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The 2014 Congressional Primaries: Who Ran and Why

October 2, 2014 Comments off

The 2014 Congressional Primaries: Who Ran and Why
Source: Brookings Institution

Congressional primary elections generate less voter turnout, news coverage, and scholarly research than general elections. Congressional primaries nonetheless have profound impact and demand better understanding of their outcomes. Look no further than the 2010 midterm election primaries where several Tea Party candidates began to challenge mainstream Republican incumbents, shifting the balance of power in the Republican caucus and contributing to the current polarized political system that has paralyzed Congress.

The Center for Effective Public Management established The Primaries Project to better understand the dynamics within each political party and their relative impact on policy, regardless of who won or lost a primary race. By meticulously coding nearly every candidate that filed to run in a Congressional primary — 1,662 candidates in all — this effort constitutes the first-of-its-kind research that seeks to uncover: (1) Who runs in congressional primaries? (2) What are the internal divisions within each party? (3) What are the candidates talking about? And what are they not talking about? (4) What’s happening to the margins of victory for this year’s winners compared to margins in the past? And (5) Where does the campaign money come from?

See also: Phoning It In and Failing to Show: The Story of the 2014 House Primaries

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Seven Million Lives Saved: Under-5 Mortality Since the Launch of the Millennium Development Goals

October 2, 2014 Comments off

Seven Million Lives Saved: Under-5 Mortality Since the Launch of the Millennium Development Goals
Source: Brookings Institution

Highlights

  • Although only 21 percent of originally Off Track countries and 34 percent of originally low-income countries are now on a path to achieve the MDG target by 2015, at least 80 percent of each group has seen accelerated progress since 2001.
  • The results suggest that much of the greatest structural progress has been achieved by countries not likely to achieve the formal MDG targets, even if their progress might be linked to the pursuit of those targets.
  • Among sub-Saharan African countries, approximately 90 percent have experienced accelerated progress, and at least 65 percent have accelerated by at least 1 percentage point per year.
  • Current 2030 trajectories suggest a world in which most countries’ U5MRs are perhaps unimaginably lower than many would have considered practical even fifteen years ago.

Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy

October 1, 2014 Comments off

Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy
Source: Brookings Institution

Amid an ongoing international debate on the reduction of carbon emissions, Germany and Japan are undertaking a dramatic shift in their electricity portfolios. The 2011 Japanese earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility accident have sparked both Japanese and German energy policy to shift away from carbon-free nuclear energy and towards renewables. However, despite large gains in market share by renewables, these two countries have seen increases in both fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions as the market share of nuclear energy has declined.

This shift raises fundamental energy policy questions: how can countries simultaneously decarbonize their electricity mix while phasing out nuclear energy? What are the costs and challenges of large-scale renewable integration? Who will bear these costs? In the Energy Security Initiative’s latest policy brief, authors John Banks, Charles Ebinger and Alisa Schackmann seek to answer these questions while identifying potential relevant lessons for large-scale deployment of renewables in the United States.

India-U.S. Relations in 14 Charts and Graphics

September 29, 2014 Comments off

India-U.S. Relations in 14 Charts and Graphics
Source: Brookings Institution

As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United States, it’s worth putting the India-U.S. relationship in perspective and considering how far it has come in recent years. Fifteen years ago, there were U.S. sanctions on India. More recently, the Obama administration has said the U.S. relationship with India “will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.” These 14 charts and graphics show that the relationship has changed in other ways as well, including the areas of high-level India-U.S. engagement, economic and defense ties, people-to-people connections amongst Indians and Americans and future opportunities to increase bilateral cooperation.

Investing in English Skills: The Limited English Proficient Workforce in U.S. Metropolitan Areas

September 25, 2014 Comments off

Investing in English Skills: The Limited English Proficient Workforce in U.S. Metropolitan Areas
Source: Brookings Institution

An analysis of the labor market characteristics of the working-age limited English proficient (LEP) population in the United States and its largest metropolitan areas reveals that:

Nearly one in 10 working-age U.S. adults—19.2 million persons aged 16 to 64—is considered limited English proficient. Two-thirds of this population speaks Spanish, but speakers of Asian and Pacific Island languages are most likely to be LEP. The vast majority of working-age LEP adults are immigrants, and those who entered the United States more recently are more likely to be LEP.

Working-age LEP adults earn 25 to 40 percent less than their English proficient counterparts. While less educated overall than English proficient adults, most LEP adults have a high school diploma, and 15 percent hold a college degree. LEP workers concentrate in low-paying jobs and different industries than other workers.

Most LEP adults reside in large metropolitan areas, but their numbers are growing fastest in smaller metro areas. Eighty-two percent of the working-age LEP population lives in 89 large metropolitan areas, and 10 metro areas account for half of this population. Large immigrant gateways and agricultural/border metro areas in California and Texas have the largest LEP shares of their working-age populations. Smaller metro areas such as Cape Coral, Indianapolis, and Omaha experienced the fastest growth in LEP population between 2000 and 2012. Los Angeles was the only metro area to experience a decline.

Educational attainment and the native languages of LEP adults vary considerably across metro areas. The share who have completed high school ranges from 33 percent in Bakersfield to 85 percent in Jacksonville. Spanish is the most commonly spoken non-English language among LEP adults in 81 of the 89 large metro areas, but the share varies from a low of 5 percent in Honolulu to 99 percent in McAllen.

Most working-age LEP people are in the labor force. A majority across all 89 large metro areas is working or looking for work, and in 19 metro areas, at least 70 percent are employed. Workers proficient in English earn anywhere from 17 percent to 135 percent more than LEP workers depending on their metro location.

New Census Data Show Few Metro Areas Made Progress Against Poverty in 2013

September 22, 2014 Comments off

New Census Data Show Few Metro Areas Made Progress Against Poverty in 2013
Source: Brookings Institution

Newly released Census Bureau data confirm that, four years into an official economic recovery, the nation’s largest metro areas continued to struggle with stubbornly high poverty levels even amid improving employment numbers.

Top 10 Global Hometowns of America’s Foreign Students

September 22, 2014 Comments off

Top 10 Global Hometowns of America’s Foreign Students
Source: Brookings Institution

American higher education is a global commodity and has become a major service export. My recently released report on foreign students reveals that fast-growing emerging cities from around the globe are the hometowns of a large majority of foreign students studying in the United States.

You can explore foreign students’ cities of origin and U.S. metropolitan destinations in the report’s data interactive available here. Below is the Brookings ranking of the top 10 hometowns of America’s foreign students.

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