Social Media Use in 2018

Social Media Use in 2018. Pew Research Center. Aaron Smith and Monica Anderson. March 1, 2018.

 A new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape in early 2018 is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and newly emerging narratives.

Facebook and YouTube dominate this landscape, as notable majorities of U.S. adults use each of these sites. At the same time, younger Americans (especially those ages 18 to 24) stand out for embracing a variety of platforms and using them frequently. Some 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and a sizeable majority of these users (71%) visit the platform multiple times per day. Similarly, 71% of Americans in this age group now use Instagram and close to half (45%) are Twitter users. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 17 pages].

The National Health Service Corps

The National Health Service Corps.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Elayne J. Heisler. March 9, 2018

 The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) provides scholarships and loan repayments to health care providers in exchange for a period of service in a health professional shortage area (HPSA). The program places clinicians at facilities—generally not-for-profit or government-operated— that might otherwise have difficulties recruiting and retaining providers.  The NHSC is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congress created the NHSC in the Emergency Health Personnel Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-623), and its programs have been reauthorized and amended several times since then.

 [PDF format, 19 pages].

Highlights from the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate

Highlights from the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate. Brookings Institution. David G. Victor et al. March 2018

 Led by Co-Chairs Bruce Jones, Vice President of Foreign Policy, and David Victor, Professor at UC San Diego, the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate mobilizes a core group of scholars with expertise in energy geopolitics and markets, climate economics, sustainable development, urban sustainability, and climate governance and regulation. With overseas centers in China, India, and Qatar, Brookings has experts in parts of the globe that encompass two-thirds of humanity, and three-quarters of the world’s energy production and global emissions.

Brookings has compiled a set of recent scholarship from across several research areas in “Highlights from the Cross-Brookings Initiative on Energy and Climate,” which explores the latest updates on key pressing issues in energy and climate. Topics include the future of climate diplomacy, enhancing innovation in clean technologies, carbon pricing, and the latest updates in global energy markets, among others. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 48 pages].

Adoption Tax Benefits: An Overview

Adoption Tax Benefits: An Overview. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Margot L. Crandall-Hollick. March 13, 2018

 The federal government supports adoption in two primary ways: federal grants to state governments and tax benefits for individual taxpayers that help offset the costs of adopting a child. This report focuses on federal adoption tax benefits, which consist of an adoption tax credit and an income tax exclusion for employer-provided adoption assistance. The adoption tax credit helps qualifying taxpayers offset some of the costs of adopting a child. Although the credit may be claimed for nearly all types of adoptions (excluding the adoption of a spouse’s child), there are some special rules related to claiming the credit for intercountry adoptions and for adoption of children with special needs (generally children whom the State child welfare agency considers difficult to place for adoption).

 [PDF format, 28 pages].

EPA’s Wood Stove / Wood Heater Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions

EPA’s Wood Stove / Wood Heater Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. James E. McCarthy, Kate C. Shouse. March 12, 2018.

 On March 7, 2018, the House passed H.R. 1917, a bill that would delay for three years the implementation of more stringent emission standards for new residential wood heaters. The emission standards were promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015, and are becoming effective through a two-step process. Step 1 standards took effect on May 15, 2015; unless delayed, more stringent Step 2 standards will become effective on May 15, 2020. EPA’s action revises standards for wood stoves and pellet stoves that were set in 1988, and establishes standards for other types of wood heaters, principally forced air furnaces and hydronic heaters, for the first time.

 [PDF format, 14 pages].

The State of the Humanities 2018: Graduates in the Workforce & Beyond

The State of the Humanities 2018: Graduates in the Workforce & Beyond.  American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 2018

 Discussions about the value of a college degree in the humanities have become something of a cottage industry of late. Opinions range from enthusiastic support of the long-term benefits of humanities degrees to resigned acceptance or acid humor regarding the ostensibly grim career outcomes of graduates from the field. As the number of students graduating with degrees in the humanities started to drop in recent years, these conversations appeared to take on increased urgency.

This report reflects the ongoing mission of the Humanities Indicators, a nationally recognized source of nonpartisan information on the state of the humanities. The Indicators website ( features 103 topics and includes more than 500 graphs and data tables detailing the state of the humanities. The project draws on data sources that meet the highest standards of social scientific rigor, relying heavily on the products of the U.S. federal statistical system. In producing this report, the Indicators staff also received crucial support from Louis Tay and Christopher Wiese (Purdue University), who provided special data runs from the Gallup-Purdue Index survey of college alumni. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages].

Populism or Transformative Movements?

Populism or Transformative Movements? YaleGlobal. Alphan Telek and Seren Selvin Korkmaz. March 1, 2018

 Progressive movements promising social, political and economic transformation are the antidote to the anger and fear associated with polarization and populism. The leaders of left-transformative movements pursue serious policymaking to reduce inequality while increasing opportunity and citizen participation, argue Seren Selvin Korkmaz, a Fox International Fellow at Yale University, and Alphan Telek, a PhD candidate at Science Po Paris and Boğaziçi University. The article focuses on the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and the Our Revolution movement led by US Senator Bernie Sanders, but the writers explain that the left-transformative characterization also applies to La France Insoumise, the Five Star Movement in Italy, Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece as well as movements emerging in Iran and Tunisia. The progressive leaders share similar goals, and progress by one lifts others by countering the notion that “the left cannot win elections in the neoliberal era.” Korkmaz and Telek conclude, “Left-transformation is a global phenomenon and can reach its ultimate aims with national and international solidarity.”  [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [HTML format, various paging].

The Search for a Euro Area Safe Asset

The Search for a Euro Area Safe Asset. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Álvaro Leandro and Jeromin Zettelmeyer.  Working Paper 18-3. March 2018

 This paper evaluates four approaches to creating “safe assets” or asset portfolios for the euro area: (1) a diversified portfolio of senior tranches of sovereign debt (“national tranching”); (2) a senior security backed by a diversified pool of national sovereign debt (“ESBies”); (3) debt issued by a senior financial intermediary, backed by a diversified pool of national debt (“E-bonds”); and (4) debt issued by a euro area budget or a leveraged wealth fund, based on member state contributions or dedicated direct revenue sources. None of these approaches envisages explicit guarantees by member states, and all could potentially produce safe assets in sufficient quantities to replace euro area sovereign bond holdings in euro area banks. At the same time, the four approaches differ across several important dimensions. A euro area budget or wealth fund could create the largest volume of safe assets, followed by ESBies, E-bonds, and national tranching. A euro area budget or wealth fund is also likely to have the lowest impact on the structure and liquidity of national bond markets, while national tranching would have the largest impact. ESBies and E-bonds occupy an intermediate position. ESBies and potentially bonds issued by a euro area budget would offer their holders greater protection from deep national defaults than the other two proposals. Both ESBies and national tranching would avoid cross-country redistribution by construction, whereas E-bonds and a euro area budget could have significant distributional consequences, depending on their design. E-bonds are unique in that they would raise the marginal cost of sovereign debt issuance at higher levels of debt, thereby exerting fiscal discipline, without necessarily raising average debt costs for lower-rated borrowers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 68 pages].

Safety Net Investments in Children

Safety Net Investments in Children. Brookings Institution. Hilary W. Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach.  March 8, 2018

 In this paper, the authors examine what groups of children are served by core childhood social safety net programs—including Medicaid, EITC, CTC, SNAP, and AFDC/TANF—and how they have changed over time. They find that virtually all gains in spending on the social safety net for children since 1990 have gone to families with earnings, and to families with income above the poverty line. These trends are the result of welfare reform and the expansion of in-work tax credits. The authors review the available research and find that access to safety net programs during childhood improves outcomes for children and society over the long run. This evidence suggests that the recent changes to the social safety net may have lasting negative impacts on the poorest children. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 67 pages].

Addressing Emerging Trends to Support the Future of Criminal Justice: Findings of the Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group

Addressing Emerging Trends to Support the Future of Criminal Justice: Findings of the Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group. RAND Corporation. John S. Hollywood et al. March 19, 2018

 The Criminal Justice Technology Forecasting Group deliberated on the effects that major societal trends could have on criminal justice in the near future and identified potential responses. This report captures the results of the group’s meetings. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 68 pages].