Is Europe An Optimal Political Area?

Is Europe An Optimal Political Area? Brookings Institution. Alberto Alesina, Guido Tabellini, and Francesco Trebbi. March 23, 2017

In “Is Europe an optimal political area?” Harvard University’s Alberto Alesina, Bocconi University’s Guido Tabellini and University of British Columbia’s Francesco Trebbi examine 15 EU countries and Norway from 1980-2009 to determine if the so-called European political project was “too ambitious.”
The authors examine cultural differences among European citizens along fundamental dimensions such as trust, obedience, and religiosity, finding that European cultural differences are widening in spite of an increasingly more economically integrated Europe from the 1980-2009. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 58 pages, 1.49 MB].

The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait

The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 2016

While English continues to be the lingua franca for world trade and diplomacy, there is an emerging consensus among leaders in business and politics, teachers, scientists, and community members that proficiency in English is not sufficient to meet the nation’s needs in a shrinking world.

This report summarizes the nation’s current language capacity, focusing on the U.S. education system. The disparity between our goals—most notably the preparation of citizens who can thrive in the twenty-first century—and the nation’s current capacity in languages will be the subject of a forthcoming report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on Language Learning. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 1.39 MB].

What It Takes to Truly Be ‘One of Us’

What It Takes to Truly Be ‘One of Us’. Pew Research Center. Bruce Stokes. February 1, 2017.

The tide of people moving across the world, be they immigrants or refugees, has sparked concern in Australia, Europe and the United States. In particular, the ethnic, linguistic and cultural background of migrants has triggered intense debates over the benefits and the costs of growing diversity and the risk of open borders to national identity. Unease over the cultural, economic and security ramifications of immigration helped to fuel the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, encourage the idea of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and broaden support for right-wing populist parties in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Debates over what it means to be a “true” American, Australian, German or other nationality have often highlighted the importance of a person being born in a particular country. But contrary to such rhetoric, a Pew Research Center survey finds that people generally place a relatively low premium on a person’s birthplace. Only 13% of Australians, 21% of Canadians, 32% of Americans and a median of 33% of Europeans believe that it is very important for a person to be born in their country in order to be considered a true national. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 34 pages, 1.06 MB].

What’s on Your Table? How America’s Diet Has Changed Over the Decades

What’s on Your Table? How America’s Diet Has Changed Over the Decades. Pew Research Center. Drew DeSilver. December 13, 2016

How do Americans really eat, and how has that changed over time? The author analyzed data from the USDA’s Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System, or FADS, to find out. (Specifically, he used food availability adjusted for waste, spoilage and other loss as a proxy for consumption.) While the nation’s eating habits don’t change all that much from year to year, looking at them over 40 or more years shows some significant changes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Americans Name the 10 Most Significant Historic Events of Their Lifetimes

Americans Name the 10 Most Significant Historic Events of Their Lifetimes. Pew Research Center. December 15, 2016

Shared experiences define what it means to be an American. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were such a unifying event for modern Americans. Nothing else has come close to being as important or as memorable, according to a new survey conducted by Pew Research Center in association with A+E Networks’ HISTORY. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Obama Leaves Office on High Note, But Public Has Mixed Views of Accomplishments

Obama Leaves Office on High Note, But Public Has Mixed Views of Accomplishments. Pew Research Center. December 14, 2016

With just a few weeks left in Barack Obama’s presidency, Americans’ early judgments of his place in history are more positive than negative. Obama is poised to leave office on a high note: Current assessments of both the president and the first lady are among the most favorable since they arrived in the White House. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Business Support to the Arts

Business Support to the Arts. Americans for the Arts. November 2013.

According to the 2013 BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts, business giving to the arts, cash plus non-cash, was up 18 percent, following steep declines in 2006 and 2009. The new 2012 level returns arts giving to 2006 levels. The percentage of all businesses contributing to any philanthropic cause increased from 52 percent in 2009 to 64 percent in 2012. The business support for the arts changes with the economy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 2 pages, 304.05 KB].