DPLS News, March 1996

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

March 1996

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ICPSR Summer Institute `96

The Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research announces the 49th Annual Summer Institute at the Ann Arbor campus. The Summer Institute is a training program in survey research techniques conducted by the staff of the Survey Research Center and other survey research specialists. The program highlights the sample survey as a basic instrument for the scientific measurement of human activities.

The Summer Institute will offer graduate- level courses in two consecutive four-week sessions, June 3 - June 28 and July 1 - July 26, 1996. Courses will be offered for graduate credit in eight-, four-, two-, and one- week formats. Course topics include an introduction to survey research, questionnaire design, cognition and survey measurement, survey data collection methods, analysis of survey data, computer analysis of survey data, and analysis of event history data. Sampling methods will be highlighted in a graduate-credit eight-week course.

UW-Madison's Charles Franklin (Political Science) will be teaching "Maximum Likelihood Estimation for Generalized Linear Models." Several one-week workshops offering Continuing Education Unit credits will also be offered. (For example, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, June 24-28, and Health and Retirement Study, July 8-12.)

Course and instructor descriptions are available on the Summer Institute WWW page at URL: http://www.isr.umich.edu. A Summer Institute brochure containing application materials is now available at the DPLS. To receive a copy, send an email message to summers@isr.umich.edu. The DPLS will be able to provide a small stipend to a UW attendee on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Census in the Classroom

William Frey of the University of Michigan announces that his SSDAN (Social Science Data Analysis Network) has received fund- ing to help college teachers introduce "user- friendly" analysis of census data in their classes. Tailor-made data sets, from the 1950-1990 censuses, can be used in a variety of social science classes dealing with race-ethnicity, immigration, gender studies, marriage, households and poverty, U.S. income inequality, the elderly, etc. SSDAN staff will help instructors tailor exercises for their own classes. The project utilizes Chipendale software for PC or Macs. More information, including available datasets and exercises, can be accessed via the WWW at: http://www.psc.lsa.umich.edu/SSDAN/.

Interested instructors may also attend a six- day workshop to be held in Ann Arbor, June 16-21. For an application, contact SSDANSTAFF@umich.edu, or write to William Frey, Director SSDAN, Population Studies Center, 1225 South University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

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NLSY `96

Beginning in early 1996, a new cohort of American young people and their parents will be interviewed by the National Longitudinal Surveys project, continuing through 1998. This group of young people, ages 12 through 17, will be interviewed annually to study how they make the transition from full- time schooling to the establishment of their families and careers.

Subsamples of this representative national sample of adolescents and young adults will include: a Department of Labor sample of approximately 12,000 young people; a Department of Education oversample of 2,500 disabled students; and two Department of Defense samples--an Enlistment Testing Program sample of approximately 6,000 military-eligible young people ages 18 to 23, and a Student Testing Program sample of approximately 6,600 youths enrolled in grades ten through twelve. Transcript information and school- and student-specific information will be collected from the schools, principals and teachers of NLSY96 students using separate instruments.

Because of this emerging NLSY96 cohort, the long-in-use NLSY acronym for the 1979 youth cohort will be referred to as "NLSY79" to distinguish the `old' from the `new.' More information about the National Longitudinal Surveys can be found on the new web site: http://stats.bls.gov/nlshome.htm.

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Federal Budget for Statistics

This continues our monitoring of the status of federal statistical agencies from the last issue. The December-January government furlough delayed the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly report on [un]employment for the first time since 1950 because of Current Population Survey fieldwork delays. Furthermore, according to a recent Association of Public Data Users newsletter, "The lack of collection of data, including retail trade statistics for the Christmas season, . . . international trade, durable goods orders, and existing home sales may affect the timely release of economic indicators including the measure of the Gross Domestic Product.

The continuing resolution signed by the President on January 26 ensures minimum funds for agencies without signed appropriations bills until March 15, preventing more government shut-downs. Of course, there is no guarantee that Congress and the President will agree on appropriations by then. The appropriations for FY97 are already being delayed, as they are based on FY96.

Agencies with signed appropriations bills for FY96 include the National Institutes of Health (which received a 6.2% increase for research over FY95); the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation; and the DoD and DoE, which are under the enlarged defense budget already signed into law. Those without year-long appropriations include the Departments of Justice, Commerce (and Bureaus of Census and Labor Statistics); Health and Human Services (including National Centers for Education and Health Statistics) NASA, NSF, and EPA.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science estimates total civilian R&D cuts of 3% due to Congress' regard for `basic research' compared with 10% cuts in other domestic programs. STAY TUNED.

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Recent Acquisitions

Current Population Survey, November 1994: Voting and Registration and Computer Usage (AH-005-092)

Census of Population and Housing, 1990 [United States]: Public Use Microdata Sample (A sample 5%) and (B sample 1%) on CD-ROM (AH-020-003 and AH-020-004)

National Household Sample Survey, 1988 [Brazil]: Public Use File (AH-509-006)

Panel Study of Income Dynamics, 1968- 1992 [Waves I-XXV] and its Supplemental Files on CD-ROM (CA-016-048, CA-016- 052, and etc.)

High School and Beyond, 1980: Sophomore Cohort Fourth Follow-up (1992) Data in D.A.S. format on CD-ROM (QD-011-023)

Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, 1990/1991 - 1994/1995 (QD-027-001)

National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey, 1989-1990 data in T.G.S. format on CD- ROM (QE-015-002)

Contiguous County File, 1991 [United States] (ZA-020-001)

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Catasto Data on WWW

The Census and Property Survey for Florentine Domains and the City of Verona in Fifteenth Century Italy [Catasto study] was added to the DPLS Archival Data Online Repository in February. The Web address is http://dpls.dacc.wisc.edu/archive.html. The entire Catasto dataset and corresponding documentation may be downloaded through this site. There is no online extraction mechanism for studying the raw data at this site, but the Catasto codebook is in HTML format, and may be browsed online.

The Catasto was a fifteenth-century attempt to reform the existing Florentine tax code by implementing a tax based upon an accurate count of household assets. These data provide a snapshot of medieval Tuscan life, listing household and individual information, as deemed important by the tax collectors. Variables for household information include occupation of the fiscal head of household, type of dwelling, animal ownership, possessions, value of public and private investments, deductions, household members, fiscal assessments, and tax. Individual-level variables include age, sex, matrimonial state, relationship to the fiscal head of household, and commentary.

These data were made available at the University of Wisconsin-Madison DPLS by David Herlihy and Christiane Klapisch- Zuber. From 1966 to 1976, Professor Herlihy and Madam Klapisch-Zuber coded these data using the official manuscripts of the 1427-1429 tax declarations for the city of Florence, and surrounding areas. Herlihy and Klapisch-Zuber analyze the data in their work Tuscans and Their Families, available at the DPLS and Memorial Library.

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DPLS Acquires CD-Writer

The Catasto data is an example of a DPLS `owned' dataset that has been very popular with off-campus users. Recent developments have streamlined the data library's procedures for meeting external requests for archival data. As studies are earmarked for adding to the online web site (see previous article), now they can be custom written to CD-ROM through the DPLS' new PC-based CD-ROM writer. Users both on and off-campus will now have more options than ever in acquiring DPLS archival data. Table of Contents

Internet Corner

Million Man March

A brief preliminary report of the Million Man March Survey is available on the WWW (that's MMM upside-down!) at http://www.pini.com/wellington/mmm1.html. (This link is no longer in existence, as of 7/10/98.)

EJS Call for Papers

The Electronic Journal of Sociology, (EJS), a new electronic journal, invites the submission of papers. We are particularly interested in papers which deal with either the INTERNET, electronic communication and electronic communities or which combine images, sounds and text. Style requirements and other pertinent information about the EJS can be found on our home page at the following URL: http://www.sociology.org/.

Submissions can be sent to Mike Sosteric at msosteri@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca. Also, the EJS continues to seek qualified professionals to conduct peer review of submissions. If you would like to contribute in this manner, please contact Mike Sosteric at the above address.

FEC Offers Timely Data

The Federal Election Commission came onto the web scene in mid-February, just in time to serve current campaign finance data for this election year. Allowing for the 30-40 day lag-time for processing new reports, the 1995-96 data will be updated on the second day of each month. Summary data for 1993- 94 are also available by candidate, by PAC, or by Party Committee. Files are fixed- length and zipped, with format information accompanying each file. The WWW address is http://www.fec.gov, look for Downloadable Databases. The anonymous FTP site is ftp.fec.gov.

Election Year on the World Wide Web

In 1994, an obscure internet node was serving California election returns live. The 1996 elections seem to mark a first for online campaigning and campaign tracking. Internet culture has seeped in, taking the form of online polls, satirical candidate pages, and links to diverse sites. Here is a sampler:

  • NetVote (This link is no longer available, as of 7/10/98.)
    Provides a five-flag rating system for sites judged by "successful use of the interactive technology of the Net, not by their political content."
  • Countdown `96
    "Your Complete Resource for the 1996 Presidential Campaign," this site leaves no stone unturned.
  • The Vote Smart Project
    A "researcher-assisted" site. Includes Congressional voting records and candidates' answers to 'the 1996 Presidential Primary National Political Awareness Test' sorted by candidate or by issue.
  • PoliticsUSA
    Developed by the National Journal and the American Political Network (owned by Times-Mirror Inc.) Interesting facets include News, Issues, Campaign '96, Poll Track, and Voter Booth.
  • AllPolitics
    from Time and CNN. Good for up-to-the minute returns of primaries and elections.
  • ElectionLine (This link is no longer available, as of 7/10/98.)
    From ABC News, The Washington Post, and Newsweek. Also offers `real-time returns' and exit polls.

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End of March 1996 Newsletter.