Demographics

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Another way for Labour to censure Brexit

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 19/04/2022 - 12:59am in

The Observer carried an interesting piece on Language Schools yesterday where with an 80% drop in revenue since Brexit, the reckoning is that there are a good 40,000 jobs in the balance. This is another disaster that has been hidden by Covid, but is plain for all to see in empty language schools accross Britain... Read more

Do Men and Women Philosophers Argue Differently?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 10/03/2022 - 12:01am in

There is no statistically significant gender difference in the argument types used by frequently cited contemporary men and women philosophers in their articles, according to a new study that uses corpus linguistic analysis to search their works for “indicator pairs” of words that are likely to differentiate between deductive, inductive, and abductive arguments.

In “Philosophy’s Gender Gap and Argumentative Arena: An Empirical Study,” forthcoming in Synthese, Moti Mizrahi (Florida Institute of Technology) and Mike Dickinson (University of Illinois) look at the works of the 32 most-cited contemporary men and 32 most-cited contemporary women in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and conclude:

Our results suggest that both men and women philosophers make arguments in their published works. More specifically, our data reveal no statistically significant differences between the types of arguments advanced in published works written by male philosophers and the types of arguments advanced in published works written by women philosophers. In fact, both men and women philosophers make the three types of arguments we have searched for systematically, namely, deductive arguments, inductive arguments, and abductive arguments, with no statistically significant differences in the proportions of those arguments relative to each philosopher’s body of work.

Are the findings useful, as Mizrahi and Dickson think they are, for assessing a hypothesis about academic philosophy’s gender gap (floated by Marilyn Friedman, among others), that the mode of argumentation prevalent in philosophy, long dominated by men, deters or alienates women? Mizrahi and Dickinson explicitly acknowledge an objection that supports a negative answer to this question: that their sample of women is unrepresentative, owing to “survivor bias”:

we have selected women philosophers who have managed to be successful in academic philosophy in spite of the ‘logic-chopping’ and ‘paradox-mongering’ nature of argumentation in academic philosophy… There are plenty of other women who have fought in the ‘argumentative arena’ (Alcoff 2013) of academic philosophy as well but did not survive.

Still, they think their study can speak to the credibility of the hypothesis. Here’s the relevant (given their findings) part of their response:

If we were to find no significant differences in patterns of argumentation between the most cited male philosophers and the most cited women philosophers, then such findings could suggest that women philosophers can be just as concerned with arguments, and just as philosophically argumentative, as male philosophers supposedly are. 

This won’t do. “That women philosophers can be just as concerned with arguments and just as philosophically argumentative” does not tell us whether the dominant modes of doing philosophy alienate or deter or make things more difficult for women in general. If we are looking for clues about what might be problematic with the status quo it is unclear why we’d focus exclusively on those for whom the status quo appears to be unproblematic.

That said, I don’t think this “concerned with arguments” hypothesis for the gender gap—understood as something that could be tested by counting the number of arguments people make and whether they are deductive, inductive, or abductive—is remotely plausible.

Further, it seems to be a misrepresentation of the complaints about philosophy it is supposed to capture. The complaints about philosophy that Mizrahi and Dickinson quote to motivate the hypothesis characterize philosophers not simply as people who argue, or argue a lot, or who use one type of argument more than others, but rather as people who are “just logic-choppers and paradox-mongers” and who are “concerned only with arguments.”

The complaint isn’t about the presence or degree of argumentation, but rather, it seems, about argumentation mainly detached from life as we know it, or detached from the contexts in which its problems arise. That said, I have no idea whether the “degree of detachment” of philosophical work varies by gender at all, or whether a hypothesis for philosophy’s gender gap that more faithfully represents this complaint of detachment has any evidence supporting it. Perhaps someone could figure out how to empirically test for these things.

And perhaps there is also interest in this: whether there are differences in how men and women argue about whether there are differences in how men and women argue.

 

To Maintain Jewish Demographic Control, Israel Cloaks Family Unification Law in Security Concerns

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/02/2022 - 4:52am in

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — A controversial law banning family unification between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories expired last summer, but right-wing politicians are seeking to resurrect it with a vengeance. This month, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) approved, in the first of three votes, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, preventing Palestinians married to Israeli citizens from receiving permits to enter into 1948-occupied Palestine (or modern-day Israel).

“It’s one of the most racist, apartheid laws that was ever passed in the world,” Adi Mansour, attorney with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, told MintPress News. “There is no other law that’s even remotely close to this law in the effects … that it has on family lives.”

Known as the family unification ban, the bill passed in 2003 and has been renewed annually since its inception — until last year. In July, the law was defeated after former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party voted against it to disrupt the new coalition government.

Now, right-wing Knesset members are hoping to breathe new life into the legislation by adding more restrictive amendments to a law human rights organizations already deem deeply discriminatory.

 

Making a harsh law even harsher

Knesset member Simcha Rothman of the far-right Religious Zionism Party negotiated with Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked to add tougher amendments to the law and get it back on the agenda.

Rothman’s applied amendments include setting a maximum yearly quota for those eligible to receive Israeli citizenship from the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, and requiring the Interior Ministry submit a monthly report on the number of permits granted. While this law is classified as a temporary order, the newest version also allows the government to extend its enforcement for longer than one year at a time, meaning it won’t need to be renewed annually.

“The amendment that was filed by the opposition brings to the surface the real intention of the law —  to prevent a supposed attack on the Jewish majority of the state,” Mansour said.  Rothman and the spokesperson for the Knesset did not respond to requests for comment.

Despite the law’s expiration, Shaked ordered the Population and Immigration Authority to apply the law to family unification requests. Israeli non-profit organizations HaMoked, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, filed a joint petition to the Israeli Court of Administrative Affairs. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which prompted the Interior Ministry to establish two temporary procedures. One of the procedures — HaMoked argues — simply “perpetuates the relevant provisions of the expired law, under a different name.”

 

More than just preventing the Palestinian right of return

HaMoked opposes the law, but Dani Shenhar, who heads HaMoked’s legal department, said that if it does pass, there are several amendments they are advocating to have attached to the bill in order to make it constitutional. These include: not applying the law to women over the age of 50, men over the age of 55, and minors; providing full government benefits to those given an entry permit; and giving permanent residency or citizenship to those applying on humanitarian grounds.

“When the law didn’t pass in July, many politicians said that it’s very important for keeping the demographics of Israel under control — not having Palestinians receive Israeli IDs,” Shenhar told MintPress. “This is the real concern of the state.”

Proponents of the law argue it’s necessary for security purposes, specifically claiming unified families are more likely to commit acts of terrorism. Shenhar explained, however, that Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that from 2001 to 2016 only 104 individuals from families who obtained residency or citizenship through family reunification were involved in terrorist activity. From his perspective, these low numbers suggest there isn’t a security concern. “Security is an explanation used by the state because it’s easier for the court to give its green light to this law when there’s a security basis for it,” Shenhar said. “It’s more difficult to justify this kind of law on the basis of demographics or racial profiling.”

Even Minister of Interior Shaked suggested this law isn’t just for security purposes. In an interview with Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Shaked admitted the law is meant to prevent the “creeping [Palestinian] right of return.” “The law wants to reduce the motivation for immigration to Israel. Primarily for security reasons, and then also for demographic reasons,” Shaked said.

Adalah’s Mansour argued that family reunification isn’t about the right of return. “We want the right of return, but still when we fall in love with a person, we do not think, ‘Let’s implement the right of return.’ This is not part of the rationality of love and relationships,” he said.

Instead, Mansour argues that the narrative that the law is about the right of return is merely strategic — to better persuade the Israeli media and public of the need for such a law. “The motive to prevent the right of return is not real,” he said, emphasizing the law’s agenda is Zionist and racist. “The real motive is preventing any demographic changes and preventing Palestinians from implementing their right to family life.”

“To basically build and sustain an apartheid regime,” Mansour added.

 

Denying the right to family life

Earlier this month Amensty International released a comprehensive report declaring Israel an apartheid state. The organization’s analysis highlighted the family reunification ban, calling it a “clear example of how Israel fragments and segregates Palestinians through a single system.”

Amnesty International described “discriminatory laws and policies that disrupt family life” as “primarily guided by demographic – rather than security – considerations and aim[ing] to minimize Palestinian presence inside the Green Line to maintain a Jewish majority.”

“By contrast, the 2003 law explicitly did not apply to residents of Jewish settlements in the West Bank wanting to marry and live with their spouse inside Israel, making it, and the ongoing policy underpinning it, blatantly discriminatory,” Amnesty wrote. The organization also noted that information from the Ministry of Interior indicated the rejection of about 43% of family unification applications from 2000-2013.

Families affected by the legislation were unable to speak on the record to MintPress, given that the bill is still being debated and voted on. However, Amnesty collected anonymous testimonies on how this law has disrupted families’ lives.

One spouse, who moved from the West Bank to 1948-occupied Palestine, applied for family reunification but while awaiting approval and without proper documentation, she lived in a perpetual state of anxiety. “There was a constant fear in my life. I was terrified of getting sick for example, because of this fear of having to go to the hospital without the necessary documents, getting caught [by Israeli authorities], and paying lots of money to cover for any kind of procedure or treatment,” she told Amnesty. She had married in 2003 when she was 18 but, according to the Citizenship Law, couldn’t apply for family reunification until she turned 25.

Another woman was rejected when trying to renew her permanent residency. She is now confined to Jerusalem in fear of arrest if she crosses Israeli checkpoints. She told Amnesty International how the law has impacted her life:

Since 2008, I have not been able to see my children as I please, because I cannot cross Israeli military checkpoints. I can only see my children and grandchildren through video calls. I have spent 12 years of my life trying to solve this, but the [Israeli] authorities keep stalling. I have spent half of my life either at the Ministry of Interior offices or gathering papers for them. This is exhausting.”

Adalah’s Mansour detailed the various cases he’s worked on regarding family reunification and called their experiences “devastating.” One example he offered:

During corona, a woman who was from Ramallah couldn’t leave Ramallah through the checkpoint because there was a lockdown. So she had to live for at least a month away from her kids and her family because they had citizenship and could go back to where her family lived, but she had to stay in Ramallah with her parents.”

In some situations, individuals could only get a driver’s license after 10 years. In other cases, individuals couldn’t find work in 1948-occupied Palestine because they didn’t have citizenship.

Often employers are unwilling to hire individuals with the family unification permit because, since it only lasts a year, their residency status is seen as unstable. Mansour summed it up:

People fall in love and they live together and they get married and they don’t think of the consequences. But eventually what happens is either you leave the country and live abroad, which is a decision that a lot of people don’t want to take because this is their homeland. On the other side, you have people who suffer every day from the consequences of not being able to unify their family.”

Adalah has been working with families on a potential upcoming petition against the legislation. In characterizing the bill, Mansour equated it to doctrines used by the German Nazi and Italian fascist regimes during World War II, in which governments would discriminate against people because of their nationalities. “It’s a law that attacks the very existence of Palestinians for being Palestinians,” he said.

Feature photo | A Palestinian family huddles a fire for warmth in Gaza, Jan. 27, 2022. Hatem Moussa | AP

Jessica Buxbaum is a Jerusalem-based journalist for MintPress News covering Palestine, Israel, and Syria. Her work has been featured in Middle East Eye, The New Arab and Gulf News.

The post To Maintain Jewish Demographic Control, Israel Cloaks Family Unification Law in Security Concerns appeared first on MintPress News.

The Role of Educational Attainment in Household Debt and Delinquency Disparities

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/01/2022 - 1:23am in

This post concludes a three-part series exploring the gender, racial, and educational disparities of debt outcomes of college students. In the previous two posts, we examined how debt holding and delinquency behaviors vary among students of different race and gender, breaking up our analyses by level of degree pursued by the student. We found that Black and Hispanic students were less likely than white students to take on credit card debt, auto loans, and mortgage debt, but experienced higher rates of delinquency in each of these debt areas by the age of 30. In contrast, Black students were more likely to take out student debt and both Black and Hispanic students experienced higher rates of student debt delinquency. We found that Asian students broadly followed reverse patterns from Black and Hispanic students by age 30. They were more likely than white students to acquire mortgages and less likely to hold student debt, but their delinquency patterns were in general similar to those of white students. Women were less likely to hold an auto loan or mortgage and more likely to hold student debt by age 30, and in most cases their delinquency outcomes were indistinguishable from males. In this post, we seek to understand mechanisms behind these racial and gender disparities and examine the role of educational attainment in explaining these patterns.

One potential mechanism may be gender and racial disparities in labor market outcomes, such as in earnings and employment. Unfortunately, we do not have data on labor market outcomes for our sample of City University of New York (CUNY) students. Rather, we consider education outcomes as a proxy for labor market outcomes drawing on the overwhelming evidence in favor of a strong linkage between education and labor market outcomes. In this post, we leverage administrative data on demographic and educational outcomes from an anonymized data set of all first-time freshman students enrolled with CUNY, the largest urban college system in the United States, between 1999 and 2014.

As in the previous two posts in this series, we focus on students who entered CUNY for an associate (AA) or a bachelor’s (BA) degree and refer to them respectively as AA and BA students. We leverage two educational outcomes here: student’s GPA at the end of the expected time to earn the degree (two years for AA students and four years for BA students), as well as their graduation rate in their intended degree (AA or BA) by age 30. We will look at differences in these outcomes by gender, race, and degree type and try to understand whether differences in educational attainment may have contributed to the racial and gender disparities in debt behavior we saw earlier on in this series.

As we’ve done throughout this series, we use multivariate regression analysis, and present bar charts for the regression coefficients of interest. All regressions continue to control for a rich set of background characteristics, such as immigration and visa status, type of high school attended, year of entry to CUNY, and whether a student is disabled, economically disadvantaged, or an English-language learner. The charts shown below are split into two panels—the upper panel represents results for students who enter CUNY for an AA degree (AA students), while the lower panel depicts results for students who enter for a BA degree (BA students).

Degree Attainment

The first educational outcome we look at is intended degree attainment. In the nationally representative NSC-CCP sample (see first post for details), 19 percent of two-year public school students and 51 percent of four-year public school students graduated by the age of 30. The numbers were not too different in our CUNY sample—25 percent of AA and 52 percent of BA students attained their intended degree (AA and BA respectively) by age 30. Distinguishing by gender, we find that AA and BA female students were respectively 8.5 percentage points and 10 percentage points more likely to graduate by age 30 compared to their male peers. These differences respectively constituted 34 percent and 19 percent of the sample average.

Distinguishing by race, we find that Black and Hispanic students were markedly less likely to graduate with their intended degree by age 30 relative to white students and the gap was perceptibly larger for BA students. Specifically, Black and Hispanic AA students were respectively 5.6 percentage points and 6.6 percentage points less likely to graduate while Black and Hispanic BA students were respectively 17 percentage points and 16 percentage points less likely to graduate than the white students by age 30. These gaps were sizable—for AA students, the Black-white and Hispanic-white gaps were respectively 22 percent and 26 percent of the sample average, while for BA students, these gaps were respectively 32 percent and 31 percent of the corresponding sample average.

Since educational attainment is a critical determinant of labor market outcomes, these large disparities in graduation rates may translate into disparities in employment and earnings, which in turn may lead to racial disparities in repayment and delinquencies. On the other hand, there is no discernible difference between the graduation rates of Asian and white AA or BA students. This tallies with the overall similarity in debt and delinquency patterns for Asian and white students and the divergence from patterns for Black and Hispanic students seen in the earlier two posts in this series. Although women were more likely to graduate than men with their intended degrees, the gender pay gap in the labor market is well known and likely is an important contributor to the inferior credit card delinquency patterns of women AA students seen in the second post in this series. As discussed below, gender differences in graduation may not be the only factor affecting the gender pay gap and the gap in consumer debt and delinquencies; a detailed discussion of other social and economic factors affecting this gap is beyond the purview of this post.

Female Students More Likely, While Black and Hispanic Students Less Likely, to Graduate with Intended Degree by Age  30

Difference in Probability to Obtain Intended Degree by Age 30

Sources: CUNY; New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel / Equifax.

College Grades

Another educational outcome that might signal labor market outcomes is a student’s GPA. The chart below shows differences in cumulative GPA at the end of the fourth semester for AA students and eighth semester for BA students—that is, after the expected time to earn the respective degrees. We refer to this as the final GPA for brevity, but this does not necessarily occur in a student’s final semester of enrollment. The average final GPA was 2.60 for AA students and 2.87 for BA students.

The chart below also shows that women had a higher GPA than men, with the gender gap being 0.14 and 0.13 points respectively for AA and BA students, equivalent to  5.4 percent of the corresponding average GPA in the sample. Differentiating by race, we find that Black, Hispanic and Asian AA and BA students had lower GPA than comparable white peers. The Black-white, Hispanic-white and Asian-white differences were respectively 0.37, 0.32 and 0.05 GPA points for AA students (14 percent, 12 percent, and 2 percent of the sample average) and 0.37, 0.33 and 0.13 points for the BA students (13 percent, 12 percent, and 4 percent of the sample average). The average disparities for female students relative to male students, and for Black and Hispanic students relative to white students were similar across both types of degrees under consideration. Additionally, results for final GPA are qualitatively very similar to results for degree attainment except for the results for Asian students. One reason behind the lower GPA of Asian students relative to white students, a result that is incongruent with national averages, is that in the CUNY data set Asian students are the racial group with the lowest average income. The contrast between the national averages, where Asian-Americans are the highest-earning racial group, and our data set may be a factor behind the unexpected low educational outcomes seen in our analysis below.

Black, Hispanic, and Asian Students Have Lower GPAs than White Students

Difference in Average GPA after 100 Percent Time in Degree

Sources: CUNY; New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel / Equifax.

Discussion

Our analysis above shows large negative Black-white and Hispanic-white gaps in key educational outcomes. These are likely important factors in the relative adverse delinquency outcomes as well as corresponding homeownership gaps we find in this series through their effects on labor market outcomes, such as employment and earnings.

But there surely are additional factors at play that affect the racial and gender gaps in debt and delinquency outcomes we observed in this series. One reason behind our mixed debt and delinquency results for women, despite their comparatively successful educational outcomes, may be that potentially some of the household debt is taken out by another member of the household. Another possible reason is that educational attainment might not translate to professional attainment as much for women compared to men. Women and minorities face additional barriers that may contribute to some of the gender and racial differences in outcomes we find in the first two posts. Gender and racial biases may hinder hiring, promotions, and movements up the career ladder. The role of women as mothers and caretakers and often the consequent temporary withdrawal from the workforce may serve to increase the gender pay and career gaps.

The debt and delinquency results for Asians also do not follow in a straightforward manner from the educational results to the labor market outcomes those results may suggest, thus emphasizing the role of other factors that may be at play. Although Asians in this data set have lower educational attainment (which is consistent with their lower propensity to hold non-mortgage debt), interestingly, they have higher propensity to own a home. Asians, in our CUNY sample, are relatively low-income which may relate to lower educational outcomes and in turn, lower propensity to hold non-mortgage debt. Their higher probability of homeownership may be due to differences in preferences, differences in household composition and also differences in the area they live in. Thus, while the differences in educational attainment identified above surely serve as an important catalyst in the gaps in debt and delinquency, especially the Black-white and Hispanic-white gaps, they may not always paint the whole story and there clearly are other factors at play which are beyond the purview of this post.

This post concludes a three-part series investigating racial and gender disparities in debt holding and delinquency outcomes. Leveraging a unique data set merging administrative educational, demographic and debt records at the individual level, we fill an important void of information on the differential household debt outcomes among college students. We find that Black and Hispanic students are less likely than white students to hold credit card, auto, and mortgage debt, but are more likely to become delinquent in those debts. We find  higher propensity for Asian students to hold mortgage debt but lower propensity to hold non-mortgage debt with not much differences in delinquencies, and mixed results for women.

Racial disparities in education outcomes in our sample suggest that Black and Hispanic debt and delinquency outcomes may be fueled by labor market disparities. However, our educational outcomes seem to fall short of explaining some of the Asian and female debt results and reveal that there are other deep-rooted social and economic factors that affect these gaps. More research is needed to identify these factors and a match of an individual-level labor market data set with the education-debt data set can further elucidate the mechanisms behind the disparities we have uncovered in this Liberty Street Economics series.

Chart data

Ruchi Avtar is a senior research analyst in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group.

Rajashri Chakrabarti is a senior economist in the Bank’s Research and Statistics Group.

Kasey Chatterji-Len was a senior research analyst in the Bank’s Research and Statistics Group.

How to cite this post:
Ruchi Avtar, Rajashri Chakrabarti, and Kasey Chatterji-Len, “The Role of Educational Attainment in Consumer Debt and Delinquency Disparities,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York Liberty Street Economics, November 17, 2021, https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2021/11/the-role-of-educational-attainment-in-household-debt-and-delinquency-disparities/.

Related Reading
Uneven Distribution of Household Debt by Gender, Race, and Education (November 2021)
Unequal Distribution of Delinquencies by Gender, Race, and Education  (November 2021)
Economic Inequality: A Research Series


Disclaimer
The views expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors.