Blog

 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The dating game

Has Virginity Lost Its Virtue? Relationship Stigma Associated With Being a Sexually Inexperienced Adult

Amanda Gesselman, Gregory Webster & Justin Garcia

Journal of Sex Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
While virginity prior to marriage has been historically valued, changing sociosexual scripts in the United States have made premarital sexual activity the norm for young adults, with sexual debut generally occurring in late adolescence. In the current research, we examined the impact of being developmentally off-time with first coitus (i.e., not yet engaging in coitus when most same-aged peers have done so). Specifically, we investigated stigma toward sexually inexperienced adults and discrimination regarding romantic relationship formation. Across three methodologically diverse studies we observed that sexually inexperienced adults perceived themselves to be stigmatized due to their inexperience and that sexually inexperienced adults were not highly desired as relationship partners. Even sexually inexperienced adults themselves did not find other inexperienced adults to be attractive relationship partners. Although abstaining from sexual activity may bestow some health advantages, our studies show that being a sexual "late bloomer" may result in negative interpersonal consequences such as limited opportunities for romantic relationships.

---------------------

Other women's fertility moderates female resource distribution across the menstrual cycle

Elizabeth Necka et al.

Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Status competition among female mammals tends to intensify near ovulation. Females compete selectively, targeting females who most threaten their own likelihood of conception. The present study explored the extent to which regularly cycling women differentially compete with other women in a behavioral economic game as a function of both women's fertility. We find evidence for an interaction between participant and target fertility, such that women withhold more resources from another woman, thereby keeping more for themselves, when both women are in the fertile (late follicular) phase of their menstrual cycle. Results expand research on women's perception of fertility cues in other women by demonstrating a possible role for such cues in modulating female social behavior.

---------------------

Strategic Sexual Signals: Women's Display versus Avoidance of the Color Red Depends on the Attractiveness of an Anticipated Interaction Partner

Daniela Niesta Kayser, Maria Agthe & Jon Maner

PLoS ONE, March 2016

Abstract:
The color red has special meaning in mating-relevant contexts. Wearing red can enhance perceptions of women's attractiveness and desirability as a potential romantic partner. Building on recent findings, the present study examined whether women's (N = 74) choice to display the color red is influenced by the attractiveness of an expected opposite-sex interaction partner. Results indicated that female participants who expected to interact with an attractive man displayed red (on clothing, accessories, and/or makeup) more often than a baseline consisting of women in a natural environment with no induced expectation. In contrast, when women expected to interact with an unattractive man, they eschewed red, displaying it less often than in the baseline condition. Findings are discussed with respect to evolutionary and cultural perspectives on mate evaluation and selection.

---------------------

Dominant, open nonverbal displays are attractive at zero-acquaintance

Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk et al.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 12 April 2016, Pages 4009-4014

Abstract:
Across two field studies of romantic attraction, we demonstrate that postural expansiveness makes humans more romantically appealing. In a field study (n = 144 speed-dates), we coded nonverbal behaviors associated with liking, love, and dominance. Postural expansiveness - expanding the body in physical space - was most predictive of attraction, with each one-unit increase in coded behavior from the video recordings nearly doubling a person's odds of getting a "yes" response from one's speed-dating partner. In a subsequent field experiment (n = 3,000), we tested the causality of postural expansion (vs. contraction) on attraction using a popular Global Positioning System-based online-dating application. Mate-seekers rapidly flipped through photographs of potential sexual/date partners, selecting those they desired to meet for a date. Mate-seekers were significantly more likely to select partners displaying an expansive (vs. contractive) nonverbal posture. Mediation analyses demonstrate one plausible mechanism through which expansiveness is appealing: Expansiveness makes the dating candidate appear more dominant. In a dating world in which success sometimes is determined by a split-second decision rendered after a brief interaction or exposure to a static photograph, single persons have very little time to make a good impression. Our research suggests that a nonverbal dominance display increases a person's chances of being selected as a potential mate.

---------------------

A good story: Men's storytelling ability affects their attractiveness and perceived status

John Donahue & Melanie Green

Personal Relationships, forthcoming

Abstract:
Three studies examined gender differences in the effect of storytelling ability on perceptions of a person's attractiveness as a short-term and long-term romantic partner. In Study 1, information about a potential partner's storytelling ability was provided. Study 2 participants read a good or poor story supposedly written by a potential partner. Results suggested that only women's attractiveness assessments of men as a long-term date increased for good storytellers. Storytelling ability did not affect men's ratings of women nor did it affect ratings of short-term partners. Study 3 suggested that the effect of storytelling ability on long-term attractiveness for male targets may be mediated by perceived status. Storytelling ability appears to increase perceived status and thus helps men attract long-term partners.

---------------------

Are Women's Mate Preferences for Altruism Also Influenced by Physical Attractiveness?

Daniel Farrelly, Paul Clemson & Melissa Guthrie

Evolutionary Psychology, January 2016

Abstract:
Altruism plays a role in mate choice, particularly in women's preferences and in long-term (LT) relationships. The current study analyzed how these preferences interacted with another important mate choice variable, physical attractiveness. Here, female participants were presented with photographs of men of varying levels of physical attractiveness, alongside descriptions of them behaving either altruistically or not in different scenarios. The results showed women preferred altruistic men, particularly in LT relationships and that this interacted with physical attractiveness such that being both attractive and altruistic made a man more desirable than just the sum of the two desirable parts. Also, being altruistic made low attractive men more desirable but only for LT relationships. Finally, men who were just altruistic were rated more desirable than men who were just attractive, especially for LT relationships. Overall, these findings are discussed in terms of the role of altruism in mate choice, particularly in LT relationships and directions of future research.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, April 15, 2016

Correction

Does Crime Cause Punitiveness?

Gary Kleck & Dylan Baker Jackson

Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why are Americans so punitive toward criminals? Some theories of punitiveness suggest that exposure to crime makes people more supportive of punitive policies toward criminals. We analyzed national survey data and found that neither support for longer prison sentences for four different crimes nor support for the death penalty had a significant positive association with crime rates, prior victimization, vicarious victimization, higher perceived risk of victimization, or fear of crime. Instead, punitiveness was related to how often people watched local TV news, the percent Republican of the person’s county, and race. Support for harsh treatment of criminals therefore appears to be more a product of race, ideology, and news media presentations of crime than of the reality of crime.

---------------------

Is Downsizing Prisons Dangerous? The Effect of California's Realignment Act on Public Safety

Jody Sundt, Emily Salisbury & Mark Harmon

Criminology & Public Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent declines in imprisonment raise a critical question: Can prison populations be reduced without endangering the public? This question is examined by testing the effect of California's dramatic efforts to comply with court-mandated targets to reduce prison overcrowding using a pretest-posttest design. The results showed that California's Realignment Act had no effect on violent or property crime rates in 2012, 2013, or 2014. When crime types were disaggregated, a moderately large, statistically significant association between Realignment and auto theft rates was observed in 2012. By 2014, however, this effect had decayed and auto theft rates returned to pre-Realignment levels.

---------------------

A test of life history strategy theory as a predictor of criminal violence across 51 nations

Michael Minkov & Kevin Beaver

Personality and Individual Differences, July 2016, Pages 186–192

Abstract:
Proponents of life history strategy (LHS) theory propose that it is an explanation of intra-societal non-political violence, such as homicide and assault. Criminologists usually prefer a different explanation: variation in national violent crime rates is a function of differences in social–structural characteristics, such as absolute or relative poverty (socioeconomic inequality). We found that national homicide rates and prevalence of muggings and attacks on people define a strong single criminal violence factor at the national level. We tested the predictive properties of various plausible predictors of this factor and, separately, of national murder rates. Only the two LHS variables (paternal absenteeism and adolescent fertility) predict the complex factor independently, whereas socioeconomic inequality (Gini), IQ, GDP, infant mortality, and pathogen prevalence do not. National murder rates are predicted by the two LHS variables and inequality but not by any other variables. This supports LHS theory as an explanation of national differences in criminal violence.

---------------------

Evaluating the Effect of Project Longevity on Group-Involved Shootings and Homicides in New Haven, Connecticut

Michael Sierra-Arevalo, Yanick Charette & Andrew Papachristos

Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming

Abstract:
Beginning in November 2012, New Haven, Connecticut, served as the pilot site for Project Longevity, a statewide focused deterrence gun violence reduction strategy. The intervention brings law enforcement, social services, and community members together to meet with members of violent street groups at program call-ins. Using autoregressive integrated moving average models and controlling for the possibility of a non-New Haven–specific decline in gun violence, a decrease in group offending patterns, and the limitations of police-defined group member involved (GMI) categorization of shootings and homicides, the results of our analysis show that Longevity is associated with a reduction of almost five GMI incidents per month. These findings bolster research confirming the efficacy of focused deterrence approaches to reducing gun violence.

---------------------

Externalities of Public Housing: The Effect of Public Housing Demolitions on Local Crime

Danielle Sandler

U.S. Census Bureau Working Paper, March 2016

Abstract:
This paper evaluates the potential for negative externalities from public housing by examining crime rates before and after demolition of public housing projects in Chicago between 1995 and 2010. Using data on block-level crimes by type of crime merged to detailed geographic data on individual public housing demolitions, I find evidence that Chicago's public housing imposed significant externalities on the surrounding neighborhood. Using a difference in difference approach comparing neighborhoods around public housing projects to nearby neighborhoods I find that crime decreases by 8.8% after a demolition. This decrease is concentrated in violent crime. I use an event study to show that the decrease occurs at the approximate date of the eviction of the residents and persists for at least 5 years after the demolition. Neighborhoods with large demolitions and demolitions of public housing that had been poorly maintained display the largest crime decreases.

---------------------

Explaining the Gaps in White, Black, and Hispanic Violence since 1990: Accounting for Immigration, Incarceration, and Inequality

Michael Light & Jeffery Ulmer

American Sociological Review, April 2016, Pages 290-315

Abstract:
While group differences in violence have long been a key focus of sociological inquiry, we know comparatively little about the trends in criminal violence for whites, blacks, and Hispanics in recent decades. Combining geocoded death records with multiple data sources to capture the socioeconomic, demographic, and legal context of 131 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, this article examines the trends in racial/ethnic inequality in homicide rates since 1990. In addition to exploring long-established explanations (e.g., disadvantage), we also investigate how three of the most significant societal changes over the past 20 years, namely, rapid immigration, mass incarceration, and rising wealth inequality affect racial/ethnic homicide gaps. Across all three comparisons — white-black, white-Hispanic, and black-Hispanic — we find considerable convergence in homicide rates over the past two decades. Consistent with expectations, structural disadvantage is one of the strongest predictors of levels and changes in racial/ethnic violence disparities. In contrast to predictions based on strain theory, racial/ethnic wealth inequality has not increased disparities in homicide. Immigration, on the other hand, appears to be associated with declining white-black homicide differences. Consistent with an incapacitation/deterrence perspective, greater racial/ethnic incarceration disparities are associated with smaller racial/ethnic gaps in homicide.

---------------------

To Serve and Collect: The Fiscal and Racial Determinants of Law Enforcement

Michael Makowsky, Thomas Stratmann & Alexander Tabarrok

George Mason University Working Paper, March 2016

Abstract:
We examine the fiscal determinants of arrest rates for violent and non-violent crimes across the United States between 2002 and 2012. We find that drug arrest rates for African-Americans increase with local government deficits where state tax and expenditure limitations (TELs) allow the retention of revenues generated by arrests. We find similar effects of fiscal distress on both black and white drug arrests, as well as an increase in black DUI arrests, in a separate analysis of Colorado where municipalities have the option to exempt themselves from the nation’s strictest TELs via general referendum. Our findings support a revenue-driven model of law enforcement.

---------------------

Race, Wealth and Incarceration: Results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Khaing Zaw, Darrick Hamilton & William Darity

Race and Social Problems, March 2016, Pages 103-115

Abstract:
Using the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Study of Youth to explore the interwoven links between race, wealth and incarceration, this study examines the data on race and wealth status before and after incarceration. Data indicate that although higher levels of wealth were associated with lower rates of incarceration, the likelihood of future incarceration still was higher for blacks at every level of wealth compared to the white likelihood, as well as the Hispanic likelihood, which fell below the white likelihood for some levels of wealth. Further, we find that racial wealth gaps existed among those who would be incarcerated in the future and also among the previously incarcerated.

---------------------

Altering the Life Course: Military Service and Contact with the Criminal Justice System

Jay Teachman & Lucky Tedrow

Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using data taken from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we examine the relationship between military service and contact with the criminal justice system. Drawing on the life course concept of a turning point, we show that military service does little to affect the risk of being arrested or being convicted of crimes involving violence or destructive behavior, while at the same time significantly reducing the risk of being arrested or being convicted of non-violent crimes. We find no evidence that service in a combat zone alters these relationships. Our results demonstrate how participation in a large-scale institution can serve as a turning point, altering the life course trajectories of young persons.

---------------------

The Political Economy of Moral Conflict: An Empirical Study of Learning and Law Enforcement Under Prohibition

Camilo García-Jimeno

Econometrica, March 2016, Pages 511–570

Abstract:
The U.S. Prohibition experience shows a remarkable policy reversal. In only 14 years, a drastic shift in public opinion required two constitutional amendments. I develop and estimate a model of endogenous law enforcement, determined by beliefs about the Prohibition-crime nexus and alcohol-related moral views. In turn, the policy outcomes shape subsequent learning about Prohibition enforcement costs. I estimate the model through maximum likelihood on Prohibition Era city-level data on police enforcement, crime, and alcohol-related legislation. The model can account for the variation in public opinion changes, and the heterogeneous responses of law enforcement and violence across cities. Results show that a 15% increase in the homicide rate can be attributed to Prohibition enforcement. The subsequent learning-driven adjustment of local law enforcement allowed for the alcohol market to rebound to 60% of its pre-Prohibition size. I conclude with counterfactual exercises exploring the welfare implications of policy learning, prior beliefs, preference polarization, and alternative political environments. Results illustrate the importance of incorporating the endogenous nature of law enforcement into our understanding of policy failure and policy success.

---------------------

Intervention time series analysis of crime rates: The case of sentence reform in Virginia

Sunčica Vujić, Jacques Commandeur & Siem Jan Koopman

Economic Modelling, forthcoming

Abstract:
We review the basic concepts of intervention analysis in the context of structural time series models and we apply this methodology to investigate the possible reduction in monthly crime rates reported from January 1984 up to and including December 2010 after Virginia abolished parole and reformed sentencing in January 1995. We find that the change in legislation has significantly reduced the burglary rates and to a lesser extent the murder rates in Virginia. The robustness of our results is investigated with an automatic detection of breaks procedure as well as with analyses of quarterly rather than monthly data.

---------------------

Is human trafficking the dark side of economic freedom?

Lauren Heller et al.

Defence and Peace Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Economic freedom has increased living standards worldwide. Concurrent with such gains are rising concerns about potential human costs associated with free markets. This paper uses data on human trafficking and anti-trafficking policies, in conjunction with a measure of economic freedom, to examine whether free markets exacerbate or attenuate the incidence of human trafficking and policies designed to combat it. We do not find evidence suggesting that economic freedom is associated with human trafficking. In addition, our results suggest that economically free countries are more likely to enact and enforce policies to fight human trafficking.

---------------------

Procedural Injustice, Risky Lifestyles, and Violent Victimization

Scott Wolfe & Kyle McLean

Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming

Abstract:
Participation in risky lifestyles is a well-established predictor of victimization. Several variables have been identified as key predictors of risky activities (e.g., low self-control) but there may be additional sources not considered in the literature to date. We argue that perceptions of procedural unfairness represent a break in social control, thereby opening the door for participation in risky lifestyles that are conducive to victimization. Using three waves of data from the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program, we demonstrated that police procedural injustice was positively associated with risky lifestyles, which partially mediated the relationship between procedural injustice and violent victimization. This study advances the literature by demonstrating that our understanding of victimization is enhanced by including procedural injustice into its explanation.

---------------------

“I Would Be a Bulldog”: Tracing the Spillover of Carceral Identity

Patrick Lopez-Aguado

Social Problems, forthcoming

Abstract:
The socializing power of the prison is routinely discussed as a prisonization process in which inmates learn to conform to life in the correctional facility. However, the impact that identities socialized in the prison may have outside of the institution itself remains an under-researched aspect of mass incarceration’s collateral consequences. In this article, I use ethnographic data collected over 15 months in two juvenile justice facilities and interviews with 24 probation youth to examine how the identities socialized among Latino prison inmates spill over into high-incarceration Latina/o neighborhoods. Strict segregation practices in California’s prison system categorize and separate Latino inmates as coming from either Northern, Southern, or Central California, respectively institutionalizing Norteño, Sureño, and Bulldog collective identities in the process. I argue that these identities have come to frame how criminalized Latina/o youth understand the prison’s influence on their community. As youth enter the juvenile justice system, they encounter facilities that have appropriated the prison’s sorting practices by categorizing youth and policing the boundaries between them. Carceral group identities become instrumental in young people’s daily lives in this context, mirroring what they have heard from the experiences of incarcerated loved ones and confirming where they would fit in the prison’s social order. This process not only labels youth as gang members but instills in them identities and worldviews that rationalize their own incarceration, extending the prison’s ability to categorize people as carceral subjects far beyond the penitentiary gates.

---------------------

Criminals' Response to Changing Crime Lucre

George Shoukry

Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
How do criminals respond to changes in the benefit from committing a successful crime? This question is relevant for understanding the effectiveness of crime-fighting policies that reduce demand for illegal goods, disrupt black markets, and otherwise eliminate cheaper avenues to illicit gain. However, the literature has not sufficiently addressed this question, partly because finding a reliable measure of crime lucre is difficult. Using proprietary data on cargo theft, I match historical prices of various goods with their thefts and estimate the price elasticity of theft to be 1.225 over a cumulative 7-month horizon.

---------------------

Voluntary Organizations and Neighborhood Crime: A Dynamic Perspective

James Wo, John Hipp & Adam Boessen

Criminology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although numerous theories suggest that voluntary organizations contribute to lower crime rates in neighborhoods, the evidence for this proposition is weak. Consequently, we propose a dynamic perspective for understanding the relationship between voluntary organizations and neighborhood crime that involves longitudinal analyses and the measurement of the age of organizations. By using longitudinal data on a sample of census blocks (N= 87,641) located across 10 cities, we test the relationship between age-graded measures of different types of voluntary organizations and neighborhood crime rates. We use fixed-effects negative binomial regression models that focus on change within neighborhoods of the relationship between voluntary organizations and neighborhood crime. Our results show that although each type of voluntary organization is found to exhibit crime-reducing behavior in neighborhoods, we find that many of them are consistent with what we refer to as the “delayed impact scenario” — there is a pronounced delay between the placement of a voluntary organization and a neighborhood subsequently experiencing a reduction in crime. With protective effects of organizations typically not demonstrated until several years after being in the neighborhood, these patterns suggest a need for long-term investment strategies when examining organizations.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Something's not right

Neuromodulation of group prejudice and religious belief

Colin Holbrook et al.

Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, March 2016, Pages 387-394

Abstract:
People cleave to ideological convictions with greater intensity in the aftermath of threat. The posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) plays a key role in both detecting discrepancies between desired and current conditions and adjusting subsequent behavior to resolve such conflicts. Building on prior literature examining the role of the pMFC in shifts in relatively low-level decision processes, we demonstrate that the pMFC mediates adjustments in adherence to political and religious ideologies. We presented participants with a reminder of death and a critique of their in-group ostensibly written by a member of an out-group, then experimentally decreased both avowed belief in God and out-group derogation by downregulating pMFC activity via transcranial magnetic stimulation. The results provide the first evidence that group prejudice and religious belief are susceptible to targeted neuromodulation, and point to a shared cognitive mechanism underlying concrete and abstract decision processes. We discuss the implications of these findings for further research characterizing the cognitive and affective mechanisms at play.

---------------------

No match for money: Even in intimate relationships and collectivistic cultures, reminders of money weaken sociomoral responses

Krishna Savani et al.

Self and Identity, May/June 2016, Pages 342-355

Abstract:
The present research tested two competing hypotheses: (1) as money cues activate an exchange orientation to social relations, money cues harm prosocial responses in communal and collectivistic settings; (2) as money can be used to help close others, money cues increase helping in communal or collectivistic settings. In a culture, characterized by strong helping norms, money cues reduced the quality of help given (Experiment 1), and lowered perceived moral obligation to help (Experiment 2). In communal relationships, money reminders decreased willingness to help romantic partners (Experiment 3). This effect was attenuated among people high on communal strength, although money cues made them upset with help requests (Experiment 4). Thus, the harmful effects of money on prosocial responses appear robust.

---------------------

Moral consequences of becoming unemployed

Abigail Barr, Luis Miller & Paloma Ubeda

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
We test the conjecture that becoming unemployed erodes the extent to which a person acknowledges earned entitlement. We use behavioral experiments to generate incentive-compatible measures of individuals' tendencies to acknowledge earned entitlement and incorporate these experiments in a two-stage study. In the first stage, participants' acknowledgment of earned entitlement was measured by engaging them in the behavioral experiments, and their individual employment status and other relevant socioeconomic characteristics were recorded. In the second stage, a year later, the process was repeated using the same instruments. The combination of the experimentally generated data and the longitudinal design allows us to investigate our conjecture using a difference-in-difference approach, while ruling out the pure self-interest confound. We report evidence consistent with a large, negative effect of becoming unemployed on the acknowledgment of earned entitlement.

---------------------

Alteration of Political Belief by Non-invasive Brain Stimulation

Caroline Chawke & Ryota Kanai

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, January 2016

Abstract:
People generally have imperfect introspective access to the mechanisms underlying their political beliefs, yet can confidently communicate the reasoning that goes into their decision making process. An innate desire for certainty and security in ones beliefs may play an important and somewhat automatic role in motivating the maintenance or rejection of partisan support. The aim of the current study was to clarify the role of the DLPFC in the alteration of political beliefs. Recent neuroimaging studies have focused on the association between the DLPFC (a region involved in the regulation of cognitive conflict and error feedback processing) and reduced affiliation with opposing political candidates. As such, this study used a method of non-invasive brain simulation (tRNS) to enhance activity of the bilateral DLPFC during the incorporation of political campaign information. These findings indicate a crucial role for this region in political belief formation. However, enhanced activation of DLPFC does not necessarily result in the specific rejection of political beliefs. In contrast to the hypothesis the results appear to indicate a significant increase in conservative values regardless of participant's initial political orientation and the political campaign advertisement they were exposed to.

---------------------

Inference of Trustworthiness From Intuitive Moral Judgments

Jim Everett, David Pizarro & Molly Crockett

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming

Abstract:
Moral judgments play a critical role in motivating and enforcing human cooperation, and research on the proximate mechanisms of moral judgments highlights the importance of intuitive, automatic processes in forming such judgments. Intuitive moral judgments often share characteristics with deontological theories in normative ethics, which argue that certain acts (such as killing) are absolutely wrong, regardless of their consequences. Why do moral intuitions typically follow deontological prescriptions, as opposed to those of other ethical theories? Here, we test a functional explanation for this phenomenon by investigating whether agents who express deontological moral judgments are more valued as social partners. Across 5 studies, we show that people who make characteristically deontological judgments are preferred as social partners, perceived as more moral and trustworthy, and are trusted more in economic games. These findings provide empirical support for a partner choice account of moral intuitions whereby typically deontological judgments confer an adaptive function by increasing a person's likelihood of being chosen as a cooperation partner. Therefore, deontological moral intuitions may represent an evolutionarily prescribed prior that was selected for through partner choice mechanisms.

---------------------

Incomplete professional identity goals override moral concerns

Michael Marquardt et al.

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2016, Pages 31-41

Abstract:
According to self-completion theory (SCT; Wicklund & Gollwitzer, 1982), people committed to identity goals (e.g., being a lawyer or a business manager) strive for goal attainment by collecting indicators of completeness (e.g., relevant achievements). When the completeness of an identity goal becomes threatened, people are driven to engage in self-symbolizing to compensate. In two studies, we found that committed individuals endorsed immoral behaviors displayed by professional businessmen (Study 1) and lawyers (Study 2) after having received bogus negative feedback about their aptitude for the respective profession. When high school seniors committed to pursuing a STEM profession received bogus negative (vs. positive) feedback on possessing relevant cognitive abilities (Study 3), they were observed to self-ascribe personality traits associated with professional success but also with engaging in immoral behavior. Strategies for ameliorating negative compensation behavior, differences from general self-affirmation, and implications for understanding immoral behavior are discussed.

---------------------

Bad is freer than good: Positive-negative asymmetry in attributions of free will

Gilad Feldman, Kin Fai Ellick Wong & Roy Baumeister

Consciousness and Cognition, May 2016, Pages 26-40

Abstract:
Recent findings support the idea that the belief in free will serves as the basis for moral responsibility, thus promoting the punishment of immoral agents. We theorized that free will extends beyond morality to serve as the basis for accountability and the capacity for change more broadly, not only for others but also for the self. Five experiments showed that people attributed higher freedom of will to negative than to positive valence, regardless of morality or intent, for both self and others. In recalling everyday life situations and in classical decision making paradigms, negative actions, negatives outcomes, and negative framing were attributed higher free will than positive ones. Free will attributions were mainly driven by action or outcome valence, but not intent. These findings show consistent support for the idea that free will underlies laypersons' sense-making for accountability and change under negative circumstances.

---------------------

Why controllers compromise on their fiduciary duties: EEG evidence on the role of the human mirror neuron system

Philip Eskenazi, Frank Hartmann & Wim Rietdijk

Accounting, Organizations and Society, forthcoming

Abstract:
Business unit (BU) controllers play a fiduciary role to ensure the integrity of financial reporting. However, they often face social pressure from their BU managers to misreport. Drawing on the literature on the human mirror neuron system, this paper investigates whether controllers' ability to withstand such pressure has a neurobiological basis. We expect that mirror neuron system functionality determines controllers' inclination to succumb to social pressure exerted by self-interested managers to engage in misreporting. We measure mirror neuron system functionality using electroencephalographic (EEG) data from 29 professional controllers during an emotional expressions observation task. The controllers' inclination to misreport was measured using scenarios in which controllers were being pressed by their manager to misreport. We find a positive association between controllers' mirror neuron system functionality and their inclination to yield to managerial pressure. In line with our expectation, we find that this association existed specifically for scenarios in which managers pressed their controllers out of personal rather than organizational interests. We conclude that BU controllers' neurobiological characteristics are involved in financial misreporting behavior and discuss the implications for accounting research and practice.

---------------------

Maybe Holier, But Definitely Less Evil, Than You: Bounded Self-Righteousness in Social Judgment

Nadav Klein & Nicholas Epley

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Few biases in human judgment are easier to demonstrate than self-righteousness: the tendency to believe one is more moral than others. Existing research, however, has overlooked an important ambiguity in evaluations of one's own and others' moral behavior that could lead to an overly simplistic characterization of self-righteousness. In particular, moral behavior spans a broad spectrum ranging from doing good to doing bad. Self-righteousness could indicate believing that one is more likely to do good than others, less likely to do bad, or both. Based on cognitive and motivational mechanisms, we predicted an asymmetry in the degree of self-righteousness such that it would be larger when considering unethical actions (doing bad) than when considering ethical actions (doing good). A series of experiments confirmed this prediction. A final experiment suggests that this asymmetry is partly produced by the difference in perspectives that people adopt when evaluating themselves and others (Experiment 8). These results all suggest a bounded sense of self-righteousness. Believing one "less evil than thou" seems more reliable than believing one is "holier than thou."

---------------------

Judging the actions of "whistle-blowers" versus "leakers": Labels influence perceptions of dissenters who expose group misconduct

Kimberly Rios & Zig Ingraffia

Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although moral and collective concerns have been found to predict expressions of dissent, little research has examined conditions under which dissenters are perceived as acting out of such concerns. Three studies tested whether judgments of dissenters who expose group misconduct can depend on subtle labeling differences. In Study 1, participants rated their actions as more morally based, and themselves as more likely to express dissent, after reading a scenario in which they were labeled a "whistle-blower" (vs. "leaker"). In Studies 2-3, participants who read a passage describing an employee of an organization (Study 2) or a well-known individual (Edward Snowden, Study 3) as a "whistle-blower," relative to "leaker," viewed these individuals as more morally and collectively concerned, which in turn mediated perceived deservingness of punishment. Implications for the factors that lead dissenters to be judged positively, for psychological effects of labels, and for generalizability across contexts are discussed.

---------------------

Normative Judgments and Individual Essence

Julian De Freitas et al.

Cognitive Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
A growing body of research has examined how people judge the persistence of identity over time - that is, how they decide that a particular individual is the same entity from one time to the next. While a great deal of progress has been made in understanding the types of features that people typically consider when making such judgments, to date, existing work has not explored how these judgments may be shaped by normative considerations. The present studies demonstrate that normative beliefs do appear to play an important role in people's beliefs about persistence. Specifically, people are more likely to judge that the identity of a given entity (e.g., a hypothetical nation) remains the same when its features improve (e.g., the nation becomes more egalitarian) than when its features deteriorate (e.g., the nation becomes more discriminatory). Study 1 provides a basic demonstration of this effect. Study 2 shows that this effect is moderated by individual differences in normative beliefs. Study 3 examines the underlying mechanism, which is the belief that, in general, various entities are essentially good. Study 4 directly manipulates beliefs about essence to show that the positivity bias regarding essences is causally responsible for the effect.

---------------------

Humanizing Outgroups Through Multiple Categorization: The Roles of Individuation and Threat

Francesca Prati et al.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, April 2016, Pages 526-539

Abstract:
In three studies, we examined the impact of multiple categorization on intergroup dehumanization. Study 1 showed that perceiving members of a rival university along multiple versus simple categorical dimensions enhanced the tendency to attribute human traits to this group. Study 2 showed that multiple versus simple categorization of immigrants increased the attribution of uniquely human emotions to them. This effect was explained by the sequential mediation of increased individuation of the outgroup and reduced outgroup threat. Study 3 replicated this sequential mediation model and introduced a novel way of measuring humanization in which participants generated attributes corresponding to the outgroup in a free response format. Participants generated more uniquely human traits in the multiple versus simple categorization conditions. We discuss the theoretical implications of these findings and consider their role in informing and improving efforts to ameliorate contemporary forms of intergroup discrimination.

---------------------

The behavioral benefits of other people's deviance

Brian Gunia & Sun Young Kim

Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
Employees who violate significant organizational norms are organizational deviants engaged in organizational deviance. Yet, few acts of organizational deviance involve all members of an organization; in many cases, many people are uninvolved. The current research examined the responses of the nondeviant actors. Several literatures led us to predict that organizational deviance would cause nondeviants to experience cognitive dissonance, especially its vicarious form, and redouble their own work effort in response. Yet, we also predicted that low levels of identification with the deviant actors would weaken this effect. Three studies with multiple samples and methods supported these predictions, showing that nondeviants experience deviants' dissonance and increase their own work effort, but only when more rather than less identified with deviants. In addition to extending and connecting theories of deviance and dissonance, these findings suggest that organizational deviance may have unexpected benefits for groups and organizations.

---------------------

"I Don't Want to Be Near You, Unless...": The Interactive Effect of Unethical Behavior and Performance onto Relationship Conflict and Workplace Ostracism

Matthew Quade, Rebecca Greenbaum & Oleg Petrenko

Personnel Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Examined through the lens of moral psychology, we investigate when and why employees' unethical behaviors may be tolerated versus rejected. Specifically, we examine the interactive effect of employees' unethical behaviors and job performance onto relationship conflict, and whether such conflict eventuates in workplace ostracism. Although employees' unethical behaviors typically go against moral norms, high job performance may provide a motivated reason to ignore moral violations. In this regard, we predict that job performance will mitigate the relationship between employee unethical behavior and workplace ostracism, as mediated by relationship conflict. Study 1, a multi-source field study, tests and provides support for Hypotheses 1 and 2. Study 2, also a multi-source field study, provides support for our fully specified model. Study 3, a time-lagged field study, provides support for our theoretical model while controlling for employees' negative affectivity and ethical environment. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

---------------------

The Immoral Assumption Effect: Moralization Drives Negative Trait Attributions

Peter Meindl, Kate Johnson & Jesse Graham

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, April 2016, Pages 540-553

Abstract:
Jumping to negative conclusions about other people's traits is judged as morally bad by many people. Despite this, across six experiments (total N = 2,151), we find that multiple types of moral evaluations - even evaluations related to open-mindedness, tolerance, and compassion - play a causal role in these potentially pernicious trait assumptions. Our results also indicate that moralization affects negative - but not positive - trait assumptions, and that the effect of morality on negative assumptions cannot be explained merely by people's general (nonmoral) preferences or other factors that distinguish moral and nonmoral traits, such as controllability or desirability. Together, these results suggest that one of the more destructive human tendencies - making negative assumptions about others - can be caused by the better angels of our nature.

---------------------

No country for girly men: High instrumentality men express empathic concern when caring is "manly"

Christopher Burris, Kristina Schrage & John Rempel

Motivation and Emotion, April 2016, Pages 278-289

Abstract:
Two studies explored the relationship between men's gender role identity (as measured by the Bem Sex Role Inventory) and their experience of empathic concern (situational empathy). In both, participants read of a man coping with his friend's death while being exposed to one of three subliminal primes: "real men care"/"caring is strength," "girly men care"/"caring is weakness," or "people are walking." Congruent with previous research, higher femininity (expressivity) predicted greater empathic concern irrespective of prime. The real men/strength primes tended to: (1) increase empathic concern among high instrumentality men; and (2) link empathic concern to predominantly positive projected coping responses when participants thought of themselves in the survivor's situation, consistent with the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Thus, subtly framing empathic concern as a positive emotional response that is congruent with an agentic self-appraisal seems to boost traditionally masculine men's willingness to experience it.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In the neighborhood

Neighborhood Effect Heterogeneity by Family Income and Developmental Period

Geoffrey Wodtke, Felix Elwert & David Harding

American Journal of Sociology, January 2016, Pages 1168-1222

Abstract:
Effects of disadvantaged neighborhoods on child educational outcomes likely depend on a family’s economic resources and the timing of neighborhood exposures during the course of child development. This study investigates how timing of exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods during childhood versus adolescence affects high school graduation and whether these effects vary across families with different income levels. It follows 6,137 children in the PSID from childhood through adolescence and overcomes methodological problems associated with the joint endogeneity of neighborhood context and family income by adapting novel counterfactual methods — a structural nested mean model estimated via two-stage regression with residuals — for time-varying treatments and time-varying effect moderators. Results indicate that exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods, particularly during adolescence, has a strong negative effect on high school graduation and that this negative effect is more severe for children from poor families.

---------------------

Health Behaviors, Mental Health, and Health Care Utilization Among Single Mothers After Welfare Reforms in the 1990s

Sanjay Basu et al.

American Journal of Epidemiology, 15 March 2016, Pages 531-538

Abstract:
We studied the health of low-income US women affected by the largest social policy change in recent US history: the 1996 welfare reforms. Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (1993–2012), we performed 2 types of analysis. First, we used difference-in-difference-in-differences analyses to estimate associations between welfare reforms and health outcomes among the most affected women (single mothers aged 18–64 years in 1997; n = 219,469) compared with less affected women (married mothers, single nonmothers, and married nonmothers of the same age range in 1997; n = 2,422,265). We also used a synthetic control approach in which we constructed a more ideal control group for single mothers by weighting outcomes among the less affected groups to match pre-reform outcomes among single mothers. In both specifications, the group most affected by welfare reforms (single mothers) experienced worse health outcomes than comparison groups less affected by the reforms. For example, the reforms were associated with at least a 4.0-percentage-point increase in binge drinking (95% confidence interval: 0.9, 7.0) and a 2.4-percentage-point decrease in the probability of being able to afford medical care (95% confidence interval: 0.1, 4.8) after controlling for age, educational level, and health care insurance status. Although the reforms were applauded for reducing welfare dependency, they may have adversely affected health.

---------------------

Moved to Opportunity: The Long-Run Effect of Public Housing Demolition on Labor Market Outcomes of Children

Eric Chyn

University of Michigan Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
This paper provides new evidence on the effects of moving out of disadvantaged neighborhoods on the long-run economic outcomes of children. My empirical strategy is based on public housing demolitions in Chicago which forced households to relocate to private market housing using vouchers. Specifically, I compare adult outcomes of children displaced by demolition to their peers who lived in nearby public housing that was not demolished. Displaced children are 9 percent more likely to be employed and earn 16 percent more as adults. These results contrast with the Moving-to-Opportunity (MTO) relocation study, which detected effects only for children who were young when their families moved. To explore this discrepancy, this paper also examines a housing voucher lottery program (similar to MTO) conducted in Chicago. I find no measurable impact on labor market outcomes for children in households that won vouchers. The contrast between the lottery and demolition estimates remains even after re-weighting the demolition sample to adjust for differences in observed characteristics. Overall, this evidence suggests lottery volunteers are negatively selected on the magnitude of their children's gains from relocation. This implies that moving from disadvantaged neighborhoods may have substantially larger impact on children than what is suggested by results from voucher experiments where parents elect to participate.

---------------------

Delayed Disadvantage: Neighborhood Context and Child Development

Steven Elías Alvarado

Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
Neighborhood effects scholarship suggests that neighborhoods may impart different effects across the early life-course because children's interactions with neighborhood actors and institutions evolve across the stages of child development. This paper expands our understanding of neighborhood effects on cognitive and non-cognitive development across childhood and early adolescence by capitalizing on thirteen waves of restricted and never-before-used longitudinal data from the NLSY Child and Young Adult (1986–2010) sample. The findings from within-child fixed-effects interaction models suggest that while younger children are immune to neighborhood effects on their cognitive development, older children consistently suffer a steep penalty for growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods. This neighborhood disadvantage penalty persists among older children despite alternative age constructs. Further, the results are robust to various adjustments for observed and unobserved sources of bias, model specifications, and also manifest as cumulative and lagged effects.

---------------------

Will Moving to a Better Neighborhood Help? Teenage Residential Mobility, Change of Context, and Young-Adult Educational Attainment

Pat Rubio Goldsmith et al.

Urban Affairs Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research suggests that growing up in more affluent neighborhoods improves educational attainment. But would it help adolescents to move to relatively more affluent neighborhoods, as theories of neighborhood effects anticipate? Does it depend on the magnitude of the change of context? To answer these questions, we use data from the National Educational Longitudinal Survey and the 1990 Census to estimate models using propensity score methods. We found that both upward mobility and change of context during adolescence had small effects on long-term educational attainment that varied by race, socioeconomic status, transfer status, and the social class of starting neighborhoods. Importantly, upward moves and positive changes in context reduced African-Americans’ chances of completing high school.

---------------------

Introduction of a National Minimum Wage Reduced Depressive Symptoms in Low-Wage Workers: A Quasi-Natural Experiment in the UK

Aaron Reeves et al.

Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Does increasing incomes improve health? In 1999, the UK government implemented minimum wage legislation, increasing hourly wages to at least £3.60. This policy experiment created intervention and control groups that can be used to assess the effects of increasing wages on health. Longitudinal data were taken from the British Household Panel Survey. We compared the health effects of higher wages on recipients of the minimum wage with otherwise similar persons who were likely unaffected because (1) their wages were between 100 and 110% of the eligibility threshold or (2) their firms did not increase wages to meet the threshold. We assessed the probability of mental ill health using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. We also assessed changes in smoking, blood pressure, as well as hearing ability (control condition). The intervention group, whose wages rose above the minimum wage, experienced lower probability of mental ill health compared with both control group 1 and control group 2. This improvement represents 0.37 of a standard deviation, comparable with the effect of antidepressants (0.39 of a standard deviation) on depressive symptoms. The intervention group experienced no change in blood pressure, hearing ability, or smoking. Increasing wages significantly improves mental health by reducing financial strain in low-wage workers.

---------------------

Poverty and Child Development: A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit

Rita Hamad & David Rehkopf

American Journal of Epidemiology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although adverse socioeconomic conditions are correlated with worse child health and development, the effects of poverty-alleviation policies are less understood. We examined the associations of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on child development and used an instrumental variable approach to estimate the potential impacts of income. We used data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 8,186) during 1986–2000 to examine effects on the Behavioral Problems Index (BPI) and Home Observation Measurement of the Environment inventory (HOME) scores. We conducted 2 analyses. In the first, we used multivariate linear regressions with child-level fixed effects to examine the association of EITC payment size with BPI and HOME scores; in the second, we used EITC payment size as an instrument to estimate the associations of income with BPI and HOME scores. In linear regression models, higher EITC payments were associated with improved short-term BPI scores (per $1,000, β = −0.57; P = 0.04). In instrumental variable analyses, higher income was associated with improved short-term BPI scores (per $1,000, β = −0.47; P = 0.01) and medium-term HOME scores (per $1,000, β = 0.64; P = 0.02). Our results suggest that both EITC benefits and higher income are associated with modest but meaningful improvements in child development. These findings provide valuable information for health researchers and policymakers for improving child health and development.

---------------------

Emotionally Numb: Desensitization to Community Violence Exposure Among Urban Youth

Traci Kennedy & Rosario Ceballo

Developmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Community violence exposure (CVE) is associated with numerous psychosocial outcomes among youth. Although linear, cumulative effects models have typically been used to describe these relations, emerging evidence suggests the presence of curvilinear associations that may represent a pattern of emotional desensitization among youth exposed to chronic community violence. This study uses longitudinal data to investigate relations between CVE and both internalizing and externalizing symptoms among 3,480 youth ages 3 to 12 at baseline and 9 to 18 at outcome. Results support desensitization models, as evidenced by longitudinal quadratic associations between Wave 2 CVE and Wave 3 anxiety/depressive symptoms, alongside cross-sectional linear associations between Wave 3 CVE and Wave 3 aggression. Neither age nor gender moderated the associations between CVE and well-being.

---------------------

Perceived neighborhood problems are associated with shorter telomere length in African American women

Samson Gebreab et al.

Psychoneuroendocrinology, July 2016, Pages 90–97

Objectives: African Americans (AA) experience higher levels of stress related to living in racially segregated and poor neighborhoods. However, little is known about the associations between perceived neighborhood environments and cellular aging among adult AA. This study examined whether perceived neighborhood environments were associated with telomere length (TL) in AA after adjustment for individual-level risk factors.

Methods: The analysis included 158 women and 75 men AA aged 30 to 55 years from the Morehouse School of Medicine Study. Relative TL (T/S ratio) was measured from peripheral blood leukocytes using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Multivariable linear regression models were used to examine the associations of perceived neighborhood social cohesion, problems, and overall unfavorable perceptions with log-TL.

Results: Women had significantly longer TL than men (0.59 vs. 0.54, p = 0.012). After controlling for sociodemographic, and biomedical and psychosocial factors, a 1-SD increase in perceived neighborhood problems was associated with 7.3% shorter TL in women (Mean Difference [MD] = –0.073 (Standard Error = 0.03), p = 0.012). Overall unfavorable perception of neighborhood was also associated with 5.9% shorter TL among women (MD = –0.059(0.03), p = 0.023). Better perceived social cohesion were associated with 2.4% longer TL, but did not reach statistical significance (MD = 0.024(0.02), p = 0.218). No association was observed between perceived neighborhood environments and TL in men.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that perceived neighborhood environments may be predictive of cellular aging in AA women even after accounting for individual-level risk factors. Additional research with a larger sample is needed to determine whether perceived neighborhood environments are causally related to TL.

---------------------

Family Composition and the Benefits of Participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Christina Robinson

Eastern Economic Journal, Spring 2016, Pages 232–251

Abstract:
WIC is designed to promote the health and nutrient consumption of pregnant (or postpartum) women, infants, and young children. Food, however, is often a communal commodity shared by all household members; thus, a family’s composition may impact the health benefits received by a WIC participant. Using data from the 2010 wave of the National Health Interview Survey, this study finds that an only child who participates in WIC receives a health benefit from their participation while the benefits received by children with siblings are dependent on the age, gender, and number of siblings with whom they share a residence.

---------------------

The Impact of SNAP Vehicle Asset Limits on Household Asset Allocation

Deokrye Baek & Christian Raschke

Southern Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Beginning in 2001, states were given the authority to formulate their own rules on how vehicles are counted toward the asset limit in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. We exploit differences in timing of the state vehicle asset policy changes to identify their effect on vehicle assets and debts, car ownership, liquid assets holdings, as well as non-housing wealth. We estimate difference-in-differences and household fixed effects specifications and find that liberalizing vehicle asset rules increases vehicle assets of households with a high ex ante probability of program participation. Households also take on more debt to finance their vehicles. The increase in car value can be attributed primarily to less educated single parents who already owned a car before the policy change buying more expensive cars.

---------------------

A Test of Outreach and Drop-in Linkage Versus Shelter Linkage for Connecting Homeless Youth to Services

Natasha Slesnick et al.

Prevention Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Outreach and service linkage are key for engaging marginalized populations, such as homeless youth, in services. Research to date has focused primarily on engaging individuals already receiving some services through emergency shelters, clinics, or other programs. Less is known about those who are not connected to services and, thus, likely the most vulnerable and in need of assistance. The current study sought to engage non-service-connected homeless youth (N = 79) into a strengths-based outreach and advocacy intervention. Youth were randomly assigned to receive 6 months of advocacy that focused on linking youth to a drop-in center (n = 40) or to a crisis shelter (n = 39). All youth were assessed at baseline and 3, 6, and 9 months post-baseline. Findings indicated that youth prefer drop-in center services to the shelter. Also, the drop-in center linkage condition was associated with more service linkage overall (B = 0.34, SE = 0.04, p < 0.01) and better alcohol-l [B = −0.39, SE = 0.09, t(75) = −4.48, p < 0.001] and HIV-related outcomes [B = 0.62, SE = 0.10, t(78) = 6.34, p < 0.001] compared to the shelter linkage condition. Findings highlight the importance of outreach and service linkage for reconnecting service-marginalized youth, and drop-in centers as a primary service option for homeless youth.

---------------------

Food Security and Teenage Labor Supply

Sarah Hamersma & Matthew Kim

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, March 2016, Pages 73-92

Abstract:
This study assesses whether teenage labor force participation may influence the food security of children in their families. We utilize the Current Population Survey annual Food Security Supplement and linked monthly core data from 2001 through 2012 to assess the year-to-year dynamics of food security status in families with teenagers. We estimate the effect of teenage employment on food security while controlling for all time-invariant individual and household characteristics using a fixed-effects model. We find that an employed teen reduces the predicted probability of a family's children having very low food security by an economically and statistically significant 50%.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Heaven's door

The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014

Raj Chetty et al.

Journal of the American Medical Association, forthcoming

Design and Setting: Income data for the US population were obtained from 1.4 billion deidentified tax records between 1999 and 2014. Mortality data were obtained from Social Security Administration death records. These data were used to estimate race- and ethnicity-adjusted life expectancy at 40 years of age by household income percentile, sex, and geographic area, and to evaluate factors associated with differences in life expectancy.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Relationship between income and life expectancy; trends in life expectancy by income group; geographic variation in life expectancy levels and trends by income group; and factors associated with differences in life expectancy across areas.

Results: The sample consisted of 1 408 287 218 person-year observations for individuals aged 40 to 76 years (mean age, 53.0 years; median household earnings among working individuals, $61 175 per year). There were 4 114 380 deaths among men (mortality rate, 596.3 per 100 000) and 2 694 808 deaths among women (mortality rate, 375.1 per 100 000). The analysis yielded 4 results. First, higher income was associated with greater longevity throughout the income distribution. The gap in life expectancy between the richest 1% and poorest 1% of individuals was 14.6 years (95% CI, 14.4 to 14.8 years) for men and 10.1 years (95% CI, 9.9 to 10.3 years) for women. Second, inequality in life expectancy increased over time. Between 2001 and 2014, life expectancy increased by 2.34 years for men and 2.91 years for women in the top 5% of the income distribution, but by only 0.32 years for men and 0.04 years for women in the bottom 5% (P < .001 for the differences for both sexes). Third, life expectancy for low-income individuals varied substantially across local areas. In the bottom income quartile, life expectancy differed by approximately 4.5 years between areas with the highest and lowest longevity. Changes in life expectancy between 2001 and 2014 ranged from gains of more than 4 years to losses of more than 2 years across areas. Fourth, geographic differences in life expectancy for individuals in the lowest income quartile were significantly correlated with health behaviors such as smoking (r = −0.69, P < .001), but were not significantly correlated with access to medical care, physical environmental factors, income inequality, or labor market conditions. Life expectancy for low-income individuals was positively correlated with the local area fraction of immigrants (r = 0.72, P < .001), fraction of college graduates (r = 0.42, P < .001), and government expenditures (r = 0.57, P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance: In the United States between 2001 and 2014, higher income was associated with greater longevity, and differences in life expectancy across income groups increased over time. However, the association between life expectancy and income varied substantially across areas; differences in longevity across income groups decreased in some areas and increased in others. The differences in life expectancy were correlated with health behaviors and local area characteristics.

---------------------

The associations between US state and local social spending, income inequality, and individual all-cause and cause-specific mortality: The National Longitudinal Mortality Study

Daniel Kim

Preventive Medicine, March 2016, Pages 62–68

Methods: Data on 431,637 adults aged 30–74 and 375,354 adults aged 20–44 in the 48 contiguous US states were used from the National Longitudinal Mortality Study to estimate the impacts of state and local spending and income inequality on individual risks of all-cause and cause-specific mortality for leading causes of death in younger and middle-aged adults and older adults. To reduce bias, models incorporated state fixed effects and instrumental variables.

Results: Each additional $250 per capita per year spent on welfare predicted a 3-percentage point (− 0.031, 95% CI: − 0.059, − 0.0027) lower probability of dying from any cause. Each additional $250 per capita spent on welfare and education predicted 1.6-percentage point (− 0.016, 95% CI: − 0.031, − 0.0011) and 0.8-percentage point (− 0.008, 95% CI: − 0.0156, − 0.00024) lower probabilities of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD), respectively. No associations were found for colon cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; for diabetes, external injury, and suicide, estimates were inverse but modest in magnitude. A 0.1 higher Gini coefficient (higher income inequality) predicted 1-percentage point (0.010, 95% CI: 0.0026, 0.0180) and 0.2-percentage point (0.002, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.002) higher probabilities of dying from CHD and suicide, respectively.

Conclusions: Empirical linkages were identified between state-level spending on welfare and education and lower individual risks of dying, particularly from CHD and all causes combined. State-level income inequality predicted higher risks of dying from CHD and suicide.

---------------------

Association of retirement age with mortality: A population-based longitudinal study among older adults in the USA

Chenkai Wu et al.

Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, forthcoming

Methods: On the basis of the Health and Retirement Study, 2956 participants who were working at baseline (1992) and completely retired during the follow-up period from 1992 to 2010 were included. Healthy retirees (n=1934) were defined as individuals who self-reported health was not an important reason to retire. The association of retirement age with all-cause mortality was analysed using the Cox model. Sociodemographic effect modifiers of the relation were examined.

Results: Over the study period, 234 healthy and 262 unhealthy retirees died. Among healthy retirees, a 1-year older age at retirement was associated with an 11% lower risk of all-cause mortality (95% CI 8% to 15%), independent of a wide range of sociodemographic, lifestyle and health confounders. Similarly, unhealthy retirees (n=1022) had a lower all-cause mortality risk when retiring later (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.88 to 0.94). None of the sociodemographic factors were found to modify the association of retirement age with all-cause mortality.

Conclusions: Early retirement may be a risk factor for mortality and prolonged working life may provide survival benefits among US adults.

---------------------

Trends in Life Expectancy and Lifespan Variation by Educational Attainment: United States, 1990–2010

Isaac Sasson

Demography, April 2016, Pages 269-293

Abstract:
The educational gradient in life expectancy is well documented in the United States and in other low-mortality countries. Highly educated Americans, on average, live longer than their low-educated counterparts, who have recently seen declines in adult life expectancy. However, limiting the discussion on lifespan inequality to mean differences alone overlooks other dimensions of inequality and particularly disparities in lifespan variation. The latter represents a unique form of inequality, with higher variation translating into greater uncertainty in the time of death from an individual standpoint, and higher group heterogeneity from a population perspective. Using data from the National Vital Statistics System from 1990 to 2010, this is the first study to document trends in both life expectancy and S25 — the standard deviation of age at death above 25 — by educational attainment. Among low-educated whites, adult life expectancy declined by 3.1 years for women and by 0.6 years for men. At the same time, S25 increased by about 1.5 years among high school–educated whites of both genders, becoming an increasingly important component of total lifespan inequality. By contrast, college-educated whites benefited from rising life expectancy and record low variation in age at death, consistent with the shifting mortality scenario. Among blacks, adult life expectancy increased, and S25 plateaued or declined in nearly all educational attainment groups, although blacks generally lagged behind whites of the same gender on both measures. Documenting trends in lifespan variation can therefore improve our understanding of lifespan inequality and point to diverging trajectories in adult mortality across socioeconomic strata.

---------------------

The influence of birth season on mortality in the United States

Kitae Sohn

American Journal of Human Biology, forthcoming

Objectives: Birth season is related to a variety of later outcomes. Among them, mortality is of great interest because it represents lifetime health outcomes. We examined the relationship between birth season and mortality in the US.

Methods: We merged the US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and NHIS public-use linked mortality files and analyzed 17,082 men and 19,075 women who were followed for 20 years from 1986 to 2006. We used the Cox proportional hazards model to relate birth quarter to mortality, controlling for birth year fixed effects.

Results: After controlling for years of schooling and birth year fixed effects, we found that, relative to men born in the first quarter, men born in the fourth quarter were 11% less likely to die. For women, the benefit was the largest for women born in the third quarter who were 14% less likely to die than women born in the first quarter. In the relationship between birth season and mortality, cardiovascular diseases played a noticeable role for men and malignant neoplasms for women.

Conclusions: These results were consistent with those for some developed countries, but not entirely with those for contemporary developing countries and developed countries of the past. Simple mechanisms based on the perinatal environment cannot account for the inconsistent results. We suggest that family background may play some, but not an exhaustive, role in the relationship between birth season and mortality.

---------------------

Of Natural Bodies and Antibodies: Parents’ Vaccine Refusal and the Dichotomies of Natural and Artificial

Jennifer Reich

Social Science & Medicine, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite eliminating incidences of many diseases in the United States, parents are increasingly rejecting vaccines for their children. This article examines the reasons parents offer for doing so. It argues that parents construct a dichotomy between the natural and the artificial, in which vaccines come to be seen as unnecessary, ineffective, and potentially dangerous. Using qualitative data from interviews and observations, this article shows first, how parents view their children’s bodies, particularly from experiences of birth and with infants, as naturally perfect and in need of protection. Second, parents see vaccines as an artificial intervention that enters the body unnaturally, through injection. Third, parents perceive immunity occurring from illness to be natural and superior and immunity derived from vaccines as inferior and potentially dangerous. Finally, parents highlight the ways their own natural living serves to enhance their children’s immunity rendering vaccines unnecessary. Taken together, this dichotomy allows parents to justify rejection of vaccines as a form of protecting children’s health. These findings expose perceptions of science, technology, health, and the meanings of the body in ways that can inform public health efforts.

---------------------

Can the vaccine adverse event reporting system be used to increase vaccine acceptance and trust?

Laura Scherer et al.

Vaccine, forthcoming

Abstract:
Vaccine refusal has an impact on public health, and the human pappillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is particularly underutilized. Research suggests that it may be difficult to change vaccine-related attitudes, and there is currently no good evidence to recommend any particular intervention strategy. One reason for vaccine hesitancy is lack of trust that vaccine harms are adequately documented and reported, yet few communication strategies have explicitly attempted to improve this trust. This study tested the possibility that data from the vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) can be used to increase trust that vaccine harms are adequately researched and that potential harms are disclosed to the public, and thereby improve perceptions of vaccines. In the study, participants were randomly assigned to one of three communication interventions. All participants read the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vaccine information statement (VIS) for the HPV vaccine. Two other groups were exposed to additional information about VAERS, either summary data or full detailed reports of serious adverse events from 2013. Results showed that the CDC's VIS alone significantly increased perceptions of vaccine benefits and decreased perceived risks. Participants who were also educated about VAERS and given summary data about the serious adverse events displayed more trust in the CDC and greater HPV vaccine acceptance relative to the VIS alone. However, exposure to the detailed VAERS reports significantly reduced trust in the CDC and vaccine acceptance. Hence, general information about the VAERS data slightly increased trust in the CDC and improved vaccine acceptance, but the specific VAERS reports negatively influenced both trust and acceptance. Implications for communicating about vaccines are discussed.

---------------------

Reporter nanoparticle that monitors its anticancer efficacy in real time

Ashish Kulkarni et al.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
The ability to monitor the efficacy of an anticancer treatment in real time can have a critical effect on the outcome. Currently, clinical readouts of efficacy rely on indirect or anatomic measurements, which occur over prolonged time scales postchemotherapy or postimmunotherapy and may not be concordant with the actual effect. Here we describe the biology-inspired engineering of a simple 2-in-1 reporter nanoparticle that not only delivers a cytotoxic or an immunotherapy payload to the tumor but also reports back on the efficacy in real time. The reporter nanoparticles are engineered from a novel two-staged stimuli-responsive polymeric material with an optimal ratio of an enzyme-cleavable drug or immunotherapy (effector elements) and a drug function-activatable reporter element. The spatiotemporally constrained delivery of the effector and the reporter elements in a single nanoparticle produces maximum signal enhancement due to the availability of the reporter element in the same cell as the drug, thereby effectively capturing the temporal apoptosis process. Using chemotherapy-sensitive and chemotherapy-resistant tumors in vivo, we show that the reporter nanoparticles can provide a real-time noninvasive readout of tumor response to chemotherapy. The reporter nanoparticle can also monitor the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibition in melanoma. The self-reporting capability, for the first time to our knowledge, captures an anticancer nanoparticle in action in vivo.

---------------------

Labor Markets in Statistics: The Subject Supply Effect in Medical R&D

Anup Malani & Tomas Philipson

University of Chicago Working Paper, March 2016

Abstract:
Medical research and development (R&D) differs from other R&D because of a unique linkage between output and input markets for medical products: potential consumers of existing medical products are also potential subjects in clinical trials required to develop new products. Therefore, an increase in the quality or reduction in the price of an existing treatment reduces the incentive of patients to participate in trials of new treatments. We provide evidence of this linkage, which we label the “subject supply effect,” by showing that a breakthrough HIV/AIDs treatment led to a sharp drop in the supply of trial subjects after the introduction of the treatment in 1996. The subject supply effect has important positive implications for how policies such as recent insurance expansions affect the rate of medical R&D and normative implications for whether subjects ought to be compensated for enrolling in clinical trials, an ethically controversial practice.

---------------------

An Education Gradient in Health, a Health Gradient in Education, or a Confounded Gradient in Both?

Jamie Lynch & Paul von Hippel

Social Science & Medicine, April 2016, Pages 18–27

Abstract:
There is a positive gradient associating educational attainment with health, yet the explanation for this gradient is not clear. Does higher education improve health (causation)? Do the healthy become highly educated (selection)? Or do good health and high educational attainment both result from advantages established early in the life course (confounding)? This study evaluates these competing explanations by tracking changes in educational attainment and Self-rated Health (SRH) from age 15 to age 31 in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, 1997 cohort. Ordinal logistic regression confirms that high-SRH adolescents are more likely to become highly educated. This is partly because adolescent SRH is associated with early advantages including adolescents’ academic performance, college plans, and family background (confounding); however, net of these confounders adolescent SRH still predicts adult educational attainment (selection). Fixed-effects longitudinal regression shows that educational attainment has little causal effect on SRH at age 31. Completion of a high school diploma or associate’s degree has no effect on SRH, while completion of a bachelor’s or graduate degree have effects that, though significant, are quite small (less than 0.1 points on a 5-point scale). While it is possible that educational attainment would have greater effect on health at older ages, at age 31 what we see is a health gradient in education, shaped primarily by selection and confounding rather than by a causal effect of education on health.

---------------------

Long-Acting Reversible Contraception and Condom Use Among Female US High School Students: Implications for Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention

Riley Steiner et al.

JAMA Pediatrics, forthcoming

Importance: Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), specifically intrauterine devices and implants, offers an unprecedented opportunity to reduce unintended pregnancies among adolescents because it is highly effective even with typical use. However, adolescent LARC users may be less likely to use condoms for preventing sexually transmitted infections compared with users of moderately effective contraceptive methods (ie, oral, Depo-Provera injection, patch, and ring contraceptives).

Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional analysis using data from the 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationally representative sample of US high school students in grades 9 through 12. Descriptive analyses were conducted among sexually active female students (n = 2288); logistic regression analyses were restricted to sexually active female users of LARC and moderately effective contraception (n = 619). The analyses were conducted in July and August 2015.

Results: Among the 2288 sexually active female participants (56.7% white; 33.6% in 12th grade), 1.8% used LARC; 5.7% used Depo-Provera, patch, or ring; 22.4% used oral contraceptives; 40.8% used condoms; 11.8% used withdrawal or other method; 15.7% used no contraceptive method; and 1.9% were not sure. In adjusted analyses, LARC users were about 60% less likely to use condoms compared with oral contraceptive users (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 0.42; 95% CI, 0.21-0.84). No significant differences in condom use were observed between LARC users and Depo-Provera injection, patch, or ring users (aPR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.26-1.25). The LARC users were more than twice as likely to have 2 or more recent sexual partners compared with oral contraceptive users (aPR, 2.61; 95% CI, 1.75-3.90) and Depo-Provera, patch, or ring users (aPR, 2.58; 95% CI, 1.17-5.67).

Conclusions and Relevance: Observed differences in condom use may reflect motivations to use condoms for backup pregnancy prevention. Users of highly effective LARC methods may no longer perceive a need for condoms even if they have multiple sexual partners, which places them at risk for sexually transmitted infections. As uptake of LARC increases among adolescents, a clear need exists to incorporate messages about condom use specifically for sexually transmitted infection prevention.

---------------------

Sex Work Regulation and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Tijuana, Mexico

Troy Quast & Fidel Gonzalez

Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
While reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections is a common argument for regulating sex work, relatively little empirical evidence is available regarding the effectiveness of these policies. We investigate the effects of highly publicized sex work regulations introduced in 2005 in Tijuana, Mexico on the incidence of trichomoniasis. State-level, annual data for the 1995–2012 period are employed that include the incidence rates of trichomoniasis by age group and predictor variables. We find that the regulations led to a decrease in the incidence rate of trichomoniasis. Specifically, while our estimates are somewhat noisy, the all-ages incidence rate in the 2005–2012 period is roughly 37% lower than what is predicted by our synthetic control estimates and corresponds to approximately 800 fewer reported cases of trichomoniasis per year. We find that the decreases are especially pronounced for 15–24 and 25–44 age cohorts.

---------------------

One-Sided Social Media Comments Influenced Opinions And Intentions About Home Birth: An Experimental Study

Holly Witteman et al.

Health Affairs, April 2016, Pages 726-733

Abstract:
As people increasingly turn to social media to access and create health evidence, the greater availability of data and information ought to help more people make evidence-informed health decisions that align with what matters to them. However, questions remain as to whether people can be swayed in favor of or against options by polarized social media, particularly in the case of controversial topics. We created a composite mock news article about home birth from six real news articles and randomly assigned participants in an online study to view comments posted about the original six articles. We found that exposure to one-sided social media comments with one-sided opinions influenced participants’ opinions of the health topic regardless of their reported level of previous knowledge, especially when comments contained personal stories. Comments representing a breadth of views did not influence opinions, which suggests that while exposure to one-sided comments may bias opinions, exposure to balanced comments may avoid such bias.

---------------------

Investigating the effect of banning non-reduced ignition propensity cigarettes on fatal residential fires in Sweden

Carl Bonander, Anders Jonsson & Finn Nilson

European Journal of Public Health, April 2016, Pages 334-338

Background: Annually, 100 people die as a result of residential fires in Sweden and almost a third of the fatal fires are known to be caused by smoking. In an attempt to reduce the occurrence of these events, reduced ignition propensity (RIP) cigarettes have been developed. They are designed to reduce the risk of fire by preventing the cigarette from burning through the full length when left unattended. In November 2011, a ban was introduced, forbidding the production and sale of all non-RIP cigarettes in all member states of the European Union, including Sweden.

Methods: Monthly data on all recorded residential fires and associated fatalities in Sweden from January 2000 to December 2013 were analyzed using an interrupted time series design. The effect of the intervention [in relative risk (RR)] was quantified using generalised additive models for location, shape and scale.

Results: There were no statistically significant intervention effects on residential fires (RR 0.95 [95% CI: 0.89–1.01]), fatal residential fires (RR 0.99 [95% CI: 0.80–1.23]), residential fires where smoking was a known cause (RR 1.10 [95% CI: 0.95–1.28]) or fatal residential fires where smoking was a known cause (RR 0.92 [95% CI: 0.63–1.35]).

Conclusion: No evidence of an effect of the ban on all non-RIP cigarettes on the risk of residential fires in Sweden was found. The results may not be generalisable to other countries.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, April 11, 2016

Backing down

Honor and War: Southern US Presidents and the Effects of Concern for Reputation

Allan Dafoe & Devin Caughey

World Politics, April 2016, Pages 341-381

Abstract:
Reputation has long been considered central to international relations, but unobservability, strategic selection, and endogeneity have handicapped quantitative research. A rare source of haphazard variation in the cultural origins of leaders-the fact that one-third of US presidents were raised in the American South, a well-studied example of a culture of honor-provides an opportunity to identify the effects of heightened concern for reputation for resolve. A formal theory that yields several testable predictions while accounting for unobserved selection into disputes is offered. The theory is illustrated through a comparison of presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and systematically tested using matching, permutation inference, and the nonparametric combination of tests. Interstate conflicts under Southern presidents are shown to be twice as likely to involve uses of force, last on average twice as long, and are three times more likely to end in victory for the United States than disputes under non-Southern presidents. Other characteristics of Southern presidencies do not seem able to account for this pattern of results. The results provide evidence that concern for reputation is an important cause of interstate conflict behavior.

---------------------

The Impact of Women Legislators on Humanitarian Military Interventions

Patrick Shea & Charlotte Christian

Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this article, we contend that the current gender and conflict literature ignores the context of military decisions and thus underestimates the support of women for certain types of military interventions. We argue that the issues related to humanitarian crises are likely to provoke support from women. Consequently, as more women enter elected positions in state legislatures, the more likely a state will become involved in a humanitarian military intervention. To test our argument, we compile a data set of humanitarian military interventions and women legislators from 1946 to 2003. A series of estimation approaches and robustness tests support our assertion that more women legislators impact the likelihood that a state will become involved in a humanitarian military intervention. Our research has specific implications on the role of gender in conflict processes and more general implications on the connection between domestic political processes and foreign policy decision making.

---------------------

US nuclear weapons and non-proliferation: Is there a link?

Matthew Kroenig

Journal of Peace Research, March 2016, Pages 166-179

Abstract:
According to a widespread conventional wisdom, there is a link between US nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation and, therefore, in order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to other states, the US government must first make changes to its own nuclear arsenal. This article challenges the notion that US nuclear posture has a significant bearing on the proliferation and non-proliferation behavior of other states. Contrary to the received wisdom in policy circles, this article maintains that state decisions on nuclear non-proliferation issues are driven by a range of other security, economic, and political factors and, once these considerations are taken into account, there is little if any remaining variance to be explained by US nuclear posture. Using a dataset on US nuclear arsenal size from 1945 to 2011, this article examines the relationship between the size of the US nuclear arsenal and a variety of nuclear non-proliferation outcomes. It finds that there is no evidence of a relationship between the size of the US arsenal and: the exploration, pursuit, or acquisition of nuclear weapons by other states; the provision of sensitive nuclear assistance to non-nuclear weapon states; and voting on non-proliferation issues in the United Nations Security Council. The results are robust to alternate conceptualizations and measurements of US nuclear weapons and in various subsamples of data. This article breaks new ground on an empirical research agenda on how the nuclear policies and postures of the major nuclear powers affect the spread of nuclear weapons and has important implications for nuclear security policy.

---------------------

Nuclear Proliferation and the Use of Nuclear Options: Experimental Tests

Kai Quek

Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
The causes and prevention of nuclear war are critical to human survival but difficult to study empirically, as observations of nuclear war do not actually exist in the real world. The literature on nuclear war has remained largely theoretical as a consequence. To circumvent the observational constraint, this article investigates the impact of proliferation with laboratory-based nuclear-option games that experimentally manipulate the number of players (N) with a nuclear option. Results show that decisions are mostly peaceful in the dyadic N = 2 condition despite the existence of nuclear options with a relative first-strike advantage. However, a jump beyond N = 2 in the crisis interaction significantly sharpens the propensity to use the nuclear option. The findings highlight an avenue of research that evaluates mechanisms of nuclear war experimentally, moving research beyond the theoretical domain.

---------------------

Trade Interdependence and the Use of Force: Do Issues Matter?

Sam Bell & Andrew Long

International Interactions, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this project, we investigate the relationship between the use of military force and trade interdependence, suggesting that the influence of trade on militarized conflict varies based on the issue under dispute. For some issues, trade is likely to attenuate the chances that states escalate a dispute to the use of military force, while for others trade can intensify disputes so that military conflict is more likely. Specifically, we hypothesize that greater trade interdependence decreases the probability of military conflict over realpolitik issues like territory. On the other hand, greater trade interdependence increases the probability that states use military force when the issue under dispute concerns the regime, policies, and conditions in the target. To test our hypotheses, we employ new data on dyadic uses of force from the International Military Intervention dataset that records the initiator’s reason(s) for using force against the target. The statistical tests support our hypotheses; trade decreases the use of force against a target for territorial and military/diplomatic reasons, which is consistent with arguments from the liberal paradigm. However, trade interdependence increases the use of force for humanitarian and economic reasons as well as to affect the regime or policy of the target. Thus, our study improves upon current research about the relationship between economic interdependence and foreign policy by specifying a conditional relationship based on the issues under contention.

---------------------

The Effect of US Troop Deployments on Human Rights

Sam Bell, Chad Clay & Carla Martinez Machain

Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
US noninvasion troops deployed abroad often try to promote greater respect for human rights in the host country. The host country, having an incentive to retain the troop presence, may choose to comply with these requests. We argue that this effect will not be at play in states with high security salience for the United States (US) (for which the US may not be able to credibly threaten to remove the troops). In these cases, US deployments will provide the leader with security from both internal and external threats that is independent of the local population’s support for the leader. Host state leaders thus become less reliant on (and potentially less responsive to) their local populations, which in turn may lead to increased human rights violations. In this article, we use data on both US troop deployments abroad and on human rights violations to test these arguments from 1982 to 2005.

---------------------

Ex Tridenti Mercatus? Sea-power and Maritime Trade in the Age of Globalization

Darrell Glaser & Ahmed Rahman

Journal of International Economics, May 2016, Pages 95–111

Abstract:
This paper tests an implication of the hypothesis that hegemons provide increased global stability and thus promote international commerce. Specifically, we measure the influence of naval power projections on global trade during the latter 19th and early 20th centuries, a time of relative peace and robust commercial activity. We use archival data on the navies of Britain, France, the United States and Germany, capturing longitudinal measures of ship deployment, tonnage, and ship personnel. First we develop an empirical naval arms race model, and demonstrate that the navies of Britain and France in particular responded rigorously to each other. We then use our estimates of naval power projected around the world by Britain and France to measure their effects on bilateral trade in a panel-data gravity model. Results indicate that while navies had some positive impact on their own nation’s trade, other nations’ trade suffered. Our results show that rather than bolster globalization, the first global arms race damaged commercial interests and lowered trade potential around the world.

---------------------

Probabilistic Warnings in National Security Crises: Pearl Harbor Revisited

David Blum & Elisabeth Paté-Cornell

Decision Analysis, March 2016, Pages 1-25

Abstract:
Imagine a situation where a group of adversaries is preparing an attack on the United States or U.S. interests. An intelligence analyst has observed some signals, but the situation is rapidly changing. The analyst faces the decision to alert a principal decision maker that an attack is imminent, or to wait until more is known about the situation. This warning decision is based on the analyst’s observation and evaluation of signals, independent or correlated, and on her updating of the prior probabilities of possible scenarios and their outcomes. The warning decision also depends on the analyst’s assessment of the crisis’ dynamics and perception of the preferences of the principal decision maker, as well as the lead time needed for an appropriate response. This article presents a model to support this analyst’s dynamic warning decision. As with most problems involving warning, the key is to manage the tradeoffs between false positives and false negatives given the probabilities and the consequences of intelligence failures of both types. The model is illustrated by revisiting the case of the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It shows that the radio silence of the Japanese fleet carried considerable information (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “dog in the night” problem), which was misinterpreted at the time. Even though the probabilities of different attacks were relatively low, their consequences were such that the Bayesian dynamic reasoning described here may have provided valuable information to key decision makers.

---------------------

The Foreign Intercourse Bill of 1798 and the Debate over Early American Foreign Relations

Robert Smith

Journal of the Early Republic, Spring 2016, Pages 125-149

Abstract:
Between January and March of 1798 the House of Representatives debated the foreign intercourse bill, which would fund the diplomatic corps for the next two years. This was a generally a routine function, but it soon became a wide-ranging debate over the basis nature of American diplomacy, and of the American republic itself. The debate revealed something important about the politics of the 1790s. Given that republics were inherently fragile, even seemingly small matters might destroy the American republic. Both Republicans and Federalists proceeded from this assumption. The debate fell into three broad categories. First was the question of who should be appointed. The Republicans accused President Adams of using additional diplomatic appointments as a vehicle to create a patronage machine that would corrupt Congress. The Federalists that countered that amount of patronage available was insignificant, and that that the president was justified in excluding Republicans from office. Second was the question of who should control the appointments. This led back to the control of American foreign policy. The Republicans argued for congressional control through the appropriation and war powers. The Federalists contended for presidential control through the treaty and appointment powers. Third was the question of whether diplomats should be appointed at all. The Republicans believed that trade would allow the United States to secure its diplomatic goals without recourse to the normal institutions of diplomacy. The Republicans considered the United States as existing outside the European balance of power. The Federalists saw no choice but to play by the generally established rules, and thus must appoint diplomats.

---------------------

The short- and long-run relationship between the illicit drug business and terrorism

Daniel Meierrieks & Friedrich Schneider

Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study the effect of the illicit drug business on terrorism for a sample of 58 countries for the 1984–2007 period. Consistent with the notion of a crime-terror nexus, we find that in the long run, higher drug prices are associated with more terrorism. In the short run, however, increases in drug prices lead to less terrorism, potentially because terrorist groups respond to higher drug business attractiveness by prioritizing criminal over terrorist activity.

---------------------

Why terrorists target children: Outbidding, desperation, and extremism in the Peshawar and Beslan school massacres

Yelena Biberman & Farhan Zahid

Terrorism and Political Violence, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why do terrorists engage in behavior that is extreme even by their own admission — killing children? This behavior poses a major puzzle to our understanding of terrorism, but it has been surprisingly underexplored. This article addresses the question of why terrorists intentionally target children with a comparative study of the two deadliest attacks in which children were deliberately targeted by a militant organization: the Peshawar (2014) and Beslan (2004) school massacres. The article identifies two factors that increase the likelihood that a terrorist group will target children. The first is the presence of internal rifts within an already highly violent organization. This is likely to trigger outbidding and, thus, result in more brutal attacks. The second is existentially threatening external pressure, which seriously weakens the group and, thus, leads it to select soft and shocking targets, such as schools. The findings are based on evidence drawn from primary and secondary sources, including interviews conducted in Peshawar and Islamabad, Pakistan, and Moscow, Russia.

---------------------

They see us as less than human: Metadehumanization predicts intergroup conflict via reciprocal dehumanization

Nour Kteily, Gordon Hodson & Emile Bruneau

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, March 2016, Pages 343-370

Abstract:
Although the act of dehumanizing an outgroup is a pervasive and potent intergroup process that drives discrimination and conflict, no formal research has examined the consequences of being dehumanized by an outgroup — that is, “metadehumanization.” Across 10 studies (N = 3,440) involving several real-world conflicts spanning 3 continents, we provide the first empirical evidence that metadehumanization (a) plays a central role in outgroup aggression that is (b) mediated by outgroup dehumanization, and (c) distinct from metaprejudice. Studies 1a and 1b demonstrate experimentally that Americans who learn that Arabs (Study 1a) or Muslims (Study 1b) blatantly dehumanize Americans are more likely to dehumanize that outgroup in return; by contrast, experimentally increasing outgroup dehumanization did not increase metadehumanization (Study 1c). Using correlational data, Study 2 documents indirect effects of metadehumanization on Americans’ support for aggressive policies toward Arabs (e.g., torture) via Arab dehumanization. In the context of Hungarians and ethnic minority Roma, Study 3 shows that the pathway for Hungarians from metadehumanization to aggression through outgroup dehumanization holds controlling for outgroup prejudice. Study 4 examines Israelis’ metaperceptions with respect to Palestinians, showing that: (a) feeling dehumanized (i.e., metadehumanization) is distinct from feeling disliked (i.e., metaprejudice), and (b) metadehumanization uniquely influences aggression through outgroup dehumanization, controlling for metaprejudice. Studies 5a and 5b explore Americans’ metaperceptions regarding ISIS and Iran. We document a dehumanization-specific pathway from metadehumanization to aggressive attitudes and behavior that is distinct from the path from metaprejudice through prejudice to aggression. In Study 6, American participants learning that Muslims humanize Americans (i.e., metahumanization) humanize Muslims in turn. Finally, Study 7 experimentally contrasts metadehumanization and metahumanization primes, and shows that resulting differences in outgroup dehumanization are mediated by (a) perceived identity threat, and (b) a general desire to reciprocate the outgroup’s perceptions of the ingroup. In summary, our research outlines how and why metadehumanization contributes to cycles of ongoing violence and animosity, providing direction for future research and policy.

---------------------

Living in a Genetic World: How Learning About Interethnic Genetic Similarities and Differences Affects Peace and Conflict

Sasha Kimel et al.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, May 2016, Pages 688-700

Abstract:
Information about the degree of one’s genetic overlap with ethnic outgroups has been emphasized in genocides, is frequently learned about through media reporting, and is increasingly being accessed via personal genetic testing services. However, the consequence of learning about whether your own ethnic group is either genetically related to or genetically distinct from a disliked ethnic group remains unknown. Across four experiments, using diverse samples, measures and contexts, we demonstrate that altering perceptions of genetic overlap between groups in conflict — in this case Arabs and Jews — impacts factors that are directly related to interethnic hostility (e.g., aggressive behaviors, support of conflict-related policies). Our findings indicate that learning about the genetic difference between oneself and an ethnic outgroup may contribute to the promotion of violence, whereas learning about the similarities may be a vital step toward fostering peace in some contexts. Possible interventions and implications are discussed.

---------------------

The impact of US sanctions on poverty

Matthias Neuenkirch & Florian Neumeier

Journal of Development Economics, July 2016, Pages 110–119

Abstract:
In this paper, we analyze the effect of US economic sanctions on the target countries' poverty gap during the period 1982–2011. Econometrically, we employ a matching approach to account for differences in the countries' economic and political environment and the likelihood of being exposed to US sanctions. Our results indicate that US sanctions are adversely affecting those living in poverty as we observe a 3.8 percentage point (pp) larger poverty gap in sanctioned countries compared to a control group that is as close as possible in terms of observable pretreatment characteristics. In addition, we show that the impact of sanctions on poverty (i) increases with the severity of sanctions, (ii) is larger for multilateral sanctions than for unilateral sanctions imposed by only the United States, and (iii) is long-lasting as the poverty gap increases over the first 21 years of a sanction regime.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ancient history

Ritual human sacrifice promoted and sustained the evolution of stratified societies

Joseph Watts et al.

Nature, forthcoming

Abstract:
Evidence for human sacrifice is found throughout the archaeological record of early civilizations, the ethnographic records of indigenous world cultures, and the texts of the most prolific contemporary religions. According to the social control hypothesis, human sacrifice legitimizes political authority and social class systems, functioning to stabilize such social stratification. Support for the social control hypothesis is largely limited to historical anecdotes of human sacrifice, where the causal claims have not been subject to rigorous quantitative cross-cultural tests. Here we test the social control hypothesis by applying Bayesian phylogenetic methods to a geographically and socially diverse sample of 93 traditional Austronesian cultures. We find strong support for models in which human sacrifice stabilizes social stratification once stratification has arisen, and promotes a shift to strictly inherited class systems. Whilst evolutionary theories of religion have focused on the functionality of prosocial and moral beliefs, our results reveal a darker link between religion and the evolution of modern hierarchical societies.

---------------------

Bigger Brains Led to Bigger Bodies?: The Correlated Evolution of Human Brain and Body Size

Mark Grabowski

Current Anthropology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Most investigations of hominin brain and body size evolution assume that different selection pressures acted on each trait or that brain and body size are linked physiologically via the energetic demands of large brains. However, evidence from model organisms suggests that some genes cause variation in both brain and body size, with the result that selection on either trait can lead to a correlated response in the unselected trait. If brain and body size covariation exists in our lineage, correlated evolution could mean that changes observed in the fossil record are poor predictors of past selection pressures that produced those changes. This study shows that modern humans, chimpanzees, and all primates included here have significant and roughly similar levels of evolutionary constraints from brain and body size covariance, arguing that similar levels were present in earlier hominins. Building on these findings, results suggest that strong selection to increase brain size alone played a large role in both brain and body size increases throughout human evolution and may have been solely responsible for the major increase in both traits that occurred during the transition to Homo erectus. This switch in emphasis has major implications for adaptive hypotheses on the origins of our genus.

---------------------

Ancient mitochondrial DNA provides high-resolution time scale of the peopling of the Americas

Bastien Llamas et al.

Science Advances, April 2016

Abstract:
The exact timing, route, and process of the initial peopling of the Americas remains uncertain despite much research. Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of humans as far as southern Chile by 14.6 thousand years ago (ka), shortly after the Pleistocene ice sheets blocking access from eastern Beringia began to retreat. Genetic estimates of the timing and route of entry have been constrained by the lack of suitable calibration points and low genetic diversity of Native Americans. We sequenced 92 whole mitochondrial genomes from pre-Columbian South American skeletons dating from 8.6 to 0.5 ka, allowing a detailed, temporally calibrated reconstruction of the peopling of the Americas in a Bayesian coalescent analysis. The data suggest that a small population entered the Americas via a coastal route around 16.0 ka, following previous isolation in eastern Beringia for ~2.4 to 9 thousand years after separation from eastern Siberian populations. Following a rapid movement throughout the Americas, limited gene flow in South America resulted in a marked phylogeographic structure of populations, which persisted through time. All of the ancient mitochondrial lineages detected in this study were absent from modern data sets, suggesting a high extinction rate. To investigate this further, we applied a novel principal components multiple logistic regression test to Bayesian serial coalescent simulations. The analysis supported a scenario in which European colonization caused a substantial loss of pre-Columbian lineages.

---------------------

Impact of meat and Lower Palaeolithic food processing techniques on chewing in humans

Katherine Zink & Daniel Lieberman

Nature, 24 March 2016, Pages 500-503

Abstract:
The origins of the genus Homo are murky, but by H. erectus, bigger brains and bodies had evolved that, along with larger foraging ranges, would have increased the daily energetic requirements of hominins. Yet H. erectus differs from earlier hominins in having relatively smaller teeth, reduced chewing muscles, weaker maximum bite force capabilities, and a relatively smaller gut. This paradoxical combination of increased energy demands along with decreased masticatory and digestive capacities is hypothesized to have been made possible by adding meat to the diet, by mechanically processing food using stone tools, or by cooking. Cooking, however, was apparently uncommon until 500,000 years ago, and the effects of carnivory and Palaeolithic processing techniques on mastication are unknown. Here we report experiments that tested how Lower Palaeolithic processing technologies affect chewing force production and efficacy in humans consuming meat and underground storage organs (USOs). We find that if meat comprised one-third of the diet, the number of chewing cycles per year would have declined by nearly 2 million (a 13% reduction) and total masticatory force required would have declined by 15%. Furthermore, by simply slicing meat and pounding USOs, hominins would have improved their ability to chew meat into smaller particles by 41%, reduced the number of chews per year by another 5%, and decreased masticatory force requirements by an additional 12%. Although cooking has important benefits, it appears that selection for smaller masticatory features in Homo would have been initially made possible by the combination of using stone tools and eating meat.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Mean

Incivility hates company: Shared incivility attenuates rumination, stress, and psychological withdrawal by reducing self-blame

P. Schilpzand, K. Leavitt & S. Lim

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, March 2016, Pages 33–44

Abstract:
Although episodes of workplace incivility can lead to deleterious personal and performance outcomes, we suggest that differences in how incivility is experienced (i.e., as a singled-out target, or in the company of another who is also treated uncivilly) can have significant impact on the cognitions and behaviors that follow uncivil treatment. Drawing from Sociometer Theory, we test the notion that sharing the experience of incivility with another target can greatly diminish individual-level harm, and demonstrate that causal beliefs related to self-blame mediate consequent downstream effects. Using an experimental design within a team task environment, we found that experiencing incivility from a team member increased participants’ rumination about mistreatment, task-related stress levels, and psychological withdrawal behavior. Moreover, we found support for conditional indirect effects, such that viewing mistreatment of a fellow team member at the hands of the same uncivil team member (shared incivility) attenuates the harmful effects of incivility, by reducing self-blame.

---------------------

A Higher-Than-Average Female Voice Can Cause Young Adult Female Listeners to Think About Aggression More

Jinguang Zhang

Journal of Language and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research found that speakers with more attractive voices receive more favorable evaluations (aka the vocal attractiveness stereotype). But sexual selection theory predicts that, to the extent that men perceive women with higher pitched voices as more attractive, women will be more hostile toward those women because they make more threatening mate rivals. Supporting this hypothesis, Study 1 (N = 102) showed that female participants higher in trait dominance displayed heightened aggressive cognition after being primed with a romantic (but not a control) feeling and listening to a higher- but not lower-than-average female voice. Study 2 (N = 111) showed that this heightened aggressive cognition was activated by a long-term but not a short-term mating motive. These findings supported sexual selection theory, challenged the vocal attractiveness stereotype, and suggested a mechanism that helps maintain the honesty of female voice pitch as a mate attraction signal.

---------------------

Excluded From All Humanity: Animal Metaphors Exacerbate the Consequences of Social Exclusion

Luca Andrighetto et al.

Journal of Language and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Past research suggested that — from the perspective of perpetrators — animal metaphors are a powerful means to reinforce social exclusion and to foster hostile behaviors against the targets of social exclusion. In the current work, we focus on the consequences of this dehumanizing form of social exclusion from the perspective of victims. In two studies, we manipulated the presence of animal metaphors in a variety of contexts of interpersonal social exclusion. Our results showed that when social exclusion is associated with animal metaphors, its consequences are exacerbated. In particular, labelling targets of social exclusion as animals indirectly caused them to display more aggressive tendencies compared with when they are labelled with corresponding offending, but nondehumanizing, attributes. Crucially, this increased aggressiveness was mediated by higher perceptions of being treated (Study 1) or viewed (Study 2) by others as animal-like. Overall, our research showed the detrimental effects of the interplay between social exclusion and animal metaphors from the perspective of victims.

---------------------

Intranasal Administration of Oxytocin Increases Human Aggressive Behavior

R. Ne’eman et al.

Hormones and Behavior, April 2016, Pages 125–131

Abstract:
Considering its role in prosocial behaviors, oxytocin (OT) has been suggested to diminish levels of aggression. Nevertheless, recent findings indicate that oxytocin may have a broader influence on increasing the salience of social stimuli and may therefore, under certain circumstances, increase antisocial behaviors such as aggression. This controversy led to the following speculations: If indeed oxytocin promotes primarily prosocial behavior, administration of OT is expected to diminish levels of aggression. However, if oxytocin mainly acts to increase the salience of social stimuli, it is expected to elevate levels of aggression following provocation. In order to test this assumption we used the Social Orientation Paradigm (SOP), a monetary game played against a fictitious partner that allows measuring three types of responses in the context of provocation: an aggressive response – reducing a point from the fictitious partner, an individualistic response – adding a point to oneself, and a collaborative response – adding half a point to the partner and half a point to oneself. In the current double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject study design, 45 participants completed the SOP task following the administration of oxytocin or placebo. The results indicated that among subjects naïve to the procedure oxytocin increased aggressive responses in comparison with placebo. These results support the saliency hypothesis of oxytocin and suggest that oxytocin plays a complex role in the modulation of human behavior.

---------------------

Drawn to danger: Trait anger predicts automatic approach behaviour to angry faces

Lotte Veenstra et al.

Cognition and Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Most people automatically withdraw from socially threatening situations. However, people high in trait anger could be an exception to this rule, and may even display an eagerness to approach hostile situations. To test this hypothesis, we asked 118 participants to complete an approach-avoidance task, in which participants made approach or avoidance movements towards faces with an angry or happy expression, and a direct or averted eye gaze. As expected, higher trait anger predicted faster approach (than avoidance) movements towards angry faces. Crucially, this effect occurred only for angry faces with a direct eye gaze, presumably because they pose a specific social threat, in contrast to angry faces with an averted gaze. No parallel effects were observed for happy faces, indicating that the effects of trait anger were specific to hostile stimuli. These findings suggest that people high in trait anger may automatically approach hostile interaction partners.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, April 8, 2016

Work in progress

Does Employment Protection Raise Stress? A Cross-Country and Cross-Province Analysis

Nicolas Lepage-Saucier & Etienne Wasmer

Journal of Human Capital, Spring 2016, Pages 33-66

Abstract:
This paper investigates the effects of employment protection legislation (EPL) on workers' stress and well-being. EPL increases job security, but it may also have adverse effects on workers, even in partial equilibrium: costly separations may induce firms to exert pressure on workers or raise the intensity of monitoring. Using several individual surveys, we obtain positive and significant effects of EPL on stress in high-turnover sectors relative to low-turnover sectors, with causal interpretation. As to the net effect of EPL, it raises workers' stress in high-turnover sectors while it generally reduces it in lower-turnover sectors.

---------------------

'No More Credit Score': Employer Credit Check Bans and Signal Substitution

Daniel Shoag & Robert Clifford

Harvard Working Paper, February 2016

Abstract:
In the past decade, most states have banned or have considered banning the use of credit checks in hiring decisions, a screening tool that is widely used by employers. Using new Equifax data on employer credit checks, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, and the LEHD Origin-Destination Employment data, we show that these bans increased employment of residents in the lowest credit score areas. The largest gains occurred in higher-paying jobs and in the government-sector. At the same time, using a large database of job postings, we show that employers increased their demands for other signals of applicants' job performance, like education and experience. On net, the changes induced by these bans generate relatively worse outcomes for those with mid-to-low credit scores, for those under 22 years old, and for Blacks, groups commonly thought to benefit from such legislation.

---------------------

The State of American Entrepreneurship: New Estimates of the Quantity and Quality of Entrepreneurship for 15 US States, 1988-2014

Jorge Guzman & Scott Stern

NBER Working Paper, March 2016

Abstract:
While official measures of business dynamism have seen a long-term decline, early-stage venture financing of new companies has reached levels not observed since the late 1990s, resulting in a sharp debate about the state of American entrepreneurship. Building on Guzman and Stern (2015a; 2015b), this paper offers new evidence to inform this debate by estimating measures of entrepreneurial quality based on predictive analytics and comprehensive business registries. Our estimates suggest that the probability of a significant growth outcome (either an IPO or high-value acquisition) is highly skewed and predicted by observables at or near the time of business registration: 69% of realized growth events are in the top 5% of our estimated growth distribution. This high level of skewness motivates the development of three new economic statistics that simultaneously account for both the quantity as well as the quality of entrepreneurship: the Entrepreneurial Quality Index (EQI, measuring the average quality level among a group of start-ups within a given cohort), the Regional Entrepreneurship Cohort Potential Index (RECPI, measuring the growth potential of firms founded within a given region and time period) and the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Index (REAI, measuring the performance of a region over time in realizing the potential of firms founded there). We use these statistics to establish several new findings about the history and state of US entrepreneurship using data for 15 states (covering 51% of the overall US economy) from 1988 through 2014. First, in contrast the secular decline in the aggregate quantity of entrepreneurship observed in series such as the Business Dynamic Statistics (BDS), the growth potential of start-up companies (RECPI relative to GDP) has followed a cyclical pattern that seems sensitive to the capital market environment and overall economic conditions. Second, while the peak value of RECPI is recorded in 2000, the level during the first decade during this century was actually higher than the late 1980s and first half of the 1990s, and also has experienced a sharp upward swing beginning in 2010. Even after controlling for changes in the overall size of the economy, the second highest level of entrepreneurial growth potential is registered in 2014. Third, the likelihood of start-up firms for a given quality level to realize their potential (REAI) declined sharply in the late 1990s, and did not recover through 2008. These findings suggest that divergent assessments of the state of American entrepreneurship can potentially be reconciled by explicitly adopting a quantitative approach to the measurement of entrepreneurial quality.

---------------------

When Is a Good Time to Raise the Minimum Wage?

Samuel Lundstrom

Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
I analyze changes in the target efficiency of the federal minimum wage over the past 25 years. Using static simulation methods I find that minimum wage target efficiency is currently close to its 25-year peak - of the total monetary benefits generated by a 12% increase in the federal minimum wage, 16.8% would flow to workers in poverty. This exceeds the least target efficient year over this period by 4.7 percentage points and is only 0.6 percentage points below the peak. Furthermore, I find a very strong positive relationship between minimum wage target efficiency and the real federal minimum wage. The implication is that, from an efficiency standpoint, a good time to raise the minimum wage is when it is already high. This discovery raises the possibility that the minimum wage increases the employment of low-skilled poor individuals relative to the employment of low-skilled non-poor individuals. Moreover, this discovery may bolster the rationale for an indexed minimum wage whereby it is prevented from falling to less efficient levels.

---------------------

Promises Unfulfilled: Right-to-Work's Early Economic Track Record in Indiana

Frank Manzo

Labor Studies Journal, December 2015, Pages 379-395

Abstract:
This article examines the early economic track record of Indiana's "right-to-work" (RTW) law on labor market outcomes. It analyzes various labor market metrics to compare the experience in Indiana relative to nine neighboring states, as well as to the United States in the aggregate. Data are analyzed both 36 months before and 36 months after Indiana passed RTW. Initial "difference-in-difference" estimates find that the labor market performance of Indiana has not surpassed that of neighboring states following passage of the law, contrary to the claims promised by its proponents. Wage and employment growth in Indiana's construction industry, in particular, has fallen significantly behind the rest of the region. Regression analyses are subsequently performed, which conclude that RTW's unique effect has been to lower hourly wages in the state economy by 1.1 to 1.5 percent on average and have little to no impact on employment. The combination of effects results in state income tax revenues that are annually $16 to $52 million lower than they would be in the absence of the RTW policy.

---------------------

Family Background And Contemporary Changes In Young Adults' School-Work Transitions And Family Formation In The United States

Chelsea Smith, Robert Crosnoe & Shih-Yi Chao

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, forthcoming

Abstract:
The oft-discussed lengthening of the transition into adulthood is unlikely uniform across diverse segments of the population. This study followed youth in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and 1997 cohorts (n = 12,686 and 8,984, respectively) from 16 to 32 years old to investigate this trend in the United States, examining cross-cohort changes in transitions with a focus on differences by family background. Logistic regressions revealed that young adults in the most recent cohort were less likely to have completed schooling, fully entered the labor force, married, or become parents by their 30s than those in the older cohort. The cross-cohort drop in young adults completing schooling was more pronounced among youth from more disadvantaged family backgrounds, the drop in entering the labor force and having children was more pronounced among those from more advantaged backgrounds, and the drop in marriage did not differ by family background.

---------------------

The Shifting Job Tenure Distribution

Henry Hyatt & James Spletzer

U.S. Census Bureau Working Paper, February 2016

Abstract:
There has been a shift in the U.S. job tenure distribution toward longer-duration jobs since 2000. This change is apparent both in the tenure supplements to the Current Population Survey and the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics matched employer-employee data. A substantial portion of these changes are caused by the ageing of the workforce and the decline in the entry rate of new employer businesses. We show that the tenure distribution is a function of historical hiring rates and tenure-specific separation rates, and we use this framework to show that the shift in the tenure distribution is accounted for primarily by declines in the hiring rate, which are concentrated in the labor market downturns associated with the 2001 and 2007-2009 recessions. We also find that the increase in average real earnings since 2007 is less than what would be predicted by the shift toward longer-tenure jobs; this reflects declines in tenure-held-constant real earnings. Regression estimates of the returns to job tenure provide no evidence that the shift in the job tenure distribution is being driven by better matches between workers and employers.

---------------------

The Employment Impact of Motor Vehicle Assembly Plant Openings

Brian Adams

Regional Science and Urban Economics, May 2016, Pages 57-70

Abstract:
Local governments often offer motor vehicle assembly plants large subsidies to locate in their jurisdiction. A frequent justification is that an assembly plant will attract upstream parts suppliers to locate nearby and provide manufacturing jobs. Using propensity score matching, I find that an assembly plant brings an average of 500 additional parts suppliers jobs beyond the employment gains the region would have experienced without the assembly plant. This increase is far less than predicted by the input-output models that state development agencies often employ.

---------------------

Government Old-Age Support and Labor Supply: Evidence from the Old Age Assistance Program

Daniel Fetter & Lee Lockwood

NBER Working Paper, March 2016

Abstract:
Many major government programs transfer resources to older people and implicitly or explicitly tax their labor. In this paper, we shed new light on the labor supply effects of such programs by investigating the Old Age Assistance Program (OAA), a means-tested and state-administered pension program created by the Social Security Act of 1935. Using newly available Census data on the entire US population in 1940, we exploit the large differences in OAA programs across states to estimate the labor supply effects of OAA. Our estimates imply that OAA reduced the labor force participation rate among men aged 65-74 by 5.7 percentage points, nearly half of its 1930-40 decline. Estimating a structural model of labor supply, we find that the welfare costs to recipients of the high tax rates implicit in OAA's earnings test were quite small. Predictions based on our reduced-form estimates and our estimated model both suggest that Social Security could account for at least half of the large decline in late-life work from 1940 to 1960.

---------------------

Local Labor Market Conditions and the Federal Disability Insurance Program: New Evidence from the Bakken Oil Boom

Mallory Vachon

LSU Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
The Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program is the largest income replacement program in the United States for non-elderly adults. Growth in the DI program since the 1970s coincided with a well-documented decline in wages and labor force participation of low-skilled workers. Since DI is more attractive as outside options decline, a key question in labor and public economics is the extent to which secular changes in the labor market have led to increases in DI program participation. In this paper, I exploit an exogenous positive labor demand shock caused by a boom in oil production in the Bakken formation covering parts of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota to estimate the impact of earnings growth on DI payments and participation. Using the value of county oil reserves as an instrument for earnings, my estimates suggest a strong negative relationship between local economic conditions and DI payments and participation. I find an elasticity of DI payments with respect to local earnings of -1 and an elasticity of DI participation with respect to earnings of -0.7.

---------------------

Penalized or Protected? Gender and the Consequences of Nonstandard and Mismatched Employment Histories

David Pedulla

American Sociological Review, April 2016, Pages 262-289

Abstract:
Millions of workers are employed in positions that deviate from the full-time, standard employment relationship or work in jobs that are mismatched with their skills, education, or experience. Yet, little is known about how employers evaluate workers who have experienced these employment arrangements, limiting our knowledge about how part-time work, temporary agency employment, and skills underutilization affect workers' labor market opportunities. Drawing on original field and survey experiment data, I examine three questions: (1) What are the consequences of having a nonstandard or mismatched employment history for workers' labor market opportunities? (2) Are the effects of nonstandard or mismatched employment histories different for men and women? and (3) What are the mechanisms linking nonstandard or mismatched employment histories to labor market outcomes? The field experiment shows that skills underutilization is as scarring for workers as a year of unemployment, but that there are limited penalties for workers with histories of temporary agency employment. Additionally, although men are penalized for part-time employment histories, women face no penalty for part-time work. The survey experiment reveals that employers' perceptions of workers' competence and commitment mediate these effects. These findings shed light on the consequences of changing employment relations for the distribution of labor market opportunities in the "new economy."

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Her chance

The Effect on Lawyers Income of Gender Information Contained in First Names

Bentley Coffey & Patrick McLaughlin

Review of Law & Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We test the Portia Hypothesis – that a more masculine name improves a woman’s legal career – using primary data that we collected so that we can control for an arguably important, but previously omitted, confounding factor: the woman’s parents. In theory, a correlation between nominal masculinity and success may be due to a common cause: parents’ ability to advance their children’s career prospects and the more able parents having an irrelevant preference for masculine names. We control for the family’s wealth by using their child’s educational debt at the time of graduating from law school and for the family’s reputation, within the legal profession, by using the probability of being a lawyer conditional upon their last name. We find robust evidence that a more masculine name improves a woman’s earnings as a lawyer, even when we control for her parents’ wealth and reputation.

---------------------

Desirable but not smart: Preference for smarter romantic partners impairs women's STEM outcomes

Lora Park et al.

Journal of Applied Social Psychology, March 2016, Pages 158–179

Abstract:
Although women today excel in many areas of society, they are often underrepresented in the traditionally male-dominated fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The present research examined whether traditional romantic partner preferences — specifically, a desire to date partners who are smarter than oneself — affects women's tendency to minimize their intelligence in STEM fields when pursuing romantic goals. Women (but not men) who preferred smarter romantic partners showed worse math performance (Studies 1–2), less identification with math (Study 2), and less interest in STEM careers (Study 3) when the goal to be romantically desirable was activated. A meta-analysis across studies supported results. This research thus demonstrates that partner preferences influence women's STEM outcomes in response to romantic goal pursuit.

---------------------

The Performance of Female Hedge Fund Managers

Rajesh Aggarwal & Nicole Boyson

Review of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using data for the period 1994-2013, we examine the return and risk-taking behavior of hedge funds having at least one female portfolio manager and funds that have all female portfolio managers. Funds with all female managers perform no differently than all male-managed funds and have similar risk profiles. For single style funds, those with mixed teams of both genders underperform male-only funds on both a raw and risk-adjusted basis, although mixed funds incur less risk and their Sharpe ratios do not differ. For funds of funds, both all-female and mixed funds have similar performance to male-managed funds. We then consider the failure rate across all fund styles. Funds with at least one female manager fail at higher rates, driven by difficulty in raising capital – these funds are smaller and are less likely to be closed to new investment. Surviving funds with at least one female manager have better performance than male-managed surviving funds, consistent with the idea that female managers need to perform better for their funds to survive. Yet, female-managed surviving funds have fewer assets under management than surviving male-managed funds. Using media mentions as a proxy for investor interest, female-managed funds receive proportionately less attention. Our results suggest that there are no inherent differences in skill between female and male managers, but that only the best performing female managers manage to survive.

---------------------

Why and When Does the Gender Gap Reverse? Diversity Goals and the Pay Premium for High Potential Women

Lisa Leslie, Colleen Manchester & Patricia Dahm

Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Abundant research documents a gender pay gap; women earn less than men, all else being equal. Against the backdrop of an overall female penalty, we propose that the widespread adoption of diversity goals in organizations creates a female premium for certain women. We integrate the economic principle of supply and demand with theory from the field of strategic human resource management and theorize that individuals perceive high potential women — who have the abilities needed to reach the upper echelons of organizations, where women remain underrepresented — as more valuable for achieving organizational diversity goals than high potential men and, in turn, reward them with higher pay. Two field studies (Studies 1 & 3) and two laboratory experiments (Studies 2 & 4) reveal a female premium that is unique to high potential women (Studies 1 & 2), driven by perceptions that high potential women have more diversity value than high potential men (Studies 2 & 4), and larger in contexts where diversity goals are stronger (Studies 3 & 4). Our theory and findings challenge the assumption that the gender pay gap uniformly disadvantages women and offer new insight into why and when the female penalty reverses and becomes a female premium.

---------------------

CEO gender, corporate risk-taking, and the efficiency of capital allocation

Mara Faccio, Maria-Teresa Marchica & Roberto Mura

Journal of Corporate Finance, forthcoming

Abstract:
We extend the literature on how managerial traits relate to corporate choices by documenting that firms run by female CEOs have lower leverage, less volatile earnings, and a higher chance of survival than otherwise similar firms run by male CEOs. Additionally, transitions from male to female CEOs (or vice-versa) are associated with economically and statistically significant reductions (increases) in corporate risk-taking. The results are robust to controlling for the endogenous matching between firms and CEOs using a variety of econometric techniques. We further document that this risk-avoidance behavior appears to lead to distortions in the capital allocation process. These results potentially have important macroeconomic implications for long-term economic growth.

---------------------

Equal Opportunity? Gender Gaps in CEO Appointments and Executive Pay

Matti Keloharju, Samuli Knüpfer & Joacim Tåg

Harvard Working Paper, February 2016

Abstract:
This paper uses exceptionally rich data on Swedish corporate executives and their personal characteristics to study gender gaps in CEO appointments and pay. Both gaps are sizeable: 18% for CEO appointments and 27% for pay. At most one-eighth of the gaps can be attributed to observable gender differences in executives’ and their firms’ characteristics. Further tests suggest that unobservable gender differences in characteristics are unlikely to account for the remaining gaps. Instead, our results are consistent with the view that male and female executives sharing equal attributes neither have equal opportunities to reach the top, nor are they equally paid.

---------------------

Differences in the Eyes of the Beholders: The Roles of Subjective and Objective Judgments in Sexual Harassment Claims

Katherine Kimble et al.

Law and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
In 2 studies, we found support for current sexual harassment jurisprudence. Currently, the courts use a 2-prong test to determine the viability of a sexual harassment claim: that the adverse treatment is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter conditions of employment based on a protected class from the perspective of the individual complainant (subjective prong) and from the perspective of a reasonable person (objective prong). In Experiment 1, trained male undergraduate research assistants administered sequential objectifying gazes and comments to undergraduate female research participants. We found that the pervasive objectification delivered by multiple men (compared with 1 man) did not elicit more negative emotion or harm the experiencers’ task performance, although it did lead them to make increased judgments of sexual harassment. In Experiment 2, observers (who viewed a recording of an experiencer’s interactions with the male research assistants) and predictors (who read a protocol describing the facts of the interaction) anticipated the female targets would experience negative emotions, show impaired performance, as well as find more evidence in the interaction of sexual harassment. Observers’ judgments mirrored those of the experiencers’ while predictors’ judgments demonstrated affective forecasting errors. Predictors were more likely to anticipate more negative emotion, worse performance, and greater likelihood of sexual harassment. Overall, these studies demonstrate the impact and importance of considering perceptions of sexual harassment from multiple perspectives and viewpoints.

---------------------

A burden for the boys: Evidence of stereotype threat in boys' reading performance

Pascal Pansu et al.

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2016, Pages 26–30

Abstract:
There is ample evidence that Stereotype Threat (ST) contributes to gender differences favoring males on standardized math tests; however, whether ST also contributes to gender differences favoring females in reading remains unanswered. This is surprising as the gender gap in reading is three times bigger than the gender gap in math (OECD, 2014). In this study, we examined whether ST may explain gender differences favoring schoolgirls in reading, assuming that boys are negatively stereotyped in this domain. Eighty students (3rd grade) took a reading test while being assigned to either a threat or a reduced-threat condition (test presented as diagnostic of reading abilities versus as a game, respectively). Boys underperformed girls in the threat condition, whereas they outperformed girls in the reduced-threat condition. Consistent with ST theory, this pattern was obtained only among highly-identified students. These findings offer another explanation for the well-known gender gap favoring girls in reading.

---------------------

Does Gender Diversity Promote Nonconformity?

Makan Amini et al.

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Failure to express minority views may distort the behavior of company boards, committees, juries, and other decision-making bodies. Devising a new experimental procedure to measure such conformity in a judgment task, we compare the degree of conformity in groups with varying gender composition. Overall, our experiments offer little evidence that gender composition affects expression of minority views. A robust finding is that a subject’s lack of ability predicts both a true propensity to accept others’ judgment (informational social influence) and a propensity to agree despite private doubt (normative social influence). Thus, as an antidote to conformity in our experiments, high individual ability seems more effective than group diversity.

---------------------

The dwindling Winter Olympic divide between male and female athletes: The NBC broadcast network’s primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games

Paul MacArthur et al.

Sport in Society, forthcoming

Abstract:
All 63 h of the National Broadcasting Company’s (NBC) scheduled primetime coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic broadcast were analyzed revealing significant sex-based trends. Women athletes received 47.7% of the clock-time on the broadcast, more than in any other Winter Olympiad examined, and significantly more than in the previous four Winter Olympic Games. Women received 41.7% of the mentions in the broadcast and comprised 45% of the top-20 most mentioned athletes. Sex-based divergences in dialogues surrounding attributions of success were found, but none were detected for attributions of failure. Sex-based differences were also found in descriptions of personality/physicality. Contextualization is offered related to other intervening factors such as US medal successes by sex, celebrity and salient storylines surrounding American athletes.

---------------------

Who You Know in Hollywood: A Network Analysis of Television Writers

Patricia Phalen, Thomas Ksiazek & Jacob Garber

Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Winter 2016, Pages 160-170

Abstract:
“It’s who you know, not what you know,” is a familiar phrase — often repeated by professionals in Hollywood. The present study focuses on “who knows who” among Hollywood television writers. Using network analysis, this exploratory study identifies the degree of centralization and types of connections found in this elite writers’ network. Results show a great deal of collaboration in the network, and while male writers are more connected overall in Hollywood, women are more likely to be brokers — a structurally advantageous position. The authors provide explanations for collaboration patterns, especially with regard to gender differences in network roles, and propose avenues for further research.

---------------------

Aggregate Effects of Gender Gaps in the Labor Market: A Quantitative Estimate

David Cuberes & Marc Teignier

Journal of Human Capital, Spring 2016, Pages 1-32

Abstract:
This paper examines the quantitative effects of gender gaps in entrepreneurship and workforce participation. We simulate an occupational choice model with heterogeneous agents in entrepreneurial ability. Gender gaps in entrepreneurship affect negatively both income and aggregate productivity, since they reduce the entrepreneurs’ average talent. Specifically, the expected income loss from excluding 5 percent of women is 2.5 percent, while the loss is 10 percent if they are all employers. We find that gender gaps cause an average income loss of 15 percent in the OECD, 40 percent of which is due to entrepreneurship gaps. Extending the model to developing countries, we obtain substantially higher losses, with significant variation across regions.

---------------------

STEM Stereotypic Attribution Bias Among Women in an Unwelcoming Science Setting

Jennifer LaCosse, Denise Sekaquaptewa & Jill Bennett

Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) stereotypic attribution bias (SSAB) is the tendency to spontaneously generate external attributions for men’s setbacks in STEM fields and to spontaneously make internal attributions for women’s setbacks in STEM fields. Among samples of undergraduate STEM students, STEM settings perceived as unwelcoming to women through self-report (Study 1) and a manipulation (Study 2) were shown to predict SSAB. Among undergraduate women, experiencing the negative treatment of other women in a science setting predicted SSAB, which was negatively correlated with feelings of belonging in STEM (Study 1) and with intentions to continue in STEM after graduation (Studies 1 and 2). Research materials (i.e., data, measures, materials, etc.) used in both studies will be made available upon request to either of first two authors. The results of our studies suggest that those interested in increasing retention of women in STEM majors should develop strategies designed to reduce internal attributions for women’s setbacks among women facing negative STEM environments and cultivate a more positive climate for women in STEM fields.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


Previous   22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42   Next


RSS Subscribe to this feed