14,418 research outputs found

    Paid Family and Medical Leave in New Hampshire: Who Has It? Who Takes It?

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    This brief uses data collected by the Granite State Poll in 2016 to examine New Hampshire workers’ access to paid family and medical leave and the use of paid or unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. Understanding who lacks access to paid family and medical leave benefits and the underlying factors contributing to differences in those who take time away from work for family caregiving is important. Without access to paid family and medical leave, New Hampshire’s working families may face barriers to financial stability, employment, and future opportunities. Author Kristin Smith reports that about one-third of New Hampshire workers have jobs without extended paid leave to tend to their own illness; about half lack access to parental leave; and two-thirds lack access to paid leave to care for an ill family member. Less than a third of workers have access to all three types of extended paid leave (for their own illness, parental leave, and care for a family member). Workers living in families earning less than $60,000 a year have less access to extended paid family and medical leave benefits than do those with higher incomes. Women are less likely to have jobs that provide paid family and medical leave but are more likely to take leave. Sixty percent of employed women have taken paid or unpaid family and medical leave compared with 40 percent of employed men. New Hampshire men who know another man who has taken leave without negative consequences are twice as likely to take leave themselves compared to men who do not know another man taking leave (52 and 24 percent, respectively)

    Child care subsidies critical for low-income families amid rising child care expenses

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    The high cost of child care is a barrier to employment among low-income families with young children. Child care subsidies are designed to support both parental employment and child development by lowering the cost of child care and making high-quality child care affordable to low-income families. This policy brief compares the shares of income spent on child care in 2005 and 2011 using data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Authors Kristin Smith and Nicholas Adams report that child care expenditures were higher on average in 2011 than in 2005 (in constant 2011 dollars) and that employed, poor mothers with child care expenses spent more than one-third of their incomes on child care in 2005 and 201

    Bayesian Modelling of Direct and Indirect Effects of Marine Reserves on Fishes : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand.

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    This thesis reviews and develops modern advanced statistical methodology for sampling and modelling count data from marine ecological studies, with specific applications to quantifying potential direct and indirect effects of marine reserves on fishes in north eastern New Zealand. Counts of snapper (Pagrus auratus: Sparidae) from baited underwater video surveys from an unbalanced, multi-year, hierarchical sampling programme were analysed using a Bayesian Generalised Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) approach, which allowed the integer counts to be explicitly modelled while incorporating multiple fixed and random effects. Overdispersion was modelled using a zero-inflated negative-binomial error distribution. A parsimonious method for zero inflation was developed, where the mean of the count distribution is explicitly linked to the probability of an excess zero. Comparisons of variance components identified marine reserve status as the greatest source of variation in counts of snapper above the legal size limit. Relative densities inside reserves were, on average, 13-times greater than outside reserves. Small benthic reef fishes inside and outside the same three reserves were surveyed to evaluate evidence for potential indirect effects of marine reserves via restored populations of fishery-targeted predators such as snapper. Sites for sampling were obtained randomly from populations of interest using spatial data and geo-referencing tools in R—a rarely used approach that is recommended here more generally to improve field-based ecological surveys. Resultant multispecies count data were analysed with multivariate GLMMs implemented in the R package MCMCglmm, based on a multivariate Poisson lognormal error distribution. Posterior distributions for hypothesised effects of interest were calculated directly for each species. While reserves did not appear to affect densities of small fishes, reserve-habitat interactions indicated that some endemic species of triplefin (Tripterygiidae) had different associations with small-scale habitat gradients inside vs outside reserves. These patterns were consistent with a behavioural risk effect, where small fishes may be more strongly attracted to refuge habitats to avoid predators inside vs outside reserves. The approaches developed and implemented in this thesis respond to some of the major current statistical and logistic challenges inherent in the analysis of counts of organisms. This work provides useful exemplar pathways for rigorous study design, modelling and inference in ecological systems

    Trichet Bonds To Resolve the European Sovereign Debt Problem

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    We propose the creation of “Trichet Bonds” as a comprehensive solution to the current sovereign debt crisis in the EU area. “Trichet Bonds,” to be named after the ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet, will be similar to “Brady Bonds” that resolved the Latin American debt crisis in the late 1980s and were named after the then Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady. Like the Brady Bonds, Trichet Bonds will be new long-duration bonds issued by countries in the EU area that will be collateralized by zero-coupon bonds of the same duration issued by the ECB. The zero-coupon bonds will be sold by the ECB to the countries issuing Trichet Bonds, which will be offered in exchange for outstanding sovereign debt of the countries. The exchange is offered at market value, so current debt holders will experience a “haircut” from par value, and thus the exchange does not involve a “bailout.” However, present holders of sovereign debt will be exchanging low quality bonds with limited liquidity, for higher quality bonds with greater liquidity. Debt holders not accepting the exchange will be at risk of a forced restructuring at a later date at terms less favorable. The effect of the exchange offer, if a threshold of approximately 70% approve it, is to replace old debt with a lesser amount of new debt with longer maturities. The creation of Trichet bonds will result in various advantages both in comparison to the present unstable situation and other proposed solutions. First, the long duration of Trichet bonds will eliminate the immediate crisis caused by short term expiration of significant amounts of debt which is looming over Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and possibly other EU countries. Second, the guarantee of the principal with the zero-coupon ECD bond collateral increases the quality of the Trichet Bonds compared to existing sovereign debt. Third, the market for the new Trichet Bonds will be liquid and likely to trade at appreciating prices as refinancing (roll-over) risk is reduced and time is allowed for economic reforms by the issuing countries (a condition of the ECB) to take effect. In addition, the exchange of existing sovereign debt for Trichet bonds will force many European banks holding the sovereign debt to take the write-offs required, thus making their own balance sheets more transparent. Many European banks are thought to have large holdings of sovereign debt from the “peripheral” countries that have not been marked-to-market, and thus represent sizeable potential losses for the banks when the sovereign debt is ultimately restructured, as we believe it must be over the next few years. Most of the sovereign bank debt likely to be exchanged, however, is held by larger German, French and Swiss banks with the capability (if not necessarily the desire) to take the write-offs required. The overhang of such future losses affects the entire European banking system at a time when it too is being restructured. The ECB, and the European central banks need to identify those banks that are impaired by excessive sovereign holdings and assist them in recapitalization – the sooner the better – but they should also push the larger, stronger banks to accept the exchange offers in the interest of bank transparency and restructuring as well as in resolving the sovereign debt problem. Clearly the two problems – sovereign debt and bank restructuring – are connected. The issuance of Trichet Bonds, will help to resolve both problems by recognizing market realities and offering an easier way out than through a forced, cram-down restructuring once the ailing sovereigns exhaust their ability to repay the existing debt. There are significant advantages to Trichet bonds over other discussed solutions to the sovereign debt problem. One such proposed solution is the issuance of “Euro Bonds” guaranteed by the Eurozone countries or the EU itself for the purpose of redeeming sovereign bonds by market purchases, or by lending the proceeds to the countries involved for them to acquire their debt. Apart from the considerable political obstacles to such a program, the undertaking actually makes it less likely that existing self-interested debt-holders will sell in the market. The implication of the program is that either through market interventions that push prices up, or by the assumption that the program will continue to enable the debt to be retired at par on maturity, debt-holders won’t sell unless the price is pushed high enough to constitute a bailout. The ECB’s current efforts to support the prices of distressed sovereign bonds is currently having this effect, which transfers some, if not all of the cost of resolving the problem to European taxpayers, where increasingly it is resented. The alternative approach, that has only been discussed by market participants, is for a Russian or Argentine solution in which the debt-holders are made a take-it-or-leave-it offer to exchange outstanding debt for new, generally illiquid bonds at an arbitrary price that discourages future investment by the market. Such an approach is understood by the sovereign debt market to constitute a de facto default. Such a default would likely have serious adverse consequences for the Euro and the EU, and may be less likely that a bailout of some kind. The great advantage of Trichet Bonds is that they avoid both bailouts and defaults.Trichet bonds, sovereign debt, euro, debt restructuring, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Brady bonds

    New perspectives on research

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    The Graduate Research Session at the conference will be held on Thursday March 1st from 4-5pm. At this session, graduate students from institutions from across the state will present a series of lightning talks where each presenter will briefly share the purpose and findings of their research study, and share a few implications for music education practice. The graduate student panel will be seated in a circle in order to facilitate sharing. Non-presenting attendees will be seated in an outer circle which will then be integrated with the presenters during the Q&A portion of the session, in order promote the free-sharing of ideas between all in ttendance. In order to highlight a few examples of the exciting projects being presented, Yank’l Garcia and Nicholas Quigley, master’s students at Boston University, briefly introduce their research projects below. Please join us to learn about the fresh and exciting topics that graduate student researchers are focusing upon within the field of music education.First author draf

    Luminosity and surface brightness distribution of K-band galaxies from the UKIDSS Large Area Survey

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    We present luminosity and surface brightness distributions of 40,111 galaxies with K-band photometry from the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey (LAS), Data Release 3 and optical photometry from Data Release 5 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Various features and limitations of the new UKIDSS data are examined, such as a problem affecting Petrosian magnitudes of extended sources. Selection limits in K- and r-band magnitude, K-band surface brightness and K-band radius are included explicitly in the 1/Vmax estimate of the space density and luminosity function. The bivariate brightness distribution in K-band absolute magnitude and surface brightness is presented and found to display a clear luminosity--surface brightness correlation that flattens at high luminosity and broadens at low luminosity, consistent with similar analyses at optical wavelengths. Best fitting Schechter function parameters for the K-band luminosity function are found to be M*-5 log h=-23.19 +/- 0.04, alpha=-0.81 +/- 0.04 and phi*=(0.0166 +/- 0.0008)h^3 Mpc^{-3}, although the Schechter function provides a poor fit to the data at high and low luminosity, while the luminosity density in the K band is found to be j = (6.305 +/- 0.067) x 10^8 L_sun h Mpc^{-3}. However, we caution that there are various known sources of incompleteness and uncertainty in our results. Using mass-to-light ratios determined from the optical colours we estimate the stellar mass function, finding good agreement with previous results. Possible improvements are discussed that could be implemented when extending this analysis to the full LAS.Comment: 17 pages, 24 figures, matches MNRAS accepted versio

    Increased Productivity of a Cover Crop Mixture Is Not Associated with Enhanced Agroecosystem Services

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    Cover crops provide a variety of important agroecological services within cropping systems. Typically these crops are grown as monocultures or simple graminoid-legume bicultures; however, ecological theory and empirical evidence suggest that agroecosystem services could be enhanced by growing cover crops in species-rich mixtures. We examined cover crop productivity, weed suppression, stability, and carryover effects to a subsequent cash crop in an experiment involving a five-species annual cover crop mixture and the component species grown as monocultures in SE New Hampshire, USA in 2011 and 2012. The mean land equivalent ratio (LER) for the mixture exceeded 1.0 in both years, indicating that the mixture over-yielded relative to the monocultures. Despite the apparent over-yielding in the mixture, we observed no enhancement in weed suppression, biomass stability, or productivity of a subsequent oat (Avena sativa L.) cash crop when compared to the best monoculture component crop. These data are some of the first to include application of the LER to an analysis of a cover crop mixture and contribute to the growing literature on the agroecological effects of cover crop diversity in cropping systems