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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Blessed and cursed

Roads More and Less Traveled: Different Emotional Routes to Creativity Among Protestants and Catholics

Emily Kim & Dov Cohen

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Western culture has 2 contradictory images of creativity: the artist as intensely emotional versus the artist as sublimator, for whom work becomes the outlet for what is repressed and denied. We show that both images are correct, but that the routes to creativity are culturally patterned, such that Catholic creatives are relatively more likely to take the emotionally intense route and Protestant creatives relatively more likely to take the sublimating route. This pattern is consistent for both the Big-C creativity of historical eminents (Studies 1 and 1b) and small-c creativity of student samples (Studies 2 and 3). The student samples also highlighted the moderating role of Protestant asceticism, as Protestants who were high in asceticism and who also repressed or minimized troublesome emotions were particularly creative. Analyses of behavioral data in previous lab experiments (Studies 2b and 3b) provided conceptual validation of the findings reported in Studies 2 and 3.

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Beyond the Classroom: The Implications of School Vouchers for Church Finances

Daniel Hungerman, Kevin Rinz & Jay Frymark

NBER Working Paper, February 2017

Abstract:
Governments have used vouchers to spend billions of dollars on private education; much of this spending has gone to religiously-affiliated schools. We explore the possibility that vouchers could create a financial windfall for religious organizations operating private schools and in doing so impact the spiritual, moral, and social fabric of communities. We use a dataset of Catholic-parish finances from Milwaukee that includes information on both Catholic schools and the parishes that run them. We show that vouchers are now a dominant source of funding for many churches; parishes in our sample running voucher-accepting schools get more revenue from vouchers than from worshipers. We also find that voucher expansion prevents church closures and mergers. Despite these results, we fail to find evidence that vouchers promote religious behavior: voucher expansion causes significant declines in church donations and church spending on non-educational religious purposes. The meteoric growth of vouchers appears to offer financial stability for congregations while at the same time diminishing their religious activities.

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Moralizing Gods and Armed Conflict

Ahmed Skali

Journal of Economic Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study documents a robust empirical pattern between moralizing gods, which prescribe fixed laws of morality, and conflict prevalence and fatalities, using spatially referenced data for Africa on contemporary conflicts and ancestral belief systems of individual ethnic groups prior to European contact. Moralizing gods are found to significantly increase conflict prevalence and casualties at the local level. The identification strategy draws on the evolutionary psychology roots of moralizing gods as a solution to the collective action problem in pre-modern societies. A one standard deviation increase in the likelihood of emergence of a moralizing god increases casualties by 18 to 36% and conflict prevalence by 4 to 8% approximately.

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God Versus Party: Competing Effects on Attitudes Concerning Criminal Punishment, National Security, and Military Service

Robert Thomson & Paul Froese

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, forthcoming

Abstract:
We explore how images of God interact with political party to predict attitudes concerning the appropriate role of government in both criminal punishment and national security. Using the second wave of the Baylor Religion Survey (2007), we analyze the extent to which beliefs regarding God's moral judgment moderate the influence of party affiliation on opinions about the death penalty, fighting terrorism, punishing criminals, serving in the military, and U.S. involvement in the Iraq War. Specifically, we find that Democrats who believe in a judgmental God tend to support more conservative policies. In fact, attitudes converge such that the effects of party membership are erased if rival partisans both believe in a judgmental moral authority.

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Why Being Wrong can be Right: Magical Warfare Technologies and the Persistence of False Beliefs

Nathan Nunn & Raul Sanchez de la Sierra

NBER Working Paper, March 2017

Abstract:
Across human societies, one sees many examples of deeply rooted and widely-held beliefs that are almost certainly untrue. Examples include beliefs about witchcraft, magic, ordeals, and superstitions. Why are such incorrect beliefs so prevalent and how do they persist? We consider this question through an examination of superstitions and magic associated with conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Focusing on superstitions related to bulletproofing, we provide theory and case-study evidence showing how these incorrect beliefs persist. Although harmful at the individual-level, we show that they generate Pareto efficient outcomes that have group-level benefits.

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Child Abuse Scandal Publicity and Catholic School Enrollment: Does the Boston Globe Coverage Matter?

Ali Moghtaderi

Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objective: This study examines the effect of negative publicity that arose from public notices of child abuse allegations in the Catholic Church on the enrollment share and number of Catholic schools in the United States.

Method: Fitting least square regressions using diocese-level panel data of Catholic school enrollment share and number of Catholic schools.

Results: I show that the reports of abuse prior to 2002 had no effect on enrollment. Yet, reports since 2002 have had a negative and long-lasting effect and explain about two-thirds of the decline in Catholic schooling. These are substantially larger declines than suggested in previous studies.

Conclusion: I argue that the differing responses to the public notices of child abuse between these two periods are derived from the availability heuristic. This is driven from a fundamental difference in media coverage of the scandal prior to 2002 and afterward. Allegations of child abuse in the Catholic Church received emphatic coverage only after 2002.

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Religion and work: Micro evidence from contemporary Germany

Jörg Spenkuch

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, March 2017, Pages 193–214

Abstract:
Using micro data from contemporary Germany, this paper studies the connection between Protestantism and modern-day labor market outcomes. To address the endogeneity in self-declared religion, I exploit a provision in a sixteenth-century peace treaty, which determined the geographic distribution of Catholics and Protestants. Reduced form and instrumental variable estimates provide no evidence of an effect of Protestantism on hourly wages. However, relative to their Catholic counterparts, Protestants do appear to work longer hours. The patterns in the data are difficult to reconcile with explanations based on institutional factors or religious differences in human capital acquisition. Religious differences in individuals’ values, however, can account for most of the estimated effects.

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Where Does Religion Matter Most? Personal Religiosity and the Acceptability of Wife-beating in Cross-National Perspective

Jong Hyun Jung & Daniel Olson

Sociological Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
Does religion justify violent acts against wives, or does it reduce approval of this type of intimate partner violence? We examine whether personal religiosity raises or lowers the acceptability of wife-beating. In addition, we investigate how the relationship between personal religiosity and attitudes toward wife-beating differs depending on the overall normative context of the country where a person lives. Using multilevel modeling with data from the fifth wave of the World Values Survey (2005–2008), we find that greater individual-level religiosity reduces the acceptability of wife-beating. More importantly, cross-level interactions show that these reductions are greatest in countries where there is a general lack of normative restraint as measured by the “anomie” scale. These observations suggest that religiosity may influence an individual's norms the most in countries where secular controls are absent or weak.

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Religious People Endorse Different Standards of Evidence When Evaluating Religious Versus Scientific Claims

Jonathon McPhetres & Miron Zuckerman

Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent research has begun to investigate the relationship between religion and science. However, it remains unclear whether religious and nonreligious people differ on the standards of evidence used when evaluating claims in religious versus scientific contexts. Across three studies (N = 702), we presented participants with effects that were attributed to scientific methodology or to God and asked them to rate how many more times an effect needs to be repeated in order to have certainty in the outcome. Results showed that religious people requested fewer repetitions compared to nonreligious people when an effect was attributed to prayer, and fewer repetitions when an effect was attributed to prayer compared to scientific methodology. Nonreligious people were relatively consistent across conditions. These results suggest that religious people have less stringent standards of evidence when evaluating nonscientific claims. Directions for future research are also discussed.

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Islamic Headcovering and Political Engagement: The Power of Social Networks

Aubrey Westfall et al.

Politics and Religion, March 2017, Pages 3-30

Abstract:
This article explores the relationship between headcovering and women's political participation through an original online survey of 1,917 Muslim-American women. As a visible marker of religious group identity, wearing the headscarf can orient the integration of Muslim women into the American political system via its impact on the openness of their associational life. Our survey respondents who cover are more likely to form insular, strong ties with predominantly Muslim friend networks, which decreased their likelihood of voting and affiliating with a political party. Interestingly, frequency of mosque attendance across both covered and uncovered respondents is associated with a higher probability of political participation, an effect noted in other religious institutions in the United States. Yet, mosque attendance can simultaneously decrease the political engagement of congregants if they are steered into exclusively religious friend groups. This discovery reveals a tension within American Muslim religious life and elaborates on the role of religious institutions vs. social networks in politically mobilizing Muslim-Americans.

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Heightened religiosity and epilepsy: Evidence for religious-specific neuropsychological processes

Brick Johnstone, Greyson Holliday & Daniel Cohen

Mental Health, Religion & Culture, Fall 2016, Pages 704-712

Abstract:
It has been hypothesised that humans may have an innate neurologic tendency towards being religiously oriented, suggesting that we possess religious-specific neuropsychological processes. Persons with epilepsy provide a unique opportunity to study these relationships given the documented hyper-religious experiences observed with epilepsy. The current study evaluated 19 individuals with epilepsy to determine if epilepsy-related religious experiences (as measured by the Bear Fedio Inventory [BFI]) are reflective of a general increase in behaviours observed with epilepsy (e.g., philosophical thoughts, emotionality), or if they are reflective of a religious-specific orientation. Spearman correlations indicated that: (1) BFI religious-orientation scales are significantly related to philosophical concerns (i.e., nature of the universe), but not measures of emotionality and (2) BFI religious-orientation scales, but not philosophical or emotionality scales, are significantly associated with other commonly used measures of spirituality. These findings suggest that individuals may possess neuropsychological processes that are specific to religious orientations.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, March 13, 2017

Drug problems

The Effects of Alcohol Use on Economic Decision Making

Klajdi Bregu et al.

Southern Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
In a controlled laboratory experiment, we study the causal effect of alcohol on economic decision making. A treatment group was given a dose of alcohol designed to target a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 while the BAC of those in the control group remained 0.00. We investigate the behavior of control and treatment groups in the following types of tasks: math, uncertainty, overconfidence, strategic games, food choice, anchoring, and altruism. Our results indicate that alcohol consumption has little systematic effect on economic behavior, at least for the BAC level considered. Further, there is little evidence that alcohol differentially impacts the choices of male and female subjects.

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Substance Use Treatment Provider Behavior and Healthcare Reform: Evidence from Massachusetts

Johanna Catherine Maclean & Brendan Saloner

Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examine the impact of the 2006 Massachusetts healthcare reform on substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities' provision of care. We test the impact of the reform on treatment quantity and access. We couple data on the near universe of specialty SUD treatment providers in the USA with a synthetic control method approach. We find little evidence that the reform lead to changes in treatment quantity or access. Reform effects were similar among for-profit and non-profit facilities. In an extension, we show that the reform altered the setting in which treatment is received, the number of offered services, and the number of programs for special populations. These findings may be useful in predicting the implications of major health insurance expansions on the provision of SUD treatment.

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Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Acceptability of Adult Cigarette Smoking Among Florida Youth: Renormalization of Smoking?

Kelvin Choi, Rachel Grana & Debra Bernat

Journal of Adolescent Health, forthcoming

Purpose: There is a dearth of research into whether electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) promote acceptance of cigarette smoking. Therefore, we aimed to assess the association between ENDS exposure, acceptance of cigarette smoking, and susceptibility to cigarette smoking.

Methods: Data from the 2014 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey with a state representative sample of middle and high school students (n = 68,928) were analyzed. Own ENDS use, exposure to ENDS advertising, living with ENDS users, acceptance of adult cigarette smoking, demographics, and known predictors of cigarette smoking were assessed. Susceptibility to cigarette smoking was assessed among never smokers. Weighted multiple logistic regression models and mediation analyses were conducted, stratified by middle/high school and never/ever smoking. Analyses were conducted in 2016.

Results: Own ENDS use, exposure to ENDS advertising, and living with ENDS users were associated with acceptance of adult cigarette smoking even among never smokers, after accounting for covariates (p < .05). In a mediation analysis, own ENDS use, exposure to ENDS advertising, and living with ENDS users were indirectly associated with susceptibility to cigarette smoking among never smokers through acceptance of adult cigarette smoking (p < .05).

Conclusions: Youth ENDS exposure may contribute to normalizing adult cigarette smoking and may in turn heighten susceptibility to cigarette smoking. If confirmed by longitudinal studies, these findings suggest that ENDS policy interventions may help prevent youth cigarette smoking.

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National and State Trends in Sales of Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes, U.S., 2011–2015

Kristy Marynak et al.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine, forthcoming

Methods: Trends in cigarette and e-cigarette unit sales were analyzed using retail scanner data from September 25, 2011 through January 9, 2016 for: (1) convenience stores; and (2) all other outlets combined, including supermarkets, mass merchandisers, drug, dollar, and club stores, and military commissaries (online, tobacco-only, and “vape“ shops were not available). Data by store type were available for the total contiguous U.S. and 29 states; combined data were available for the remaining states, except Alaska, Hawaii, and DC.

Results: During 2011–2015, cigarette sales exhibited a small, significant decrease; however, positive year-over-year growth occurred in convenience stores throughout most of 2015. E-cigarette unit sales significantly increased during 2011–2015, but year-over-year growth slowed and was occasionally negative. Cigarette unit sales exceeded e-cigarettes by 64:1 during the last 4-week period. During 2014–2015, cigarette sales increases occurred in 15 of 48 assessed states; e-cigarette sales increased in 18 states.

Conclusions: Despite overall declines during 2011–2015, cigarette sales in 2015 grew for the first time in a decade. E-cigarette sales growth was positive, but slowed over the study period in assessed stores. Cigarette sales continued to exceed e-cigarette sales, reinforcing the importance of efforts to reduce the appeal and accessibility of cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products.

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E-cigarettes and National Adolescent Cigarette Use: 2004–2014

Lauren Dutra & Stanton Glantz

Pediatrics, forthcoming

Methods: Data were collected by using cross-sectional, nationally representative school-based samples of sixth- through 12th-graders from 2004–2014 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (samples ranged from 16 614 in 2013 to 25 324 in 2004). Analyses were conducted by using interrupted time series of ever (≥1 puff) and current (last 30 days) cigarette smoking. Logistic regression was used to identify psychosocial risk factors associated with cigarette smoking in the 2004–2009 samples; this model was then applied to estimate the probability of cigarette smoking among cigarette smokers and e-cigarette users in the 2011–2014 samples.

Results: Youth cigarette smoking decreased linearly between 2004 and 2014 (P = .009 for ever smoking and P = .05 for current smoking), with no significant change in this trend after 2009 (P = .57 and .23). Based on the psychosocial model of smoking, including demographic characteristics, willingness to wear clothing with a tobacco logo, living with a smoker, likelihood of smoking in the next year, likelihood of smoking cigarettes from a friend, and use of tobacco products other than cigarettes or e-cigarettes, the model categorized <25% of current e-cigarette–only users (between 11.0% in 2012 and 23.1% in 2013) as current smokers.

Conclusions: The introduction of e-cigarettes was not associated with a change in the linear decline in cigarette smoking among youth. E-cigarette–only users would be unlikely to have initiated tobacco product use with cigarettes.

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Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse

Alex Hollingsworth, Christopher Ruhm & Kosali Simon

NBER Working Paper, February 2017

Abstract:
Past research indicates that physical health measures (such as all-cause mortality) improve when economic conditions temporarily deteriorate, but the relationship between economic conditions and behavioral health remain unclear. The pro-cyclicality of mortality has declined in recent years while drug poisoning deaths have trended sharply upwards, suggesting a connection to the rising use of many types of drugs. We contribute new evidence to the literature by examining how severe, adverse outcomes related to use of opioid analgesics (hereafter abbreviated as opioids) and other drugs vary with short-term fluctuations in macroeconomic conditions. We use data on deaths and emergency department (ED) visits related to opioid and other drug poisonings together with information on state and county unemployment rates. We focus on opioids because they are a major driver of the recent, fatal drug epidemic. We use county-level mortality data for the entire U.S. from 1999-2014, and state and county level ED data covering 2002-2014 from a subset of states. We find that as the county unemployment rate increases by 1 percentage point, the opioid death rate (per 100k) rises by 0.19 (3.6%) and the ED visit rate for opioid overdoses (per 100k) increases by 0.95 (7.0%). We also uncover statistically significant increases in the overall drug death rate that are mostly driven by increases in opioid deaths. These results also hold when performing a state, rather than county, level analysis. In most specifications, the results are primarily driven by adverse events among whites. Additionally, the findings are relatively stable across time periods; they do not pertain only to recession years, but instead represent a more generalizable and previously unexplored connection between economic development and the severe adverse consequences of substance abuse.

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Effect of a Brief Memory Updating Intervention on Smoking Behavior: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Lisa Germeroth et al.

JAMA Psychiatry, March 2017, Pages 214-223

Importance: Recent research on addiction-related memory processes suggests that protracted extinction training following brief cue-elicited memory retrieval (ie, retrieval-extinction [R-E] training) can attenuate/eradicate the ability of cues to elicit learned behaviors. One study reported that cue-elicited craving among detoxified heroin addicts was substantially attenuated following R-E training and through 6-month follow-up.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective, mixed-design, human laboratory randomized clinical trial took place between December 2013 and September 2015. Participants were recruited in Charleston, South Carolina. Study sessions took place at the Medical University of South Carolina. The participants were 168 screened volunteer smokers, of whom 88 were randomized; 72 of these 88 participants (81.8%) attended all the follow-up sessions through 1 month. The primary eligibility criteria were current nicotine dependence (DSM criteria), smoking 10 or more cigarettes per day, and a willingness to attempt smoking cessation.

Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to receive either smoking-related memory retrieval followed by extinction training (the R-E group) or nonsmoking-related retrieval followed by extinction training (the NR-E group).

Results: A total of 44 participants were randomly assigned to the R-E group (mean age, 48.3 years; 72.7% male); a total of 44 participants were randomly assigned to the NR-E group, with 43 attending at least 1 training session (mean age, 46.7 years; 55.8% male). The mean craving response to both familiar and novel smoking cues was significantly lower for participants in the R-E group than for participants in the NR-E group at 1-month follow-up (for both cue types: t1225 = 2.1, P = .04, d = 0.44, and Δ = 0.47 [95% CI, 0.04-0.90]). The mean numbers of cigarettes smoked per day at 2 weeks and 1-month were significantly lower for the R-E group than for the NR-E group (treatment main effect: F1,68 = 5.4, P = .02, d = 0.50, and Δ = 2.4 [95% CI, 0.4-4.5]). Significant differences in physiological responses, urine cotinine level, number of days abstinent, lapse, and relapse were not observed between groups (all between P = .06 and .75).

Conclusions and Relevance: Retrieval-extinction training substantially attenuated craving to both familiar and novel smoking cues and reduced the number of cigarettes smoked per day by participants 1 month after treatment relative to extinction training alone. Between-group differences were not observed for physiological responses, cotinine level, number of days abstinent, relapse, or lapse. In summary, R-E training is a brief behavioral treatment that targets smoking-related memories and has the potential to enhance relapse prevention.

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Competitive sports participation in high school and subsequent substance use in young adulthood: Assessing differences based on level of contact

Philip Veliz et al.

International Review for the Sociology of Sport, March 2017, Pages 240-259

Abstract:
The objective of this study is to examine how participation in different types of competitive sports (based on level of contact) during high school is associated with substance use 1 to 4 years after the 12th grade. The analysis uses nationally representative samples of 12th graders from the Monitoring the Future Study, who were followed 1 to 4 years after the 12th grade. The longitudinal sample consisted of 970 12th graders from six recent cohorts (2006–2011). The analyses, which controlled for 12th grade substance use, school difficulties, time with friends, and socio-demographic characteristics, found that respondents who participated in at least one competitive sport during the 12th grade had greater odds of binge drinking during the past two weeks (AOR = 2.04; 95% CI = 1.43, 2.90) 1 to 4 years after the 12th grade, when compared to their peers who did not participate in sports during their 12th grade year. Moreover, respondents who participated in high-contact sports (i.e. football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and wrestling) had greater odds of binge drinking (AOR = 1.80; 95% CI = 1.18, 2.72), and engaging in marijuana use during the past 30 days (AOR = 1.81; 95% CI = 1.12, 2.93) 1 to 4 years after the 12th grade when compared to their peers who did not participate in these types of sports during their 12th grade year. Accordingly, the findings indicate important distinctions in sport participation experiences on long-term substance use risk that can help inform potential interventions among young athletes.

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The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Smoking Cessation on Alcohol Consumption

Benjamin Ukert

University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
This paper examines the short- and long-term effect of quitting smoking on alcoholic beverage consumption using the Lung Health Study, a randomized smoking cessation program. Building on the theory of rational addiction, I estimate the relationship between smoking and alcohol consumption using several different smoking measures. Moreover, I implement a two-stage Least squares estimation strategy utilizing the randomized smoking cessation program as an instrument. The empirical analysis leads to three salient findings. First, self-reported and clinically verified smoking measures suggest that quitting smoking lowers alcoholic beverages consumption by 11.5%. Second, cigarette consumption dating back up to 60 months affects alcohol consumption, and those with the highest average consumption see the largest increase in alcohol consumption. Lastly, the length of abstaining from smoking decreases alcohol consumption, where participants decrease alcohol consumption by up to 20% from baseline levels after five years of smoking cessation. As a result, these findings suggest that the public health and finance benefits are undervalued in smoking cessations treatments.

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With a Little Help from My Friends: The Effects of Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan Laws on Opioid-Related Deaths

Daniel Rees et al.

NBER Working Paper, February 2017

Abstract:
In an effort to address the opioid epidemic, a majority of states have recently passed some version of a Naloxone Access Law (NAL) and/or a Good Samaritan Law (GSL). NALs allow lay persons to administer naloxone, which temporarily counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose; GSLs provide immunity from prosecution for drug possession to anyone who seeks medical assistance in the event of a drug overdose. This study is the first to examine the effect of these laws on opioid-related deaths. Using data from the National Vital Statistics System multiple cause-of-death mortality files for the period 1999-2014, we find that the adoption of a NAL is associated with a 9 to 11 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths. The estimated effect of GLSs on opioid-related deaths is of comparable magnitude, but not statistically significant at conventional levels. Finally, we find that neither NALs nor GSLs increase the recreational use of prescription painkillers.

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E-Cigarettes and “Dripping” Among High-School Youth

Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin et al.

Pediatrics, forthcoming

Background: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) electrically heat and vaporize e-liquids to produce inhalable vapors. These devices are being used to inhale vapors produced by dripping e-liquids directly onto heated atomizers. The current study conducts the first evaluation of the prevalence rates and reasons for using e-cigarettes for dripping among high school students.

Methods: In the spring of 2015, students from 8 Connecticut high schools (n = 7045) completed anonymous surveys that examined tobacco use behaviors and perceptions. We assessed prevalence rates of ever using e-cigarettes for dripping, reasons for dripping, and predictors of dripping behaviors among those who reported ever use of e-cigarettes.

Results: Among 1080 ever e-cigarette users, 26.1% of students reported ever using e-cigarettes for dripping. Reasons for dripping included produced thicker clouds of vapor (63.5%), made flavors taste better (38.7%), produced a stronger throat hit (27.7%), curiosity (21.6%), and other (7.5%). Logistic regression analyses indicated that male adolescents (odds ratio [OR] = 1.64), whites (OR = 1.46), and those who had tried multiple tobacco products (OR = 1.34) and had greater past-month e-cigarette use frequency (OR = 1.07) were more likely to use dripping (Ps < .05).

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Curbing the DUI offender’s self-efficacy to drink and drive: A laboratory study

Walter Roberts & Mark Fillmore

Drug and Alcohol Dependence, March 2017, Pages 73–79

Method: Adult drivers with (n = 20) and without (n = 20) a history of DUI arrest attended two dose challenge sessions where they received 0.64 g/kg alcohol or placebo, completed a simulated driving task, and provided measures of subjective impairment. They attended a third retesting session where they received feedback that they were impaired by alcohol. They received 0.64 g/kg alcohol and their objective and perceived driving ability was retested.

Results: Both groups showed significant impairment of driving performance following 0.64 g/kg alcohol compared to placebo. DUI offenders rated themselves as less impaired than controls. After performance feedback, self-reported impairment during the alcohol retest increased for DUI offenders but not for controls. There was no effect of performance feedback on objective driving ability.

Conclusions: These results support the notion that under alcohol DUI offenders characteristically perceive themselves as better able to drive than non-offenders. These perceptions can be tempered by performance feedback. To the extent that perceived ability to drive safely after drinking contributes to DUI and its recidivism, feedback geared towards lowering this self-efficacy could reduce willingness to engage in this behavior.

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Intergenerational Consequences of Adolescent Substance Use: Patterns of Homotypic and Heterotypic Continuity

Emily Nadel & Terence Thornberry

Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, March 2017, Pages 200-211

Abstract:
Does substance use run in families? In this article, we examine both homotypic continuity in substance use—the impact of a parent’s adolescent substance use on their child’s adolescent substance use — and heterotypic continuity — the impact of a parent’s adolescent substance use on their child’s involvement in other adolescent problem behaviors. The analysis is based on data from the Rochester Youth Development Study (Thornberry, Lizotte, Krohn, Smith, & Porter, 2003) and its intergenerational component, the Rochester Intergenerational Study (Thornberry, 2009). The initial study began with a representative sample of 7th and 8th grade students followed until Age 31, and the intergenerational study is currently following their oldest biological child from childhood through adolescence. The final sample size in the current analysis consists of 341 parent–child dyads. For fathers, their adolescent substance use predicts both homotypic and heterotypic outcomes of their child. For mothers, however, there is no evidence of intergenerational continuity for either homotypic or heterotypic outcomes. In contrast, when the parent’s adult substance use is examined, the opposite pattern emerges. The mother’s adult substance use is a more consistent predictor of child behavioral outcomes, but there is little evidence that the father’s adult behavior matters. Thus, it appears that the answer to the question of whether or not substance use runs in families is more nuanced than typically thought. Based on these results, continuity depends both on the sex of the parent and when in the parent’s life-course substance use occurs.

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Brain substrates of reward processing and the μ-opioid receptor: A pathway into pain?

Frauke Nees et al.

Pain, February 2017, Pages 212–219

Abstract:
The processing of reward and reinforcement learning seems to be important determinants of pain chronicity. However, reward processing is already altered early in life and if this is related to the development of pain symptoms later on is not known. The aim of this study was first to examine whether behavioural and brain-related indicators of reward processing at the age of 14 to 15 years are significant predictors of pain complaints 2 years later, at 16 to 17 years. Second, we investigated the contribution of genetic variations in the opioidergic system, which is linked to the processing of both, reward and pain, to this prediction. We used the monetary incentive delay task to assess reward processing, the Children's Somatization Inventory as measure of pain complaints and tested the effects of 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs1799971/rs563649) of the human μ-opioid receptor gene. We found a significant prediction of pain complaints by responses in the dorsal striatum during reward feedback, independent of genetic predisposition. The relationship of pain complaints and activation in the periaqueductal gray and ventral striatum depended on the T-allele of rs563649. Carriers of this allele also showed more pain complaints than CC-allele carriers. Therefore, brain responses to reward outcomes and higher sensitivity to pain might be related already early in life and may thus set the course for pain complaints later in life, partly depending on a specific opioidergic genetic predisposition.

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The Effect of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on Opioid Utilization in Medicare

Thomas Buchmueller & Colleen Carey

NBER Working Paper, February 2017

Abstract:
The misuse of prescription opioids has become a serious epidemic in the US. In response, states have implemented Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), which record a patient's opioid prescribing history. While few providers participated in early systems, states have recently begun to require providers to access the PDMP under certain circumstances. We find that "must access" PDMPs significantly reduce measures of misuse in Medicare Part D. In contrast, we find that PDMPs without such provisions have no effect. We find stronger effects when providers are required to access the PDMP under broad circumstances, not only when they are suspicious.

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Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Produce a Limited Impact on Painkiller Prescribing in Medicare Part D

Courtney Yarbrough

Health Services Research, forthcoming

Data Source: 2010–2013 physician-level Medicare Part D prescribing data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Propublica.

Study Design: Using difference-in-differences models with physician-level fixed effects, the study compares prescribing in states with and without PDMPs for opioid and nonopioid analgesics, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and opioids by controlled substances Schedules II–IV.

Principal Findings: Prescription drug monitoring programs were associated with a 5.2 percent decrease in days supply prescribed per physician for oxycodone in addition to smaller reductions for hydrocodone and opioids overall (2.8 percent and 2 percent, respectively) and a small increase in prescribing for Schedule IV opioids. PDMPs were not associated with changes for nonopioid analgesics or other opioids in Schedules II and III. The effects of PDMPs were negated in states where statutes explicitly did not require use of the PDMP.

Conclusions: Prescription drug monitoring programs have a modest effect targeted at the high-profile drug oxycodone among the Medicare Part D population and an even smaller effect for hydrocodone and opioids in general. The findings suggest some substitution toward lower schedule opioids. Substantially addressing the widespread opioid abuse problem will require enhancing existing PDMPs or implementing new policies.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Help me help you

Self-deception facilitates interpersonal persuasion

Megan Smith, Robert Trivers & William von Hippel

Journal of Economic Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Self-deception is both commonplace and costly, which raises the question of what purpose it might serve. According to the dominant explanation in psychology and economics, self-deception is an intrapersonal process that fortifies and protects the self from threatening information. An alternative possibility is that self-deception evolved as an interpersonal strategy to persuade others. To investigate interpersonal aspects of self-deception, we gave people a persuasive task and measured their information processing biases and their persuasiveness. Results revealed that people who were financially motivated to persuade another person in a particular direction demonstrated a self-deceptive information processing bias consistent with their persuasive goals. This information processing bias led people to convince themselves of the veracity of their persuasive goal, and subsequently to be more persuasive to others. These findings suggest that self-deception has interpersonal benefits that offset its costs.

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Honesty-Humility Under Threat: Self-Uncertainty Destroys Trust Among the Nice Guys

Stefan Pfattheicher & Robert Böhm

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent research on humans’ prosociality has highlighted the crucial role of Honesty-Humility, a basic trait in the HEXACO personality model. There is overwhelming evidence that Honesty-Humility predicts prosocial behavior across a vast variety of situations. In the present contribution, we cloud this rosy picture, examining a condition under which individuals high in Honesty-Humility reduce prosocial behavior. Specifically, we propose that under self-uncertainty, it is particularly those individuals high in Honesty-Humility who reduce trust in unknown others and become less prosocial. In 5 studies, we assessed Honesty-Humility, manipulated self-uncertainty, and measured interpersonal trust or trust in social institutions using behavioral or questionnaire measures. In Study 1, individuals high (vs. low) in Honesty-Humility showed higher levels of trust. This relation was mediated by their positive social expectations about the trustworthiness of others. Inducing self-uncertainty decreased trust, particularly in individuals high in Honesty-Humility (Studies 2–5). Making use of measuring the mediator (Studies 2 and 3) and applying a causal chain design (Studies 4a and 4b), it is shown that individuals high in Honesty-Humility reduced trust because self-uncertainty decreased positive social expectations about others. We end with an applied perspective, showing that Honesty-Humility is predictive of trust in social institutions (e.g., trust in the police; Study 5a), and that self-uncertainty undermined trust in the police especially for individuals high in Honesty-Humility (Study 5b). By these means, the present research shows that individuals high in Honesty-Humility are not unconditionally prosocial. Further implications for Honesty-Humility as well as for research on self-uncertainty and trust are discussed.

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Signaling Emotion and Reason in Cooperation

Emma Edelman Levine et al.

University of Chicago Working Paper, February 2017

Abstract:
We explore the signal value of emotion and reason in human cooperation. Across four experiments utilizing dyadic prisoner dilemma games, we establish three central results. First, individuals believe that a reliance on emotion signals that one will cooperate more so than a reliance on reason. Second, these beliefs are generally accurate — those who act based on emotion are more likely to cooperate than those who act based on reason. Third, individuals’ behavioral responses towards signals of emotion and reason depends on their own decision mode: those who rely on emotion tend to conditionally cooperate (that is, cooperate only when they believe that their partner has cooperated), whereas those who rely on reason tend to defect regardless of their partner’s signal. These findings shed light on how different decision processes, and lay theories about decision processes, facilitate and impede cooperation.

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Theory of Mind predicts cooperative behavior

Gregory DeAngelo & Bryan McCannon

Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
Explanations for cooperation in Prisoner’s Dilemma games have generated significant interest. While institutional explanations have offered considerable explanatory ability, a psychological measure of Theory of the Mind that measures an individual’s ability to process social and emotional cognition offers new insights. Using this measure, we examine how it explains (un)cooperative behavior. We find that subjects who have higher ToM are less cooperative and extract higher payoffs.

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Effects of inter-group status on the pursuit of intra-group status

Jin Wook Chang, Rosalind Chow & Anita Woolley

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, March 2017, Pages 1–17

Abstract:
This research examines how the status of one’s group influences intra-group behavior and collective outcomes. Two experiments provide evidence that, compared to members of low-status groups, members of high-status groups are more concerned about their intra-group standing, which in turn can increase both the likelihood of competitive and cooperative intra-group behavior. However, whether the desire for intra-group standing manifests via competitive versus cooperative behavior depends on the relevance of the task to the group’s inter-group standing. When the task is not clearly relevant to the group’s status, members of high-status groups are more likely to engage in competitive behavior out of a desire to manage their intra-group status, which, in turn, leads to less desirable collective outcomes. However, when the group’s status is at stake, members of high-status groups seek intra-group status via cooperative behavior, leading to better collective outcomes.

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From good institutions to generous citizens: Top-down incentives to cooperate promote subsequent prosociality but not norm enforcement

Michael Stagnaro, Antonio Arechar & David Rand

Cognition, forthcoming

Abstract:
What makes people willing to pay costs to help others, and to punish others’ selfishness? Why does the extent of such behaviors vary markedly across cultures? To shed light on these questions, we explore the role of formal institutions in shaping individuals’ prosociality and punishment. In Study 1 (N = 707), American participants who reported living under higher quality cooperation-enforcing institutions (police and courts) gave significantly more in a Dictator Game (DG), but did not punish significantly more in a Third-Party Punishment Game (TPPG). In Study 1R (N = 1705), we replicated the positive relationship between reported institutional quality and DG giving observed in Study 1. In Study 2 (N = 516), we experimentally manipulated institutional quality in a repeated Public Goods Game with a centralized punishment institution. Consistent with the correlational results of Study 1 and 1R, we found that centralized punishment led to significantly more prosociality in a subsequent DG compared to a no-punishment control, but had no significant direct effect on subsequent TPPG punishment (only an indirect effect via increased DG giving). Thus we present convergent evidence that the quality of institutions one is exposed to “spills over” to subsequent prosociality but not punishment. These findings support a theory of social heuristics, suggest boundary conditions on spillover effects of cooperation, and demonstrate the power of effective institutions for instilling habits of virtue and creating cultures of cooperation.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fish in the sea

Consistency and Inconsistency Among Romantic Partners Over Time

Paul Eastwick et al.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Theoretical perspectives on mating differentially emphasize whether (and why) romantic partner selection and maintenance processes derive from stable features of individuals (e.g., mate value, mate preferences, relationship aptitude) and their environments (e.g., social homogamy) rather than adventitious, dyad-specific, or unpredictable factors. The current article advances our understanding of this issue by assessing how people's actual romantic partners vary on constructs commonly assessed in evolutionary psychology (Study 1), sociology (Study 2), and close relationships (Study 3). Specifically, we calculated the extent to which the past and present partners of a focal person (i.e., the person who dated all of the partners) cluster on various measures. Study 1 investigated consistency in the observable qualities of the romantic partners, revealing substantial evidence for clustering on coder-rated attributes like attractiveness and masculinity. Study 2 examined qualities self-reported by romantic partners themselves in a demographically diverse sample and found modest evidence for clustering on attributes such as IQ and educational aspirations; however, clustering in this study was largely due to demographic stratification. Study 3 explored target-specific ratings by partners about the focal person and found little evidence for clustering: The ability to elicit high romantic desirability/sexual satisfaction ratings from partners was not a stable individual difference. The variables that affect mating may differ considerably in the extent to which they serve as stable versus unpredictable factors; thus, the fields of evolutionary psychology, sociology, and close relationships may reveal distinct depictions of mating because the constructs and assessment strategies in each differ along this underappreciated dimension.

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Early Sexual Initiation and Mental Health: A Fleeting Association or Enduring Change?

Rose Wesche et al.

Journal of Research on Adolescence, forthcoming

Abstract:
The present research examined how the within-person association between sexual initiation and internalizing symptoms decays over time, using data with annual measurement occasions across adolescence (N = 1,789) and statistical models of within-person change. Sexual initiation was associated with increased levels of internalizing symptoms for early-initiating girls (ninth grade, approximately age 15), but not for on-time-initiating girls or for boys. The association between girls' early sexual initiation and internalizing symptoms declined precipitously over time. Indeed, 1 year after sexual debut, early-initiating girls were similar to on-time or noninitiating girls on internalizing symptoms, suggesting early sexual initiation does not produce lasting detriments to girls' mental health. Findings inform how researchers perceive sexual initiation, both as a developmental milestone and as a prevention target.

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Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989-2014

Jean Twenge, Ryne Sherman & Brooke Wells

Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
American adults had sex about nine fewer times per year in the early 2010s compared to the late 1990s in data from the nationally representative General Social Survey, N = 26,620, 1989-2014. This was partially due to the higher percentage of unpartnered individuals, who have sex less frequently on average. Sexual frequency declined among the partnered (married or living together) but stayed steady among the unpartnered, reducing the marital/partnered advantage for sexual frequency. Declines in sexual frequency were similar across gender, race, region, educational level, and work status and were largest among those in their 50s, those with school-age children, and those who did not watch pornography. In analyses separating the effects of age, time period, and cohort, the decline was primarily due to birth cohort (year of birth, also known as generation). With age and time period controlled, those born in the 1930s (Silent generation) had sex the most often, whereas those born in the 1990s (Millennials and iGen) had sex the least often. The decline was not linked to longer working hours or increased pornography use. Age had a strong effect on sexual frequency: Americans in their 20s had sex an average of about 80 times per year, compared to about 20 times per year for those in their 60s. The results suggest that Americans are having sex less frequently due to two primary factors: An increasing number of individuals without a steady or marital partner and a decline in sexual frequency among those with partners.

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When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men

David Autor, David Dorn & Gordon Hanson

NBER Working Paper, February 2017

Abstract:
The structure of marriage and child-rearing in U.S. households has undergone two marked shifts in the last three decades: a steep decline in the prevalence of marriage among young adults, and a sharp rise in the fraction of children born to unmarried mothers or living in single-headed households. A potential contributor to both phenomena is the declining labor-market opportunities faced by males, which make them less valuable as marital partners. We exploit large scale, plausibly exogenous labor-demand shocks stemming from rising international manufacturing competition to test how shifts in the supply of young 'marriageable' males affect marriage, fertility and children's living circumstances. Trade shocks to manufacturing industries have differentially negative impacts on the labor market prospects of men and degrade their marriage-market value along multiple dimensions: diminishing their relative earnings - particularly at the lower segment of the distribution - reducing their physical availability in trade-impacted labor markets, and increasing their participation in risky and damaging behaviors. As predicted by a simple model of marital decision-making under uncertainty, we document that adverse shocks to the supply of 'marriageable' men reduce the prevalence of marriage and lower fertility but raise the fraction of children born to young and unwed mothers and living in in poor single-parent households. The falling marriage-market value of young men appears to be a quantitatively important contributor to the rising rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing and single-headed childrearing in the United States.

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The Relative Importance of Sexual Dimorphism, Fluctuating Asymmetry, and Color Cues to Health during Evaluation of Potential Partners' Facial Photographs: A Conjoint Analysis Study

Justin Mogilski & Lisa Welling

Human Nature, March 2017, Pages 53-75

Abstract:
Sexual dimorphism, symmetry, and coloration in human faces putatively signal information relevant to mate selection and reproduction. Although the independent contributions of these characteristics to judgments of attractiveness are well established, relatively few studies have examined whether individuals prioritize certain features over others. Here, participants (N = 542, 315 female) ranked six sets of facial photographs (3 male, 3 female) by their preference for starting long- and short-term romantic relationships with each person depicted. Composite-based digital transformations were applied such that each image set contained 11 different versions of the same identity. Each photograph in each image set had a unique combination of three traits: sexual dimorphism, symmetry, and color cues to health. Using conjoint analysis to evaluate participants' ranking decisions, we found that participants prioritized cues to sexual dimorphism over symmetry and color cues to health. Sexual dimorphism was also found to be relatively more important for the evaluation of male faces than for female faces, whereas symmetry and color cues to health were relatively more important for the evaluation of female faces than for male faces. Symmetry and color cues to health were more important for long-term versus short-term evaluations for female faces, but not male faces. Analyses of utility estimates reveal that our data are consistent with research showing that preferences for facial masculinity and femininity in male and female faces vary according to relationship context. These findings are interpreted in the context of previous work examining the influence of these facial attributes on romantic partner perception.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, March 10, 2017

Authoritarian streak

Why Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests versus Surveillance and Propaganda

Bei Qin, David Strömberg & Yanhui Wu

Journal of Economic Perspectives, Winter 2017, Pages 117-140

Abstract:
In this paper, we document basic facts regarding public debates about controversial political issues on Chinese social media. Our documentation is based on a dataset of 13.2 billion blog posts published on Sina Weibo -- the most prominent Chinese microblogging platform -- during the 2009-2013 period. Our primary finding is that a shockingly large number of posts on highly sensitive topics were published and circulated on social media. For instance, we find millions of posts discussing protests, and these posts are informative in predicting the occurrence of specific events. We find an even larger number of posts with explicit corruption allegations, and that these posts predict future corruption charges of specific individuals. Our findings challenge a popular view that an authoritarian regime would relentlessly censor or even ban social media. Instead, the interaction of an authoritarian government with social media seems more complex.

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Foreign aid, democracy, and gender quota laws

Amanda Edgell

Democratization, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why do so many developing countries have gender quota policies? This article argues that foreign aid programmes influence developing countries to adopt policies aimed at fulfilling international norms regarding gender equality. This relationship is driven by two causal mechanisms. On the one hand, countries may use gender quotas as a signal to improve their standing in the international hierarchy, possibly as an end unto itself, but more likely as a means towards ensuring future aid flows. On the other, countries may adopt gender quotas as a result of successful foreign aid interventions specifically designed to promote women’s empowerment. I test these two causal mechanisms using data on foreign aid commitments to 173 non-OECD countries from 1974 to 2012. The results suggest that while programmes targeting women’s empowerment may have some influence on quota adoption, developing countries dependent on United States foreign aid are also likely to use gender quotas as signalling devices rather than as a result of ongoing liberalization efforts.

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Census Enumeration and Group Conflict: A Global Analysis of the Consequences of Counting

Evan Lieberman & Prerna Singh

World Politics, January 2017, Pages 1-53

Abstract:
Does the enumeration of ethnic, racial, and/or religious categories on national household censuses increase the likelihood of conflict? The authors propose a theory of intergroup relations that emphasizes the conflictual effects of institutionalizing boundaries between social identity groups. The article investigates the relationship between counting and various forms of conflict with an original, global data set that classifies the type of enumeration used in more than one thousand census questionnaires in more than 150 countries spanning more than two centuries. Through a series of cross-national statistical analyses, the authors find a robust association between enumeration of ethnic cleavages on the census and various forms of competition and conflict, including violent ethnic civil war. The plausibility of the theory is further demonstrated through case study analysis of religious conflict in India.

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Network assemblage of regime stability and resilience: Comparing Europe and China

Hilton Root

Journal of Institutional Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article demonstrates that the network structures of historical regimes influence the way information is spread, which in turn circumscribe the behaviors of the different groups that make up the system. It advances two central claims. The first is a methodological one showing that patterns of long-term historical change are best studied at the system level, rather than by a traditional equilibrium framework grounded in models of individual behavior. Then, an empirical claim is established by comparisons of China's hub-and-spoke hypernetwork with Europe's multi-hub hypernetwork to show that their different patterns of interconnectivity forged their respective capacities to weather intermittent socioeconomic transitions.

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1807: Economic shocks, conflict and the slave trade

James Fenske & Namrata Kala

Journal of Development Economics, May 2017, Pages 66–76

Abstract:
A large fraction of modern global conflicts have occurred in Africa, resulting in a disproportionate number of fatalities compared to other regions. Many of Africa's conflicts have deep historical roots. In this paper, we contribute to understanding the determinants of historical African conflict by studying an important historical source of conflict: suppression of the slave trade after 1807. We use geo-coded data on African conflicts to uncover a discontinuous increase in conflict after 1807 in areas affected by the slave trade, indicating that suppression increased the incidence of conflict between Africans. In West Africa, the slave trade declined. This empowered interests that rivaled existing authorities, and political leaders resorted to violence in order to maintain their influence. In West-Central and South-East Africa, slave exports increased after 1807 and were produced through violence.

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Cooperation and Authoritarian Values: An Experimental Study in China

Björn Vollan et al.

European Economic Review, April 2017, Pages 90–105

Abstract:
Using samples of both students and workers in China and comparing democratic decision making (i.e. being able to choose one's rules) to non-democratic decision making (i.e. exogenously imposed rule), we show that Chinese participants cooperate the most in a public goods game under the stylized authoritarian environment. This finding may be surprising in light of previous evidence for a “democracy premium” but is in line with authoritarian norms which are prominent in China. We further show that there is a systematic association between participants’ values and their relative contribution decisions in exogenous and endogenous implementation of the rule. Our major finding is that those subjects that place greater value on accepting authority are responsible for greater levels of cooperation under top-down governance. Our findings provide evidence that the effectiveness of a political institution depends on its congruence with individual values and societal norms.

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Ethnic Inequality and National Pride

Subhasish Ray

Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article examines patterns in individual attachments towards the nation-state in multiethnic countries. Specifically, we examine the effect of between-ethnic-group political and economic inequality on these attachments. Pairing attitudinal data from the sixth and most recent wave of the World Values Survey, administered between 2010 and 2012, with ethnicity measures from the Ethnic Power Relations dataset, we show that between-ethnic-group political inequality significantly weakens national pride and identity, but between-ethnic-group economic inequality does not have a similar effect. Our findings provide robust support for the view that ethnic-group separatism in divided societies is motivated, not by the quest for economic power, but by considerations of lost status and dignity that can only be recovered through ownership in state institutions. Hence, the binding constraint on national integration in these settings is political, not economic, inequality.

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Medieval Representative Assemblies: Collective Action and Antecedents of Western Prosperity

Alexander William Salter & Andrew Young

Texas Tech University Working Paper, February 2017

Abstract:
Medieval monarchs in Western Europe responded to financial and military pressures by instituting representative assemblies. Three estates (classes; orders) were represented in these assemblies: clergy, nobility, and burghers. In the late medieval and early modern periods, some states tended towards absolutism (e.g., France); others towards constitutional monarchy (e.g., England). The German historian Otto Hintze conjectured that territorially based assemblies were more likely to resist monarchical encroachments on their political authority than estate-based assemblies. We argue that Hintze’s conjecture can be made intelligible by a comparative institutional analysis emphasizing political bargaining and the costs of special versus common interests. Having established that territorially based assemblies provided a stronger check on absolutism than their estate-based counterparts, we then provide historical case studies of how France and England instituted, respectively, estate-based and territorially based assemblies.

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Implicit Attitudes Towards an Authoritarian Regime

Rory Truex & Daniel Tavana

Princeton Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
This study measures Egyptian citizens’ attitudes towards President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi using a Single Category Implicit Association Test (SCIAT). Roughly 58% of respondents hold positive implicit attitudes towards Sisi, which suggests a deeper reservoir of popular support than is conventionally assumed. The data also allows for an investigation of attitude dissociation, whereby individuals hold distinct implicit and explicit attitudes towards a target object. Government employees and Copts are more likely to hold positive explicit attitudes towards Sisi but negative or neutral implicit attitudes. Students appear to systematically engage in inverse dissociation -- they voice criticism towards Sisi despite holding more positive implicit attitudes. These findings are interpretable using the Associative-Propositional Evaluation model. The paper closes with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the implicit approach relative to other sensitive question techniques.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Vice and virtue

Why Do We Hate Hypocrites? Evidence for a Theory of False Signaling

Jillian Jordan et al.

Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why do people judge hypocrites, who condemn immoral behaviors that they in fact engage in, so negatively? We propose that hypocrites are disliked because their condemnation sends a false signal about their personal conduct, deceptively suggesting that they behave morally. We show that verbal condemnation signals moral goodness (Study 1) and does so even more convincingly than directly stating that one behaves morally (Study 2). We then demonstrate that people judge hypocrites negatively - even more negatively than people who directly make false statements about their morality (Study 3). Finally, we show that "honest" hypocrites - who avoid false signaling by admitting to committing the condemned transgression-are not perceived negatively even though their actions contradict their stated values (Study 4). Critically, the same is not true of hypocrites who engage in false signaling but admit to unrelated transgressions (Study 5). Together, our results support a false-signaling theory of hypocrisy.

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Frankly, We Do Give a Damn: The Relationship Between Profanity and Honesty

Gilad Feldman et al.

Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
There are two conflicting perspectives regarding the relationship between profanity and dishonesty. These two forms of norm-violating behavior share common causes and are often considered to be positively related. On the other hand, however, profanity is often used to express one's genuine feelings and could therefore be negatively related to dishonesty. In three studies, we explored the relationship between profanity and honesty. We examined profanity and honesty first with profanity behavior and lying on a scale in the lab (Study 1; N = 276), then with a linguistic analysis of real-life social interactions on Facebook (Study 2; N = 73,789), and finally with profanity and integrity indexes for the aggregate level of U.S. states (Study 3; N = 50 states). We found a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty; profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level and with higher integrity at the society level.

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Creativity in unethical behavior attenuates condemnation and breeds social contagion when transgressions seem to create little harm

Scott Wiltermuth, Lynne Vincent & Francesca Gino

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, March 2017, Pages 106-126

Abstract:
Across six studies, people judged creative forms of unethical behavior to be less unethical than less creative forms of unethical behavior, particularly when the unethical behaviors imposed relatively little direct harm on victims. As a result of perceiving behaviors to be less unethical, people punished highly creative forms of unethical behavior less severely than they punished less-creative forms of unethical behavior. They were also more likely to emulate the behavior themselves. The findings contribute to theory by showing that perceptions of competence can positively color morality judgments, even when the competence displayed stems from committing an unethical act. The findings are the first to show that people are judged as morally better for performing bad deeds well as compared to performing bad deeds poorly. Moreover, the results illuminate how the characteristics of an unethical behavior can interact to influence the emulation and diffusion of that behavior.

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Is There a Right to the Death of the Foetus?

Eric Mathison & Jeremy Davis

Bioethics, forthcoming

Abstract:
At some point in the future - perhaps within the next few decades - it will be possible for foetuses to develop completely outside the womb. Ectogenesis, as this technology is called, raises substantial issues for the abortion debate. One such issue is that it will become possible for a woman to have an abortion, in the sense of having the foetus removed from her body, but for the foetus to be kept alive. We argue that while there is a right to an abortion, there are reasons to doubt that there is a right to the death of the foetus. Our strategy in this essay is to consider and reject three arguments in favour of this latter right. The first claims that women have a right not to be biological mothers, the second that women have a right to genetic privacy, and the third that a foetus is one's property. Furthermore, we argue that it follows from rejecting the third claim that genetic parents also lack a right to the destruction of cryopreserved embryos used for in vitro fertilization. The conclusion that a woman possesses no right to the death of the foetus builds upon the claims that other pro-choice advocates, such as Judith Jarvis Thomson, have made.

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Hierarchical rank and principled dissent: How holding higher rank suppresses objection to unethical practices

Jessica Kennedy & Cameron Anderson

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, March 2017, Pages 30-49

Abstract:
When unethical practices occur in an organization, high-ranking individuals at the top of the hierarchy are expected to stop wrongdoing and redirect the organization to a more honorable path - this is, to engage in principled dissent. However, in three studies, we find that holding high-ranking positions makes people less likely to engage in principled dissent. Specifically, we find that high-ranking individuals identify more strongly with their organization or group, and therefore see its unethical practices as more ethical than do low-ranking individuals. High-ranking individuals thus engage less in principled dissent because they fail to see unethical practices as being wrong in the first place. Study 1 observed the relation between high-rank and principled dissent in an archival data set involving more than 11,000 employees. Studies 2 and 3 used experimental designs to establish the causal effect of rank and to show that identification is one key mechanism underlying it.

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Incentives and cheating

Agne Kajackaite & Uri Gneezy

Games and Economic Behavior, March 2017, Pages 433-444

Abstract:
We study how cheating behavior is affected by incentives. After replicating the finding in the cheating game literature that lying does not increase with incentives, we show that this insensitivity is not a characteristic of the intrinsic lying cost, but rather a result of concern about being exposed as a liar. In a modified "mind" game in which this concern is eliminated, we find that people lie more, and in particular lie more when the incentives to do so increase. Thus, our results show that for many participants, the decision to lie follows a simple cost-benefit analysis: they compare the intrinsic cost of lying with the incentives to lie; once the incentives are higher than the cost, they switch from telling the truth to lying.

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The Effects of Moral and Pragmatic Arguments Against Torture on Demands for Judicial Reform

Bernhard Leidner, Peter Kardos & Emanuele Castano

Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Torture can be opposed on the basis of pragmatic (e.g., torture does not work) or moral arguments (e.g., torture violates human rights). Three studies investigated how these arguments affect U.S. citizens' attitudes toward U.S.-committed torture. In Study 1, participants expressed stronger demands for redressing the injustice of torture when presented with moral rather than pragmatic or no arguments against torture. Study 2 replicated this finding with an extended justice measure and also showed the moderating role of ingroup glorification and attachment. Moral arguments increased justice demands among those who typically react most defensively to ingroup-committed wrongdoings: the highly attached and glorifying. Study 3 showed that the effect of moral arguments against torture on justice demands and support for torture among high glorifiers is mediated by moral outrage and empathy but not guilt.

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For the Sake of the Eternal Group: Perceiving the Group as Trans-Generational and Endurance of Ingroup Suffering

Dennis Kahn, Yechiel Klar & Sonia Roccas

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, February 2017, Pages 272-283

Abstract:
We introduce the distinction between perceiving the group as Intra-Generational (IG; including only the present generation of group members) and Trans-Generational (TG; including all past, present, and future generations of the group). In four studies (N = 1,265) administered to Jewish Israeli, Palestinian Israeli, American, and Swedish samples, we demonstrate that a tendency to perceive the group as TG is related to willingness to endure ingroup suffering and that this relationship is mediated by the degree to which the interest of the group as a whole is given primacy over the interest of the group as a collection of group members (Primacy of Interest). Furthermore, experimentally raising the salience of the group as TG leads to increased willingness to endure ingroup suffering as compared with raising the salience of the group as IG, and the effect of the TG salience manipulation is mediated by Primacy of Interest.

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He never willed to have the will he has: Historicist narratives, "civilized" blame, and the need to distinguish two notions of free will

Michael Gill & Stephanie Cerce

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, March 2017, Pages 361-382

Abstract:
Harsh blame can be socially destructive. This article examines how harsh blame can be "civilized." A core construct here is the historicist narrative, which is a story-like account of how a person came to be the sort of person she is. We argue that historicist narratives regarding immoral actors can temper blame and that this happens via a novel mechanism. To illuminate that mechanism, we offer a novel theoretical perspective on lay beliefs about free will. We distinguish 2 senses of free will: (a) Freedom of action, which portrays the will as a dynamic choice-making mechanism and concerns whether the actor can exert volitional control via that mechanism at the time of action, and (b) Control of self-formation, which portrays the will as an enduring disposition (e.g., persistent desire to humiliate) and refers to whether the actor is truly the source of that disposition. Six experiments show that historicist narratives have no effect on perceived freedom of action, but rather temper blame by reducing perceived self-formative control. We also provide evidence against several additional theoretically derived alternative mediators (e.g., intentionality, perceived suffering). Further underlining the need to distinguish free will concepts, we show that biological narratives - unlike historicist narratives - temper blame via reductions in perceived freedom of action. Finally, to illuminate the meaning of "civilized" blame," we show that historicist narratives specifically reduce the urge to inflict spiteful punishments on offenders, but leave intact the urge to nonviolently guide the offender toward moral improvement.

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If You're Going to Do Wrong, At Least Do It Right: Considering Two Moral Dilemmas at the Same Time Promotes Moral Consistency

Netta Barak-Corren et al.

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study how people reconcile conflicting moral intuitions by juxtaposing two versions of classic moral problems: the trolley problem and the footbridge problem. When viewed separately, most people favor action in the former and disapprove of action in the latter, despite identical consequences. The difference is often explained in terms of the intention principle - whether the consequences are intended or incidental. Our results suggest that when the two problems are considered together, a different judgment emerges: participants reject the intention principle and embrace either the principle of utilitarianism, which favors action in both problems, or the action principle, which rejects action in both problems. In subsequent studies, we find that when required to choose between two harmful actions, people prefer the action that saves more lives, despite its being more aversive. Our findings shed light on the formation of moral judgment under normative conflict, the conditions for preference reversal, and the potential polarization of moral judgment under joint evaluation. Organizational implications are discussed.

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A Must Lie Situation - Avoiding Giving Negative Feedback

Uri Gneezy et al.

Games and Economic Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examine under what conditions people provide accurate feedback to others. We use feedback regarding attractiveness, a trait people care about, and for which objective information is hard to obtain. Our results show that people avoid giving accurate face-to-face feedback to less attractive individuals, even if lying in this context comes at a monetary cost to both the person who gives the feedback and the receiver. A substantial increase of these costs does not increase the accuracy of feedback. However, when feedback is provided anonymously, the aversion to giving negative feedback is reduced.

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Duplicity Among the Dark Triad: Three Faces of Deceit

Daniel Jones & Delroy Paulhus

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although all 3 of the Dark Triad members are predisposed to engage in exploitative interpersonal behavior, their motivations and tactics vary. Here we explore their distinctive dynamics with 5 behavioral studies of dishonesty (total N = 1,750). All 3 traits predicted cheating on a coin-flipping task when there was little risk of being caught (Study 1). Only psychopathy predicted cheating when punishment was a serious risk (Study 2). Machiavellian individuals also cheated under high risk - but only if they were ego-depleted (Study 3). Both psychopathy and Machiavellianism predicted cheating when it required an intentional lie (Study 4). Finally, those high in narcissism showed the highest levels of self-deceptive bias (Study 5). In sum, duplicitous behavior is far from uniform across the Dark Triad members. The frequency and nature of their dishonesty is moderated by 3 contextual factors: level of risk, ego depletion, and target of deception. This evidence for distinctive forms of duplicity helps clarify differences among the Dark Triad members as well as illuminating different shades of dishonesty.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Energy level

Evaluating the Cost, Safety, and Proliferation Risks of Small Floating Nuclear Reactors

Michael Ford, Ahmed Abdulla & Granger Morgan

Risk Analysis, forthcoming

Abstract:
It is hard to see how our energy system can be decarbonized if the world abandons nuclear power, but equally hard to introduce the technology in nonnuclear energy states. This is especially true in countries with limited technical, institutional, and regulatory capabilities, where safety and proliferation concerns are acute. Given the need to achieve serious emissions mitigation by mid-century, and the multidecadal effort required to develop robust nuclear governance institutions, we must look to other models that might facilitate nuclear plant deployment while mitigating the technology's risks. One such deployment paradigm is the build-own-operate-return model. Because returning small land-based reactors containing spent fuel is infeasible, we evaluate the cost, safety, and proliferation risks of a system in which small modular reactors are manufactured in a factory, and then deployed to a customer nation on a floating platform. This floating small modular reactor would be owned and operated by a single entity and returned unopened to the developed state for refueling. We developed a decision model that allows for a comparison of floating and land-based alternatives considering key International Atomic Energy Agency plant-siting criteria. Abandoning onsite refueling is beneficial, and floating reactors built in a central facility can potentially reduce the risk of cost overruns and the consequences of accidents. However, if the floating platform must be built to military-grade specifications, then the cost would be much higher than a land-based system. The analysis tool presented is flexible, and can assist planners in determining the scope of risks and uncertainty associated with different deployment options.

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Seeing change and being change in the world: The relationship between lay theories about the world and environmental intentions

Monica Soliman & Anne Wilson

Journal of Environmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Scientists predict that climate change will cause substantial changes to life on our planet, and that human behavior should change substantially in order to mitigate its impact. Hence, we propose that lay theories of change are among the psychological factors that can influence pro-environmental engagement. We predicted that people who think of the world as relatively stable will be more likely to be skeptical about anthropogenic climate change. They should also be less likely to believe that society can change in ways that could alleviate or avert its consequences. In turn, their skepticism about climate change and their beliefs about mitigation are expected to influence their willingness to engage in pro-environmental behavior. A survey conducted with American adults (N = 297) supported these hypotheses; lay theories predicted people's beliefs about climate change and about the possibility of mitigation, which in turn influenced their intentions to engage in pro-environmental behaviors.

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Climate Change Helplessness and the (De)moralization of Individual Energy Behavior

Erika Salomon, Jesse Preston & Melanie Tannenbaum

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although most people understand the threat of climate change, they do little to modify their own energy conservation behavior. One reason for this gap between belief and behavior may be that individual actions seem unimpactful and therefore are not morally relevant. This research investigates how climate change helplessness — belief that one’s actions cannot affect climate change — can undermine the moralization of climate change and personal energy conservation. In Study 1, climate change efficacy predicted both moralization of energy use and energy conservation intentions beyond individual belief in climate change. In Studies 2 and 3, participants read information about climate change that varied in efficacy message, that is, whether individual actions (e.g., using less water, turning down heat) make a difference in the environment. Participants who read that their behavior made no meaningful impact reported weaker moralization and intentions (Study 2), and reported more energy consumption 1 week later (Study 3). Moreover, effects on intentions and actions were mediated by changes in moralization. We discuss ways to improve climate change messages to foster environmental efficacy and moralization of personal energy use.

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Consequences of the Clean Water Act and the Demand for Water Quality

David Keiser & Joseph Shapiro

NBER Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
Since the 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act, government and industry have invested over $1 trillion to abate water pollution, or $100 per person-year. Over half of U.S. stream and river miles, however, still violate pollution standards. We use the most comprehensive set of files ever compiled on water pollution and its determinants, including 50 million pollution readings from 170,000 monitoring sites, to study water pollution's trends, causes, and welfare consequences. We have three main findings. First, water pollution concentrations have fallen substantially since 1972, though were declining at faster rates before then. Second, the Clean Water Act's grants to municipal wastewater treatment plants caused some of these declines. Third, the grants' estimated effects on housing values are generally smaller than the grants' costs.

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Proximity to Development and Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing

Hilary Boudet et al.

Oregon State University Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
Research on the relationship between proximity to energy development and public support for said development has produced conflicting results. Moreover, our understanding of this relationship in the context of unconventional oil and gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing becomes even cloudier because of limited data. Drawing on a unique dataset that includes both geo-coded data from nationally representative surveys conducted from 2012 to 2016 (9 waves; n=19,098) and high-resolution well location data, we examine how proximity to new unconventional oil and gas wells shapes familiarity with and support for hydraulic fracturing. After controlling for various individual and contextual factors, we find that proximity to new development is linked to both greater familiarity with and more support for hydraulic fracturing – a relationship that is similar in magnitude to the marginal effects of income, gender and age. We discuss the implications of these findings for effective risk communication, as well as the importance of incorporating spatial analysis into public opinion research on perceptions of energy development.

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Decline in global oceanic oxygen content during the past five decades

Sunke Schmidtko, Lothar Stramma & Martin Visbeck

Nature, 16 February 2017, Pages 335–339

Abstract:
Ocean models predict a decline in the dissolved oxygen inventory of the global ocean of one to seven per cent by the year 2100, caused by a combination of a warming-induced decline in oxygen solubility and reduced ventilation of the deep ocean. It is thought that such a decline in the oceanic oxygen content could affect ocean nutrient cycles and the marine habitat, with potentially detrimental consequences for fisheries and coastal economies. Regional observational data indicate a continuous decrease in oceanic dissolved oxygen concentrations in most regions of the global ocean, with an increase reported in a few limited areas, varying by study. Prior work attempting to resolve variations in dissolved oxygen concentrations at the global scale reported a global oxygen loss of 550 ± 130 teramoles (1012 mol) per decade between 100 and 1,000 metres depth based on a comparison of data from the 1970s and 1990s. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of the entire ocean oxygen inventory by analysing dissolved oxygen and supporting data for the complete oceanic water column over the past 50 years. We find that the global oceanic oxygen content of 227.4 ± 1.1 petamoles (1015 mol) has decreased by more than two per cent (4.8 ± 2.1 petamoles) since 1960, with large variations in oxygen loss in different ocean basins and at different depths. We suggest that changes in the upper water column are mostly due to a warming-induced decrease in solubility and biological consumption. Changes in the deeper ocean may have their origin in basin-scale multi-decadal variability, oceanic overturning slow-down and a potential increase in biological consumption.

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COP21 climate negotiators’ responses to climate model forecasts

Valentina Bosetti et al.

Nature Climate Change, March 2017

Abstract:
Policymakers involved in climate change negotiations are key users of climate science. It is therefore vital to understand how to communicate scientific information most effectively to this group. We tested how a unique sample of policymakers and negotiators at the Paris COP21 conference update their beliefs on year 2100 global mean temperature increases in response to a statistical summary of climate models’ forecasts. We randomized the way information was provided across participants using three different formats similar to those used in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. In spite of having received all available relevant scientific information, policymakers adopted such information very conservatively, assigning it less weight than their own prior beliefs. However, providing individual model estimates in addition to the statistical range was more effective in mitigating such inertia. The experiment was repeated with a population of European MBA students who, despite starting from similar priors, reported conditional probabilities closer to the provided models’ forecasts than policymakers. There was also no effect of presentation format in the MBA sample. These results highlight the importance of testing visualization tools directly on the population of interest.

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Global economic impacts of climate variability and change during the 20th century

Francisco Estrada, Richard Tol & Wouter Botzen

PLoS ONE, February 2017

Abstract:
Estimates of the global economic impacts of observed climate change during the 20th century obtained by applying five impact functions of different integrated assessment models (IAMs) are separated into their main natural and anthropogenic components. The estimates of the costs that can be attributed to natural variability factors and to the anthropogenic intervention with the climate system in general tend to show that: 1) during the first half of the century, the amplitude of the impacts associated with natural variability is considerably larger than that produced by anthropogenic factors and the effects of natural variability fluctuated between being negative and positive. These non-monotonic impacts are mostly determined by the low-frequency variability and the persistence of the climate system; 2) IAMs do not agree on the sign (nor on the magnitude) of the impacts of anthropogenic forcing but indicate that they steadily grew over the first part of the century, rapidly accelerated since the mid 1970's, and decelerated during the first decade of the 21st century. This deceleration is accentuated by the existence of interaction effects between natural variability and natural and anthropogenic forcing. The economic impacts of anthropogenic forcing range in the tenths of percentage of the world GDP by the end of the 20th century; 3) the impacts of natural forcing are about one order of magnitude lower than those associated with anthropogenic forcing and are dominated by the solar forcing; 4) the interaction effects between natural and anthropogenic factors can importantly modulate how impacts actually occur, at least for moderate increases in external forcing. Human activities became dominant drivers of the estimated economic impacts at the end of the 20th century, producing larger impacts than those of low-frequency natural variability. Some of the uses and limitations of IAMs are discussed.

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Global Climate Policy Will Have Net Benefits Larger Than Anyone Thinks (and Welfare Gains, Strangely, Are Likely To Be Much Larger Yet)

Philip Graves

Ecological Economics, June 2017, Pages 73–76

Abstract:
As with other public goods lacking strong special interest support, global climate policy suffers from two serious theoretical flaws. The first is failure to endogenize the labor-leisure decision when conducting benefit-cost analysis. Recognition that income generated will not remain the same pre-and-post policy results in downward bias in benefit estimation. Much more importantly, there will generally be free riding in input markets in addition to the well-known output demand revelation problem. Since even households with very high marginal values cannot individually increment public goods, too little income will be generated and too much of the income that is generated will be spent on relatively low value ordinary private goods. The ungenerated income would have all been spent on the public good, apart from general equilibrium considerations, resulting in additional — and perhaps large — downward bias in benefits of global climate policy. The reallocation of spending from relatively low value private goods to higher value public goods may further greatly increase willingness-to-pay for policies stabilizing global climate.

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Slower snowmelt in a warmer world

Keith Musselman et al.

Nature Climate Change, March 2017, Pages 214–219

Abstract:
There is general consensus that projected warming will cause earlier snowmelt, but how snowmelt rates will respond to climate change is poorly known. We present snowpack observations from western North America illustrating that shallower snowpack melts earlier, and at lower rates, than deeper, later-lying snow-cover. The observations provide the context for a hypothesis of slower snowmelt in a warmer world. We test this hypothesis using climate model simulations for both a control time period and re-run with a future climate scenario, and find that the fraction of meltwater volume produced at high snowmelt rates is greatly reduced in a warmer climate. The reduction is caused by a contraction of the snowmelt season to a time of lower available energy, reducing by as much as 64% the snow-covered area exposed to energy sufficient to drive high snowmelt rates. These results have unresolved implications on soil moisture deficits, vegetation stress, and streamflow declines.

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The 21st century Colorado River hot drought and implications for the future

Bradley Udall & Jonathan Overpeck

Water Resources Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Between 2000 and 2014, annual Colorado River flows averaged 19% below the 1906-1999 average, the worst 15-year drought on record. At least one-sixth to one-half (average at one-third) of this loss is due to unprecedented temperatures (0.9°C above the 1906-99 average), confirming model-based analysis that continued warming will likely further reduce flows. Whereas it is virtually certain that warming will continue with additional emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, there has been no observed trend towards greater precipitation in the Colorado Basin, nor are climate models in agreement that there should be a trend. Moreover, there is a significant risk of decadal and multidecadal drought in the coming century, indicating that any increase in mean precipitation will likely be offset during periods of prolonged drought. Recently published estimates of Colorado River flow sensitivity to temperature combined with a large number of recent climate model-based temperature projections indicate that continued business-as-usual warming will drive temperature-induced declines in river flow, conservatively -20% by mid-century and -35% by end–century, with support for losses exceeding -30% at mid-century and -55% at end-century. Precipitation increases may moderate these declines somewhat, but to date no such increases are evident and there is no model agreement on future precipitation changes. These results, combined with the increasing likelihood of prolonged drought in the river basin, suggest that future climate change impacts on the Colorado River flows will be much more serious than currently assumed, especially if substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions do not occur.

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Fair Weather or Foul? The Macroeconomic Effects of El Niño

Paul Cashin, Kamiar Mohaddes & Mehdi Raissi

Journal of International Economics, May 2017, Pages 37–54

Abstract:
This paper employs a dynamic multi-country framework to analyze the international macroeconomic transmission of El Niño weather shocks. This framework comprises 21 country/region-specific models, estimated over the period 1979Q2 to 2013Q1, and accounts for not only direct exposures of countries to El Niño shocks but also indirect effects through third-markets. We contribute to the climate-macroeconomy literature by exploiting exogenous variation in El Niño weather events over time, and their impact on different regions cross-sectionally, to causatively identify the effects of El Niño shocks (direct and total) on growth, inflation, energy and non-fuel commodity prices. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to El Niño shocks. While Australia, Chile, Indonesia, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa face a short-lived fall in economic activity in response to an El Niño shock, for other countries (including the United States and European region), an El Niño occurrence has a growth-enhancing effect. Furthermore, most countries in our sample experience short-run inflationary pressures as both energy and non-fuel commodity prices increase. Given these findings, macroeconomic policy formulation should take into consideration the likelihood and effects of El Niño weather episodes.

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Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the deepest ocean fauna

Alan Jamieson et al.

Nature Ecology & Evolution, February 2017

Abstract:
The legacy and reach of anthropogenic influence is most clearly evidenced by its impact on the most remote and inaccessible habitats on Earth. Here we identify extraordinary levels of persistent organic pollutants in the endemic amphipod fauna from two of the deepest ocean trenches (>10,000 metres). Contaminant levels were considerably higher than documented for nearby regions of heavy industrialization, indicating bioaccumulation of anthropogenic contamination and inferring that these pollutants are pervasive across the world’s oceans and to full ocean depth.

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Selenium deficiency risk predicted to increase under future climate change

Gerrad Jones et al.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Deficiencies of micronutrients, including essential trace elements, affect up to 3 billion people worldwide. The dietary availability of trace elements is determined largely by their soil concentrations. Until now, the mechanisms governing soil concentrations have been evaluated in small-scale studies, which identify soil physicochemical properties as governing variables. However, global concentrations of trace elements and the factors controlling their distributions are virtually unknown. We used 33,241 soil data points to model recent (1980–1999) global distributions of Selenium (Se), an essential trace element that is required for humans. Worldwide, up to one in seven people have been estimated to have low dietary Se intake. Contrary to small-scale studies, soil Se concentrations were dominated by climate–soil interactions. Using moderate climate-change scenarios for 2080–2099, we predicted that changes in climate and soil organic carbon content will lead to overall decreased soil Se concentrations, particularly in agricultural areas; these decreases could increase the prevalence of Se deficiency. The importance of climate–soil interactions to Se distributions suggests that other trace elements with similar retention mechanisms will be similarly affected by climate change.

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Industrial Investments in Energy Efficiency: A Good Idea?

Mary Jialin Li

University of Chicago Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
Yes, from an energy-saving perspective. No, once we factor in the negative output and productivity adoption effects. These are the main conclusions we reach by conducting the first large-scale study on cogeneration technology adoption – a prominent form of energy-saving investments – in the U.S. manufacturing sector, using a sample that runs from 1982 to 2010 and drawing on multiple data sources from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Energy Information Administration. We first show through a series of event studies that no differential trends exist in energy consumption nor production activities between adopters and never-adopters prior to the adoption event. We then compute a distribution of realized returns to energy savings, using accounting methods and regression methods, based on our difference-in-difference estimator. We find that (1) significant heterogeneity exists in returns; (2) unlike previous studies in the residential sector, the realized and projected returns to energy savings are roughly consistent in the industrial sector, for both private and social returns; (3) however, cogeneration adoption decreases manufacturing output and productivity persistently for at least the next 7-10 years, relative to the control group. Our IV strategies also show sizable decline in TFP post adoption.

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Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver at the Right Time?

Judson Boomhower & Lucas Davis

NBER Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
Electricity cannot be cost-effectively stored even for short periods of time. Consequently, wholesale electricity prices vary widely across hours of the day with peak prices frequently exceeding off-peak prices by a factor of ten or more. Most analyses of energy-efficiency policies ignore this variation, focusing on total energy savings without regard to when those savings occur. In this paper we demonstrate the importance of this distinction using novel evidence from a rebate program for air conditioners in Southern California. We estimate electricity savings using hourly smart-meter data and show that savings tend to occur during hours when the value of electricity is high. This significantly increases the overall value of the program, especially once we account for the large capacity payments received by generators to guarantee their availability in high-demand hours. We then compare this estimated savings profile with engineering-based estimates for this program as well as a variety of alternative energy-efficiency investments. The results illustrate a surprisingly large amount of variation in economic value across investments.

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Potential Climate Change Health Risks from Increases in Heat Waves: Abnormal Birth Outcomes and Adverse Maternal Health Conditions

Gulcan Cil & Trudy Ann Cameron

Risk Analysis, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigate the risks presented by heat waves for adverse health conditions for babies and expectant mothers when these mothers have been exposed to heat waves during gestation or during the period just prior to conception. Rather than just birth weight and gestational age, we focus on less common metrics such as abnormal conditions in the newborn (fetal distress, reliance on a ventilator, and meconium aspiration) and adverse health conditions in the mother (pregnancy-related hypertension, uterine bleeding during pregnancy, eclampsia, and incompetent cervix). We use monthly panel data for over 3,000 U.S. counties, constructed from the confidential version of the U.S. Natality Files for 1989–2008. Our models control for sociodemographic factors and include county, month, and state-by-year fixed effects to control for unobserved spatial and timewise heterogeneity in the data. Even within the United States, where there is widespread access to air conditioning, heat waves increase the fraction of babies with abnormal conditions related to maternal stress, as well as the fraction of mothers who experience pregnancy-related adverse health conditions. The scope for these risks in developing countries is likely to be even greater.

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Revisiting the social cost of carbon

William Nordhaus

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 14 February 2017, Pages 1518–1523

Abstract:
The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a central concept for understanding and implementing climate change policies. This term represents the economic cost caused by an additional ton of carbon dioxide emissions or its equivalent. The present study presents updated estimates based on a revised DICE model (Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy). The study estimates that the SCC is $31 per ton of CO2 in 2010 US$ for the current period (2015). For the central case, the real SCC grows at 3% per year over the period to 2050. The paper also compares the estimates with those from other sources.

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No evidence of publication bias in climate change science

Christian Harlos, Tim Edgell & Johan Hollander

Climatic Change, February 2017, Pages 375–385

Abstract:
Non-significant results are less likely to be reported by authors and, when submitted for peer review, are less likely to be published by journal editors. This phenomenon, known collectively as publication bias, is seen in a variety of scientific disciplines and can erode public trust in the scientific method and the validity of scientific theories. Public trust in science is especially important for fields like climate change science, where scientific consensus can influence state policies on a global scale, including strategies for industrial and agricultural management and development. Here, we used meta-analysis to test for biases in the statistical results of climate change articles, including 1154 experimental results from a sample of 120 articles. Funnel plots revealed no evidence of publication bias given no pattern of non-significant results being under-reported, even at low sample sizes. However, we discovered three other types of systematic bias relating to writing style, the relative prestige of journals, and the apparent rise in popularity of this field: First, the magnitude of statistical effects was significantly larger in the abstract than the main body of articles. Second, the difference in effect sizes in abstracts versus main body of articles was especially pronounced in journals with high impact factors. Finally, the number of published articles about climate change and the magnitude of effect sizes therein both increased within 2 years of the seminal report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Commitment issues

Attractiveness and relationship longevity: Beauty is not what it is cracked up to be

Christine Ma-Kellams, Margaret Wang & Hannah Cardiel

Personal Relationships, forthcoming

Abstract:
Across four studies, we examined the relational repercussions of physical attractiveness (PA). Study 1 (n = 238) found that those rated as more attractive in high school yearbooks were married for shorter durations and more likely to divorce. Study 2 (n = 130) replicated these effects using a different sample (high-profile celebrities). Study 3 (n = 134) examined the link between PA and the derogation of attractive alternatives, a relationship maintenance strategy. Study 4 (n = 156) experimentally manipulated perceived PA and examined its relation with both derogation of attractive alternatives and current relationship satisfaction. PA predicted likelihood of relationship dissolution and decreased derogation of attractive alternatives. Furthermore, PA predicted greater vulnerability to relationship threats — in this case, relationship alternatives — resulting from poor relationship satisfaction.

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Men’s Perceived Partner Commitment and Mate Guarding: The Moderating Role of Partner’s Hormonal Contraceptive Use

Juliana French, Andrea Meltzer & Jon Maner

Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Male jealousy is an adaptive interpersonal process that functions to maintain relationships by reducing the likelihood of partner sexual infidelity. Ancestral men would have been most reproductively successful to the extent that they responded to signs of low partner commitment with increased jealousy and mate guarding. The current research showed that, indeed, newlywed husbands who perceived relatively low commitment in their new wives displayed relatively high levels of mate guarding. However, this relationship was moderated by wives’ use of hormonal contraceptives (HCs). HCs can unconsciously reduce women’s sexual signaling behaviors and, therefore, may eliminate the extra-pair sexual signaling likely to promote male mate guarding. Consistent with predictions, among husbands with wives not using HCs, relatively low levels of perceived partner commitment were associated with relatively high levels of husbands’ mate guarding. Among husbands with wives using HCs, in contrast, husbands’ perceived partner commitment was unassociated with husbands’ mate guarding. This finding joins others in suggesting that the use of HCs, often used in the context of long-term committed relationships, can unknowingly interrupt evolved relationship processes.

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The Intergenerational Transmission of Union Instability in Early Adulthood

Paul Amato & Sarah Patterson

Journal of Marriage and Family, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on the intergenerational transmission of divorce should be expanded to incorporate disrupted nonmarital cohabitations. This study (a) examined the transmission of union instability from parents to offspring using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, (b) replaced binary variables (divorced vs. nondivorced) typically used in this literature with count variables (number of disrupted unions), (c) relied on independent sources for data on parents' and offspring's union disruptions to minimize same-source bias, (d) assessed the mediating role of theoretically derived variables (many not previously considered in this literature), and (e) incorporated information on discord in intact parental unions. Parent and offspring union disruptions were positively linked, with each parental disruption associated with a 16% increase in the number of offspring disruptions, net of controls. The mediators collectively accounted for 44% of the estimated intergenerational effect. Parent discord in intact unions was associated with more offspring disruptions.

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Integrating molecular genetics and evolutionary psychology: Sexual jealousy and the androgen receptor (AR) gene

David Lewis et al.

Personality and Individual Differences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Integrating evolutionary psychological and molecular genetic research may increase our knowledge of the psychological correlates of specific genes, as well as enhance evolutionary psychology's ability to explain individual differences. We tested the hypothesis that men's sexual jealousy mechanisms functionally calibrate their psychological output according to genetic variation at the androgen receptor locus. Mated men (N = 103) provided buccal cell samples for genotype fragment analysis and completed inventories assessing their sexually jealous cognitions and emotions. Results indicated that men with longer sequences of CAG codon repeats at the androgen receptor locus were more likely to perceive ambiguous social and environmental cues as indicative of their mates' infidelity, and experienced greater emotional upset in response to these cues. These results contribute to a growing body of research linking polymorphism at the AR locus to individual differences in psychology, and, to our knowledge, provide the first evidence pointing toward the heritability of sexual jealousy. Our discussion centers on whether the heritability of psychological differences implies direct genetic influences on the neurobiological substrate, or reflects functionally calibrated output from sex-typical and species-typical mechanisms. We conclude by describing how future research can more clearly differentiate between these alternative genetic models.

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For Better or for Worse? Gender Ideology, Religious Commitment, and Relationship Quality

Samuel Perry & Andrew Whitehead

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Few studies have considered how religion moderates the ways gender ideology influences heterosexual relationship outcomes. Drawing on a national random sample of American adults who report being married or living as married, we focus on the extent to which religious commitment moderates the link between gender ideology and reported relationship satisfaction, and whether this moderating effect varies across gender. We find that gender traditionalism is negatively associated with relationship satisfaction; however, interaction effects reveal that religious commitment moderates the effects of gender ideology such that the negative effects of gender traditionalism on relationship satisfaction only apply to people who are less religious. Gender traditionalism, by contrast, is not negatively related to relationship satisfaction for the highly religious. Splitting the sample by gender reveals that this moderating relationship is significant for women only. Thus, while gender traditionalism is negatively related to relationship satisfaction in the main, this effect is contingent on both gender and religious commitment. Religious commitment appears to mitigate negative effects of gender traditionalism on relationship outcomes, particularly for American women.

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Trajectories of relationship supportiveness after childbirth: Does marriage matter?

Marcia Carlson & Alicia VanOrman

Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Relationship quality for married couples typically declines after the birth of a (first) child, as parenthood brings new identities, stresses, and responsibilities for mothers and fathers. Yet, it is less clear whether nonmarital relationship quality follows a similar trajectory, particularly given the greater selectivity of nonmarital relationships that persist over time. This paper uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 3459) with latent growth curve models to examine relationship quality (measured by mothers' perceived supportiveness about fathers) for married and unmarried couples over nine years after a child's birth. Findings suggest that marriage at birth is protective for relationship supportiveness over time, net of various individual characteristics associated with marriage, compared to all unmarried couples at birth; however, marriage does not differentiate supportiveness compared to the subset of unmarried couples who remain stably together. Also, unmarried couples who get married after the birth have more supportive relationships compared to all unmarried couples who do not marry — though less so when compared to couples who remain stably together.

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A tale of two decades: Relative intra-family earning capacity and changes in family welfare over time

Julie Hotchkiss et al.

Review of Economics of the Household, forthcoming

Abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of economic changes in the 1990s and 2000s on the welfare of married households, taking into account the relative earnings structure of husband and wife. Modeling the household members’ joint labor supply, we find that families in which the wife is the higher wage earner experienced as much welfare gain in the 1990s and significantly higher welfare gains in the 2000s as families in which the husband is the higher wage earner.

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The Risk for Marital Infidelity Across a Year-Long Deployment

Christina Balderrama-Durbin et al.

Journal of Family Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Military deployment can create significant relationship strain. Although most couples navigate the challenges of deployment successfully, this period may render some couples more vulnerable to adverse relationship outcomes such as infidelity due to a convergence of factors including geographic separation and reduced emotional and physical intimacy. Despite anecdotal reports of increased rates of infidelity during deployment, empirical findings are lacking. This study used a prospective design to examine the prevalence and risk factors of infidelity across the deployment cycle including a year-long deployment to Iraq. A total of 63 married male Airmen were assessed both pre- and 6–9 months postdeployment. The rate of sexual infidelity prior to deployment (21%) was commensurate with the lifetime rate of sexual involvement outside the marriage in representative community samples of men. Across the deployment period, the prevalence of sexual infidelity was strikingly high (22.6%) compared with annual community estimates (1.5–4%; Allen et al., 2005). Findings demonstrated that service members with a prior history of separation, steps toward divorce, and relationship distress prior to deployment had elevated risk for infidelity over the deployment cycle. Moreover, roughly 75% of Airmen who experienced infidelity over the deployment cycle divorced by 6–9 months postdeployment whereas only 5% of service members without infidelity divorced during this same time period. Considering well-documented adverse impacts of infidelity and divorce, the current findings may assist in identifying military couples at risk for infidelity and informing targeted prevention or early intervention strategies for these couples prior to or immediately following deployment.

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Behavioral Reactions to Emotional and Sexual Infidelity: Mate Abandonment Versus Mate Retention

Murray Millar & Alyson Baker

Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study tested the hypothesis that for men, sexual infidelity will be more associated with mate abandonment behaviors and emotional infidelity will be more associated with mate retention behaviors, and for women the pattern would reverse. Furthermore, we proposed that these effects would be caused by changes in the perceived mate value of the unfaithful partner. To test these hypotheses, male and female participants read a scenario that describes either an emotional or a sexual infidelity and indicated their likely response to the infidelity described in the scenario. As predicted, both men and women showed the expected asymmetrical behavioral choices in response to sexual and emotional infidelity with changes in the perceived mate value of the unfaithful partner acting as a mediator.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, March 6, 2017

Outside the law

A Hunter’s Moon: The Effect of Moon Illumination on Outdoor Crime

Lisa Stolzenberg, Stewart D’Alessio & Jamie Flexon

American Journal of Criminal Justice, March 2017, Pages 188–197

Abstract:
We use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data and an AutoRegressive Integrative Moving Average (ARIMA) study design to investigate the effect of moon illumination on reported crime occurring outdoors between the hours of 10 pm to 2 am in 13 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Prior research analyzed a confounded dependent variable that amalgamated indoor and outdoor crimes. This situation is problematic in that there is little reason to speculate a relationship between moon illumination and indoor crime because artificial illumination is used within dwellings. Findings show that while moon illumination has little influence on total crime and indoor crime, the intensity of moonlight does have a substantive positive effect on outdoor criminal activity. As moon illumination intensifies, outdoor crime increases markedly. Plausible explanations for this relationship are discussed.

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Peacekeeping Force: Effects of Providing Tactical Equipment to Local Law Enforcement

Matthew Harris et al.

American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
We provide the first local-level empirical analysis of the causal effects of providing military equipment to local police. Employing a novel combination of publicly-available county-year panel data matched to hand-collected data on citizen complaints, we investigate the effects of acquiring tactical weapons, optics, and vehicles on citizen complaints, assaults on police officers, and offender deaths. For causal identification, we exploit exogenous variation in equipment availability and cost-shifting institutional aspects of the 1033 Program. Our results indicate that these items have generally positive effects: reduced citizen complaints, reduced assaults on officers, increased drug crime arrests, and no increases in offender deaths.

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Preventing the Use of Deadly Force: The Relationship between Police Agency Policies and Rates of Officer-Involved Gun Deaths

Jay Jennings & Meghan Rubado

Public Administration Review, March/April 2017, Pages 217–226

Abstract:
Killings of civilians by police officers have become a matter of intense public concern in the United States. High-profile deaths, especially those of black citizens, have caused outrage and sparked the Black Lives Matter movement with calls for dramatic changes in how police agencies operate. However, little systematic research exists to answer questions about which policies should be ended or put in place to reduce these deaths. The authors leverage a large data set of gun deaths by police officers in the United States, combined with agency-level policy data and community demographic data, to examine whether certain policies are associated with lower or higher rates of officer-involved gun deaths. Findings show that one policy — the requirement that officers file a report when they point their guns at people but do not fire — is associated with significantly lower rates of gun deaths.

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Contracting for Privacy Precaution (and a Laffer Curve for Crime)

Ian Ayres

Journal of Legal Studies, June 2016, Pages S123-S136

Abstract:
While Internet consumers and retailers have incentives to contract to protect against criminal privacy invasions by third parties, externality and observability concerns may limit contractual precaution mandates. Contracting between consumers and retailers operates, however, in the shadow of government efforts to deter cybercrime — which in turn can influence the equilibrium information-sharing activity levels as well as private precaution efforts taken by consumers and retailers. This article argues that there is a criminal analog to the Laffer curve. Just as citizens’ reaction to taxation policy raises the possibility that, over some range, lower tax rates may produce higher government revenues, citizens’ reaction to penal policies raises the possibility that, over some range, higher penalties may produce more crime. Though victims and thieves may be made better off by a “higher crime–higher penalty” equilibrium, these private benefits must be measured against (among other things) the social costs of additional state effort.

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Economic insecurity and the rise in gun violence at US schools

A.R. Pah et al.

Nature Human Behaviour, January 2017

Abstract:
Frequent school shootings are a unique US phenomenon that has defied understanding. Uncovering the aetiology of this problem is hampered by the lack of an established dataset. Here we assemble a carefully curated dataset for the period 1990–2013 that is built upon an exhaustive review of existing data and original sources. Using this dataset, we find that the rate of gun violence is time-dependent and that this rate is heightened from 2007 to 2013. We further find that periods of increased shooting rates are significantly correlated with increases in the unemployment rate across different geographic aggregation levels (national, regional and city). Consistent with the hypothesis that increasing uncertainty in the school-to-work transition contributes to school shootings, we find that multiple indicators of economic distress significantly correlate with increases in the rate of gun violence when events at both K12 and post-secondary schools are considered.

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The Economics of Scams

Stan Miles & Derek Pyne

Review of Law & Economics, February 2017

Abstract:
This paper offers one of the first economic analyses of scams. Its major finding is that, unlike other crimes, imperfect enforcement may increase victimization by deterring only low-ability scammers whose failed attempts would otherwise alert potential victims before encounters with high-ability scammers. High-ability scammers may actually benefit from partial enforcement, which reduces their competition. These results may be reinforced when failed attempts are punished.

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Secondary and 2-Year Outcomes of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women

Charlene Senn et al.

Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
We report the secondary outcomes and longevity of efficacy from a randomized controlled trial that evaluated a novel sexual assault resistance program designed for first-year women university students. Participants (N = 893) were randomly assigned to receive the Enhanced Assess, Acknowledge, Act (EAAA) program or a selection of brochures (control). Perception of personal risk, self-defense self-efficacy, and rape myth acceptance was assessed at baseline; 1-week postintervention; and 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month postrandomization. Risk detection was assessed at 1 week, 6 months, and 12 months. Sexual assault experience and knowledge of effective resistance strategies were assessed at all follow-ups. The EAAA program produced significant increases in women’s perception of personal risk, self-defense self-efficacy, and knowledge of effective (forceful verbal and physical) resistance strategies; the program also produced decreases in general rape myth acceptance and woman blaming over the entire 24-month follow-up period. Risk detection was significantly improved for the intervention group at post-test. The program significantly reduced the risk of completed and attempted rape, attempted coercion, and nonconsensual sexual contact over the entire follow-up period, yielding reductions between 30% and 64% at 2 years. The EAAA program produces long-lasting changes in secondary outcomes and in the incidence of sexual assault experienced by women students. Universities can reduce the harm and the negative health consequences that young women experience as a result of campus sexual assault by implementing this program.

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The Impact of Police Strength and Arrest Productivity on Fear of Crime and Subjective Assessments of the Police

Will Hauser & Gary Kleck

American Journal of Criminal Justice, March 2017, Pages 86–111

Abstract:
We explore the effect of police strength and arrest productivity on citizens’ fear of crime and perceived risk of victimization, as well as their subjective perceptions of the police including their confidence in the police and ratings of police response time. Police strength is measured as the rate of officers per 1,000 and productivity is calculated as the average number of arrests per officer; we also controlled for the crime rate using crimes reported to the police. We use nationally representative survey data (n = 1,005) and conduct a supplemental analysis of data drawn from a representative sample of urban counties (n = 1,500). Police force size and productivity have limited and inconsistent effects on fear of crime, perceived risk, and ratings of response time and no apparent effects on confidence in the police. We also find a modest yet statistically significant negative effect of police confidence on fear of crime. Our findings indicate that it is questionable whether adding more police will reduce fear or perceived risk of victimization to any measurable degree. Consequently, we suggest that rather than hiring binges and increased arrests, the focus should be instead on making positive contacts with citizens.

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Estimating the Crime Effects of Raising the Age of Majority: Evidence from Connecticut

Charles Loeffler & Aaron Chalfin

Criminology & Public Policy, February 2017, Pages 45–71

Abstract:
The results of recent empirical research have shown that juveniles do not achieve complete psychosocial maturity until postadolescence and that processing juveniles as adults in the criminal justice system can be associated with elevated rates of criminal recidivism. In response to these as well as other concerns, several states have recently raised their legal ages of majority in the hopes of reducing juvenile offending rates. Connecticut enacted one such law change when it raised its age of majority from 16 to 17 in 2010 and then from 17 to 18 in 2012 for all but the most serious offenses. The effect of Connecticut's policy change on juvenile crime is examined in this study. To discern between changes in juvenile offending and changes in the propensity of police to arrest youthful offenders in the aftermath of a law change, we use two methodological approaches. Synthetic control methods are used to generate triple-differences estimates of the effect of Connecticut's policy change on juvenile arrests and overall crime rates by using a weighted average of other U.S. states as a natural comparison group. Next, by analyzing National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data for a subset of Connecticut's local jurisdictions, we examine changes in age-specific juvenile arrests and changes in age-specific juvenile offending. The resulting evidence suggests that no discernable change in juvenile offending occurred. In addition, evidence exists that in some Connecticut jurisdictions, officer, rather than juvenile, behavior was impacted by this law change.

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Inequalities Regimes in Policing: Examining the Connection Between Social Exclusion and Order Maintenance Strategies

Amie Schuck & Cara Rabe-Hemp

Race and Justice, forthcoming

Abstract:
The purpose of this article is to evaluate how the intersection of race, class, and gender within law enforcement influences the utilization of public safety strategies grounded in the broken windows policing philosophy. Drawing from Acker’s inequality regime framework, we hypothesize that greater workplace inequalities produce institutionalized systems of social processes that increase the likelihood that organizations will implement aggressive enforcement of order maintenance offenses as a strategy for sustaining public safety. Using data collected from 1,218 U.S. police departments, the results suggest that stronger inequality regimes are associated with higher arrest rates for disorder offenses, marijuana possession, and liquor law violations. Further, the results suggest that stronger inequality regimes are related to higher arrest rates for Black community members. As many law enforcement agencies across the nation face a legitimacy crisis, prompted by concerns about how police interact with people of color, the results from this study suggest that increasing representation and reducing inequality in law enforcement should result in agencies becoming less reliant on large-scale arrest-driven order maintenance strategies by including more diverse perspectives in the decision-making process and developing alternative models for maintaining public safety.

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Suspect Demeanor and Arrest: A Triggered Displacement of Aggression Explanation

Richard Johnson

American Journal of Criminal Justice, March 2017, Pages 170–187

Abstract:
The evidence that police arrest suspects who display a disrespectful demeanor is mixed. One explanation for these equivocal results may be triggered displaced aggression theory. This theory suggests persons who are provoked to anger internalize their aggression and unleash it later on someone or something that further agitates them. A sample of officers was primed for either a positive or negative affect, presented with a domestic disturbance vignette, and asked to rate their likelihood of making an arrest. In one vignette version the suspect displayed a hostile demeanor and in the other the suspect’s demeanor was neutral. Officers who were negatively primed and encountered the hostile demeanor suspect were most likely to arrest compared to officer in the other conditions.

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Effects of Maternal Work Incentives on Youth Crime

Hope Corman et al.

NBER Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
This study exploits differences in the implementation of welfare reform across states and over time to identify causal effects of maternal work incentives, and by inference employment, on youth arrests between 1990 and 2005, the period during which welfare reform unfolded. We consider both serious and minor crimes as classified by the FBI, investigate the extent to which effects were stronger in states with more stringent work incentive policies and larger welfare caseload declines, and use a number of different model specifications to assess robustness and patterns. We find that welfare reform led to reduced youth arrests for minor crimes, by 7-9 %, with similar estimates for males and females, but that it did not affect youth arrests for serious crimes. The results from this study add to the scant literature on the effects of maternal employment on adolescent behavior by exploiting a large-scale social experiment that is still in effect to this day, and provide some support for the widely-embraced argument that welfare reform would discourage undesirable social behavior, not only of mothers, but also of the next generation.

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The Relationship Between Crime and Stop, Question, and Frisk Rates in New York City Neighborhoods

Richard Rosenfeld & Robert Fornango

Justice Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
The current study builds on prior research in an analysis of the relationship between monthly violent and property crime rates in New York City census tracks and the New York City Police Department’s highly contentious stop, question, and frisk (SQF) policy. We find that higher doses of SQF are associated with small crime reductions generally and specific crime reductions for stops of blacks, Hispanics, and whites. But the way the policy was implemented precludes strong causal conclusions. Now that a federal court has intervened and SQF is undergoing change, the court monitor, New York Police Department, and city officials should partner with researchers in experimental evaluations to determine the optimal mix and dosage of enforcement strategies that safeguard the rights and liberties of citizens while enhancing public safety.

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Effects of Automating Recidivism Risk Assessment on Reliability, Predictive Validity, and Return on Investment (ROI)

Grant Duwe & Michael Rocque

Criminology & Public Policy, February 2017, Pages 235–269

Abstract:
The relationship between reliability and validity is an important but often overlooked topic of research on risk assessment tools in the criminal justice system. By using data from the Minnesota Screening Tool Assessing Recidivism Risk (MnSTARR), a risk assessment instrument the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MnDOC) developed and began using in 2013, we evaluated the impact of inter-rater reliability (IRR) on predictive performance (validity) among offenders released in 2014. After comparing the reliability of a manual scoring process with an automated one, we found the MnSTARR was scored with a high degree of consistency by MnDOC staff as intraclass correlation (ICC) values ranged from 0.81 to 0.94. But despite this level of IRR, we still observed a degradation in predictive validity given that automated assessments significantly outperformed those that had been scored manually. Additional analyses revealed that the more inter-rater disagreement increased, the more predictive performance decreased. The results from our cost–benefit analyses, which examined the anticipated impact of the MnDOC's efforts to automate the MnSTARR, showed that for every dollar to be spent on automation, the estimated return will be at least $4.35 within the first year and as much as $21.74 after the fifth year.

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Exploring the conditional effects of bus stops on crime

Thomas Stucky & Sarah Smith

Security Journal, January 2017, Pages 290–309

Abstract:
Public transportation is a major element of social life in most cities, and the most common mode of public transportation is busing. This study examines whether bus stops are a robust predictor of crime, net of other factors, and whether the effect of bus stops on crime is conditioned by socioeconomic and land use factors. We use geocoded Indianapolis crime and bus stop data for 2010 to predict crime counts in 500-feet × 500-feet square grid cells, using negative binomial models. Net of other factors, bus stops are associated with variation in counts of Uniform Crime Reports reported rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and larceny in a cell. In addition, the effect of bus stops on crime was conditioned by land use characteristics. In particular, the effect of bus stops on crime was greater in commercial and industrial areas, but dampened in areas with high-density residential housing.

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Students Wearing Police Uniforms Exhibit Biased Attention toward Individuals Wearing Hoodies

Ciro Civile & Sukhvinder Obhi

Frontiers in Psychology, February 2017

Abstract:
Police provide an essential public service and they often operate in difficult circumstances, requiring high-speed cognition. Recent incidents involving apparent profiling and aggressive behavior have led to accusations that the police are sometimes biased. Given that previous research has shown a link between clothing and cognition, we investigated the question of whether the police uniform itself might induce a bias in social attention. To address this question, and using a Canadian university student sample, we assessed whether wearing a police uniform biases attention toward black faces compared to white faces, and low-status individuals compared to high-status individuals. In Experiment 1 (n = 28), participants wore either a police-style uniform or mechanic overalls, and performed a shape categorization task in the presence of a distractor that could be either: a black face, a white face, a person wearing a hoodie (whom we propose will be associated with low SES), or a person wearing a suit (whom we propose will be associated with high SES). Participants wearing the police-style uniform exhibited biased attention, indexed by slower reaction times (RTs), in the presence of low-SES images. In Experiment 2 (n = 28), we confirmed this bias using a modified Dot-Probe task – an alternate measure of attentional bias in which we observed faster RTs to a dot probe that was spatially aligned with a low SES image. Experiment 3 (n = 56) demonstrated that attentional bias toward low-SES targets appears only when participants wear the police-style uniform, and not when they are simply exposed to it – by having it placed on the desk in front of them. Our results demonstrate that wearing a police-style uniform biases attention toward low-SES targets. Thus, wearing a police-style uniform may induce a kind of “status-profiling” in which individuals from low-status groups become salient and capture attention. We note that our results are limited to university students and that it will be important to extend them to members of the community and law-enforcement officers. We discuss how uniforms might exert their effects on cognition by virtue of the power and cultural associations they evoke in the wearer.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, March 5, 2017

People person

We Look Like Our Names: The Manifestation of Name Stereotypes in Facial Appearance

Yonat Zwebner et al.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research demonstrates that facial appearance affects social perceptions. The current research investigates the reverse possibility: Can social perceptions influence facial appearance? We examine a social tag that is associated with us early in life - our given name. The hypothesis is that name stereotypes can be manifested in facial appearance, producing a face-name matching effect, whereby both a social perceiver and a computer are able to accurately match a person's name to his or her face. In 8 studies we demonstrate the existence of this effect, as participants examining an unfamiliar face accurately select the person's true name from a list of several names, significantly above chance level. We replicate the effect in 2 countries and find that it extends beyond the limits of socioeconomic cues. We also find the effect using a computer-based paradigm and 94,000 faces. In our exploration of the underlying mechanism, we show that existing name stereotypes produce the effect, as its occurrence is culture-dependent. A self-fulfilling prophecy seems to be at work, as initial evidence shows that facial appearance regions that are controlled by the individual (e.g., hairstyle) are sufficient to produce the effect, and socially using one's given name is necessary to generate the effect. Together, these studies suggest that facial appearance represents social expectations of how a person with a specific name should look. In this way a social tag may influence one's facial appearance.

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Neural Homophily: Similar Neural Responses Predict Friendship

Carolyn Parkinson, Adam Kleinbaum & Thalia Wheatley

Dartmouth College Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
We resemble our friends on a wide range of dimensions (e.g., age, gender), but do similarities between friends reflect deeper similarities in how we perceive, interpret, and respond to the world? To find out, we characterized the social network of a cohort of 279 students, a subset of whom participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study involving free viewing of video stimuli. We compared fMRI response time series between corresponding brain regions across pairs of individuals and found that neural response similarity decreased with increasing distance in the social network. These effects persisted after controlling for demographic similarity. Further, it was possible to accurately classify the distance between individuals in their social network based on the similarity of their fMRI response time series across brain regions. These results suggest that we are exceptionally similar to our friends in how we perceive and react to the world around us.

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The Pleasure of Making a Difference: Perceived Social Contribution Explains the Relation Between Extraverted Behavior and Positive Affect

Jessie Sun et al.

Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why are trait extraversion and extraverted behaviors both associated with greater positive affect? Across 3 studies, we examined whether 2 aspects of social experience - perceived social contribution and social power - mediate the relation between extraversion and positive affect. Study 1 (N = 205) showed that trait measures of social contribution and power mediated the relation between trait extraversion and trait positive affect. Study 2 (N = 78) showed that state social contribution and power helped to explain the greater levels of state positive affect reported by participants who were instructed to enact extraverted behaviors. Finally, Study 3 (N = 62) showed that social contribution and power mediated the relation between natural fluctuations in extraverted behavior and positive affect states in daily life. In all 3 studies, multiple-mediator models showed that social contribution, but not power, independently mediated the relations that trait and state extraversion had with positive affect. This suggests that perceptions of positive influence - more so than a general sense of power - help to explain why extraverts and extraverted moments are happier. We link these findings to emerging trends in the study of personality dynamics and the potential benefits of acting "out of character."

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The Negative Consequences of Maximizing in Friendship Selection

David Newman et al.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous studies have shown that the maximizing orientation, reflecting a motivation to select the best option among a given set of choices, is associated with various negative psychological outcomes. In the present studies, we examined whether these relationships extend to friendship selection and how the number of options for friends moderated these effects. Across 5 studies, maximizing in selecting friends was negatively related to life satisfaction, positive affect, and self-esteem, and was positively related to negative affect and regret. In Study 1, a maximizing in selecting friends scale was created, and regret mediated the relationships between maximizing and well-being. In a naturalistic setting in Studies 2a and 2b, the tendency to maximize among those who participated in the fraternity and sorority recruitment process was negatively related to satisfaction with their selection, and positively related to regret and negative affect. In Study 3, daily levels of maximizing were negatively related to daily well-being, and these relationships were mediated by daily regret. In Study 4, we extended the findings to samples from the U.S. and Japan. When participants who tended to maximize were faced with many choices, operationalized as the daily number of friends met (Study 3) and relational mobility (Study 4), the opportunities to regret a decision increased and further diminished well-being. These findings imply that, paradoxically, attempts to maximize when selecting potential friends is detrimental to one's well-being.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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