38,319 research outputs found

    Inequality and living standards in Great Britain: some facts

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    This Briefing Note is designed to provide some basic facts concerning living standards and inequality in Great Britain. Wherever possible, up-to-date sources have been given for further reading. Accompanying this Briefing Note is a spreadsheet of useful statistics relating to the income distribution in Britain. This can be downloaded from the IFS web site at http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn19figs.zip. Both were last updated on 9 March 2004. Section I of this Briefing Note starts by setting out some of the issues and conceptual difficulties surrounding the measuring of living standards and inequality. A picture of the income distribution in Great Britain and many of the important trends in living standards is then presented in the sections that follow. In Sections II and III, we choose weekly before-housing-costs household equivalent income1 as our measure of living standards, as well as presenting some results on an after-housing-costs basis. Section IV then considers using weekly equivalent household expenditure (including housing costs) as a comparative measure of living standards. Section V cites research tracking the income of individuals across a number of years, while Section VI looks at work that attempts to assess how income status changes across generations. Sections VII, VIII and IX proceed by examining some of the factors responsible for the changes in inequality described, looking at the labour market, demographic changes and the impact of taxes and benefits. Section X concludes

    Rule-based relaxation of reference identification failures

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    Working with Bill Kruskal: From 1950 Onward

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    Discussion of ``The William Kruskal Legacy: 1919--2005'' by Stephen E. Fienberg, Stephen M. Stigler and Judith M. Tanur [arXiv:0710.5063]Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/088342306000000385 the Statistical Science (http://www.imstat.org/sts/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Mechanical adaptations of cleavers (Galium aparine)

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    • Background and Aims Cleavers (Galium aparine) is a fast-growing herbaceous annual with a semi-self-supporting, scrambling-ascending growth habit. Mature plants often use upright species for support. It is common in hedgerows and on waste ground. This study aims to characterize the mechanical behaviour of the stem and roots of cleavers and relate this to the arrangement of structural tissue, the net microfibrillar orientations in the cell walls, and plant growth habit. • Methods The morphology and mechanics of mature cleavers was investigated using plants grown in pots and ones collected from the grounds at the University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK. Tensile tests were carried out on the stem and the basal section of the first-order lateral roots. The net orientation of cellulose microfibrils in the cell walls was investigated using polarized light microscopy. • Key Results Results show that the basal regions of the stem and first-order lateral roots were highly extensible. Breaking strains of 24 ± 7 % were recorded for the stem base and 28 ± 6 % for the roots. Anatomical observations showed that the lower stem (base + 100 mm) was circular in cross-section with a solid central core of vascular tissue, whereas further up the stem the transverse section showed a typical four-angled shape with a ring-like arrangement of vascular tissue and sclerenchyma bundles in the corners. The net orientation of wall microfibrils in the secondary xylem diverges from the longitudinal by between 8 and 9°. • Conclusions The basal region of the stem of cleavers is highly extensible, but the mechanism by which the stem is able to withstand such high breaking strains is unclear; reorientation of the cellulose fibrils in the stem along the axis of loading is not thought to be responsible. Key words: Anatomy, adaptation, cleavers, Galium aparine, growth habit, mechanics, cellulose microfibril orientation, extensibilit

    Magnetic field in molecular cloud cores: Limits on field strengths and linewidths

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    Preliminary observations by others indicate that the magnetic field strength in dense molecular cloud cores is on the order of 30 micro G, much closer to the background field strength than to the flux-freezing prediction for this density. This result implies that some process must exist to decrease the magnetic field strength in these regions to much less than its flux-frozen value, e.g., ambipolar diffusion. At these moderate field strengths, magnetohydrodynamic waves in the cores provide a good explanation of observed supra-thermal molecular linewidths

    Public spending on education in the UK: prepared for the Education and Skills Select Committee

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    This note is based on analysis prepared by Alissa Goodman and Luke Sibieta of the Institute for Fiscal Studies at the request of the House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee, for their inquiry into Public Expenditure on Education and Skills being carried out during June and July 2006. The note discusses some key issues that have arisen in education spending in the last year. We begin by examining the significance of the Chancellor's statements in Budget 2006 - both regarding school capital expenditure and the pledge to increase funding per pupil in the state sector to that currently seen in the private sector. We then move on to what the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2007 is likely to mean for education, given commitments in other areas of government spending. An Appendix contains some information about overall trends in public spending on education in the UK, and the international context

    Sharing in the nation’s prosperity? Pensioner poverty in Britain

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    This commentary reviews the government’s tax and benefit reforms affecting pensioners to date, and examines the evidence from the latest official low income figures on the government’s record on pensioner poverty so far

    How has child poverty changed since 1998-99? An update

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    An additional 100,000 children were lifted out of poverty on the most commonly cited of the government's relative poverty measures between 2000-01 and 2001-02. The most recent figures show 3.8 million children (roughly 30 per cent of all children) in Britain in households with income below 60 per cent of the median income after housing costs. Although this means that almost one in three children in Britain live in poverty on this definition, this is the lowest level recorded since 1991. Since the Labour government came to power, the total drop in the numbers in child poverty has been around 500,000. In 1998-99, the government set a target for child poverty in 2004-05. If the rate of decline in child poverty observed since 1998-99 continues for three more years, then the government will miss this target. Indeed, it is now further behind schedule than it was based on figures from 2000-01. The rather slow decline in recorded child poverty is due, in large part, to the fact that the government is targeting relative, rather than absolute, poverty. Income growth has been particularly strong across society since 1998-99, and this means that the poverty line has risen significantly over this time. Although the government is continuing to increase the living standards of low-income households with children, the gap with the rest of society is not closing as fast as the government would like. Rectifying this may require additional resources to be directed to families with children in the forthcoming Budget, on top of measures already announced

    Discounting Women: Doubting Domestic Violence Survivors’ Credibility and Dismissing Their Experiences

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    In recent months, we’ve seen an unprecedented wave of testimonials about the serious harms women all too frequently endure. The #MeToo moment, the #WhyIStayed campaign, and the Larry Nassar sentencing hearings have raised public awareness not only about workplace harassment, domestic violence, and sexual abuse, but also about how routinely women survivors face a Gaslight-style gauntlet of doubt, disbelief, and outright dismissal of their stories. This pattern is particularly disturbing in the justice system, where women face a legal twilight zone: laws meant to protect them and deter further abuse often fail to achieve their purpose, because women telling stories of abuse by their male partners are simply not believed. To fully grasp the nature of this new moment in gendered power relations—and to cement the significant gains won by these public campaigns—we need to take a full, considered look at when, how, and why the justice system and other key social institutions discount women’s credibility. We use the lens of intimate partner violence to examine the ways in which women’s credibility is discounted in a range of legal and social service system settings. First, judges and others improperly discount as implausible women’s stories of abuse, based on a failure to understand both the symptoms arising from neurological and psychological trauma, and the practical constraints on survivors’ lives. Second, gatekeepers unjustly discount women’s personal trustworthiness, based on both inaccurate interpretations of survivors’ courtroom demeanor and negative cultural stereotypes about women and their motivations for seeking assistance. Moreover, even when a woman manages to overcome all the initial modes of institutional skepticism that minimize her account of abuse, she often finds that the systems designed to furnish her with help and protection dismiss the importance of her experiences. Instead, all too often, the arbiters of justice and social welfare adopt and enforce legal and social policies and practices with little regard for how they perpetuate patterns of abuse. Two distinct harms arise from this pervasive pattern of credibility discounting and experiential dismissal. First, the discrediting of survivors constitutes its own psychic injury—an institutional betrayal that echoes the psychological abuse women suffer at the hands of individual perpetrators. Second, the pronounced, nearly instinctive penchant for devaluing women’s testimony is so deeply embedded within survivors’ experience that it becomes a potent, independent obstacle to their efforts to obtain safety and justice. The reflexive discounting of women’s stories of domestic violence finds analogs among the kindred diminutions and dismissals that harm so many other women who resist the abusive exercise of male power, from survivors of workplace harassment to victims of sexual assault on and off campus. For these women, too, credibility discounts both deepen the harm they experience and create yet another impediment to healing and justice. Concrete, systematic reforms are needed to eradicate these unjust, gender-based credibility discounts and experiential dismissals, and to enable women subjected to male abuses of power at long last to trust the responsiveness of the justice system