Events for October 1, 2016 - November 1, 2017
Events for October 1, 2016 - November 1, 2017 › CCPR Seminar
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Please come join us to learn all about the California Center for Population Research!
Professors Judith Seltzer, Dora Costa and Till von Wachter will be presenting.
This will be the kick-off event for the start of the upcoming 2016-2017 CCPR Seminar Series.Find out more »
"Firming Up Inequality"
We use a massive, new, matched employer-employee database for the United States to analyze the contribution of firms to the rise in earnings inequality from 1978 to 2013. We find that two thirds of the rise in the variance of earnings is associated with workers' employers, whereas one third occurs within firms. The employer-related rise in the variance can be decomposed into two roughly equally important forces - a rise in the assortative matching of high-wage workers to high-wage firms and a rise in segregation of similar workers between firms. In contrast, we do not find a rise in the variance of firm-specific pay once we control for worker composition. The rise in the employer-related inequality was particularly strong in smaller and medium-sized firms (explaining 84% for firms with fewer than 10,000 employees), driven by worker sorting and segregation. In contrast, in the very largest firms with 10,000+ employees, almost half of the increase in the variance of earnings took place within firms, driven by both declines in earnings for employees below the median and a substantial rise in earnings for the 10% best-paid employees. We also find that for the very top earners, who experienced particularly large earnings gains over the last decades, a larger share of earnings growth occurred within firms. However, the contribution of these top earners to the overall increase in earnings inequality is small.Find out more »
[Workshop] Accessing & Safeguarding Administrative Data at the CCPR: The Census RDC & German Data Center
Instructor: Professor Till von Wachter Please join us at this workshop to learn more about the Census Research Data Center and German Data Center. Learn more about how to access and safeguard data stored at these secured data centers. Powerpoint PresentationFind out more »
"Strategic Choices in Polygamous Households: Theory and Evidence from Senegal"
This paper proposes a strategic framework to account for fertility choices in polygamous households. A theoretical model specifies the main drivers of fertility in the African context and describes how the fertility of one wife might impact the behavior of her co-wives. It generates predictions to test for strategic interactions. Exploiting original data from a household survey and the Demographic and Health Surveys in Senegal, empirical tests show that children are strategic complements. One wife raises her fertility in response to an increase by the other wife, because children are the best claim to resources controlled by the husband. This result is the first quantitative evidence of a reproductive rivalry between co-wives. It suggests that the sustained high level of fertility in Africa does not merely reflect women's lack of control over births, as is often argued, but also their incentives to have many children. This paper also contributes to the literature on household behavior as one of the few attempts to open the black box of non-nuclear families.
"Do Recent Declines in U.S. Life Expectancy Mean Bad News for Healthy Life Expectancy?"
Life expectancy for non-Hispanic white (henceforth white) Americans with less than high school education has fallen in recent years—particularly for women – while life expectancy has increased substantially for the college educated population. However, the extent to which the declines/increases in life expectancy translate into healthy life expectancy remains unclear.Find out more »
"The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of
Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists "
Co-sponsored with the Department of Economics
In the U.S., personal and business taxes vary enormously from state to state. While these differences have the potential to affect the geographical location of highly skilled workers and employers across the country, evidence on their effects is limited. We uncover large, stable, and precisely estimated effects of personal and corporate taxes on star scientists’ migration patterns. The long run elasticity of mobility relative to taxes is 1.8 for personal income taxes and 1.9 for state corporate income tax. While there are other factors that drive when innovative individual and innovative companies decide to locate, there are enough firms and workers on the
margin that state taxes matter.
"Probabilistic Cause-of-Death Assignment using Verbal Autopsies"
In areas without complete-coverage civil registration and vital statistics systems there is uncertainty about even the most basic demographic indicators. In such areas the majority of deaths occur outside hospitals and are not recorded. Worldwide, fewer than one-third of deaths are assigned a cause, with the least information available from the most impoverished nations. In populations like this, verbal autopsy (VA) is a commonly used tool to assess cause of death and estimate cause-specific mortality rates and the distribution of deaths by cause. VA uses an interview with caregivers of the decedent to elicit data describing the signs and symptoms leading up to the death. This talk describes a new statistical method to classify cause of death using information acquired through VA. Unlike current approaches, our method shares uncertainty between cause of death assignments for specific individuals and the distribution of deaths by cause across the population. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method using side-by-side comparisons with both observed and simulated data.
“Exposure to the United States and Healthy Eating Among U.S. Immigrants:
A Life Course Perspective on Immigrant Health”
The negative acculturation perspective predicts that immigrants’ health advantages erode with increasing exposure to the U.S. due to the adoption of the unhealthy default American lifestyle. Focusing on diet, we argue that this perspective underestimates immigrants’ abilities to maintain healthy eating patterns, especially among adult immigrant arrivals, and fails to account for how migration during childhood can disrupt important developmental processes. We advance an alternative “life course perspective on immigrant health” and present evidence for it by examining the associations of age at arrival and duration of residence with healthy eating among adult immigrants. Our results suggest that earlier age at arrival is negatively associated with healthy eating and that duration of residence has a weak but positive association with healthy eating, especially among those who arrived as adults. The results call into question notions that emphasize a steady erosion of healthy eating with time and acculturation. Instead, they support the life course perspective and point to the importance of early childhood exposures for understanding how living in the U.S. influences healthy eating among immigrants.Find out more »
"Characterizing Cohort Loss Before Birth"
Answers to many central questions in the social sciences depend upon the assumption that cohort loss before birth is ignorable. Evidence from inferential population studies and small-scale cohort studies increasingly suggests otherwise. Up to 70% of human pregnancies terminate before birth; these losses appear to be non-random. In this research we consider the implications of prenatal cohort loss for a few key demographic questions, including the effects of early-life exposures on later-life health and the effects of child traits on parent outcomes. In so doing, we extend a long history of demographic research on cohort selection to the prenatal period. We conclude with a discussion of new, big data approaches to learn more about how prenatal exposures shape population traits.
"Minority Stress and the Health of Sexual and Gender Minorities: Challenges and Innovations in Population Studies"
In several highly cited papers, Dr. Meyer has developed a model of minority stress that describes the role of prejudice and stigma in promoting social stressors that bring about adverse health outcomes for LGBT people. The model has guided his and other investigators’ population research on LGBT health disparities by identifying the mechanisms by which social stressors impact health and describing the harm to LGBT people from prejudice and stigma. In this talk, Dr. Meyer will describe minority stress research findings and current challenges to the study of LGBT health. He will describe two new NIH-funded research projects that take advantage of methodological innovations. In these projects, Dr. Meyer and co-investigators assess the role of historical context and the social environment in understanding how social changes impact the study of minority stress to help understand health and well-being of LGBT people.
"Utilizing Smartphones to Study Disadvantaged and Hard-to-Reach Groups: The Newark Smartphone Reentry Project"
In this talk, I discuss the use of smartphones to collect real-time information on the experiences of men recently released from prison and on parole in Newark, New Jersey. Mobile technologies, specifically smartphones, offer social scientists a potentially powerful approach to examine the social world. They enable researchers to collect information that was previously unobservable or difficult to measure, expanding the realm of empirical investigation. For research that concerns resource-poor and hard-to-reach groups, such as men recently released from prison, smartphones may be particularly advantageous by lessening sample selection and attrition and by improving measurement quality of irregular and unstable experiences. The first part of this talk describes the project and the smartphone application. I then present findings from one working paper, which uses GPS estimates to assess neighborhood-level daytime exposure by men on parole and the association between exposure and crime rates.
"The Other One Percent: Indians in America "
People of Indian origin—whether they are Indian-born or American-born—make up about 1% of the U.S. population. While there are several anecdotal accounts of Indians in America as well as scholarly studies on specific sub-groups, The Other One Percent is the first data-driven comprehensive account of the community. The book focuses on three major issues: Selection—the processes by which people from a low-income country have become the highest-income and most-educated group in the U.S; Assimilation—the multiple pathways and challenges of integration while maintaining some aspects of their distinctive identities; and Entrepreneurship—from motels to medicine and finance to technology. Drawing from different academic disciplines, the book examines the entire community, from its successful to its marginal members. The Other One Percent is a follow-up to Kapur’s prior book, Diaspora, Democracy and Development: The Impact of International Migration From India on India, for which he earned a 2012 ENMISA Distinguished Book Award of the International Studies Association.
"Diffusion in Social Networks: New Theory and Experiments "
The strength of weak ties is that they tend to be long – they connect socially distant locations. Research on “small worlds” shows that these long ties can dramatically reduce the “degrees of separation” of a social network, thereby allowing ideas and behaviors to rapidly diffuse. However, I show that the opposite can also be true. Increasing the frequency of long ties in a clustered social network can also inhibit the diffusion of collective behavior across a population. For health related behaviors that require strong social reinforcement, such as dieting, exercising, smoking cessation, or even condom use, successful diffusion may depend primarily on the width of bridges between otherwise distant locations, not just their length. I present formal and computational results that demonstrate these findings, and then present an experimental test of the effects of social network topology on the diffusion of health behavior.
"New Thoughts on Old Age "
I will discuss late-age career transitions and retirement incentive plans, the annuity puzzle, and financial issues that are faced by the aging population. My discussion aims to stimulate new thoughts and argument about aging and retirement.
"Research Funding and the Foreign Born "
There has been a resurgence of interest in the link between immigration and economic activity. The evidence suggests that US education plays an important role in both attracting and retaining high-quality foreign-born students. This is particularly true in the case of doctorates trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a workforce that is disproportionately foreign born and likely to contribute to long-term economic growth. Because of this, much effort is given toward attracting talented students and retaining them in the US workforce after they complete their studies. However, little is known about how that attraction and retention works. In this paper we use new data to examine the role of an important policy lever-research funding—in keeping both domestic and foreign-born workers in the US labor market.
"The Problem of Causal Mutualisms, The Promise of Polygenic Scores, and The Pervasive Divergence of Life Outcomes"
Casual mutualisms are sets of properties that have substantial reciprocal influence on one another. This may sound abstruse, but various big constructs in behavioral science, including "heritability," "SES", "health", and "achievement," exhibit clear signs of instantiating massive mutualisms and yet many implications of their doing so remain largely unpursued. The talk will describe the problem and several routes into it by reference to a series of phenomena that might otherwise appear unrelated, on intellectual achievement, educational attainment, and health disparities. Together these examples are used to argue for a more strongly integrative and developmental social science, as well as the potential value of predictive scores based on genomic information for helping reckon with mutualisms.
"Harnessing Social Networks and Social Systems for Obesity Prevention"
Our health and social networks are closely intertwined. In this talk, I describe how the complex web of family, friend, and peer relationships in which we are embedded—i.e., our social networks– influence eating, physical activity, and obesity, and how the dynamics of our evolving behaviors and social networks shape population obesity rates. I will outline intervention and policy strategies that have the potential to activate, harness, or alter social networks and broader social-ecological systems, so that these social contexts play a more supportive role in the prevention and treatment of obesity.
"Legal Origins and Female HIV "
More than half of all people living with HIV are women and 80% of all HIV positive women in the world live in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper demonstrates that the legal origins of these formally colonized countries significantly determines current day female HIV rates. In particular, female HIV rates are significantly higher in common law Sub-Saharan African countries compared to Civil law ones. This paper explains this relationship by focusing on differences in female property rights under the two codes of law. In Sub-Saharan Africa, common law is associated with weaker female marital property laws. As a result, women in these common law countries have lower bargaining power within the household and are less able to negotiate safer sex and are thus more vulnerable to HIV, compared to their civil law counterparts. Exploiting the fact that some ethnic groups in Sub-Saharan Africa cross country borders with different legal systems, we are able to include ethnicity fixed effects into a regression discontinuity approach. This allows us to control for a large set of cultural, geographical, and environmental factors that could be confounding the estimates. The results of this paper are consistent with gender inequality (the ‘feminization of AIDS’) explaining much of its prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"To Work for Yourself, for Others, or Not at All? How Disability Benefits Affect The Employment Decisions of Older Veterans "
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation (DC) program provides disability benefits to nearly one in five military veterans in the US and its annual expenditures exceed $60 billion. We examine how the receipt of DC benefits affects the employment decisions of older veterans. We make use of variation in program eligibility resulting from a 2001 policy change that increased access to the program for Vietnam veterans who served with “boots on the ground” in the Vietnam theater but not for other veterans of that same era. We find that the policy-induced increase in program enrollment decreased labor force participation and induced a substantially larger switch from wage employment to self-employment. This latter finding suggests that an exogenous increase in income spurred many older veterans to start their own businesses. Additionally, we estimate that one in four veterans who entered the DC program due to this policy change left the labor force, estimates in the same range as those from recent studies of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
"Early-Life Undernourishment in Developing Countries: Prevalence, Impacts over the Life Cycle and Determinants"
Early-life undernourishment is a widespread phenomenon in many developing countries, with an estimated 170 million children under 5 years of age stunted, the standard indicator of chronic malnutrition. This presentation summarizes an ongoing work program on this topic, with reference to the prevalence, impacts and determinants of such undernutrition.
"Tuskegee and the Health of Black Men"
For forty years, the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male passively monitored hundreds of adult black males with syphilis despite the availability of effective treatment. The study's methods have become synonymous with exploitation and mistreatment by the medical community. We find that the historical disclosure of the study in 1972 is correlated with increases in medical mistrust and mortality and decreases in both outpatient and inpatient physician interactions for older black men. Our estimates imply life expectancy at age 45 for black men fell by up to 1.4 years in response to the disclosure, accounting for approximately 35% of the 1980 life expectancy gap between black and white men.
The Center for Social Statistics Presents: Predicting the Evolution of Intrastate Conflict: Evidence from Nigeria url: http://css.stat.ucla.edu/event/shahryar-minhas/ The endogenous nature of civil conflict has limited scholars' abilities to draw clear inferences about the drivers of conflict evolution. We argue that three primary features characterize the complexity of intrastate conflict: (1) the interdependent relationships of conflict between actors; (2) the impact of armed groups on violence as they enter or exit the conflict network; and (3) the ability of civilians to influence…Find out more »
The use of big data has become increasingly common in social and health research, raising a series of new and difficult questions about research ethics. In this informal workshop, a panel of investigators using big data for their research will describe issues that they have faced and other potential problems. As background to this workshop, you may want to read: http://bdes.datasociety.net/council-output/perspectives-on-big-data-ethics-and-society/ Kramer ADI, Guillory JE and Hancock JT (2014) Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the…Find out more »
"Reservation Employer Establishments: Data from the U.S. Census Longitudinal Business Data Set"
Abstract: The presence of employers and jobs on American Indian reservations has been difficult to analyze due to limited data. We are the first to geocode confidential data on employer establishments from the U.S. Census Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) to identify location on or off American Indian reservations. We identify the per-capita establishment count and jobs in reservation-based employer establishments for most federally recognized reservations. Comparisons to nearby non-reservation areas in the lower 48 states across 18 industries, reveal that reservations have a similar sectoral distribution of employer establishments but have significantly fewer of them in nearly all sectors, especially when the area population is below 15,000 (as it is on the vast majority of reservations and for the majority of the reservation population). By contrast, total jobs provided by reservation establishments are, on average, at par with or somewhat higher than in nearby county areas but are concentrated among casino-related and government employers. An implication is that average employment per establishment are higher in these sectors on reservations, including those with populations below 15,000, while the rest of the economy is sparser in reservations (in firm count and jobs per capita) Geographic and demographic factors such as population density and per capita income statistically account for some but not all of these differences.Find out more »
"The challenges of estimating mortality in small areas -- using German counties as a case study"
Abstract: We develop and analyze Bayesian models that produce good estimates of complete mortality schedules for small areas, even when the expected number of deaths is very small. The models also provide estimates of uncertainty about local mortality schedules. The TOPALS relational model is the primary building block, used to model age-specific mortality rates within each small area. TOPALS models produce estimates for single-year ages from a small number of local parameters. We experiment with Bayesian models for smoothing and ‘borrowing’ mortality information across space, using two alternative specifications. First we test a Bayesian model with conditional autoregressive (CAR) priors for TOPALS parameters. CAR priors assign higher probability to parameters that are similar across adjacent areas, thus emphasizing spatial smoothness in estimated rates. Second, we test a hierarchical Bayesian model, which assigns higher probability to parameters that are similar for locations that are close in terms of political geography.Find out more »
"Getting Under the Skin: Socio-Psychobiological Pathways and Racial Disparities in Health"
Abstract: Racism is physically embodied through social, behavioral, and psychobiological mechanisms. In this talk, David H. Chae, will discuss the utility of a social-ecological and developmental lens to examine how racism is biologically embedded. He will discuss his research on multiple levels of racism and the channels through which they compromise health throughout the lifecourse.Find out more »
"The Impact of Socioenvironmental Stressors on Alcohol-Linked Suicides: A Nationwide Postmortem Study"
Abstract: Not only is suicide a major public health problem, but also, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8,179 deaths and 273,206 years of potential life lost resulted from alcohol attributable suicides in 2006-10 (the latest years available). Since 2011, Professor Kaplan and his colleagues have worked with the National Violent Death Reporting System Restricted Access Database on two projects funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, focusing on acute alcohol use immediately prior to suicide. This presentation will show that nearly a third of suicide decedents nationwide were intoxicated at the time of death. Furthermore, Prof. Kaplan will describe the effects of the 2008-09 economic contraction and other adverse socioenvironmental conditions on rates of suicide involving acute alcohol intoxication.Find out more »
"Does Universalization of Health Work? Evidence from Health Systems Restructuring and Maternal and Child Health in Brazil"
Abstract: We investigate restructuring of the health system in Brazil motivated to operationalize universal health coverage. Using administrative data from multiple sources and an event study approach that exploits the staggered rollout of programmatic changes across municipalities, we find large reductions in maternal, foetal, neonatal and postneonatal mortality, and fertility. We document increased prenatal care visits, hospital births and other maternal and child hospitalization, which suggest that the survival gains were supply-driven. We find no improvement in the quality of births, which may be explained by endogenous shifts in the composition of births towards higher-risk births.Find out more »