Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado
IBS at the American Sociological Association
Two of IBS's interdisciplinary research programs sent Professional Staff and graduate students to participate in the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA), in New York City, August 16-20. Here are reports on the meeting activities of members of the Population Program and the Environment and Behavior Program's Natural Hazards Center.
Richard Rogers, Robert Hummer, and Graduate Student Intern Kimberley Peters presented a paper at the ASA meeting on "Intermarriage and Mortality." Previous research on ethnicity and mortality has assumed that the ethnicity of an individual is the same as the ethnicity of the spouse, and that spouse's ethnicity does not affect an individual's own mortality chances. In their research, the authors used a new and unique data set, the National Health Interview Survey-National Death Index (NHIS-NDI), which is a household survey of individuals that allows linkages with ethnic characteristics of respondents and their spouses. The results, which show how respondents' ethnicity and education and their spouses' ethnicity and education affect mortality, further illuminate the mechanisms that create ethnic differences in mortality.
Kimberley Peters and Richard Rogers also presented a paper on "Social Factors Affecting the Health, Activity Levels, and Mortality of the Elderly." Using data from the linked NHIS-NDI, the researchers examine the interaction of age and self-rated health as a predictor of overall and cause-specific mortality. Proponents of "wear and tear" theories argue that, as the body ages, it begins to degenerate, leaving the aged in poor health and vulnerable to their ultimate mortality. In contrast, Peters and Rogers found that, although the majority of the elderly rate their health as good or better, low levels of education and income contribute to poor perceived health, and the effect of age on mortality varies by level of perceived health. While those of the oldest old who report the poorest health also experience greater risks of mortality, elders who report good health experience much lower risks. As a larger share of our population survives into old age, it is important to emphasize preventive health care policy, as well as strong economic and health care safety nets, not only to promote health but also to lengthen life.
Jacqueline Carrigan (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and IBS Intern) chaired a roundtable session and also presented the paper, "Socioeconomic Status Differences in Access to Health Information and Dietary Change."
Environment and Behavior Program
Natural Hazards Center
The Natural Hazards Center sent several researchers, under the supervision of Dennis Mileti, to make a variety of presentations at the American Sociological Association meetings.
JoAnne Darlington (Professional Research Assistant) presented two papers co-authored with Dennis Mileti. The first, "Culture and Corporate Action," was discussed in the Session on the Role of Culture in Creation, Change and Adaptation in Organizations. In this paper, the authors review and synthesize the literature on culture and organizations to offer a conceptualization of organizational culture that expands beyond a purely cognitive view to link culture to organizational behavior in different environments.
The second paper, "Determinants of Corporate Actions in Anticipation of Environmental Change," was presented in the Session on Theoretical Approaches in Disaster Research. This paper uses data collected on 54 corporations to examine the hypothesis that the cognitive and structural elements of "corporate earthquake culture" are differently predictive of alternative types of corporate quake-related behaviors in routine versus "jolted" environments. The findings show that corporate earthquake culture is a multidimensional concept comprised of both cognitive and structural elements, that varied elements of earthquake culture function to affect corporate action differently in distinct organizational environments, and that culture's impact on organizational behavior is contingent on the type of action being considered.
Alice Fothergill (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and IBS Graduate Research Assistant) contributed two papers. The first, "Critical Chores: Women's Work, Collective Behavior, and Disasters," was presented in the Session on Sex and Gender. Fothergill examines women's work activities and experiences in the home during the collective behavior period of a disaster and challenges the traditional conceptualization of collective action in disasters. Using the concept of the "diffuse crowd," she shows how women's work is indeed part of collective efforts. Women, it is posited, can be included in the discussion by deconstructing the public-domestic dichotomy, reframing it as a dialectical relationship, and thereby transforming the conceptualization of collective behavior in disasters.
Fothergill's second paper was written with former Undergraduate Research Assistant Enrique Maestas, who is now in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. The paper, "Race and Ethnicity in Disaster Research: Contribution to Theories of Marginalization," was presented at the Session on Race and Ethnicity. The central thesis in this paper is that inadequate conceptualizations and theorizations of ethnic identifiers by researchers and practitioners contribute to the marginalization of racial and ethnic groups before, during, and after their experience of disaster. Using a nine-stage typology that delineates disaster preparedness, impact, and recovery to assess existing literature on the subject of racial and ethnic groups in disaster, the authors demonstrate an inconsistent use of racial and ethnic conceptualizations. This has resulted in the exclusion of many groups from social science research on disasters. Theoretical and methodological inadequacies in the field contribute to problematic interactions between disaster researchers, disaster management personnel, and ethnic enclaves, resulting in the increased marginalization of ethnic groups within the broader U.S. society.
Natural Hazards Center at the ASA Meetings
Eve Passerini (Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and IBS Graduate Research Assistant) and co-author David Bahr (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) presented a paper on "Collective Behavior following Disasters: A Cellular Automaton Model." The paper was presented at the Regular Session on Using Chaos and Complexity Theories to Explain Social Change with a Macro Focus. While cellular automaton computer simulation models are the primary research tool of complexity sciences, they have rarely been used by sociologists. Passerini and Bahr use such a model to examine how large groups of people are influenced by disasters. The cellular automaton model designed for this research makes few initial assumptions about social behavior, and yet is able to reproduce specific social patterns that correspond to well-documented empirical evidence. The results suggest that the model is robust, and that cellular automaton models are an appropriate tool for sociologists of large-scale social behavior.
Political and Economic Change Program
Keith Maskus attended the annual meeting of the Western Economic Association, in San Francisco, June 29-July 2, where he presented an invited paper, "The Economics of Child Labor Standards" (written with Jill Holman). In the paper, a product from a longer, comprehensive study of labor standards and trade policy for the World Bank, Maskus develops a general equilibrium model of market-based and optimal minimum working ages, which will generally differ. He also analyzes policy interventions, including tariffs imposed by developed countries. Such tariffs are likely to be counterproductive. Maskus also chaired a session and discussed three papers at the meeting. From July 6-17 Maskus was one of four experts on intellectual property rights invited to Geneva, Switzerland to draft an UNCTAD report titled, "Economic and Normative Implications of the TRIPS Agreement: A Survey of Issues of Particular Concern to Developing Countries." This report will be circulated to developing countries in order to assist them as they implement the new international regulatory system for intellectual property rights. From July 20-August 31 he accompanied a World Bank mission to Beirut, Lebanon. The mission's task was to assess Lebanon's international trade and domestic regulatory policies, especially as they relate to Lebanon's current negotiations with the European Union over an economic partnership agreement. His role is to assess their intellectual property rights system in relation to trade policies.
The Population Program offers best wishes to Sociology graduate student and IBS Intern Kimberly Peters, who recently accepted a position with the National Center for Health Statistics, in Hyattsville, MD. Peters will be a demographer with the Mortality Statistics Branch.
Population Program in Print
Becker, Charles M. and Christopher D. Grewe. 1996. "Cohort-Specific Rural-Urban Migration in Africa." Journal of African Economies, 5(2), pp. 228-270. Rural-urban migration has been modeled by both demographers and economists since the 1960s. Little regard has been given by either discipline to the other's models. In particular, economists have disregarded the possibility that net migration rates can be strongly affected by shifts in the demographic composition of the population under consideration. Aggregate studies implicitly assume that the demographic structure is constant. The authors address this void in the African context, and find that variables explaining net urban in-migration rates vary with migrant age. They also find that migration rates vary strongly by age and gender across Africa, and cohort weights have varied systematically over time in much of the continent, so that much of the urban boom from the 1960s through the mid-1980s and much of the decline in growth rates since then can be attributed to changing cohort structure--which in turn appears to be driven in part by economic variables.
Becker, Charles M. and David D. Hemley. 1996. "Interregional Inequality in Russia during the Transition Period." Comparative Economic Studies, 38(1), pp. 55-81. This paper examines and correlates economic and social variables for recent years across the Russian Federation's 79 districts (oblasts). The authors find that economic variables are often, but hardly always, positively correlated with each other and are also positively correlated with social variables. These correlations tend to be weaker than one would find in a market economy. Overall data quality, especially for social variables, was better than expected. However, economic variables appear to have little to do with human welfare, since incomes tend to miss vast amounts of in-kind payments, and money wages were structured in the Soviet Union to compensate for the absence of social services. Indicators of economic recovery tend to have little obvious correlation with past economic prosperity and the new Russia is likely to look quite different from the Soviet version.
Race, Economic Status, and Migration
Brian Cushing is a Visiting Research Scholar in the Population Program, while on a one-year sabbatical leave. Cushing is an Associate Professor of Economics and a Faculty Research Associate of the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University (WVU), where he has been on the faculty since 1981. He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame (1975) and his M.A. (1979) and Ph.D. (1981) in Economics from the University of Maryland. His primary areas of research have been population migration, measurement of poverty, and, more recently, Appalachian poverty.
My primary goal during the coming year is to complete some of the research that took most of my time during my 1989-90 sabbatical year at the Population Program. After I accepted a part-time administrative appointment at WVU immediately following my last sabbatical, this research sat untouched for more than five years. Currently, the major thrust of the research investigates the influence of race relations on migration of African Americans within the U.S. between 1955 and 1990, a period encompassing the civil rights legislation of the 1960s as well as much of the mass migration of blacks out of the South between 1940 and 1970. I hope to shed light on the importance of race relations in migration decisions, an increasingly important topic in the U.S. as the relative size of minority populations grows. Distortion of migration decisions of African Americans due to race relations may have played a significant role in the development of many of today's urban ghettos. I will also continue my research on the effects of poverty and public policy, especially social welfare programs, on migration decisions of low-income households. This is still a controversial topic that may now be even more important, given the very recent major overhaul and decentralization of the nation's social welfare system.
I also hope to take advantage of my time in Boulder to make significant progress on research with a former student, Buhong Zheng, who is currently on the economics faculty at the University of Colorado-Denver. This research originated with Professor Zheng's dissertation on measurement of poverty, which included a search for consensus on the underlying properties of a "good poverty measure," development of methods of statistical inference for poverty measures, the search for an easily applied, readily interpretable poverty measure with all of the desirable properties, and an application of good poverty measures to the U.S. population. Most of the continuing research focuses on applications of a variety of measures to cross-section and time series samples of the U.S. population, including several population subgroups. Results thus far demonstrate that measures with good properties often reveal trends in poverty that are quite different from those indicated by the major measures of poverty currently in use by the U.S. and other governments.
My newest research interest is Appalachian poverty, a natural topic given my location in West Virginia, near the heart of Appalachia. I recently completed a descriptive overview of Appalachian poverty as part of a project conducted by WVU's Regional Research Institute on behalf of the Appalachian Regional Commission. I have now begun a more thorough analysis of poverty in Central Appalachia, the most destitute subregion of Appalachia.
Anne Weiher attended the American Psychological Association meeting in Toronto, August 9-13. She presented a poster on "School Climate, Personal Characteristics, and Drug Use." Weiher examines the influence of school climate in conjunction with personal characteristics (such as school attachment, school normlessness, school isolation, and grades) as well as peer substance use and prior drug use as a model for subsequent drug use. She also examines the influences of school climate, independently, as a model for drug use. Findings from the overall sample indicate that, while for some types of substance use both personal and school climate variables are marginal predictors of drug use, the most powerful and consistent predictors of substance use are prior substance use and peer substance use. An examination of middle school students as compared to high school students shows that other, possibly developmental differences, are significant in predicting drug use. Weiher discusses the results in light of the growing movement toward intervention strategies that highlight the need for changes in school climate. The results provide some insight into why many of these intervention strategies may not be effective.
Environment and Behavior Program
Charles Howe gave the keynote address for the annual meeting of the Western Agricultural Economics Association in San Antonio on July 31. The topic was "Privatizing Public Assets: Measuring the Benefits and Costs." The basic points of the paper are to identify several different schools of thought regarding privatization of federally owned resources, to extract from the arguments of these groups valid arguments regarding the social benefits and costs of privatization, and to give conclusions regarding the nature of resource systems that should be privatized and those that should be retained in public ownership. At the annual meeting of the Universities' Council on Water Resources, held in San Antonio in late July, Howe was elected to the Board of Directors of the organization.
Natural Hazards Center News
Mary Fran Myers participated in the Pan Pacific Hazards '96 Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver, British Columbia, July 29-August 2. She was a speaker on a panel dealing with multijurisdictional issues and presented a paper entitled "Linking Research and Practice for Natural Hazards Management." Efforts to reduce societal vulnerability to damage from natural hazards are most effective if knowledge generated from researchers representing multiple disciplines is utilized by practitioners from all levels of government, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations. Facilitating the interchange of ideas and information among and between these diverse groups requires a concentrated effort that utilizes several different avenues to exchange questions, answers, problems, and ideas. In her paper, Myers presents a description of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center as one model to accomplish this exchange that has been used successfully in the United States for 20 years. She also offers suggestions for improving linkages between research and practice as well as ideas for making those linkages most productive.
Dennis Mileti also participated in the Pan Pacific Hazards '96 Conference and Trade Show, where he delivered a lecture on "The Character and Form of Effective Hazards Public Information," chaired the session on Vulnerable Populations, served as a panelist for the session on Risk Communication, and presented a summary of the conference during its closing ceremonies.
Dean's Small Grants
Dean's Small Grants are competitive awards, sponsored by the CU Graduate School, that support the research, scholarship, and creative work of graduate students. The grants range from $100 to a maximum of $750. Any full-time graduate student in good standing and making adequate progress toward a degree on the Boulder campus may apply for an award. Almost any type of research or creative project may be funded. Projects directly related to work on a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation generally receive priority, although other projects also receive funding. Consult the bulletin board in IBS #1 for application materials or contact Maryellen Ancell or Mike Hinojosa in the Graduate School, Regent 308, 492-7401. The application deadline is October 4, 1996.
By federal law, all faculty, staff, and student research that involves any contact with human beings requires prior review and approval. All new protocols requiring regular review are due in the Graduate School office by 5:00pm on the following dates:
Monday, September 30; Monday, October 28; Monday, November 25
Contact Maryellen Ancell, the Executive Secretary of the Human Research Committee, at 2-7401 for more information on regular, expedited, and exempt review and to obtain appropriate forms. Forms are also available in department offices. Be sure you are using the most current version of the form.
Problem Behavior Program
Megan A. Lewis:
Social control in marital relationships
NIMH 08/01/96 - 07/31/97 $69,862 new
Political and Economic Change Program
Michael D. Ward, John V. O'Loughlin, Edward S. Greenberg, and Lynn A.
Globalization and democratization
NSF 09/01/95 - 08/31/97 $112,500 renewal
Problem Behavior Program
Delbert S. Elliott and R.M. Swanson:
Evaluation of the Colorado youth offender system sentencing reform
NIJ 01/01/97 - 12/31/99 $1,024,257 new
David H. Huizinga
Understanding delinquency: a longitudinal multi-disciplinary study of developmental patterns
DOJ 09/01/96 - 08/31/99 $729,979 renew
Environment and Behavior Program
Dennis S. Mileti:
Assessment of research and applications of natural hazards
NSF 07/01/96 - 06/30/97 $42,100 supplement
Fred C. Pampel:
Aging, inequality, and welfare state regimes
NSF 05/01/97 - 04/30/98 38,954 new
Richard G. Rogers:
Collaborative research: factors affecting ethnic differences in adult mortality
NSF01/01/97 - 12/31/99 109,542 new
All Colloquia are held in the conference Room of IBS #3 (1424 Broadway) and are at 12:00 noon unless otherwise noted.
An online listing of upcoming colloquia is available and will be updated between newsletters.
Sponsored by the Political and Economic Change Program
Thursday, September 12
Democratization and Human Capital
Presenter: David Brown (Kenneth Boulding Postdoctoral Research Fellow, IBS)
Thursday, September 19
Democratization in Turkey
Presenter: Anna Secor (Graduate Research Assistant, IBS)
Thursday, September 26
Class Dynamics and Democratization
Presenter: Tom Mayer (Sociology and IBS)
Thursday, October 3
Frontier Fandango: Russia and the Ukraine
Presenter: John O'Loughlin (Geography and IBS)
Thursday, October 10
Democratization and the Risk of War
Presenter: Michael D. Ward (Political Science and IBS)
Sponsored by the Environment and Behavior Program
Monday, September 16
The Economic Impacts of Gasoline Taxes in Mexico City
Presenter: Roy Boyd (Economics, Ohio University)
Monday, September 30
Assessment of the Issues Regarding Economic Analysis of Environment Benefits in Water Resource Projects
Presenter: Robert K. Davis (Environment and Behavior Program)
Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0483