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Daily Archives: August 27, 2013

Top incomes and the measurement of inequality in Egypt

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper by Vladimir Hlasny and Paolo Verme: “By all accounts, income inequality in Egypt is low and had been declining during the decade that preceded the 2011 revolution. As the Egyptian revolution was partly motivated by claims of social injustice and inequalities, this seems at odds with a low level of income inequality. Moreover, while income inequality shows a decline between 2000 and 2009, the World Values Surveys indicate that the aversion to inequality has significantly increased during the same period and for all social groups. This paper utilizes a range of recently developed statistical techniques to assess the true value of income inequality in the presence of a range of possible measurement issues related to top incomes, including item and unit non-response, outliers and extreme observations, and atypical top income distributions. The analysis finds that correcting for unit non-response significantly increases the estimate of inequality by just over 1 percentage point, that the Egyptian distribution of top incomes follows rather closely the Pareto distribution, and that the inverted Pareto coefficient is located around median values when compared with 418 household surveys worldwide. Hence, income inequality in Egypt is confirmed to be low while the distribution of top incomes is not atypical compared with what Pareto had predicted and compared with other countries in the world. This would suggest that the increased frustration with income inequality voiced by Egyptians and measured by the World Values Surveys is driven by factors other than income inequality.

NBC Reports – “How Snowden did it”

Richard Esposito and Matthew Cole, NBC News: “When Edward Snowden stole the crown jewels of the National Security Agency, he didn’t need to use any sophisticated devices or software or go around any computer firewall. All he needed, said multiple intelligence community sources, was a few thumb drives and the willingness to exploit a gapingContinue Reading

Facebook Global Government Requests Report

“Transparency and trust are core values at Facebook. We strive to embody them in all aspects of our services, including our approach to responding to government data requests. We want to make sure that the people who use our service understand the nature and extent of the requests we receive and the strict policies andContinue Reading

Financial Stability Board – Peer Review of the United States

“The FSB published on 27 August the report on the peer review of the United States. This forms part of a regular programme of peer reviews of FSB jurisdictions that began in 2010. The report examines the progress made in the US on three topics that are important for financial stability and relevant for the broaderContinue Reading

More Families with an Unemployed Parent, Census Bureau Reports

“A new U.S. Census Bureau report released today shows that the number of households with children under 18 who had at least one unemployed parent rose by 33 percent, from 2.4 million to 3.2 million, between 2005 and 2011. In some states, the rise was much sharper.  The statistics come from America’s Families and LivingContinue Reading

Annual Survey of Public Pensions

Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit Data Summary Report: 2011 “This report provides statistics on revenues, expenditures, financial assets and membership information for public employee retirement systems. Statistics are shown for retirement systems at the national, state and local government level. This publication presents data on public pension systems based onContinue Reading

Commuter-Adjusted Population Estimates

Commuter-Adjusted Population Estimates: American Community Survey 2006-2010: “Knowing how a community’s population changes during the day is crucial to emergency preparedness officials and other local planners. This report and series of tables show the population totals for places, minor civil divisions, counties and states, accounting for the flow of commuters on a typical workday. InContinue Reading

Visualizing Health Policy: A Short Look At Long-Term Care for Seniors

Kaiser Family Foundation: “The August 2013 Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides an informational snapshot of long-term services and support (LTSS) for seniors in the United States. This includes information about the number and proportion of seniors who will need LTSS because of physical and cognitive impairment, the role of unpaid family caregivers in providing theContinue Reading

ACLU to Court: Government Spying Invades Privacy of Each and Every American

ACLU: “[On August 26, 2013], we filed the opening brief in our lawsuit challenging the NSA’s ongoing collection of the call records of virtually everyone in the United States, including the ACLU’s. We’re asking the court for a preliminary injunction ordering the government to stop collecting our data and to bar any use of theContinue Reading

The U.S. Science and Engineering Workforce

CRS – The U.S. Science and Engineering Workforce: Recent, Current, and Projected Employment, Wages, and Unemployment. John F. Sargent Jr., Specialist in Science and Technology Policy. May 6, 2013 “The adequacy of the U.S. science and engineering workforce has been an ongoing concern of Congress for more than 60 years. Scientists and engineers are widelyContinue Reading