The Effect of Renewable Energy Development on Carbon Emission Reduction: An Empirical Analysis for the EU-15 Countries
The Effect of Renewable Energy Development on Carbon Emission Reduction: An Empirical Analysis for the EU-15 Countries (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor
The increased concerns about climate change have made renewable energy sources an important topic of research. Several scholars have applied different methodologies to examine the relationships between energy consumption and economic growth of individual and groups of countries and to analyze the environmental effects of energy policies. Previous studies have analyzed carbon emission savings, using renewable energy usage as an individual source or in combination with traditional sources of energy (e.g., hybrid plants) in connection with lifecycle analysis methods. It is shown that after a certain period, economic growth leads to the promotion of environmental quality. However, econometric modelling critiques have opposed the results of these studies. One reason is that the effectiveness of governance-related parameters has previously been neglected. In this research, we analyze the impact of renewable energy development on carbon emission reduction. We estimate a model to evaluate the effectiveness of renewable energy development, technological innovation, and market regulations in carbon emission reduction. The empirical results are based on a panel data estimation using the EU-15 countries data observed from 1995 to 2010. The elasticities of CO2 emissions are estimated, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of each parameter. The findings show that the effects of a negative climate change could be mitigated by governance-related parameters instead of economic development.
The Impact of Aging Baby Boomers on Labor Force Participation
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
The brief’s key findings are:
- Older people have lower labor force participation rates than younger adults, so aging baby boomers are pushing down overall participation.
- This aging effect accounts for more than 40 percent of the decline since the onset of the Great Recession.
- An aging population also lowers unemployment slightly because older individuals who remain in the labor force are more likely to have a job.
- The aging trend will continue for the rest of the decade and will show up in monthly labor force statistics.
U.S. Catholics View Pope Francis as a Change for the Better
Source: Pew Religion & Public Life Project
One year into his pontificate, Pope Francis remains immensely popular among American Catholics and is widely seen as a force for positive change within the Roman Catholic Church. More than eight-in-ten U.S. Catholics say they have a favorable view of the pontiff, including half who view him very favorably. The percentage of Catholics who view Francis “very favorably” now rivals the number who felt equally positive about Pope John Paul II in the 1980s and 1990s, though Francis’ overall favorability rating remains a few points shy of that of the long-serving Polish pope.
But despite the pope’s popularity and the widespread perception that he is a change for the better, it is less clear whether there has been a so-called “Francis effect,” a discernible change in the way American Catholics approach their faith. There has been no measurable rise in the percentage of Americans who identify as Catholic. Nor has there been a statistically significant change in how often Catholics say they go to Mass. And the survey finds no evidence that larger numbers of Catholics are either going to confession or volunteering in their churches or communities.
Age and Scientific Genius
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research
Great scientific output typically peaks in middle age. A classic literature has emphasized comparisons across fields in the age of peak performance. More recent work highlights large underlying variation in age and creativity patterns, where the average age of great scientific contributions has risen substantially since the early 20th Century and some scientists make pioneering contributions much earlier or later in their life-cycle than others. We review these literatures and show how the nexus between age and great scientific insight can inform the nature of creativity, the mechanisms of scientific progress, and the design of institutions that support scientists, while providing further insights about the implications of aging populations, education policies, and economic growth.
A Comparison of Growth Percentile and Value-Added Models of Teacher Performance (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor
School districts and state departments of education frequently must choose between a variety of methods to estimating teacher quality. This paper examines under what circumstances the decision between estimators of teacher quality is important. We examine estimates derived from growth percentile measures and estimates derived from commonly used value-added estimators. Using simulated data, we examine how well the estimators can rank teachers and avoid misclassification errors under a variety of assignment scenarios of teachers to students. We find that growth percentile measures perform worse than value-added measures that control for prior year student test scores and control for teacher fixed effects when assignment of students to teachers is nonrandom. In addition, using actual data from a large diverse anonymous state, we find evidence that growth percentile measures are less correlated with value-added measures with teacher fixed effects when there is evidence of nonrandom grouping of students in schools. This evidence suggests that the choice between estimators is most consequential under nonrandom assignment of teachers to students, and that value-added measures controlling for teacher fixed effects may be better suited to estimating teacher quality in this case.
The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in the world excluding China, 2012
Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
The SIPRI Top 100 lists the world’s 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies (excluding Chinese companies)[a], ranked by their arms sales in 2012. The list is based on the comprehensive SIPRI Arms Industry Database, which contains financial and employment data on the world’s major arms-producing and military services companies.
The Divorce Revolution and Generalized Trust: Evidence from the United States 1973-2010 (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor
This paper examines the effect of exposure to a culture of easier divorce as a minor on generalized trust using the General Social Survey from 1973-2010. The easier divorce culture is defined as the introduction of no-fault including unilateral divorce reforms across the US. According to the results, the divorce revolution seems to have had some effect on trust levels across the US. While there are no discernible effects for the whole sample of men, there are statistically significant effects for women with an additional year of exposure being associated with a 4 percentage point lower generalized trust in the states with easy divorce culture compared to states with fault based divorce culture. An analysis by sub-group of women indicates that married and divorced/separated women have significantly lower levels of trust associated with exposure to easy divorce culture as a child. The findings are in agreement with the predictions of previous literature regarding no-fault divorce reforms reducing the security offered by marriage, in particular for women.
Playbook for Change? States Reconsider Mandatory Sentences
Source: Vera Institute of Justice
Since 2000, at least 29 states have taken steps to roll back mandatory sentences, with 32 bills passed in just the last five years. Most legislative activity has focused on adjusting penalties for nonviolent drug offenses through the use of one or a combination of the following reform approaches: 1) expanding judicial discretion through the creation of so-called “safety value” provisions, 2) limiting automatic sentence enhancements, and 3) repealing or revising mandatory minimum sentences. In this policy report, Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections summarizes state-level mandatory sentencing reforms since 2000, raises questions about their impact, and offers recommendations to jurisdictions considering similar efforts.
For Millennials, a bachelor’s degree continues to pay off, but a master’s earns even more
Source: Pew Research Center
Millennials are the nation’s most educated generation in history in terms of finishing college. But despite the stereotype that today’s recent college graduates are largely underemployed, the data show that this generation of college grads earns more than ones that came before it.
In 2009 (the latest year available) the median monthly earnings of young adults with a bachelor’s degree and no further education was $3,836, a 13% increase from 1984 ($3,399), according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).
The economic payoffs for obtaining a bachelor’s degree vary widely by major field of study. It is certainly possible that earnings have declined since the early 1980s for specific major fields of study. But given what young adults choose to study, the typical or median young adult with a bachelor’s degree earns more than they used to.
The data also show that earnings of young workers with advanced degrees have grown even more than the earnings of those with bachelor’s degrees. The median monthly earnings of young adults with master’s degrees rose 23% from 1984 ($3,875) to 2009 ($4,772). Median earnings for those with professional and doctorate degrees is up even more –34%.
Promising Agricultural Technologies for Feeding the World’s Poorest
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute
Increased demand for food due to population and income growth and the impacts of climate change on agriculture will ratchet up the pressure for increased and more sustainable agricultural production to feed the planet. A new report by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) measures the impacts of agricultural innovation on farm productivity, prices, hunger, and trade flows as we approach 2050 and identifies practices which could significantly benefit developing nations.
Union Organizing Decisions in a Deteriorating Environment: The Composition of Representation Elections and the Decline in Turnout
Union Organizing Decisions in a Deteriorating Environment: The Composition of Representation Elections and the Decline in Turnout (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor
It is well known that the organizing environment for labor unions in the U.S. has deteriorated dramatically over a long period of time, contributing to the sharp decline in the private sector union membership rate and resulting in many fewer representation elections being held. What is less well known is that, since the late 1990s, average turnout in the representation elections that are held has dropped substantially. These facts are related. I develop a model of union decision making regarding selection of targets for organizing through the NLRB election process with the clear implication that a deteriorating organizing environment will lead to systematic change in the composition of elections held. The model implies that a deteriorating environment will lead unions not only to contest fewer elections but also to focus on larger potential bargaining units and on elections where they have a larger probability of winning. A standard rational-voter model implies that these changes in composition will lead to lower turnout. I investigate the implications of these models empirically using data on turnout in over 140,000 NLRB certification elections held between 1973 and 2009. The results are consistent with the model and suggest that changes in composition account for about one-fifth of the decline in turnout between 1999 and 2009.
The High Burden of State and Federal Capital Gains Tax Rates
Source: Tax Foundation
Savings in an economy is important. It leads to higher levels of investment, a larger capital stock, increased worker productivity and wages, and faster economic growth. However, the United States currently places a heavy tax bias against saving and investment. One way it does this is through a high top marginal tax rate on capital gains.
Currently, the United States’ top marginal tax rate on long-term capital gains income is 23.8 percent. In addition, taxpayers face state-level capital gains tax rates as low as zero and as high as 13.3 percent. As a result, the average combined top marginal rate in the United States is 28.7 percent. This rate exceeds the average top capital gains tax rate of 18.2 percent faced by taxpayers throughout the industrialized world. Even more, taxpayers in some U.S. states face top rates on capital gains over 30 percent, which is higher than most industrialized countries. In fact, California’s top marginal capital gains tax rate of 33 percent is the third highest in the industrialized world.
Children’s Health Spending: 2009-2012
Source: Health Care Cost Institute
The Children’s Health Care Spending: 2009-2012 presents the most up-to-date data on health care spending trends for children under age 19 covered by employer-sponsored, private health insurance.
Liberty, Equality, Connectivity
Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies
Europe and the United States have a collective interest in the promotion of a stable international order based on the rule of law, open and equitable arrangements for trade, and a commitment to democratic government and individual rights. These interests face renewed challenges in a complex global political environment.
Cybersecurity is among the most salient of these challenges. The fundamental issues in cybersecurity are to protect information (both intellectual property and personal information) and reduce the danger of disruption in the cyber environment and the critical infrastructures that depend upon it without damage to human rights or innovation. While many nations understand the risks they face in cyberspace, significant political differences create obstacles to collective action. Cybersecurity requires international cooperation to make the cyber environment stable and more secure. This essay’s premise is that given their close and shared political and cultural values, Europe and the United States can work together to shape this foundation to reinforce both security and democratic values.
2014 Security Breach Legislation
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
At least 17 states introduced or are considering security breach legislation in 2014. Most of the bills would amend existing security breach laws. Kentucky’s legislation, however, would create requirements for notification of breaches in that state. Only four states–Alabama, Kentucky, New Mexico and South Dakota–do not currently have a law requiring notification of security breaches involving personal information.
Mortality from road crashes in 193 countries: a comparison with other leading causes of death
Source: Transportation Research Institute (University of Michigan)
This study compared, for each country of the world, the fatalities per population from road crashes with fatalities per population from three leading causes of death (malignant neoplasm, ischaemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease), and from all causes. The data, applicable to 2008, came from the World Health Organization. The main findings are as follows:
(1) For the world, there are 18 fatalities from road crashes per 100,000 population, as compared with 113 for malignant neoplasm, 108 for ischaemic heart disease, and 91 for cerebrovascular disease. The highest fatality rate from road crashes is in Namibia (45) and the lowest in the Maldives (2).
(2) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 2.1% of fatalities from all causes. The highest percentage is in the United Arab Emirates (15.9%) and the lowest in the Marshall Islands (0.3%).
(3) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 15.9% of fatalities from malignant neoplasm. The highest percentage is in Namibia (153.9%) and the lowest in the Maldives (1.7%).
(4) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 16.7% of fatalities from ischaemic heart disease. The highest percentage is in Qatar (123.9%) and the lowest in Malta (1.9%).
(5) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 19.6% of fatalities from cerebrovascular disease. The highest percentage is in Qatar (529.7%) and the lowest in the Marshall Islands (2.3%). The appendixes list the rates and percentages for each individual country.
Implementing Big Data Projects: Lessons Learned and Recommendations
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government
This report, written by Kevin Desouza, Arizona State University, provides a clear and useful introduction to the concept of big data, which is receiving increasing attention as a term but also lacks a commonly understood definition. In describing big data, Prof. Desouza writes, “Big data is an evolving concept that refers to the growth of data and how it is used to optimize business processes, create customer value, and mitigate risks.” The report also describes the differences in the use of big data in the public and private sectors.
In the next few years, nearly all public agencies will grapple with how to integrate their disparate data sources, build analytical capacities, and move toward a data-driven decision-making environment. Big data is increasing in importance for public agencies, and big data programs are expected to become more prominent in the near future. Through the use of big data, analytics now holds great promise for increasing the efficiency of operations, mitigating risks, and increasing citizen engagement and public value.
A key contribution of this report is its descriptions of how big data is being used in federal, state, and local government today. His examples include the Internal Revenue Service, the state of Massachusetts, and the New York City Business Integrity Commission.
The Role of Health in Retirement
Source: National Bureau of Economic Research
This paper constructs and estimates a dynamic model of the evolution of health for those over the age of 50 and then embeds that model of health dynamics in a structural, econometric model of retirement and saving.
The health model traces the effects of smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, depression and other proclivities on medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart problems, stroke, psychiatric problems and arthritis. These in turn influence an overall index of health status based on self-reported health, work limitations and ADLs, which is used to classify the population into good, fair, poor or terrible health.
Compared to a situation where the entire population is in good health, the current health status of the population reduces the retirement age of the entire population by an average of about one year. While poor health or terrible health have a great impact on the disutility of work and thus on retirement, fair health as opposed to good health has a relatively minor effect. Smoking depresses full-time work effort by up to 3.5 percentage points by those in the early sixties, reducing the average retirement age by four to five months. Effects of trends in health care and health policies on retirement are also analyzed.
Including detailed measurement of health dynamics in a retirement model improves understanding of the effects of health on retirement. It does not, however, influence estimates of the marginal effects of economic incentives on retirement.