PSC/PARC Researchers Atheendar Venkataramani, Courtney Boen, and John MacDonald are investigators in a new NIH funded project, which includes an unprecedented $10 million over the course of 5 years, to study the impact of environmental and economic interventions on reducing health disparities in Black Philadelphia neighborhoods. At the community level, the study includes tree planting, vacant lot greening, trash cleanup, and rehabilitation of dilapidated, abandoned houses. For households, the study will help connect participants to local, state, and federal social and economic benefits, including food, unemployment, and prescription drug assistance, provide financial counseling and tax preparation services, and offer emergency cash assistance.
Read more about this project in Penn Medicine News.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Jacobs, Jerry and Elinore Avni. 2021. "A Global Turn in Sociology: Approaching Social Problems from an International Vantage Point." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-77.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Hoang, Cung, Vikesh Amin, Jere Behrman, Hans-Peter Kohler, and Iliana Kohler. 2021. "Heterogenous Trajectories in Physical, Mental and Cognitive Health among Older Americans: Roles of Genetics and Earlier SES." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-76.
PSC and PARC Research Associates, Courtney Boen and Atheendar Venkataramani, were recently awarded funding through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Policies for Action: Public Policy Research to Advance Racial Equity and Racial Justice program. The project, entitled “Impact of State Incarceration Policies on Racial Health Equity,” will investigate the links between state incarceration policy and racial health disparities across the life course.
Stokes, Andrew C., Dielle J. Lundberg, Jacob Bor, Irma T. Elo, Katherine Hempstead, Samuel H. Preston. 2021. Association of Health Care Factors With Excess Deaths Not Assigned to COVID-19 in the U.S. JAMA Network Open.
"Approximately 20% of excess deaths in the US in 2020 were not reflected in COVID-19 death counts. These excess deaths included deaths caused by COVID-19 but not assigned to it as well as indirect deaths from other causes associated with delays in health care and the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. Prior research has documented differences in the percentage of excess deaths not assigned to COVID-19 at the state and county levels. In this study, we examined health care factors associated with excess deaths not assigned to COVID-19 at the county level."
Harsha Thirumurthy (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was featured in a CBS News segment about the success, or lack thereof, of vaccination incentive programs. The study published in SSRN, co-authored by Thirumurthy, Volpp, and Buttenheim, found no significant changes in COVID-19 vaccination rates despite the lottery and prize incentives. This research was also featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Abufhele, Alejandra, Andrés Castro Torres, and Luca Maria Pesando. 2021. "Parental Educational Similarity and Infant Health in Chile: Evidence from Administrative Records, 1990-2015." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-75.
Atheendar Venkataramani (PSC/PARC Research Associate) co-authored research published in JAMA Network Open that examines the relationship between state-level eviction moratoriums and the risk of individuals being diagnosed with COVID-19. Venkataramani was quoted in Marketplace discussing the obstacles that some people with preexisting health conditions or who live in low-income areas experience; "Some patients will say, ‘I have to work three jobs and I have to take the subway. I have no choice, I don’t have the option to not work.'"
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Pesando, Luca Maria 2021. "Safer if Connected? Mobile Technology and Intimate Partner Violence." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-74.
Rachel Werner (PARC Research Associate) recently authored two LDI research updates entitled, Private Equity’s Impact on Nursing Home Quality and When Accountable Care and Bundled Payments Intersect, Patients Benefit.
Congratulations to the recipients of the Penn Arts & Sciences Making a Difference in Global Communities and Klein Family Social Justice Grants. The Population Studies Center (PSC) and Population Aging Research Center (PARC) researchers who received the grants include Hans-Peter Kohler (PSC/PARC), Diverse Global Communities and Local Resource Allocation; Emilio A. Parrado (PSC/PARC), Reducing Inequalities in College Access in Latinx Communities in Philadelphia; Angela Duckworth (PSC), Diversity and Equity Initiative (DivE In) for the Mind Sciences; Morgan Hoke (PSC), Community Assessment of Race-Related Experience of Stress for Black Mothers.
Emilio A. Parrado (PSC/PARC) was elected to the Board of Directors for the Population Association of America.
Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and co-author, Julia Raifman, wrote an Op-ed for The Hill calling for policy makers and leaders to take action in protective measures and preventive policies to avoid child hospitalizations. Indoor mask policies, emergency use authorization of vaccines for children, and vaccine requirements for school staff are a few recommendations Boen and Raifman highlight. (Getty Images/iStock Photo)
Iliana Kohler (PSC/PARC Research Associate) is the newly-elected representative for Research Faculty on University Council for the 2021-2023 term.
Kevin Volpp (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was quoted in Politifact article about the success of lotteries to incentivize vaccination uptake. Academic studies of early vaccine lotteries do provide reason for skepticism about how successful such programs have been. However, the studies so far have produced mixed findings, rather than unanimously negative ones. Two studies of Ohio’s lottery found a positive impact while two found no impact or a negative impact. Experts say that even in the most optimistic case, any gains from lotteries are likely to be small and would need to be supplemented by other efforts.
Linda H. Aiken (PSC/PARC Research Associate) wrote an Op-ed for The New York Times about the need for better nursing support including improved working conditions and nurse staffing policies. Aiken has been researching nursing outcomes for years through the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, which she founded in 1989. (iStock Photo)
Hyunjoon Park's (PSC/PARC Research Associate) Demographic Research paper, "Diverging Gaps in Childcare Time by Parental Education in South Korea," was selected by the editorial board as one of the best papers in Volume 44 and will be included in the Editor's Choice collection.
Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was awarded the American Sociological Association (ASA) Section on Aging and the Life Course Outstanding Publication Award for “Criminal Justice Contacts and Psychophysiological Functioning in Early Adulthood: Health Inequality in the Carceral State,” published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Raghav Gaiha (PSC/PARC Research Affiliate) co-authored an Op-ed in Economic Times about the association between economic deprivation and fertility among Muslim women in India.
PARC Research Associates Molly Candon, Guy David and co-authors authored a new paper in Medical Care Research and Review, "The Role of Schedule Volatility in Home Health Nursing Turnover." This study uses novel data from one of the largest home health care organizations in the United States, providing the first estimate of the average annual separation rate of home health nurses based on administrative data. Read the LDI Blog Post "Smarter Scheduling in Home Health Care: Can It Reduce Nursing Turnover?" by Molly Candon to learn more.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Gonalons-Pons, Pilar 2021. "Paid Family Leave and the Gender Division of Paid and Unpaid Work." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-73.
PSC and PARC Researchers Linda H. Aiken, Herb L. Smith, Jere R. Behrman, David Bravo and Matthew D. McHugh and co-authors published an article in The Lancet Global Health entitled, "Hospital Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcomes in Chile: A Multilevel Cross-sectional Study." The study showed that establishing safe nurse staffing standards in hospitals in Chile could save lives, prevent readmissions, shorten hospital stays, and reduce costs. Read more in the Penn Nursing press release and Penn Today.
Rachel Werner (PARC Research Associate) and co-author Paula Chatterjee wrote an article published in JAMA Network Open entitled, "Gender Disparity in Citations in High-Impact Journal Articles." Werner and Chatterjee beg the question: Are academic articles written by men and women in high-impact medical journals cited differently? In this cross-sectional study of 5554 articles, those written by women primary or senior authors had fewer citations than those written by men primary or senior authors. Articles written by women as both primary and senior authors had approximately half the number of citations as those authored by men as both primary and senior authors. These findings suggest that gender-based differences in article citations may be a key contributor to disparities in the advancement and promotion of women in academic medicine. Werner and Chatterjee note, “We must focus on ensuring that women in academic medicine have a level playing field that equally values and promotes their successes.” Their research has since been featured in The Guardian, MedicalXpress, and on the LDI website as a Research Snapshot.
Bruch, Joesph D., Olzem Barin, Atheendar Venkataramani, Zirui Song. 2021. Mortality Before and After Border Wall Construction Along the US-Mexico Border, 1990-2017. American Journal of Public Health.
In this study, the authors found that border wall construction in 2007-2008 along the US southern border was not associated with discernible changes in mortality. As countries around the world grapple with complex policy decisions surrounding their borders, this study offers one piece of evidence from the US context. The possible effects of border wall construction on other meaningful outcomes, such as other health effects (e.g., mental health) and health behaviors, remain open for scientific inquiry.
Irma Elo (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was quoted in an NBC News article discussing causes in the decline in life expectancy in the US. The particular impact the pandemic had on Hispanic and Black Americans "reflects the inequalities that were present before the pandemic that have to do with unequal access to health care and racial and ethnic disparities in health more generally, which largely have to do with socioeconomic disadvantages," said Irma Elo
Julia Lynch (PARC) co-authored a new book, The Unequal Pandemic: COVID-19 and Health Inequalities, which examines the effects of government action and politics on health inequalities. The book shows how the COVID-19 pandemic is a syndemic of disease and inequality. Drawing on international data and accounts, the authors argue that the pandemic is unequal in three ways: it has killed unequally, been experienced unequally and will impoverish unequally.
PARC Associates, Julia Lynch, Rachel Werner, and PSC Associate, Sharon Wolf, were featured in Penn Today discussing the unequal effects exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic issues which contribute to these inequalities, and solutions for addressing inequalities in poltics, health care, and education.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Liu, Xiaoying, Huazhang Miao, Jere Behrman, Emily Hannum, Zhijiang Liang, and Qingguo Zhao. 2021. "The Asian Games, Air Pollution and Birth Outcomes in South China: An Instrumental Variable Approach." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-72.
Rachel M. Werner (PARC Research Associate) and co-author David Asch wrote an Op-ed published in The Washington Post. Their research in JAMA Network Open entitled, "Patient and Hospital Factors Associated With Differences in Mortality Rates Among Black and White US Medicare Beneficiaries Hospitalized With COVID-19 Infection," shows that the mortality rate among Black patients hospitalized with COVID-19 would be 10% lower if they were cared for in the same hospitals where White patients were admitted.
Pilar Gonalons-Pons (PSC/PARC Research Associate) recently co-authored a paper “Marriage and Masculinity: Male-Breadwinner Culture, Unemployment, and Separation Risk in 29 Countries,” in American Sociological Review was featured in ScienceDaily and Penn Today.
Courtney Boen (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and Morgan Hoke's (PSC Research Associate) recent Social Science & Medicine paper eviction and heath was featured in an LDI Health Policy$ense blog post entitled "The Long-term Health Effects of Eviction on Young Adults Continued Protections Needed Beyond the Pandemic." Boen and Hoke were invited to present and discuss their work at the The National Low Income Housing Coalition's June 7th weekly National Call on HoUsed: Universal, Stable, Affordable Housing, watch the YouTube video.
Irma T. Elo (PSC/PARC Research Associate), Samuel H. Preston (PSC/PARC Research Associate), and Andrew Stokes (GGD Alumnus) co-authored a new article published in PLOS Medicine entitled, "COVID-19 and Excess Mortality in the United States: A County-level Analysis." Read more about it in the Boston University Press Release.
Nancy Hodgson (PARC Research Associate) is a Catalyst awardee for her new project entitled, "Sense4Safety-Supporting Socially Vulnerable Older Adults."
Aashish Gupta, Ph.D. Candidate in the Graduate Group of Demography (GGD), and co-authors, Sangita Vyas and Payal Hathi, received the Dorothy Swaine Thomas Award for their paper, "Social Disadvantage, Economic Status, and Life Expectancy in Nine Indian States," at this year's PAA annual meeting. The Dorothy Swaine Thomas award is presented annually for the best graduate student paper on the interrelationships among social, economic and demographic variables. Watch the recording of the the Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony [time stamp: 4:37]. Congratulations!
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Kulkarni, Vani, Veena Kulkarni, Katsushi Imai, and Raghav Gaiha. 2021. "Changes in Subjective versus Objective Well-Being in India." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-71.
Rachel Werner (PARC Research Associate) and Norma Coe (PSC/PARC Research Associate) authored a new paper entitled, "Nursing Home Staffing Levels Did Not Change Significantly During COVID-19," published in Health Affairs. The study examines nurse staffing levels, workload, and self-reported stress levels during the pandemic. The study was featured in a recent installment of the LDI Health Policy$ense blog and cited in McKnights Long Term Care News.
Kevin Volpp (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was quoted in a West Virginia Public Broadcasting article on West Virginia's monetary incentives to increase COVID-19 vaccinations. “If it's the proverbial check is in the mail, that's going to be much less effective than if people get the savings bond right when they get vaccinated,” Volpp said.
Early-Life Human Capital Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa
Project on Human Capital Development in Africa
Co-PIs: Jere R. Behrman and Claudia Vazquez
Jere Behrman (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and Claudia Vazquez (University of San Andres, Argentina) summarize what is known and what is yet to be explored in Early-Life Human Capital Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as part of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).
The project aims to:
The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is undertaking a collaborative project on "Human Capital Development in Africa." Human capital investments in nutrition, health, education and training are widely perceived to be important components of economic development. Currently such investments are relatively low in most of SSA. Behrman and Vazquez, together with the results of other parts of the AERC project, will be presented in Kenya later this year and submitted for consideration for a special journal issue.
Black, Maureen, Jere R. Behrman, et al. 2021. “Nurturing Care Promotes Human Capital and Mitigates Adversities from Preconception through Adolescence.” BMJ Global Health.
Damon Centola (PSC Research Associate) was featured in Penn Today for his research on network dynamics and their applicability to NBA scouting. Centola discussed the value in untapped knowledge and seeking out influential individuals in networks. Centola was also featured on The David Pakman Show, applying the same research to the process of "going viral" and achieving social change.
Pilar Gonalons-Pons (PSC Research Associate) and Alison Buttenheim (PSC Research Associate) was featured in a New York Times piece about gendered motivations for getting vaccinated. Women lost the majority of the earliest jobs in food services, retail businesses, health care and government jobs and have been the main caretakers of their immediate families and sick relatives during the pandemic. Getting the vaccine for women means they are able to take care of their families and get back into the workforce.
Samuel Preston (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and Yana Vierboom (GGD alumnus) were featured in Penn Today for their publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The article dives into their research on the increase of excess mortality in the United States. Preston and Vierboom were also featured in The Guardian.
New Penn Education and Inequality Working Paper: Shen, Wensong, and Emily Hannum. 2020. "Effect Pathways of Informal Family Separation on Children’s Outcomes: Paternal Labor Migration and Long-term Educational Attainment of Left-Behind Children in Rural China." Penn Education and Inequality Working Papers, #8.
Frank Furstenberg (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was quoted in The Atlantic about financial and emotional stressors on modern parents. The article entitled, "Parents Are Sacrificing Their Social Lives on the Altar of Intensive Parenting," discusses the anxiety parents can experience when balancing careers, social lives, and parenting.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Kulkarni, Vani S, and Raghav Gaiha. 2021. "The Role of Public Trust in People's Subjective Well-Being." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-70.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Fang, Hanming, Ziteng Lei, Liguo Lin, and Peng Zhang. 2021. "Family Companionship and Elderly Suicide: Evidence from the Chinese Lunar New Year." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-69.
Olivia Mitchell (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was quoted in Penn Today and Knowledge@Wharton about the growing number of older Americans in debt. “This is a very different world in terms of debt than our parents and grandparents lived in,” says Olivia S. Mitchell, a Wharton professor of business economics and public policy who co-authored the working paper, “Understanding Debt in the Older Population,” published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Musick, Kelly, Pilar Gonalons-Pons, and Christine Schwartz. 2021. "Change and Variation in Couples' Earnings Equality Following Parenthood." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-68.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Kämpfen, Fabrice, Fatima Zahra, Hans-Peter Kohler, and Rachel Kidman. 2021. "The Effects of Negative Economic Shocks at Birth on Adolescents’ Cognitive Health and Educational Attainment in Malawi." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-67.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Kohler, Iliana, Fabrice Kämpfen, Alberto Ciancio, James Mwera, Victor Mwapasa, and Hans-Peter Kohler. 2021. "Curtailing COVID-19 on a Dollar-a-Day in Malawi: Implications for the Ongoing Pandemic." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-66.
Jere Behrman (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and Linda Aiken (PSC/PARC Research Associate) were featured in a list of the top 100 Researchers with h-indexes that exceed 100, according to their Google Scholar Profiles. Behrman's Google Scholar profile and Aiken's Google Scholar profile feature thousands of articles dating back across their careers.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Greenwood, Jeremy, Nezih Guner, and Ricardo Marto. 2021. "The Great Transition: Kuznets Facts for Family-Economists." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-65.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Hoke, Morgan and Courtney Boen. 2021. "The Health Impacts of Eviction: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-64.
Olivia Mitchell (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was interviewed in a recent episode of the Knowledge@Wharton podcast about why early 401k withdrawls are a bad idea. The 2020 CARES Act allowed people under a certain age to access up to $100,000 from their 401k's without penalty, but Mitchell warns against this considering the potential loss of returns on investments and other downsides.
Adriana Perez (PARC Research Associate) was awarded her first R01, alongside team members Nancy Hodgson (PARC Research Associate), Norma Coe (PARC Co-Director), for a new research project entitled, A Physical Activity Intervention to Promote Cognitive Health, Cardiovascular Health and Sleep in Older Latinos (1R01AG070351-01, 2021-2024). The new study addresses increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) among Latinos by testing a multilevel intervention that aims to improve cardiovascular health, sleep and cognitive function by promoting moderate-intensity physical activity. Read more in Penn Nursing news.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Hervé, Justine, Subha Mani, Jere Behrman, Arindam Nandi, Anjana Sankhil Lamkang, and Ramanan Laxminarayan. 2021. "Gender Gaps in Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills: Roles of SES and Gender Attitudes." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-63.
Jason Karlawish (PARC Research Associate) was interviewed on a recent episode of the Innovative Podcast to discuss his new book, The Problem of Alzheimer’s: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It. The book "tells the story of the biomedical breakthroughs that may allow Alzheimer’s to finally be prevented and treated by medicine, and indicates how we can live with dementia: the ways patients can reclaim their autonomy and redefine their sense of self, how families can support their loved ones, and the innovative reforms we can make as a society that would give caregivers and patients a better quality of life."
Research by Wendy Roth (PSC Research Associate) was cited in a New York Times Op-ed entitled, "America’s Brutal Racial History Is Written All Over Our Genes." The article discusses the relationship between genetic testing services, identity, and perceptions of race in the US.
Norma B. Coe (PARC Co-Director) wrote an op-ed in The Hill discussing the need for comprehensive long-term care in the US, as an estimated 18.5 million Americans will be over the age of 85 in 2050. Coe examines the financial costs of planning for this demographic challenge and why care workers need to be supported.
Sarah Tishkoff's (PARC Research Associate) recent paper in Genome Biology and a paper in the journal Cell are cited in an article in Science, "Africans Begin to Take the Reins of Research into Their Own Genomes," which includes an interactive map that provides a snapshot of genomics research locations. Tishkoff and other geneticists say that they have only just begun mapping the genomes of Africa's many diverse ethnic groups and populations. Tishkoff says "this year she hopes to publish on 180 more African genomes."
A new LDI/PARC Research Brief on a recent study by Alberto Ciancio, Fabrice Kämpfen, Hans-Peter Kohler, and Iliana Kohler looking at the health effects of blood pressure screenings for adults in rural Malawi. The PARC team found that adults with elevated blood pressure who were referred to a health care provider were 22 percentage points less likely to have hypertension four years later. They also reported better subjective mental health and were more likely to be taking blood pressure medication. The study has a number of important implications for health screenings and population health management in rural and low-income countries.
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey (PARC Research Associate) participated on a panel of Penn experts discussing systemic racism and its impact on health and wellness. Panelists included Benoit Dubé, Ezekiel Emanuel, Jennifer Prah Ruger, and Eugenia South. Watch the preceptorial panel discussion on “Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America" and read more in Penn Today.
Iliana Kohler (PSC/PARC Research Associate) received the National Academy of Medicine Catalyst Grant Award. The project, entitled "Leveraging Social Networks and Linkage to Care to Foster Healthy Aging in a Low-Income Context," aims at understanding how social networks could be used to more effectively disseminate elder health information about non-communicable diseases throughout a country lacking the mass communications infrastructure of industrialized nations. Read more in the
Penn LDI announcement.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Georgiadis, Andreas, Liza Benny, Paul Dornan, and Jere Behrman. 2021. "Maternal Undernutrition in Adolescence and Child Human Capital Formation over the Life-Course: Evidence from an International Cohort Study." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-62.
Scott Halpern (PARC Research Associate) was named a Hastings Center Fellow. The 50-year-old Hastings Center is a bioethics research institute that has played a leading role in establishing the field of bioethics and informing public policy decisions related to health care, science and environmental issues.
Iliana Kohler (PSC/PARC Research Associate) was featured in a video produced by the Swiss Programme for Research on Global for Development about treating the causes of depression in Malawi. Watch the full video: "How Does Mental Wellbeing Connect to Physical Health in Sub-Saharan Africa?"
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Liu, Xiaoying, Jere Behrman, Emily Hannum, Fan Wang, and Qingguo Zhao. 2021. "Same Environment, Stratified Impacts? Air Pollution, Extreme Temperatures, and Birth Weight in Southeast China." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-60.