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Tag Archives: Data Source

United States fact of the day

Nationals of Burma, Bhutan, and Iraq accounted for more than 70 percent of refugee arrivals to the United States in 2012. In recent years, Burmese have made up the largest share of refugees resettled in the United States. The link is here, in 2012 more than 87,000 people were granted asylum status in the United States, here is further data on the process and who exactly is let in. And we cannot manage 20,000 plus Syrians today?  I do not see that we are having major problems from those...

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Why am I not seeing anyone back out the implied growth rate from these numbers?

The 13.8% decline in imports was significantly worse than consensus expectations for an 8.2% decline, and will only add to concerns over declining Chinese demand. Under what required assumptions would this translate into a growth rate of say four percent?  Backward-looking?  Forward-looking?  Or is this just a slow structural shift as the Chinese economy gradually moves into services?  Inquiring minds wish to know. The full report is here.

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China and the Great Depression of the 1930s

I learned a good deal reading Ramon H. Myers’s essay “The World Depression and the Chinese Economy 1930-6″ in Ian Brown’s The Economies of Africa and Asia in the Inter-war Depression.  Here are a few of his points: 1. In the 1920s, per capita growth in China was probably around 0.33 percent a year, one percent a year in absolute terms.  I would add the notion that the country already was on an explosive growth path does not seem borne out by these estimates. 2. The...

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How many manufacturing jobs pay less than $15 an hour?

In Mississippi, 7.3% of all workers in the state are manufacturing workers who make less than $15 an hour. Losing many of these jobs would have a serious negative impact on the state. Because of its sample size, the CPS is of more limited use for small geographies. However, there is a relatively large number of observations for Los Angeles County, CA. Almost 400,000 manufacturing workers live in the county, and 55% of them make less than $15 an hour. Many of these workers will be affected by...

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Starting over from Katrina

One of the tragedies of Katrina was that so many of New Orleans’ residents were forced to move. But the severity of that tragedy is a function of where they were forced to move to. Was it somewhere on the Salt Lake City end of the continuum? Or was it a place like Fayetteville? The best answer we have is from the work of the sociologist Corina Graif, who tracked down the new addresses of seven hundred women displaced by Katrina—most of them lower-income and black. By virtually every measure,...

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Germany fact of the day, will support for immigration collapse?

Berlin has said it expects to receive a record 800,000 asylum seekers this year, more than the entire EU combined in 2014, laying bare the scale of the biggest refugee crisis to face the continent since the second world war. Whether you consider this “good news” depends on what you are comparing it to.  Most of all, we would prefer a situation where not so many people wanted asylum.  In the meantime, my fear is that this immigration will not proceed in an orderly manner, and the...

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The cultural apocalypse that wasn’t

According to the O.E.S., songwriters and music directors saw their average income rise by nearly 60 percent since 1999. The census version of the story, which includes self-­employed musicians, is less stellar: In 2012, musical groups and artists reported only 25 percent more in revenue than they did in 2002, which is basically treading water when you factor in inflation. And yet collectively, the figures seem to suggest that music, the creative field that has been most threatened by...

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Are tenure track professors better teachers?

At least at Northwestern University, the answer seems to be no.  Figlio, Schapiro, and Soter report: This study makes use of detailed student-level data from eight cohorts of first-year students at Northwestern University to investigate the relative effects of tenure track/tenured versus contingent faculty on student learning. We focus on classes taken during a student’s first term at Northwestern and employ an identification strategy in which we control for both student-level fixed effects...

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Are reading texts becoming harder or simpler?

Robert J. Stevens, et.al. have done a pretty serious study of this question, based on computer analysis of texts, and here is their key conclusion: From about 1930 through 1960 or 1970, the cognitive demands of reading curricula changed little… In the period of 1970 through 2000 we observed a fairly consistent increase in the difficulty of reading text and comprehension tasks, particularly at third grade. For sixth graders, however, reading texts were somewhat more complex in the...

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