CRF In The News - January

CRF In The News - January

The Center for Research on Families and its scholars in the news for the month of January 2012.

 

Past CRF Scholar (’07-’08), Nancy Folbre writes in the Economix blog about traffic jams and various methods to avoid them, or make them expensive. She says traffic snarls are costly to the country’s economy and notes that if drivers were forced to pay a premium to drive in the most congested areas they would find other ways to get around. Such a plan would also boost mass transit, encourage bicycle use and clean up air fouled by vehicles, she says. (New York Times, 1/30/12)

 

A new report co-authored by M.V. Lee Badgett, former CRF Family Research Scholar (’04-’05), estimates that the state of Washington would receive an economic benefit by $88 million by establishing marital equality for same-sex couples.  In the first year alone, the state would generate a $57 million boost, with $8 million in tax revenue going to state and local coffers.  (Williams Institute, 1/23/12)

 

Nancy Folbre, economics, writes in the Economix blog about the best states for children. She says some states have chosen to spend more on child-related programs and are willing to impose the taxes necessary to fund those programs, while others choose lower taxes and fewer such programs. She says the concept of “tax morale,” or the willingness to pay taxes to benefit others, is a driving force in this discussion. (New York Times, 1/23/12)

 

M.V. Lee Badgett, economics and director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, says divorce rates for people in same-sex marriages are approaching those for people in opposite-sex marriages, but remain slightly lower. The reason, she says, is because same-sex couples are just as committed as couples in traditional marriages. She also says same-sex couples have often been together for a long time and this tends to reduce the divorce rate. (The Columbian [Washington State], 1/23/12)

 

Nancy Folbre writes in the Economix blog about families where the mom is the breadwinner and the dad takes care of the home and the children. She notes that current U.S. tax policy rewards families that have a non-working spouse. Folbre argues that federal tax policy should instead reward families where both spousescare for children and other family members and both work. (New York Times, 1/16/12)

 

Past CRF Scholar (’03-’04) Naomi Gerstel, sociology, is quoted for her work on “greedy marriages” in a recent blog post on PsychCentral.com.   Gerstel reported results from several national surveys that show single Americans are more likely to keep in touch with their siblings and parents, and more likely to socialize with friends and neighbors.(Pysch Central, 1/12/12)

 

Nancy Folbre writes in the Economix blog about the notion that the U.S. economy will improve if people just work a little harder. She says this idea is reflected in policies based on pay incentives and performance measurement for teachers and other workers. In the end, however, Folbre says exhorting people to try harder doesn’t solve problems and may make progress even harder. (New York Times, 1/9/12)

 

The research of Stress Research Group member Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, public health, is cited in a story on how vitamin D may affect mental health, especially in winter when many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder. (MSN Health, 1/6/12)

 

Public Engagement Project (PEP) Co-Founder Amy Schalet, sociology, author of the book “Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex,” is interviewed. She has researched and written about the attitudes toward adolescent sexuality and the differences in attitude aboutteen sex among Dutch and American parents. Schalet says the way to overcome the differences in attitude between the U.S. and the Dutch is through comprehensive sex education. (Sociological Images, 1/3/12)

 

Nancy Folbre writes in the Economix blog about how people in the middle class seem to be debating whether they are more threatened by the well-off upper class or the less fortunate lower classes. She says politically, the left sees the increasingly wealthy upper income people above them as the threat, while those on the right argue that prosperity is threatened by a growing underclass of people who are lazy and expect entitlement from the government. (New York Times, 1/2/12)