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Friday, April 17, 2015

The right side

Winning the victim status can open conflicting groups to reconciliation: Evidence from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Ilanit SimanTov-Nachlieli, Nurit Shnabel & Samer Halabi
European Journal of Social Psychology, March 2015, Pages 139–145

Abstract:
Members of conflicting groups often engage in ‘competitive victimhood’, that is, they are motivated to gain acknowledgment that their ingroup is the conflict's ‘true’ victim. The present study found that compared with a control group, Israeli Jews and Palestinians reassured that their ingroup had won the victim status showed increased willingness to reconcile with the outgroup and held less pessimistic, fatalistic views of the conflict. Moreover, for members of the stronger party — Israeli Jews — winning the victim status also led to increased group efficacy and consequent readiness to take action toward resolution. These findings extend previous theorizing about the positive effects of addressing group members' need for acknowledgement of their victimization.

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Running for your life, in context: Are rightists always less likely to consider fleeing their country when fearing future events?

Ruthie Pliskin, Gal Sheppes & Eran Halperin
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Fear is a powerful motivator for the classic fight or flight response. Under extreme social and political circumstances, fear may lead people to emigrate from their land to protect themselves and their families. While ideology is related to differences in behavioral fear reactivity, little is known about how it moderates the effect of fear on flight intentions. In a large experimental study (N = 243), we examined our hypothesis that this moderating effect is context-dependent, such that the context's relation to the ideology determines its influence. In ideologically-irrelevant contexts, because rightists (versus leftists) are assumed to be more behaviorally reactive to fear, their willingness to consider flight should be more affected. In ideologically-relevant intergroup contexts, however, rightist ideology provides clear reaction guidelines ruling out flight, and therefore fear should have a weaker effect on rightists’ (versus leftists') flight tendencies. Our findings supported these predictions, and their significance is discussed.

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Conservatives report, but liberals display, greater happiness

Sean Wojcik et al.
Science, 13 March 2015, Pages 1243-1246

Abstract:
Research suggesting that political conservatives are happier than political liberals has relied exclusively on self-report measures of subjective well-being. We show that this finding is fully mediated by conservatives’ self-enhancing style of self-report (study 1; N = 1433) and then describe three studies drawing from “big data” sources to assess liberal-conservative differences in happiness-related behavior (studies 2 to 4; N = 4936). Relative to conservatives, liberals more frequently used positive emotional language in their speech and smiled more intensely and genuinely in photographs. Our results were consistent across large samples of online survey takers, U.S. politicians, Twitter users, and LinkedIn users. Our findings illustrate the nuanced relationship between political ideology, self-enhancement, and happiness and illuminate the contradictory ways that happiness differences can manifest across behavior and self-reports.

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The politics of time: Conservatives differentially reference the past and liberals differentially reference the future

Michael Robinson et al.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Conservatives are thought to favor certainty and value tradition (suggesting a focus on the past), whereas liberals are thought to favor change (suggesting a focus on the future), even when it is associated with some degree of uncertainty. On this basis, two studies contrasted references to the past versus the future in language usage. Study 1 analyzed 600 texts from conservative and liberal websites. After adjusting for normative differences, a cross-over interaction was obtained: Conservative posts referenced the past to a greater extent than the future and liberal posts referenced the future more than the past. A conceptually parallel cross-over interaction was obtained in Study 2, which analyzed 145 State of the Union addresses. The temporal orientation of conservatives and liberals, then, appears qualitatively different.

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Ideological Structure and Consistency in the Age of Polarization

Caitlin Jewitt & Paul Goren
American Politics Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Decades of research establish that political elites hold more ideologically consistent and structured policy preferences than ordinary citizens. Since the late 1970s, American politics, at the elite level, has become increasingly polarized and changes in the news media have made it easier for citizens to find news catering to their ideological tastes. We capitalize on these developments to examine whether ideologically engaged citizens – those who hold strong ideological identities, who are politically informed, and who participate actively in public affairs – match elites in ideological consistency and structure during the age of polarization. We test this hypothesis by applying correlation and measurement modeling techniques to data from multiple National Election Study and Convention Delegate Study surveys. We find that (a) ideologically engaged masses hold more tightly organized opinions than the less engaged every year, but lagged elites by a wide margin in 1980; (b) convention delegates manifest impressive levels of consistency every year; (c) by 1992 engaged citizens had caught up to political elites; and (d) ideological consistency increased substantially over time in the mass public, but only among the most ideologically engaged.

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Constituents of political cognition: Race, party politics, and the alliance detection system

David Pietraszewski et al.
Cognition, July 2015, Pages 24–39

Abstract:
Research suggests that the mind contains a set of adaptations for detecting alliances: an alliance detection system, which monitors for, encodes, and stores alliance information and then modifies the activation of stored alliance categories according to how likely they will predict behavior within a particular social interaction. Previous studies have established the activation of this system when exposed to explicit competition or cooperation between individuals. In the current studies we examine if shared political opinions produce these same effects. In particular, (1) if participants will spontaneously categorize individuals according to the parties they support, even when explicit cooperation and antagonism are absent, and (2) if party support is sufficiently powerful to decrease participants’ categorization by an orthogonal but typically-diagnostic alliance cue (in this case the target’s race). Evidence was found for both: Participants spontaneously and implicitly kept track of who supported which party, and when party cross-cut race — such that the race of targets was not predictive of party support — categorization by race was dramatically reduced. To verify that these results reflected the operation of a cognitive system for modifying the activation of alliance categories, and not just socially-relevant categories in general, an identical set of studies was also conducted with in which party was either crossed with sex or age (neither of which is predicted to be primarily an alliance category). As predicted, categorization by party occurred to the same degree, and there was no reduction in either categorization by sex or by age. All effects were replicated across two sets of between-subjects conditions. These studies provide the first direct empirical evidence that party politics engages the mind’s systems for detecting alliances and establish two important social categorization phenomena: (1) that categorization by age is, like sex, not affected by alliance information and (2) that political contexts can reduce the degree to which individuals are represented in terms of their race.

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Expressive Partisanship: Campaign Involvement, Political Emotion, and Partisan Identity

Leonie Huddy, Lilliana Mason & Lene Aarøe
American Political Science Review, February 2015, Pages 1-17

Abstract:
Party identification is central to the study of American political behavior, yet there remains disagreement over whether it is largely instrumental or expressive in nature. We draw on social identity theory to develop the expressive model and conduct four studies to compare it to an instrumental explanation of campaign involvement. We find strong support for the expressive model: a multi-item partisan identity scale better accounts for campaign activity than a strong stance on subjectively important policy issues, the strength of ideological self-placement, or a measure of ideological identity. A series of experiments underscore the power of partisan identity to generate action-oriented emotions that drive campaign activity. Strongly identified partisans feel angrier than weaker partisans when threatened with electoral loss and more positive when reassured of victory. In contrast, those who hold a strong and ideologically consistent position on issues are no more aroused emotionally than others by party threats or reassurances. In addition, threat and reassurance to the party's status arouse greater anger and enthusiasm among partisans than does a threatened loss or victory on central policy issues. Our findings underscore the power of an expressive partisan identity to drive campaign involvement and generate strong emotional reactions to ongoing campaign events.

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The Political Context of Science in the United States: Public Acceptance of Evidence-Based Policy and Science Funding

Gordon Gauchat
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
In recent years, professional science organizations in the United States, including the National Research Council, National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation, have expressed concern about waning policy influence, declining government funding, and the growing politicization of science. Given this background, a number of theoretical questions motivate this study. First, what is the political context of scientific authority in the contemporary United States? More specifically, how can we best understand the association between political ideology and public perceptions of science in the current polarized environment? Using data from the National Science Foundation's Survey of Public Attitudes Toward and Understanding of Science and Technology (2006–2012), this study finds that the American public is culturally and politically divided in its support for the intersection of science and the state. Various models of political and cultural polarization are tested. Overall, ideological challenges to the cultural authority of science cannot be reduced to left-right political polarization or to conservative religious beliefs. Instead, skepticism on the political right is multifold, involving distinct modes of thought and concerns about the institutional ties between science and the state.

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Seeking politically compatible neighbors? The role of neighborhood partisan composition in residential sorting

James Gimpel & Iris Hui
Political Geography, forthcoming

Abstract:
High rates of internal migration throughout the United States offer opportunities to examine the factors underlying residential selection and neighborhood choice. We devise a survey experiment where respondents are shown photographs of properties and information about the local socioeconomic environment. By providing and varying additional information about the neighborhood partisan composition, our survey experiment explores how political information affects property evaluation. We find that the same property will be evaluated more favorably by partisans when they learn that it is situated in a predominantly co-partisan neighborhood. A second experiment examines how people make judgments about neighborhood partisan composition in the absence of readily available information. We learn that correct inferences about the politics of a locale can be drawn from non-political information about it, even without exposure to direct information about its partisan balance.

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Recession Resonance: How Evangelical Megachurch Pastors Promoted Fiscal Conservatism in the Aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crash

Stephanie Martin
Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Spring 2015, Pages 39-77

Abstract:
Jesus often spoke about the Christian obligation to provide for the poor. Yet, public opinion polls and scholarly studies consistently find that conservative Protestant voters favor economic policies of low taxes, limited state spending on welfare, and personal responsibility for financial success. This study uses evangelical sermons as a means for analyzing how conservative economic discourse, defined as a preference for limited government interference in market activities, proliferated inside American megachurches over four years following the 2008 recession. It also examines how pastors of large congregations rhetorically justified support for policies that scholars have shown work against the economic interests of middle-class and poor citizens alike. The study found that when megachurch pastors speak about economic issues, they deploy language and arguments that emphasize American economic providence and the need for individuals to take personal responsibility for financial outcomes, premises that afforded pastors the discursive space necessary for making claims about the superiority of private charity over public welfare. These findings suggest that, contrary to arguments that situate the public discourse of conservative Protestants as being mostly about social issues, there is inside evangelicalism a robust conversation about financial questions. This economic discourse is strikingly similar to that of nonreligious conservatives in the United States, a confluence that works to create a rhetorical resonance among the base constituencies inside the Republican Party and so fortify its ideological appeal and strength.

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Explaining the Appeal of Populist Right-Wing Parties in Times of Economic Prosperity

Frank Mols & Jolanda Jetten
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
The assumption that populist right-wing parties (PRWPs) thrive when the economy slows down is remarkably pervasive. What is often neglected is evidence showing PRWPs can thrive in times of economic prosperity. To examine this, we conducted an experiment in which participants were exposed to different appraisals of the future of the national economy and were subsequently asked to evaluate an anti-immigration speech (Study 1). Results showed stronger anti-immigrant sentiments when the national economy was presented as prospering rather than contracting. We then analyzed speeches by PRWP leaders who secured electoral victories during economic prosperity (Study 2) and found that these leaders encourage a sense of injustice and victimhood by portraying ordinary citizens as the victim of an alliance between powerful groups (the elite) and less powerful groups (refugees, immigrants, minorities). More specifically, Study 2 showed that PRWP leaders are crafty identity entrepreneurs who are able to turn objective relative gratification into perceived relative deprivation. We conclude that it is hence problematic to treat PRWP support as evidence of “resonance” with public sentiments and urge PRWP scholars interested in supply-side factors to engage with the social identity literature on leadership, followership, and social influence.

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Size Matters: The Effects of Political Orientation, Majority Status, and Majority Size on Misperceptions of Public Opinion

Shira Dvir-Gvirsman
Public Opinion Quarterly, Spring 2015, Pages 1-27

Abstract:
According to cognitive research, members of a social majority are better than minority members at estimating the consensus, since the latter tend to overestimate the popularity of their opinion. These differences have been explained using the motivational reasoning model. The purpose of the current study is twofold: to verify that majority members indeed provide more accurate public consensus estimations and to test the effect of political orientation on this relation. Following the motivational reasoning model, it is suggested that proponents of right-wing ideology will overestimate support for their group, especially when in the minority, since they have a stronger reaction to political threat. The research involved three case studies. In the first, data from 33 surveys conducted over 10 years (N = 15,129) were analyzed using multilevel analysis. The results showed that (a) majority members are more accurate in gauging consensual opinions than minority members; (b) the gap in accuracy between majority and minority members increases with the size of the majority; and (c) those holding right-wing attitudes tend to overestimate their group size, more so when in the minority or when support for their opinion declines. The second case study analyzed data on four different issues, using a within-subject approach (N = 450). The findings were similar, with the exception of a nonsignificant effect for majority size. Finally, in the third case study, the causal mechanism suggested was supported by an experimental setting (N = 388). The results are discussed in light of the motivational reasoning model regarding information processing and ideology.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Happily ever after

Trends in the Economic Consequences of Marital and Cohabitation Dissolution in the United States

Laura Tach & Alicia Eads
Demography, April 2015, Pages 401-432

Abstract:
Mothers in the United States use a combination of employment, public transfers, and private safety nets to cushion the economic losses of romantic union dissolution, but changes in maternal labor force participation, government transfer programs, and private social networks may have altered the economic impact of union dissolution over time. Using nationally representative panels from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) from 1984 to 2007, we show that the economic consequences of divorce have declined since the 1980s owing to the growth in married women’s earnings and their receipt of child support and income from personal networks. In contrast, the economic consequences of cohabitation dissolution were modest in the 1980s but have worsened over time. Cohabiting mothers’ income losses associated with union dissolution now closely resemble those of divorced mothers. These trends imply that changes in marital stability have not contributed to rising income instability among families with children, but trends in the extent and economic costs of cohabitation have likely contributed to rising income instability for less-advantaged children.

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Married with children: What remains when observable biases are removed from the reported male marriage wage premium

Megan de Linde Leonard & T.D. Stanley
Labour Economics, April 2015, Pages 72–80

Abstract:
There is a substantial research literature that discusses and documents a wage premium for married men. Our meta-analysis of 59 studies and 661 estimates finds a marriage premium for US men of between 9% and 13% after misspecification and selection biases are filtered out. Results from this meta-regression analysis cast doubt upon both the ‘selection’ and the ‘specialization’ explanation for the marriage-wage premium but are consistent with the notion that marriage may cause men to become more stable and committed workers.

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Health Insurance and Risk of Divorce: Does Having Your Own Insurance Matter?

Heeju Sohn
Journal of Marriage and Family, forthcoming

Abstract:
Most American adults under 65 obtain health insurance through their employers or their spouses' employers. The absence of a universal health care system in the United States puts Americans at considerable risk for losing their coverage when transitioning out of jobs or marriages. Scholars have found evidence of reduced job mobility among individuals who are dependent on their employers for health care coverage. In this study, the author found similar relationships between insurance and divorce. She applied the hazard model to married individuals in the longitudinal Survey of Income Program Participation (N = 17,388) and found lower divorce rates among people who were insured through their partners' plans without alternative sources of their own. Furthermore, she found gender differences in the relationship between health care coverage and divorce rates: Insurance-dependent women had lower rates of divorce than men in similar situations. These findings draw attention to the importance of considering family processes when debating and evaluating health policies.

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Power and Attraction to the Counternormative Aspects of Infidelity

Joris Lammers & Jon Maner
Journal of Sex Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research shows that powerful people are more likely than those lacking power to engage in infidelity. One possible explanation holds (a) that power psychologically releases people from the inhibiting effects of social norms and thus increases their appetite for counternormative forms of sexuality. Two alternative explanations are (b) that power increases appetite for any form of sexuality, normative or counternormative, and (c) that power makes men (but not women) seem more attractive to others and thus increases their access to potential mating opportunities. The current research tested these explanations using correlational data from 610 Dutch men and women. Supporting the first explanation, power's relationship with infidelity was statistically mediated by increased attraction to the secrecy associated with infidelity. Inconsistent with the second explanation, power was linked with infidelity but not with casual sex among singles (a more normative form of sexuality). Inconsistent with the third explanation, the link between power and infidelity was observed just as strongly in women as in men. Findings suggest that power may be associated with infidelity because power draws people to the counternormative aspects of infidelity. Implications for theories of power, sexuality, and gender are discussed.

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Teenage Cohabitation, Marriage, and Childbearing

Wendy Manning & Jessica Cohen
Population Research and Policy Review, April 2015, Pages 161-177

Abstract:
Cohabitation is an integral part of family research; however, little work examines cohabitation among teenagers or links between cohabitation and teenage childbearing. Drawing on the National Survey of Family Growth (2006–10), we examine family formation activities (i.e., cohabitation, marriage, and childbearing) of 3,945 15–19 year old women from the mid 1990s through 2010. One-third (34 %) of teenagers cohabit, marry, or have a child. Teenage cohabitation and marriage are both positively associated with higher odds of having a child. The vast majority of single pregnant teenagers do not form a union before the birth of their child; only 22 % cohabit and 5 % marry. Yet most single pregnant teenagers eventually cohabit, 59 % did so by the child’s third birthday and about 9 % marry. Cohabitation is an important part of the landscape of the adolescent years, and many teenage mothers described as “single mothers” are actually in cohabiting relationships.

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Love in the Time of the Depression: The Effect of Economic Conditions on Marriage in the Great Depression

Matthew Hill
Journal of Economic History, March 2015, Pages 163-189

Abstract:
I examine the impact of the Great Depression on marriage outcomes and find that marriage rates and local economic conditions are positively correlated. Specifically, poor labor market opportunities for men negatively impact marriage. Conversely, there is some evidence that poor female labor markets actually increase marriage in the period. While the Great Depression did lower marriage rates, the effect was not long lasting: marriages were delayed, not denied. The primary long-run effect of the downturn on marriage was stability: Marriages formed in tough economic times were more likely to survive compared to matches made in more prosperous time periods.

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On the Selection Effects Under Consent and Unilateral Divorce

Mehmet Bac
American Law and Economics Review, Spring 2015, Pages 43-86

Abstract:
I develop a model of marriage and divorce with privately known spouse characteristics, producing new insights: the switch from consent to unilateral divorce raises second-marriage spouse quality, hence, short-run divorce, when “good” types are in minority. Spouse quality declines from first to second marriage under both rules, but selection into first marriage is unambiguously better under unilateral divorce, which should reduce long-run divorce. An improvement in outside options amplifies the selectivity advantage of unilateral divorce provided the majority of the population marries. If the value of outside options is projected to continue rising, marriage and divorce rates should continue to fall.

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Divorce and Health: Beyond Individual Differences

David Sbarra, Karen Hasselmo & Kyle Bourassa
Current Directions in Psychological Science, April 2015, Pages 109-113

Abstract:
In this article, we review what is known about the association between marital dissolution and health outcomes in adults. Two of the major empirical findings in the literature — that most people do well following marital separation and that this life event increases risk for poor outcomes — appear to be in contrast. We provide an individual differences framework for reconciling these competing perspectives and suggest that the bulk of the risk for poor outcomes following marital dissolution is carried by a minority of people. Research focusing on at-risk populations is beginning to shed light on the processes that explain why and how marital separation and divorce are associated with ill health. This article outlines a series of future directions that go beyond individual differences to study these mechanisms.

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In Sickness and in Health? Physical Illness as a Risk Factor for Marital Dissolution in Later Life

Amelia Karraker & Kenzie Latham
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, March 2015, Pages 59-73

Abstract:
The health consequences of marital dissolution are well known, but little work has examined the impact of health on the risk of marital dissolution. In this study we use a sample of 2,701 marriages from the Health and Retirement Study (1992–2010) to examine the role of serious physical illness onset (i.e., cancer, heart problems, lung disease, and/or stroke) in subsequent marital dissolution due to either divorce or widowhood. We use a series of discrete-time event history models with competing risks to estimate the impact of husband’s and wife’s physical illness onset on risk of divorce and widowhood. We find that only wife’s illness onset is associated with elevated risk of divorce, while either husband’s or wife’s illness onset is associated with elevated risk of widowhood. These findings suggest the importance of health as a determinant of marital dissolution in later life via both biological and gendered social pathways.

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Women in Very Low Quality Marriages Gain Life Satisfaction Following Divorce

Kyle Bourassa, David Sbarra & Mark Whisman
Journal of Family Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although marital dissolution is associated with increased risk for poor mental and physical health outcomes, many people report improvements in functioning after divorce. To study the hypothesis that women in lower quality marriages would report the best outcomes upon separation/divorce, we investigated the combined effects of marital quality, gender, and marital status for predicting changes in life satisfaction (LS). Participants (N = 1,639; 50.3% men) were drawn from a nationally representative sample (Midlife in the United States Study), which included assessments of marital quality, marital status, and LS, at 2 time points (T1 and T2), roughly 10 years apart. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed an interaction between marital quality, marital status, and gender when predicting residual change in LS. Divorced women evidenced a negative association between marital quality and later LS, whereas continuously married women had a positive association between marital quality and later LS. In addition, women in higher quality marriages that become divorced showed the lowest LS, and women in lowest quality marriages show the highest LS among women with similar levels of marital quality. There was no association between marital quality and later LS for divorced or continuously married men. This work extends prior findings regarding gender differences in marital quality to postdivorce well-being, and suggests women in the lowest quality marriages may gain LS following divorce.

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Women who are married or living as married have higher salivary estradiol and progesterone than unmarried women

Emily Barrett et al.
American Journal of Human Biology, forthcoming

Objectives: Extensive research has demonstrated that marriage and parenting are associated with lower testosterone levels in men, however, very little is known about associations with hormone concentrations in women. Two studies have found lower testosterone in relation to pair-bonding and motherhood in women, with several others suggesting that estradiol levels are lower among parous women than nulliparous women. Here, we examine estradiol and progesterone concentrations in relation to marriage and motherhood in naturally cycling, reproductive age women.

Methods: In 185 Norwegian women, estradiol and progesterone concentrations were assayed from waking saliva samples collected daily over the course of a menstrual cycle. Cycles were aligned on day 0, the day of ovulation. Mean periovulatory estradiol (days −7 to +6) and luteal progesterone (day +2 to +10) indices were calculated. Marital status and motherhood (including age of youngest child) were reported in baseline questionnaires. Multivariable linear regression models were used to examine associations between ovarian hormones, marital status, and motherhood.

Results: Women who were married or living as married had higher estradiol than unmarried women (β = 0.19; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.36) and higher luteal progesterone as well (β = 0.19; 95% CI: −0.01, 0.39). There were no notable differences in hormone levels in relationship to motherhood status.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that ovarian steroid hormones may be higher among women who are married or living as married, and suggest several possible explanations, however, additional research is needed to elucidate any causal relationships.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Work for it

Turning Their Pain to Gain: Charismatic Leader Influence on Follower Stress Appraisal and Job Performance

Marcie LePine et al.
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
We develop and test a theoretical model that explores how individuals appraise different types of stressful job demands and how these cognitive appraisals impact job performance. The model also explores how charismatic leaders influence such appraisal and reaction processes, and by virtue of these effects, how leaders can influence the impact of stressful demands on their followers' job performance. In Study 1 (n = 74 U.S. Marines), our model was largely supported in hierarchical linear modeling analyses. Marines whose leaders were judged by superiors to exhibit charismatic leader behaviors appraised challenge stressors as being more challenging, and were more likely to respond to this appraisal with higher performance. Although charismatic leader behaviors did not influence how hindrance stressors were appraised, they negated the strong negative effect of hindrance appraisals on job performance. In Study 2 (n = 270 U.S. Marines) charismatic leader behaviors were measured through the eyes of the focal Marines, and the interactions found in Study 1 were replicated. Results from multilevel structural equation modeling analyses also indicate that charismatic leader behaviors moderate both the mediating role of challenge appraisals in transmitting the effect of challenge stressors to job performance, and the mediating role of hindrance appraisals in transmitting the effect of hindrance stressors to job performance. Implications of our results to theory and practice are discussed.

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Corporate Prediction Markets: Evidence from Google, Ford, and Firm X

Bo Cowgill & Eric Zitzewitz
Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite the popularity of prediction markets among economists, businesses and policymakers have been slow to adopt them in decision making. Most studies of prediction markets outside the lab are from public markets with large trading populations. Corporate prediction markets face additional issues, such as thinness, weak incentives, limited entry and the potential for traders with biases or ulterior motives – raising questions about how well these markets will perform. We examine data from prediction markets run by Google, Ford Motor Company and an anonymous basic materials conglomerate (Firm X). Despite theoretically adverse conditions, we find these markets are relatively efficient, and improve upon the forecasts of experts at all three firms by as much as a 25% reduction in mean squared error. The most notable inefficiency is an optimism bias in the markets at Google. The inefficiencies that do exist generally become smaller over time. More experienced traders and those with higher past performance trade against the identified inefficiencies, suggesting that the markets' efficiency improves because traders gain experience and less skilled traders exit the market.

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The Value of Hiring through Employee Referrals

Stephen Burks et al.
Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using personnel data from nine large firms in three industries (call-centers, trucking, and high-tech), we empirically assess the benefit to firms of hiring through employee referrals. Compared to non-referred applicants, referred applicants are more likely to be hired and more likely to accept offers, even though referrals and non-referrals have similar skill characteristics. Referred workers tend to have similar productivity compared to non-referred workers on most measures, but referred workers have lower accident rates in trucking and produce more patents in high-tech. Referred workers are substantially less likely to quit and earn slightly higher wages than non-referred workers. In call-centers and trucking, the two industries for which we can calculate worker-level profits, referred workers yield substantially higher profits per worker than non-referred workers. These profit differences are driven by lower turnover and lower recruiting costs for referrals.

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Are Winners Promoted Too Often? Evidence from the NFL Draft 1999–2012

Carl Kitchens
Economic Inquiry, April 2015, Pages 1317–1330

Abstract:
Firms engaging in hiring face recruitment costs. To reduce these costs, firms concentrate their efforts in locations that are perceived as talent rich or have produced successful employees in the past. Such recruitment mechanisms may lead to statistical discrimination if they reduce uncertainty for a subset of candidates or if firms relate current employee attributes with the institution. In this article, I test for statistical discrimination associated with an individual's institutional affiliation that results from targeted hiring practices by using a unique individual-level data set of National Football League (NFL) draft prospects. I find that conditional on individual ability, individuals from highly ranked college teams are drafted earlier than individuals from lower ranked institutions. Over the length of a player's professional career, a player's college institution has no effect on career success, indicating that certain players are damaged by this recruitment mechanism. Even though players can suffer substantial financial damages as a result of being drafted later in the draft, NFL team performance is not sufficiently affected for teams to exploit this bias.

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Spilling Outside the Box: The Effects of Individuals' Creative Behaviors at Work on Time Spent with their Spouses at Home

Spencer Harrison & David Wagner
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Most research on creativity describes it as a net positive: producing new products for the organization and satisfaction and positive affect for creative workers. However, a host of anecdotal and historical evidence suggests that creative work can have deleterious consequences for relationships. This raises the question: how does creativity at work impact relationships at home? Relying on work-family conflict and resource allocation theory as conceptual frameworks, we test a model of creative behaviors during the day at work and the extent to which employees spend time with their spouses at home in the evening, using 685 daily matched responses from 108 worker-spouse pairings. Our results reveal that variance-focused creative behaviors (problem identification, information searching, idea generation) lead to a decline in time spent with spouse at home. In contrast, selection-focused creative behaviors (idea validation) lead to an increase in time spent with spouse. Further, openness to experience moderates these relationships. Overall, the results raise questions about the possible relational costs of creative behaviors at work on life at home.

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Linking Shifts in the National Economy with Changes in Job Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Work-Life Balance

Kevin Cahill et al.
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, June 2015, Pages 40–54

Abstract:
This paper examines the extent to which job satisfaction, employee engagement, and satisfaction with work-life balance are influenced by changes in the macroeconomy. Data on employee attitudes are obtained from the Age and Generations dataset, a survey of more than 2,000 employees from nine large organizations that took place just prior to and immediately following the onset of the 2007-2009 recession. We find that the state of the macroeconomy impacts job satisfaction, employee engagement, and satisfaction with work-life balance, suggesting that employees’ job- and family-related attitudes are influenced by factors beyond the immediate job and family domains.

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Job Assignment with Multivariate Skills and the Peter Principle

Stefanie Brilon
Labour Economics, January 2015, Pages 112–121

Abstract:
This paper analyzes the job assignment problem faced by a firm when workers’ skills are distributed along several dimensions and jobs require different skills to varying extent. I derive optimal assignment rules with and without slot constraints, and show that under certain circumstances workers may get promoted although they are expected to be less productive in their new job than in their old job. This can be interpreted as a version of the Peter Principle which states that workers get promoted up to their level of incompetence.

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Bad News: An Experimental Study on the Informational Effects Of Rewards

Andrei Bremzen et al.
Review of Economics and Statistics, March 2015, Pages 55-70

Abstract:
Psychologists and economists have argued that rewards often have hidden costs. One possible reason is that the principal may have incentives to offer higher rewards when she knows the task is difficult. Our experiment tests if high rewards embody such bad news and if this is correctly perceived by their recipients. Our design allows us to decompose the overall effect of rewards on effort into a direct incentive and an informational effect. The results show that participants correctly interpret high rewards as bad news. In accordance with theory, the negative informational effect coexists with the direct positive effect.

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Hidden benefits of reward: A field experiment on motivation and monetary incentives

Ola Kvaløy, Petra Nieken & Anja Schöttner
European Economic Review, May 2015, Pages 188–199

Abstract:
We conducted a field experiment in a controlled work environment to investigate the effect of motivational talk and its interaction with monetary incentives. We find that motivational talk improves performance only when accompanied by performance pay. Moreover, performance pay reduces performance unless it is accompanied by motivational talk. These effects also carry over to the quality of work. Performance pay alone leads to more mistakes. Adding motivational talk makes the difference. In treatments with performance pay, motivational talk increases output by about 20 percent and reduces the ratio of mistakes by more than 40 percent.

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Be Careful What You Ask for: The Negative Consequences of Unethical Requests on Job Performance and Citizenship Behaviors

Isaac Smith, Maryam Kouchaki & Justin Wareham
Cornell University Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
Does receiving requests to engage in morally questionable behavior at work decrease one’s job performance? We draw on moral psychology and a psychological theory of meaning-making to explain the negative performance consequences of being the recipient of unethical requests. Specifically, participants of a laboratory experiment who received an unethical request from an experimenter performed worse on a cognitive task than those in a neutral-request condition (Study 1). Moreover, paired survey responses from a sample of U.S. working adults and their supervisors showed negative relationships between receiving unethical requests at work and both job performance and citizenship behaviors directed at the organization. These effects were mediated by a decrease in intrinsic job motivation, and moderated by moral disengagement (Study 2). Taken together, our studies suggest that receiving unethical requests can fundamentally change the meaning of one’s work and have negative performance consequences.

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The mortality of companies

Madeleine Daepp et al.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface, May 2015

Abstract:
The firm is a fundamental economic unit of contemporary human societies. Studies on the general quantitative and statistical character of firms have produced mixed results regarding their lifespans and mortality. We examine a comprehensive database of more than 25 000 publicly traded North American companies, from 1950 to 2009, to derive the statistics of firm lifespans. Based on detailed survival analysis, we show that the mortality of publicly traded companies manifests an approximately constant hazard rate over long periods of observation. This regularity indicates that mortality rates are independent of a company's age. We show that the typical half-life of a publicly traded company is about a decade, regardless of business sector. Our results shed new light on the dynamics of births and deaths of publicly traded companies and identify some of the necessary ingredients of a general theory of firms.

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Micro-Foundations of Firm-Specific Human Capital: When Do Employees Perceive Their Skills to be Firm-Specific?

Joseph Raffiee & Russell Coff
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Drawing on human capital theory, strategy scholars have emphasized firm-specific human capital as a source of sustained competitive advantage. In this study, we begin to unpack the micro-foundations of firm-specific human capital by theoretically and empirically exploring when employees perceive their skills to be firm-specific. We first develop theoretical arguments and hypotheses based on the extant strategy literature, which implicitly assumes information efficiency and unbiased perceptions of firm-specificity. We then relax these assumptions and develop alternative hypotheses rooted in the cognitive psychology literature, which highlights biases in human judgment. We test our hypotheses using two data sources from Korea and the United States. Surprisingly, our results support the hypotheses based on cognitive bias - a stark contrast to the expectations embedded within the strategy literature. Specifically, we find organizational commitment and, to some extent, tenure are negatively related to employee perceptions of the firm-specificity. We also find that employer provided on-the-job training was unrelated to perceived firm-specificity. These findings suggest that firm-specific human capital, as perceived by employees, may drive behavior in ways not anticipated by existing theory - for example, with respect to investments in skills or turnover decisions. This, in turn, may challenge the assumed relationship between firm-specific human capital and sustained competitive advantage. More broadly, our findings may suggest a need to reconsider other theories, such as transaction cost economics, that draw heavily on the notion of firm-specificity and implicitly assume widely shared and unbiased perceptions.

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Entrepreneurial Adaptation and Social Networks: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment on a MOOC Platform

Charles Eesley & Lynn Wu
Stanford Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
We examine the performance of early-stage entrepreneurs before and after randomly showing them different approaches to finding an advisory social network tie, and we find important interactions between the type of social tie and the entrepreneur’s strategic process. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized, controlled field trial of both social networks and strategic process in the literature. In particular, the results show that adding a diverse network tie alone is less effective than combining a diverse tie with a specific strategic approach. In isolation, a planning strategic process is more effective than just adding a diverse mentor tie. Contrary to the finding that entrepreneurs often change their business model and strategic direction frequently, we find that instructing entrepreneurs to have a strong, persistent vision for their startup often results in better performance in the early stages. In contrast to prior work that shows that entrepreneurs often begin their ventures with a cohesive, closed network high in trust then transition later to a more diverse network, we find that early stage ventures appear to be better off with more diverse social ties in the beginning, particularly if a more adaptive approach is adopted for the venture’s strategy. The results suggest that social networks should not be altered for entrepreneurs and managers (as many recent policies attempt to do) without also taking the strategy formulation process into consideration.

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Goal Setting and Monetary Incentives: When Large Stakes Are Not Enough

Brice Corgnet, Joaquín Gómez-Miñambres & Roberto Hernán-González
Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
The aim of this paper is to test the effectiveness of wage-irrelevant goal-setting policies in a laboratory environment. In our design, managers can assign a goal to their workers by setting a certain level of performance on the work task. We establish our theoretical conjectures by developing a model in which assigned goals act as reference points to workers’ intrinsic motivation. Consistent with our model, we find that managers set goals that are challenging but attainable for a worker of average ability. Workers respond to these goals by increasing effort and performance and by decreasing on-the-job leisure activities with respect to the no-goal-setting baseline. Finally, we study the interaction between goal setting and monetary rewards and find, in line with our theoretical model, that goal setting is most effective when monetary incentives are strong. These results suggest that goal setting may produce intrinsic motivation and increase workers’ performance beyond what is achieved by using solely monetary incentives.

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The Bright Side of Corporate Diversification: Evidence from Internal Labor Markets

Geoffrey Tate & Liu Yang
Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
We document differences in human-capital deployment between diversified and focused firms. We find that diversified firms have higher labor productivity and that they redeploy labor to industries with better prospects in response to changing opportunities. The opportunities and incentives provided in internal labor markets in turn affect the development of workers' human capital. We find that workers more frequently transition to other industries in which their diversified firms operate and with smaller wage losses compared with workers in the open market, even when they leave their original firms. Overall, internal labor markets provide a bright side to corporate diversification.

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Going Public: How Stock Market Listing Changes Firm Innovation Behavior

Simone Wies & Christine Moorman
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
While going public allows firms access to more financial capital that can fuel innovation, it also exposes firms to a set of myopic incentives and disclosure requirements that constrain innovation. This tension is expected to produce a unique pattern of innovation strategies among firms going public with firms increasing their innovation levels but reducing their innovation riskiness. Specifically, the authors predict that after going public, firms innovate at higher levels and introduce higher levels of variety with each innovation while also introducing less risky innovation, characterized by fewer breakthrough innovations and fewer innovations into new-to-the-firm categories. Examining 40,000 product introductions from 1980–2011 in a sample of consumer packaged goods' firms that go public compared to a benchmark sample of firms that remain private, results support these predictions. Utilizing tests to resolve questions about endogeneity, including self-selection, reverse causality, and competing explanations, the authors demonstrate that IPO selection and IPO dynamics are not driving this going-public effect. The authors also uncover a set of industry factors that mitigate the drop in breakthrough innovation by offering product-market incentives that counterbalance the documented effect of stock market incentives.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Birth marks

The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis

Matthias Doepke, Moshe Hazan & Yishay Maoz
Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
We argue that one major cause of the U.S. postwar baby boom was the rise in female labor supply during World War II. We develop a quantitative dynamic general equilibrium model with endogenous fertility and female labor force participation decisions. We use the model to assess the impact of the war on female labor supply and fertility in the decades following the war. For the war generation of women, the high demand for female labor brought about by mobilization leads to an increase in labor supply that persists after the war. As a result, younger women who reach adulthood in the 1950s face increased labor market competition, which impels them to exit the labor market and start having children earlier. The effect is amplified by the rise in taxes necessary to pay down wartime government debt. In our calibrated model, the war generates a substantial baby boom followed by a baby bust.

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Access to Emergency Contraception and its Impact on Fertility and Sexual Behavior

Karen Mulligan
Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Half of all pregnancies in the USA are unintended, suggesting a high incidence of either improper or nonuse of contraceptives. Emergency birth control (EBC) provides individuals with additional insurance against unplanned pregnancy in the presence of contraception failure. This study is the first to estimate the impact of switching EBC from prescription to nonprescription status in the USA on abortions and risky sexual behavior as measured by STD rates. Utilizing state-level variation in access to EBC, we find that providing individuals with over-the-counter access to EBC leads to increase STD rates and has no effect on abortion rates. Moreover, individual-level analysis using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth indicates that risky sexual behavior such as engaging in unprotected sex and number of sexual encounters increases as a result of over-the-counter access to EBC, which is consistent with the state-level STD findings.

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Reproductive Justice and the Pace of Change: Socioeconomic Trends in US Infant Death Rates by Legal Status of Abortion, 1960–1980

Nancy Krieger et al.
American Journal of Public Health, April 2015, Pages 680-682

Abstract:
US infant death rates for 1960 to 1980 declined most quickly in (1) 1970 to 1973 in states that legalized abortion in 1970, especially for infants in the lowest 3 income quintiles (annual percentage change = −11.6; 95% confidence interval = −18.7, −3.8), and (2) the mid-to-late 1960s, also in low-income quintiles, for both Black and White infants, albeit unrelated to abortion laws. These results imply that research is warranted on whether currently rising restrictions on abortions may be affecting infant mortality.

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Gender Roles and Medical Progress

Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti
Federal Reserve Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
Maternal mortality was the second-leading cause of death for women in childbearing years up until the mid-1930s in the United States. For each death, twenty times as many mothers were estimated to suffer pregnancy-related conditions, often leading to severe and prolonged disablement. Poor maternal health made it particularly hard for mothers to engage in market work. Between 1930 and 1960, there was a remarkable reduction in maternal mortality and morbidity, thanks to medical advances. We argue that these medical advances, by enabling women to reconcile work and motherhood, were essential for the joint rise in married women’s labor force participation and fertility over this period. We also show that the diffusion of infant formula played an important auxiliary role.

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Women's schooling and fertility under low female labor force participation: Evidence from mobility restrictions in Israel

Victor Lavy & Alexander Zablotsky
Journal of Public Economics, April 2015, Pages 105–121

Abstract:
This paper studies the effect of mothers' education on fertility in a mostly Muslim population with very low female labor force participation. We first show that a removal of travel restrictions on Israeli Arabs had raised female education and had almost no effect on male education. Next, we show that it lowered fertility rates among exposed women, which we interpret as an effect of female education on fertility. We rule out labor-force participation, age at marriage, marriage and divorce rates and spousal labor-force participation and earnings as confounding factors or as mechanisms but find that spousal education and children quality play a role in the fertility decline. We provide a variety of robustness tests that rule out other channels by which the removal of the travel restrictions could have affected fertility directly. These results are particularly interesting and important for the context of many Muslim countries with low rates of female labor force participation.

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Prenatal Sex Selection And Girls’ Well-Being: Evidence From India

Luojia Hu & Analía Schlosser
Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study the impacts of prenatal sex selection on girls’ well-being in India. We show that high sex ratios at birth reflect the practice of prenatal sex selection and apply a triple difference strategy to examine whether changes in health outcomes of girls relative to boys within states and over time are systematically associated with changes in sex-ratios at birth. We find that an increase in prenatal sex selection leads to a reduction in girls’ malnutrition, in particular, underweight and wasting. We further explore various underlying channels linking between prenatal sex selection and girls’ outcomes.

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The human sex ratio from conception to birth

Steven Hecht Orzack et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
We describe the trajectory of the human sex ratio from conception to birth by analyzing data from (i) 3- to 6-d-old embryos, (ii) induced abortions, (iii) chorionic villus sampling, (iv) amniocentesis, and (v) fetal deaths and live births. Our dataset is the most comprehensive and largest ever assembled to estimate the sex ratio at conception and the sex ratio trajectory and is the first, to our knowledge, to include all of these types of data. Our estimate of the sex ratio at conception is 0.5 (proportion male), which contradicts the common claim that the sex ratio at conception is male-biased. The sex ratio among abnormal embryos is male-biased, and the sex ratio among normal embryos is female-biased. These biases are associated with the abnormal/normal state of the sex chromosomes and of chromosomes 15 and 17. The sex ratio may decrease in the first week or so after conception (due to excess male mortality); it then increases for at least 10–15 wk (due to excess female mortality), levels off after ∼20 wk, and declines slowly from 28 to 35 wk (due to excess male mortality). Total female mortality during pregnancy exceeds total male mortality. The unbiased sex ratio at conception, the increase in the sex ratio during the first trimester, and total mortality during pregnancy being greater for females are fundamental insights into early human development.

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Is education the best contraception: The case of teenage pregnancy in England?

Sourafel Girma & David Paton
Social Science & Medicine, April 2015, Pages 1–9

Abstract:
This paper examines potential explanations for recent declines in teenage pregnancy in England. We estimate panel data models of teenage conception, birth and abortion rates from regions in England. Although point estimates are consistent with the promotion of long acting reversible contraception (LARC) having a negative impact on teenage pregnancy rates, the effects are generally small and statistically insignificant. In contrast, improvements in educational achievement and, to a lesser extent, increases in the non-white proportion of the population are associated with large and statistically significant reductions in teenage pregnancy.

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Raising Dragons

John Nye & Melanie Meng Xue
George Mason University Working Paper, December 2014

Abstract:
We study why China suddenly exhibited a large surge in births -- a 50% increase in 2000 relative to 1999 -- in the 2000 Year of the Dragon by disaggregating birth rates at the city level. We define the dragon effect as a relative jump in birth rates compared to the trend. Prior to 2000, Asian nations with large numbers of ethnic Chinese -- but not China -- exhibited strong dragon year effects. We exploit the uneven economic growth of regions in China to understand the emergence of the dragon effect. We find that the dragon effect was most pronounced in rapidly developing cities having higher incomes, higher average education, and greater employment prospects as proxied by the share of non-local residents. Our main findings at the city level are supported by our micro-level analysis, where we show the dragon effect to be strongly correlated with educational attainment of family members and membership in a multi-generational household.

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Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) polymorphism is related to differences in potential fertility in women: A case of antagonistic pleiotropy?

Grazyna Jasienska et al.
Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, 22 March 2015

Abstract:
The alleles that are detrimental to health, especially in older age, are thought to persist in populations because they also confer some benefits for individuals (through antagonistic pleiotropy). The ApoE4 allele at the ApoE locus, encoding apolipoprotein E (ApoE), significantly increases risk of poor health, and yet it is present in many populations at relatively high frequencies. Why has it not been replaced by natural selection with the health-beneficial ApoE3 allele? ApoE is a major supplier of cholesterol precursor for the production of ovarian oestrogen and progesterone, thus ApoE has been suggested as the potential candidate gene that may cause variation in reproductive performance. Our results support this hypothesis showing that in 117 regularly menstruating women those with genotypes with at least one ApoE4 allele had significantly higher levels of mean luteal progesterone (144.21 pmol l−1) than women with genotypes without ApoE4 (120.49 pmol l−1), which indicates higher potential fertility. The hormonal profiles were based on daily data for entire menstrual cycles. We suggest that the finding of higher progesterone in women with ApoE4 allele could provide first strong evidence for an evolutionary mechanism of maintaining the ancestral and health-worsening ApoE4 allele in human populations.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, April 13, 2015

Trade off

French Roast: Consumer Response to International Conflict - Evidence from Supermarket Scanner Data

Sonal Pandya & Rajkumar Venkatesan
Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Do consumers boycott in response to international conflict? We show that during the 2003 US-France dispute over the Iraq War the market share of French-sounding, US supermarket brands declined. The dispute was a negative shock to US consumers' associations with France. French-sounding brands, which consumers perceive to be French imports but are not, allow us to isolate the dispute's effect on economic behavior, as these brands' only link to France is through consumers' associations. Our estimates, derived from a nationwide sample of weekly supermarket sales for over 8,000 brands, are robust to a variety of alternate explanations. Additionally, we show that supermarkets with a higher proportion of customers who are US citizens (i.e. who more strongly identify with the US national identity) exhibited sharper boycotts.

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Trade Exposure and the Polarization of Government Spending in the American States

Brian Krueger & Ping Xu
American Politics Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Studies of economic globalization and government spending often view the United States as an outlier case. Surprisingly, ours is the first empirical study to take advantage of the variation in U.S. states' exposure to global markets, ideological orientations of the governments, and the relative size of the public sector, to assess the role of trade exposure on government spending in the American states. Using state-level data from the past three decades, we use error correction models (ECMs) to test three competing globalization theories. We find that the effect of trade exposure on government spending varies across states. Our results suggest that when conservatives control state governments, high levels of trade exposure negatively relate to changes in public expenditures such as welfare and infrastructure. With liberal governments in power, trade exposure does not accelerate state spending growth in welfare and infrastructure, which diverges from the pattern found in European social democracies.

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Constituency, Ideology, and Economic Interests in U.S. Congressional Voting: The Case of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Youngmi Choi
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Scholarly studies of U.S. legislators' voting behavior have concluded that constituent interests exercise only limited influence, but these conclusions may result from inadequate measurement. I develop new measures of economic interests that emphasize import/export (sectoral) cleavages in addition to business/labor (factoral) cleavages and, in the process, transcend geographic boundaries. Results of logistic regression analysis suggest that the interests of economic and nongeographic constituencies, as reflected in campaign contributions, were highly significant predictors of voting in the U.S. Congress on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and that the import/export cleavage was more salient than the business/labor cleavage. In addition, legislators' ideological positions with respect to national security were more significant than their partisan affiliations and more significant than their positions on other dimensions of ideology.

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The Impact of the U.S. Sugar Program Redux

John Beghin & Amani Elobeid
Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, March 2015, Pages 1-33

Abstract:
We analyze the various welfare costs, transfers, trade, and employment consequences of the current U.S. sugar program for U.S. consumers, other sugar users, sugar refiners, cane and beet growing and processing industries, other associated agricultural sectors, and world markets. The removal of the sugar program would increase U.S. consumers' welfare by 2.9 to 3.5 billion each year and generate a modest job creation of 17,000 to 20,000 new jobs in food manufacturing and related industries. Imports of sugar containing products would fall dramatically, especially confectioneries substituting for domestic inputs under the sugar program. Sugar imports would rise substantially to 5-6 million short tons raw sugar equivalent. World sugar price increases would be minor, equivalent to about 1 cent per pound.

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Preferential Trade Agreements and Trade Expectations Theory

Timothy Peterson & Peter Rudloff
International Interactions, Winter 2015, Pages 61-83

Abstract:
Studies find that members of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are less likely to be involved in militarized conflict. An expectation of continuing amicable trade relations is among the factors linking PTAs to peace. However, this role of PTAs is difficult to test due to the problem of observational equivalence; PTAs correlate with trade levels and liberalization, factors also linked to peace. In this article, we isolate the impact of PTAs on trade expectations by distinguishing between signed agreements and those in force. A focus on signed but not-yet-in-force PTAs allows us to assess the correlation between agreements and peace before other pacifying, and therefore potentially confounding, elements emerge. Statistical tests spanning 1957 to 2000 demonstrate that signed PTAs are pacifying, while in-force agreements have no statistically significant impact when controlling for other factors linked to peace.

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IV Quantile Regression for Group-level Treatments, with an Application to the Distributional Effects of Trade

Denis Chetverikov, Bradley Larsen & Christopher Palmer
NBER Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
We present a methodology for estimating the distributional effects of an endogenous treatment that varies at the group level when there are group-level unobservables, a quantile extension of Hausman and Taylor (1981). Because of the presence of group-level unobservables, standard quantile regression techniques are inconsistent in our setting even if the treatment is independent of unobservables. In contrast, our estimation technique is consistent as well as computationally simple, consisting of group-by-group quantile regression followed by two-stage least squares. Using the Bahadur representation of quantile estimators, we derive weak conditions on the growth of the number of observations per group that are sufficient for consistency and asymptotic zero-mean normality of our estimator. As in Hausman and Taylor (1981), micro-level covariates can be used as internal instruments for the endogenous group-level treatment if they satisfy relevance and exogeneity conditions. An empirical application indicates that low-wage earners in the US from 1990-2007 were significantly more affected by increased Chinese import competition than high-wage earners. Our approach applies to a broad range of settings in labor, industrial organization, trade, public finance, and other applied fields.

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Quid Pro Quo: Technology Capital Transfers for Market Access in China

Thomas Holmes, Ellen McGrattan & Edward Prescott
Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
By the 1970s, quid pro quo policy, which requires multinational firms to transfer technology in return for market access, had become a common practice in many developing countries. While many countries have subsequently liberalized quid pro quo requirements, China continues to follow the policy. In this paper, we incorporate quid pro quo policy into a multicountry dynamic general equilibrium model, using microevidence from Chinese patents to motivate key assumptions about the terms of the technology transfer deals and macroevidence on China's inward foreign direct investment (FDI) to estimate key model parameters. We then use the model to quantify the impact of China's quid pro quo policy and show that it has had a significant impact on global innovation and welfare.

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A Positive Analysis of Fairtrade Certification

Andrea Podhorsky
Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Fairtrade program transfers income to farmers by establishing a price floor and an alternate distribution channel that bypasses intermediaries between the raw commodity and world markets. I develop a model of the international commodity supply chain, with monopolistically competitive final goods producers and consumers who value the ethical quality of goods. A small number of oligopsonistic intermediaries purchase the raw commodity from farmers in a given country and then sell to final goods producers in the world market. I consider the effects of a Fairtrade program that is too small to have an effect on the world price of the commodity. I show that the Fairtrade program decreases the intermediaries' market power and consequently, even farmers that are not selected into the program receive a higher wage than in the absence of the program. I establish the Pareto optimal Fairtrade price and assess the overall efficiency of the program. The program is a more efficient way to transfer income to farmers than a direct transfer equal to the premium commanded by certified products if the Fairtrade price is not set too high above the efficient wage for farmers. If the number of intermediaries were large, however, then the direct transfer would be more efficient than the program for all binding Fairtrade prices.

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Protecting Infant Industries: Canadian Manufacturing and the National Policy, 1870-1913

Richard Harris, Ian Keay & Frank Lewis
Explorations in Economic History, forthcoming

Abstract:
Infant industry protection has been the cornerstone of a debate on tariff policy that extends at least from the eighteenth century to the current day. In contrast to traditional neo-classical models of international trade that imply net negative effects, industrial organization and learning-by-doing trade models describe how protective tariffs can encourage output expansion, productivity improvement, and price reductions. Taking Canada's 1879 National Policy as a natural experiment, we explore the effect of a policy that substantially increased tariff protection to some, but not all, Canadian manufacturing industries. Using treatment intensity and difference-in-differences approaches, we find strong support for the predictions of the new trade models. After 1879, industries that received greater protection experienced faster growth in output and productivity, as well as larger price reductions. The industries targeted by the National Policy also exhibited greater returns to scale and faster learning rates. These results have important implications for the infant-industry debate in addition to addressing a central theme in Canadian economic history.

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Compensating the Losers: An Examination of Congressional Votes on Trade Adjustment Assistance

Stephanie Rickard
International Interactions, Winter 2015, Pages 46-60

Abstract:
Globalization intensifies political conflict between citizens whose circumstances improve from foreign trade and those whose lives deteriorate as a result of trade. To pacify these rival interests, governments may assist citizens who become unemployed due to trade. When and under what conditions will legislators fund such assistance programs? The current study addresses this question by examining Congressional roll call votes in the United States during a period of rapid economic integration (1980-2004). The analysis reveals that protrade legislators who represent relatively more exporters are more likely to vote for increased spending on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs. Exporters and their elected representatives arguably support such expenditures to broaden the protrade coalition.

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The Politics of the United States' Bilateral Investment Treaty Program

Adam Chilton
University of Chicago Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
Scholars consistently argue that the United States has signed Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with developing countries to promote the development of international investment law and to protect American capital invested abroad. I challenge this view of the United States' BITs program. I argue that the United States has used BITs as a foreign policy tool to improve relationships with strategically important countries in the developing world, and, as a result, the program should in part be evaluated based on whether it has produced political benefits. I empirically test this theory in two ways. First, I test whether investment or political considerations are better at explaining U.S. BIT signings. This analysis shows that investment considerations do not help to explain the pattern of U.S. BIT formation, but that political considerations do. Second, I estimate the political benefits the United States has received from signing BITs with developing states. This analysis suggests that having signed a BIT makes countries likely to vote similarly to the United States at the United Nations. This project thus provides the first empirical evidence that the U.S. BITs program has been motivated by political considerations, and that the program may have produced modest foreign policy dividends.

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Income Differences and Prices of Tradables: Insights from an Online Retailer

Ina Simonovska
Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
I study the positive relationship between prices of tradable goods and per-capita income. I develop a highly tractable general equilibrium model of international trade with heterogeneous firms and non-homothetic consumer preferences that positively links prices of tradables to consumer income. Guided by the model's testable prediction, I estimate the elasticity of price with respect to per-capita income from a unique dataset that I construct, which features prices of 245 identical goods sold in 29 European, Asian, and North American markets via the Internet by Spain's second largest apparel manufacturer - Mango. I find that doubling a destination's per-capita income results in an 18% increase in the price of identical items sold there. Per-capita income differences account for a third, while shipping cost differences can explain up to a third of the cross-country price variations of identical items purchased via the Internet by consumers who do not take advantage of quantity discounts. The price elasticity estimates compare favorably to estimates that I obtain from a standard dataset that features prices across retail locations around the world, suggesting that variable mark-ups play a key role in accounting for observed cross-country differences in prices of tradables.

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The Repercussions of Realignment: United States-China Interdependence and Exchange Rate Politics

Robert Galantucci
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Analysts generally believe that a weaker currency primarily benefits a country's manufacturing and primary goods sectors. However, many of these industries - and the elected officials who represent them - frequently oppose legislation designed to combat the dollar's overvaluation relative to the Chinese yuan. I argue that legislators hesitate to take aggressive action on the exchange rate issue because doing so could lead to a disruption of the broader United States-China economic relationship. The threat of an economic conflict emerges as a particularly important consideration in the context of currency bills, where proposed legislation is linked to trade policy and other areas of international economic regulation. A Bayesian statistical analysis of legislative behavior on two recent exchange rate bills in the US Congress provides overall support for my hypotheses. Legislators with ties to business interests that rely heavily on the Chinese economy were more likely to oppose the bills, while the strongest support came from legislators representing import-competing domestic producers. The results highlight the ways that economic interdependence shapes bilateral exchange rate politics in particular, and United States-China interactions more generally.

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Compulsory Licensing Often Did Not Produce Lower Prices For Antiretrovirals Compared To International Procurement

Reed Beall, Randall Kuhn & Amir Attaran
Health Affairs, March 2015, Pages 493-501

Abstract:
Compulsory licensing has been widely suggested as a legal mechanism for bypassing patents to introduce lower-cost generic antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Previous studies found that compulsory licensing can reduce procurement prices for drugs, but it is unknown how the resulting prices compare to procurements through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; UNICEF; and other international channels. For this study we systematically constructed a case-study database of compulsory licensing activity for antiretrovirals and compared compulsory license prices to those in the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Global Price Reporting Mechanism and the Global Fund's Price and Quality Reporting Tool. Thirty compulsory license cases were analyzed with 673 comparable procurements from WHO and Global Fund data. Compulsory license prices exceeded the median international procurement prices in nineteen of the thirty case studies, often with a price gap of more than 25 percent. Compulsory licensing often delivered suboptimal value when compared to the alternative of international procurement, especially when used by low-income countries to manufacture medicines locally. There is an ongoing need for multilateral and charitable actors to work collectively with governments and medicine suppliers on policy options.

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Once an Enemy, Forever an Enemy? The Long-run Impact of the Japanese Invasion of China from 1937 to 1945 on Trade and Investment

Yi Che et al.
Journal of International Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this study, we exploit one of the most important conflicts of the 20th century between what are currently the world's second and third largest economies, that is, the Japanese invasion of China from 1937 to 1945, to investigate the long-term impact of conflicts between countries on cross-border trade and investment. We find that Japanese multinationals are less likely to invest in Chinese regions that suffered greater civilian casualties during the Japanese invasion, and these regions also trade less with Japan. Our study shows that historical animosity still influences international trade and investment, despite the trend toward an increasingly globalized world.

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Are Preferential Agreements Significant for the World Trade Structure? A Network Community Analysis

Carlo Piccardi & Lucia Tajoli
Kyklos, May 2015, Pages 220-239

Abstract:
We assess the impact of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) on the structure of world trade by looking for communities in the world trade network (WTN), and allowing the presence of preferential trade patterns to emerge endogenously. The finding of significant communities (as defined in the topology of the networks) would imply that trading countries are organized in groups of preferential partners. We use different approaches to analyze communities in the WTN between 1962 and 2008, but all methods agree in finding no evidence of a significant partition, supporting the view that the existing PTAs are not strongly distorting the geography of trade patterns, at least at the aggregate level.

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Assessing the evolving fragility of the global food system

Michael Puma et al.
Environmental Research Letters, February 2015

Abstract:
The world food crisis in 2008 highlighted the susceptibility of the global food system to price shocks. Here we use annual staple food production and trade data from 1992-2009 to analyse the changing properties of the global food system. Over the 18 year study period, we show that the global food system is relatively homogeneous (85% of countries have low or marginal food self-sufficiency) and increases in complexity, with the number of global wheat and rice trade connections doubling and trade flows increasing by 42 and 90%, respectively. The increased connectivity and flows within these global trade networks suggest that the global food system is vulnerable to systemic disruptions, especially considering the tendency for exporting countries to switch to non-exporting states during times of food scarcity in the global markets. To test this hypothesis, we superimpose continental-scale disruptions on the wheat and rice trade networks. We find greater absolute reductions in global wheat and rice exports along with larger losses in network connectivity as the networks evolve due to disruptions in European wheat and Asian rice production. Importantly, our findings indicate that least developed countries suffer greater import losses in more connected networks through their increased dependence on imports for staple foods (due to these large-scale disturbances): mean (median) wheat losses as percentages of staple food supply are 8.9% (3.8%) for 1992-1996, increasing to 11% (5.7%) for 2005-2009. Over the same intervals, rice losses increase from 8.2% (2.2%) to 14% (5.2%). Our work indicates that policy efforts should focus on balancing the efficiency of international trade (and its associated specialization) with increased resilience of domestic production and global demand diversity.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Figure it out

Is Education Associated With Improvements in General Cognitive Ability, or in Specific Skills?

Stuart Ritchie, Timothy Bates & Ian Deary
Developmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability (g), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive skills. We conducted structural equation modeling on data from a large (n = 1,091), longitudinal sample, with a measure of intelligence at age 11 years and 10 tests covering a diverse range of cognitive abilities taken at age 70. Results indicated that the association of education with improved cognitive test scores is not mediated by g, but consists of direct effects on specific cognitive skills. These results suggest a decoupling of educational gains from increases in general intellectual capacity.

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The cognitive impact of the education revolution: A possible cause of the Flynn Effect on population IQ

David Baker et al.
Intelligence, March–April 2015, Pages 144–158

Abstract:
The phenomenon of rising IQ scores in high-income nations over the 20th century, known as the Flynn Effect, indicates historical increase in mental abilities related to planning, organization, working memory, integration of experience, spatial reasoning, unique problem-solving, and skills for goal-directed behaviors. Given prior research on the impact of formal education on IQ, a three-tiered hypothesis positing that schooling, and its expansion and intensification over the education revolution, is one likely cause of the Flynn Effect is tested in three studies. First, a neuroimaging experiment with children finds that neuromaturation is shaped by common activities in school, such as numeracy, and share a common neural substrate with fluid IQ abilities. Second, a field study with adults from insolated agrarian communities finds that variable exposure to schooling is associated with related variation in the mental abilities. Third, a historical–institutional analysis of the cognitive requirements of American mathematics curriculum finds a growing cognitive demand for birth cohorts from later in the 20th century. These findings suggest a consilience of evidence about the impact of mass education on the Flynn Effect and are discussed in light of the g-factor paradigm, cognition, and the Bell Curve debate.

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Height, Human Capital, and Earnings: The Contributions of Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability

Andreas Schick & Richard Steckel
Journal of Human Capital, Spring 2015, Pages 94-115

Abstract:
Taller workers receive a substantial premium in earnings or wages, which some studies attribute to noncognitive abilities or social skills that are correlated with stature and rewarded in the labor market. Recent research argues that cognitive abilities explain the relationship. This paper reconciles the competing views by recognizing that net nutrition, a major determinant of adult height, fosters both cognitive and noncognitive abilities. Using data from Britain’s National Childhood Development Study, we show that taller children have higher average cognitive and noncognitive test scores and that each aptitude accounts for a substantial and roughly equal portion of the stature-earnings premium. Together, cognitive and noncognitive abilities explain the height premium.

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Nurture Net of Nature: Re-Evaluating the Role of Shared Environments in Academic Achievement and Verbal Intelligence

Jonathan Daw, Guang Guo & Kathie Mullan Harris
Social Science Research, July 2015, Pages 422–439

Abstract:
Prominent authors in the behavioral genetics tradition have long argued that shared environments do not meaningfully shape intelligence and academic achievement. However, we argue that these conclusions are erroneous due to large violations of the additivity assumption underlying behavioral genetics methods – that sources of genetic and shared and nonshared environmental variance are independent and non-interactive. This is compounded in some cases by the theoretical equation of the effective and objective environments, where the former is defined by whether siblings are made more or less similar, and the latter by whether siblings are equally subject to the environmental characteristic in question. Using monozygotic twin fixed effects models, which compare outcomes among genetically identical pairs, we show that many characteristics of objectively shared environments significantly moderate the effects of nonshared environments on adolescent academic achievement and verbal intelligence, violating the additivity assumption of behavioral genetic methods. Importantly, these effects would be categorized as nonshared environmental influences in standard twin models despite their roots in shared environments. These findings should encourage caution among those who claim that the frequently trivial variance attributed to shared environments in behavioral genetic models means that families, schools, and neighborhoods do not meaningfully influence these outcomes.

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Rising–falling mercury pollution causing the rising–falling IQ of the Lynn–Flynn effect, as predicted by the antiinnatia theory of autism and IQ

Robin Clarke
Personality and Individual Differences, August 2015, Pages 46–51

Abstract:
A fundamental principle of the antiinnatia theory of autism and IQ is that the same factors (genetic and environmental) which in extreme high levels cause autism, in more modal levels cause increased IQ. And the factors which generally cause raised IQ, in extreme levels cause autism. The antiinnatia theory further proposed that molecules randomly part-time binding to DNA and thereby reducing gene-expression would cause autism (and in less high levels cause raised IQ). Studies have found that mercury binds dose-dependently to DNA thereby reducing gene-expression, and thus the theory predicts that mercury pollution would cause raised IQ (such as the Flynn effect). This appears contrary to the standard assumption that mercury pollution causes decrements of IQ. In this study, data from the Upper Fremont glacier finds considerable overall correspondence between changes of mercury pollution and changes of IQ. In respect of both mercury and IQ there was roughly-speaking 100 years of increase followed by 15 years of decrease in at least five countries. But mercury pollution is likely to be causing serious harms other than decrements of population averages of IQ.

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Keep Calm and Carry On: Improved Frustration Tolerance and Processing Speed by Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)

Christian Plewnia et al.
PLoS ONE, April 2015

Abstract:
Cognitive control (CC) of attention is a major prerequisite for effective information processing. Emotional distractors can bias and impair goal-directed deployment of attentional resources. Frustration-induced negative affect and cognition can act as internal distractors with negative impact on task performance. Consolidation of CC may thus support task-oriented behavior under challenging conditions. Recently, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been put forward as an effective tool to modulate CC. Particularly, anodal, activity enhancing tDCS to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) can increase insufficient CC in depression as indicated by a reduction of attentional biases induced by emotionally salient stimuli. With this study, we provide first evidence that, compared to sham stimulation, tDCS to the left dlPFC enhances processing speed measured by an adaptive version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) that is typically thwarted by frustration. Notably, despite an even larger amount of error-related negative feedback, the task-induced upset was suppressed in the group receiving anodal tDCS. Moreover, inhibition of task-related negative affect was correlated with performance gains, suggesting a close link between enhanced processing speed and consolidation of CC by tDCS. Together, these data provide first evidence that activity enhancing anodal tDCS to the left dlPFC can support focused cognitive processing particularly when challenged by frustration-induced negative affect.

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Lower baseline performance but greater plasticity of working memory for carriers of the val allele of the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism

Martin Bellander et al.
Neuropsychology, March 2015, Pages 247-254

Objective: Little is known about genetic contributions to individual differences in cognitive plasticity. Given that the neurotransmitter dopamine is critical for cognition and associated with cognitive plasticity, we investigated the effects of 3 polymorphisms of dopamine-related genes (LMX1A, DRD2, COMT) on baseline performance and plasticity of working memory (WM), perceptual speed, and reasoning.

Method: One hundred one younger and 103 older adults underwent approximately 100 days of cognitive training, and extensive testing before and after training. We analyzed the baseline and posttest data using latent change score models.

Results: For working memory, carriers of the val allele of the COMT polymorphism had lower baseline performance and larger performance gains from training than carriers of the met allele. There was no significant effect of the other genes or on other cognitive domains.

Conclusions: We relate this result to available evidence indicating that met carriers perform better than val carriers in WM tasks taxing maintenance, whereas val carriers perform better at updating tasks. We suggest that val carriers may show larger training gains because updating operations carry greater potential for plasticity than maintenance operations.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wild side

Physically-attractive males increase men’s financial risk-taking

Eugene Chan
Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Prior research has examined how sexual opposite-sex stimuli impact people's choices and behaviors. However, it is largely unknown whether sexual same-sex stimuli also do so. This research reports an intriguing phenomenon: men who see attractive males take greater financial risks than those who do not. An evolution-based account is proffered and tested across four experiments. In evolutionary history, men have faced greater intrasexual competition in attracting women as a mating partner. Thus, when the average heterosexual man sees males who are more physically-attractive than he is, he is motivated to increase his desirability as a mating partner to women, prompting him to accrue money, and taking financial risks helps him to do so. This research concludes by discussing the implications of the present findings for men today who are constantly bombarded by not only sexual opposite- but also same-sex others, such as images that are commonly used in advertising.

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In Good Company: Managing Interpersonal Resources That Support Self-Regulation

Michelle vanDellen et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Effective self-regulation could involve not only managing internal resources for goal pursuit but also the often-fleeting interpersonal resources that can support goal attainment. In five studies, we test whether people who are effective self-regulators tend to position themselves in social environments that best afford self-regulatory success. Results indicated individual differences in self-regulatory effectiveness predict stronger preferences to spend time with, collaborate with, and be informed by others who were (a) high in self-control or self-regulation themselves or (b) instrumental to one’s goal pursuit. These preferences for supportive social environments appeared to be both targeted and strategic. Together, the findings suggest that effective self-regulation may involve positioning oneself in social environments that support goal pursuit and increase one’s chances of success.

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Self-Control Depletion and Narrative: Testing a Prediction of the TEBOTS Model

Benjamin Johnson, David Ewoldsen & Michael Slater
Media Psychology, Spring 2015, Pages 196-220

Abstract:
This study tests propositions derived from the larger notion that entertainment narratives offer the individual a means by which to alleviate the psychological demands of the self. Specifically, individuals in a state of reduced self-control were expected to experience greater enjoyment, audience response, transportation, and identification during narrative exposure. After a manipulation that depleted self-control resources, participants were exposed to a short story. They then reported their enjoyment and response to the story, as well as their transportation and identification during reading. Results supported the predictions, as enjoyment, audience response, and transportation were significantly greater in the depleted group. Identification showed a nonsignificant difference. Additionally, transportation was found to be a mediator of self-control depletion's effect on enjoyment. Subsequent analyses ruled out alternative mood management and emotion regulation explanations, demonstrating that depleted self-control resources, rather than affect or story valence, accounted for greater narrative engagement.

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Perceived and experimentally manipulated status moderate the relationship between facial structure and risk-taking

Keith Welker, Stefan Goetz & Justin Carré
Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous work indicates that facial width to height ratio predicts aggressive behavior, particularly when social status is low. The current research extends these findings with experimental evidence that status can moderate the relationship between facial structure and risk-taking. Male participants (N = 165) completed a measure of status, had their facial structure measured, were randomly assigned to win or lose a competition, and completed a behavioral measure of risk-taking. Facial structure predict risk-taking when individuals’ perceived status was low, but not high. Additionally, facial structure also predicted risk-taking in losers, but not winners of the competition. Individuals low in self-reported social status who lost the competition showed the highest relationship between facial structure and risk-taking. These findings provide evidence that FWHR is not always an indicator of risk-taking behaviors, but only when individuals perceive themselves as being low in status. These findings are interpreted from an ecological rationality perspective and suggest that risk-taking is adjusted appropriately to strive to meet social goals.

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The Propagation of Self-Control: Self-Control in One Domain Simultaneously Improves Self-Control in Other Domains

Mirjam Tuk, Kuangjie Zhang & Steven Sweldens
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming

Abstract:
A rich tradition in self-control research has documented the negative consequences of exerting self-control in 1 task for self-control performance in subsequent tasks. However, there is a dearth of research examining what happens when people exert self-control in multiple domains simultaneously. The current research aims to fill this gap. We integrate predictions from the most prominent models of self-control with recent neuropsychological insights in the human inhibition system to generate the novel hypothesis that exerting effortful self-control in 1 task can simultaneously improve self-control in completely unrelated domains. An internal meta-analysis on all 18 studies we conducted shows that exerting self-control in 1 domain (i.e., controlling attention, food consumption, emotions, or thoughts) simultaneously improves self-control in a range of other domains, as demonstrated by, for example, reduced unhealthy food consumption, better Stroop task performance, and less impulsive decision making. A subset of 9 studies demonstrates the crucial nature of task timing — when the same tasks are executed sequentially, our results suggest the emergence of an ego depletion effect. We provide conservative estimates of the self-control facilitation (d = |0.22|) as well as the ego depletion effect size (d = |0.17|) free of data selection and publication biases. These results (a) shed new light on self-control theories, (b) confirm recent claims that previous estimates of the ego depletion effect size were inflated due to publication bias, and (c) provide a blueprint for how to handle the power issues and associated file drawer problems commonly encountered in multistudy research projects.

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Does education affect risk aversion? Evidence from the British education reform

Seeun Jung
Applied Economics, Spring 2015, Pages 2924-2938

Abstract:
Individual risk attitudes are frequently used to predict decisions regarding education. However, using risk attitudes as a control variable for decisions about education has been criticized because of the potential for reverse causality. Causality between risk aversion and education is unclear, and disentangling the different directions it may run is difficult. In this study, we make the first attempt to investigate the causal effects of education on risk aversion by examining the British education reform of 1972, which increased the duration of compulsory schooling from age 15 to age 16. Using regression discontinuity design, we find that this additional year of schooling increases the level of risk aversion, which is contrary to previous findings in the literature, and we also find that this result is particularly strong for individuals with less education. This positive causal effect of education on risk aversion might alleviate concerns regarding the endogeneity/reverse causality issue when using risk aversion as an explanatory variable for decisions about education; the sign would remain credible because the coefficients are underestimated.

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Learning to Take Risks? The Effect of Education on Risk-Taking in Financial Markets

Sandra Black et al.
NBER Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
We investigate whether acquiring more education when young has long-term effects on risk-taking behavior in financial markets and whether the effects spill over to spouses and children. There is substantial evidence that more educated people are more likely to invest in the stock market. However, little is known about whether this is a causal effect of education or whether it arises from the correlation of education with unobserved characteristics. Using exogenous variation in education arising from a Swedish compulsory schooling reform in the 1950s and 1960s, and the wealth holdings of the population of Sweden in 2000, we estimate the effect of education on stock market participation and risky asset holdings. We find that an extra year of education increases stock market participation by about 2% for men but there is no evidence of any positive effect for women. More education also leads men to hold a greater proportion of their financial assets in stocks and other risky financial assets. We find no evidence of spillover effects from male schooling to the financial decisions of spouses or children.

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The Shadow of the Past: Financial Risk Taking and Negative Life Events

Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri
Journal of Economic Psychology, June 2015, Pages 1–16

Abstract:
Based on data from the four 2004-2010 waves of the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we show that financial risk taking is significantly related to life-history negative events out of an individual’s control. Using observed portfolio decisions to proxy for risk taking, we find correlation with two of such individual-specific events: having been victim of a physical attack and (especially) the loss of a child are associated with lower and less frequent investments in risky assets, with an intensity similar to that of the beginning, in 2008, of a collectively experienced event such as the recent financial crisis. We also find evidence that the correlation of risk taking with a child loss is long-lasting, as opposed to the correlation with a physical attack that disappears after few years. Our analysis is more in favor of a preference-based – rather than a belief-based – explanation of the observed change in risk taking. Overall our findings indicate that the past, especially through the loss of a child, casts a long shadow that extends over individuals’ current decisions also within unrelated domains.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, April 10, 2015

For the people

Seeing Like an Autocrat: Liberal Social Engineering in an Illiberal State

Calvert Jones
Perspectives on Politics, March 2015, Pages 24-41

Abstract:
Recent studies of autocratic liberalization adopt a rationalist approach in which autocrats’ motives and styles of reasoning are imputed or deduced. By contrast, I investigate these empirically. I focus on liberal social engineering in the Persian Gulf, where authoritarian state efforts to shape citizen hearts and minds conform incongruously to liberal ideals of character. To explain this important but under-studied variant on autocratic liberalization, I present evidence from rare palace ethnography in the United Arab Emirates, including analysis of the jokes and stories ruling elites tell behind closed doors and regular interviews with a ruling monarch. I find that autocrats’ deeply personal experiences in the West as young men and women supplied them with stylized ideas about how modern, productive peoples ought to act and how their own cultures underperform. The evidence also reveals that such experiences can influence autocrats, even years later, leading them to trust in Western-style liberal social engineering as the way forward, despite the risks. Ethnographic findings challenge the contemporary scholarly stereotype of the autocrat as a super-rational being narrowly focused on political survival, illustrating how memory and emotion can also serve as important influences over reasoning and can drive liberal change.

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Islam and Democracy at the Fringes of Europe: The Role of Useful Historical Legacies

Arolda Elbasani
Politics and Religion, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article analyzes how the Muslim majority has engaged with, and contributed to parallel processes of democratization and European integration in post-Communist Albania. The assessment of Muslims' choices focuses on the Central organization, the Albanian Muslim Community, which is recognized by the state as the only authority in charge of all the administrative and spiritual issues pertinent to the community of Sunni believers, and serves as the main hub of respective religious activities in the country. The analysis of democratization, and Muslims' respective choices, are divided into two different periods, namely democratic transition (1990–1998) and democratic consolidation (1998–2013), each facing democratizing actors, including Muslim groups, with different challenges and issues. We argue that the existence of a useful pool of arguments from the past, the so-called Albanian tradition, has enabled Muslims to contravene controversial foreign influences and recast Islam in line with the democratic and European ideals of the Albanian post-communist polity. This set of historical legacies and arguments explain Muslims' similar positioning toward democracy throughout different stages marked by different institutional restrictions and state policies.

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On the endogeneity of political preferences: Evidence from individual experience with democracy

Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln & Matthias Schündeln
Science, 6 March 2015, Pages 1145-1148

Abstract:
Democracies depend on the support of the general population, but little is known about the determinants of this support. We investigated whether support for democracy increases with the length of time spent under the system and whether preferences are thus affected by the political system. Relying on 380,000 individual-level observations from 104 countries over the years 1994 to 2013, and exploiting individual-level variation within a country and a given year in the length of time spent under democracy, we find evidence that political preferences are endogenous. For new democracies, our findings imply that popular support needs time to develop. For example, the effect of around 8.5 more years of democratic experience corresponds to the difference in support for democracy between primary and secondary education.

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Democratization Under the Threat of Revolution: Evidence From the Great Reform Act of 1832

Toke Aidt & Raphaël Franck
Econometrica, March 2015, Pages 505–547

Abstract:
We examine the link between the threat of violence and democratization in the context of the Great Reform Act passed by the British Parliament in 1832. We geo-reference the so-called Swing riots, which occurred between the 1830 and 1831 parliamentary elections, and compute the number of these riots that happened within a 10 km radius of the 244 English constituencies. Our empirical analysis relates this constituency-specific measure of the threat perceptions held by the 344,000 voters in the Unreformed Parliament to the share of seats won in each constituency by pro-reform politicians in 1831. We find that the Swing riots induced voters to vote for pro-reform politicians after experiencing first-hand the violence of the riots.

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Making Democracy Work: Culture, Social Capital and Elections in China

Gerard Padró i Miquel et al.
NBER Working Paper, April 2015

Abstract:
This paper aims to show that culture is an important determinant of the effectiveness of formal democratic institutions, such as elections. We collect new data to document the presence of voluntary and social organizations and the history of electoral reforms in Chinese villages. We use the presence of village temples to proxy for culture, or more specifically, for social (civic) capital and show that their presence greatly enhances the increase in public goods due to the introduction of elections. These results support the view that social capital complements democratic institutions such as elections.

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Explaining the Oil Advantage: Effects of Natural Resource Wealth on Incumbent Reelection in Iran

Paasha Mahdavi
World Politics, April 2015, Pages 226-267

Abstract:
Why does natural resource wealth prolong incumbency? Using evidence from parliamentary elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the author shows that natural resource revenues boost incumbent reelection rates because they are used to provide public or private goods to constituents, which incentivizes voters to reelect incumbents over challengers. To test this hypothesis, the author employs originally assembled data on five parliamentary elections in Iran (1992–2008) in longitudinal hierarchical regression analyses at the district and province levels. By leveraging Iran's mixed-member electoral system, he shows that the resource-incumbency mechanism works primarily in single-member districts with little evidence of an incumbency advantage for politicians in resource-rich multimember districts. Building on the rentier theory of natural resource wealth, the results suggest that voting for the incumbent is attributable to patronage and public goods distribution. The findings offer new insights into the understudied context of Iranian legislative elections, illustrate the mechanisms driving the relationship between resource wealth and incumbency advantage at the subnational level in a nondemocratic setting, and highlight the mediating effects of electoral institutions on the resource-incumbency relationship.

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Transnational Women's Activism and the Global Diffusion of Gender Quotas

Melanie Hughes, Mona Lena Krook & Pamela Paxton
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
The rapid global spread of quotas for women constitutes one of the most significant political developments of the last thirty years. It transformed the composition of legislatures worldwide. Yet we lack a solid understanding of the forces driving quota diffusion. In this article, we consider how global pressure from the international women's movement affects national gender quota adoption. In the first quantitative analysis of this question on a global scale, we use event history techniques to examine global, transnational, and national influences on quota adoption in 149 countries between 1989 and 2008. Contributing to work on international norm diffusion, we find a crucial role for women's activism, but uncover a negative interaction between increased global pressures and domestic ties to women's transnational organizing. We suggest global pressure to adopt quotas may be weakened by the diverse agendas of women's activist organizations, by perceived threats to male elites posed by women's agitation, or both.

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Repression by Proxy: How Military Purges and Insurgency Impact the Delegation of Coercion

Kristine Eck
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why do regimes delegate authority over a territory to nonstate militias, in effect voluntarily sacrificing their monopoly over the use of violence? This article argues that two factors increase the probability of states delegating control to a proxy militia, namely, military purges and armed conflict. Military purges disrupt intelligence-gathering structures and the organizational capacity of the military. To counteract this disruption, military leaders subcontract the task of control and repression to allied militias that have the local intelligence skills necessary to manage the civilian population. This argument is conditioned by whether the state faces an armed insurgency in a given region since intelligence, control, and repression are needed most where the state is being challenged. This hypothesis is tested on unique data for all subnational regions within Myanmar during the period 1962 to 2010 and finds that proxy militias are more likely to be raised in conflict areas after military purges.

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How Is Power Shared in Africa?

Patrick Francois, Ilia Rainer & Francesco Trebbi
Econometrica, March 2015, Pages 465–503

Abstract:
Is African politics characterized by concentrated power in the hands of a narrow group (ethnically determined) that then fluctuates from one extreme to another via frequent coups? Employing data on the ethnicity of cabinet ministers since independence, we show that African ruling coalitions are surprisingly large and that political power is allocated proportionally to population shares across ethnic groups. This holds true even restricting the analysis to the subsample of the most powerful ministerial posts. We argue that the likelihood of revolutions from outsiders and coup threats from insiders are major forces explaining allocations within these regimes. Alternative allocation mechanisms are explored. Counterfactual experiments that shed light on the role of Western policies in affecting African national coalitions and leadership group premia are performed.

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Ethno-Regional Favouritism in Sub-Saharan Africa

Pelle Ahlerup & Ann-Sofie Isaksson
Kyklos, May 2015, Pages 143–152

Abstract:
Studies of political favouritism in Africa often treat ethnic and regional favouritism as interchangeable concepts. The present paper distinguishes between the two and investigates their relative influence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Focusing on whether individuals perceive their ethnic group to be unfairly treated by government, we assess the importance of being a co-ethnic of the country president, of living in the president's region of origin and of the regional share of president co-ethnics. Empirical findings drawing on detailed individual level survey data covering more than 19 000 respondents across 15 African countries suggest that ethnic and regional favouritism are not the same, but rather have independent effects.

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Landholding Inequality, Political Strategy, and Authoritarian Repression: Structure and Agency in Bismarck’s “Second Founding” of the German Empire

Henry Thomson
Studies in Comparative International Development, March 2015, Pages 73-97

Abstract:
Canonical works and recent studies posit that authoritarian repression, like that targeting Social Democrats during the “Second Founding” of the German Empire, depends on structural factors such as landholding inequality. However, at this juncture, the role of these variables was more complex than that in the “grand sweep” of German history. Liberal support for the 1878 Antisocialist Law was the result of an interaction between the strategy of the government and structures in society at large. Public outcry surrounding an assassination attempt on the Kaiser was provoked by the Chancellor through the press, and utilized as a political instrument by calling new elections. Liberals contesting districts with high landholding inequality came under conservative pressure led by landed aristocrats, and were forced to take up stances supporting repression. This first step in the “Second Founding” of the Empire marked an important move away from liberal governance which precluded democratic reform in Imperial Germany.

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Income and democracy: The modernization hypothesis re-visited via alternative non-linear models

Suzanna-Maria Paleologou
Empirical Economics, March 2015, Pages 909-921

Abstract:
This paper introduces a new approach to examine the relationship between income and democracy by employing panel count data models to explicitly allow for the fact that the primary indices of democracy are non-negative integers with upper bounds. We find evidence that though income and democracy are positively related the magnitude of the coefficient is extremely small implying that there is no evidence of a causal effect, and thus there is no support for the modernization hypothesis. Moreover, once we control for income endogeneity, the relationship between income and democracy turns to be insignificant or even negative.

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Media freedom and gender equality: A cross-national instrumental variable quantile analysis

Aniruddha Mitra, James Bang & Arnab Biswas
Applied Economics, Spring 2015, Pages 2278-2292

Abstract:
We investigate the impact of media freedom on gender equality in education for a sample of 63 countries taken over the period 1995–2004. Our analysis is motivated by the idea that the impact of media freedom on gender equality may differ over the conditional distribution of the response variable. Using instrumental variable quantile regression to control for endogeneity in per capita income, we find that greater freedom of the media improves gender equality only in the 0.25 and 0.50 quantiles of the conditional distribution. Countries with the greatest disparities in gender outcomes experience no significant impact of media freedom.

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Do States Delegate Shameful Violence to Militias? Patterns of Sexual Violence in Recent Armed Conflicts

Dara Kay Cohen & Ragnhild Nordås
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
Existing research maintains that governments delegate extreme, gratuitous, or excessively brutal violence to militias. However, analyzing all militias in armed conflicts from 1989 to 2009, we find that this argument does not account for the observed patterns of sexual violence, a form of violence that should be especially likely to be delegated by governments. Instead, we find that states commit sexual violence as a complement to — rather than a substitute for — violence perpetrated by militias. Rather than the logic of delegation, we argue that two characteristics of militia groups increase the probability of perpetrating sexual violence. First, we find that militias that have recruited children are associated with higher levels of sexual violence. This lends support to a socialization hypothesis, in which sexual violence may be used as a tool for building group cohesion. Second, we find that militias that were trained by states are associated with higher levels of sexual violence, which provides evidence for sexual violence as a “practice” of armed groups. These two complementary results suggest that militia-perpetrated sexual violence follows a different logic and is neither the result of delegation nor, perhaps, indiscipline.

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Elites and Corruption: A Theory of Endogenous Reform and a Test Using British Data

Mircea Popa
World Politics, April 2015, Pages 313-352

Abstract:
Eighteenth-century Britain displayed patterns of corruption similar to those of developing countries today. Reforms enacted in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries eliminated many of these patterns. This article develops a theoretical argument that seeks to explain why the British elite enacted anticorruption reforms and provides evidence using a new data set of members of the House of Commons. The author argues that the shock that pushed the British elite from preferring the old corrupt regime to preferring the reformed one was an increase in government spending and a corresponding increase in the costs of tolerating corruption. Features unique to Britain allowed the reformist outcome to emerge and illuminate why such an outcome is difficult to achieve in general.

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Repression and Terrorism: A Cross-National Empirical Analysis of Types of Repression and Domestic Terrorism

James Piazza
Terrorism and Political Violence, forthcoming

Abstract:
While some scholars have theorized that repression reduces terrorism because it raises the costs of participating in terrorist activity by dissidents, others argue that repression stimulates terrorism by either closing off nonviolent avenues for expressing dissent or by provoking or sharpening grievances within a population. This study investigates these contradictory sets of expectations by considering whether or not different specific types of repression yield different effects on patterns of terrorism in 149 countries for the period 1981 to 2006. By assessing the impact of nine specific types of repression on domestic terrorism, the study produces some interesting findings: while, as expected, forms of repression that close off nonviolent avenues of dissent and boost group grievances increase the amount of domestic terrorism a country faces, types of repression that raise the costs of terrorist activity have no discernible suppressing effect on terrorism.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, April 9, 2015

No place like home

“Back Off”! Helicopter Parenting and a Retreat From Marriage Among Emerging Adults

Brian Willoughby et al.
Journal of Family Issues, April 2015, Pages 669-692

Abstract:
The present study used a sample of 779 unmarried emerging adult college students to test the hypothesis that higher levels of helicopter parenting would be related to less positive marital attitudes. Helicopter parenting entails intense and intrusive involvement by parents under the guise of caring and protection. Using hierarchical multiple regression models, results suggested that helicopter parenting was not associated with the general importance placed on marriage but did influence emerging adults’ beliefs about the advantages of being single versus being married and their expected age of marriage. Higher reported helicopter parenting among emerging adults was associated with stronger beliefs that being single held more advantages than being married and an expected delay of eventual marriage. Other results suggested that parental warmth with mothers and fathers was also an important correlate of emerging adults’ marital attitudes.

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Origins of narcissism in children

Eddie Brummelman et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 24 March 2015, Pages 3659–3662

Abstract:
Narcissism levels have been increasing among Western youth, and contribute to societal problems such as aggression and violence. The origins of narcissism, however, are not well understood. Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first prospective longitudinal evidence on the origins of narcissism in children. We compared two perspectives: social learning theory (positing that narcissism is cultivated by parental overvaluation) and psychoanalytic theory (positing that narcissism is cultivated by lack of parental warmth). We timed the study in late childhood (ages 7–12), when individual differences in narcissism first emerge. In four 6-mo waves, 565 children and their parents reported child narcissism, child self-esteem, parental overvaluation, and parental warmth. Four-wave cross-lagged panel models were conducted. Results support social learning theory and contradict psychoanalytic theory: Narcissism was predicted by parental overvaluation, not by lack of parental warmth. Thus, children seem to acquire narcissism, in part, by internalizing parents’ inflated views of them (e.g., “I am superior to others” and “I am entitled to privileges”). Attesting to the specificity of this finding, self-esteem was predicted by parental warmth, not by parental overvaluation. These findings uncover early socialization experiences that cultivate narcissism, and may inform interventions to curtail narcissistic development at an early age.

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Caregiving and 5-HTTLPR Genotype Predict Adolescent Physiological Stress Reactivity: Confirmatory Tests of Gene × Environment Interactions

Jennifer Sumner et al.
Child Development, forthcoming

Abstract:
A theory-driven confirmatory approach comparing diathesis–stress and differential susceptibility models of Gene × Environment (G × E) interactions was applied to examine whether 5-HTTLPR genotype moderated the effect of early maternal caregiving on autonomic nervous system (ANS) stress reactivity in 113 adolescents aged 13–17 years. Findings supported a differential susceptibility, rather than diathesis–stress, framework. Carriers of one or more 5-HTTLPR short alleles (SS/SL carriers) reporting higher quality caregiving exhibited approach ANS responses to a speech task, whereas those reporting lower quality caregiving exhibited withdrawal ANS responses. Carriers of two 5-HTTLPR long alleles (LL carriers) were unaffected by caregiving. Findings suggest that 5-HTTLPR genotype and early caregiving in interaction are associated with ANS stress reactivity in adolescents in a “for better and for worse” fashion, and they demonstrate the promise of confirmatory methods for testing G × E interactions.

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Further Examination of the Immediate Impact of Television on Children’s Executive Function

Angeline Lillard et al.
Developmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Three studies examined the short-term impact of television (TV) on children’s executive function (EF). Study 1 (N = 160) showed that 4- and 6-year-olds’ EF is impaired after watching 2 different fast and fantastical shows, relative to that of children who watched a slow, realistic show or played. In Study 2 (N = 60), 4-year-olds’ EF was as depleted after watching a fast and fantastical educational show as it was after a fast and fantastical entertainment one, relative to that of children who read a book based on the educational show. Study 3 (N = 80) examined whether show pacing or fantasy was more influential, and found that only fantastical shows, regardless of their pacing, disrupted 4-year-olds’ EF. Taken together, these studies show that 10–20 min watching televised fantastical events, relative to other experiences, results in lower EF in young children.

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Fathers’ Methods of Child Discipline: Does Incarceration Lead to Harsh and Physical Punishment? A Research Note

Elizabeth Ehrhardt Mustaine & Richard Tewksbury
American Journal of Criminal Justice, March 2015, Pages 89-99

Abstract:
Using Data from Wave 9 of the Fragile Families and Child Well Being Study (2011) this study examines predictors of fathers’ use of harsh physical child discipline methods. Central to the investigation is the question of whether fathers who have been incarcerated experience a brutalization effect of imprisonment which is manifested in harsh physical means of child discipline. Also examined are measures of demographics, scope and quality of interactions with child(ren), interactions with mother, attitudes/beliefs about the fathering role and degree of satisfaction derived from parenting. Results show that the most influential measures are those regarding scope and quality of interactions with child(ren). Whether or not a father has been incarcerated shows no statistically significant effect on methods of child discipline.

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Family environment and the malleability of cognitive ability: A Swedish national home-reared and adopted-away cosibling control study

Kenneth Kendler et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Cognitive ability strongly aggregates in families, and prior twin and adoption studies have suggested that this is the result of both genetic and environmental factors. In this study, we used a powerful design — home-reared and adopted-away cosibling controls — to investigate the role of the rearing environment in cognitive ability. We identified, from a complete national Swedish sample of male–male siblings, 436 full-sibships in which at least one member was reared by one or more biological parents and the other by adoptive parents. IQ was measured at age 18–20 as part of the Swedish military service conscription examination. Parental educational level was rated on a 5-point scale. Controlling for clustering of offspring within biological families, the adopted siblings had an IQ 4.41 (SE = 0.75) points higher than their nonadopted siblings. Each additional unit of rearing parental education was associated with 1.71 (SE = 0.44) units of IQ. We replicated these results in 2,341 male–male half-sibships, in which, controlling for clustering within families, adoption was associated with a gain of IQ of 3.18 (SE = 0.34) points. Each additional unit of rearing parental education was associated with 1.94 (SE = 0.18) IQ units. Using full- and half-sibling sets matched for genetic background, we found replicated evidence that (i) rearing environment affects IQ measured in late adolescence, and (ii) a portion of the IQ of adopted siblings could be explained by the educational level of their adoptive parents.

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Childhood Health and Human Capital: New Evidence from Genetic Brothers in Arms

John Parman
Journal of Economic History, March 2015, Pages 30-64

Abstract:
Negative shocks to childhood health can have a lasting impact on the economic success of an individual by altering families' schooling investment decisions. This article introduces a new dataset of brothers serving in World War II and uses it to demonstrate that improvements in childhood health led to substantial increases in educational attainment in the first one-half of the twentieth century. By exploiting variation in health within families, the data show that this relationship between childhood health and educational attainment holds even after controlling for both observed and unobserved household and environmental characteristics.

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The “birds and the bees” differ for boys and girls: Sex differences in the nature of sex talks

Barry Kuhle et al.
Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, April 2015, Pages 107-115

Abstract:
The daughter-guarding hypothesis posits that “parents possess adaptations with design features that function to defend their daughter’s sexual reputation, preserve her mate value, and protect her from sexual victimization” (Perilloux, Fleischman, & Buss, 2008, p. 219). One way that parents may attempt to guard their daughters’ sexualities is by conveying to them certain messages about sex. To explore this possibility we administered an online questionnaire that tested 8 sex-linked predictions derived from the daughter-guarding hypothesis about the content of parent–child communications about sex. Participants were undergraduates from a Northeastern U.S. Jesuit Catholic university (n = 226) and young adults recruited through Facebook (n = 391). As predicted, daughters were more likely than sons to recall receiving messages from their parents that (a) emphasized being discriminating in allocating sexual access; (b) emphasized abstinence; (c) encouraged them to deter, inhibit, and defend against their partners’ sexual advances; (d) encouraged them to not emulate depictions of sexual activity; (e) stipulated when they were old enough to date; and (f) curtailed contact with the opposite sex. Results supported several hypothesized design features of the daughter-guarding hypothesis. Parents may be socializing children in ways that fostered ancestral reproductive success through sex-linked birds-and-the-bees talks and messages.

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Long-Term Consequences of Adolescent Parenthood Among African-American Urban Youth: A Propensity Score Matching Approach

Luciana Assini-Meytin & Kerry Green
Journal of Adolescent Health, forthcoming

Purpose: The aim of this study was to improve understanding of long-term socioeconomic consequences of teen parenting for men and women.

Methods: Analysis is based on the Woodlawn Study, a longitudinal study of an African-American cohort from a socially disadvantaged community in Chicago; data were collected at childhood (N = 1,242), adolescence (N = 705), young adulthood (age 32 years, N = 952), and midlife (age 42 years, N = 833). This analysis focused on the 1,050 individuals with data on teen parenting. We used propensity score matching to account for differences in background characteristics between teenage parents and their peers and used multiple imputation to account for differential attrition.

Results: The regression models after propensity score matching showed that at the age of 32 years, in comparison to nonteen mothers, teenage mothers were more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty, depend on welfare, and have earned a GED or completed high school compared to finishing college. At the age of 32 years, teen fathers were more likely to be without a job than nonteen fathers. At the age of 42 years, the effect of teen parenting for women remained statistically significant for education and income. There were no significant associations between teen parenting and outcomes for men at the age of 42 years.

Conclusions: Socioeconomic consequences of teenage parenting among African-Americans from disadvantaged background seem to be primarily concentrated in women and persist throughout adulthood. In addition to promoting the delay of parenting after the teenage years, it is critical to provide programs at early stages in the life course to mitigate the negative socioeconomic consequences of teenage motherhood as effects for women are broad.

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The “New Father”: Dynamic Stereotypes of Fathers

Sarah Banchefsky & Bernadette Park
Psychology of Men & Masculinity, forthcoming

Abstract:
Fathers have become increasingly involved in childcare and housework. According to social role theory, as fathers engage in more traditionally maternal roles and fewer traditionally paternal roles, they should be seen as having more maternal traits and fewer paternal traits over time, suggesting dynamic stereotypes of fathers. To test this hypothesis, participants were randomly assigned to imagine the typical mother or father in the year 1950, the present, or 2050 and to rate the likelihood that the parent would possess stereotypically maternal traits (e.g., kind, understanding) and paternal traits (e.g., stern, authoritative). In addition, they rated the likelihood that each parent would engage in traditionally maternal (e.g., arrange for babysitter) and paternal (e.g., provide household income) roles. Mothers and fathers were viewed as becoming more alike from the past to the present and continuing into the future, with fathers showing particularly marked change. Mediation analyses indicated that perceived changing roles drove perceived changes in parent traits, especially for fathers.

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Welfare-to-Work Reform and Intergenerational Support: Grandmothers' Response to the 1996 PRWORA

Christine Ho
Journal of Marriage and Family, April 2015, Pages 407–423

Abstract:
The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA; Pub. L. 104-193) in the United States aimed at encouraging work among low-income mothers with children below age 18. In this study, the author used a sample of 2,843 intergenerational family observations from the Health and Retirement Study to estimate the effects of the reform on single grandmothers who are related to those mothers. The results suggest that the reform decreased time transfers but increased money transfers from grandmothers. The results are consistent with an intergenerational family support network where higher child care subsidies motivated the family to shift away from grandmother provided child care and where grandmothers increased money transfers to either help cover the remaining cost of formal care or to partly compensate for the loss in benefits of welfare leavers.

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Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: A prospective birth cohort study from Brazil

Cesar Victora et al.
Lancet Global Health, April 2015, Pages e199–e205

Background: Breastfeeding has clear short-term benefits, but its long-term consequences on human capital are yet to be established. We aimed to assess whether breastfeeding duration was associated with intelligence quotient (IQ), years of schooling, and income at the age of 30 years, in a setting where no strong social patterning of breastfeeding exists.

Methods: A prospective, population-based birth cohort study of neonates was launched in 1982 in Pelotas, Brazil. Information about breastfeeding was recorded in early childhood. At 30 years of age, we studied the IQ (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, 3rd version), educational attainment, and income of the participants. For the analyses, we used multiple linear regression with adjustment for ten confounding variables and the G-formula.

Findings: From June 4, 2012, to Feb 28, 2013, of the 5914 neonates enrolled, information about IQ and breastfeeding duration was available for 3493 participants. In the crude and adjusted analyses, the durations of total breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding (breastfeeding as the main form of nutrition with some other foods) were positively associated with IQ, educational attainment, and income. We identified dose-response associations with breastfeeding duration for IQ and educational attainment. In the confounder-adjusted analysis, participants who were breastfed for 12 months or more had higher IQ scores (difference of 3•76 points, 95% CI 2•20–5•33), more years of education (0•91 years, 0•42–1•40), and higher monthly incomes (341•0 Brazilian reals, 93•8–588•3) than did those who were breastfed for less than 1 month. The results of our mediation analysis suggested that IQ was responsible for 72% of the effect on income.

Interpretation: Breastfeeding is associated with improved performance in intelligence tests 30 years later, and might have an important effect in real life, by increasing educational attainment and income in adulthood.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Suspects

Does Immigration Enforcement Reduce Crime? Evidence from Secure Communities

Thomas Miles & Adam Cox
Journal of Law and Economics, November 2014, Pages 937-973

Abstract:
Prior research investigates whether immigrants commit more crimes than native-born people. Yet the central policy used to regulate immigration — detention and deportation — has received little empirical evaluation. This article studies a recent policy innovation called Secure Communities. This program permits the federal government to check the immigration status of every person arrested by local police and to take the arrestee into federal custody promptly for deportation proceedings. Since its launch, the program has led to a quarter of a million detentions. We utilize the staggered rollout of the program across the country to obtain differences-in-differences estimates of its impact on crime rates. We also use unique counts of the detainees from each county and month to estimate the elasticity of crime with respect to confined immigrants. The results show that the Secure Communities program has had no observable effect on the overall crime rate.

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Increased death rates of domestic violence victims from arresting vs. warning suspects in the Milwaukee Domestic Violence Experiment (MilDVE)

Lawrence Sherman & Heather Harris
Journal of Experimental Criminology, March 2015, Pages 1-20

Objectives: We explored death rates from all causes among victims of misdemeanor domestic violence 23 years after random assignment of their abusers to arrests vs. warnings.

Methods: We gathered state and national death data on all 1,125 victims (89 % female; 70 % African-American; mean age = 30) enrolled by Milwaukee Police in 1987–88, after 98 % treatment as randomly assigned.

Results: Victims were 64 % more likely to have died of all causes if their partners were arrested and jailed than if warned and allowed to remain at home (p = .037, 95 % CI = risk ratio of 1:1.024 to 1:2.628). Among the 791 African-American victims, arrest increased mortality by 98 % (p = .019); among 334 white victims, arrest increased mortality by only 9 % (95 % CI = RR of 1:0.489 to 1:2.428). The highest victim death rate across four significant differences found in all 22 moderator tests was within the group of 192 African-American victims who held jobs: 11 % died after partner arrests, but none after warnings (d = .8, p = .003). Murder of the victims caused only three of all 91 deaths; heart disease and other internal morbidity caused most victim deaths.

Conclusions: Partner arrests for domestic common assault apparently increased premature death for their victims, especially African-Americans. Victims who held jobs at the time of police response suffered the highest death rates, but only if they were African-American. Replications and detailed risk factor studies are needed to confirm these conclusions, which may support repeal or judicial invalidation of state-level mandatory arrest laws.

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Viewer Ethnicity Matters: Black Crime in TV News and Its Impact on Decisions Regarding Public Policy

Ryan Hurley et al.
Journal of Social Issues, March 2015, Pages 155–170

Abstract:
Content analyses have consistently documented the disproportionate portrayal of Black Americans as criminals in the news. This experiment examines the impact of such portrayals on consumers by investigating the relationship between viewer ethnicity, viewing Black criminal suspects in the news, and beliefs related to public policy. Participants viewed a 30-minute local newscast containing crime stories featuring a majority of Black suspects, White suspects, or no crime stories. Those exposed to crime stories featuring a majority of Black suspects were more likely to rate a nondescript inmate as personally culpable (i.e., unable to be rehabilitated). An interaction between participant ethnicity and treatment condition revealed that ethnic minority group members who view a majority of Black criminals demonstrated significantly lower police support than other participants. These data suggest a complex relationship between exposure to Black crime, racial/ethnic-group membership, and crime-related perceptions and have implications for priming and spreading activation.

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Per Se Drugged Driving Laws and Traffic Fatalities

Mark Anderson & Daniel Rees
International Review of Law and Economics, June 2015, Pages 122–134

Abstract:
In an effort to reduce drugged driving by 10 percent, the Office of National Drug Control Policy is encouraging all states to adopt per se drugged driving laws, which make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a controlled substance in the system. To date, 20 states have passed per se drugged driving laws, yet little is known about their effectiveness. Using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the period 1990-2010, the current study examines the relationship between these laws and traffic fatalities, the leading cause of death among Americans ages 5 through 34. Our results provide no evidence that per se drugged driving laws reduce traffic fatalities.

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The African-American Entrepreneur–Crime Drop Relationship: Growing African-American Business Ownership and Declining Youth Violence

Karen Parker
Urban Affairs Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although much of the urban violence literature focuses on the link between urban disadvantage and crime rates, in this article we explore the relationship between African-American entrepreneurship and rates of juvenile violence, net of the effects associated with labor market shifts and the concentration of disadvantage within these areas. That is, Black-owned businesses have increased considerably over time but have largely been neglected in the criminological literature. After generating two distinct measures of Black entrepreneurship, we test to see if Black-owned businesses were significant to the documented decline in juvenile violence in larger U.S. cities from 1990 to 2000. We find an inverse relationship between entrepreneurship and juvenile arrests involving violence across multiple cities in 1990 and 2000. Furthermore, when estimating a pooled cross-sectional time-series design, the growing presence of African-American businesses is a significant contributor to the change (decline) in Black youth violence during the period of the 1990 crime drop, while the rate of paid employees in Black firms remained unrelated to Black youth violence. In changing economic times, we discuss the importance of exploring ways to capture the presence of African-Americans in the urban economy.

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Exploring the Effect of Exposure to Short-Term Solitary Confinement Among Violent Prison Inmates

Robert Morris
Journal of Quantitative Criminology, forthcoming

Objectives: This study tracked the behavior of male inmates housed in the general inmate populations of 70 different prison units from a large southern state. Each of the inmates studied engaged in violent misconduct at least once during the first 2 years of incarceration (n = 3,808). The goal of the study was to isolate the effect of exposure to short-term solitary confinement (SC) as a punishment for their initial act of violent behavior on the occurrence and timing of subsequent misconduct.

Methods: This study relied upon archival longitudinal data and employed a multilevel counterfactual research design (propensity score matching) that involved tests for group differences, event history analyses, and trajectory analyses.

Results: The results suggest that exposure to short-term solitary confinement as a punishment for an initial violence does not appear to play a role in increasing or decreasing the probability, timing, or development of future misconduct for this particular group on inmates.

Conclusions: Upon validation, these findings call for continued research and perhaps a dialog regarding the utility of solitary confinement policies under certain contexts. This unique study sets the stage for further research to more fully understand how solitary impacts post-exposure behavior.

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Do execution moratoriums increase homicide? Re-examining evidence from Illinois

A. Ahrens, T.V. Kovandzic & L.M. Vieraitis B.
Applied Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article revisits the event study by Cloninger and Marchesini (2006), who find that the declaration of the Illinois’ death penalty moratorium on 31 January 2000 had a homicide-promoting effect and resulted in 150 additional homicides over the period 2000–2003. We reassess the author’s identification strategy, which they refer to as ‘portfolio approach’ and which draws upon event studies in finance research. We argue that their methodology is not applicable in crime studies. Instead, we apply univariate time-series methods to test for a structural break at a known and unknown break date. We allow for unknown break points as the structural break might have occurred slightly earlier (criminals might have anticipated the moratorium) or later (due to persistence in criminal behaviour). In addition, we implement the synthetic control estimator which approximates the counterfactual homicide series by a weighted average of homicide outcomes in other US states. Based on various testing methods and two distinct data sets, we conclude that there is no empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that the Illinois’ execution moratorium significantly increased homicides.

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Violent victimization, confluence of risks and the nature of criminal behavior: Testing main and interactive effects from Agnew’s extension of General Strain Theory

Graham Ousey, Pamela Wilcox & Christopher Schreck
Journal of Criminal Justice, March–April 2015, Pages 164–173

Purpose: Important facets of the association between violent crime victimization and criminal offending remain unsettled. Drawing on key aspects of General Strain Theory, this study examined whether violent crime victimization affects overall offending proclivity as well as the character—violent vs. nonviolent—of criminal behavior. Additionally, it tested a recent theory extension positing that larger effects of violent victimization will be found among individuals with a greater confluence of criminogenic risk factors.

Methods: Multi-level latent variable item-response models are used to examine data from a sample of nearly 3,000 tenth-grade students from thirty Kentucky counties.

Results: Quantitative analyses indicated that greater violent victimization was associated with both higher scores on a latent index of overall offending and with an elevated propensity for violent criminality in particular. Contrary to expectations, effects of violent victimization on overall offending and the propensity for violence were not higher for individuals with higher scores on a multidimensional risk index.

Conclusion: In support of General Strain Theory, violent victimization elevates the overall amount of criminal offending and increases odds that crimes involve violent rather than nonviolent behaviors. However, variations in the preceding effects across levels of criminogenic risk are not consistent with the theory.

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Walking ATMs and the Immigration Spillover Effect: The Link Between Latino Immigration and Robbery Victimization

Raymond Barranco & Edward Shihadeh
Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Media reports and prior research suggest that undocumented Latino migrants are disproportionately robbed because they rely on a cash-only economy and they are reluctant to report crimes to law-enforcement (the Walking ATM phenomenon). From this we generate two specific research questions. First, we probe for an immigration spillover effect – defined as increased native and documented Latino robbery victimization due to offenders’ inability to distinguish between the statuses of potential victims. Second, we examine the oft-repeated claim that Black robbers disproportionately target Latino victims. Using National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data from 282 counties, results show 1) support for an immigration spillover effect but, 2) no support for the claim that Latinos are disproportionately singled out by Black robbers. We discuss the implications of our findings.

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The Effect of Community Traumatic Events on Student Achievement: Evidence from the Beltway Sniper Attacks

Seth Gershenson & Erdal Tekin
NBER Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
Community traumatic events such as mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and natural or man-made disasters have the potential to disrupt student learning in numerous ways. For example, these events can reduce instructional time by causing teacher and student absences, school closures, and disturbances to usual classroom routines. Similarly, they might also disrupt home environments. This paper uses a quasi-experimental research design to identify the effects of the 2002 “Beltway Sniper” attacks on student achievement in Virginia’s public schools. In order to identify the causal impact of these events, the empirical analysis uses a difference-in-differences strategy that exploits geographic variation in schools’ proximity to the attacks. The main results indicate that the attacks significantly reduced school-level proficiency rates in schools within five miles of an attack. Evidence of a causal effect is most robust for third grade reading and third and fifth grade math proficiency, suggesting that the shootings caused a decline in school proficiency rates of about five to nine percentage points. Particularly concerning from an equity standpoint, these effects appear to be entirely driven by achievement declines in schools that serve higher proportions of racial minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Finally, results from supplementary analyses suggest that these deleterious effects faded out in subsequent years.

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The Sliding Scale of Snitching: A Qualitative Examination of Snitching in Three Philadelphia Communities

Susan Clampet-Lundquist, Patrick Carr & Maria Kefalas
Sociological Forum, forthcoming

Abstract:
We conducted an in-depth interview study with 77 young men in three moderate to high-crime neighborhoods in Philadelphia to hear their stories about community violence and relations with police. In this article, we have analyzed how Latino, African-American, and white young men experience policing and how they discuss the guidelines around cooperation with the police and what they view as snitching. Contrary to popular perception, talking to the police is not always banned in poor or high-crime neighborhoods. Instead, the respondents present a variety of personal rules that they use to assess when cooperation is called for. We argue that the policing they experience within disadvantaged neighborhoods shapes their frame of legal cynicism, which in turn makes decisions not to cooperate with the police more likely.

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The All-volunteer Force and Crime: The Effects of Military Participation on Offending Behavior

Jessica Craig & Nadine Connell
Armed Forces & Society, April 2015, Pages 329-351

Abstract:
Sampson and Laub’s age-graded theory of informal social control posits that social bonds created through marriage, military, and employment lead to a decrease of criminal behavior or desistance. Most research has focused primarily on the roles of marriage and employment in this process, ignoring the impact of military service on future offending behavior. However, recent US military involvement in the Middle East suggests that the effects of military experience on individuals should be reevaluated. Using data collected from a more recent sample of military-involved individuals, all of whom served in the All-volunteer Force, this study examines how participation in the military impacts offending and potential desistance. The results demonstrate that, overall, modern-day military involvement does not have the same protective effect on future offending as observed in World War II samples. Racial subgroup analyses, however, suggest that military involvement leads to a greater likelihood of desistance for minority service members.

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Bobbies and Baseball Players: Evaluating Patrol Officer Productivity Using Sabermetrics

Luke Bonkiewicz
Police Quarterly, March 2015, Pages 55-78

Abstract:
Patrol officer productivity is an understudied topic in police research. Prior studies on productivity have primarily relied on rudimentary statistics, such as calls for service and arrests. A more advanced method for evaluating productivity should (a) account for the diverse activities of patrol officers, (b) weight different productivity outputs, (c) evaluate officers in terms of available minutes for self-initiated activities (productive time), and (d) offer agencies the flexibility to select, prioritize, and weight patrol activities most relevant to their jurisdictions. Borrowing from a baseball sabermetric called Value Over Replacement Player, we create and test an innovative statistic called Value Over Replacement Cop. This metric analyzes 12 patrol activities and generates a single number by which to quantify and evaluate a patrol officer’s productivity. Using data from a midsize U.S. Police Department (325 sworn officers), we find strong support for the validity of this new metric.

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'Ain't No Rest for the Wicked': Population, Crime, and the 2013 Government Shutdown

Ricard Gil & Mario Macis
Johns Hopkins University Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
The vast majority of the empirical literature on crime has focused on the effects of "supply-side" shocks such as the severity of laws and enforcement. In this paper we analyze the effects of a large and unexpected "demand-side" shock: the drop in daytime population in Washington, DC caused by the government shutdown of October 1-16, 2013. We derive implications from a simple theoretical model where criminals choose effort and allocate it across different criminal activities. We test these implications using the city of Baltimore as the comparison group, and employing difference-in-differences methods. Consistent with the model's predictions (and inconsistent with alternative explanations), we find a 3% decline in crime in DC during the shutdown period, with the net effect resulting from a 9% decline during the day hours, and a 5% increase in crime during the evening and night hours, indicating reallocation of criminals' effort induced by the shutdown.

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Adolescent Criminal Behavior, Population Heterogeneity, and Cumulative Disadvantage: Untangling the Relationship Between Adolescent Delinquency and Negative Outcomes in Emerging Adulthood

Matthew Makarios, Francis Cullen & Alex Piquero
Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming

Abstract:
Developmentalists suggest that adolescent criminal involvement encourages later life failure in the social domains of education, welfare, and risky sexual activities. Although prior research supports a link between crime and later life failure, relatively little research has sought to explain why this relationship exists. This research attempts to understand why crime leads to negative social outcomes by testing hypotheses derived from the perspectives of population heterogeneity and cumulative disadvantage. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, the results reveal that net of control variables and measures of population heterogeneity, adolescent criminal behavior consistently predicts school failure, being on welfare, and risky sexual activities. The findings also suggest that after controlling for delinquency, adolescent arrest negatively affects these factors. Furthermore, stable criminal traits and adolescent delinquency interact when predicting measures of poor social adjustment in early adulthood.

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Anarchy in the UK: Economic Deprivation, Social Disorganization, and Political Grievances in the London Riot of 2011

Juta Kawalerowicz & Michael Biggs
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
Thousands rioted in London in August 2011, with the police losing control of parts of the city for four days. This event was not an ethnic riot: participants were ethnically diverse and did not discriminate in choosing targets for looting or destruction. Whereas the sociological literature has focused on variation in rioting across cities, we examine variation within London by mapping the residential addresses of 1,620 rioters — who were subsequently arrested and charged — on to 25,022 neighborhoods. Our findings challenge the orthodoxy that rioting is not explained by deprivation or by disorganization. Rioters were most likely to come from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Rioters also tended to come from neighborhoods where ethnic fractionalization was high, and from areas with few charitable organizations. Political grievances also emerge as important. Rioters were more likely to come from boroughs where the police had previously been perceived as disrespectful.

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Strangers, Acquaintances, and Victims: Victimization and Concern About Crime Among Women

Kevin Drakulich
Sociological Forum, March 2015, Pages 103–126

Abstract:
Women report greater concerns about the danger posed by strangers despite greater victimization by acquaintances. Using a survey of Seattle residents, this article investigates one understudied dimension of this seeming incongruity: the actual effect of victimization by a stranger or acquaintance on concerns about crime. The results suggest different patterns for different crimes: relationship to the offender does not matter for burglaries while acquaintance sexual assaults and stranger nonsexual assaults, respectively, hold the largest associations with concerns. Implications are discussed for research on fear of crime, acquaintance victimizations, and perceptions of neighborhoods.

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The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from University Police

Paul Heaton et al.
RAND Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
Over a million people in the United States are employed in private security and law enforcement, yet very little is known about the effects of private police on crime. The current study examines the relationship between a privately-funded university police force and crime in a large U.S. city. Following an expansion of the jurisdictional boundary of the private police force, we see no short-term change in crime. However, using a geographic regression discontinuity approach, we find large impacts of private police on public safety, with violent crime in particular decreasing. These contradictory results appear to be a consequence of delayed effect of private police on crime.

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On the Move: Incarceration, Race, and Residential Mobility

Cody Warner
Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
The present study examines the relationship between incarceration and post-prison residential mobility. In spite of recent research examining the residential context following incarceration, we know little about if or how incarceration affects individual patterns of residential mobility. This study starts to fill this gap in knowledge by drawing on nationally representative data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). I find that individuals with a history of incarceration are more likely to move after prison than they are before prison. This relationship holds even after accounting for various time-varying and time-stable sources of spuriousness, including other known correlates of mobility. Additional analyses suggest that this effect is strongest early in the reentry period, and that there exists important racial variation in the relationship between incarceration and mobility. These results imply that, while housing stability is an important feature of successful prisoner reentry, incarceration contributes to larger patterns of residential instability.

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Mortgage Foreclosures and the Changing Mix of Crime in Micro-neighborhoods

Johanna Lacoe & Ingrid Gould Ellen
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, forthcoming

Objectives: The main objectives of the study are to estimate the impact of mortgage foreclosures on the location of criminal activity within a blockface. Drawing on routine activity theory, disorder theory, and social disorganization theory, the study explores potential mechanisms that link foreclosures to crime.

Methods: To estimate the relationship between foreclosures and localized crime, we use detailed foreclosure and crime data at the blockface level in Chicago and a difference-in-difference estimation strategy.

Results: Overall, mortgage foreclosures increase crime on blockfaces. Foreclosures have a larger impact on crime that occurs inside residences than on crime in the street. The impact of foreclosures on crime location varies by crime type (violent, property, and public order crime).

Conclusions: The evidence supports the three main theoretical mechanisms that link foreclosure activity to local crime. The investigation of the relationship by crime location suggests that foreclosures change the relative attractiveness of indoor and outdoor locations for crime commission on the blockface.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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