Job Creation and Local Economic Development – 2018

Source: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), September 2018

From the abstract:
The biennial report Job Creation and Local Economic Development addresses emerging issues for local economic development. It provides guidance on how a range of policies, from employment and training to economic and social policy, can contribute to better job outcomes at the local level and improve the resilience of local economies. The publication also includes country profiles, providing indicators on employment, skills and social inclusion at subnational level, which are essential to understanding the challenges that local economies currently face.

This third edition of Job Creation and Local Economic Development examines the impact of technological progress on regional and local labour markets. It sheds light on widening regional gaps on job creation, workers education and skills, as well as inclusion in local economies. Drawing on new data, it examines the geographical distribution of the risk of automation and whether jobs lost to automation are compensated by the creation of jobs at lower risk of automation. Building on data from labour force surveys, the report looks at the rise of non-standard work, highlighting the main regional determinants of temporary jobs and self-employment. Finally, it considers determinants of productivity and inclusion in regional and local labour markets, as well as policies to foster greater inclusion of vulnerable groups into the labour market. Individual country profiles provide an overview of regional labour markets and, among other things, an assessment of the performance in terms of “quality” jobs created among different regions.

The 21st Century Library

Source: James Bikales, Harvard Political Review, October 8, 2018

….While the American foray into the digital age would lead many to classify libraries as obsolete, the continued — if not heightened — importance of the library’s core mission to provide knowledge, as well as new skills of librarians and changes to the design of libraries, make them relevant in our changed world. Their continued evolution will be essential to the future of scholarship and citizenship….

Tender Justice

Source: David Kidd, Governing, August 2018

….North Dakota has always been a low-crime state, but it has paid a high price for the wars on drugs and crime over the past few decades. Since 1992, the state’s population has increased less than 20 percent, but the number of inmates has gone up 250 percent and is projected to continue to rise. North Dakota is trying to prevent that from happening by taking correctional cues from a distant and unlikely source: the prison system in Norway.

Norwegian prisons reject life sentences and solitary confinement in favor of living quarters built on a human scale, behavioral counseling and a focus on successful re-entry into society. The correctional facilities are often derided as being more like country clubs than prisons. But their results back up claims of success. Norway reports two-year recidivism rates as low as 20 percent, compared to rates three times higher in the U.S. ….

Global Municipal Database (GMD)

Source: UN-Habitat, 2018

From the press release:
A Global Municipal Database (GMD) launched by UN-Habitat provides standard indicators for municipal budgets and includes data on per capita expenditures, revenues and debt in cities worldwide. The GMD is the first database to provide standardized local level per-capita budget data and covers more than 100 cities, highlighting the importance of focusing on financial data at municipal level.

The data which is based on core mandates with a standard set of budget responsibilities identified and noted for each government in the database was compiled with cooperation from city-based researchers and technical staff of municipalities in developed and developing countries. Selection of cities and original points of contact for city-based researchers was derived from the Atlas of Urban Expansion project which contains data on spatial layout of cities but none on municipal finance….

Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Costs, and Coverage – 2016 Data

Source: Christopher F. McLaren, Marjorie L. Baldwin, Leslie I. Boden, National Academy of Social Insurance, October 2018

From the abstract:
Workers’ Compensation: Benefits, Costs, and Coverage is the twenty-first in a series by the National Academy of Social Insurance to provide the only comprehensive national data on this largely state-run program. The study provides estimates of workers’ compensation payments—cash and medical—for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and federal programs providing workers’ compensation.

Read the national press release.
Read state-specific findings for Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee.
Review the sources and methods (PDF) used to produce the state-level estimates in the report.

Can a State Mandate an Employee to Act Voluntarily?—The Saga of State-Mandated Payroll Deduction IRA Programs

Source: Scott E. Galbreath, Journal of Pension Benefits, Vol. 26, No. 1, Autumn 2018
(subscription required)

For small employers who wish to establish payroll-deduction, non-ERISA retirement savings plans with “opt-out” provisions for employees, there is much at stake in how courts will define “voluntary.”

Focus On… Lump Sum Distributions from Defined Benefit Plans

Source: David A. Pratt, Journal of Pension Benefits, Vol. 26, No. 1, Autumn 2018
(subscription required)

As one strategy to reduce risk, some defined benefit plans are allowing lump sum distributions. This practice gives rise to numerous questions, among them whether the lump sum received by the participant is equal to the accrued value he or she is giving up.

Mapping Interface Provides Neighborhood-Level Information on Children’s Outcomes

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Release Number CB18-TPS.48, October 1, 2018

The U.S. Census Bureau, in collaboration with Raj Chetty and Nathan Hendren from Harvard University and John Friedman from Brown University, released new research and a mapping interface that looks at children’s outcomes in adulthood. The Opportunity Atlas estimates children’s earnings distributions, incarceration rates, and other outcomes in adulthood by parental income, race and gender for every census tract in the United States. Users can view data, overlay their own data points of interest, and export into a data set for analysis.

Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life

Source: Jennifer Kavanagh, Michael D. Rich, RAND, Document Number: RR-2314-RC, 2018

From the abstract:
Over the past two decades, national political and civil discourse in the United States has been characterized by “Truth Decay,” defined as a set of four interrelated trends: an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information. These trends have many causes, but this report focuses on four: characteristics of human cognitive processing, such as cognitive bias; changes in the information system, including social media and the 24-hour news cycle; competing demands on the education system that diminish time spent on media literacy and critical thinking; and polarization, both political and demographic. The most damaging consequences of Truth Decay include the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation and disengagement of individuals from political and civic institutions, and uncertainty over national policy.

This report explores the causes and consequences of Truth Decay and how they are interrelated, and examines past eras of U.S. history to identify evidence of Truth Decay’s four trends and observe similarities with and differences from the current period. It also outlines a research agenda, a strategy for investigating the causes of Truth Decay and determining what can be done to address its causes and consequences.