DPLS News, March 2000

Please note: Older issues of the newsletter are likely to contain
broken links -- the newsletter is presented here "as published."

DPLS News contains articles about local, national, and international data issues.
It is published twice a semester by the library staff.

Editor: Joanne Juhnke, Associate Special Librarian
Contributors:
Lu Chou, Special Librarian; Cindy Severt, Senior Special Librarian;
& Emily Bounds, Library Assistant

March 2000


Table of Contents

Countdown to Census 2000: Ready, Set, Enumerate!
ICPSR Summer Program 2000
Researcher's Notes
The Survey of Economic Expectations, Waves 1-8
OECD Statistical Compendium, 1999
Selected Recent Acquisitions
Internet Corner
     World Income Inequality Database (WIID)
     PopNet
     ZIP Code Business Patterns
     AmeriStat

Countdown to Census 2000: Ready, Set, Enumerate!

How do you collect statistics on roughly 275 million people across a vast country? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2000 decennial census will entail "the largest peacetime mobilization in U.S. history." Enumerators began their work in Alaska in January to reach people while the ground was still frozen for easier travelling. People in most areas will receive questionnaires by mail in mid-March, followed by visits from enumerators to collect responses from those who did not receive or return the paper form.

What’s New with the Questionnaire?
Both the short form and the long form will contain new instructions for reporting of race. In the past, people with multi-racial heritage had to choose between identifying with a single race or selecting "other." This year, for the first time, multiple choices will be allowed and counted, with instructions to "mark or select one or more races." The Office of Management and Budget has directed the Census Bureau to report, at a minimum, the number of people who identified themselves in more than one category, with more detailed reporting where possible.

In an effort to improve response rates by reducing the burden on the respondent, both the long and short forms have been streamlined. The short form is now even shorter, by means of moving five subjects to the long form: marital status, units in structure, number of rooms, value of home, and monthly rent. Meanwhile, the long form has eliminated five other subjects: children ever born (fertility), year last worked, source of water, sewage disposal, and condominium status. The single new subject on the long form will be grandparents who have primary responsibility for care of their grandchildren.

Census 2000 Data: Timing and Products
The Census Bureau must deliver state population counts to the President by December 31, 2000 for reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives. By April 1, 2001, the states must receive race and ethnic data for small geographic areas for redistricting purposes. Further data products will become available from June 2001 through September 2003.

Although the Census Bureau will deliver some data from Census 2000 in print format, and more on CD-ROM, their primary means of dissemination will be the new American FactFinder interface on the Census Bureau website (http://factfinder.census.gov/). This website already serves as an interface for 1990 Census summary files, in addition to 1997 Economic Census summary files and Census 2000 Dress Rehearsal files.

For more information about Census 2000, visit the Census 2000 web site at http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/2khome.htm or their Frequently-Asked Questions document at http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/faqquest.htm.

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ICPSR Summer Program 2000

The ICPSR Summer Program 2000 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, offers a comprehensive, integrated program of studies in research design, statistics, data analysis, and social methodology. Basic methodological and technical training is offered along with opportunities for advanced work in specialized areas. The Program also provides active participatory data analytic experiences that complement formal lectures and discussions. This year’s program consists of two sessions scheduled for June 26-July 21, and July 24-August 18. For more information, see http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ICPSR/Other_Resources/Summer/summer.html.

Dr. Charles Franklin, a faculty member of the UW-Madison Political Science Department, will be teaching the Maximum Likelihood Course which deals with discrete and limited dependent variables (logit, probit, multinomial logit, event counts, censored data and duration models).

DPLS will once again be awarding a travel stipend to a UW-Madison affiliate who participates in the program. The recipient is chosen randomly from a list of applicants. The only stipulations are that previous recipients are not eligible and no participant may be "doublefunded" by ICPSR and/or their department. Interested applicants should contact DPLS for an application form and to be considered for the stipend.

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Researcher's Notes
by Ann Meier

As a graduate student in sociology, I am currently working on two projects with my faculty advisor and several other graduate students. One of these projects examines the role of social relationships with peers, parents and teachers in the educational attainment of adolescents and young adults. Another project focuses on the educational attainment of adolescents and young adults with disabilities. For both projects I use the National Educational Longitudinal Survey (NELS).

The NELS began in 1988 with a stratified random sample of nearly 25,000 8th graders. The respondents were surveyed again in 1990, 1992, and 1994. The survey also contains data from parents, teachers, and school principals. The National Center for Education Statistics has issued a CD-ROM containing the data and a handy electronic codebook. Once the researcher has "tagged" the variables of interest in the codebook, the system produces code to extract the data in a number of different formats including SAS or SPSS.

The staff and resources of DPLS have been crucial to my use of the NELS dataset. In addition to the CD-ROM, DPLS also has a full set of hard copy codebooks, with much more detailed information than the electronic version. On several occasions, when I was unable to find the information I needed in the codebooks, the staff at DPLS directed me to other useful resources. The computing facilities have been important in my research as well, making available all of the latest statistical software so that extracting data is an easy task. The staff and resources of DPLS have made the usually onerous task of data set-up quick and easy. I am sure that I will seek the guidance and resources of DPLS as I continue my research with this and other datasets.

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The Survey of Economic Expectations, Waves 1-8

Winking dollar billThe Survey of Economic Expectations (SEE), Waves 1-8 is the latest addition to the DPLS Online Data Archive. John Straub, Ph.D. candidate in economics at UW-Madison, together with one of the survey's principal investigators, Dr. Charles F. Manski of Northwestern University, analyzed SEE data from the UW Survey Center’s WISCON Survey and archived their work with DPLS.

The WISCON Survey has been underway since 1988, conducting daily telephone interviews with a nationwide probability sample. The interviews include both core questions that remain constant and additional questions such as those in the SEE module. The SEE questions are asked during the May-July and November-January interviewing periods.  The dataset at DPLS consists of the first eight waves of the SEE and accompanying WISCON responses from 1994-1998, a total of 5,432 interviews.

In their research, Straub and Manski linked their findings from the SEE data to modern theories of labor markets. They report on this analysis in a paper called "Worker Perceptions of Job Insecurity in the Mid-1990s: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," scheduled to appear in the Summer 2000 issue of The Journal of Human Resources. The article focuses on the 3,561 respondents interviewed during this period who 1) were working at the time of the interview, 2) responded to all three job-expectations questions, and 3) provided basic demographic and education data.

Both the dataset and the accompanying paper are available at the DPLS Online Data Archive at http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/econexpect/.

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OECD Statistical Compendium, 1999

The 1999 edition of the OECD Statistical Compendium is now available on CD-ROM at DPLS (CB-531-003), replacing our 1996 edition. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) consists of 29 member countries, primarily European countries but also including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Korea.

The CD-ROM contains over 930,000 monthly, quarterly, and annual data series, over three times as many as the 1996 edition, going back as far as 1960. It provides a macroeconomic overview of the economies of the OECD member countries, covering the following subject areas: agriculture and food, development and aid, general economic problems, economic indicators, national accounts, energy, financial and fiscal affairs, industry, labor market and social issues, foreign trade, science and technology.

The new edition also has a new, easier-to-use Windows interface. Come give it a try on the DPLS user workstations!

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CD-ROM logo Selected Recent Acquisitions

  • Global Development Finance, 1999. (CB-536-001)
  • Human Development Report, 1999. (CB-541-001)
  • Independent Sector Survey on Giving and Volunteering, 1994. (CA-004-002)
  • Independent Sector Survey on Giving and Volunteering, 1996. (CA-004-003)
  • Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. (CB-505-012)
  • World Bank Africa Database, 2000. (CB-530-001)
  • World Development Indicators, 1999. (CB-533-001)

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Internet Corner

World Income Inequality Database (WIID)

Developed from 1997 to 1999, the World Income Inequality Database (WIID) provides information on income inequalities at both cross-country and time series levels. It presents data on changes in income inequality over the period 1950-1998, with a particular focus on the period since 1980 for 149 countries. Tables of Gini ratios (measuring inequality) for individual countries may be viewed online, or the entire database may be downloaded in Microsoft Access format.

The WIID is part of a joint research project of the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations University, entitled "Rising Income Inequality and Poverty Reduction: Are They Compatible?" The project aims at critically evaluting different methods of measuring income inequality,  understanding the dynamics of the relationship between economic growth, poverty alleviation, and income inequality. The address for the WIID site is http://www.undp.org/poverty/initiatives/wider/wiid.htm.

 

PopNet

PopNet bills itself as "the source for global population information." The site carries a large, well-annotated directory of population-related Web sites, searchable by topic or keyword, by organization, or through PopNet’s world regions map. Topics include demographic statistics, economics, education, environment, gender, policy, and reproductive health.

PopNet is produced and maintained by the Population Reference Bureau with funding assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The site address is http://www.popnet.org/.

 

ZIP Code Business Patterns

ZIP Code Business PatternsThis online utility from the Census Bureau provides data on the number of businesses existing within individual ZIP codes, broken down by industry and number of employees. Data on mid-March employment, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll are summarized by ZIP code without industry detail. Data is collected annually; the site currently covers 1994, 1995, and 1996.

The site address is http://tier2.census.gov/zbp/.

DPLS also has a version of ZIP Code Business Patterns on CD-ROM. While the CD-ROM covers 1996 only, it also allows for easy comparisons with neighboring ZIP codes, a feature that the web version lacks.

 

AmeriStat

The AmeriStat site presents one-page summaries with colorful graphs on selected demographic topics such as "women who earn more than their husbands" and "minority representation in Congress." Topics are divided into subject modules including Marriage & Family, Population Estimates & Projections, Education, Race & Ethnicity, and Income & Poverty; fourteen modules are planned in all. Each summary includes links to sources, forms for generating further charts, and downloadable data in Excel or tab-delimited ASCII format. Most of the data originates from the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

AmeriStat is a joint project of the Population Reference Bureau and Social Science Data Analysis Network. The site address is http://www.ameristat.org/.

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