Current Social Science Research Report--Sociology #73, July 22, 2008.

CSSRR-Social is a weekly email report produced by the Data and Information Services Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It seeks to help social science researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. This report will contain selected listings of new: reports, articles, bibliographies, working papers, tables of contents, conferences, data, and websites. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:


CSSRR-Social is compiled and edited by Jack Solock and Charlie Fiss.


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Index to this issue:
















1. Census Bureau Facts for Features: "Unmarried and Single Americans Week: Sept. 21-27, 2008" (CB08-FF.16, Jul. 21, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.).

2. National Center for Health Statistics Report: "Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2007," by Betzaida Tejada-Vera and Paul D. Sutton (National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56, No. 21, July 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 6p.).

3. National Center for Education Statistics Report: "Career and Technical Education in the United States: 1990-2005," by Karen Levesque, Jennifer Laird, Elisabeth Hensley, Susan P. Choy, Emily Forest Cataldi, and Lisa Hudson (NCES 2008035, July 2008, .pdf format, 287p., standard error tables, .pdf format, 121p.).

4. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation Research Brief: "Starting Early: How the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative Helps Schools Prepare Young People for Healthy Marriages" (June 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 6p.).

5. Department of Housing and Urban Development Report: "Characteristics of HUD-Assisted Renters and Their Units in 2003" (May 2008, .pdf format, 520p.).

6. Government Accountability Office Report, Correspondence:

A. "2010 Census: Census Bureau Should Take Action to Improve the Credibility and Accuracy of Its Cost Estimate for the Decennial Census," (GAO-08-554, June 2008, .pdf format, 37p.).

B. "Food Insecurity Persists in Sub-Saharan Africa despite Efforts to Halve Hunger by 2015" (GAO-08-1007R, July 2008, .pdf format, 18p.).

7. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service Report: "The National School Lunch Program Background, Trends, and Issues," by Katherine Ralston, Constance Newman, Annette Clauson, Joanne Guthrie, and Jean Buzby (Economic Research Report No. ERR-61, July 2008, .pdf format, 48p.).

8. National Science Foundation InfoBrief, Press Release:

A. "Thirty-Three Years of Women in S&E Faculty Positions," by Joan Burrelli (NSF 08-308, June 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 10p.).

B. "Research Publications Online: Too Much of A Good Thing?" (Jul. 17, 2008).

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US States:


State Data Center of Iowa: The SDC released the following files on Jul. 21, 2008 (all .pdf and Microsoft Excel format).


"Reported voting and registration by sex, race and Hispanic origin: 1980-2006"


B. "Reported voting for total and citizen voting-age population for Congressional elections: 1974-2006"

C. "Reported voter registration for total and citizen voting-age population for Congressional elections: 1974-2006"


Department of Health Report: "Vital Statistics for Pennsylvania 1906-2006," (July 2008, .pdf format, 2p.).

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NGO and Other Countries:


Statistics Canada/Statistique Canada Report, Article, Periodical:

A. "Crime Statistics in Canada, 2007," by Mia Dauvergn (July 2008, .pdf format, 17p.).

B. "I do... Take two? Changes in intentions to remarry among divorced Canadians during the past 20 years," by Pascale Beauprť (Matter of Fact No. 5, July 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

C. Juristat (Vol. 28, No. 8, 2008, .pdf format, 22p.). The topic of this issue is "Youth custody and community services in Canada, 2005/2006," by Shelly Milligan.



Federal Statistics Office Press Release: "Both partners working in about half of all couples with children" (Jul. 22, 2008).,templateId=renderPrint.psml



Statistical Office First Release: "Vital events, January-May 2008" (July 2008, .pdf format, 3p.).



Statistics Bureau Reports, Periodical:

A. "Population of Japan 2005" (July 2008, .pdf format, 85p.).

B. "Population Estimates: February 1, 2008 (Final estimates) , July 1, 2008 (Provisional estimates)" (July 2008, HTML and Microsoft Excel format).

C. "Japan Monthly Statistics" (July 2008, Microsoft Excel format).



Directorate of Information Report: "Mortality in Jordan: 2005" (2008, .pdf format, 39p.).



Statistics Netherlands Web Magazine Articles:

A. "Social benefits reduced by over 300 thousand," by Ton van Maanen (Jul. 22, 2008).

B. "No further decline in registered crime," by Harry Eggen (Jul. 22, 2008).



Statistics Norway Statistical Magazine Article, News Release:

A. "The persecution of Jews in Norway during World War 2" (Jul. 17, 2008).

B. "Survey of level of living 2007, victimization and fear of crime" (Jul. 18, 2008).



National Institute of Statistics Press Release: "Population and demographic phenomena in May 2008" (Jul. 15, 2008, .pdf format, 2p.).



Department of Statistics Compendium: Singapore in Figures: 2008 (July 2008, .pdf format, 28p.).



Home Office Statistical Bulletin: "Crime in England and Wales 2007/08: Findings from the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime," edited by Chris Kershaw, Sian Nicholas and Alison Walker (July 2008, .pdf format, 219p.).

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Century Foundation Report: "Poor Excuses: How Neglecting Poverty Costs All Americans," by Martha Paskoff Welsh and Libby Perl (Reality Check, July 2008, .pdf format, 11p.).


Demographic and Health Survey Reports:

A. "Pakistan: DHS, 2006 - Final Report" (June 2008, .pdf format, 379p.).

B. "A Comparative Analysis of Unmet Need in Nepal," by Ram Hari Aryal, Ram Sharan Pathak, Bhogendra Raj Dottel, and Prakash Dev Pant (May 2008, .pdf format, 18p.).

C. "Effects of Communication Campaigns on the Health Behavior of Women of Reproductive Age in Nepal," by Yagya B. Karki and Gajanand Agrawal (May 2008, .pdf format, 24p.).

D. "Trends in Economic Differentials in Population and Health Outcomes," by Kiersten Johnson and Sarah E.K. Bradley (May 2008, .pdf format, 35p.).

E. "Factors Responsible for the Rapid Decline of Fertility in Nepal - An Interpretation," by Yagya B. Karki and Radha Krishna (May 2008, .pdf format, .25p.).

F. "Spousal Agreement on Reproductive Preferences on Sub-Saharan Africa," by Tesfayi Gebreselassie (May 2008, .pdf format, 44p.).

G. "Dominican Republic: DHS, 2007 - HIV Fact Sheet" (May 2008, .pdf format, 2p.).

H. "Swaziland: DHS, 2006 - Final Report" (May 2008, .pdf format, 490p.).

In addition, the following reports have also been released (Spanish language only):

I. "Dominican Republic: DHS, 2007 - Final Report" (May 2008, .pdf format, 546p.).

J. "Dominican Republic DHS Fact Sheet" (May 2008, .pdf format, 3p.).


National Research Council/Institute of Medicine Monograph: The National Children's Study Research Plan: A Review, Panel to Review the National Children's Study Research Plan, National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (National Academies Press, 2008, OpenBook and .pdf format, 166p.). Note 1: Ordering information for a print copy is available at the site. Note 2: NAP requires free registration before providing a .pdf copy.


Urban Institute Papers: "A New Safety Net for Low-Income Families." (July 2008, .pdf format). "Americaís low-income working families are struggling to get by, too often forced to make impossible choices among food, housing, and health care.. Government safety nets were reformed in the mid-1990s with the promise that work would pay. But that promise remains unfulfilled for many families. These essays explore the challenges these vulnerable households face and suggest ways to protect them and help them thrive--urgent goals with far-reaching benefits for our children, our families, and our economic future."


Demographic Research Articles:

A. "Fertility of Turkish and Moroccan women in the Netherlands: Adjustment to native level within one generation," by Han Nicolaas and Joop Garssen (Vol. 19, Article 33, July 2008, .pdf format, p. 1249-1280).

B. "The timing and partnership context of becoming a parent Cohort and gender commonalities and differences in childhood antecedents," by John Hobcraft (Vol. 19, Article 34, July 2008, .pdf format, p 1281- 1322).

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Population Aging Research Center [University of Pennsylvania]: "Poverty and Proximate Barriers to Learning: Vision Deficiencies, Vision Correction and Educational Outcomes in Rural Northwest China," by Emily Hannum and Yuping Zhang (WPS 08-05, July 2008, .pdf format, 43p.).


Few studies of educational barriers in developing countries have investigated the role of childrenís vision problems, despite the self-evident challenge that poor vision poses to classroom learning and the potential for a simple ameliorative intervention. We address this gap with an analysis of two datasets from Gansu Province, a highly impoverished province in northwest China. One dataset is the Gansu Survey of Children and Families (GSCF, 2000 and 2004), a panel survey of 2,000 children in 100 rural villages; the other is the Gansu Vision Intervention Project (GVIP, 2004), a randomized trial involving 19,185 students in 165 schools in two counties.

Results attest to significant unmet need for vision correction. About 11 percent of third to fifth graders in the GVIP and about 17 percent of 13 to 16 year olds in the GSCF had diagnosed vision problems. Yet, just 1 percent of the GVIP sample and 7 percent of the GSCF sample wore glasses in 2004, and access to vision correction shows a sharp socioeconomic gradient in both datasets. Importantly, vision problems themselves are actually selective of higher socioeconomic status children and more academically engaged students, a finding that poses challenges to isolating the causal impact of glasses-wearing. Propensity score matching estimates based on the GSCF suggest a significant effect of glasses-wearing on standardized math and literacy tests, though not on language tests. Analysis of the GVIP intervention shows that those who received glasses were less likely to fail a class. While we cannot firmly rule out all sources of selectivity, findings are consistent with the commonsense notion that correcting vision supports learning.

The high level of unmet need for vision correction, together with evidence suggesting that wearing glasses supports learning, indicates the potential value of this simple intervention for students in developing country settings. The selectivity issues involved in the analysis indicate the need for further empirical studies that test the impact of vision correction on learning.


Rand Corporation Labor and Population Program: "Prediction of Latent Variables in a Mixture of Structural Equation Models, with an Application to the Discrepancy Between Survey and Register Data," by Erik Meijer, Susann Rohwedder, and Tom Wansbeek (WR-584, June 2008, .pdf format, 43p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


National Bureau of Economic Research:

A. "The Lengthening of Childhood," by David Deming and Susan Dynarski (w14124, July 2008, .pdf format, 28p.).


Forty years ago, 96% of six-year-old children were enrolled in first grade or above. As of 2005, the figure was just 84%. The school attendance rate of six-year-olds has not decreased; rather, they are increasingly likely to be enrolled in kindergarten rather than first grade. This paper documents this historical shift. We show that only about a quarter of the change can be proximately explained by changes in school entry laws; the rest reflects "academic redshirting," the practice of enrolling a child in a grade lower than the one for which he is eligible. We show that the decreased grade attainment of six-year-olds reverberates well beyond the kindergarten classroom. Recent stagnation in the high school and college completion rates of young people is partly explained by their later start in primary school. The relatively late start of boys in primary school explains a small but significant portion of the rising gender gaps in high school graduation and college completion. Increases in the age of legal school entry intensify socioeconomic differences in educational attainment, since lower-income children are at greater risk of dropping out of school when they reach the legal age of school exit.

B. "Vengeance," by Naci H. Mocan (w14131, July 2008, .pdf format, 64p.).


This paper investigates the extent of vengeful feelings and their determinants using data on more than 89,000 individuals from 53 countries. Country characteristics (such as per-capita income, average education of the country, presence of an armed conflict, the extent of the rule-of-law, uninterrupted democracy, individualism) as well as personal attributes of the individuals influence vengeful feelings. The magnitude of vengeful feelings is greater for people in low-income countries, in countries with low levels of education, low levels of the rule-of-law, in collectivist countries and in countries that experienced an armed conflict in recent history. Females, older people, working people, people who live in high-crime areas of their country and people who are at the bottom 50% of their country's income distribution are more vengeful. The intensity of vengeful feelings dies off gradually over time. The findings suggest that vengeful feelings of people are subdued as a country develops economically and becomes more stable politically and socially and that both country characteristics and personal attributes are important determinants of vengeance. Poor people who live in higher-income societies that are ethno-linguistically homogeneous are as vengeful as rich people who live in low-income societies that are ethno-linguistically fragmented. These results reinforce the idea that some puzzles about individual choice can best be explained by considering the interplay of personal and cultural factors.

C. "The Evolutionary Theory of Time Preferences and Intergenerational Transfers," by C.Y. Cyrus Chu, Hung-Ken Chien, and Ronald D. Lee (w14185, July 2008, .pdf format, 38p.).


At each age an organism produces energy by foraging and allocates this energy among reproduction, survival, growth, and intergenerational transfers. We characterize the optimal set of allocation decisions that maximizes reproductive fitness. Time preference (the discount rate) is derived from the marginal rate of substitution between energy obtained at two different times or ages in an individualís life, holding reproductive fitness constant. We show that the life history may have an initial immature phase during which there is body growth but no fertility, and a later mature phase with fertility but no growth, as with humans. During the immature phase, time preference depends only on the compounding effect of body growth, much like returns on a capital investment, but not on fertility, or the intrinsic population growth rate. During the mature phase, time preference depends on the costliness of fertility, and on endogenous survival and intrinsic growth rate, and not at all on body growth. During the transition between the two phases, fertility, mortality, body growth, and intrinsic growth rate all matter. Using these results, we conclude that time preference and discount rates are likely to be U-shaped across age. We compare our results to Hansson and Stuart (1990), Rogers (1994, 1997) and Sozou and Seymour (2003). Wastage and inefficiencies aside, in a single sex model a system of intergenerational transfers yields Samuelsonís (1958) biological interest rate equal to the population growth rate. When the rate of time preference exceeds this biological rate, inter- generational transfers will raise fitness and evolve through natural selection, partially smoothing out the age variations in time preference.

D. "School Competition and Efficiency with Publicly Funded Catholic Schools," by David Card, Martin Dooley, and Abigail Payne (w14176, July 2008, .pdf format, 62p.).


The province of Ontario has two publicly funded school systems: secular schools (known as public schools) that are open to all students, and separate schools that are open to children with Catholic backgrounds. The systems are administered independently and receive equal funding per student. In this paper we use detailed school and student-level data to assess whether competition between the systems leads to improved efficiency. Building on a simple model of school choice, we argue that incentives for effort will be greater in areas where there are more Catholic families, and where these families are less committed to a particular system. To measure the local determinants of cross-system competition we study the effects of school openings on enrollment growth at nearby elementary schools. We find significant cross-system responses to school openings, with a magnitude that is proportional to the fraction of Catholics in the area, and is higher in more rapidly growing areas. We then test whether schools that face greater cross-system competition have higher productivity, as measured by test score gains between 3rd and 6th grade. We estimate a statistically significant but modest-sized impact of potential competition on the growth rate of student achievement. The estimates suggest that extending competition to all students would raise average test scores in 6th grade by 6-8% of a standard deviation.

E. "The Consequences of High School Exit Examinations for Struggling Low-Income Urban Students: Evidence from Massachusetts," by John P. Papay, Richard J. Murnane, and John B. Willett (w14186, July 2008, .pdf format, 54p.).


The growing prominence of high-stakes exit examinations has made questions about their effects on student outcomes increasingly important. We take advantage of a natural experiment to evaluate the causal effects of failing a high-stakes test on high school completion for the cohort scheduled to graduate from Massachusetts high schools in 2006. With these exit examinations, states divide a continuous performance measure into dichotomous categories, so students with essentially identical performance may have different outcomes. We find that, for low-income urban students on the margin of passing, failing the 10th grade mathematics examination reduces the probability of on-time graduation by eight percentage points. The large majority (89%) of students who fail the 10th grade mathematics examination retake it. However, although we find that low-income urban students are just as likely to retake the test as apparently equally skilled suburban students, they are much less likely to pass this retest. Furthermore, failing the 8th grade mathematics examination reduces by three percentage points the probability that low-income urban students stay in school through 10th grade. We find no effects for suburban students or wealthier urban students.


National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER): "Classroom Peer Effects and Student Achievement," by Mary A. Burke and Tim R. Sass (Working Paper 18, June 2008, .pdf format, 51p.).


In this paper, we analyze the impact of classroom peers on individual student performance with a unique longitudinal data set covering all Florida public school students in grades 3-10 over a five-year period. Unlike many previous data sets used to study peer effects in education, our data allow us to identify each member of a given studentís classroom peer group in elementary, middle and high school as well as the classroom teacher responsible for instruction. As a result, we can control for individual student fixed effects simultaneously with individual teacher fixed effects, thereby alleviating biases due to endogenous assignment of both peers and teachers, including some dynamic aspects of such assignments. Our estimation strategy, which focuses on the influence of peersí fixed (observed and unobserved) characteristics on individual test score gains, also alleviates potential biases due to measurement error of peer quality, simultaneity of peer outcomes, and mean reversion. Under linear-in-means specifications, estimated peer effects are small to nonexistent, but we find some sizable and significant peer effects within nonlinear models. For example, we find that peer effects depend on an individual studentís own ability and on the ability level of the peers under consideration, results that suggest Pareto-improving redistributions of students across classrooms and/or schools. Estimated peer effects tend to be smaller when teacher fixed effects are included than when they are omitted, a result that suggests co-movement of peer and teacher quality within a student over time. We also find that peer effects tend to be stronger at the classroom level than the grade level.


Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) [University of Bonn, Germany]:

A. "Citizenship in the United States: The Roles of Immigrant Characteristics and Country of Origin," by Barry R. Chiswick and Paul W. Miller (Discussion Paper 3596, July 2008, .pdf format, 67p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Should You Compete or Cooperate with Your Schoolmates?" by Massimiliano Bratti, Daniele Checchi, and Antonio Filippin (Discussion Paper 3599, July 2008, .pdf format, 27p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

C. "The Impact of Social Capital on Crime: Evidence from the Netherlands," by I. Semih AkÁomak and Bas ter Weel (Discussion Paper 3603, July 2008, .pdf format, 84p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

D. "Happiness Dynamics with Quarterly Life Event Data," by Paul Frijters, David W. Johnston, and Michael A. Shields (Discussion Paper 3604, July 2008, .pdf format, 23p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

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JOURNAL TABLES OF CONTENTS (check your library for availability):

Annals of Statistics (Vol. 36, No. 4, August 2008).

Child Abuse and Neglect (Vol. 32, No. 7, July 2008).

Journal of the American Statistical Association (Vol. 103, No. 482, June 2008). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Journal of Marriage and the Family (Vol. 70, No. 3, August 2008). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

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UK Samples of Anonymised Records: "Census Microdata: findings and futures," to be held in Manchester, Lancashire, UK Sep. 1-3, 2008. For more information see:


Call for Papers: ESDS International Annual Conference 2008, to be held Dec. 1, 2008 in London, UK. "ESDS International will be holding their fourth Annual Conference on 1st December 2008 at the Institute of Materials in London.

We are now looking for UK academics to present research they have carried out using data from any of the databases in the ESDS international databank portfolio - for example, the IMF Direction of Trade Statistics, the International Energy Agency data, the OECD Main Economic Indicators, the World Bank's World Development Indicators or Eurobarometer.

Previous years contributions have included presentations on 'Using ESDS International Data in Energy and Environment Models', 'Is inflation a fiscal phenomenon in Pakistan?' and 'Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals: measuring poor social conditions'.

We are issuing this call for presenters to users from any socio-economic discipline who have used the international databanks in their research, but we'd also be interested in hearing from anyone who would be interested in presenting on their use of the data in their teaching at the conference. Submissions for the poster session are also welcome at this stage.

Presentations will need to be about 20 minutes long - there is no need to write a paper specifically for the conference but any papers submitted and presented will be published on the ESDS International website as conference proceedings. If you are interested, please send a proposed presentation title and brief abstract to the ESDS International Helpdesk at by the 31st August.

Reasonable UK travel costs for academic speakers will be covered and you may also be interested to know that other speakers at the conference will include representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the International Labour Organisation, the International Energy Agency and other publishers of international data.

As a specialist data service of the ESRC/JISC funded Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS International provides the UK academic community with free access to the high quality socio-economic data sets produced by inter-governmental organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations and the World Bank.

For further information on the conference please contact the ESDS International Helpdesk at, tel: +44 (0)161 275 6109."


First international Conference for Developing Countries Think Tanks, to be held in Cairo, Egypt, January 2009. "Realizing the importance of sharing developmental Knowledge and enhancing developmental cooperation between the developing countries, The Egyptian Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC)

is taking the initiative of holding a first International Conference for the Developing World Think Tanks in Cairo. The significance of this initiative resides in the fact that this would be the first international conference ever grouping the developing world Think Tanks that are becoming more and more essential policy actors in their societies. The Conference will promote South-South Cooperation and will aim to:

Encourage collaboration on joint research projects between Think Tanks in order to share the most successful best practices and experiences in developmental policies.

Develop concrete mechanisms between Think Tanks for Sharing Knowledge concerning socio-economic development across the Developing World.

The Conference will also gather Think Tanks that represent the vanguard of reformers Think Tanks across the Developing World and its activities will provide a valuable forum and a neutral space where reformers ideas can be discussed in a serious and non-adversarial way."

For more information see the concept note (.pdf format, 10p.). at:


Conference on 'Environment, Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability'(EFMSV), to be held Oct. 9-11, 2008 in Bonn, Germany. For more information see:

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through Jul. 21, 2008.


American Educational Research Association: AERA has updated its employment page with listings through Jul. 22, 2008.


American Statistical Association: ASA has updated its employment page with listings through Jul. 22, 2008.


Chronicle of Higher Education:

Sociology positions has been updated through Jul. 21, 2008.

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General Social Survey Call for Proposals: "The 2010 General Social Survey Seeks Additional Questions. "For the 2010 General Social Survey (GSS) funds are expected from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support added supplements. Proposals for topics for these NSF-funded modules are solicited from the social science community." For more information (.pdf format, 4p.), see:

and click on:

"Call for Proposals to Add Questions to the 2010 GSS."


UK Data Archive (Essex University, Colchester, UK): The UK Data Archive has recently added the following datasets to its holdings. Note: There maybe charges or licensing requirements on holdings of the UK Data Archive. For more information see:

For new data or new editions of new data in the last month:

and pick "1 month" for either.

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