Great Colleges to Work For

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, July 18, 2008

The results of The Chronicle of Higher Education’s survey of Great Colleges to Work For are based on responses from more than 15,000 administrators, faculty members, and staff members at 89 colleges and universities.

Each was asked to submit a list of employees randomly selected across three categories: administration, faculty, and professional support staff. The sample size, either 400 or 600, was based on the number of employees in those categories. Of the more than 15,000 respondents, 4,003 identified themselves as administrators, 5,840 as faculty members, and 4,262 as professional support-staff members. All were asked to respond to 70 statements using a five-point scale. The questionnaire also asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with 15 different benefits; respond to two open-ended questions; and answer 14 demographic questions relating to gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, salary, tenure status, and other job issues. ModernThink’s survey is based on an assessment tool used in over 55 “Best Places to Work” programs with more than 4,000 organizations.

Lack of Voter Access to Basic Information Impedes Elections

Source: Reform Institute, Press release, April 9, 2008

The lack of reliable access to information on poll locations and registration status is the principal barrier to voting across the nation,” according to Cecilia Martinez, executive director of the Reform Institute. Ms. Martinez is testifying today on these issues before the U.S. House Committee on House Administration, drawing upon data collected by the national voter assistance hotline, 866-MyVote1, which is co-managed by the Reform Institute.

Data and analysis from the hotline can be accessed here.

Green Houses Growing in Numbers Across the States

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, June 24, 2008

The Green House concept is challenging traditional views of long-term care. The project aims to establish small houses for long-term care needs, rather than the large-scale institutions traditionally associated with nursing homes.

Green Houses provide an environment in which residents receive nursing support and clinical care without the care becoming the focus of their existence. By altering the facility size, interior design, staffing patterns and methods of delivering skilled services to residents, the Green House model provides residents greater health and lifestyle benefits compared to residents of traditional nursing and assisted-living buildings. Early results show that Green House residents report higher satisfaction levels, less physical decline and less depression.

Learn more about development plans under way across the United States in this detailed, state-by-state breakdown.
See also:
Rising Challenger Takes on Elder Care System, Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2008

How Do Medical-Surgical Nurses Spend Their Time?

Source: Hendrich A, Chow M, Skierczynski BA and Lu Z, The Permanente Journal, Vol. 12 no. 3, June 5, 2008

From the abstract:
This article examines the methodology and findings of a time and motion study to measure how nurses spend their time at work. The study suggests areas for improvement in terms of efficiencies and reveals the arduous nature of nursing practice.
Nurses form the backbone of hospital care delivery. With hospitals facing financial challenges and a worsening workforce shortage, it is critical for policy-makers to reconsider work processes and the work environment to ensure safe and efficient delivery of care. In this article, the authors examine a time and motion study designed to quantify how medical-surgical nurses spend their time, how the work environment affects use of their time, and to measure the distance they travel during a work shift. The study was conducted at 36 hospital medical-surgical units within 17 health care systems and 15 states. A total of 767 nurses participated.

Immigrant Labor, Child-Care Services, and the Work-Fertility Trade-Off in the United States

Source: Delia Furtado, Heinrich Hock, IZA Discussion Paper No. 3506, May 2008

The negative correlation between female employment and fertility in industrialized nations has weakened since the 1960s, particularly in the United States. We suggest that the continuing influx of low-skilled immigrants has led to a substantial reduction in the trade-off between work and childrearing facing American women. The evidence we present indicates that low-skilled immigration has driven down wages in the US child-care sector. More affordable child-care has, in turn, increased the fertility of college graduate native females. Although childbearing is generally associated with temporary exit from the labor force, immigrant-led declines in the price of child-care has reduced the extent of role incompatibility between fertility and work.

Why Should State Government Invest in College Education? An Equilibrium Approach for the US in 2000

Source: Michael P. Shields, IZA Discussion Paper No. 3569, June 2008

This paper is a preliminary look at the benefits to states in the US of subsidizing college education. The benefits studies are the external benefits of college education on the earnings of both college graduates and those who have not graduated from college. In completing a college education individuals earn more. In addition, if there are positive external benefits others will also earn more because the average level of college graduates in the state has risen. This study confirms the existence of these positive externalities for the US in 2000 in estimates using the Current Population Survey. Furthermore, these external benefits are large enough that if confirmed in more complete studies would suggest that states invest too little in college education.

Job-Worker Mismatch and Cognitive Decline

Source: Andries De Grip, Hans Bosma, Dick Willems, Martin Van Boxtel, IZA Discussion Paper No. 2956, July 2007

We have used longitudinal test data on various aspects of people’s cognitive abilities to analyze whether overeducated workers are more vulnerable to a decline in their cognitive abilities, and undereducated workers are less vulnerable. We found that a job-worker mismatch induces a cognitive decline with respect to immediate and delayed recall abilities, cognitive flexibility and verbal fluency. Our findings indicate that, to some extent, it is the adjustment of the ability level of the overeducated and undereducated workers that adjusts initial job-worker mismatch. This adds to the relevance of preventing overeducation, and shows that being employed in a challenging job contributes to workers’ cognitive resilience.

The Best Retirement Plan Ever

Source: Christian Weller, Center for American Progress, July 10, 2008

How Public Sector Pension Plans Provide Adequate Retirement Savings in an Efficient and Sustainable Way

CAPAF’s Christian E. Weller testifies today to the Joint Economic Committee. Read the full testimony.

A recent poll conducted by Bankrate Inc. found that only about 3 in 10 workers expect to have enough money to retire comfortably. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans have set low expectations about their retirement prospects. And one in five Americans say they are afraid they will never be able to retire.