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MPAD 6125: Quantitative Research Methods in Public Administration

Research Topics

I would like to research how the increasing number of registered nonprofits are affecting giving trends in the United States.  Specifically I would like to see if different age groups are showing different trends regarding their giving in response to the increasing number of charities.

 

Perhaps the National Center for Charitable Statistics , the Current Population Survey volunteer supplement (2009) or the General Social Survey, both through ICPSR

 

 

 

I would like to focus on Volunteerism in North Carolina for my research project. However, if you think that there might be limited data or research on just North Carolina, I would feel fine with looking at the United States instead. I want to examine who volunteers (age, gender, race, religion, etc), the types of places people volunteer, and how often people volunteer

 

CPANDA: http://www.cpanda.org/cpanda/data is great for volunteer data (in the arts though), or maybe the National Center for Charitable Statistics or the Current Population Survey volunteer supplement (2009) or General Social Survey, both through ICPSR

 

 

 

[Research topic]:  Relationship Between volunteering and General Happiness.  [Research question]:  Does volunteering promote personal happiness?  To do this research, I will examine how a focus on time versus money can lead to two distinct mind-sets that affect consumers' willingness to donate to charitable causes.

 

Perhaps the General Social Survey, through ICPSR or the Current Population Survey volunteer supplement (2009)

 

 

 

I believe I am going to do my research project on the Unemployment rate affecting the Crime rate at the state level.

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles state unemployment rates, and some tables can be downloaded in .xls format.  If one wanted to study only North Carolina, the Employment Security Commission’s  Labor Force Statistics provide data at the NC County level (or for the State for a number of years).  Crime rates are in either the Federal Uniform Crime Reports (Crime in the United States) or the state-level Crime in North Carolina

 

 

 

The relationship between the unemployment rate and crime rate with the hypothesis that there is a positive relationship in the increase in unemployment and crime rates

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles state unemployment rates, and some tables can be downloaded in .xls format.  If one wanted to study only North Carolina, the Employment Security Commission’s  Labor Force Statistics provide data at the NC County level (or for the State for a number of years).  Crime rates are in either the Federal Uniform Crime Reports (Crime in the United States) or the state-level Crime in North Carolina

 

 

 

I would like to look at the relationship between the educational attainment of a [state’s ] population and crime rates in states.

 

Educational attainment can be found on a state level in the Bureau of the Census’ American FactFinder (also on a county level if that is one’s interest).  To go back in time, the 2000 Census and 1990 Census will provide the data.  Crime rates are in either the Federal Uniform Crime Reports (Crime in the United States) or the state-level Crime in North Carolina

 

 

 

I would like to research response times to disasters, by both governmental and nonprofit agencies, and examine how the population perceived their response.  By exploring this topic I would be able to determine what sets agencies apart in responding to disasters and what characteristics are present in a well handled response. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would love to do a FEMA related project, I have serious questions as to the availability of data. I have found two datasets but both relate to applications for mitigation efforts and FEMA's acceptance/rejection and amount of total money requested that FEMA contributed. I am turning over the idea that perhaps FEMA grants have gone up since 9/11 or even Katrina, but am not sure if there is enough data to support this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The relationship between childhood poverty and the age of the mother (at the time of birth).

 

We didn’t find an easy dataset.  Perhaps something could be done with the Bureau of the Census’ Public Use Microdata Sample iPUMS dataset focusing on female headed households with children.  The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey gives summary tables of number and percent of single female-headed households with children under 5 or under 18 that are below the poverty level, and the number and percent of single female householders under age 25 that are below the poverty level, but none by age at birth of first child.  The North Carolina BABY book gives number of births by age of Mother (by county for North Carolina) but includes no income information.

 

 

 

Hypothesis: The unionization of an organization is negatively related to its productivity.  The idea behind the hypothesis is that organizations with strong union membership, financial support, and stronger collective bargaining rights dampen innovation and create inflexibility within management. This leads to lower productivity.

 

National Right to Work Website may have something .  It looks like “raw” Union statistics are in BLS: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm  Also productivity: http://www.bls.gov/data/#productivity  But haven’t found a way to link them.   The General Social Survey, through ICPSR has some labor union variables.

 

 

 

The rate of suicides in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) teens. I want to exam [bullying] and other possible causes as well like parental pressure, religious pressure, internal conflict, etcetera.

 

The WISQARS database http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/facts.html

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/youth_suicide.html is supposed to have details on suicides, but not LGBT

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/studies/28201?q=bullying&archive=ICPSR&sortBy=7&paging.rows=25 has school crime and bullying but not LGBT.  Don’t think this is available except in many articles on the topic and the article writers’ surveys.

 

 

 

I would like for my topic of research to be North Carolina SAT scores. Is there a relationship between County, family income, and ethnicity and SAT scores?

 

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in its annual SAT Report  gives summary information about these topics, but does not include a datafile.  The College Board, who administers the SAT, also has publications addressing this topic.  There is a section of the Web site to request data, but it would take several weeks, IRB approval, and would probably cost.  And there is no guarantee the College Board would release the data.

 

 

 

Topic Question: How do state environmental policies vary? Which then brings up…What states have more strict environmental policies? What states are less restrictive in correcting environmental pollution? Why? 

 

CIESEN has quite a bit about environmental policies that leads to Yale and specialized databases Like this one: http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/es/epi/  Here’s the general link http://www.ciesin.columbia.edu/sub_guide.html#Anchor-Environmenta-58066    The EPA may have something also: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/html/ef_overview.html

 

 

 

Research topic: Will having a polling location on, or near, a college campus affect the likelihood of a college student to vote in an election? Over the past few years there has been a lot of controversy in relation to the location of early voting sites and regular polling places. I would like to study the impact of the location of polling places in relation to the proportion of college/university students that actually cast votes.        

 

Perhaps the American National Election Study through ICPSR or the General Social Survey, also through ICPSR

 

 

 

The Relationship between Stress Levels at work and Job Satisfaction

 

Perhaps the General Social Survey, through ICPSR

 

 

 

Correlation between age and successful completion of bachelor's degree.  To study whether traditional students or older students have a higher rate of graduation within 4 years.

 

The National Center for Education Statistics conducts the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study.  You may be able to pull out a dataset with the PowerStats option. 

 

 

 

I would like to use a database I have access to at the fire department where I volunteer.  Each time we go on a call, we record call types, number of apparatus that go to the call, time, address, people who went on the call and times of dispatch, en route, arrived and cleared.  I would like to look at factors that contribute to our service on these calls.  As of now, I would like to focus on distance from our station, time of call (more specifically, we sleep in another building, so how much does this increase our response time) and whether our response times are faster during the academic year when we have our Davidson College student volunteers with us. I am thinking it makes most sense to focus on the calls for 2011 and specifically on fire rather than fire and EMS calls since we are rated by ISO for insurance purposes based on our response times to fire calls.