Current Social Science Research Report--Sociology #79, September 9, 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.


To CSSRR-Econ #79

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Index to this issue:
















Bureau of Labor Statistics Article: "Who goes to college? Evidence from the NLSY97," by Alison Aughinbaugh (Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 131, No. 8, August 2008, .pdf format, p. 33-43).

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US States:


State Data Center Updates, Report:

A. The SDC released the following updates (.pdf and Microsoft Excel format) on Sep. 5, 2008:


Total live births and birth rates: 2000 - 2007

Total deaths and death rates: 2000 - 2007

Natural change: 2000-2007


Total live births, birth rates, total deaths, death rates, and natural change for Iowa: 1915-2007

Total marriages, marriage rates, total dissolutions, and dissolution rates for Iowa: 1915-2007

See under Sep. 5, 2008 listing.

B. "Latinos in Iowa: 2008" (September 2008, .pdf format, 4p.).

North Dakota:

State Data Center Periodical: Population Bulletin (Vol. 24, No. 9, September 2008, .pdf format, 3p.). The topic of this month's issue is: "Highlights from the 2008 North Dakota KIDS COUNT Fact Book."

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NGO and Other Countries:

Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation Compendium: Education at a Glance 2008 (September 2008, .pdf format, 521p., with selected tables in Microsoft Excel format).,3343,en_2649_39263238_41266761_1_1_1_1,00.html

Click on "How to obtain this publication".



Bureau of Statistics Report: "Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101" (September 2008, .pdf format, 96p., with tables in Microsoft Excel and .zip compressed Microsoft Excel format).



National Institute of Statistics Report: "General Population Census of Cambodia 2008: Provisional Population Totals" (August 2008, .pdf format, 25p.).



Statistics Canada/Statistique Canada Periodical: Education Matters (Vol. 5, No. 3, September 2008).



Statistical Service Tables: The following tables have been updated as of Sep. 5, 2008 (all Microsoft Excel format).

Education Indicators

Schools and Pupils by Level of Education

Cypriot Students Abroad by Country of Study and Sex

Number of Students in Tertiary Education in Cyprus and Abroad

Teaching Personnel by Level of Education

Scroll to bottom of page for links to tables.



Federal Statistics Office Press Release: "2007: Public sector’s expenditure on culture amounts to EUR 8.1 billion" (Sep. 9, 2008). The press release links to a more detailed German language press release that includes a topical table.,templateId=renderPrint.psml



Statistics Bureau Compendium: Statistical Handbook of Japan 2008" (September 2008, HTML and .pdf format).



Census and Statistic Service Compendium, Periodical:

A. Yearbook of Statistics: 2007 (September 2008, .pdf and Microsoft Excel format, 472p.). The Yearbook is in Chinese, Portuguese, and English.

B. Monthly Bulletin of Statistics (August 2008, .pdf and Microsoft Excel format, 79p.).



State Statistical Office News Release: "Enrolled students at higher schools and faculties" (Sep. 5, 2008, .pdf format, 12p.). The news release is in Macedonian and English.



Statistics Netherlands: SN has updated its Web Magazine, Economic Monitor, and Press Releases from Sep. 4-9, 2008).


New Zealand:

Statistics New Zealand/Tatauranga Aotearoa News Release: "Father figures" (Sep. 4, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.).


Palestinian National Authority:

Central Bureau of Statistics News Releases:

A. "President of PCBS announces 2007 West Bank Census final results: Key changes in size, structure, growth rate, and type of housing of Palestinian households in the West Bank between the 1997 Census and the 2007 Census" (Sep. 9, 2008).

B. "In the Occasion of the International Illiteracy day, 8th of September: PCBS :Despite the decrease in Illiteracy rate by 61% Since the founding of the Palestinian National Authority, still there is 124 thousand adult illiterate in the Palestinian Territory, 77% of them are females" (Sep. 9, 2008, .pdf format, 1p.).



Central Statistical Office Reports:

A. "Life tables of Poland in 2007" (August 2008, .pdf and .zip compressed Microsoft Excel format, 61p.). The report is in Polish and English.

B. "Voivodship Cities basic statistical" (September 2008, .pdf and .zip compressed .pdf format, 64p.). The report is in Polish and English.


Sierra Leone:

Statistics Sierra Leone Compendium: Annual Statistical Digest: 2005/2006 (2008, .pdf format, 202p.).



Statistical Office News Release: "Scholarship recipients, Slovenia, 2007," by Martina Kontelj (Sep. 5, 2008).



Statistics Sweden News Releases:

A. "Sharp decrease of those receiving economic support" (Sep. 5, 2008).

B. "Employees in Higher Education 2007" (Sep. 9, 2008).



State Statistics Committee Table: "Criminal justice: 1990-2007" (Sep. 5, 2008).



1. Ministry of Justice Report: "Reoffending of adults: results from the 2006 cohort" (September 2008, .pdf format, 54p., with tables in Microsoft Excel format).

2. National Health Service Report: "Annual Performance Assessment of council social services for children and young people 2008: Indicators for expenditure, England" (September 2008, Microsoft Excel format).

3. Department for Work and Pensions Report: "Reporting changes in circumstances: tackling error in the Housing Benefit system: Reporting changes in circumstances: tackling error in the Housing Benefit system," by Jacqueline Davidson and Roy Sainsbury (Research Report 523, September 2008, .pdf format, 59p.).


Welsh Assembly Government/Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru Report: "Teacher Assessments of the Non-Core Subjects at Key Stage 3, 2008" (September 2008, .pdf format, 6p.).

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Demographic Research Articles:

A. "Human Biodemography: Some challenges and possibilities," by Kaare Christensen (Vol. 19, Article 43, September 2008, .pdf format, p. 1575-1586). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Top-down and bottom-up research in biodemography," by Hillard Kaplan and Michael Gurven (Vol. 19, Article 44, September 2008, .pdf format, p. 1587-1602). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


Pew Hispanic Center Report: "One-in-Five and Growing Fast: A Profile of Hispanic Public School Students," by Rick Fry and Felisa Gonzales (August 2008, .pdf format, 28p.).


Migration Policy Institute Report: "Learning by Doing: Experiences of Circular Migration," by Kathleen Newland, Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias and Aaron Terrazas (September 2008, .pdf format, 27p.).

More information about MPI:

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California Center for Population Research [University of California-Los Angeles]:

A. "Social Conditions and Infant Mortality in China: A Test of the Fundamental Cause Perspective," by Shige Song and Sarah A. Burgard (CCPR-013-08, August 2008, .pdf format, 60p.).


The fundamental cause argument represents a distinctively sociological approach to explaining persistent social disparities in health across a range of sociohistorical contexts. We elaborate and test this U.S.-based argument using nationally representative survey data from China covering births from 1970 to 2001, and focusing on social disparities in infant mortality over a period of dramatic social, political, and macroeconomic change. Our results show that despite the massive changes during the last several decades, the increasing use of medical pregnancy care, and the steady decline in the overall risk of infant mortality, disparities in infant mortality by mother's education and urban/rural place of residence remained largely unchanged. During this period, more educated women were increasingly likely to take advantage of the newly-available prenatal care and delivery assistance facilities, while urban women maintained a stable advantage over rural women in use of these facilities. This differential utilization of highly-effective maternal care technology has maintained social disparities in infant mortality over a period of major social and technological change in China, providing support for the fundamental cause argument.

B. "Mortality Consequences of the 1959-1961 Great Leap Forward Famine in China: Debilitation, Selection, and Mortality Crossovers," by Shige Song (CCPR-2008-012, August 2008, .pdf format, 40p.).


Using individual retrospective mortality records for three cohorts of newborns (1956- 1958, 1959-1961, and 1962-1964) drawn from a large national fertility survey conducted in 1988 in China, I examined cohort differences in mortality up to age 22, aiming to identify debilitation and selection effects of the 1959-1961 Great Leap Forward Famine. The results revealed the presence of a mortality crossover between ages 11 and 12, when the mortality level of the non-famine cohort caught up to and exceeded the level of the famine cohort. The presence and timing of the mortality crossover suggests that both debilitation and selection effects influenced the post-famine cohort mortality pattern. In addition, the multilevel multiprocess models established a direct connection between frailties for infant mortality and mortality at subsequent ages, thus demonstrating the theoretical inevitability of mortality crossover after famine as the result of the convergence process caused by selection due to frailty.


University of Michigan Population Studies Center: "Changes in Standard of Living among Population Groups in South Africa: 1998-2006," by Barbara Anderson and Mosidi S. Nhlapo (PSC Research Report No. 08-654, September 2008, .pdf format, 73p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Click on the PDF icon for link to full text.


National Bureau of Economic Research:

A. "Does Church Attendance Cause People to Vote? Using Blue Laws' Repeal to Estimate the Effect of Religiosity on Voter Turnout," by Alan Gerber, Jonathan Gruber and Daniel M. Hungerman (w14303, September 2008, .pdf format, 25p.).


Regular church attendance is strongly associated with a higher probability of voting. It is an open question as to whether this association, which has been confirmed in numerous surveys, is causal. We use the repeal of the laws restricting Sunday retail activity ("Blue laws") to measure the effects of church-going on political participation. The repeal of Blue Laws caused a 5 percent decrease in church attendance. We measure the effect of Blue Laws' repeal on political participation and find that following the repeal turnout falls by approximately 1 percentage point. This turnout decline, which is statistically significant and fairly robust across model specifications, is consistent with the large effect of church attendance on turnout reported in the literature, and suggests that church attendance may have significant causal influence on voter turnout.

B. "Inside the War on Poverty: The Impact of Food Stamps on Birth Outcomes," by Douglas Almond, Hilary W. Hoynes, and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach (w14306, September 2008, .pdf format, 53p.).


This paper evaluates the health impact of a signature initiative of the War on Poverty: the roll out of the modern Food Stamp Program (FSP) during the 1960s and early 1970s. Using variation in the month the FSP began operating in each U.S. county, we find that pregnancies exposed to the FSP three months prior to birth yielded deliveries with increased birth weight, with the largest gains at the lowest birth weights. These impacts are evident with difference-in-difference models and event study analyses. Estimated impacts are robust to inclusion of county fixed effects, time fixed effects, measures of other federal transfer spending, state by year fixed effects, and county-specific linear time trends. We also find that the FSP rollout leads to small, but statistically insignificant, improvements in neonatal infant mortality. We conclude that the sizeable increase in income from Food Stamp benefits improved birth outcomes for both whites and African Americans, with larger impacts for births to African American mothers.

C. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence From a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," by Abhijit Banerjee, Rukmini Banerji, Esther Duflo, Rachel Glennerster, and Stuti Khemani (w14311, September 2008, .pdf format, 37p.).


Participation of beneficiaries in the monitoring of public services is increasingly seen as a key to improving their efficiency. In India, the current government flagship program on universal primary education organizes both locally elected leaders and parents of children enrolled in public schools into committees and gives these groups powers over resource allocation, and monitoring and management of school performance. However, in a baseline survey we found that people were not aware of the existence of these committees and their potential for improving education. This paper evaluates three different interventions to encourage beneficiaries' participation through these committees: providing information, training community members in a new testing tool, and training and organizing volunteers to hold remedial reading camps for illiterate children. We find that these interventions had no impact on community involvement in public schools, and no impact on teacher effort or learning outcomes in those schools. However, we do find that the intervention that trained volunteers to teach children to read had a large impact on activity outside public schools -- local youths volunteered to be trained to teach, and children who attended these camps substantially improved their reading skills. These results suggest that citizens face substantial constraints in participating to improve the public education system, even when they care about education and are willing to do something to improve it.

D. "Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement," by Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff (w14314, September 2008, .pdf format, 42p.).


There are fierce debates over the best way to prepare teachers. Some argue that easing entry into teaching is necessary to attract strong candidates, while others argue that investing in high quality teacher preparation is the most promising approach. Most agree, however, that we lack a strong research basis for understanding how to prepare teachers. This paper is one of the first to estimate the effects of features of teachers' preparation on teachers' value-added to student test score performance in math and English Language Arts. Our results indicate variation across preparation programs in the average effectiveness of the teachers they are supplying to New York City schools. In particular, preparation directly linked to practice appears to benefit teachers in their first year.


Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development: "Raising education achievement and breaking the cycle of inequality in the United Kingdom," by Anne-Marie Brooke (Economics Department Working Papers No. 633, August 2008, .pdf format, 35p.).


Globalisation, together with skill-biased technical change, is changing the composition of jobs in advanced economies and raising the level of skills required to do them. This has increased the importance of educating a large proportion of the population to much higher standards than in the past. The government in the United Kingdom has responded to this challenge by raising education spending and expanding the capacity of the education system in key areas such as pre-primary education and increasing participation in education beyond the age of 16. Nevertheless, performance on international tests of cognitive ability remains significantly below the standards of the best performing OECD countries and the education system seems to be particularly poor at ensuring good performance of pupils in the middle to bottom half of the education performance distribution. A renewed sense of urgency, together with some new approaches, is required to address the United Kingdom’s relative underperformance in literacy and numeracy. This paper proposes a number of avenues for encouraging a higher level of educational attainment, without significant further increases in expenditure.


Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) [University of Bonn, Germany]: "Using a Census to Assess the Reliability of a National Household Survey for Migration Research: The Case of Ireland," by Alan Barrett and Elish Kelly (Discussion Paper No. 3689, September 2008, .pdf format, 17p.).


Much research has been conducted on immigration into Ireland in recent years using data from the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS), the official source for labour market data in Ireland. As it is known that the QNHS undercounts immigrants in Ireland, a concern exists over whether the profile of immigrants being provided is accurate. For example, QNHS-based research has shown that immigrants in Ireland are a highly educated group. However, if it is the case that those who are missed by the QNHS are more heavily drawn from among low-skilled immigrants, then the profile being reported and used in other research may be inaccurate. In this paper, we use the Irish Census of 2006 to assess the reliability of the profile of immigrants provided by the QNHS by comparing the characteristics of immigrants in both datasets. In general, we find that the QNHS does indeed provide a reliable picture and that earlier findings on the education levels of immigrants in Ireland hold.


Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) [University of Essex, Colchester, UK]: "Who are the UK’s minority ethnic groups? Issues of identification and measurement in a longitudinal survey," by Jonathan Burton, Alita Nandi, and Lucinda Platt (ISER Working Paper No. 2008-26, September 2008, .pdf format, 50p.).


In this paper we highlight issues related to measuring ethnicity and ethnic identity. We base our discussion on an extensive review of the literature and an intensive consultation process undertaken as part of the development of the ethnicity focused strand of a major new UK panel study, Understanding Society. We conclude that ethnic identity is a multi-dimensional concept and its ideal measure would have to be consistent, reliable as well as capture people’s perception of their own ethnic identity. One way forward is to design a multiple response question with different dimensions of ethnicity as response options.

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

Child Abuse and Neglect (Vol. 32, No. 8, August 2008).

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through Sep. 8, 2008.


American Educational Research Association: AERA has updated its employment page with listings through Sep. 9, 2008.


Chronicle of Higher Education:

Sociology positions has been updated through Sep. 9, 2008.

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US Census Bureau: "Geographical Mobility: 2007" (September 2008, Microsoft Excel and comma separated value [.csv] format. The data is linked to from a Census Bureau news release: "Most Movers Stay in the Same County" (CB08-136, Sep. 4, 2008).

Click on "Geographic Mobility" for link to full text.


Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research: ICPSR at he University of Michigan released several new datasets as of Sep. 1, 2008, which may be of interest to Sociology researchers. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

New and updated data:

All new and updated data in the last 90 days can be found at:


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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NLS Bibliography Updates: Note: These citations, along with all of the NLS bibliography, can be found at:

For more information on any of these citations (selected abstracts are available) go to the above listed address and click on "Title List". Click on the first item, which will give the syntax of the citation urls:[0]=5923

Then change the number after the equal sign to the number listed as the "ID Number" in the citations below. You will be taken to the full citation listing.

New listings are numbered 5923-5933

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