Archive for the ‘research institutes’ Category

The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture

September 17, 2014 Comments off

The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

This paper explores the role of cultural attitudes towards women in determining math educational gender gaps using the epidemiological approach. To identify whether culture matters, we estimate whether the math gender gap for each immigrant group living in a particular host country (and exposed to the same host country’s laws and institutions) is explained by measures of gender equality in the parents’ country of ancestry. We find that the higher the degree of gender equality in the country of ancestry, the higher the performance of second-generation immigrant girls relative to boys. This result is robust to alternative specifications, measures of gender equality and the inclusion of other human development indicators in the country of ancestry. The transmission of culture is higher among those in schools with a higher proportion of immigrants or in co-educational schools. Our results suggest that policies aimed at changing beliefs can prove effective in reducing the gender gap in mathematics.

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Employer-Sponsored Family Health Premiums Rise 3 Percent in 2014

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Employer-Sponsored Family Health Premiums Rise 3 Percent in 2014
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $16,834 this year, up 3 percent from last year, continuing a recent trend of modest increases, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey released today. Workers on average pay $4,823 annually toward the cost of family coverage this year.

This year’s increase continues a recent trend of moderate premium growth. Premiums increased more slowly over the past five years than the preceding five years (26 percent vs. 34 percent) and well below the annual double-digit increases recorded in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This year’s increase also is similar to the year-to-year rise in worker’s wages (2.3 percent) and general inflation (2 percent).

Annual premiums for worker-only coverage stand at $6,025 this year. Workers on average contribute $1,081 toward the cost of worker-only coverage this year.

Smart Inclusive Cities: How New Apps, Big Data, and Collaborative Technologies Are Transforming Immigrant Integration

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Smart Inclusive Cities: How New Apps, Big Data, and Collaborative Technologies Are Transforming Immigrant Integration
Source: Migration Policy Institute

The spread of smartphones—cellphones with high-speed Internet access and geolocation technology—is transforming urban life. While many smartphone apps are largely about convenience, policymakers are beginning to explore their potential to address social challenges from disaster response to public health. And cities, in North America and Europe alike, are in the vanguard in exploring creative uses for these apps, including how to improve engagement.

For disadvantaged and diverse populations, accessing city services through a smartphone can help overcome language or literacy barriers and thus increase interactions with city officials. For those with language needs, smartphones allow language training to be accessed anywhere and at any time. More broadly, cities have begun mining the rich datasets that smartphones collect, to help attune services to the needs of their whole population. A new crop of social and civic apps offer new tools to penetrate hard-to-reach populations, including newly arrived and transient groups.

While these digital developments offer promising opportunities for immigrant integration efforts, smartphone apps’ potential to address social problems should not be overstated. In spite of potential shortcomings, since immigrant integration requires a multipronged policy response, any additional tools—especially inexpensive ones—should be examined.

This report explores the kinds of opportunities smartphones and apps are creating for the immigrant integration field. It provides a first look at the opportunities and tradeoffs that smartphones and emerging technologies offer for immigrant integration, and how they might deepen—or weaken—city residents’ sense of belonging.

Introduction to A Theory of the Allocation of Time by Gary Becker

September 17, 2014 Comments off

Introduction to A Theory of the Allocation of Time by Gary Becker (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

Gary Becker’s classic study, A Theory of the Allocation of Time, laid the analytical foundations for the study of household production and the allocation of time within the household. The analytical framework of household production theory developed in this paper remained a pillar of his later work on the economics of the family and the economics of nonmarket activities more generally. Becker provided a formal model of households producing outputs like food, children, and housing that bundled goods and time. Becker’s great contribution was to apply the model to interpret a broad array of empirical phenomena. Becker’s framework allowed for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of consumer choice, and interpretation of income and substitution effects. Its continuing relevance in empirical economics is a testimony to its power.

State laws and legislation related to biologic medications and substitution of biosimilars

September 11, 2014 Comments off

State laws and legislation related to biologic medications and substitution of biosimilars
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

For several decades, every state has regulated the use of brand-name and generic prescription drugs through statutes and agency or board rules. These state actions include when and how generics may be substituted for brand-name prescriptions, by pharmacists or others. Generic drugs typically have active ingredients that are identical to those of their brand-name counterpart. These traditional drugs include familiar pills used regularly by tens of millions of Americans as well as some specialty drugs.

Biologic medicines are much more complex than traditional chemically synthesized drugs. Biologics are manufactured from living organisms by programming cell lines to produce the desired therapeutic substances and consist of large molecules. Common biologics in use today include human growth hormone, injectable treatments for arthritis and psoriasis, the Hepatitis B vaccine and stem cell therapy.

Regulating biologics raises new issues for both state and federal policymakers. Because of their complexity, biologic drugs are much more difficult to replicate than the chemically produced generics for other drugs. The cell lines used and modifications in the manufacturing process affect biologic medicines. As a result, truly identical “generic” versions are currently virtually impossible to produce. However, once patents expire for the existing brand-name biologic drugs, “biosimilar” medicines can be produced, which is an occurrence that raises regulatory issues in the states.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Profiles

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Profiles
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Learn about populations eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) nationally and in top states and counties. This data tool, based on a methodology that imputes unauthorized status using U.S. Census Bureau 2008-12 American Community Survey and 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation, provides estimates of unauthorized immigrant youth currently eligible for DACA, those who meet all but the educational criteria, and children who will age into eligibility. The tool provides estimates for 41 states and 111 counties, and detailed profiles for the U.S., 25 states, and 36 counties. (See below map to navigate to county profiles.)

The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2014

September 11, 2014 Comments off

The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America 2014
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Key Findings

  • Race and Ethnicity: Obesity rates remain higher among blacks and Latinos than among whites. Rates among blacks topped 40 percent in 11 states; rates among Latinos exceeded 35 percent in 5 states; for whites, 10 states had rates over 30 percent.
  • Socioeconomic Status: More than 33 percent of adults 18 and older who earn less than $15,000 per year are obese, compared with 25.4 percent who earn at least $50,000 per year.
  • Geography: 9 out of the 10 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South.
  • Age: Baby Boomers (45-to 64-year-olds) have the highest obesity rates of any age group – topping 35 percent in 17 states.
  • Severity: More than 6 percent of adults are severely** obese; the number of severely obese adults has quadrupled in the past 30 years.

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