: A Literature Review,” by the Guttmacher Institute and Ibis Reproductive Health, Medicaid funding restrictions also delay some women’s abortion by 2–3 weeks, primarily because of difficulties women encounter in raising funds to pay for the procedure.

Full report (PDF)

For more information on Medicaid funding for abortion, click here: State Policies in Brief: State Funding of Abortion Under Medicaid.

Posted by ljridley at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

Selection, Wear, and Tear

Selection, Wear, and Tear: The Health of Hispanics and Hispanic Immigrants in the United States
By: Ricardo Basurto-Davila
Source: RAND Corporation, PRGS Dissertations

Among the factors that complicate the study of Hispanic health are data artifacts and cultural differences that originate from different degrees of assimilation. This dissertation provides a better understanding of the issues surrounding the health of Hispanics in general, and of Hispanic immigrants in particular. The author examines differences in health status between non-Hispanic Whites, Mexican Americans, and Mexican immigrants, and proposes an index of biological risk. He finds indirect evidence supporting the “healthy migrant” hypothesis, which states that emigrants are positively selected in their health status from the population of their countries of origin. Two hypotheses explaining the decline in immigrant health are consistent with the author's results: (1) the “life-course” hypothesis, which states that the deterioration of immigrant health status is a result of the cumulative negative effect of the adversities associated with the process of migration, and (2) the “regression to the mean” hypothesis, which maintains that immigrants self-select on health at the time of migration, but over time their health converges to the average health levels in their home countries.

Full Document (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2009

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

Forecasting with Spatial Panel Data
Badi H. Baltagi, Georges Bresson, Alain Pirotte
Abstract; PDF

Large Demographic Shocks and Small Changes in the Marriage Market
Loren Brandt, Aloysius Siow, Carl Vogel
Abstract; PDF

The Duration of Paid Parental Leave and Children's Scholastic Performance
Qian Liu, Oskar Nordström Skans
Abstract; PDF

How Does Retirement Affect Health?
Stefanie Behncke
Abstract; PDF

Child Care Subsidies and Childhood Obesity
Chris M. Herbst, Erdal Tekin
Abstract; PDF

Age at Migration and Social Integration
Olof Aslund, Anders Böhlmark, Oskar Nordström Skans
Abstract; PDF

Immigration, Family Responsibilities and the Labor Supply of Skilled Native Women
Lídia Farré, Libertad Gonzalez, Francesc Ortega
Abstract; PDF

Causes and Consequences of a Father's Child Leave: Evidence from a Reform of Leave Schemes
Helena Skyt Nielsen
Abstract; PDF
Cognition and Economic Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Survey
John J. McArdle, James P. Smith, Robert Willis
Abstract; PDF

Birth Weight and the Dynamics of Early Cognitive and Behavioural Development
Emilia Del Bono, John Ermisch
Abstract; PDF

Immigration to the Land of Redistribution
Tito Boeri
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes
James P. Smith
Abstract; PDF

Work and Money: Payoffs by Ethnic Identity and Gender
Amelie F. Constant, Klaus F. Zimmermann
Abstract; PDF

Posted by ljridley at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

Census Bureau Reports World’s Older Population Projected to Triple by 2050

Census Bureau Reports World’s Older Population Projected to Triple by 2050

The world’s 65-and-older population is projected to triple by midcentury, from 516 million in 2009 to 1.53 billion in 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In contrast, the population under 15 is expected to increase by only 6 percent during the same period, from 1.83 billion to 1.93 billion.

In the United States, the population 65 and older will more than double by 2050, rising from 39 million today to 89 million. While children are projected to still outnumber the older population worldwide in 2050, the under 15 population in the United States is expected to fall below the older population by that date, increasing from 62 million today to 85 million.

These figures come from the world population estimates and projections released today through the Census Bureau’s International Data Base. This latest update includes projections by age, including people 100 and older, for 227 countries and areas.

Less than 8 percent of the world’s population is 65 and older. By 2030, the world’s population 65 and older is expected to reach 12 percent, and by 2050, that share is expected to grow to 16 percent.

“This shift in the age structure of the world’s population poses challenges to society, families, businesses, health care providers and policymakers to meet the needs of aging individuals,” said Wan He, demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division.

From 2009 to 2050, the world’s 85 and older population is projected to increase more than fivefold, from 40 million to 219 million. Because women generally live longer than men, they account for slightly more than half of the older population and represent nearly two-thirds of the 85 and older population.

Europe likely will continue to be the oldest region in the world: by 2050, 29 percent of its total population is projected to be 65 and older. On the other hand, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to remain the youngest region as a result of relatively higher fertility and, in some nations, the impact of HIV/AIDS. Only 5 percent of Africa’s population is projected to be 65 and older in 2050.

Countries experiencing relatively rapid declines in fertility combined with longer life spans will face increasingly older populations. These countries will see the highest growth rates in their older populations over the next 40 years.

There are four countries with 20 percent or more of their population 65 and older: Germany, Italy, Japan and Monaco. By 2030, 55 countries are expected to have at least one-in-five of their total population in this age category; by 2050, the number of countries could rise to more than 100.

Although China and India are the world’s most populous countries, their older populations do not represent large percentages of their total populations today. However, these countries do have the largest number of older people — 109 million and 62 million, respectively. Both countries are projected to undergo more rapid aging, and by 2050, will have about 350 million and 240 million people 65 and older, respectively.

The International Data Base offers a variety of demographic indicators for countries and areas of the world with populations of 5,000 or more. It provides information on population size and growth, age and sex composition, mortality, fertility and net migration.

Posted by ljridley at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

American Time Use Survey — 2008 Results

American Time Use Survey — 2008 Results
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor released 2008 results from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). This annual release of ATUS data focuses on the average amount of time per day in 2008 that individuals worked, did household activities, cared for household children, participated in educational activities, and engaged in leisure and sports activities. It also includes measures of the average time per day spent providing childcare–both as a primary (or main) activity and while doing other things–for the combined years 2004-08. Except for childcare, activities done simultaneously with primary activities were not collected. For a further description of ATUS data and methodology, see the Technical Note.

BLS also released ten 2008 ATUS microdata files for users who wish to do their own tabulations and analyses. In accordance with BLS and Census Bureau policies that protect survey respondents' privacy, identifying information was removed from the microdata files and some responses have been edited. The 2008 microdata files are available on the BLS Web site at http://www.bls.gov/tus/data.htm.

Full news release
Table of Contents

Posted by ljridley at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

Who Marries and When? Age at First Marriage in the United States: 2002

Who Marries and When? Age at First Marriage in the United States: 2002
By: Paula Goodwin, Brittany McGill, and Anjani Chandra
Source: NCHS Data Brief

Key findings:
Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth

+ Over 70% of men and women aged 25-44 have ever been married: 71% of men and 79% of women.

+ Non-Hispanic black men and women aged 25-44 have lower percentages who have ever been married than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic persons of the same age.

+ The probability that men will marry by age 40 is 81%; for women, it is 86%.

+A larger percentage of women than men aged 35-44 have married by age 35.

+ Smaller percentages of non-Hispanic black women aged 35-44 have married by age 35 than non-Hispanic white or Hispanic women of the same age range.

+ Smaller percentages of non-Hispanic black men aged 35-44 who are below the poverty line have been married by age 35 than non-Hispanic black men of the same age who are at least 200% above poverty.

Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 09:33 AM | Comments (0)

No Crystal Ball Needed: Teens Are Heading in the Wrong Direction

Changing Behavioral Risk for Pregnancy among High School Students in the United States, 1991-2007
By: John S. Santelli, Mark Orr, Laura D. Lindberg, and Daniela C. Diaz
Source: Guttmacher Institute

Between 2003 and 2007, the progress made in the 1990s and early 2000s in improving teen contraceptive use and reducing teen pregnancy and childbearing stalled, and may even have reversed among certain groups of teens, according to “Changing Behavior Risk for Pregnancy Among High School Students in the United States, 1991–2007,” by John S. Santelli et al. Between 1991 and 2003, teens’ condom use increased while their use of no contraceptive method declined, leading to a decreased risk of pregnancy and to declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing. These new findings paint a very different picture since 2003.

Using data from young women in grades 9–12 who participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the authors estimated teens’ risk of becoming pregnant based on their sexual activity, the contraceptive method they used and the effectiveness of that method in preventing pregnancy. The authors found no change in teen sexual activity between 2003 and 2007, but did find a small decline in contraceptive use.

Press Release
Full Text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)