Category Archives: Uncategorized

The New Science of Customer Emotions

Source: Alan Zorfas Daniel Leemon Scott Magids, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 93 no. 11, November 2015
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…Our research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that it’s possible to rigorously measure and strategically target the feelings that drive customers’ behavior. We call them “emotional motivators.” They provide a better gauge of customers’ future value to a firm than any other metric, including brand awareness and customer satisfaction, and can be an important new source of growth and profitability…. The advent of big data analytics brings clarity, discipline, and rigor to companies’ long-held desire to connect with the customer emotions that truly matter. Emotional connections no longer have to be a mystery—they can be a new source of real competitive advantage and growth….

Census of Jails: Population Changes, 1999–2013

Source: Susan M. Brumbaugh, Scott Ginder, Todd D. Minton, Harley Rohloff, Hope Smiley-McDonald, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 248627, December 8, 2015

From the abstract:
Presents state-level estimates of the number of inmates confined in local jails at year end 2013, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. This report provides information on changes in the incarceration rate, average daily population, admissions, expected length of stay, rated capacity, percent of capacity occupied, and inmate-to-correctional officer ratios. It also includes statistics, by jurisdiction size, on the number of inmates confined to jail and persons admitted to jail during 2013. It features a special section on the 12 facilities that functioned as jails for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
– From 1999 to 2013, the number of inmates in local jails increased by 21%, from 605,943 to 731,570. During this period, the growth in the jail population was not steady, as the jail confined population peaked in 2008 at 785,533 then declined to its 2013 level.
– The adult jail incarceration rates changed slightly between midyear 1999 (304) and yearend 2013 (310).
– Nearly half (46%) of all local jail inmates were confined in jurisdictions holding 1,000 or more inmates in 2013, down slightly from 50% in 2006.
– Between 1999 and yearend 2013, the female inmate population increased by 48%, from approximately 68,100 to 100,940. The male inmate population increased by 17%, from approximately 537,800 to 630,620.
– The juvenile population (persons age 17 or younger) held in adult jail facilities in 2013 (4,420) decreased by more than half from its peak in 1999 (9,458).
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Racial Income Inequality and Public Sector Privatization

Source: George Wilson, Vincent J. Roscigno, Matt Huffman, Social Problems, First published online: 4 May 2015
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From the abstract:
Social science accounts have only recently begun to recognize “new governance” shifts, including, but not limited to, privatization occurring in public sector institutions (e.g., education, prisons, the military) and in the functioning of federal and state sector jobs. This article, which presents unique analyses of wages across time using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and retested on similarly representative data from the Integrated Public Use Micro Sample (IPUMS) and the American Community Survey (ACS), examines the extent to which these changes have generated significant inequalities for African Americans relative to whites. Most important, our results show that the relative racial parity in wages that once existed in public sector employment has eroded in the face of new governance, and racial inequalities for both men and women have intensified. Supplementary and decomposition analyses further highlight the potential escalation of discrimination as a core mechanism under new governance. Along with discussing the short- and long-term implications, we conclude by suggesting an important corrective to stratification scholarship—a corrective that highlights what structural transformation may mean for inequality and that recognizes important shifts that have made the public sector, much like the private sector, a locus of contemporary racial disadvantage.

Women’s Work

Source: Heather Rogers, Slate, December 17, 2014

The jobs recovery was supposed to be great for women. It hasn’t exactly worked out that way. … With so many aging boomers, demand for home health aides is expected to skyrocket. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an expansion of 48 percent between 2012 and 2022. New positions primarily in service occupations have allowed women to regain more jobs than they lost during the recession—and more than men have reclaimed. … Home health workers earn a median wage of less than $21,000 a year. That’s well below the median annual wage across all occupations, which is almost $35,000, and just above the federal poverty line for a family of three. Similarly low wages are common in other growing job sectors that employ mostly women, including retail and food service. Also common to low-wage, mostly female work: long hours, unpredictable schedules, and no sick days or benefits. …

Reducing Recidivism: States Deliver Results

Source: Council of State Governments Justice Center, National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), June 2014

From the summary:
In Reducing Recidivism: States Deliver Results, the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) highlights eight states that have achieved reductions in statewide recidivism in recent years: Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. The report focuses on statewide recidivism data for adults released in 2007 and 2010 with a three-year follow-up period, offering a current snapshot of criminal justice outcomes in these states. The report also features examples of recidivism-reduction strategies and programs that the states have undertaken in this timeframe, as well as additional data on the state’s criminal justice populations through 2013.

New Data – Some Hospitals Set Charges at 10 Times their Costs

Source: National Nurses United Press Release, January 6, 2014

With growing national attention to hospital pricing practices, new data released by the nation’s largest nurses organization today showed that hospital charges continue to skyrocket with some U.S. hospitals charging more than ten times their cost – nearly $1,200 for every $100 of their total costs….

Key findings include:
• 14 U.S. hospitals charge more than $1,000 for every $100 of their total costs (a charge to cost ratio of 1,000 percent) topped by Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, NJ which has a charge to cost ratio of 1,192 percent.
• The 100 most expensive U.S. hospitals have a charge to cost ratio of 765 percent and higher – more than double the national average of 331 percent.
• Despite enactment of the Affordable Care Act, hospital charges recorded their single biggest jump, a 22 percentile point increase from fiscal year 2010-2011 to fiscal year 2011-2012 in the past 16 years for which the IHSP has analyzed the data.
• Six of the nine most expensive hospitals are part of two big chains, Community Health Systems, Inc. and Health Management Associates which are currently pursuing a controversial merger that critics charge would further drive up prices.
• For-profit hospitals continue to dominate the list of those with the highest charges. For-profit corporations average charges of 503 percent of their costs, or $503 for every $100 of total costs.
• By contrast, government-run hospitals, including federal, state, county, city, or district operated hospitals, with public budgets and boards that meet in public, exercise far more restraint than for-profit or non-profit corporate chains. Average charge ratios for government-run hospitals are just 235 percent of their costs.
• Public oversight or regulation seems to help constrain excessive pricing. Maryland, probably the most regulated state in the U.S., has the lowest average charges of all the states among its 10 most expensive hospitals. …

Top 100 most expensive hospitals by state
Most expensive hospitals in alphabetical order by state
Average charge-to-cost ratio by state

The GOP’s Poverty Denialism

Source: Michelle Goldberg, Nation, November 6, 2013

According to many conservatives, the poor have it easy. … Americans have always hated the idea of people getting something for nothing, but in a country where the ranks of the working poor are swelling and food stamps subsidize the low wages paid by behemoths like Walmart and McDonald’s, the notion of the indigent as coddled idlers has little currency outside the right-wing bubble. Polls, for example, consistently show majority opposition to cuts in food stamps. In such an environment, the war against the poor could be used against the GOP as effectively as the war on women was, at least if the Democrats are prepared to defend them….

What Workers Really Want—and Need

Source: Carl E. Van Horn, HR Magazine, Vol. 58 No. 10, October 2013

In his new book Working Scared, a Rutgers University professor documents the decade-long causes of workers’ dwindling engagement and satisfaction. …

…In the early 21st century, many U.S. workers occupy two unwelcome worlds. Millions are unemployed, fighting for a job and suffering personal and financial agony. Among those still employed, many live in a state of constant anxiety as they desperately try to hang on to jobs. These people are “working scared” because, to them, it seems that virtually every job is temporary, threatened directly or indirectly by technological change or global competition.

With no certain routes to stable employment, U.S. workers scramble for the education they need to remain employable and provide for their families. A college degree no longer brings automatic success. In Working Scared (Or Not at All): The Lost Decade, Great Recession, and Restoring the Shattered American Dream (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), I present findings based on more than 15 years of research that will help citizens, policymakers and educators, as well as business, union and community leaders, reach sounder business and policy decisions.

Working Scared draws on nearly 25,000 random interviews with employed, unemployed and underemployed U.S. citizens between 1998 and 2012—one of the most volatile periods in U.S. economic history. People from all regions, ages and occupations were interviewed. The book examines the transformation of the U.S. labor market in the first decade of the 21st century—a time when the experiences, beliefs, aspirations and concerns of working men and women were buffeted by the changing nature of work in a volatile, global, knowledge-driven economy….

Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics

Source: Jonathan Meer, Jeremy West, Texas A&M University, July 2013

From the abstract:
The voluminous literature on minimum wages offers little consensus on the extent to which a wage floor impacts employment. For both theoretical and econometric reasons, we argue that the effect of the minimum wage should be more apparent in new employment growth than in employment levels. In addition, we conduct a simulation showing that the common practice of including state-specific time trends will attenuate the measured effects of the minimum wage on employment if the true effect is in fact on the rate of job growth. Using a long state-year panel on the population of private-sector employers in the United States, we find that the minimum wage reduces net job growth, primarily through its effect on job creation by expanding establishments.
Meer and West on Minimum Wage
Source: John Schmitt, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), September 27, 2013

…The new paper will, I am sure, be cited by opponents of current proposals to increase the federal and various state minimum wages. But, there are important reasons to be skeptical about the findings. …
Two Red Flags
The first red flag is that the negative effect of the minimum wage estimated by Meer and West applies to the entire workforce (not just workers affected by the minimum wage) and appears to lie well outside the range of almost all earlier research on the minimum wage. …