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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The great outdoors

Voter Preferences and Political Change: Evidence from Shale Booms

Viktar Fedaseyeu, Erik Gilje & Philip Strahan

NBER Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
Local interests change sharply after the energy booms that began in 2003, when hydraulic fracturing spurred extraction of formerly uneconomic oil and gas reserves. Support for conservative interests rises and Republican political candidates gain votes after booms, leading to a near doubling in the probability of a change in incumbency. All of this change occurs at the expense of Democrats. Voting records of U.S. House members from boom districts become sharply more conservative across a wide range of issues, including issues unrelated to energy policy. At the level of the individual, marginal candidates skew their voting behavior somewhat toward more conservative causes, but generally not enough to maintain power. Thus, even when the stakes are high and politicians risk losing power, ideology trumps ambition.

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Air Pollution and Criminal Activity: Evidence from Chicago Microdata

Evan Herrnstadt & Erich Muehlegger

NBER Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
A large and growing literature documents the adverse impacts of pollution on health, productivity, educational attainment and socioeconomic outcomes. This paper provides the first quasi-experimental evidence that air pollution causally affects criminal activity. We exploit detailed location data on over two million serious crimes reported to the Chicago police department over a twelve-year period. We identify the causal effect of pollution on criminal activity by comparing crime on opposite sides of major interstates on days when the wind blows orthogonally the direction of the interstate and find that violent crime is 2.2 percent higher on the downwind side. Consistent with evidence from psychology on the relationship between pollution and aggression, the effect is unique to violent crimes – we find no effect of pollution on the commission of property crime.

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Impact of the Volkswagen emissions control defeat device on US public health

Steven Barrett et al.

Environmental Research Letters, November 2015

Abstract:
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has alleged that Volkswagen Group of America (VW) violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) by developing and installing emissions control system 'defeat devices' (software) in model year 2009–2015 vehicles with 2.0 litre diesel engines. VW has admitted the inclusion of defeat devices. On-road emissions testing suggests that in-use NOx emissions for these vehicles are a factor of 10 to 40 above the EPA standard. In this paper we quantify the human health impacts and associated costs of the excess emissions. We propagate uncertainties throughout the analysis. A distribution function for excess emissions is estimated based on available in-use NOx emissions measurements. We then use vehicle sales data and the STEP vehicle fleet model to estimate vehicle distance traveled per year for the fleet. The excess NOx emissions are allocated on a 50 km grid using an EPA estimate of the light duty diesel vehicle NOx emissions distribution. We apply a GEOS-Chem adjoint-based rapid air pollution exposure model to produce estimates of particulate matter and ozone exposure due to the spatially resolved excess NOx emissions. A set of concentration-response functions is applied to estimate mortality and morbidity outcomes. Integrated over the sales period (2008–2015) we estimate that the excess emissions will cause 59 (95% CI: 10 to 150) early deaths in the US. When monetizing premature mortality using EPA-recommended data, we find a social cost of ~$450m over the sales period. For the current fleet, we estimate that a return to compliance for all affected vehicles by the end of 2016 will avert ~130 early deaths and avoid ~$840m in social costs compared to a counterfactual case without recall.

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Gone with the Wind: Federalism and the Strategic Placement of Air Polluters

James Monogan, David Konisky & Neal Woods

University of Georgia Working Paper, September 2015

Abstract:
In federal systems both state governments and firms have incentives to strategically locate polluting facilities where the environmental and health consequences will be borne as much as possible by residents of other jurisdictions. We analyze air polluter location in the United States using a spatial point pattern model, which models where events occur in latitude and longitude. Our analyses indicate that major air polluters are significantly more likely to be located near a state’s downwind border than a control group of other industrial facilities, results that are robust to a wide variety of model specifications and measurement strategies. This effect is particularly pronounced for facilities with toxic air emissions. The observed pattern of polluter location varies systematically across states and time in ways that suggest it is responsive to public policy at both the national and state levels.

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Can indifference make the world greener?

Johan Egebark & Mathias Ekströ

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, March 2016, Pages 1–13

Abstract:
We conducted a natural field experiment to evaluate two resource conservation programs. One intervention consisted of a moral appeal message asking university employees to cut back on printing in general, and to use double-sided printing whenever possible. The other intervention tested whether people's tendency to stick with pre-set alternatives is applicable to resource use: at random points in time we changed the default setting on the university printers, from single-sided to double-sided printing. Whereas the moral appeal had no impact, the default change cut paper use by 15 percent. Further analysis adds two important insights. First, we show that defaults influence behavior also in the longer run. Second, we present results indicating that resource efficient defaults have the advantage of avoiding unintended behavioral responses. Overall, our findings send a clear message to anyone concerned about resource conservation: there are potentially large gains to be made from small interventions.

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Data contradict common perceptions about a controversial provision of the US Endangered Species Act

Jacob Malcom & Ya-Wei Li

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 29 December 2015, Pages 15844–15849

Abstract:
Separating myth and reality is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of laws. Section 7 of the US Endangered Species Act (Act) directs federal agencies to help conserve threatened and endangered species, including by consulting with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or National Marine Fisheries Service on actions the agencies authorize, fund, or carry out. Consultations ensure that actions do not violate the Act’s prohibitions on “jeopardizing” listed species or “destroying or adversely modifying” these species’ critical habitat. Because these prohibitions are broad, many people consider section 7 the primary tool for protecting species under the Act, whereas others believe section 7 severely impedes economic development. This decades-old controversy is driven primarily by the lack of data on implementation: past analyses are either over 25 y old or taxonomically restricted. We analyze data on all 88,290 consultations recorded by FWS from January 2008 through April 2015. In contrast to conventional wisdom about section 7 implementation, no project was stopped or extensively altered as a result of FWS finding jeopardy or adverse modification during this period. We also show that median consultation duration is far lower than the maximum allowed by the Act, and several factors drive variation in consultation duration. The results discredit many of the claims about the onerous nature of section 7 but also raise questions as to how federal agencies could apply this tool more effectively to conserve species. We build on the results to identify ways to improve the effectiveness of consultations for imperiled species conservation and increase the efficiency of consultations.

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Valuation of Expectations: A Hedonic Study of Shale Gas Development and New York’s Moratorium

Andrew Boslett, Todd Guilfoos & Corey Lang,

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, May 2016, Pages 14–30

Abstract:
This paper examines the local impacts of shale gas development (SGD). We use a hedonic framework and exploit a discrete change in expectations about SGD caused by the New York State moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Our research design combines difference-in-differences and border discontinuity, as well as underlying shale geology, on properties in Pennsylvania and New York. Results suggest that New York properties that were most likely to experience both the financial benefits and environmental consequences of SGD dropped in value 23% as a result of the moratorium, which under certain assumptions indicates a large and positive net valuation of SGD.

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The long-run consequences of Chernobyl: Evidence on subjective well-being, mental health and welfare

Alexander Danzer & Natalia Danzer

Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper assesses the long-run toll taken by a large-scale technological disaster on welfare, well-being and mental health. We estimate the causal effect of the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe after 20 years by linking geographic variation in radioactive fallout to respondents of a nationally representative survey in Ukraine according to their place of residence in 1986. We exclude individuals who were exposed to high levels of radiation — about 4% of the population. Instead, we focus on the remaining majority of Ukrainians who received subclinical radiation doses; we find large and persistent psychological effects of this nuclear disaster. Affected individuals exhibit poorer subjective well-being, higher depression rates and lower subjective survival probabilities; they rely more on governmental transfers as source of subsistence. We estimate the aggregate annual welfare loss at 2–6% of Ukraine's GDP highlighting previously ignored externalities of large-scale catastrophes.

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Productivity, Export, and Environmental Performance: Air Pollutants in the United States

Jingbo Cui, Harvey Lapan & GianCarlo Moschini

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper studies the firm-level relationship among productivity, decision to export, and environmental performance. The emerging theoretical and empirical literature suggests that trade has an important role in determining firms' heterogeneity: increased openness to trade induces a reallocation effect that increases within-industry efficiency, thereby linking firms' decisions to export and adopt newer (and cleaner) technology. We argue that this framework provides the following empirically-relevant predictions: there is an inverse relationship between firm productivity and pollution emissions per unit output; exporting firms have lower emissions per unit output; and larger firms have a lower emission intensity. To examine these implications empirically, we have assembled a uniquely detailed dataset of the U.S. manufacturing industry for the years 2002, 2005, and 2008 by matching facility-level air emission data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the facility's economic characteristics contained in the National Establishment Time Series database. The strategy is to first estimate a facility-level total factor productivity parameter as a plant-specific fixed effect. We then investigate how this estimated productivity parameter correlates with emission intensity on a pollutant-by-pollutant basis. Our empirical findings support the hypotheses suggested by the conceptual model. For each criteria air pollutant considered, we find a significant negative correlation between estimated facility productivity and emission intensity. Conditional on a facility's estimated productivity and other controls, exporting facilities have significantly lower emissions per value of sales than non-exporting facilities in the same industry. We also find that plant size is negatively and significantly related to emission intensity for all pollutants.

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What Blows in with the Wind?

Dakshina De Silva, Robert McComb & Anita Schiller

Southern Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
The shift toward renewable forms of energy for electricity generation in the electricity generation industry has clear implications for the spatial distribution of generating plant. Traditional forms of generation are typically located close to the load or population centers, while wind- and solar-powered generation must be located where the energy source is found. In the case of wind, this has meant significant new investment in wind plant in primarily rural areas that have been in secular economic decline. This article investigates the localized economic impacts of the rapid increase in wind power capacity at the county level in Texas. Unlike input-output impact analysis that relies primarily on levels of inputs to estimate gross impacts, we use traditional econometric methods to estimate net localized impacts in terms of employment, personal income, property tax base, and key public school expenditure levels. While we find evidence that both direct and indirect employment impacts are modest, significant increases in per capita income accompany wind power development. County and school property tax rolls also realize important benefits from the local siting of utility scale wind power, although peculiarities in Texas school funding shift localized property tax benefits to the state.

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Does the housing market value energy efficient homes? Evidence from the energy star program

Chris Bruegge, Carmen Carrión-Flores & Jaren Pope

Regional Science and Urban Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The “Energy Star” certification of residential homes is a recent attempt in the United States to improve energy efficiency in the residential sector by incentivizing home builders to “build green.” We examine the effectiveness of this program by estimating homeowners' marginal willingness to pay for Energy Star residences in Gainesville, Florida. We use single-family residential property sales in Gainesville, Florida between 1997 and 2009. Using the hedonic method, we find that homeowners are willing to pay a premium for new Energy Star homes, but that this premium fades rapidly in the resale market.

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Air pollution emissions and damages from energy production in the U.S.: 2002–2011

Paulina Jaramillo & Nicholas Muller

Energy Policy, March 2016, Pages 202–211

Abstract:
This paper uses air pollution emissions data for the years 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011 to estimate monetary damages due to air pollution exposure for PM2.5, SO2, NOx, NH3, and VOC from electric power generation, oil and gas extraction, coal mining, and oil refineries. In 2011, damages associated with emissions from these sectors totaled 131 billion dollars (in 2000$), with SO2 emissions from power generation being the largest contributors to social damages. Further, damages have decreased significantly since 2002, even as energy production increased, suggesting that, among other factors, policies that have driven reductions in emissions have reduced damages. The results of this analysis highlight the spatial heterogeneity of the impacts associated with the emissions of a given pollutant. In the past, environmental regulations have assumed that the benefits of air emissions reductions are homogenous across source location. This analysis suggests that policy designs that account for spatial differences in the impacts of air emissions could result in more effective environmental regulation. Accounting for such spatial heterogeneity in the benefits of policies would be akin to accounting for differences in compliances costs across states, which the EPA did when establishing the state emissions standards for the Clean Power Plan rule.

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Testing substitution between private and public storage in the U.S. oil market: A study on the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Daniel Paul Scheitrum, Colin Carter & Amy Myers Jaffe

Energy Economics, forthcoming

Abstract
The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was established in 1975 to mitigate major oil supply disruptions and to deter the use of energy as a geopolitical “weapon.” However, policies towards the utilization of strategic oil stocks have varied under different presidencies and the SPR has often not been used in sufficient quantity or soon enough to avoid the negative economic consequences that can follow oil supply outages. Economic theory suggests that the existence of public stockpiles of commodities will alter inventory management practices of private market participants. This paper models private crude oil storage in the United States and estimates the private storage response to presidential announcements regarding the SPR. We investigate the incidence of different kinds of announcement events including releases and test sales from the SPR, announced changes in fill rates, and changes of presidency and how these events impact private land-based storage in the United States by region (PADD) as well as floating storage. We find significant substitution between private and public stocks for crude oil and find that announcement events are associated with observable changes in private inventory levels, with implications for public policy choices and geopolitical strategies.

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Ischemic Heart Disease Mortality and Long-Term Exposure to Source-Related Components of U.S. Fine Particle Air Pollution

George Thurston et al.

Environmental Health Perspectives, forthcoming

Background: Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution exposure has been identified as a global health threat. However, the types and sources of particles most responsible are not yet known. In this work, we sought to identify the causal characteristics and sources of air pollution underlying past published associations in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-II cohort between long-term PM2.5 exposure and Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) mortality.

Methods: Individual risk factor data were evaluated for 445,860 adults in 100 U.S. metropolitan areas followed from 1982 to 2004 for vital status and cause of death. Using Cox proportional hazard models, IHD mortality hazard ratios (HRs) were derived for PM2.5, trace constituents, and pollution source-associated PM2.5, as derived from air monitoring at central stations throughout the nation during 2000-2005.

Results: Associations with IHD mortality varied by PM2.5 mass constituent and source. A coal combustion PM2.5 IHD HR = 1.05 (95% CI=1.02, 1.08) per µg/m3, versus an IHD HR = 1.01 (95% CI=1.00, 1.02) per µg/m3 PM2.5 mass, indicated a risk roughly five times higher for coal combustion PM2.5 than for PM2.5 mass in general, on a per µg/m3 PM2.5 basis. Diesel traffic-related elemental carbon (EC) soot was also associated with IHD mortality (HR = 1.03; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.06 per 0.26 μg/m3 EC increase). However, PM2.5 from both wind-blown soil and biomass combustion were not associated with IHD mortality.

Conclusions: Long-term PM2.5 exposures from fossil fuel combustion, especially coal burning, but also from diesel traffic, were associated with increases in IHD mortality in this nationwide population. Results suggest that PM2.5–mortality associations can vary greatly by source, and that the largest IHD health benefits per µg/m3 from PM2.5 air pollution control may be achieved via reductions of fossil fuel combustion exposures, especially from coal-burning sources.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Will of the people

Emigration and democracy

Frédéric Docquier et al.

Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
International migration is an important determinant of institutions, not considered so far in the development literature. Using cross-sectional and panel estimation for a large sample of developing countries, we find that openness to emigration (as measured by the natives’ average emigration rate) has a positive effect on home-country institutional development (as measured by standard democracy indices). The results are robust to a wide range of specifications and identification methods. Remarkably, the cross-sectional estimates are fully in line with the implied long-run relationship from dynamic panel regressions.

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State Fragility and Structural Gender Inequality in Family Law: An Empirical Investigation

Donna Lee Bowen, Valerie Hudson & Perpetua Lynne

Nielsen Laws, December 2015, Pages 654-672

Abstract:
In this paper we examine the linkage of male-dominant family law systems and levels of nation-state security and stability. We expect such societies to be predisposed to parasitical rent-seeking and inefficiency, combined with coercive conflict resolution, resulting in higher levels of violence within the society. We demonstrate empirically that states with inequitable family law also exhibit higher levels of state fragility. Using standard indicators of state stability and security, our empirical results show that the ability to predict levels of state stability and security is significantly enhanced by examining a measure of Inequity in Family Law in addition to more conventional explanatory variables such as literacy rate, level of democracy, and civilizational influence.

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Who was Colonized and When? A Cross-Country Analysis of Determinants

Arhan Ertan, Martin Fiszbein & Louis Putterman

European Economic Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
The process of colonization has shaped the economic and demographic contours of the modern world. In this paper, we study the determinants of the occurrence and timing of colonization of non-European countries by Western European powers. Of particular interest is the role of early development measures that are known to be strong correlates of present-day levels of income. We show that non-European societies with longer histories of agriculture and statehood and higher levels of technology adoption in 1500 were less likely to be colonized, and tended to be colonized later if at all. We also find that proximity to the colonizing powers, disease environment, and latitude are significant predictors of the occurrence and timing of colonization, although their impacts are less robust to choice of country sample. Our models have high explanatory power, and their support for the significance of early development is robust to the use of alternative indicators of early development and disease, to the use of instruments to focus on the exogenous component of early development, and to the joint estimation of the colonization and timing equations to correct for potential selection bias.

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Tyrants and Migrants: Authoritarian Immigration Policy

Adrian Shin

Comparative Political Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article examines the determinants of immigration policy toward low-skilled workers across 13 relatively wealthy autocracies after World War II. I argue that authoritarian immigration policy is a consequence of an autocrat’s redistributive policy. As the distribution of resource rents in rentier autocracies reduces the incentive of domestic labor to enter the labor force, rentier states rely on migrant workers to meet the demand for low-skilled labor. Autocrats without resource rents, however, lack capacity for redistribution, so they use policies that provide people with wages in exchange for their labor while restricting immigration. Using a policy index that measures the extent to which low-skilled migrant workers can get into a country in a given year, I find strong evidence for this argument across 13 autocracies in the post-World War II era.

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Secession Risk and Fiscal Federalism

Jason Sorens

Publius, Winter 2016, Pages 25-50

Abstract:
Why is fiscal federalism so often dysfunctional from an economic point of view? Particularly in the developing world, fiscally decentralized systems often lack hard budget constraints and an open, common market. This article argues that preventing secession can require fiscally deleterious institutions. Beyond the well-known device of “fiscal appeasement,” central governments facing potential secessionist challenges try to hamstring regional tax collection and permit regional protectionism against goods and labor. While ethnic diversity has helped to preserve relatively robust forms of fiscal federalism in Canada and Switzerland, it has had the contrary effect in developing countries. Even among Western democracies, those governments unwilling to countenance secession are less likely to respond to secessionist challenges by decentralizing taxation powers. The political logic of decentralization may stymie efforts to reform decentralized institutions along the lines recommended by economists and the multilateral lending institutions.

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Coups d’État and Foreign Aid

Takaaki Masaki

World Development, March 2016, Pages 51–68

Absract:
Do international donors penalize coups d’état by reducing aid? How significant is the impact of coups on aid flows? These questions have become increasingly important over the past three decades as the concept of political conditionality has gradually permeated the donor community, pushing for stringent actions to be taken against democratic transgressions like coups. I argue that the end of the Cold War was a historical juncture that reshaped the international donor community’s aid-based sanctioning policy toward coups. However, I also posit that the U.S. does not comply with the growing international norm of political conditionality due to its geopolitical interests trumping its rhetorical commitment to penalizing coups. This paper exploits exogenous variation in the success and failure of coups to estimate the causal effect of coup-led regime change on aid flows. My empirical evidence supports the proposition that since the end of the Cold War, the donor community on average has reduced the amounts of aid disbursements in response to coups d’état although the U.S. has been inconsistent in applying aid sanctions against coups both during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. While demonstrating a genuine shift in the international community’s collective responses toward coups since the end of the Cold War, my findings also attest to potential heterogeneity across major bilateral donors, which may undermine the overall effectiveness of aid and political conditionality.

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Defending the Authoritarian Regime Online: China's “Voluntary Fifty-cent Army”

Rongbin Han

China Quarterly, December 2015, Pages 1006-1025

Abstract:
Recent studies on internet politics in China have gone beyond the once dominant control–liberalization perspective and directed intellectual attention to the varieties of online activism. Based on extensive in-depth online ethnographic work, this project explores the pluralization of online expression in Chinese cyberspace. Following a constituency of internet users who identify themselves as the “voluntary fifty-cent army,” the paper explores how these users acquire and consolidate their identity and combat criticism that targets the authoritarian regime. Analysis of the confrontational exchanges between the “voluntary fifty-cent army” and their opponents suggests that a perspective that goes beyond state censorship and regime-challenging activism is required in order to gain a better understanding of online expression in China. Close examination of why and how internet users may voluntarily defend the authoritarian regime also reveals how the dynamics in online discourse competition may work to the authoritarian regime's advantage.

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The Differentiation of Security Forces and the Onset of Genocidal Violence

Ulrich Pilster, Tobias Böhmelt & Atsushi Tago

Armed Forces & Society, January 2016, Pages 26-50

Abstract:
Which factors drive the onset of genocidal violence? While the previous literature identified several important influences, states’ military capabilities for conducting mass-killings and the structure of their security forces have received surprisingly little attention so far. The authors take this shortcoming as a motivation for their research. A theoretical framework is developed, which argues that more differentiated security forces, that is, forces that are composed of a higher number of independent paramilitary and military organizations, are likely to act as a restraint factor in the process leading to state-sponsored mass-killings. Quantitative analyses support the argument for a sample of state-failure years for 1971–2003, and it is also shown that considering a state’s security force structure improves our ability to forecast genocides.

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Export Diversity and Human Rights

Timothy Peterson

Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this article, I synthesize a number of recent studies exploring how exports affect human rights, highlighting a common implication that this relationship is conditional on how exports are associated with leaders’ relative costs of repression and accommodation. Beginning with this synthesis, I develop a theory demonstrating how the composition of exports affects human rights via its impact on leader expectations. More diverse exports promote continued growth and prosperity, provide leaders with greater resources, and suggest conditions less conducive to severe dissent, all of which reduce the relative costs of accommodation. Repression is likely to threaten the benefits otherwise associated with greater export diversity; thus its relative cost increases amid greater export diversity. I test this theory using commodity-level data from the United Nations Comtrade database to create a country-year-level measure of export diversity. Statistical analyses spanning 1981 to 2009 support my expectation. My results are robust to sample restrictions and the use of instrumental variables.

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Coalition Formation and Selectorate Theory: An Experiment

Andrew Bausch

Political Science Research and Methods, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper uses a laboratory experiment to examine how different rules for re-selecting the leader of a group affects how that leader builds a winning coalition. Leaders play an inter-group game and then distribute winnings from that game within their group before standing for re-selection. The results of the experiment show that leaders of groups with large winning coalition systems rely heavily on distributing winnings through public goods, while leaders of groups with small winning coalition systems are more likely to target specific citizens with private goods. Furthermore, the experiment shows that supporters of small coalition leaders benefit from that support in future rounds by receiving more private goods than citizens that did not support the leader. Meanwhile, citizens that support a large coalition leader do not benefit from this support in future rounds. Therefore, small coalition leaders target individual citizens to maintain a coalition over time in a way not possible in a group with a large winning coalition. Finally, in the experiment, small coalition leaders increased their payoffs over time, suggesting that once power has been consolidated, small coalition leaders narrow their coalition.

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Bread and Bullets

George Akerlof & Dennis Snower

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper explores the role of narrative in economic (and social) decision making. Narrative serves major functions regarding: understanding the environment; focusing attention; predicting events; motivating action; social assignment and identity formation; power relationships; and social norms. These roles of narrative will be explored, in the context of a specific example: a history (which is itself a narrative) regarding the Bolshevik takeover of the Soviet Union. Special attention is paid to the role of narrative both in that takeover and its implications for the subsequent regime.

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Protecting People from Natural Disasters: Political Institutions and Ocean-Originated Hazards

Alejandro Quiroz Flores

Political Science Research and Methods, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why do some leaders protect their citizens from natural disasters while others do not? This paper argues that leaders in large coalition systems provide more protection against natural disasters than leaders in small coalition systems. Yet, autocrats also provide large-scale disaster protection if members of their winning coalition are exposed to natural hazards. The paper tests these propositions by examining cross-country variation in the number of sea-level stations as a lower bound for protection against ocean-originated disasters. Empirical evidence indicates that leaders in large coalition systems deploy more sea-level stations than their counterparts in small coalition systems. The evidence also shows that if the national capital is close to the coast, thus exposing members of the ruling coalition to ocean-originated hazards, leaders across political systems install more sea-level stations.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, January 18, 2016

Past and present

Why did the Democrats Lose the South? Bringing New Data to an Old Debate

Ilyana Kuziemko & Ebonya Washington
NBER Working Paper, November 2015

Abstract:
After generations of loyalty, Southern whites left the Democratic party en masse in the second half of the twentieth century. To what extent did Democrats' 1960s Civil Rights initiatives trigger this exodus, versus Southern economic development, rising political polarization or other trends that made the party unattractive to Southern whites? The lack of data on racial attitudes and political preferences spanning the 1960s Civil Rights era has hampered research on this central question of American political economy. We uncover and employ such data, drawn from Gallup surveys dating back to 1958. From 1958 to 1961, conservative racial views strongly predict Democratic identification among Southern whites, a correlation that disappears after President Kennedy introduces sweeping Civil Rights legislation in 1963. We find that defection among racially conservative whites explains all (three-fourths) of the decline in relative white Southern Democratic identification between 1958 and 1980 (2000). We offer corroborating quantitative analysis - drawn from sources such as Gallup questions on presidential approval and hypothetical presidential match-ups as well as textual analysis of newspapers - for the central role of racial views in explaining white Southern dealignment from the Democrats as far back as the 1940s.

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Anxiety and Austerity: A Group Position Account of White Americans' Opposition to Welfare

Rachel Wetts & Robb Willer
University of California Working Paper, July 2015

Abstract:
Drawing on group position theory (Blumer 1958; Bobo 1999), we argue that white Americans' attitudes toward federal welfare spending are closely tied to their sense of their racial group's relative standing in the larger society. In this theoretical framework, whites' antipathy towards minorities increases when whites perceive their racial status advantage to be precarious or declining. Given that past research finds white Americans view welfare programs as primarily benefiting racial minorities, we predict that whites will support these programs less when they perceive that social trends and events threaten their racial status advantage. Analysis of representative survey data and three survey-embedded experiments conducted on internet-recruited samples of Americans support this reasoning. First, we analyze recent trends in Americans' entitlement attitudes, finding that (1) welfare support in the U.S. has declined from 2008 on - the year of the election of Barack Obama, the first nonwhite president, (2) this decline has been concentrated among white Americans, and (3) among whites, this decline is partially mediated by increased racial resentment. Studies 2 and 3 found that exposure to information that whites' economic advantage and population share are declining led to decreased support for welfare among whites. Further, these effects were explained statistically by heightened racial resentment among threatened whites. Finally, Study 4 found that information threatening whites' economic advantage reduced whites' support for federal welfare programs that were portrayed as benefiting minorities, but not for programs portrayed as benefiting whites. Our findings are consistent with the claim that whites withdraw support for welfare when they feel their status advantage is threatened or in decline, and suggest that this dynamic may help account for the recent decline in support for welfare programs among white Americans.

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Understanding how common ingroup identity undermines collective action among disadvantaged-group members

Elze Ufkes et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, March 2016, Pages 26-35

Abstract:
Past research has consistently demonstrated that creating a sense of a common ingroup identity can be beneficial for reducing intergroup tensions and creating intergroup harmony. At the same time, however, creating a strong sense of a common ingroup identity has elements that may undermine disadvantaged-group members' motivation for collective action toward social change. In the present paper, we report two experiments that investigated how, compared to salient separate ethnic/racial identities, increasing the salience of a common US identity among Blacks and Latinos results in lower collective action intentions. These effects were mediated by a reduction in group-based anger and group-efficacy beliefs, and, in Experiment 2, reduced recognition of group-based inequality in society as well. Increasing salience of common ingroup and separate group identities simultaneously (a dual identity), however, did not decrease collective action intentions. These results suggest that not recategorization in itself, but an exclusive focus on common ingroup identity undermines motivation for social change.

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The Great Migration in Black and White: New Evidence on the Selection and Sorting of Southern Migrants

William Collins & Marianne Wanamaker
Journal of Economic History, December 2015, Pages 947-992

Abstract:
We construct datasets of linked census records to study internal migrants' selection and destination choices during the first decades of the "Great Migration" (1910-1930). We study both whites and blacks and intra- and inter-regional migration. While there is some evidence of positive selection, the degree of selection was small and participation in migration was widespread. Differences in background, including initial location, cannot account for racial differences in destination choices. Blacks and whites were similarly responsive to pre-existing migrant stocks from their home state, but black men were more deterred by distance, attracted to manufacturing, and responsive to labor demand.

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The hidden role of racial bias in support for policies related to inequality and crime

Kevin Drakulich
Punishment & Society, December 2015, Pages 541-574

Abstract:
Since the Jim Crow era, overtly racist attitudes toward African-Americans have decreased. During this same period, however, racial inequalities have persisted and the approach to addressing such inequalities has shifted away from social assistance and toward punitive controls. This article poses an explanation for this seeming paradox, drawing on measures of implicit racial affect in a nationally representative survey to reveal a persisting relevance of racial bias in understandings of and support for public policies - even among those explicitly denying such bias. Among non-Hispanic whites, implicit racial bias is significantly associated with opposition to policies designed to ameliorate these inequalities as well as support for punitive crime policies. Racial bias appears to play a less important role in support or opposition to these policies among Hispanic whites and especially among African-Americans. Implications for public policy debates are discussed.

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A Time (Not) Apart: A Lesson in Economic History from Cotton Picking Books

Trevon Logan
Review of Black Political Economy, December 2015, Pages 301-322

Abstract:
I use the individual-level records from my own family in rural Mississippi to estimate the agricultural productivity of African Americans in manual cotton picking nearly a century after Emancipation, 1952-1965. On average, the Logan children were more than 95 % as productive as enslaved children from the same region in the late antebellum era, 1850-1860. Gender differences in productivity were smaller than among enslaved children and disappeared by late pubescence. Additional qualitative evidence answers questions about agricultural productivity that cannot be derived from the quantitative data. For example, the method of cotton picking was not the gang-labor system described by some economic historians, but an independent process. The qualitative evidence also shows that economic roles were deeply intertwined with racial identity.

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Access to Schooling and the Black-White Incarceration Gap in the Early 20th Century US South: Evidence from Rosenwald Schools

Katherine Eriksson
NBER Working Paper, November 2015

Abstract:
A large gap in incarceration rates between black and white men has been evident since the early 20th century. This paper examines the effect of access to primary schooling on black incarceration in this period. I use the construction of 5,000 schools in the US South, funded by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, as a quasi-natural experiment that increased the educational attainment of southern black students. I link individuals across Census waves in order to assign exposure to a Rosenwald school during childhood and to measure adult incarceration. I find that one year of access to a Rosenwald school decreased the probability of being a prisoner by 0.1 percentage points (seven percent of the mean). Using other data from archival and government sources, I find that Rosenwald schools affected juvenile crime and all categories of adult crime. I argue that most of the reduction in incarceration comes from increased opportunity costs of crime through higher educational attainment but also investigate school quality and migration responses. Effects are largest in counties which have less racist attitudes and which have a more literate population. These results contribute to a broader literature on racial gaps in social outcomes in the US throughout the 20th century.

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Perpetuation Theory and the Racial Segregation of Young Adults

Pat Rubio Goldsmith
Social Science Research, March 2016, Pages 1-15

Abstract:
Previous research confirms a strong empirical association between the racial composition of young adults' residential areas and the racial compositions of the residential areas and schools of their youth. Perpetuation theory predicts that part of this association is causal. The present study uses data from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) and the U.S. Censuses of 1990 and 2000 to test for this effect with regression models, propensity-score-weighted models with robustness tests, and regression models that look at long-distance movers. The findings suggest that the association declines rapidly as the distance moved increases, but it remains robust even at long distances. It is also stronger for African Americans and more assimilated Latinos than for whites and less assimilated Latinos. These findings suggests that to some extent, young white, African American, and Latino adults are residentially segregated from each other because they grew up that way. Policies that promote integrating youth residentially and/or desegregating schools may contribute to residential integration over time.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cheap talk

The Big Man Has a Big Mouth: Mouth Width Correlates with Perceived Leadership Ability and Actual Leadership Performance

Daniel Re & Nicholas Rule
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, March 2016, Pages 86–93

Abstract:
Previous studies have found that facial appearance can predict both the selection and performance of leaders. Little is known about the specific facial features responsible for this relationship, however. One possible feature is mouth width, which correlates with the propensity for physical combat in primates and could therefore be linked to one's perceived dominance and achievement of greater social rank. Here, we found that mouth width correlated with leader selection in experimentally standardized (Study 1A) and experimentally manipulated (Study 1B) faces. Applying these findings to real leaders, we observed that mouth width correlated with judgments of CEOs' leadership ability and with a measure of their actual leadership success (i.e., the profitability of their companies; Study 2). Individuals with wider mouths were also more likely to have won U.S. senate, but not gubernatorial, races (Study 3). Mouth width may therefore be a valid cue to leadership selection and success.

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Eating Together at the Firehouse: How Workplace Commensality Relates to the Performance of Firefighters

Kevin Kniffin et al.
Human Performance, Fall 2015, Pages 281-306

Abstract:
Cooperative activities among coworkers can provide valuable group-level benefits; however, previous research has often focused on artificial activities that require extraordinary efforts away from the worksite. We investigate organizational benefits that firms might obtain through various supports for coworkers to engage in commensality (i.e., eating together). We conducted field research within firehouses in a large city to explore the role that interacting over food might have for work-group performance. Using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, our field research shows a significant positive association between commensality and work-group performance. Our findings establish a basis for research and practice that focuses on ways that firms can enhance team performance by leveraging the mundane and powerful activity of eating.

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The Favor Request Effect: Requesting a Favor from Consumers to Seal the Deal

Simon Blanchard, Kurt Carlson & Jamie Hyodo
Georgetown University Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
In situations in which consumers and sellers negotiate on price, the seller’s goal is to complete the sale at a profitable price. We demonstrate that sellers that pair a discounted offer with a favor request can increase the probability that a consumer will accept the deal, an effect we refer to as the “favor request effect.” We show the favor request effect across multiple shopping contexts and multiple types of favor requests (experiment 1) and in negotiations involving real financial consequences (experiment 2). We then show that the favor request effect operates by increasing consumers’ perceptions that the interaction with the seller is reciprocal, which in turn increases their confidence that they have obtained the lowest price (experiments 3 and 4). Finally, we explore the moderating role of the magnitude of the discount offered on effectiveness of the favor request (experiment 5).

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Perceptions of High Integrity Can Persist after Deception: How Implicit Beliefs Moderate Trust Erosion

Michael Haselhuhn et al.
Journal of Business Ethics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Scholars have assumed that trust is fragile: difficult to build and easily broken. We demonstrate, however, that in some cases trust is surprisingly robust — even when harmful deception is revealed, some individuals maintain high levels of trust in the deceiver. In this paper, we describe how implicit theories moderate the harmful effects of revealed deception on a key component of trust: perceptions of integrity. In a negotiation context, we show that people who hold incremental theories (beliefs that negotiating abilities are malleable) reduce perceptions of their counterpart’s integrity after they learn that they were deceived, whereas people who hold entity theories (beliefs that negotiators’ characteristics and abilities are fixed) maintain their first impressions after learning that they were deceived. Implicit theories influenced how targets interpreted evidence of deception. Individuals with incremental theories encoded revealed deception as an ethical violation; individuals with entity theories did not. These findings highlight the importance of implicit beliefs in understanding how trust changes over time.

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Reductions in Goal-Directed Cognition as a Consequence of Being the Target of Empathy

Jacquie Vorauer, Matthew Quesnel & Sara St. Germain
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, January 2016, Pages 130-141

Abstract:
Although empathy is widely promoted as a beneficial practice across both intergroup and interpersonal contexts, the implications of being the target of empathy for the target’s own psychological state are unclear. Three experiments examined how being the target of empathy affects goal-directed cognition outcomes related to a psychological sense of power, namely, the ability to maintain goal focus and readiness to ask for more in negotiations. We reasoned that because individuals typically empathize with others they perceive as disadvantaged and needing support, trying to empathize would raise individuals up in terms of such outcomes at the same time as it pushed the targets of their empathy down in a complementary fashion. Results were consistent with these predictions across intergroup and intragroup interaction. The findings thus suggest that individuals’ efforts to empathize can undermine the targets of their empathy in a subtle manner by hindering their ability to pursue their goals.

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Nudge for (the Public) Good: How Defaults Can Affect Cooperation

Toke Fosgaard & Marco Piovesan
PLoS ONE, December 2015

Abstract:
In this paper we test the effect of non-binding defaults on the level of contribution to a public good. We manipulate the default numbers appearing on the decision screen to nudge subjects toward a free-rider strategy or a perfect conditional cooperator strategy. Our results show that the vast majority of our subjects did not adopt the default numbers, but their stated strategy was affected by the default. Moreover, we find that our manipulation spilled over to a subsequent repeated public goods game where default was not manipulated. Here we found that subjects who previously saw the free rider default were significantly less cooperative than those who saw the perfect conditional cooperator default.

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The Role of Physical Formidability in Human Social Status Allocation

Aaron Lukaszewski et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why are physically formidable men willingly allocated higher social status by others in cooperative groups? Ancestrally, physically formidable males would have been differentially equipped to generate benefits for groups by providing leadership services of within-group enforcement (e.g., implementing punishment of free riders) and between-group representation (e.g., negotiating with other coalitions). Therefore, we hypothesize that adaptations for social status allocation are designed to interpret men’s physical formidability as a cue to these leadership abilities, and to allocate greater status to formidable men on this basis. These hypotheses were supported in 4 empirical studies wherein young adults rated standardized photos of subjects (targets) who were described as being part of a white-collar business consultancy. In Studies 1 and 2, male targets’ physical strength positively predicted ratings of their projected status within the organization, and this effect was mediated by perceptions that stronger men possessed greater leadership abilities of within-group enforcement and between-group representation. Moreover, (a) these same patterns held whether status was conceptualized as overall ascendancy, prestige-based status, or dominance-based status, and (b) strong men who were perceived as aggressively self-interested were not allocated greater status. Finally, 2 experiments established the causality of physical formidability’s effects on status-related perceptions by manipulating targets’ relative strength (Study 3) and height (Study 4). In interpreting our findings, we argue that adaptations for formidability-based status allocation may have facilitated the evolution of group cooperation in humans and other primates.

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311 Hotlines, Territoriality, and the Collaborative Maintenance of the Urban Commons: Examining the Intersection of a Coproduction Policy and Evolved Human Behavior

Daniel Tumminelli O'Brien
Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
In recent years, many North American cities and towns have implemented 311 systems, by which residents can request government services for nonemergency problems (e.g., pothole, graffiti). These systems are an example of coproduction as they join government and residents in the collaborative maintenance of the urban commons. The current article takes an applied evolutionary approach to understanding the motivations underlying constituent participation in this process, positing that reporting an issue in the public space is reflective of territoriality — that is, to feel ownership for spaces and objects. This territoriality thesis is examined in 3 studies of the 311 system in Boston, Massachusetts, focusing on whether reporting and the motivations for it are centered around the home. Study 1 demonstrated that the vast majority of those using 311’s traditional channels (i.e., hotline and Internet) reported issues exclusively within a narrow range around their homes. Study 2 found that a smart phone application, which presumably increases mobility, expanded this range, but only into other spaces in the neighborhood. In Study 3, a field experiment found that advertisements for the 311 system that prime territoriality by referencing the local neighborhood were more effective in encouraging reporting than those referencing the broader city. Implications for extending research and policy on territoriality and maintenance of the urban commons and for coproduction policies, more generally, are discussed.

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The Pursuit of Information Sharing: Expressing Task Conflicts as Debates vs. Disagreements Increases Perceived Receptivity to Dissenting Opinions in Groups

Ming-Hong Tsai & Corinne Bendersky
Organization Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Group members often over-weigh shared information and under-value unique information during discussions to the detriment of decision quality. Fortunately, perceiving other group members as receptive to dissenting opinions may enhance information sharing. We distinguish between two ways of expressing opinion-differences about tasks — debates and disagreements — that we predict are perceived by others as conveying varying degrees of receptivity to dissenting opinions. In four studies with mixed methods and a causal chain design, we manipulate and measure group members’ (the “senders”) expressions of debates and disagreements, others’ (the “receivers”) perceptions of the senders’ receptivity to dissenting opinions, and receivers’ information sharing intentions and behavior. We demonstrate that task conflicts that are expressed as debates rather than as disagreements are associated with greater information sharing because receivers perceive senders to be more receptive to dissenting opinions. We, thus, offer a novel approach to increasing information utilization during group decision making and help resolve the paradoxical effects of opinion differences on group performance.

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Intuition, deliberation, and the evolution of cooperation

Adam Bear & David Rand
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Humans often cooperate with strangers, despite the costs involved. A long tradition of theoretical modeling has sought ultimate evolutionary explanations for this seemingly altruistic behavior. More recently, an entirely separate body of experimental work has begun to investigate cooperation’s proximate cognitive underpinnings using a dual-process framework: Is deliberative self-control necessary to reign in selfish impulses, or does self-interested deliberation restrain an intuitive desire to cooperate? Integrating these ultimate and proximate approaches, we introduce dual-process cognition into a formal game-theoretic model of the evolution of cooperation. Agents play prisoner’s dilemma games, some of which are one-shot and others of which involve reciprocity. They can either respond by using a generalized intuition, which is not sensitive to whether the game is one-shot or reciprocal, or pay a (stochastically varying) cost to deliberate and tailor their strategy to the type of game they are facing. We find that, depending on the level of reciprocity and assortment, selection favors one of two strategies: intuitive defectors who never deliberate, or dual-process agents who intuitively cooperate but sometimes use deliberation to defect in one-shot games. Critically, selection never favors agents who use deliberation to override selfish impulses: Deliberation only serves to undermine cooperation with strangers. Thus, by introducing a formal theoretical framework for exploring cooperation through a dual-process lens, we provide a clear answer regarding the role of deliberation in cooperation based on evolutionary modeling, help to organize a growing body of sometimes-conflicting empirical results, and shed light on the nature of human cognition and social decision making.

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Spillovers From Coordination to Cooperation: Evidence for the Interdependence Hypothesis?

Hannes Rusch & Christoph Luetge
Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
It has recently been proposed that the evolution of human cooperativeness might, at least in part, have started as the cooptation of behavioral strategies evolved for solving problems of coordination to solve problems with higher incentives to defect, that is, problems of cooperation. Following this line of thought, we systematically tested human subjects for spillover effects from simple coordination tasks (2 × 2 stag hunt [SH] games) to problems of cooperation (2 × 2 prisoner’s dilemma [PD] games) in a laboratory experiment with rigorous controls to rule out subject confusion or habituation. Supporting the hypothesis that decision mechanisms for cooperation problems are linked with decision mechanisms for coordination, our main finding is that cooperation levels in PD games embedded in a sequence of SH games were significantly increased compared to a baseline sequence consisting only of PDs when subjects played in fixed pairs. No such effects could be found when players were randomly rematched each round. Additional findings include that this spillover effect cannot prevent a decay of cooperation over time, that there is no indication of a reversed effect (i.e., no signs of negative spillovers from failed cooperation to miscoordination), and that subjects’ self-reported preferences in SH games are prosocial.

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Strategic Consequences of Emotional Misrepresentation in Negotiation: The Blowback Effect

Rachel Campagna et al.
Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent research indicates that expressing anger elicits concession making from negotiating counterparts. When emotions are conveyed either by a computer program or by a confederate, results appear to affirm a long-standing notion that feigning anger is an effective bargaining tactic. We hypothesize this tactic actually jeopardizes postnegotiation deal implementation and subsequent exchange. Four studies directly test both tactical and strategic consequences of emotional misrepresentation. False representations of anger generated little tactical benefit but produced considerable and persistent strategic disadvantage. This disadvantage is because of an effect we call “blowback.” A negotiator’s misrepresented anger creates an action-reaction cycle that results in genuine anger and diminishes trust in both the negotiator and counterpart. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the strategic implications of emotional misrepresentation for negotiators interested in claiming value. We discuss the benefits of researching reciprocal interdependence between 2 or more negotiating parties and of modeling value creation beyond deal construction to include implementation of terms.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fantasy sports

When Sex and Romance Conflict: The Effect of Sexual Imagery in Advertising on Preference for Romantically-Linked Products and Services

Jingjing Ma & David Gal
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Sex is ubiquitous in advertising, yet the effect of exposure to sexual imagery on preferences is little explored. Although sex and romance tend to go together in real world relationships, the authors find that exposure to sex-based ads decreases preference for romantically-linked products and services in men. Furthermore, the authors find that the effect is one-directional, such that exposure to romantic imagery in ads does not decrease men's preference for sex-related products. Finally, the authors find that exposure to sex-based ads does not lead to a decreased preference for romantically-linked products in women. The authors explain this pattern of results through the relatively opportunistic nature of the sex drive in men. Implications for theories of fundamental motives and for the effect of sex-based advertisements on dating and relationships are discussed.

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Documenting Pornography Use in America: A Comparative Analysis of Methodological Approaches

Mark Regnerus, David Gordon & Joseph Price
Journal of Sex Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Estimates of pornography use in the United States range widely. We explore the reasons for the variation in such estimates among U.S. adults using data from four different recent nationally representative samples - each of which asked a different type of question about pornography use. We attribute the notable variation in estimates to differences in question wording and answer options, and assert that a survey question asking respondents about their most recent use of pornography minimizes recall bias and is better poised to assess the overall prevalence of pornography in a population than is the more common approach of asking respondents about their historical general-use pattern. When we privileged the most-recent-use approach, survey data from 2014 reveal that 46% of men and 16% of women between the ages of 18 and 39 intentionally viewed pornography in a given week. These numbers are notably higher than most previous population estimates employing different types of questions. The results have ramifications for methods of surveying sensitive self-reported behaviors and for contextualizing scholars' claims as well as popular conversations about the reach and implications of pornography use in the United States.

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Group Differences in Intermarriage with Whites between Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics: The Effects of Assimilation and Structural Constraints

Zheng Wu, Christoph Schimmele & Feng Hou
Journal of Social Issues, December 2015, Pages 733-754

Abstract:
This study examines the reasons for differences in the prevalence of intermarriage with Whites between racial minorities in 283 U.S. metropolitan areas. The analysis demonstrates that Asians have the highest and Blacks the lowest rate of intermarriage with Whites, with Hispanics falling in between. We tested two theories for these group differences. First, the structural explanation, which posits that differences in the relative size of each racial group in marriage markets affects their chances for intermarriage. Second, the assimilation explanation, which suggests that differences in social distance with Whites influences the propensity for intermarriage. The decomposition analysis shows that the cultural assimilation explanation is the primary reason for the Hispanic-Black gap in intermarriage. However, both explanations predict Black-Asian and Asian-Hispanic differences in intermarriage with Whites.

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Human Mate Poaching Tactics Are Effective: Evidence From a Dyadic Prospective Study on Opposite-Sex "Friendships"

Edward Paul Lemay & Noah Wolf
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Mate poaching refers to efforts to attract people who are already involved in committed relationships. The current dyadic, 5-week prospective study examined mate poaching behaviors in the context of opposite-sex friendships. Actors' mate poaching behaviors predicted decreases in their friend's commitment to their romantic partners, increases in their friend's perceptions of actors' mate value, and increases in their friend's romantic desire for actors over time. These results are the first to suggest an interpersonal process in which mate poaching behaviors elicit psychological changes in targets that facilitate actors' mate poaching goals. Furthermore, these results are the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of mate poaching tactics in friendships.

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I want her to want me: Sexual misperception as a function of heterosexual men's romantic attachment style

Joshua Hart & Rhea Howard
Personality and Individual Differences, April 2016, Pages 97-103

Abstract:
Heterosexual men consistently overperceive women's sexual interest. Past studies have related overperception to individual and situational factors such as alcohol intoxication, but nobody has yet investigated personality factors that may contribute to sexual misperception. The present research takes a first step in that direction by examining the relation between attachment style and sexual misperception. Two studies revealed that men's romantic attachment anxiety and avoidance predicted the extent to which men estimated the sexual interest of a hypothetical woman in a nightclub scenario. Mediation analyses suggest that this is due to both motivated social perception and cognitive bias. Specifically, men's attachment anxiety predicts increased desire for intimacy, which predicts their hope that a woman will be sexually interested; consequently, men imagine themselves as more flirtatious in the scenario, which biases them toward imagining the woman as more flirtatious, too. A similar process occurred for attachment avoidance, but in the opposite direction.

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An effective way to deal with predators is to taste terrible: Primary and secondary psychopathy and mate preference

Alyson Blanchard, Minna Lyons & Luna Centifanti
Personality and Individual Differences, April 2016, Pages 128-134

Abstract:
Despite their reputation for taking advantage of other people, previous research shows that psychopathic individuals are attractive for short-term relationships. Furthermore, individuals with psychopathic traits have been found to be attracted to other psychopathic persons in both short and long-term relationships. The current study (N = 258), is the first to extend the investigation further by examining whether these findings pertain to the affective (i.e., primary) or behavioural (i.e., secondary) aspects of psychopathy, and if this varies according to sex. Using a series of personality profiles, we found that men and women evaluated individuals higher in primary or secondary psychopathic traits unattractive for both short and long-term relationships. However, those individuals higher in primary and secondary psychopathic traits found similar partners attractive in short and long-term relationships, and this was strongest in women higher in primary psychopathic traits for long-term relationships, and in women higher in secondary psychopathic traits for short and long-term relationships. Results are discussed from an evolutionary theoretical perspective.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, January 15, 2016

The natives are restless

Immigration Attitudes and Support for the Welfare State in the American Mass Public

James Garand, Ping Xu & Belinda Davis

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this article, we explore the relationship between Americans’ attitudes toward immigrants and immigration and their attitudes toward welfare. Using data from the Cumulative American National Election Study from 1992 to 2012, we find ample evidence of the influence of immigration attitudes on both individuals’ attitudes toward welfare recipients and their attitudes toward increased welfare spending. These immigration effects persist even in the face of statistical controls for attitudes toward African Americans and attitudes toward the poor; indeed, in our models, the magnitude of the effects of immigration attitudes surpasses the magnitude of effects of attitudes toward blacks. Further, our findings of immigration effects withstand a range of robustness tests. Our results point to the possible “immigrationalization” of Americans’ welfare attitudes and provide strong evidence that how Americans think about immigration and immigrants is a major factor in how they think about welfare.

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The Labor Market Effects of a Refugee Wave: Applying the Synthetic Control Method to the Mariel Boatlift

Giovanni Peri & Vasil Yasenov

NBER Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
We apply the synthetic control method to re-examine the wage and employment effect of the Mariel Boatlift in Miami. We focus exclusively on workers with no high school degree. They are the group competing more closely in the labor market with the newly arrived. We compare Miami's labor market outcomes with those in a control group of cities chosen using the synthetic control method so as to match Miami's wages and other labor market features in the period 1972 to 1979. Using most samples and different outcomes we find no departure between Miami and its control between 1979 and 1983. Significant noise exists in many samples but we never find significant negative effects especially right after the Boatlift, when they should have been the strongest. We point out that the very different conclusions in a recent reappraisal by George Borjas (2015) stem from the use of a small sub-sample of high school dropouts in the already very small March-CPS sample. That sample is subject to substantial measurement error and no other sample provides the same findings. Being imprecise about the timing of the data and the choice and validation of the control sample further contribute to the impression of an effect from the boatlift in Borjas (2015). We also revisit the non-Boatlift of 1994, considered by Angrist and Krueger (1999) and we do not find consistent deviations of Miami outcomes from the appropriate control that could be mistaken for labor market effects of a Cuban inflow.

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The Wage Impact of the Marielitos: Additional Evidence

George Borjas

NBER Working Paper, January 2016

Abstract:
Cardʼs (1990) study of the Mariel supply shock is an important contribution to the literature that measures the labor market impact of immigration. My recent reappraisal (Borjas, 2015) revealed that even the most cursory reexamination implied that the wage of low-skill (non-Hispanic) working men in Miami declined substantially in the years after Mariel. In the three months since the public release of my paper, there has already been one “re-reappraisal” of the evidence. Peri and Yasenov (2015) make a number of alternative methodological choices that lead them to conclude that Mariel did not have a wage impact. This paper isolates the source of the conflicting results. The main reasons for the divergence are that Peri and Yasenov calculate wage trends in a pooled sample of men and women, but ignore the contaminating effect of increasing female labor force participation. They also include non-Cuban Hispanics in the analysis, but ignore that at least a third of those Hispanics are foreign-born and arrived in the 1980s, further contaminating the calculated wage trend. And, most conspicuously, they include “workers” aged 16-18 in the sample. Because almost all of those “workers” are still enrolled in high school and lack a high school diploma, this very large population of high school students is systematically misclassified as high school dropouts. This fundamental error in data construction contaminates the analysis and helps hide the true effect of the Mariel supply shock.

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Immigrant Inclusion in the Safety Net: A Framework for Analysis and Effects on Educational Attainment

Meghan Condon, Alexandra Filindra & Amber Wichowsky

Policy Studies Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Across states, there is substantial variation in the degree to which immigrants and their children are offered public assistance. We present a theoretical framework for analyzing the effects of policy decisions about immigrant inclusion. We apply the framework to investigate the effect of the state safety net on educational attainment. We focus on the years following welfare reform in 1996, when states gained considerable autonomy over welfare policy, including decisions about the eligibility of immigrant residents. Leveraging state-level data from before and after reform, we estimate a difference-in-difference model to identify the effect of variation in immigrant inclusivity on educational attainment. We find that when states broaden the inclusivity of the social safety net to immigrants, young Latinos are more likely to graduate from high school. This effect is present beyond the group of Latino residents who receive additional benefits, suggesting that policy decisions about immigrants spill over to broader communities and communicate broader messages about social inclusion to racial and ethnic groups. We find similar patterns among Asian youth, but not among black and non-Hispanic white youth. We conclude that immigrant inclusion has consequences for the life prospects of the growing population of youth in high-immigrant ethnic groups.

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The Effect of Immigration from Mexico on Social Capital in the United States

Morris Levy

International Migration Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Has mass migration from Mexico since the 1980s contributed to a well-documented decline in US social capital? Theories linking ethnic diversity to lower social cohesion and participation (e.g., Putnam 2007, 30, 137) would strongly predict this effect. Yet the impact of immigration in particular, rather than ethno-racial diversity generally, on US social capital has not been examined. Assessing the impact of immigration is important because some have speculated that associations between measures of diversity and social capital found in the United States are a byproduct of the country's distinctively fraught history of black–white relations. This scope condition would greatly limit the applicability of Putnam's thesis. To assess the impact of Mexican immigration, this study leverages a dynamic measure of social capital and an instrumental variables design. The results address an important recent methodological critique of the broader literature and strongly corroborate the hypothesis that immigration erodes social capital.

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“I'm Not Good Enough for Anyone”: Legal Status and the Dating Lives of Undocumented Young Adults

Daniela Pila
Sociological Forum, forthcoming

Abstract:
The impact of legal status on romantic relationships has not been adequately explored in the literature. Based on video and phone interviews with 25 undocumented activists from the ages of 18 to 28 years old, this research examines how legal status affects the romantic relationships of undocumented women and men. The hegemony of traditional dating scripts made it difficult for those without legal status to participate. Gender roles were consistent with stereotypical male and female roles in dating, which often attribute more power and responsibility to men. As such, women experienced a slight advantage because traditional notions of courtship did not require them to provide the resources required for dating, such as money or transportation, which in contrast were commonly expected of the men. In contrast, women noted the difficulties of disclosing their legal status and depending on their partners for everyday activities. Additionally, both men and women faced exclusion that inhibited their dating lives, as a direct result of their legal status. This suggests that the impact of legal status may be salient at all stages of family formation and that undocumented young adults are experiencing a distinct phenomenon compared to their documented and native-born peers.

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Recovering the Counterfactual Wage Distribution with Selective Return Migration

Costanza Biavaschi

Labour Economics, January 2016, Pages 59–80

Abstract:
This paper recovers the distribution of wages for Mexican-born workers living in the U.S. if no return migration of Mexican-born workers occurred. Because migrants self-select in the decision to return, the overarching problem addressed by this study is the use of an estimator that also accounts for selection on unobservables. I find that Mexican returnees are middle- to high-wage earners at all levels of educational attainment. Taking into account self-selection in return migration, wages would be approximately 7% higher at the mean. Owing to positive self-selection, the immigrant-native wage gap would, therefore, partially close if there was no return migration.

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Multiplying Diversity: Family Unification and the Regional Origins of Late-Age US Immigrants

Marta Tienda

International Migration Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use administrative data about new legal permanent residents to show how family unification chain migration changed both the age and regional origin of US immigrants. Between 1981 and 1995, every 100 initiating immigrants from Asia sponsored between 220 and 255 relatives, but from 1996 through 2000, each 100 initiating immigrants from Asia sponsored nearly 400 relatives, with one-in-four ages 50 and above. The family migration multiplier for Latin Americans was boosted by the legalization program: from 1996 to 2000, each of the 100 initiating migrants from Latin America sponsored between 420 and 531 family members, of which 18–21 percent were ages 50 and over.

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The Backyard Politics of Attitudes Toward Immigration

Mara Ostfeld

Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using two survey experiments, I reconsider the role that the racialized physical traits and level of assimilation of salient immigrants play in shaping attitudes toward immigration. In the first experiment, a nationwide sample of 767 White, non-Latino adults was exposed to a story about a family of undocumented immigrants living in the Unites States who were at risk of deportation. Subjects were randomly assigned to view a version of the story in which the immigrants were depicted with light skin and stereotypically Eurocentric features, or dark skin and stereotypically Afrocentric features, and their level of assimilation to mainstream American culture was suggested to be high or low. Similar to previous research, the study's results show that assimilation has a direct effect on attitudes toward immigration. Yet in contrast to previous studies, the racialized physical traits proved to be a much more important factor in shaping attitudes toward immigration than previously demonstrated. The role of an immigrant's racialized physical traits was replicated in a second survey experiment of 902 White, non-Latino adults. Overall, the findings shed new light on how media depictions of immigrants are affecting immigration attitudes, as well as the nuanced ways that race continues to shape public opinion in the United States today.

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Immigration to the U.S.: A Problem for the Republicans or the Democrats?

Anna Maria Mayda, Giovanni Peri & Walter Steingress

Georgetown University Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
We empirically analyze the impact of immigration to the U.S. on the share of votes to the Republicans and Democrats between 1994 and 2012. Our analysis is based on variation across states and years – using data from the Current Population Survey merged with election data – and addresses the endogeneity of immigrant flows using a novel set of instruments. On average across election types, immigration to the U.S. has a significant and negative impact on the Republican vote share, consistent with the typical view of political analysts in the U.S. This average effect – which is driven by elections in the House – works through two main channels. The impact of immigration on Republican votes in the House is negative when the share of naturalized migrants in the voting population increases. Yet, it can be positive when the share of non-citizen migrants out of the population goes up and the size of migration makes it a salient policy issue in voters' minds. These results are consistent with naturalized migrants being less likely to vote for the Republican Party than native voters and with native voters' political preferences moving towards the Republican Party because of high immigration of non-citizens. This second effect, however, is significant only for very high levels of immigrant presence.

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Trajectories of English Acquisition among Foreign-born Spanish-Language Children in the United States

Gillian Stevens

International Migration Review, Winter 2015, Pages 981–1000

Abstract:
The rapidity with which immigrant children learn the dominant language of their country of residence has important short-term and long-term consequences for their educational achievements and for their future. In this paper I use U.S. Census data to model trajectories of English acquisition among foreign-born children living in Spanish-language households. The results show, as expected, that children's English proficiency increases with length of residence in the United States. However, the results also show a clear trend by age at arrival. The older children are when they arrive in the United States, the less rapid their progress in acquiring proficiency in English.

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Explaining the Mexican-American Health Paradox Using Selectivity Effects

Jose Martinez, Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez & Erick Rangel-Gonzalez

International Migration Review, Winter 2015

Abstract:
While typically socioeconomically disadvantaged, Mexican migrants in the United States tend to have better health outcomes than non-Hispanic whites. This phenomenon is known as the “hispanic health paradox”. Using data from Mexico and the United States, we examine several health outcomes for non-Hispanic whites and Mexicans in the United States and in Mexico and employ Blinder–Oaxaca decompositions to help explain the paradox. We find evidence that selectivity is playing a significant role in the relatively healthy status of Mexican migrants in the United States. More importantly, there is evidence that health selectivity is a complex process and its effects typically do not work the same way for different health conditions and across genders. We also find evidence that some of migrants' health advantages are lost as they spend more time in the United States.

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Adolescent Survival Expectations: Variations by Race, Ethnicity, and Nativity

Tara Warner & Raymond Swisher

Journal of Health and Social Behavior, December 2015, Pages 478-494

Abstract:
Adolescent survival expectations are linked to a range of problem behaviors, poor health, and later socioeconomic disadvantage, yet scholars have not examined how survival expectations are differentially patterned by race, ethnicity, and/or nativity. This is a critical omission given that many risk factors for low survival expectations are themselves stratified by race and ethnicity. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we modeled racial, ethnic, and immigrant group differences in trajectories of adolescent survival expectations and assess whether these differences are accounted for by family, neighborhood, and/or other risk factors (e.g., health care access, substance use, exposure to violence). Findings indicated that most racial, ethnic, and immigrant groups were more pessimistic about their survival than were non-Hispanic whites, with the exception of Cuban youth, who were the most optimistic. Foreign-born Mexican youth had the lowest survival expectations, contrary to expectations from the “healthy-immigrant” hypothesis.

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Health Assimilation among Hispanic Immigrants in the United States: The Impact of Ignoring Arrival-cohort Effects

Tod Hamilton, Tia Palermo & Tiffany Green

Journal of Health and Social Behavior, December 2015, Pages 460-477

Abstract:
A large literature has documented that Hispanic immigrants have a health advantage over their U.S.-born counterparts upon arrival in the United States. Few studies, however, have disentangled the effects of immigrants’ arrival cohort from their tenure of U.S. residence, an omission that could produce imprecise estimates of the degree of health decline experienced by Hispanic immigrants as their U.S. tenure increases. Using data from the 1996-to-2014 waves of the March Current Population Survey, we show that the health (i.e., self-rated health) of Hispanic immigrants varies by both arrival cohort and U.S. tenure for immigrants hailing from most of the primary sending countries/regions of Hispanic immigrants. We also find evidence that acculturation plays an important role in determining the health trajectories of Hispanic immigrants. With respect to self-rated health, however, our findings demonstrate that omitting arrival-cohort measures from health assimilation models may result in overestimates of the degree of downward health assimilation experienced by Hispanic immigrants.

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The Fiscal Cost of Refugee Immigration: The Example of Sweden

Joakim Ruist

Population and Development Review, December 2015, Pages 567–581

Abstract:
The world currently has more refugees and internally displaced persons than it has had since World War II. Yet the readiness of many wealthy countries to provide asylum to these refugees is waning, and a major reason for this is the fiscal burden that would result from larger refugee intakes. To evaluate the size of this fiscal burden, this study estimates the net fiscal redistribution to the total refugee population in Sweden, the country with the largest per capita refugee immigration rate in the Western world since the early 1980s. The total redistribution in 2007 corresponds to 1.0 percent of Swedish GDP in that year. Four-fifths of the redistribution is due to lower public per capita revenues from refugees compared with the total population, and one-fifth to higher per capita public costs.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Slots

Racial Disparity in Leadership: Performance-Reward Bias in Promotions of National Football League Coaches

Christopher Rider et al.
Georgetown University Working Paper, January 2016

Abstract:
Organizational leaders remain predominantly white despite increasing U.S. workforce diversity and efforts to increase racial minority representation in leadership. We propose that performance-reward bias (i.e., lesser rewards for equivalent performance) generates racial disparity in leadership by suppressing the rate at which minorities, relative to equally-performing whites, are promoted to positions considered prerequisite for organizational leadership. Career history analyses of over 1,200 National Football League coaches from 1985 to 2012 support this claim. Various fixed-effects specifications hold constant a coach’s initial and current position, enabling us to differentiate performance-reward bias from allocative mechanisms that match minorities, at hire and post-hire, to positions with inferior upward mobility prospects. We also examine racial disparity before and after implementation of a league-wide policy explicitly designed to increase the number of minorities interviewed for leadership positions. Although the disparity in head coach representation decreased after implementation, pre-implementation demographic trends prevent us from conclusively attributing this increase to the policy. Less equivocally, after implementation white assistant coaches continued to be promoted at higher rates than similarly-performing minority ones. Moreover, consistent with our arguments, this white advantage in promotion rates is specific to the transition from lower level positions to the one typically occupied prior to promotion to head coach (i.e., coordinators); no racial advantage is evident among occupants of this position. We conclude that racial disparity in organizational leadership is largely attributable to performance-reward bias in lower level positions.

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Intergenerational conflict and the political economy of higher education funding

Eric Brunner & Erik Johnson
Journal of Urban Economics, January 2016, Pages 73–87

Abstract:
We examine how a population's age distribution and a growing divide between the ethnic composition of older and young generations is likely to affect support for higher education funding. Using detailed survey data on voter preferences for higher education funding and precinct-level vote returns from locally-funded community college bond referenda in California, we find that older voters are significantly less supportive of higher education funding than younger voters and that support among older non-Hispanic white voters is particularly weak when those voters reside in a jurisdiction where the college-age population is more heavily Hispanic.

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What Is Good Isn't Always Fair: On the Unintended Effects of Framing Diversity as Good

Sophie Trawalter, Sara Driskell & Martin Davidson

Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
Many proponents of diversity stress that diversity is good — good for universities to further their educational missions and good for businesses, for hiring talent and generating financial returns to shareholders. In this work, we examined costs of framing diversity as good for organizations vs. fair; specifically, we examined whether framing diversity as good for organizations broadens people's definitions of diversity and increases racial bias. In Study 1, White participants preferred the “diversity as good for organizations” frame and believed it to be effective at promoting diversity. In Studies 2–5, White participants presented with the “diversity is good for organizations” frame broadened their definitions of diversity (Studies 2–5) and deprioritized a qualified Black applicant (Studies 4 and 5). Participants low in resources were especially likely to deprioritize the Black applicant (Study 5). This latter finding led us to investigate the motivated nature of diversity frames. In a final study, we found that participants whose resources were threatened favored the “diversity is good for organizations” frame and devalued the “diversity is fair” frame (Study 6). These studies demonstrate that a well-intentioned plea to promote diversity (“diversity is good for organizations”) has costs; it can lead to the deprioritization of qualified Black applicants.

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Race and gender effects on employer interest in job applicants: New evidence from a resume field experiment

Rajeev Darolia et al.
Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
We sent nearly 9000 fictitious resumes to advertisements for job openings in seven major cities in the United States across six occupational categories. We randomly assigned names to the resumes that convey race and gender but for which a strong socio-economic connotation is not implicated. We find little evidence of systematic employer preferences for applicants from particular race and gender groups.

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Gender Differences in Compensation, Job Satisfaction and Other Practice Patterns in Urology

Sophie Spencer et al.
Journal of Urology, February 2016, Pages 450–455

Purpose: The proportion of women in urology has increased from less than 0.5% in 1981 to 10% today. Furthermore, 33% of students matching in urology are now female. In this analysis we characterize the female workforce in urology compared to that of men with regard to income, workload and job satisfaction.

Materials and Methods: We collaborated with the American Urological Association to survey its domestic membership of practicing urologists regarding socioeconomic, workforce and quality of life issues. A total of 6,511 survey invitations were sent via e-mail. The survey consisted of 26 questions and took approximately 13 minutes to complete. Linear regression models were used to evaluate bivariable and multivariable associations with job satisfaction and compensation.

Results: A total of 848 responses (660 or 90% male, 73 or 10% female) were collected for a total response rate of 13%. On bivariable analysis female urologists were younger (p <0.0001), more likely to be fellowship trained (p=0.002), worked in academics (p=0.008), were less likely to be self-employed and worked fewer hours (p=0.03) compared to male urologists. On multivariable analysis female gender was a significant predictor of lower compensation (p=0.001) when controlling for work hours, call frequency, age, practice setting and type, fellowship training and advance practice provider employment. Adjusted salaries among female urologists were $76,321 less than those of men. Gender was not a predictor of job satisfaction.

Conclusions: Female urologists are significantly less compensated compared to male urologists after adjusting for several factors likely contributing to compensation. There is no difference in job satisfaction between male and female urologists.

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Children do not behave like adults: Gender gaps in performance and risk-taking in a random social context in the high-stakes game shows Jeopardy and Junior Jeopardy

Jenny Säve-Söderbergh & Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist

Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using unique panel data, we compare the cognitive performance and wagering behaviour of children (10-11 years) with that of adults playing the Swedish version of the TV shows Jeopardy and Junior Jeopardy. Although facing the same well-known high-stakes game, and controlling for performance differences, there is no gender gap in risk-taking between girls and boys in contrast with adults, and while girls assume more risk than women, boys assume less risk than men. We also find that female behaviour is differently sensitive to social context. Whereas women wager less, girls perform worse and employ inferior wagering strategies when randomly assigned to male opponents.

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Unequal Depression for Equal Work? How the Wage Gap Explains Gendered Disparities in Mood Disorders

Jonathan Platt et al.
Social Science & Medicine, January 2016, Pages 1–8

Abstract:
Mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are more prevalent among women than men. This disparity may be partially due to the effects of structural gender discrimination in the work force, which acts to perpetuate gender differences in opportunities and resources and may manifest as the gender wage gap. We sought to quantify and operationalize the wage gap in order to explain the gender disparity in depression and anxiety disorders, using data from a 2001-2002 US nationally representative survey of 22,581 working adults ages 30-65. Using established Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition methods to account for gender differences in individual-level productivity, our models reduced the wage gap in our sample by 13.5%, from 54% of men’s pay to 67.5% of men’s pay. We created a propensity-score matched sample of productivity indicators to test if the direction of the wage gap moderated the effects of gender on depression or anxiety. Where female income was less than the matched male counterpart, odds of both disorders were significantly higher among women versus men (major depressive disorder OR: 2.43, 95% CI: 1.95-3.04; generalized anxiety disorder OR: 4.11, 95% CI: 2.80-6.02). Where female income was greater than the matched male, the higher odds ratios for women for both disorders were significantly attenuated (Major Depressive Disorder OR: 1.20; 95% CI: 0.96-1.52) (Generalized Anxiety Disorder OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.04-2.29). The test for effect modification by sex and wage gap direction was statistically significant for both disorders. Structural forms of discrimination may explain mental health disparities at the population level. Beyond prohibiting overt gender discrimination, policies must be created to address embedded inequalities in procedures surrounding labor markets and compensation in the workplace.

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The Influence of Chronic and Situational Social Status on Stereotype Susceptibility

Vincent Pillaud, David Rigaud & Alain Clémence

PLoS ONE, December 2015

Abstract:
We tested whether stereotypical situations would affect low-status group members' performance more strongly than high-status group members'. Experiment 1 and 2 tested this hypothesis using gender as a proxy of chronic social status and a gender-neutral task that has been randomly presented to favor boys (men superiority condition), favor girls (women superiority condition), or show no gender preference (control condition). Both experiments found that women’s (Experiment 1) and girls’ performance (Experiment 2) suffered more from the evoked stereotypes than did men's and boys’ ones. This result was replicated in Experiment 3, indicating that short men (low-status group) were more affected compared to tall men (high-status group). Additionally, men were more affected compared to women when they perceived height as a threat. Hence, individuals are more or less vulnerable to identity threats as a function of the chronic social status at play; enjoying a high status provides protection and endorsing a low one weakens individual performance in stereotypical situations.

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The Effects of a Warm or Chilly Climate Toward Socioeconomic Diversity on Academic Motivation and Self-Concept

Alexander Browman & Mesmin Destin
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Persistent academic achievement gaps exist between university students from high and low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. The current research proposes that the extent to which a university is perceived as actively supporting versus passively neglecting students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds can influence low-SES students’ academic motivation and self-concepts. In Experiments 1 and 2, low-SES students exposed to cues suggestive of an institution’s warmth toward socioeconomic diversity demonstrated greater academic efficacy, expectations, and implicit associations with high academic achievement compared with those exposed to cues indicating institutional chilliness. Exploring the phenomenology underlying these effects, Experiment 3 demonstrated that warmth cues led low-SES students to perceive their socioeconomic background as a better match with the rest of the student body and to perceive the university as more socioeconomically diverse than did chilliness cues. Contributions to our understanding of low-SES students’ psychological experiences in academic settings and practical implications for academic institutions are discussed.

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An Empirical Analysis of Racial Segregation in Higher Education

Peter Hinrichs
NBER Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
This descriptive paper documents how segregation between blacks and whites across colleges in the United States has evolved since the 1960s. It also explores potential channels through which changes are occurring, and it uses recent data to study the issue of segregation within colleges. The main findings are as follows: (1) White exposure to blacks has been rising since the 1960s, whereas black exposure to whites increased sharply in the late 1960s and early 1970s and has fluctuated since then. Meanwhile, black-white dissimilarity and the Theil index fell sharply in the late 1960s and early 1970s and have fallen more gradually since. (2) There has been regional convergence, although colleges in the South remain more segregated than those in any other region when measured by dissimilarity, by the Theil index, or by black exposure to whites. (3) A major channel for the decline in segregation is the declining share of blacks attending historically black colleges and universities. (4) Although there is segregation within universities, most segregation across major × university cells occurs across universities.

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Flexible Work, Flexible Penalties: The Effect of Gender, Childcare, and Type of Request on the Flexibility Bias

Christin Munsch
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although flexible work arrangements have the potential to reduce gender inequality and work-family conflict, the implications of requesting flexible work are poorly understood. In this paper, I argue that because flexwork arrangements in the United States are ambiguous and uncertain, people draw on cultural beliefs about gender to define flexwork and evaluate flexworkers. I conducted a controlled online experiment to examine the consequences of making a flexible work request and to examine how these consequences vary by accommodation type and by gender and parental status of the requester. Participants evaluated employees who requested flexible work more negatively than employees who did not request flexible work, and evaluated workers who requested telecommuting (or “flexplace”) arrangements more negatively than workers who requested flextime arrangements. Men and women who requested flexible work for reasons related to childcare were evaluated more positively than those who requested flexible work for reasons unrelated to childcare. I also found evidence of a fatherhood bonus. Men who made flexplace requests to care for a child were significantly advantaged compared to men who made flexplace requests for reasons unrelated to childcare. They were also advantaged compared to women who made flexplace requests to care for a child.

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Too Rich For Diversity: Socioeconomic Status Influences Multifaceted Person Perception of Latino Targets

Danielle Young, Diana Sanchez & Leigh Wilton

Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
Understanding racial categorization processes has implications for how affirmative action policies are implemented. Two studies examined how socioeconomic status (SES) functions to predict support for application of affirmative action and other perceptions of Latino targets. SES emerged as a powerful predictor, over and above the influence of ancestry, on person perception (minority categorization, sociocultural cues) and support for affirmative action among both White (Studies 1 and 2) and minority (Study 2) perceivers. In conjunction with ancestry, SES influenced sociocultural impressions, such as perceptions of discrimination (Study 1 and Study 2) and cultural practices (Study 2), which informed support for implementation of affirmative action policies. Furthermore, the joint influence of SES and ancestry on affirmative action policies persisted even when controlling for general attitudes towards affirmative action (Study 2). Results suggest that SES is an important factor in person perception, and that perceptions of discrimination play a strong role in how “deserving” a target is of affirmative action.

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The threat of sexism in a STEM educational setting: The moderating impacts of ethnicity and legitimacy beliefs on test performance

Laurie O’Brien et al.
Social Psychology of Education, December 2015, Pages 667-684

Abstract
Social identity threat has negative consequences for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The present study examined whether legitimacy beliefs — beliefs that status differences between men and women in STEM fields are fair — put women at risk for experiencing social identity threat and poorer performance on a difficult logic test. Legitimacy beliefs served as a risk factor for both women from ethnic groups that are overrepresented in STEM (e.g., Asian Americans and European Americans) and from ethnic groups that are underrepresented in STEM (African Americans and Latina Americans), albeit under different conditions. Among women from overrepresented ethnic groups, legitimacy beliefs were negatively related to test performance when explicit cues to sexism were present. However, among women from underrepresented ethnic groups, legitimacy beliefs were negatively related to test performance when explicit cues to sexism were absent. The present research points to the need for inclusion of ethnic diversity in studies of women in STEM.

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Does Entrepreneurship Training Lead to Entrepreneurship?

Elizabeth Lyons & Laurina Zhang
University of California Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
Interest in entrepreneurship training programs has increased significantly over the past decade. However, evaluating the efficacy of these programs has been difficult. In this paper, we evaluate the impact of an entrepreneurship training program provided to students in North America by comparing career decisions among the set of applicants who are accepted into the program with the set of applicants who are program finalists but not accepted. We find that being a participant in the program is positively related to the likelihood that applicants engage in subsequent entrepreneurship and the impact is more pronounced for those without prior entrepreneurship experience and minorities (females and non-Caucasians). Moreover, the effect is more persistent for minorities relative to non-minorities. This suggests the program is most effective for people that may otherwise have more limited access to entrepreneurial opportunities. We provide descriptive evidence that the program provides participants with networking and learning benefits. We discuss implications for entrepreneurship strategy and policy.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Lines of authority

Does Capital Structure Affect the Behavior of Nonfinancial Stakeholders? An Empirical Investigation into Leverage and Union Strikes

Brett Myers & Alessio Saretto
Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use contract negotiation data to study how leverage affects the interaction between firms and an important nonfinancial stakeholder, labor unions. Consistent with the idea that leverage diminishes the bargaining position of labor, we find that unions are less likely to strike when a firm has high leverage or increases leverage prior to a contract negotiation. We also find large leverage increases after a strike, consistent with the idea that firms intentionally use leverage to improve their bargaining position. This poststrike increase in leverage is particularly pronounced when the union wins the strike. Moreover, we do not find any clear indication that such increases in leverage are linked to changes in investments. In addition, firms that experience a strike subsequently invest more internationally and in right-to-work states where union are afforded fewer legal protections, and they increase their disposal of production units that are located in states where strikes have occurred.

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Performance Feedback Does Not Eliminate the Sunk-Cost Fallacy: Evidence From Professional Football

Quinn Keefer
Journal of Labor Research, December 2015, Pages 409-426

Abstract:
Empirical studies on the influence of sunk costs in high stakes decisions have come to mixed conclusions. As observational studies have primarily used professional sports labor markets, we analyze the effect of sunk costs, player compensation, on the labor utilization of defensive players in the National Football League (NFL). Our analysis has several advantages. First, we measure the direct impact of increased financial commitment. Second, we analyze the effect of sunk costs when firms have accurate and abundant performance feedback; therefore, our conclusions are not driven by uncertainty. Finally, we control for possible endogeneity by using the exogenous variation in compensation generated when players become eligible for free agency or change teams. Our results indicate sunk costs are significant determinants of player utilization. A 15 % increase in compensation has an equivalent effect on playing time as an increase of five to eleven solo tackles, one to two interceptions and two to five and a half sacks in the previous season for linebackers, defensive backs and defensive linemen respectively. Furthermore, the sunk-cost fallacy is persistent throughout the entire career of an average NFL player.

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Discretion in Hiring

Mitchell Hoffman, Lisa Kahn & Danielle Li

NBER Working Paper, November 2015

Abstract:
Who should make hiring decisions? We propose an empirical test for assessing whether firms should rely on hard metrics such as job test scores or grant managers discretion in making hiring decisions. We implement our test in the context of the introduction of a valuable job test across 15 firms employing low-skill service sector workers. Our results suggest that firms can improve worker quality by limiting managerial discretion. This is because, when faced with similar applicant pools, managers who exercise more discretion (as measured by their likelihood of overruling job test recommendations) systematically end up with worse hires.

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Do Managers Matter for Corporate Innovation?

Chan Ho Cho et al.
Journal of Corporate Finance, February 2016, Pages 206-229

Abstract:
This paper examines the ability of latent firm and manager characteristics to explain variation in innovation productivity. Evidence suggests that latent, but not observable, firm and manager characteristics explain a large portion of the variation in a firm's innovation productivity. Our tests mostly show that latent firm characteristics explain slightly more of the variation relative to latent manager characteristics. For robustness, our analysis shows no significant difference in the average change in innovation productivity and in abnormal returns following two different samples of manager-firm separations: one where managers' expected innovation abilities are high and the other a random sample. Overall, the results suggest that compared to firm characteristics, managers matter moderately less for corporate innovation.

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Experience with Company Unions and their Treatment under the Wagner Act: A Four Frames of Reference Analysis

Bruce Kaufman
Industrial Relations, January 2016, Pages 3-39

Abstract:
This paper reexamines American experience with company unions (also known as nonunion employee representation plans) before they were banned by the Wagner Act (1935). For the half-century following the passage of the act, labor historians and industrial relations scholars painted a bleak portrait of company unions as anti-union sham organizations. Since the 1980s, additional research has documented a more positive side; similarly, concern has grown that the Wagner Act's ban is stifling legitimate employee participation programs. This paper brings new theoretical and empirical evidence to both historical and legal parts of this debate, including examination of company unions through individualist, unitarist, pluralist, and radical frames; demonstration that the pluralists' view of company unions was more diverse and positive than conventionally portrayed; presentation of new historical evidence and testimony on the company union experience; and a substantially revisionist assessment of the merits of the Wagner Act's ban. In particular, the conclusion is that, given any reasonable weighting of the four frames, the company union ban is overly restrictive and should be modified so companies can implement the positive side of nonunion employee committees but not the negative. The paper ends by noting that the unbalanced and narrowly critical treatment of company unions in the mainline industrial relations tradition is a case study of the field's perhaps fatal post-World War II core intellectual-normative contradiction - professed inclusiveness of all frames of employment relations but, in practice, attention to and preference for a narrow union-centric version of one frame.

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Motivating Agents: How Much Does the Mission Matter?

Jeffrey Carpenter & Erick Gong
Journal of Labor Economics, January 2016, Pages 211-236

Abstract:
Economic theory predicts that agents work harder if they believe in the mission of the organization. We conduct a real-effort experiment with workers whose mission preferences are known, randomly assigning them to organizations with clear missions to create both matches and mismatches. Our estimates suggest that matching is a strong motivator, especially compared to mismatches. Further, we find that performance pay increases effort, though mostly among mismatched workers who substitute pay for matching. Our results suggest the importance of defining a clear mission to an organization and highlight the significance of sorting, screening, and compensation policies.

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To Thine Own Self Be True?: Facades of Conformity, Values Incongruence, and the Magnifying Impact of Leader Integrity

Patricia Hewlin, Tracy Dumas & Meredith

Burnett Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
When employees feel that their values do not match the organization's values, they often respond by pretending to fit in. We examine how leader integrity influences the tendency to create facades of conformity, proposing that employees will actually fake more when leaders are principled. In a laboratory experiment (Study 1), undergraduate students whose values ostensibly differed from their discussion group members and the university administration created more facades when they perceived the discussion group leader as having high integrity. A two-wave survey of employed adults (Study 2), replicated the moderation effect and also revealed negative effects of facade creation on work engagement. In both studies, our results indicate that, ironically, when leader integrity is high, the tendency to create facades of conformity in response to low values congruence is magnified. Additionally, our findings shed light on the notion that positive attributes in leaders may not always result in positive responses from followers. The results from our study also show that facades of conformity may serve as a partial explanatory mechanism in the relationship between values congruence and employee engagement.

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Misalignment and Misperception in Preferences to Utilize Family-Friendly Benefits: Implications for Benefit Utilization and Work-Family Conflict

Ashley Mandeville, Jonathon Halbesleben & Marilyn Whitman

Personnel Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite their increasing popularity, family-friendly benefits are frequently underutilized. Drawing on literatures concerning social norms and pluralistic ignorance, this study examines the role of personal preference, group norm misalignment, and misperception of group norms on employees' utilization of family-friendly benefits. In two samples (154 firefighters and 440 nurses) across three data collection periods, we found that when employees' preferences for benefit utilization were misaligned with the perceived group norm, they adjusted their family-friendly benefit utilization in a manner congruent with the norm, even when that norm was misperceived. Further, we found that family-friendly benefit utilization was negatively associated with work-family conflict. Together, our findings suggest that misperceived social norms regarding family-friendly benefit utilization can lead to situations whereby employees do not utilize family-friendly benefits because they mistakenly perceive utilization is not socially accepted and, as a result, experience higher work-family conflict.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fertile minds

Adolescent Determinants of Abortion Attitudes: Evidence from the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Julianna Pacheco & Rebecca Kreitzer
Public Opinion Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
The stability of abortion opinions suggests that pre-adult factors influence these attitudes more than contemporaneous political events. Surprisingly, however, we know little about the origins of abortion opinions, no doubt because the majority of research focuses on cross-sectional analyses of patterns across cohorts. We use a developmental model that links familial and contextual factors during adolescence to abortion attitudes years later when respondents are between 21 and 38 years old. Findings show that religious adherence and maternal gender role values are significant predictors of adult abortion opinions, even after controlling for contemporaneous religious adherence and the respondents’ own views on gender roles. Adolescent religious adherence matters more than religious denomination for adult abortion attitudes. The results have important implications for future trends in abortion attitudes in light of declining religiosity among Americans.

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The Effect of Parental Involvement Laws on Teen Birth Control Use

Joseph Sabia & Mark Anderson
Journal of Health Economics, January 2016, Pages 55–62

Abstract:
In Volume 32, Issue 5 of this journal, Colman, Dee, and Joyce (CDJ) used data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (NYRBS) and found that parental involvement (PI) laws had no effect on the probability that minors abstain from sex or use contraception. We re-examine this question, augmenting the NYRBS with data from the State Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (SYRBS), and use a variety of identification strategies to control for state-level time-varying unmeasured heterogeneity. Consistent with CDJ, we find that PI laws have no effect on minor teen females’ abstinence decisions. However, when we exploit additional state policy variation unavailable to CDJ and use non-minor teens as a within-state control group, we find evidence to suggest that PI laws are associated with an increase in the probability that sexually active minor teen females use birth control.

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First-birth Timing, Marital History, and Women’s Health at Midlife

Kristi Williams et al.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, December 2015, Pages 514-533

Abstract:
Despite evidence that first-birth timing influences women’s health, the role of marital status in shaping this association has received scant attention. Using multivariate propensity score matching, we analyze data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to estimate the effect of having a first birth in adolescence (prior to age 20), young adulthood (ages 20–24), or later ages (ages 25–35) on women’s midlife self-assessed health. Findings suggest that adolescent childbearing is associated with worse midlife health compared to later births for black women but not for white women. Yet, we find no evidence of health advantages of delaying first births from adolescence to young adulthood for either group. Births in young adulthood are linked to worse health than later births among both black and white women. Our results also indicate that marriage following a nonmarital adolescent or young adult first birth is associated with modestly worse self-assessed health compared to remaining unmarried.

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Divorce, abortion, and the child sex ratio: The impact of divorce reform in China

Ang Sun & Yaohui Zhao
Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper estimates the effect of China’s pro-women divorce reform on sex-selection behavior within marriages. The 2001 reform liberalized divorce in favor of women and secured women’s property rights after separation. The paper applies a regression discontinuity analysis on the child sex ratio and finds that the likelihood of having a son after a firstborn daughter decreased by 8.1 percentage points, amounting to a reduction of 11.7 percent compared with the prior proportion of male children. Further analyses provide evidence in support of the hypothesis that improved divorce options empower women within marriage, and enable them to avoid health-damaging sex-selective abortion. The effect of the divorce reform is stronger in provinces where divorce is comparatively viable because of more lenient family planning policies governing fertility in the next marriage. The effect is also stronger among women who face higher health costs of abortion.

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Broken Promises: Abstinence Pledging and Sexual and Reproductive Health

Anthony Paik, Kenneth Sanchagrin & Karen Heimer

Journal of Marriage and Family, forthcoming

Abstract:
Approximately 12% of girls and young women in the United States pledge abstinence. Yet most break their pledges, engaging in first intercourse before marriage. The extant literature reports few differences between pledge breakers and nonpledgers in sexually transmitted infections and nonmarital pregnancies. The present research maintains that previous studies may have obscured important differences in exposure risk and hypothesizes that female pledge breakers who have higher exposure risk are more likely to experience human papillomavirus (HPV) and nonmarital pregnancies. To test this hypothesis, this study uses the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, logistic regression, and event history modeling. The results show that, after accounting for differences in exposure risk, pledge breakers have higher risk of HPV and nonmarital pregnancy. As a set, the results are consistent with the argument that pledgers use condoms and contraceptives less consistently and highlight unintended consequences of abstinence promotion.

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The Value of Children: Inter-Generational Support, Fertility, and Human Capital

Jaqueline Oliveira
Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper offers robust empirical evidence of a Darwinian pro-natalist mechanism: parents can improve their old-age support with an additional child. Using the incidence of first-born twins as an instrument for fertility outcomes, I find that Chinese senior parents with more children receive more financial transfers and are more likely to co-reside with an adult child. They are also less likely to work past retirement age. The estimated effects are large, despite the evidence that adult children from larger families are less educated and earn significantly less. Interestingly, the effect of an increase in the number of children on old-age support does not depend on the child’s gender.

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Children of a (Policy) Revolution: The Introduction of Universal Child Care and Its Effect on Fertility

Stefan Bauernschuster, Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer

Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming

Abstract:
What role does affordable and widely available public child care play for fertility? We exploit a major German reform generating large temporal and spatial variation in child care coverage for children under the age of three. Our precise and robust estimates on birth register data reveal that increases in public child care have significant positive effects on fertility. The fertility effects are more pronounced at the intensive than at the extensive margin, and are not driven by changes in the timing of births or selective migration. Our findings inform policy makers concerned about low fertility by suggesting that universal early child care holds the promise of being an effective means of increasing birth rates.

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Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of Group Prenatal Care: Perinatal Outcomes Among Adolescents in New York City Health Centers

Jeannette Ickovics et al.
American Journal of Public Health, forthcoming

Objectives: We compared an evidence-based model of group prenatal care to traditional individual prenatal care on birth, neonatal, and reproductive health outcomes.

Methods: We performed a multisite cluster randomized controlled trial in 14 health centers in New York City (2008–2012). We analyzed 1148 pregnant women aged 14 to 21 years, at less than 24 weeks of gestation, and not at high obstetrical risk. We assessed outcomes via medical records and surveys.

Results: In intention-to-treat analyses, women at intervention sites were significantly less likely to have infants small for gestational age (< 10th percentile; 11.0% vs 15.8%; odds ratio = 0.66; 95% confidence interval = 0.44, 0.99). In as-treated analyses, women with more group visits had better outcomes, including small for gestational age, gestational age, birth weight, days in neonatal intensive care unit, rapid repeat pregnancy, condom use, and unprotected sex (P = .030 to < .001). There were no associated risks.

Conclusions: CenteringPregnancy Plus group prenatal care resulted in more favorable birth, neonatal, and reproductive outcomes. Successful translation of clinical innovations to enhance care, improve outcomes, and reduce cost requires strategies that facilitate patient adherence and support organizational change.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, January 11, 2016

Sharing the caring

Improving The Affordable Care Act: An Assessment Of Policy Options For Providing Subsidies

Evan Saltzman, Christine Eibner & Alain Enthoven

Health Affairs, December 2015, Pages 2095-2103

Abstract:
A key challenge of health reform efforts is to make health insurance affordable for individuals and families who lack coverage without harming those with coverage or increasing federal spending. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses this challenge in part by providing tax subsidies to qualified individuals for purchasing individual insurance and retaining tax exemptions for employer and employee contributions to the cost of premiums of employer-sponsored insurance. These tax exemptions cost approximately $250 billion annually in lost tax revenue and have been criticized for favoring higher earners and conferring preferential treatment of employer-sponsored over individual insurance. We analyzed three options for leveling the financial playing field between the two insurance markets by reallocating the value of tax benefits of employer coverage. We found that one option that uses the subsidy formula employed in the insurance Marketplaces under the ACA for both the individual and employer-sponsored insurance markets, and additionally requires the subsidy to be at least $1,250 without an upper income limit on subsidy eligibility imposed, could expand insurance coverage and reduce individual market premiums relative to the ACA with no additional federal spending.

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Internalizing Behavioral Externalities: Benefit Integration in Health Insurance

Amanda Starc & Robert Town
NBER Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
We show that profit-maximizing firms alter product design in the market for Medicare prescription drug coverage to account for underutilization by consumers. Using plausibly exogenous variation in coverage, we examine prescription drug utilization under two different plan structures. We document that plans that cover all medical expenses spend more on drugs than plans that are only responsible for prescription drug spending, consistent with drug spending offsetting some medical costs. The effect is driven by drugs that are likely to generate substantial offsets. Our supply side model confirms that differential incentives across plans can explain this disparity. Counterfactuals show that the externality created by stand-alone drug plans is $405 million per year. Finally, we explore the extent to which subsidies and information provision can mitigate the externality generated by under-consumption.

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Medicaid Expansion Did Not Result In Significant Employment Changes Or Job Reductions In 2014

Angshuman Gooptu et al.
Health Affairs, January 2016, Pages 111-118

Abstract:
Medicaid expansion undertaken through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is already producing major changes in insurance coverage and access to care, but its potential impacts on the labor market are also important policy considerations. Economic theory suggests that receipt of Medicaid might benefit workers who would no longer be tied to specific jobs to receive health insurance (known as job lock), giving them more flexibility in their choice of employment, or might encourage low-income workers to reduce their hours or stop working if they no longer need employment-based insurance. Evidence on labor changes after previous Medicaid expansions is mixed. To view the impact of the ACA on current labor market participation, we analyzed labor-market participation among adults with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, comparing Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states and Medicaid-eligible and -ineligible groups, for the pre-ACA period (2005-13) and the first fifteen months of the expansion (January 2014-March 2015). Medicaid expansion did not result in significant changes in employment, job switching, or full- versus part-time status. While we cannot exclude the possibility of small changes in these outcomes, our findings rule out the large change found in one influential pre-ACA study; furthermore, they suggest that the Medicaid expansion has had limited impact on labor-market outcomes thus far.

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Effects of ACA Medicaid Expansions on Health Insurance Coverage and Labor Supply

Robert Kaestner et al.
NBER Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
We examined the effect of the expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act on health insurance coverage and labor supply of adults with a high school education or less. We found that the Medicaid expansions increased Medicaid coverage by approximately 4 percentage points, decreased the proportion uninsured by approximately 3 percentage points, and decreased private health insurance coverage by 1 percentage point. The Medicaid expansions had little effect on labor supply as measured by employment, usual hours worked per week and the probability of working 30 or more hours per week. Most estimates suggested that the expansions increased employment slightly, although not significantly.

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Little Change Seen In Part-Time Employment As A Result Of The Affordable Care Act

Asako Moriya, Thomas Selden & Kosali Simon

Health Affairs, January 2016, Pages 119-123

Abstract:
There has been speculation that the Affordable Care Act's coverage provisions and employer mandate have led to an increase in part-time employment. Using the Current Population Survey for the period 2005-15, we examined data on weekly hours worked by firm size, reason for working part time, age, education, and health insurance. We found only limited evidence to support this speculation.

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The Growing Difference Between Public And Private Payment Rates For Inpatient Hospital Care

Thomas Selden et al.
Health Affairs, December 2015, Pages 2147-2150

Abstract:
The difference between private and public (Medicare and Medicaid) payment rates for inpatient hospital stays widened between 1996 and 2012. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data reveal that standardized private insurer payment rates in 2012 were approximately 75 percent greater than Medicare's - a sharp increase from the differential of approximately 10 percent in the period 1996-2001.

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The Marginal Benefit of Inpatient Hospital Treatment: Evidence from Hospital Entries and Exits

Nathan Petek
University of Chicago Working Paper, December 2015

Abstract:
The marginal benefit of health care determines the extent to which policies that change health care consumption affect health. I use variation in access to hospitals caused by nearly 1,300 hospital entries and exits to estimate the marginal benefit of inpatient care. I show that hospital entries and exits cause sharp changes in the quantity of inpatient care, but there is no evidence of an effect on average mortality with tight confidence intervals. I find suggestive evidence of an effect on mortality in rural areas and for the over-65 population with magnitudes that imply the marginal benefit of inpatient care is significantly higher for these populations than for the average patient.

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Quantifying Gains in the War on Cancer Due to Improved Treatment and Earlier Detection

Seth Seabury et al.
Forum for Health Economics and Policy, forthcoming

Introduction: There have been significant improvements in both treatment and screening efforts for many types of cancer over the past decade. However, the effect of these advancements on the survival of cancer patients is unknown, and many question the value of both new treatments and screening efforts.

Methods: This study uses a retrospective analysis of SEER Registry data to quantify reductions in mortality rates for cancer patients diagnosed between 1997 and 2007. Using variation in trends in mortality rates by stage of diagnosis across cancer types, we use logistic regression to decompose separate survival gains into those attributable to advances in treatment versus advances in detection. We estimate the gains in survival due to gains in both treatment and detection overall and separately for 15 of the most common cancer types.

Results: We estimate that 3-year cancer-related mortality of cancer patients fell 16.7% from 1997 to 2007. Overall, advances in treatment reduced mortality rates by approximately 12.2% while advances in early detection reduced mortality rates by 4.5%. The relative importance of treatment and detection varied across cancer types. Improvements in detection were most important for thyroid, prostate and kidney cancer. Improvements in treatment were most important for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, lung cancer and myeloma.

Conclusion: Both improved treatment options and better early detection have led to significant survival gains for cancer patients diagnosed from 1997 to 2007, generating considerable social value over this time period.

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The Most Crowded US Hospital Emergency Departments Did Not Adopt Effective Interventions To Improve Flow, 2007-10

Leah Honigman Warner et al.
Health Affairs, December 2015, Pages 2151-2159

Abstract:
Emergency department (ED) crowding adversely affects patient care and outcomes. Despite national recommendations to address crowding, it persists in most US EDs today. Using nationally representative data, we evaluated the use of interventions to address crowding in US hospitals in the period 2007-10. We examined the relationship between crowding within an ED itself, measured as longer ED lengths-of-stay, and the number of interventions adopted. In our study period the average number of interventions adopted increased from 5.2 to 6.6, and seven of the seventeen studied interventions saw a significant increase in adoption. In general, more crowded EDs adopted greater numbers of interventions than less crowded EDs. However, in the most crowded quartile of EDs, a large proportion had not adopted effective interventions: 19 percent did not use bedside registration, and 94 percent did not use surgical schedule smoothing. Thus, while adoption of strategies to reduce ED crowding is increasing, many of the nation's most crowded EDs have not adopted proven interventions.

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Spousal Labor Market Effects from Government Health Insurance: Evidence from a Veterans Affairs Expansion

Melissa Boyle & Joanna Lahey
Journal of Health Economics, January 2016, Pages 63-76

Abstract:
Measuring the total impact of health insurance receipt on household labor supply is important in an era of increased access to publicly-provided and subsidized insurance. Although government expansion of health insurance to older workers leads to direct labor supply reductions for recipients, there may be spillover effects on the labor supply of uncovered spouses. While the most basic model predicts a decrease in overall household work hours, financial incentives such as credit constraints, target income levels, and the need for own health insurance suggest that spousal labor supply might increase. In contrast, complementarities of spousal leisure would predict a decrease in labor supply for both spouses. Utilizing a mid-1990s expansion of health insurance for U.S. veterans, we provide evidence on the effects of public insurance availability on the labor supply of spouses. Using data from the Current Population Survey and Health and Retirement Study, we employ a difference-in-differences strategy to compare the labor market behavior of the wives of older male veterans and non-veterans before and after the VA health benefits expansion. Although husbands' labor supply decreases, wives' labor supply increases, suggesting that financial incentives dominate complementarities of spousal leisure. This effect is strongest for wives with lower education levels and lower levels of household wealth and those who were not previously employed full-time. These findings have implications for government programs such as Medicare and Social Security and the Affordable Care Act.

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Comparing the Cost of Care Provided to Medicare Beneficiaries Assigned to Primary Care Nurse Practitioners and Physicians

Jennifer Perloff, Catherine DesRoches & Peter Buerhaus Health Services Research, forthcoming

Objective: This study is designed to assess the cost of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by nurse practitioners (NPs) billing under their own National Provider Identification number as compared to primary care physicians (PCMDs).

Data Source: Medicare Part A (inpatient) and Part B (office visit) claims for 2009-2010.

Principal Findings: After adjusting for demographic characteristics, geography, comorbidities, and the propensity to see an NP, Medicare evaluation and management payments for beneficiaries assigned to an NP were $207, or 29 percent, less than PCMD assigned beneficiaries. The same pattern was observed for inpatient and total office visit paid amounts, with 11 and 18 percent less for NP assigned beneficiaries, respectively. Results are similar for the work component of relative value units as well.

Conclusions: This study provides new evidence of the lower cost of care for beneficiaries managed by NPs, as compared to those managed by PCMDs across inpatient and office-based settings. Results suggest that increasing access to NP primary care will not increase costs for the Medicare program and may be cost saving.

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Both The 'Private Option' And Traditional Medicaid Expansions Improved Access To Care For Low-Income Adults

Benjamin Sommers, Robert Blendon & John Orav

Health Affairs, January 2016, Pages 96-105

Abstract:
Under the Affordable Care Act, thirty states and the District of Columbia have expanded eligibility for Medicaid, with several states using Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance (the "private option"). Despite vigorous debate over the use of private insurance versus traditional Medicaid to provide coverage to low-income adults, there is little evidence on the relative merits of the two approaches. We compared the first-year impacts of traditional Medicaid expansion in Kentucky, the private option in Arkansas, and nonexpansion in Texas by conducting a telephone survey of two distinct waves of low-income adults (5,665 altogether) in those three states in November-December 2013 and twelve months later. Using a difference-in-differences analysis, we found that the uninsurance rate declined by 14 percentage points in the two expansion states, compared to the nonexpansion state. In the expansion states, again compared to the nonexpansion state, skipping medications because of cost and trouble paying medical bills declined significantly, and the share of individuals with chronic conditions who obtained regular care increased. Other than coverage type and trouble paying medical bills (which decreased more in Kentucky than in Arkansas), there were no significant differences between Kentucky's traditional Medicaid expansion and Arkansas's private option, which suggests that both approaches improved access among low-income adults.

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Better Nurse Staffing and Nurse Work Environments Associated With Increased Survival of In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Patients

Matthew McHugh et al.
Medical Care, January 2016, Pages 74-80

Background: Although nurses are the most likely first responders to witness an in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) and provide treatment, little research has been undertaken to determine what features of nursing are related to cardiac arrest outcomes.

Research Design: Cross-sectional study of data from: (1) the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation database; (2) the University of Pennsylvania Multi-State Nursing Care and and Patient Safety; and (3) the American Hospital Association annual survey. Logistic regression models were used to determine the association of the features of nursing and IHCA survival to discharge after adjusting for hospital and patient characteristics.

Subjects: A total of 11,160 adult patients aged 18 and older between 2005 and 2007 in 75 hospitals in 4 states (Pennsylvania, Florida, California, and New Jersey).

Results: Each additional patient per nurse on medical-surgical units was associated with a 5% lower likelihood of surviving IHCA to discharge (odds ratio=0.95; 95% confidence interval, 0.91-0.99). Further, patients cared for in hospitals with poor work environments had a 16% lower likelihood of IHCA survival (odds ratio=0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.71-0.99) than patients cared for in hospitals with better work environments.

Conclusions: Better work environments and decreased patient-to-nurse ratios on medical-surgical units are associated with higher odds of patient survival after an IHCA. These results add to a large body of literature suggesting that outcomes are better when nurses have a more reasonable workload and work in good hospital work environments. Improving nurse working conditions holds promise for improving survival following IHCA.

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In Four ACA Expansion States, The Percentage Of Uninsured Hospitalizations For People With HIV Declined, 2012-14

Fred Hellinger
Health Affairs, December 2015, Pages 2061-2068

Abstract:
This study examines the influence of the Affordable Care Act's optional state Medicaid expansion on insurance coverage and health outcomes for hospitalized patients with HIV. I used data from the State Inpatient Databases of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project for all hospitalizations of patients with HIV from 2012 through the first six months of 2014 in four states that expanded their Medicaid programs and two states that did not. I found that the percentage of hospitalizations of uninsured people with HIV in the four expansion states fell from 13.7 percent to 5.5 percent in the study period, while the percentage in the two nonexpanding states increased from 14.5 percent to 15.7 percent. I also found that hospitalized patients with HIV who did not have insurance were 40 percent more likely to die during their hospital stays than comparable patients with insurance.

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Effects of Expanded California Health Coverage on Hospitals: Implications for ACA Medicaid Expansions

Gloria Bazzoli
Health Services Research, forthcoming

Objective: To assess the effects on hospitals of early California actions to expand insurance coverage for low-income uninsured adults after passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Data Sources/Study Setting: Data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and the California Department of Health were merged with U.S. census data for 294 short-term general hospitals during the period 2009-2012.

Study Design: A difference-in-difference analysis was conducted with hospitals in counties that did not implement insurance expansions used as a comparison group. Variables examined included payer mix, costs of unreimbursed care, and hospital operating margin. Sensitivity analyses were conducted as well as a triple difference analysis. Effects were estimated for hospitals overall and by ownership type.

Principal Findings: California insurance expansions primarily benefited for-profit hospitals, with these facilities experiencing significant decreases in self-pay patients, increases in county-covered patients, and reductions in charity care. Most models yielded no significant change in payer mix and conflicting changes in unreimbursed care for nonprofit hospitals.

Conclusions: California hospitals that treated the most uninsured prior to insurance expansions did not as a group experience substantial benefit in terms of reduced uninsured burden or better financial performance after program expansions occurred.

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Insurer Competition In Federally Run Marketplaces Is Associated With Lower Premiums

Paul Jacobs1, Jessica Banthin & Samuel Trachtman

Health Affairs, December 2015, Pages 2027-2035

Abstract:
Federal subsidies for health insurance premiums sold through the Marketplaces are tied to the cost of the benchmark plan, the second-lowest-cost silver plan. According to economic theory, the presence of more competitors should lead to lower premiums, implying smaller federal outlays for premium subsidies. The long-term impact of the Affordable Care Act on government spending will depend on the cost of these premium subsidies over time, with insurer participation and the level of competition likely to influence those costs. We studied insurer participation and premiums during the first two years of the Marketplaces. We found that the addition of a single insurer in a county was associated with a 1.2 percent lower premium for the average silver plan and a 3.5 percent lower premium for the benchmark plan in the federally run Marketplaces. We found that the effect of insurer entry was muted after two or three additional entrants. These findings suggest that increased insurer participation in the federally run Marketplaces reduces federal payments for premium subsidies.

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The Effect of Health Reform on Retirement

Helen Levy, Thomas Buchmueller & Sayeh Nikpay

University of Michigan Working Paper, September 2015

Abstract:
Many studies have shown that the availability of health insurance is an important determinant of the retirement decision. Beginning in January 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made affordable alternatives to employer-sponsored health insurance much more widely available than they had been previously through the establishment of health insurance exchanges and, in some states, the expansion of Medicaid eligibility to low-income, childless adults. We analyze whether these new health insurance options led to an increase in retirement or part-time work among individuals ages 55 through 64 during the first 18 months after the policy took effect. Using data from the basic monthly Current Population Survey from January 2005 through June 2015, we find that there was no increase in retirement in 2014 either overall or in Medicaid expansion states relative to nonexpansion states. We also find no change in the fraction of older workers who are working part-time.

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Is Death "The Great Equalizer"? The Social Stratification of Death Quality in the United States

Deborah Carr
ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, January 2016, Pages 331-354

Abstract:
Socioeconomic status (SES) gradients in mortality risk are well documented, although less is known about whether the quality of older adults' dying experiences is stratified by SES. I focus on six core components of a "good death": pain and symptom management, acceptance, medical care that is concordant with one's preferences, dying at home, emotional preparation, and formal preparations for end-of-life care. Analyses are based on four data sets spanning the 1980s through 2010s, a period marked by rising economic inequalities: Changing Lives of Older Couples (1986-1994), Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (1993-2010), New Jersey End of Life study (2005-2007), and Wisconsin Study of Families and Loss (2010-2014). I find evidence of SES disparities in two outcomes only: pain and advance care planning (ACP), widely considered an important step toward a "good death." Implications for health care policy and practice, against the backdrop of the Affordable Care Act implementation, are discussed.

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Hospital Quality and Patient Choice: An Empirical Analysis of Mitral Valve Surgery

Guihua Wang et al.
University of Michigan Working Paper, October 2015

Abstract:
Among the myriad of decisions involved in health care delivery, none are more important to medical outcomes than the interrelated choices by individual patients regarding treatment type and service provider. Because such choices are often complex and difficult, it is not surprising that many patients make sub-optimal decisions that lead to compromises in quality of life. We document a wide quality gap among thirty-five hospitals in New York State that perform mitral valve surgery, using distance based instruments to correct for potential selection bias in care allocation. We find that only 40% of New York patients choose to go to one of the six hospitals with quality superior to the state average. We define these six hospitals as Centers of Excellence (CoEs). If all patients from 2009-2012 had gone to the nearest CoE for their procedure, about 343 additional patients would have had their mitral valves repaired. This would have added 785 years of life expectancy and saved $4,593 in per patient lifetime care costs, in exchange for travelling an average of 10.9 miles further to get to a CoE. We find that the major barriers preventing patients from choosing the best quality care are: lack of information, travel cost and payer restrictions. We evaluate polices for removing these barriers to enable informed patient choice.

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The Effect of Publicized Quality Information on Home Health Agency Choice

Jeah Kyoungrae Jung et al.
Medical Care Research and Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examine consumers' use of publicized quality information in Medicare home health care markets, where consumer cost sharing and travel costs are absent. We report two findings. First, agencies with high quality scores are more likely to be preferred by consumers after the introduction of a public reporting program than before. Second, consumers' use of publicized quality information differs by patient group. Community-based patients have slightly larger responses to public reporting than hospital-discharged patients. Patients with functional limitations at the start of their care, at least among hospital-discharged patients, have a larger response to the reported functional outcome measure than those without functional limitations. In all cases of significant marginal effects, magnitudes are small. We conclude that the current public reporting approach is unlikely to have critical impacts on home health agency choice. Identifying and releasing quality information that is meaningful to consumers may help increase consumers' use of public reports.

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Health information technology and patient outcomes: The role of information and labor coordination

Jeffrey McCullough, Stephen Parente & Robert Town

RAND Journal of Economics, Spring 2016, Pages 207-236

Abstract:
Health information technology (IT) adoption, it is argued, will dramatically improve patient care. We study the impact of hospital IT adoption on patient outcomes focusing on the role of patient and organizational heterogeneity. We link detailed hospital discharge data on all Medicare fee-for-service admissions from 2002-2007 to detailed hospital-level IT adoption information. For all IT-sensitive conditions, we find that health IT adoption reduces mortality for the most complex patients but does not affect outcomes for the median patient. Benefits from health IT are primarily experienced by patients whose diagnoses require cross-specialty care coordination and extensive clinical information management.

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A Mixed-Methods Study of Patient-Provider E-Mail Content in a Safety-Net Setting

Jacob Mirsky et al.
Journal of Health Communication, January 2016, Pages 85-91

Abstract:
To explore the content of patient-provider e-mails in a safety-net primary care clinic, we conducted a content analysis using inductive and deductive coding of e-mail exchanges (n = 31) collected from January through November 2013. Participants were English-speaking adult patients with a chronic condition (or their caregivers) cared for at a single publicly funded general internal medicine clinic and their primary care providers (attending general internist physicians, clinical fellows, internal medicine residents, and nurse practitioners). All e-mails were nonurgent. Patients included a medical update in 19% of all e-mails. Patients requested action in 77% of e-mails, and the most common requests overall were for action regarding medications or treatment (29%). Requests for information were less common (45% of e-mails). Patient requests (n = 56) were resolved in 84% of e-mail exchanges, resulting in 63 actions. These results show that patients in safety-net clinics are capable of safely and effectively using electronic messaging for between-visit communication with providers. Safety-net systems should implement electronic communications tools as soon as possible to increase health care access and enhance patients' involvement in their care.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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