AEIdeas http://www.aei-ideas.org The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:03:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wednesday night links http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/wednesday-night-links-5/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/wednesday-night-links-5/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:46:58 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138237 read more >]]> 1. September Auto SalesVehicle sales this year of 16.34 million units on a seasonally adjusted, annual rate (SAAR) was the best September sales month since 2006, when 16.42 million units were sold.

2. Restaurant Sales. Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels and a more optimistic outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index posted a solid gain in August.

3. More Oil = More Jobs. The three US metro areas with the lowest jobless rates in August: Bismarck, ND (2.2%), Fargo (2.4%) and Midland TX (2.8%).

4. More Oil = Lower Prices. Thanks in part to fracking, “Oil Prices Fall on Growing Supply, Lowest Price in Nearly 2 Years,” and retail gas prices are the lowest in four years for late September.

5. Quotation of the Day. From Thomas Sowell, “I must have heard the word “diversity” proclaimed in ringing tones as a great benefit to society at least a thousand times — and probably closer to a million — without even once hearing a speck of evidence provided, or even suggested as a way to test whether that is true or false.”

6. To Combat Campus Sexual Assault? The University of New Mexico is hosting a “Sex Week,” an event featuring workshops like “How to be a Gentleman AND Get Laid,” “Negotiating A Successful Threesome,” “O-Face Oral” and “BJs and Beyond,” according to this flier distributed on campus.

7. Markets in Everything. a) Want to make sure you and your partner are on the same page before you hook up? There’s an app for that – Good2Go and b) WunWun will offer on-demand delivery of anything to San Francisco users for a flat rate of $10.

8. Who-d a-Thunk It? Federal spending on contracts in the last week of the fiscal year is five times higher than the weekly average? Hey, it’s the annual “use it or lose it” season in Washington.

9. VIDEO. Michelle Fields interviewed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the “People’s Climate March” in NYC. The two had a testy exchange and RFK Jr. revealed his climate rage when Michelle suggested his own smartphone, car and carbon footprint makes him a green hypocrite rivaling Al “Bigfoot” Gore. Watch as RFK goes completely loony off the deep end about the Koch Brothers…

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/wednesday-night-links-5/feed/ 1
Location, location, location http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/location-location-location-2/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/location-location-location-2/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:16:59 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138227 read more >]]> flinthome1. Here’s what you can buy in Flint, Michigan for $425,000 (pictured above):

Gorgeous historic home in Flint’s most prestigious neighborhood! Impressive marble Foyer, beautiful hardwood floors throughout, crown molding, paneled Library with french doors. Huge master suite with cozy sitting room. Fabulous formal living and dining rooms. Central air, 3 car garage, lovely secluded patio and hot tub. Six bedrooms, five full bathrooms and one 1/2 bath, 6,550 square feet, on one acre.

Price per square foot: $65

Here’s another home for sale on the same block in Flint for $399,000 with 5 full baths, 2 half baths, 5 bedrooms, 5,414 square feet on one acre.  dccondo2. In contrast, here’s what you can get in Washington, D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood for $425,000 (picture above):

Beautiful 581 square foot, 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo surrounded by everything Adams Morgan has to offer. Renovated kitchen with new appliances, granite counter tops and maple cabinets. Ceramic and glass tile in bath. Beautiful hardwood floors throughout, washer/dryer in unit, tons of storage, wood-burning fireplace, plus off-street parking.

Price per square foot: $731

Related: See a previous “Location, location, location” CD post in 2012 here.

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/location-location-location-2/feed/ 3
2 questions for European policymakers http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/2-questions-for-european-policymakers/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/2-questions-for-european-policymakers/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:16:22 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138231 read more >]]> As Europe’s economy now appears to be heading for a triple-dip recession and as its politics continue to fragment at a seemingly accelerating pace, European policymakers would be well advised to ask themselves two basic questions. First, if a recipe of fiscal austerity and structural economic reform within a Euro straightjacket has thwarted a meaningful European economic recovery over the past three years, what reason is there to expect that broadly the same economic policy mix will produce any better economic results going forward?

Second, if a combination of economic recession, high unemployment, and budget austerity has led to a fracturing of European politics over the past three years, why will the same combination of factors not lead to a further fracturing of European politics in the period immediately ahead? Hopefully, were European policymakers to address honestly those two questions, they might see fit to change policy course in an effort to get Europe off the dangerous economic and political downward spiral on which it now seems to find itself.

By now one would have thought that European policymakers would have given up on the notion that fiscal austerity in the middle of a recession and within a euro straitjacket that precluded devaluation was a good idea. After all, despite the hope at the start of the year for a solid economic rebound, all the indicators now point to a renewed stalling of the European economy. Disturbingly this leaves the European economy meaningfully below its pre-2008 peak some six years after the onset of the global economic recession. Equally disturbing is the fact that a feeble European economy is now being hit by a new external shock in the form of an escalating cycle of sanctions and counter-sanctions associated with Russia’s stand-off with the West over Ukraine.

Europe's greatest depression

Sticking to the failed economic policies of the past is particularly unfortunate at this stage of the European economic cycle. Since Europe as a whole is now on the cusp of price deflation, while the highly-indebted countries of the European economic periphery are already experiencing outright price deflation. If Europe’s deflationary tendencies took root, it is difficult to see how the highly indebted countries of the European periphery will be able to restore public debt sustainability. It is also difficult to see how Europe will not be exposed to another and more virulent round of its sovereign debt crisis once the US Federal Reserve starts hiking interest rates and once global liquidity conditions are not as favorable as they are today.

Among the more disturbing aspects of Europe’s dismal economic performance over the past three years has been the rapid deterioration in its politics. From Greece to Portugal and from Italy to Spain, depressed economies have caused the populations of these countries to lose faith in their political elites and to lose their tolerance for painful policies of austerity and reform. Across Europe centrist parties have lost their majorities to extremist parties on both the left and the right of the political spectrum, while separatist movements have gained strength.

Sadly, Europe’s political deterioration has not been confined to its periphery. Indeed, in France President Hollande is by now the least popular president in France’s Fifth Republic, while Marine Le Pen’s National Front Party has the wind in its sails. Meanwhile, the disturbing rise of the Alternative for Germany Party (AFD) on the extreme right of the political spectrum seriously constrains Chancellor Merkel’s room for policy maneuver to help Germany’s troubled Southern neighbors.

Hopefully, European policymakers will soon wake up to the dangerous economic and political downward spiral in which Europe now seems to find itself. Since, if they delay changing policy course much longer, they might find a European political economy that is beyond the point of return and a euro beyond the point of salvation.

Follow AEIdeas on Twitter at @AEIdeas.

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/2-questions-for-european-policymakers/feed/ 1
6 reasons marriage is in deep, deep trouble http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/6-reasons-marriage-is-in-deep-deep-trouble/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/6-reasons-marriage-is-in-deep-deep-trouble/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:41:31 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138225 read more >]]> From Isabel Sawhill of Brookings:

1.) Major demographic trends, once they gain a certain momentum, are hard to reverse.

2.) The youngest generation is marrying less than older ones, suggesting this is the wave of the future.

3.) Groups with low marriage rates (minorities) are becoming a larger share of the population.

4.) Other advanced countries are also seeing a decline in marriage, suggesting the trend has little to do with a lack of specific policies in the U.S.

5.) The more fundamental source of the decline appears to be women’s greater opportunities to support themselves and to establish identities separate from those of wife and mother.

6.) Single parenthood may replicate itself intergenerationally by reducing the life chances of children, especially boys with absent fathers.

Now Sawhill offers a bunch of positive factors for marriage, but I sense she thinks pro-marriage forces have a long slog ahead of them. And that’s too bad since she stresses that marriage is “one of the best antipoverty policies in existence.” And Sawhill may be overly optimistic that progressives are beginning to grasp the importance of marriage in social mobility.

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/6-reasons-marriage-is-in-deep-deep-trouble/feed/ 5
Study: Higher unemployment makes people way more miserable than higher inflation http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/study-higher-unemployment-makes-people-way-more-miserable-than-higher-inflation/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/study-higher-unemployment-makes-people-way-more-miserable-than-higher-inflation/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:26:38 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138223 read more >]]> From “The Happiness Trade-Off between Unemployment and Inflation” by David Blanchflower, David Bell, Alberto Montagnoli, and Mirko Maro

Unemployment and inflation lower well-being. The macroeconomist Arthur Okun characterized the negative effects of unemployment and inflation by the misery index—the sum of the unemployment and inflation rates. This paper makes use of a large European data set, covering the period 1975–2013, to estimate happiness equations in which an individual subjective measure of life satisfaction is regressed against unemployment and inflation rate (controlling for personal characteristics, country, and year fixed effects).

We find, conventionally, that both higher unemployment and higher inflation lower well-being. We also discover that unemployment depresses well-being more than inflation. We characterize this well-being trade-off between unemployment and inflation using what we describe as the misery ratio. Our estimates with European data imply that a 1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate lowers well-being by more than five times as much as a 1 percentage point increase in the inflation rate.

Now even the authors concede their finding probably has a limit, as one of the authors told the WSJ’s Pedro Nicolaci da Costa:

In a telephone interview, Mr. Blanchflower acknowledged that equation might change once inflation exceeds a certain level, say in the double-digits. At that point, the tradeoffs may shift. But with most advanced economies struggling to keep inflation from slipping further below official targets, that’s simply not a problem that should be concerning policy makers at the moment, he says.

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/study-higher-unemployment-makes-people-way-more-miserable-than-higher-inflation/feed/ 2
Maybe Ben Bernanke does deserve a Nobel Prize — but not for economics http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/ben-bernanke-does-deserve-a-nobel-prize-but-maybe-not-for-economics/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/ben-bernanke-does-deserve-a-nobel-prize-but-maybe-not-for-economics/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:02:42 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138219 read more >]]> The Wall Street Journal’s Jon Hilsenrath makes the case for former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke as the next recipient for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel:

Mr. Bernanke’s 1990s “financial accelerator” papers with New York University professor Mark Gertler and Simon Gilchrist presciently drew attention to the damage done to the broader economy by shocks to the credit system. His research in the 1980s on the Great Depression also proved to be a useful roadmap for how links between the financial system and the economy break down in a crisis.

The work, along with work by others like Douglas Diamond at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, is seen by many academics as being at the leading edge of research in the field. Mr. Bernanke is the 25th most cited economist on the Ideas website hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, just behind Nobel winner Paul Krugman and ahead of previous Nobel winners including Edward Prescott, Daniel Kahneman and Robert Shiller.

Hilsenrath concedes that Bernanke, though arguably deserving, is probably not the most likely pick. Maybe, though, the better option would be to award Bernanke the Nobel Peace Prize. Think about the counterfactual: What if the Bernanke Fed had made the same tight-money errors as the European Central Bank, calamitous moves that almost broke the eurozone and left the region mired in depression. Imagine the terrible economic feedback effects from both the US and EZ stuck in a long downturn. As it was, the possibility of a eurozone breakup led some economists to fret about potential military conflict. Now assume the absence of the US growth engine, both hurting the $300 billion in annual trade between the two regions and adding to economic uncertainty. Certainly both major economies in a depression would hardly had made for a safer, more open world. The monetary moves, including quantitative easing,  by the Bernanke Fed are a big reason the US doesn’t resemble the EZ right now. The Noble Committee could do a lot worse than Bernanke. It has in the past and likely will in the future.

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/ben-bernanke-does-deserve-a-nobel-prize-but-maybe-not-for-economics/feed/ 0
Why the ‘most important chart about the American economy you’ll see this year’ has big problems http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/why-the-most-important-chart-about-the-american-economy-youll-see-this-year-is-flawed/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/why-the-most-important-chart-about-the-american-economy-youll-see-this-year-is-flawed/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:31:28 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138182 read more >]]> Bard College economist Pavlina Tcherneva has cooked up a frightening and much-shared income-inequality chart (see above) — “the most important chart about the American economy you’ll see this year,” according to Vox —  that seems to confirm the worst: America has become a winner-take-everything society. Since the 1980s, the top 10% have grabbed an ever-large share of income gains. And now they are taking it all. To Wall Street Journal columnist William Galston, the chart clearly illustrates how “affluent Americans moved forward while everyone else fell back.”

Or maybe not. Manhattan Institute scholar Scott Winship claims “the Tcherneva chart obscures more than it reveals.” In a thorough new analysis, Winship offers a numbers of substantive critiques of the chart, which Tcherneva assembled using data from inequality researchers Thomas “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” Piketty and Emanuel Saez. Among them:

1.) The chart uses “tax units” rather than “households,” which underestimate how the bottom 90% are doing. Tax units tend to be poorer than households. For instance, a cohabiting couple is one household but two tax units since they file two income tax returns. As Winship notes, the Piketty-Saez data indicates the average income of the bottom 90% of tax units was $31,284 in 2010 vs. $39,397 for the mean household.

2.) The chart looks at incomes over expansions rather than business cycles. This is usually a big charting no-no. What if a group’s big gains during an upturn are then pretty much wiped out during the subsequent downturn? For instance, Winship points out that although the bottom 90% received such a larger share of gains in the 1950s expansions, according to the Tcherneva, they also suffered disproportionate losses in the recessions that followed.

3.) The chart includes all those Baby Boomer retirees but does not include Medicare and Social Security benefits (nor, for that matter, employer-provided health insurance), the latter of which “provides more than half the income of more than half of elderly Americans.” In other words, the growing retiree population is a drag on “market income.” Winship adds, “Among the non-retiree population, market income growth is more robust than the Piketty-Saez data suggest.”

4.) The chart has a problem dealing with capital income. Income from a sold stock is counted, accrued capital gains are not. Moreover, non-taxable capital gains, such as home sales, are also not counted as income. That’s a biggie for middle-class America. Neither are tax-preferred retirement accounts until retiree tap them. So if you are trying to illustrate inequality trends, Winship argues, there is a strong case for excluding capital income — especially since there is some evidence “that capital income concentration and wealth concentration have increased less than earnings concentration has.” If so, focusing more narrowly on earnings wouldn’t understate the growth in inequality.

Given all that — and excluding the 20009-2012 period since the CBO data Winship uses only runs through 2010 — Winship concludes the following:

The 1950s and 1960s saw a high and largely stable share of wage and salary gains going to the bottom 90 percent. This pattern sharply reverses in the 1970s, and the share of wage and salary income going to the top 10 percent increases further in the 1980s. However, the 1980s were the high-water mark for lop-sided growth. In the 1990s, the share going to the top was lower than in the 1970s, and it fell again between 2000 and 2007, when the bottom 90 percent received more than half the gains.

And he offers these charts —  one using CBO data, the other using Piketty-Saez data — both of which show a very different income and inequality landscape than the original Tcherneva chart:

100114winship1

100114winship2

Now none of this means income inequality hasn’t likely increased and increased by a lot over the past three decades. Nor does it mean that automation won’t create stark inequality going forward. But it also doesn’t mean that a small sliver at the top has been taking all the income gains, and we need to freak out ASAP and start cranking up taxes whatever the impact on growth. Indeed, a 2011 CBO report found that between between 1979 and 2007, average real after-tax household income grew by 275% for the top 1% of households, 65% for the next 19%, just under 40% for the next 60%, and 18% for the bottom 20%. The debate on income inequality needs to be data-based. Winship has contributed much to that debate, if only the media would care to report it.

100114cboinequalityFollow James Pethokoukis on Twitter at @JimPethokoukis, and AEIdeas at @AEIdeas.

 

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/why-the-most-important-chart-about-the-american-economy-youll-see-this-year-is-flawed/feed/ 2
3 takeaways from Modi’s visit to America http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/3-takeaways-from-modis-visit-to-america/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/3-takeaways-from-modis-visit-to-america/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:18:44 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138187 read more >]]> Yesterday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up a five-day visit to New York and Washington, DC. His packed schedule included an address to the United Nations General Assembly, a speech to 19,000 adoring Indian-Americans in Madison Square Garden, an appearance alongside Hugh Jackman at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, dinner with President Obama and senior administration officials, a visit to Washington’s Martin Luther King Jr. memorial with Obama, and a lunch hosted for him jointly by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Needless to say, each step was covered in breathless detail by a battery of Indian TV news channels, and Modi (as usual) dominated the Indian Twittersphere. But how much did the visit actually achieve? Here are my top three takeaways from #ModiInAmerica:

1.) Resetting the mood: For about two years before Modi’s election in May, India’s image in the world had taken a battering. The previous government allowed economic growth to slump from over 10% a year to less than 5%. It also presided over the most staggering corruption scandals—spanning telecom, coal mines and real estate among others—in India’s history. US-India relations descended into a weird blend of stasis, commercial disputes, and petty bickering over an Indian diplomat’s brief arrest in New York. Now the veil of negativity around both India and the US-India relationship has lifted. Thanks to his large parliamentary majority and high-octane diplomacy, Modi has managed to push the reset button for India.

2.) An opening to business: As I point out in my most recent Wall Street Journal column, for Modi the most important part of the visit wasn’t his meeting with Obama but with leading American CEOs in New York, including the heads of Boeing, General Electric, Goldman Sachs and IBM. Modi was elected to turn around India’s economy, and the success or failure of his government will depend, in no small measure, on regaining the trust of international investors. At the US-India Business Council in Washington yesterday, Modi once again promised that he would replace India’s notorious red tape with a red carpet for investors. Has the prime minister managed to recapture business interest? Undoubtedly. Will this translate into actual investments? That depends on his ability to turn lofty rhetoric into concrete policies.

3.) More symbolism than substance: The joint statement released at the end of the visit is long on promises to talk about talking about talks, but there’s very little in it that stands out in terms of so-called “deliverables.” At this point, it’s fair to say that the rushed visit didn’t give both sides enough time to iron out niggling differences on trade and commerce, or to announce dramatic gains in defense cooperation. You could also argue that symbolism matters—it creates conditions that allow substantive progress in the relationship. But, for now at least, the jury is still out on whether this visit was the first step in a revitalized partnership, or merely a series of skillfully choreographed but ultimately ephemeral photo opportunities.

Follow AEIdeas on Twitter at @AEIdeas.

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/3-takeaways-from-modis-visit-to-america/feed/ 0
What to make of the AP US History framework http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/what-to-make-of-the-ap-us-history-framework/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/what-to-make-of-the-ap-us-history-framework/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:04:35 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138183 read more >]]> On Friday, I participated in “Tweet the Press” with NBC’s Chuck Todd to discuss the controversy surrounding the content of the AP US History curriculum.

It was tough to discuss in 140 characters, so given that I have a few more words here, I’d like to go into depth on a couple of topics:

1.) We were talking about one specific curriculum, designed for high performing juniors or seniors in high school.

At times, the conversation (and the mountain of twitter cross chatter) seemed to talk about history standards generally, with Chuck asking questions like “it does seem weird in hindsight to have been taught in 1st grade about Pilgrims and Indians dining together then years later be taught about the wars with Native Americans. Should we cut back on the Pilgrim story?”

That is an entirely different can of worms. As a person who is a big school choice advocate (check out my new video!), I would argue for allowing a wide variety of perspectives on American history to be taught so long as parents are free to choose where to send their children. As it turns out, schools of choice have a pretty strong track record instilling civic values.

But this was a conversation about the AP curriculum, which is a voluntary program for schools and students. I was simply offering my opinion as to what it should look like. I was not trying to advocate for a single framework to be imposed on all children at all grades in America.

Now that that’s out of the way…

2.) At times the standards read like what liberals think conservatives care about

Both Rick Hess and Checker Finn (and Rick Hess and Checker Finn) have written thoughtful posts describing what they see as the shortcomings of the standards. I don’t have much to add, with one exception.

Chuck asked me, point blank, “is it too simplistic to say that the conservative backlash is all about how teachers are handling Reagan?”

During my background research for “Common Core Meets Education Reform,” I looked into the attempts to create national standards in social studies in the 1990s. One of the sticking points I saw over and over against was conservative activists thinking both that 80s culture warriors like the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family were left out of the standards, and that President Reagan was treated unfairly.

In the AP US Framework we see both the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family mentioned, and far as Reagan being treated unfairly, I’ll offer Jenn Hatfield’s great quantitative analysis of the adjectives used to describe him and the College Board’s choice to use the least accurate.

But I think this whole line of concern misses a bigger point. I can’t help but feel that many mentions to people and events Conservatives value are simply being used as tokens to mollify more strident critics.

I’m less concerned with making sure Phyllis Schlafly gets a name check than making sure that the fundamental ideals of America are explained, the nature of some of the enemies and competing ideologies we’ve fought are made clear, and that democracy and capitalism get the credit they deserve for raising living standards and enfranchising more human beings than any system of government or economics heretofore divined by human beings.

3.) I think there is more to the student walkout in Colorado than meets the eye

The news story that prompted this discussion was a walkout by students in Jefferson County, Colorado, after the school board voted to create a committee to study the district’s history curriculum. Does that sound like a bit of a hair trigger to anyone else? Might they want to wait until the committee gives its opinion or the board decides to act on it?

The last line of that story sheds some light on this. Just the week before, the teachers in the district walked out over a scuffle with the board over pay. Perhaps it wasn’t the students who were the driving force behind this one. That makes the College Board, who actually issued a statement in support of the walkout, look foolish.

All told I had a great time. As I told Chuck, it was like drinking from a fire hose. But, this is an important debate, and the more ways we can use to include more people in it, the better.

Follow AEIdeas on Twitter at @AEIdeas.

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/what-to-make-of-the-ap-us-history-framework/feed/ 0
Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2013 for 5th straight year, and outnumber men in grad school 137.5 to 100 http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/women-earned-majority-of-doctoral-degrees-in-2013-for-5th-straight-year-and-outnumber-men-in-grad-school-137-5-to-100/ http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/women-earned-majority-of-doctoral-degrees-in-2013-for-5th-straight-year-and-outnumber-men-in-grad-school-137-5-to-100/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:54:23 +0000 http://www.aei-ideas.org/?p=138177 read more >]]> grad2grad3The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) recently released its annual report recently on US graduate school enrollment and degrees for 2013, and here are some of the more interesting findings in this year’s report:

1. For the fifth year in a row, women in 2013 earned a majority of doctoral degrees. Of the 70,920 doctoral degrees awarded in 2013 at US universities (Table 2.25), women earned 34,761 of those degrees and 52.2% of the total, compared to 36,640 degrees awarded to men who earned 47.8% of the total (see top chart above).  The 52.2% female share of doctoral degrees in 2013 was the same as in 2012 and slightly lower than the female share of 52.5% in 2011, but was higher than the 51.9% female share in 2010 and the 50.4% female share in 2009, which was the first year ever that women outnumbered men earning doctoral degrees. Previously, women started earning a majority of associate’s degrees for the first time in 1978, a majority of master’s degrees in 1981, and a majority of bachelor’s degrees in 1982 according to the Department of Education. Therefore, 2009 marked the year when men officially became the “second sex” in higher education by earning a minority of college degrees at all college levels from associate’s degrees up to doctoral degrees.

2. By field of study, women earning doctoral degrees in 2013 outnumbered men in 7 of the 11 graduate fields tracked by the CGS (see top chart above): Arts and Humanities (52.3% female), Biology (51.3%, and one of the STEM fields), Education (67.7%), Health Sciences (71,7)%, Public Administration (64.2%), Social/Behavioral Studies (61.8%) and Other fields (50.5%). Men still earned a majority of 2013 doctoral degrees in the fields of Business (55% male), Engineering (76.9%), Math and Computer Science (74.2%), and Physical Sciences (65.3%).

3. The middle chart above shows the gender breakdown for master’s degrees awarded in 2013 (from Table 2.24) and the gender disparity in favor of females is significant – women earned 58.4% of all master’s degrees in 2013, which would also mean that women earned 140.4 master’s degrees last year for every 100 degrees earned by men. Like for doctoral degrees, women outnumbered men in the same 7 out of the 11 fields of graduate study and in some of those fields the gender disparity was huge. For example, women earned almost 413 master’s degrees in health sciences for every 100 men, and more than 300 master’s degrees in both education and public administration for every 100 men.

4. The bottom chart above displays total enrollment in 2013 by gender and field for all graduate school programs in the US (certificate, master’s and doctoral degrees from Table 2.13), showing that there is a significant gender gap in favor of women for students attending graduate school. Women represent 57.9% of all graduate students in the US, meaning that there are now 137.5 women enrolled in graduate school for every 100 men. In certain fields like Education (74.5% female), Health Sciences (77.9% female) and Public Administration (75.5%), women outnumber men by a factor of almost three or more. By field of study, women enrolled in graduate school outnumber men in the same 7 out of the 11 graduate fields of study noted above, with females being a minority share of graduate students in only Business (44.6% female), Engineering (23.8% female), Math and Computer Science (29.9% female), and Physical Sciences (36.5% female).

MP: Here’s my prediction – the facts that: a) men are underrepresented in graduate school enrollment overall (100 men were enrolled in 2013 for every 137.5 women), b) men received fewer master’s (40.8% of the total) and doctoral degrees (47.8% of the total) than women in 2013, and c) men were underrepresented in 7 out of 11 graduate fields of study at both the master’s and doctoral levels last year will get no attention at all from feminists, gender activists, women’s centers, the media, universities, and anybody in the higher education industry.

Additionally, there will be no calls for government studies, or increased government funding to address the significant gender disparities in graduate schools, and nobody will refer to the gender graduate school enrollment and degree gaps favoring women as a problem or a “crisis.” Further, neither President Obama nor Congress will address the gender graduate enrollment and degree gaps by invoking the Title IX gender-equity law, like they have threatened to do for the gender gap in some college math and science programs. And there won’t be any executive orders to address the huge gender disparity in graduate schools by creating a White House Council on Boys and Men like the executive order issued by President Obama in 2009 to create the “White House Council on Women and Girls.” Finally, despite their stated commitment to “gender equity,” the hundreds of university women’s centers around the country are unlikely to show any concern about the significant gender inequities in graduate school enrollment and degrees, and universities will not be allocating funding to set up men’s centers on college campuses or providing funding for graduate scholarships for men.

Bottom Line: If there is any attention about gender differences in the CGS annual report, it will likely be about the fact that women are a minority in 4 of the 11 fields of graduate study including engineering and computer science (a gender gap which some consider to be a “national crisis”), with calls for greater awareness of female under-representation in STEM graduate fields of study and careers (except for the STEM field of biology, where women are over-represented). But don’t expect any concern about the fact that men have increasingly become the second sex in higher education.  The concern about gender imbalances will remain extremely selective, and will only focus on cases when women, not men, are underrepresented and in the minority.

To conclude, let me pose a few questions, paraphrasing Walter E. Williams: If America’s diversity worshippers see any female underrepresentation as a problem and possibly even as proof of gender discrimination, what do they propose be done about female overrepresentation in higher education at every level and in 7 out of 11 graduate fields? After all, to be logically consistent, aren’t female overrepresentation and female underrepresentation simply different sides of injustice?

]]>
http://www.aei-ideas.org/2014/10/women-earned-majority-of-doctoral-degrees-in-2013-for-5th-straight-year-and-outnumber-men-in-grad-school-137-5-to-100/feed/ 21