Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
Japan is recovering from far more than the tsunami, the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the global financial crisis: It is also attempting to bounce back from two decades of economic lethargy. The country faced a similar period in the 1920s and early 1930s, leading Japan’s then-finance minister to loosen monetary policy, drive down the yen and increase spending. The economy quickly reversed course. Today, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is taking similar steps. This special report examines the implications of Abe’s new economic policies and analyzes two problem areas — finance and higher education.
Source: University of Warwick
From press release:
Government policies that boost the amount of home ownership in a country are likely to inflict severe damage on the labour market, new research from the University of Warwick suggests.
Professor Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick and Professor David (“Danny”) Blanchflower from Dartmouth College examine a century of unemployment and home-ownership data for the states of the USA from 1900 to 2010. Combining those numbers with modern data on millions of randomly sampled Americans, the researchers show there is a powerful link between the housing market and the later health of the economy.
Rises in home-ownership in a US state are followed by substantial increases in the unemployment rate in the state, a fall in the mobility of its workers, a rise in commuting times, and a drop in the rate of new business formation. The authors are careful to check, and they replicate, their findings for different periods of US history. The release of their work coincides with a new European study, done independently, which draws the same conclusions. That research, by Jani-Petri Laamanen at the University of Tampere, follows the effects of housing market deregulation across the regions of Finland.
Professor Oswald said: “We have been collecting data for decades now and it is appropriate to go public on the results. We find that a high rate of home-ownership slowly decimates the labour market. The USA makes a valuable ‘laboratory’ in which to study this issue, because the different states have a language, currency, and culture in common.”
The Warwick research is agnostic about some of the underlying mechanisms, but the authors believe that high home ownership in an area leads to people staying put and commuting further and further to jobs, thereby creating cost and congestion for firms and other workers; to NIMBY (not in my back yard) activities where home owners block new businesses; and to an ossification of the mobility and dynamism of an economy. The authors’ argument is not that an owner is disproportionately likely to lose his or her job.
The authors believe their ideas apply equally well to Europe. Countries like Spain and Greece famously have high home-ownership (80%+) and high unemployment (20%+), while nations like Switzerland, Germany and Austria are notably low on both.
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
Wall Street and Capitol Hill are in different cities, but where dialog on major economic issues is concerned, they might as well be on different continents. Many corporate executives suspect that policy makers do not understand business. And government officials, for their part, often view business people as being short-sighted and more concerned with profits than the pressures of public policy.
To bridge this gap between New York City and Washington, D.C., the Wharton School — located appropriately midway in Philadelphia — recently launched the Wharton Public Policy Initiative. On March 7, the Initiative hosted its first major event, the Wharton Economic Summit, in New York City. "Our goal was to bring together business leaders and policy makers and talk about major sectors of the economy," says Mark Duggan, faculty director of the Wharton Public Policy Initiative. "We wanted to shine a light on a path forward for the U.S. economy that will be important for future growth." Marc Rowan, co-founder of Apollo Global Management and chair of the Summit, adds: "Think tanks are funded by the left or the right. We are an independent party, and we want to show that business can be a resource for policy makers."
In this special report, Knowledge@Wharton covers themes from the Wharton Economic Summit, which opened with a discussion on leadership between GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Michael Useem, director of Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management. Other articles — based on sessions at the summit — deal with health care, innovation, real estate and energy. "We are at an inflection point," says Rowan. "We need a forum for airing important economic issues."
Source: UC Berkeley Labor Center
From press release (PDF):
A new report released today by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education finds that Black union density — the proportion of Black workers that belong to unions — exceeds the non-Black union density. In 2012, 13.1% of Black workers were in unions; for non-Black workers, the figure was 11.0%.
Key findings in this brief include:
- A greater proportion of Black workers were union members compared to the proportion of non-Black workers who were union members. In 2012, 13.1% of all Black workers in the United States UNION DENSITY Proportion of Workforce in Unions All Men Women Black 13.1% 14.6% 11.9% Non-Black 11.0% 11.7% 10.3% Source: CPS BLACK SHARE Proportion of Union/Workforce that is Black All Men Women Union 13.3% 12.1% 14.8% Workforce 11.4% 10.0% 13.0% Source: CPSwere union members; 11.0% of non-Black workers in the United States were union members.
- Black workers were disproportionately in unions relative to their share in the overall workforce. In 2012, 13.3% of all union members in the United States were Black; Blacks comprised 11.4% of the overall workforce in the United States.
- These differences were magnified when limiting the analysis to the ten most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. Among U. S. workers, Blacks were 19% more likely to belong to unions than non-Blacks; however, among workers in the largest metropolitan areas, Blacks were 42% more likely to belong to unions compared to non-Blacks.
Source: University of Toronto
We investigate the determinants of driving speed in large us cities. We ﬁrst estimate city level supply functions for travel in an econometric framework where both the supply and demand for travel are explicit. These estimations allow us to calculate a city level index of driving speed and to rank cities by driving speed. Our investigation of the determinants of speed provide the foundations for a welfare analysis. This analysis suggests that large gains in speed may be possible if slow cities can emulate fast cities and that the deadweight losses from congestion are sizeable.
See: A Need for Speed: Why Building More Roads Won’t Conquer Gridlock (Knowledge@Wharton)
Source: Think Tank and Civil Societies Project, University of Pennsylvania
From press release:
The Global GoTo Think Tank Index is the result of an international survey of over 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists who helped rank more than 6,500 think tanks using a set of 18 criteria developed by the TTCSP. The purpose of the rankings is to help improve the profile and performance of think tanks while highlighting the important work they do for governments and civil societies around the world.
As we move forward, TTCSP will continue to engage think tanks, policy makers and other stakeholders in a peer-to-peer dialogue and knowledge exchange on major policy issues while discussing issues of capacity-building and the organizational and environmental challenges facing think tanks. Our broader objective is to build partnerships across regions and sectors in order to encourage international cooperation. It is our hope that together we can develop a number of global public goods that will lead to collective action on some of the key transnational issues we face today.
Source: University of Nebraska Public Policy Center
This document represents the joint work efforts to date of a work group from the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals in partnership with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center. (©Association of Threat Assessment Professionals; CRC Press, A Taylor Francis Group; University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.) The definition of those terms without a specific source reference is based on the common usage in the field of threat management.
Airline Quality Rating 2013
Source: Purdue University/Wichita State University
The Airline Quality Rating (AQR) was developed and first announced in early 1991 as an objective method for assessing airline quality on combined multiple performance criteria. This current report, the Airline Quality Rating 2013, reflects monthly Airline Quality Rating scores for calendar year 2012. AQR scores for 2013 are based on 15 elements in four major areas that focus on airline performance aspects important to air travel consumers over the calendar year of 2012.
The Airline Quality Rating 2013 is a summary of month-by-month quality ratings for U.S. airlines that are required to report performance by virtue of having at least 1% of domestic scheduled-service passenger revenue during 2012. Using the Airline Quality Rating system of weighted averages and monthly performance data in the areas of on-time arrivals, involuntary denied boardings, mishandled baggage, and a combination of 12 customer complaint categories, airlines’ comparative performance for the calendar year of 2012 is reported. This research monograph contains a brief summary of the AQR methodology, detailed data and charts that track comparative quality for domestic airline operations for the 12-month period of 2012, and industry results. Also, comparative Airline Quality Rating data for 2011 are included, where available, to provide historical perspective regarding performance quality in the industry.
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
Transportation in the 21st century is entering a robust phase that mirrors the early years of the automobile, when gasoline, steam and electric technology vied for market share. Although electric cars led for a while, the internal-combustion engine reached dominance by 1920, with profound effects on American city-based public transportation — which atrophied as car ownership grew.
Today, urban transit is making a comeback, as is the electric car. Congested highways still face emission concerns, but consumers now often have the choice of light and heavy rail. Car sharing, which began as a European phenomenon, has prospered in U.S. urban centers, along with bicycle sharing, vanpooling and other options.
Government plays a major role in shaping efficient urban transportation systems. So far, regulations have proven an effective driver in the early development of new technology. But for ultimate success, environmentally friendly options also must satisfy consumers’ needs and meet economic goals. This special report, produced in coordination with Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), explores how cities are expanding their options for cleaner transportation, and how new technologies, innovations and incentives are revitalizing the sector.
Source: George Washington University, School of Public Health & Health Services
Community health centers (CHCs) provided primary health care to over 20 million patients in 2011, 60% of whom are women and 25% of whom are women of childbearing age. Health centers play a central role in women’s health, because of their mission to furnish a full range of primary and preventive care services, including family planning and birth control for women of reproductive age. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, which provide for historic insurance expansions, broad first-dollar coverage of family planning services, and direct investment in CHCs, it is projected that health center capacity will virtually double by 2019, and accordingly, the role of health centers in the provision of women’s health care services can be expected to grow significantly. This study examines how health centers fulfill their family planning mission.
Dual enrollment programs: a comparative study of high school students’ college academic achievement at differe nt settings
Source: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (Flores)
The ex post facto causal-comparative study examined the academic achievement of high school students who took their dual credit English or mathematics college credit-bearing course in two different environments, namely, the college setting and the high school setting. Due to non-experimental nature of the study, no causal inferences were drawn. The non-probability sample consisted of 428 students who had taken the English dual credit course of which 342 were off-campus and 86 had taken the course on campus. There were 82 students who had taken the mathematics dual credit course of which 25 were off-campus students and 57 had taken the course on campus. The English and mathematics achievement grades were treated as ordinal data and Mann-Whitney U test showed that group differences on the basis of outcome measures were not statistically significant. The results suggest that when each setting adheres to the rigor of dual credit program standards, academic quality is maintained, academic achievement is comparable between students in the two settings, and college level learning is achieved.
Substance Use and Violence: Influence of Alcohol, Illicit Drugs and Anabolic Androgenic Steroids on Violent Crime and Self-directed Violence
Source: Uppsala University
Interpersonal violence and suicide are major health concerns, leading to premature death, extensive human suffering and staggering monetary costs. Although violent behaviour has multiple causes, it is well known that acute substance intake and abuse increase the risks of both interpersonal and self-directed violence. This association is quite well established for alcohol, while a more ambiguous literature exists for other common drugs of abuse. For example, anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), synthetic analogues to the “male” sex hormone testosterone are suggested to elicit violent and aggressive behaviour. Two studies (I and III) in the present thesis addressed the association between AAS use and being suspected or convicted of a violent crime among remand prisoners and in a general population sample, respectively. Further, using the case-crossover design to control for confounders stable within individuals, I also investigated the triggering (short-term risk) effect of alcohol and drugs such as benzodiazepines and AAS, on violent crime (Study II). Finally, a fourth study (IV) based on a large national forensic sample of suicide completers (n=18,894) examined the risk of using a violent, more lethal, suicide method, when under acute influence of alcohol, central stimulants or cannabis.
The results of this thesis suggested that AAS use in itself is not a proximal risk factor for violent crime; the observed risk is probably due to the co-occurrence of abuse of other substances. Alcohol is a strong triggering risk factor for violent crime, constant across males and females as well as individuals with or without behavioral and psychiatric vulnerability. Intake of high doses of benzodiazepines is associated with an increased risk for violent crime. Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of using the lethal suicide method of jumping from a height. I conclude that mapping substance abuse patterns may inform violence risk assessment and treatment planning.
Source: National Commission on Higher Education Attainment
The strength of America’s future depends on the ingenuity sparked by our college graduates. Now more than ever before, our nation needs leaders of higher education to recommit themselves to making college more accessible and, ultimately, more attainable.
In October 2011, the six presidential associations in Washington, DC convened the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment to assure our nation’s higher education preeminence. The commission was unique in scope, bringing together representatives from every sector of higher education, from small liberal arts colleges to community colleges to large research institutions.
By leveraging such diverse perspectives, the commission cultivated an open, honest, and broad dialogue about the collective challenges we face and the roadblocks that lie ahead. The result of these discussions takes the form of this Open Letter to College and University Leaders, a summary of the commission’s core principles and workable recommendations to our colleagues in higher education.
Most important, this letter is a renewed call for collective and immediate action at a pivotal moment for higher education. We must make bold decisions and seize opportunities, we must do it now, and we must do it together. We ask for your help and commitment to ensuring a bright future for higher education.
Class of 2012 Advanced Placement ® Results Announced (PDF)
Source: College Board
Data released today by the College Board as part of The 9th Annual AP Report to the Nation revealed that more high school graduates are participating — and succeeding — in college-level AP courses and exams than ever before. Succeeding in AP is defined as achieving a score of 3 or higher on the five-point AP Exam scale, which is the score needed for credit, advanced placement or both at the majority of colleges and universities.