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Friday, March 28, 2014

Party crashers

Conspiracy Theories and the Paranoid Style(s) of Mass Opinion

Eric Oliver & Thomas Wood
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although conspiracy theories have long been a staple of American political culture, no research has systematically examined the nature of their support in the mass public. Using four nationally representative surveys, sampled between 2006 and 2011, we find that half of the American public consistently endorses at least one conspiracy theory and that many popular conspiracy theories are differentiated along ideological and anomic dimensions. In contrast with many theoretical speculations, we do not find conspiracism to be a product of greater authoritarianism, ignorance, or political conservatism. Rather, the likelihood of supporting conspiracy theories is strongly predicted by a willingness to believe in other unseen, intentional forces and an attraction to Manichean narratives. These findings both demonstrate the widespread allure of conspiracy theories as political explanations and offer new perspectives on the forces that shape mass opinion and American political culture.

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The Blended Language of Partisanship in the 2012 Presidential Campaign

Roderick Hart & Colene Lind
American Behavioral Scientist, April 2014, Pages 591-616

Abstract:
Here, we track the language patterns of Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates during 2008 and 2012 and contrast them with their Democratic counterparts to better understand the language of partisanship in the U.S. We employ DICTION (www.dictionsoftware.com), an automated text-analysis tool, to process some 8,000 campaign documents. We find (a) that Mitt Romney was an unconventional Republican in 2012 (but not in 2008); (b) that Romney employed both “Republican” and “Democratic” language and did so to good effect (both in the primaries and in the general election); (c) that Barack Obama matched Romney in these ways, departing sharply from his own 2008 campaign style; and (d) that the candidates increasingly resembled one another as election day approached. We conclude that, no matter what their party of origin, all national politicians must be versed in the Democratic/Republican lexicon, a requirement that distinguishes the American political ethos.

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Who Let the (Attack) Dogs Out? New Evidence for Partisan Media Effects

Glen Smith & Kathleen Searles
Public Opinion Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Most research examining partisan media effects uses individual differences in exposure to news sources to predict attitude change. In this paper, we improve upon this approach by using variations in cable news coverage to predict subsequent changes in viewer impressions of the candidates. This approach allows us to examine the distinct effects of in-party and out-party candidate coverage. Content analyses and survey data show that partisan media effects result from coverage of the opposition candidate, and not from coverage of the like-minded candidate. Specifically, during the 2008 presidential election, increased coverage of Obama (McCain) on Fox News (MSNBC) made viewers less favorable toward Obama (McCain). Meanwhile, coverage of McCain (Obama) on Fox News (MSNBC) had minimal effects on viewer impressions. These results suggest that media effects persist even during an era dominated by selective exposure.

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Strong Candidate, Nurturant Candidate: Moral Language in Presidential Television Advertisements

Jennifer Filson Moses & Marti Hope Gonzales
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Presidential television advertisements from 1980 through 2012 were examined to test empirically George Lakoff's descriptions of American moral ideology. Advertisements were coded for instantiations of the moral themes that Lakoff asserts underlie liberal and conservative ideology (Strict Father versus Nurturant Parent). Candidates' political-party affiliation, election year, and policy issue(s) addressed in the television advertisement were assessed for their covariance with the use of these moral-metaphorical instantiations. Findings support many of Lakoff's arguments. Republicans and Democrats generally differed in their use of these moral themes, both Strict Father and Nurturant Parent. There were no significant associations between election years (1980–2012) and instantiations of moral metaphors, with the exception of 2008, an anomalous year. Of particular import, we found that although Republicans rely on Strict Father dimensions, and Democrats rely more on Nurturant Parent, the most pronounced difference between parties was on the Nurturant Parent dimension. Implications for Lakoff's work and current moral psychology are discussed.

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The Effect of Redistricting Commissions on District Bipartisanship and Member Ideology

Josh Ryan & Jeffrey Lyons
Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties, forthcoming

Abstract:
Reformers advocate the use of commissions rather than legislatures to redistrict as a way of promoting less partisan districts and ideologically moderate congressional members. Much of the evidence in political science suggests that gerrymandering is not a cause of congressional polarization, but whether or not commissions produce different types of districts or members remains an important and unanswered question, especially now that many states have adopted reforms. This article examines whether commissions reduce district partisanship or ideological extremity using time-series-cross-sectional data. We find that bipartisan districts promote member moderation, but there is no evidence that commissions have distinct effects on districts or members as compared to districts drawn by legislatures, consistent with the notion that limiting gerrymandering is not a solution for polarization. These conclusions call into question the appropriateness of redistricting reform, especially when one considers the undemocratic nature of commissions.

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“Taking Back Our Country”: Tea Party Membership and Support for Punitive Crime Control Policies

Justin Pickett, Daniel Tope & Rose Bellandi
Sociological Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Tea Party Movement (TPM) emerged shortly after the 2008 election, with members rallying behind the call to “take back our country.” Many observers suggest that the movement represents, in part, a racialized backlash against the election of Barack Obama, the nation's first black president, motivated by perceived threats to the racial hierarchy. Racial threat theory predicts that if the TPM is motivated by and reinforces racial concerns, racialized support for punitive crime policies that disproportionately impact blacks should be higher among Tea Partiers. Drawing on recent national survey data, this study tests this prediction. The results show that TPM membership is positively associated with punitiveness and that this relationship is mediated, in part, by Tea Partiers’ animus toward blacks. We discuss the import of these findings for competing accounts of the TPM, racial threat theory, and the argument that the United States has become a “post-racial society.”

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Consumer Demand for Cynical and Negative News Frames

Marc Trussler & Stuart Soroka
International Journal of Press/Politics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Commentators regularly lament the proliferation of both negative and/or strategic (“horse race”) coverage in political news content. The most frequent account for this trend focuses on news norms and/or the priorities of news journalists. Here, we build on recent work arguing for the importance of demand-side, rather than supply-side, explanations of news content. In short, news may be negative and/or strategy-focused because that is the kind of news that people are interested in. We use a lab study to capture participants’ news-selection biases, alongside a survey capturing their stated news preferences. Politically interested participants are more likely to select negative stories. Interest is associated with a greater preference for strategic frames as well. And results suggest that behavioral results do not conform to attitudinal ones. That is, regardless of what participants say, they exhibit a preference for negative news content.

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The Informational Basis for Mass Polarization

Thomas Leeper
Public Opinion Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
If nothing else, democratic politics requires compromise. Mass polarization, where citizens disagree strongly and those disagreements magnify over time, presents obvious threats to democratic well-being. The overwhelming presumption is that if polarization is occurring, a substantial portion of it is attributable to the fragmentation attendant an increasingly choice-laden media environment where individuals expose themselves only to opinion-reinforcing information. Under what conditions does mass opinion polarization occur? Through two over-time laboratory experiments involving information choice behavior, this paper considers, first, the effects of slant in one’s information environment on over-time opinion dynamics and, second, the moderating role of attitude importance on those effects. The experiments reveal that, despite similar information search behavior, those with strong attitudes are dogmatic, resisting even substantial contrary evidence; those with weak attitudes, by contrast, hear opposing arguments and develop moderate opinions regardless of the prevalence of those arguments in their environment. Evaluations of information, rather than information search behavior per se, explain why individuals with strong attitudes polarize and those with weak attitudes do not. Polarization therefore seems to require more than media fragmentation and, in fact, a more important factor may be the strength of citizens’ prior attitudes on particular issues.

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“Do Something” Politics and Double-Peaked Policy Preferences

Patrick Egan
Journal of Politics, April 2014, Pages 333-349

Abstract:
When a public problem is perceived to be poorly addressed by current policy, it is often the case that credible alternative policies are proposed to both the status quo’s left and right. Specially designed national surveys show that in circumstances like these, many Americans’ preferences are not single-peaked on the standard left-right dimension. Rather, they simply want the government to “do something” about the problem and therefore prefer both liberal and conservative policies to the moderate status quo. This produces individual and collective preferences that are double-peaked with respect to the left-right dimension. Double-peakedness is less prevalent on issues where no consensus exists regarding policy goals, and it increases when exogenous events raise the public’s concern about the seriousness of a policy problem.

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How moderates and extremists find happiness: Ideological orientation, citizen–government proximity, and life satisfaction

Luigi Curini, Willy Jou & Vincenzo Memoli
International Political Science Review, March 2014, Pages 129-152

Abstract:
While the topic of life satisfaction and its determinants has drawn increasing attention among political scientists, most studies have focused mainly on macro-level variables, and often overlooked the role of individuals’ attitudes vis-à-vis their governments. The present article attempts to fill this gap by examining whether citizens’ left–right self-placement and ideological distance from their governments exert an independent effect on life satisfaction. Utilizing a dataset spanning a quarter century and containing nearly 70,000 respondents, we demonstrate a curvilinear relationship between ideological orientations and happiness, with self-identified radicals on both ends of the spectrum happier than moderate citizens. Moreover, we show that while propinquity between self-position and government position contributes to happiness, this effect is highly mediated by individual locations along the left–right spectrum: centrists report higher levels of happiness the closer they are to their government, while the opposite is true for radicals. The normative implication of our findings is that moderate governments may present a comparative advantage in enhancing the overall level of happiness of their citizens.

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Priming under Fire: Reverse Causality and the Classic Media Priming Hypothesis

Austin Hart & Joel Middleton
Journal of Politics, April 2014, Pages 581-592

Abstract:
This study reevaluates the classic “media priming” hypothesis, which argues that, when news coverage raises an issue’s salience, voters align their overall evaluation of the president with their assessment of him on that issue. Conventional studies typically show greater correspondence between issue approval and overall approval among individuals exposed to issue-related news. Although this is taken as evidence of media priming, this phenomenon is also consistent with another explanation. Precisely the opposite, the “projection” hypothesis argues that voters exposed to issue news align their approval of the president on that issue with their prior approval of his overall performance. Existing studies cannot rule out this alternative, so we conduct a survey experiment to evaluate the priming and projection hypotheses jointly. Despite recent evidence in support of projection, we show that the causal arrow runs from issue approval to overall approval (media priming), not the reverse (projection).

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The Macro Sort of the State Electorates

Gerald Wright & Nathaniel Birkhead
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Individual-level studies of partisan and ideological change find that individuals generally adjust their ideological preferences to match their partisan affiliation. In examining this process among the state electorates, we find that contrary to these studies, states have adjusted their partisanship to match their ideology. In addition, we use a measure of state elite ideology to show that state parties have a role in the character of the partisan sort of the states. These results are consistent with political explanations of party strategy and rational mass responses for the character of macro-political change in the states over the last half century.

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Party Cues in Elections under Multilevel Governance: Theory and Evidence from US States

Benny Geys & Jan Vermeir
Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming

Abstract:
In federal countries, voters’ ability to evaluate the performance of their leaders might be reduced when different levels of government shape policy outcomes. This can blur political accountability. In this article, we analyze how party cues (i.e., politicians’ party membership acting as a cue towards their characteristics) affect voters’ incomplete information in a federal setting. We theoretically show that party cues allow indirect inference regarding politicians using observed policy outcomes, and can alleviate the accountability problem. Empirical evidence from US presidential election results across all 50 US states over the period 1972–2008 supports this proposition. However, party cues also have a downside in that they may reduce politicians’ effort, particularly when politicians at different levels of government are from different parties.

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Self-stereotyping as “Evangelical Republican”: An Empirical Test

Stratos Patrikios
Politics and Religion, December 2013, Pages 800-822

Abstract:
The prominence of evangelical Christians in the electoral base of the Republican Party is a noted feature of recent American elections. This prominence is linked to a key stereotype that saturates public discourse: “born-again/evangelical Republicanism.” The stereotype fuses religious and partisan social group membership to create a composite social label. Using a social categorization approach, which challenges the assumptions and methods of existing research, the present analysis asks whether voters embrace this stereotype in their definitions of self. The article employs confirmatory factor analysis of religious and partisan identity constructs from a national internet survey, the 2008 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, and finds evidence of the presence of this religious-partisan stereotype in individual self-views, and of the backlash that it has produced, particularly among citizens that are exposed to public discourse on American elections.

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Polarization and Ideology: Partisan Sources of Low Dimensionality in Scaled Roll Call Analyses

John Aldrich, Jacob Montgomery & David Sparks
Political Analysis, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this article, we challenge the conclusion that the preferences of members of Congress are best represented as existing in a low-dimensional space. We conduct Monte Carlo simulations altering assumptions regarding the dimensionality and distribution of member preferences and scale the resulting roll call matrices. Our simulations show that party polarization generates misleading evidence in favor of low dimensionality. This suggests that the increasing levels of party polarization in recent Congresses may have produced false evidence in favor of a low-dimensional policy space. However, we show that focusing more narrowly on each party caucus in isolation can help researchers discern the true dimensionality of the policy space in the context of significant party polarization. We re-examine the historical roll call record and find evidence suggesting that the low dimensionality of the contemporary Congress may reflect party polarization rather than changes in the dimensionality of policy conflict.

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Third-party threat and the dimensionality of major-party roll call voting

Daniel Lee
Public Choice, June 2014, Pages 515-531

Abstract:
This paper assesses the influence of the electoral threat of third parties on major-party roll call voting in the US House. Although low-dimensionality of voting is a feature of strong two-party politics, which describes the contemporary era, there is significant variation across members. I hypothesize that major-party incumbents in districts under a high threat from third-party House candidates cast votes that do not fit neatly onto the dominant ideological dimension. This hypothesis is driven by (1) third party interests in orthogonal issues, and (2) incumbents accounting for those interests when casting votes in order to minimize the impact of third parties. An empirical test using data from the 105th to 109th Congresses provides evidence of this effect.

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Echo Chamber or Public Sphere? Predicting Political Orientation and Measuring Political Homophily in Twitter Using Big Data

Elanor Colleoni, Alessandro Rozza & Adam Arvidsson
Journal of Communication, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper investigates political homophily on Twitter. Using a combination of machine learning and social network analysis we classify users as Democrats or as Republicans based on the political content shared. We then investigate political homophily both in the network of reciprocated and nonreciprocated ties. We find that structures of political homophily differ strongly between Democrats and Republicans. In general, Democrats exhibit higher levels of political homophily. But Republicans who follow official Republican accounts exhibit higher levels of homophily than Democrats. In addition, levels of homophily are higher in the network of reciprocated followers than in the nonreciprocated network. We suggest that research on political homophily on the Internet should take the political culture and practices of users seriously.

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Explaining Group Influence: The Role of Identity and Emotion in Political Conformity and Polarization

Elizabeth Suhay
Political Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Evidence has accumulated that people often conform to political norms. However, we know little about the mechanisms underlying political conformity. Whose norms are people likely to follow, and why? This article discusses two phenomena — social identity and “self-conscious” emotions — that are key to understanding when and why people follow the crowd. It argues that adherence to in-group norms is a critical basis of status among in-group peers. Conformity generates peer approval and leads to personal pride. Deviance generates disapproval and causes embarrassment or shame. These emotional reactions color an individual’s political perspectives, typically generating conformity. These same mechanisms can spur between-group polarization. In this case, differentiation from the norms of disliked out-groups results in peer approval and pride, and conformity to out-group norms disapproval and embarrassment or shame. This framework is supported by the results of two experiments that examine the influence of group opinion norms over economic and social aspects of citizens’ political ideologies. One exogenously varies the social identity of attitudinal majorities; the other primes the relevant emotions. In addition to contributing to the study of political conformity and polarization, this article adds to our growing understanding of the relevance of social identity and emotion to political life.

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Effects of Verbal Aggression and Party Identification Bias on Perceptions of Political Speakers

Charlotte Nau & Craig Stewart
Journal of Language and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Two experiments investigated the effects of verbal aggression, specifically character and competence attacks, on perceptions of political speakers. Verbally aggressive political speakers were perceived as less communicatively appropriate and credible than nonaggressive speakers, and were less likely to win agreement with their messages. Some evidence was found that perceptions were biased in favor of those who share a political party identification with the message recipient, and that more strongly Republican Party–identified participants perceived more verbal aggression in messages with no character and competence attacks and considered verbally aggressive Republicans more tactful.

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Filmed in Front of a Live Studio Audience: Laughter and Aggression in Political Entertainment Programming

Emily Vraga et al.
Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Winter 2014, Pages 131-150

Abstract:
Shows blending humor and information are on the rise, and many such shows incorporate live studio audiences. Using two separate experimental studies, we test whether audience laughter on humorous political talk shows affects audience perceptions. We find that the effects of audience laughter depend on context, boosting perceptions of host and program credibility when a host is unknown, while reminding viewers of the comedic intentions and appeal of a known comedic host. If humor allows the hosts of comedic political talk shows more freedom to pointedly question their guests without turning off viewers, it may better engage and inform audiences.

http://poq.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/27/poq.nft082.short?rss=1

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Underrepresented

Racial Segregation Patterns in Selective Universities

Peter Arcidiacono et al.
Journal of Law and Economics, November 2013, Pages 1039-1060

Abstract:
This paper examines sorting into interracial friendships at selective universities. We show significant friendship segregation, particularly for blacks. Indeed, blacks’ friendships are no more diverse in college than in high school, despite the fact that the colleges that blacks attend have substantially smaller black populations. We demonstrate that the segregation patterns occur in part because affirmative action results in large differences in the academic backgrounds of students of different races, with students preferring to form friendships with those of similar academic backgrounds. Within a school, stronger academic backgrounds make whites’ friendships with blacks less likely and friendships with Asians more likely. These results suggest that affirmative action admission policies at selective universities, which drive a wedge between the academic characteristics of different racial groups, may result in increased within-school segregation.

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The Implications of Marriage Structure for Men’s Workplace Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors toward Women

Sreedhari Desai, Dolly Chugh & Arthur Brief
Administrative Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Based on five studies with a total of 993 married, heterosexual male participants, we found that marriage structure has important implications for attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to gender among heterosexual married men in the workplace. Specifically, men in traditional marriages — married to women who are not employed — disfavor women in the workplace and are more likely than the average of all married men to make decisions that prevent the advancement of qualified women. Results show that employed men in traditional marriages tend to (a) view the presence of women in the workplace unfavorably, (b) perceive that organizations with higher numbers of female employees are operating less smoothly, (c) perceive organizations with female leaders as relatively unattractive, and (d) deny qualified female employees opportunities for promotions more frequently than do other married male employees. Moreover, our final study suggests that men who are single and then marry women who are not employed may change their attitudes toward women in the workplace, becoming less positive. The consistent pattern of results across multiple studies employing multiple methods (lab, longitudinal, archival) and samples (U.S., U.K., undergraduates, managers) demonstrates the robustness of our findings that the structure of a man’s marriage influences his gender ideology in the workplace, presenting an important challenge to workplace egalitarianism.

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How Judicial Qualification Ratings May Disadvantage Minority and Female Candidates

Maya Sen
Journal of Law and Courts, Spring 2014, Pages 33-65

Abstract:
This article uses two newly collected data sets to investigate the reliance by political actors on the external vetting of judicial candidates, in particular vetting conducted by the nation’s largest legal organization, the American Bar Association (ABA). Using these data, I show that minority and female nominees are more likely than whites and males to receive lower ratings, even after controlling for education, experience, and partisanship via matching. These discrepancies are important for two reasons. First, as I show, receiving poor ABA ratings is correlated with confirmation failure. Second, I demonstrate that ABA ratings do not actually predict whether judges will be “better” in terms of reversal rates. Taken together, these findings complicate the ABA’s influential role in judicial nominations, both in terms of setting up possible barriers against minority and female candidates and also in terms of its actual utility in predicting judicial performance.

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The Positive Consequences of Negative Stereotypes: Race, Sexual Orientation, and the Job Application Process

David Pedulla
Social Psychology Quarterly, March 2014, Pages 75-94

Abstract:
How do marginalized social categories, such as being black and gay, combine with one another in the production of discrimination? While much extant research assumes that combining marginalized social categories results in a “double disadvantage,” I argue that in the case of race and sexual orientation the opposite may be true. This article posits that stereotypes about gay men as effeminate and weak will counteract common negative stereotypes held by whites that black men are threatening and criminal. Thus, I argue that being gay will have negative consequences for white men in the job application process, but that being gay will actually have positive consequences for black men in this realm. This hypothesis is tested using data from a survey experiment in which respondents were asked to evaluate resumes for a job opening where the race and sexual orientation of the applicants were experimentally manipulated. The findings contribute to important theoretical debates about stereotypes, discrimination, and intersecting social identities.

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“Boys Can Be Anything”: Effect of Barbie Play on Girls’ Career Cognitions

Aurora Sherman & Eileen Zurbriggen
Sex Roles, March 2014, Pages 195-208

Abstract:
Play with Barbie dolls is an understudied source of gendered socialization that may convey a sexualized adult world to young girls. Early exposure to sexualized images may have unintended consequences in the form of perceived limitations on future selves. We investigated perceptions of careers girls felt they could do in the future as compared to the number of careers they felt boys could do as a function of condition (playing with a Barbie or Mrs. Potato Head doll) and type of career (male dominated or female dominated) in a sample of 37 U.S. girls aged 4–7 years old residing in the Pacific Northwest. After a randomly assigned 5-min exposure to condition, children were asked how many of ten different occupations they themselves could do in the future and how many of those occupations a boy could do. Data were analyzed with a 2 × 2 × 2 mixed factorial ANOVA. Averaged across condition, girls reported that boys could do significantly more occupations than they could themselves, especially when considering male-dominated careers. In addition, girls’ ideas about careers for themselves compared to careers for boys interacted with condition, such that girls who played with Barbie indicated that they had fewer future career options than boys, whereas girls who played with Mrs. Potato Head reported a smaller difference between future possible careers for themselves as compared to boys. Results support predictions from gender socialization and objectification theories.

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Reconciling Family Roles with Political Ambition: The New Normal for Women in Twenty-First Century U.S. Politics

Richard Fox & Jennifer Lawless
Journal of Politics, April 2014, Pages 398-414

Abstract:
Based on data from the 2011 Citizen Political Ambition Study — a national survey of nearly 4,000 “potential candidates” for all levels of office — we provide the first thorough analysis of the manner in which traditional family arrangements affect the initial decision to run for office. Our findings reveal that traditional family dynamics do not account for the gender gap in political ambition. Neither marital and parental status, nor the division of labor pertaining to household tasks and child care, predicts potential candidates’ political ambition. This is not to downplay the fact that the gender gap in political ambition remains substantial and static or that traditional family roles affect whether women make it into the candidate eligibility pool in the first place. But it is to suggest that family arrangements are not a primary factor explaining why female potential candidates exhibit lower levels of political ambition than do men. Because women remain less likely than men to exhibit political ambition even in the face of stringent controls, the lack of explanatory power conferred by family arrangements highlights that other barriers to women’s emergence as candidates clearly merit continued investigation.

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Investors prefer entrepreneurial ventures pitched by attractive men

Alison Wood Brooks et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 March 2014, Pages 4427–4431

Abstract:
Entrepreneurship is a central path to job creation, economic growth, and prosperity. In the earliest stages of start-up business creation, the matching of entrepreneurial ventures to investors is critically important. The entrepreneur’s business proposition and previous experience are regarded as the main criteria for investment decisions. Our research, however, documents other critical criteria that investors use to make these decisions: the gender and physical attractiveness of the entrepreneurs themselves. Across a field setting (three entrepreneurial pitch competitions in the United States) and two experiments, we identify a profound and consistent gender gap in entrepreneur persuasiveness. Investors prefer pitches presented by male entrepreneurs compared with pitches made by female entrepreneurs, even when the content of the pitch is the same. This effect is moderated by male physical attractiveness: attractive males were particularly persuasive, whereas physical attractiveness did not matter among female entrepreneurs.

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Facial Attractiveness and Lifetime Earnings: Evidence from a Cohort Study

John Karl Scholz & Kamil Sicinski
Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use unique longitudinal data to document an economically and statistically significant positive correlation between the facial attractiveness of male high school graduates and their subsequent labor market earnings. There are only weak links between facial attractiveness and direct measures of cognitive skills and no link between facial attractiveness and mortality. Even after including a lengthy set of characteristics, including IQ, high school activities, proxy measures for confidence and personality, family background and additional respondent characteristics in an empirical model of earnings, the attractiveness premium is present in the respondents' mid-30s and early-50s. Our findings are consistent with attractiveness being an enduring, positive labor market characteristic.

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Rank influences human sex differences in dyadic cooperation

Joyce Benenson, Henry Markovits & Richard Wrangham
Current Biology, 3 March 2014, Pages R190-R191

Abstract:
Unrelated human males regularly interact in groups, which can include higher and lower ranked individuals. In contrast, from early childhood through adulthood, females often reduce group size in order to interact with only one individual of equal rank. In many species, when either sex maintains a group structure, unrelated individuals must cooperate with those differing in rank. Given that human males interact more than females in groups, we hypothesized that dyadic cooperation between individuals of differing rank should occur more frequently between human males than females. We examined this hypothesis in academic psychology. Numbers of co-authored peer-reviewed publications were used as an objective measure of cooperation, and professorial status as a measure of rank. We compiled all publications co-authored by full professors with same-sex departmental colleagues over four years in 50 North American universities, and calculated the likelihood of co-authorship in relation to the number of available professors in the same department. Among those of equal status (full professors) there was no gender difference for likelihood of co-authorship: women and men were equally likely to co-author publications with another full professor of the same gender. In contrast, male full professors were more likely than female full professors to co-author publications with a same-gender assistant professor. This is consistent with a tendency for men to cooperate more than women with same-sex individuals of differing rank.

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Gender Differences in Leadership Role Occupancy: The Mediating Role of Power Motivation

Sebastian Schuh et al.
Journal of Business Ethics, March 2014, Pages 363-379

Abstract:
Although the proportion of women in leadership positions has grown over the past decades, women are still underrepresented in leadership roles, which poses an ethical challenge to society at large but business in particular. Accordingly, a growing body of research has attempted to unravel the reasons for this inequality. Besides theoretical progress, a central goal of these studies is to inform measures targeted at increasing the share of women in leadership positions. Striving to contribute to these efforts and drawing on several theoretical approaches, the present study provides a contemporary examination of (a) whether women and men differ in their levels of power motivation and (b) whether potential gender differences in this motivation contribute to the unequal distribution of women and men in leadership positions. Results from four studies provide converging support for these assumptions. Specifically, we found that women consistently reported lower power motivation than men. This in turn mediated the link between gender and leadership role occupancy. These results were robust to several methodological variations including samples from different populations (i.e., student samples and large heterogeneous samples of employee), diverse operationalizations of power motivation and leadership role occupancy (self- and other ratings), and study design (cross-sectional and time-lagged designs). Implications for theory and practice, including ways to contribute to a more equal gender distribution in leadership positions, are discussed.

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The Effect of Stereotype Threat on Group Versus Individual Performance

Nicholas Aramovich
Small Group Research, April 2014, Pages 176-197

Abstract:
Stereotype threat has been one of the most studied topics in social psychology in recent years. This research shows that subtle reminders of stereotypes about one’s social category hurt task performance — an effect replicated across several stereotypes and performance domains. Despite extensive research on individual performance, it is unknown how stereotype threat affects group performance. A question of theoretical and practical importance is whether people who face a common stereotype can overcome it by working together. To answer this question, an experiment was conducted comparing the performance of individual women and groups of women on a math/logic problem when faced with a stereotype threat. Results indicated that when facing a stereotype threat, groups outperformed the best individuals and performed just as well as non-threatened groups. This effect was due to threatened groups avoiding problem-solving errors. The implications for understanding group versus individual performance when facing stereotype threats are discussed.

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How stereotypes impair women’s careers in science

Ernesto Reuben, Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 March 2014, Pages 4403–4408

Abstract:
Women outnumber men in undergraduate enrollments, but they are much less likely than men to major in mathematics or science or to choose a profession in these fields. This outcome often is attributed to the effects of negative sex-based stereotypes. We studied the effect of such stereotypes in an experimental market, where subjects were hired to perform an arithmetic task that, on average, both genders perform equally well. We find that without any information other than a candidate’s appearance (which makes sex clear), both male and female subjects are twice more likely to hire a man than a woman. The discrimination survives if performance on the arithmetic task is self-reported, because men tend to boast about their performance, whereas women generally underreport it. The discrimination is reduced, but not eliminated, by providing full information about previous performance on the task. By using the Implicit Association Test, we show that implicit stereotypes are responsible for the initial average bias in sex-related beliefs and for a bias in updating expectations when performance information is self-reported. That is, employers biased against women are less likely to take into account the fact that men, on average, boast more than women about their future performance, leading to suboptimal hiring choices that remain biased in favor of men.

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Cross-Assignment Discrimination in Pay: A Test Case of Major League Baseball

Őrn Bodvarsson, Kerry Papps & John Sessions
Labour Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The traditional Becker/Arrow style model of discrimination depicts majority and minority workers as perfectly substitutable inputs, implying that all workers have the same job assignment. The model is only appropriate for determining whether pay differences between, for example, whites and non-whites doing job assignment A are attributable to prejudice (‘within-assignment discrimination’); It is inappropriate, however, for determining whether pay differences between whites in job assignment A and non-whites in job assignment B reflect discriminatory behaviour (‘cross-assignment discrimination’). We test the model of such cross assignment discrimination developed by Bodvarsson and Sessions (2011) using data on Major League Baseball hitters and pitchers for four different seasons during the 1990s, a decade during which monopsony power fell. We find strong evidence of ceteris paribus racial pay differences between hitters and pitchers, as well as evidence that cross-assignment discrimination varies with labour market structure.

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Sexist Behavior Undermines Women’s Performance in a Job Application Situation

Sabine Koch, Stefan Konigorski & Monika Sieverding
Sex Roles, February 2014, Pages 79-87

Abstract:
Can sexist behavior in a job application context threaten women and cause them to underperform on a subsequent cognitive ability test? In a simulated job interview, 46 women and 46 men -- undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Heidelberg, Germany -- were confronted with either sexist (dominant and physically close) behavior by a male interviewer or non-sexist (friendly and neutral) behavior by the same confederate. Participants then solved math items and language-related items from a German standard intelligence test. In accordance with our hypothesis, the results indicated that female participants in the sexist condition performed significantly worse on the mathematical test than female participants in the control condition. The performance of female participants on the language-related test and male participants on both the math and language-related tests did not differ by experimental condition. After the sexist job interview, women’s impaired performance, occurring on the math items only (i.e., specific to the domain in which women are negatively stereotyped), suggests an influence of psychological and interpersonal processes on seemingly objective test outcomes.

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Attributional gender bias: Teachers’ ability and effort explanations for students’ math performance

Penelope Espinoza, Ana Arêas da Luz Fontes & Clarissa Arms-Chavez
Social Psychology of Education, March 2014, Pages 105-126

Abstract:
Research is presented on the attributional gender bias: the tendency to generate different attributions (explanations) for female versus male students’ performance in math. Whereas boys’ successes in math are attributed to ability, girls’ successes are attributed to effort; conversely, boys’ failures in math are attributed to a lack of effort and girls’ failures to a lack of ability. This bias has been shown in previous research to be committed by teachers, parents, and students themselves. The present work sought to investigate whether this bias among secondary school math teachers might be reduced over time through adoption of an incremental theory of intelligence. Findings revealed at baseline, teachers committed the expected bias in reference to their high-achieving students’ math performance. Following exposure to stimuli, teachers in both experimental and control conditions reduced this bias. Unexpectedly, teachers across conditions showed a type of compensation for the bias by reversing stereotypical attributions for girls’ and boys’ successes and failures in math. Further, participants relapsed to the original bias nearly a year later. Findings indicate the potential to modify attributional gender bias, but also the challenges for achieving long-term changes within school contexts and for emphasizing effort beyond ability in math performance.

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Threat in Context: School Moderation of the Impact of Social Identity Threat on Racial/Ethnic Achievement Gaps

Paul Hanselman et al.
Sociology of Education, April 2014, Pages 106-124

Abstract:
Schools with very few and relatively low-performing marginalized students may be most likely to trigger social identity threats (including stereotype threats) that contribute to racial disparities. We test this hypothesis by assessing variation in the benefits of a self-affirmation intervention designed to counteract social identity threat in a randomized trial in all 11 middle schools in Madison, Wisconsin. We find that school context moderates the benefits of self-affirmation for black and Hispanic students’ grades, with partial support among standardized achievement outcomes. Self-affirmation reduced the very large racial achievement gap in overall grade point average by 12.5 percent in high-threat school contexts and had no effect in low-threat contexts. These self-affirmation activities have the potential to help close some of the largest racial/ethnic achievement gaps, though only in specific school contexts.

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The Impact of Israel's Class-Based Affirmative Action Policy on Admission and Academic Outcomes

Sigal Alon & Ofer Malamud
Economics of Education Review, June 2014, Pages 123–139

Abstract:
In the early to mid-2000s, four flagship Israeli selective universities introduced a voluntary need-blind and color-blind affirmative action policy for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program allowed departments to offer admission to academically borderline applicants who were above a certain threshold of disadvantage. We examine the effect of eligibility for affirmative action on admission and enrollment outcomes as well as on academic achievement using a regression discontinuity (RD) design. We show that students who were just barely eligible for this voluntary policy had a significantly higher probability of admission and enrollment, as compared to otherwise similar students. The affirmative action program also led to higher rates of admission to the most selective majors. Moreover, after enrollment, AA-eligible students are not falling behind academically, even at the most selective majors. Our results suggest the potential for a long-lasting impact of class-based preferences in admission on social and economic mobility.

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Height and Earnings: The Role of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills

Petter Lundborg, Paul Nystedt & Dan-Olof Rooth
Journal of Human Resources, Winter 2014, Pages 141-166

Abstract:
We use large-scale register data on 450,000 Swedish males who underwent mandatory military enlistment at age 18, and a subsample of 150,000 siblings, to examine why tall people earn more. We show the importance of both cognitive and noncognitive skills, as well as family background and muscular strength for the height-earnings relationship. In addition, we show that a substantial height premium remains after these factors have been accounted for, which originates from very short people having low earnings. This is mostly explained by the sorting of short people into low-paid occupations, which may indicate discrimination by stature.

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Testosterone is associated with self-employment among Australian men

Francis Greene et al.
Economics & Human Biology, March 2014, Pages 76–84

Abstract:
Testosterone has pronounced effects on men's physiological development and smaller, more nuanced, impacts on their economic behavior. In this study of 1199 Australian adult males, we investigate the relationship between the self-employed and their serum testosterone levels. Because prior studies have identified that testosterone is a hormone that is responsive to external factors (e.g. competition, risk-taking), we explicitly control for omitted variable bias and reverse causality by using an instrumental variable approach. We use insulin as our primary instrument to account for endogeneity between testosterone and self-employment. This is because prior research has identified a relationship between insulin and testosterone but not between insulin and self-employment. Our results show that there is a positive association between total testosterone and self-employment. Robustness checks using bioavailable testosterone and another similar instrument (daily alcohol consumption) confirm this positive finding.

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Gender Differences in Experimental Wage Negotiations

Marcus Dittrich, Andreas Knabe & Kristina Leipold
Economic Inquiry, April 2014, Pages 862–873

Abstract:
We examine behavioral gender differences and gender pairing effects in a laboratory experiment with face-to-face alternating-offers wage bargaining. Our results suggest that gender differences in bargaining behavior are role-dependent. We find that women obtain worse bargaining outcomes than men when they take on the role of employees, but not when they act as employers. Differences in bargaining outcomes can be explained by the bargaining parties' initial offers and counteroffers. We do not find evidence for behavioral differences between men and women in the process of alternating offers after first offers and counteroffers are made.

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When Civic Virtue isn’t Seen as Virtuous: The Effect of Gender Stereotyping on Civic Virtue Expectations for Women

Dan Chiaburu et al.
Sex Roles, March 2014, Pages 183-194

Abstract:
We examined the extent to which observers’ expectations of target employees’ civic virtue organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) are a function of both observer- (gender stereotype activation, threat) and target-related (gender) influences. Consistent with a role congruity perspective, we proposed that civic virtue (constructive involvement in the political governance process of the organization) will be expected to a lesser extent of women, but only when gender stereotypes are activated. We confirm this hypothesis across two studies. In Study 1, based on a sample of 187 U.S. undergraduate students (101 women, 86 men), we show that less civic virtue is expected of women when observers’ gender stereotypes are experimentally activated (vs. the non-activated condition). Using an additional sample of 197 U.S. undergraduate students (Study 2; 118 women, 79 men), we extend our findings by demonstrating that less civic virtue was expected of women in a high (vs. low) threat (manipulated) condition. Findings for men are included for comparative and general informational purposes only. We observed no significant changes in civic virtue expectations for men due to our study manipulations. Our research extends prior studies by showing that expectations for civic virtue are diminished for women, but only when gender stereotypes and threat are activated.

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Gender Structure and the Effects of Management Citizenship Behavior

Charles Brody, Beth Rubin & David Maume
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
We draw on gender structure theory, along with ideas about stereotyping and status characteristics, to develop hypotheses about how the gendered behaviors of male and female managers differentially impact the organizational commitment and mental health of their employees. We predict that the generally positive effects of management citizenship behaviors (Hodson 1999) will be less so in the case of female managers, especially for their male employees. Analyses of the 2002 National Survey of the Changing Workforce provide substantial support for our hypotheses despite the fact that we find no significant differences in the perceived management citizenship behaviors of male and female managers. We discuss the importance of these findings for organizational inequality and their relevance to ongoing discussion of the “stalled revolution” in gender equality.

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Gendering Abbottabad: Agency and Hegemonic Masculinity in an Age of Global Terrorism

Lori Poloni-Staudinger & Candice Ortbals
Gender Issues, March 2014, Pages 34-57

Abstract:
During the week after the United States’ raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011, the media discussed women associated with the raid. Media reported that bin Laden hid “behind a woman” during the raid, describing bin Laden’s wife as a human shield. The press also discussed a photo of the Situation Room during the raid, calling attention to Hillary Clinton, who was thought to be gasping out of emotion in the photo. The narratives surrounding Amal Ahmed al-Sadah (married to bin Laden) and Secretary Clinton elicit insights into the place of gender vis-à-vis terrorism. In this paper, we content analyze non-op-ed newswires, debating how/whether the media framed al-Sadah and Clinton as political agents, feminine representations, and/or as superfluous to terrorism. We find that the press described Clinton as emotional and largely saw al-Sadah as passive and generically as a wife. Women were portrayed differently than men, who are considered active, but unemotional. Additionally, articles critiqued President Obama’s posture and clothing in the Situation Room and disparaged Osama bin Laden for unmanliness. We therefore conclude that the mainstream, print media press prioritizes hegemonic masculinity when discussing terrorism, overlooking women’s agency and ascribing feminine identities to women and marginalized masculinities to certain men.

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By Whom and When Is Women’s Expertise Recognized? The Interactive Effects of Gender and Education in Science and Engineering Teams

Aparna Joshi
Administrative Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using a round-robin data set assembled from over 60 teams of more than 500 scientists and engineers across a variety of science and engineering disciplines, as well as longitudinal research productivity data, this study examines differences in how men and women in science and engineering teams evaluate their colleagues’ expertise and how that affects team performance. Because these teams are assembled to enhance innovations, they are most productive if they fully utilize the expertise of all team members. Applying a social relations modeling approach, two studies conducted in multidisciplinary research centers in a large public U.S. university test whether a team’s gender composition predicts how well women’s expertise is used within the team, based on peer evaluations of male and female team members with varying education levels. A third study returns to the same two research centers to examine whether the larger context in which the team operates affects the use of expertise and the team’s productivity. An important finding is that the gender and educational attributes of the person being evaluated are less critical to the recognition of expertise than the attributes of the person conducting the evaluation and the relationship between these two team members. In addition, context matters: gender-integrated teams with a higher proportion of highly educated women are more productive in disciplines with a greater female faculty representation.

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“You're in the Army Now:” The Impact of World War II on Women's Education, Work, and Family

Taylor Jaworski
Journal of Economic History, March 2014, Pages 169-195

Abstract:
World War II temporarily halted the rise in high school and college graduation rates. This article shows that manpower mobilization for World War II decreased educational attainment among high school-age females during the early 1940s, reduced employment and earnings, and altered decisions regarding family formation. I then provide evidence that women in this cohort returned to school in later life and relate these findings to the “quiet revolution” taking place as women learned about the benefits of school and work over the second half of the twentieth century.

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Men’s Mobility into Management From Blue Collar and White Collar Jobs: Race Differences Across the Early Career Years

George Wilson & David Maume
Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Within the context of the “particularistic mobility thesis” we examine racial differences in the incidence, and determinants of, as well as timing to, mobility into management across the critical early career years at a refined level, namely, when groups share similar white collar and blue collar jobs. Findings from a Panel Study of Income Dynamics sample of men support theory and indicate that from both job levels a racial hierarchy exists: African Americans have the lowest rate of mobility, reach management through a route that is relatively formal and structured by a traditional range of stratification-based causal factors and take longest to reach management. Whites, in contrast, have the highest mobility rate, reach management through a relatively informal path that is less structured by traditional stratification-based factors, and reach management the quickest, and, across all three issues Latinos occupy an intermediate ground between African Americans and Latinos. Further, as predicted by theory, racial differences, particularly, relative to whites, are greater among those tracked from blue collar jobs than white collar jobs. Discussed are implications of the findings for understanding racial disadvantage in the American labor market across the work-career and on an inter-generational basis.

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Student Portfolios and the College Admissions Problem

Hector Chade, Gregory Lewis & Lones Smith
Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
We develop a decentralized Bayesian model of college admissions with two ranked colleges, heterogeneous students and two realistic match frictions: students find it costly to apply to college, and college evaluations of their applications are uncertain. Students thus face a portfolio choice problem in their application decision, while colleges choose admissions standards that act like market-clearing prices. Enrollment at each college is affected by the standards at the other college through student portfolio reallocation. In equilibrium, student-college sorting may fail: weaker students sometimes apply more aggressively, and the weaker college might impose higher standards. Applying our framework, we analyze affirmative action, showing how it induces minority applicants to construct their application portfolios as if they were majority students of higher caliber.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Profit and loss

Management Practices, Relational Contracts, and the Decline of General Motors

Susan Helper & Rebecca Henderson
Journal of Economic Perspectives, Winter 2014, Pages 49-72

Abstract:
General Motors was once regarded as the best-managed and most successful firm in the world. However, between 1980 and 2009, GM's US market share fell from 46 to 20 percent, and in 2009 the firm went bankrupt. We argue that the conventional explanation for this decline — namely high legacy labor and healthcare costs — is seriously incomplete, and that GM's share collapsed for many of the same reasons that many highly successful American firms of the 1960s were forced from the market, including a failure to understand the nature of the competition they faced and an inability to respond effectively once they did. We focus particularly on the problems GM encountered in developing the relational contracts essential to modern design and manufacturing, and we discuss a number of possible causes for these difficulties. We suggest that GM's experience may have important implications for our understanding of the role of management in the modern, knowledge-based firm and for the potential revival of manufacturing in the United States.

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A Day in the Saddle Can Take its Toll: The Impact of Accumulated Time, Work Intensity, and Work Breaks on Hand Hygiene Compliance

Hengchen Dai et al.
University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, August 2013

Abstract:
In order to deliver high quality, reliable, and consistent services safely, organizations develop professional standards. These standards may be adopted from external agencies (e.g., professional industry groups, external regulators) or developed through the internal documentation and proliferation of best practices. Despite the communication and reinforcement of these standards, they are often not followed consistently. Although previous research suggests that high job demands are associated with declines in compliance over lengthy intervals, we argue that the impact of job demands might accumulate more quickly – even within the course of a single day. We tested this hypothesis using longitudinal field observations of over 4,157 caregivers in the healthcare industry whose compliance with hand hygiene guidelines was recorded in 35 hospitals on 13.7 million separate occasions. Consistent with our theoretical arguments focused on depletion and fatigue, we found that hand hygiene compliance rates dropped on average by 7.2 percentage points from the beginning to the end of a typical, 12-hour work shift. This decline in compliance was magnified by increased work intensity. Further, longer breaks between work shifts increased subsequent compliance rates, and such benefits were more significant for individuals when they had ended the preceding shift with lower compliance rates. The implications of these findings for patient safety and job design are discussed.

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A study of expressive choice and strikes

Christa Brunnschweiler, Colin Jennings & Ian MacKenzie
European Journal of Political Economy, June 2014, Pages 111–125

Abstract:
The conventional explanation for strikes is that they are caused by an asymmetry of information about the profitability of the firm – union members are uninformed whereas management are informed. Instead, this paper builds a model of strikes where a perception of unfairness provides an expressive benefit to vote for a strike. The asymmetry of information is now reversed such that management are uninformed about the emotionality of union members. The model predicts that larger union size increases both wage offers and the incidence of strikes. An empirical test using UK data provides support for the predictions. In particular, union size is positively correlated with the incidence of strikes and other industrial actions, even when asymmetric information regarding profitability is controlled for.

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Volume Flexibility in Services: The Costs and Benefits of Flexible Labor Resources

Saravanan Kesavan, Bradley Staats & Wendell Gilland
Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Organizations can create volume flexibility — the ability to increase capacity up or down to meet demand for a single service — through the use of flexible labor resources (e.g., part-time and temporary workers, as compared to full-time workers). Although organizations are increasingly using these resources, the relationship between flexible labor resources and financial performance has not been examined empirically in the service setting. We use two years of archival data from 445 stores of a large retailer to study this relationship. We hypothesize and find that increasing the labor mix of temporary or part-time workers shows an inverted U-shaped relationship with sales and profit while temporary labor mix has a U-shaped relationship with expenses. Thus, although flexible labor resources can create volume flexibility for a firm along multiple dimensions, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

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Dynamic Incentive Effects of Relative Performance Pay: A Field Experiment

Josse Delfgaauw et al.
Labour Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We conduct a field experiment among 189 stores of a retail chain to study dynamic incentive effects of relative performance pay. Employees in the randomly selected treatment stores could win a bonus by outperforming three comparable stores from the control group over the course of four weeks. Treatment stores received weekly feedback on relative performance. Control stores were kept unaware of their involvement, so that their performance generates exogenous variation in the relative performance of the treatment stores. As predicted by theory, we find that treatment stores that lag far behind do not respond to the incentives, while the responsiveness of treatment stores close to winning a bonus increases in relative performance. On average, the introduction of the relative performance pay scheme does not lead to higher performance.

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Lighting The Way Or Stealing The Shine? An Examination Of The Duality In Star Scientists’ Effects On Firm Innovative Performance

Rebecca Kehoe & Daniel Tzabbar
Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Do star employees enhance or constrain the innovative performance of an organization? Using data from 456 biotechnology firms between 1973 and 2003, we highlight the duality of the effects that stars have on firm performance. We show that while stars positively affect firms’ productivity, their presence constrains the emergence of other innovative leaders in an organization. We find that firm productivity and innovative leadership among non-stars in a firm are greatest when a star has broad expertise and collaborates frequently. We offer cross-disciplinary insights into the role of human capital as a source of competitive advantage, suggesting that the value of human capital in a firm is contingent on the mutual dependence inherent in high-status employees’ relationships with other individuals in a firm.

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Better not look too nice? Employees' preferences towards (un)likeable managers

Benny Geys
Leadership Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent research shows that, all else equal, most people prefer likeable colleagues. In this article, two experiments are employed to analyze preferences with respect to (un)likeable superiors. We thereby focus on perceptions of likeability based on appearance rather than as a behavioral characteristic, which allows us to concentrate on the impact of quick, unconscious evaluations in zero-acquaintance situations. The results indicate that, all else equal, managers of higher perceived likeability are less preferred than managers of lower perceived likeability. Such likeability-aversion emerges among male and female respondents, affects male and female managers, and holds both for preferences expressed from the perspective of employees (Experiment 1) or a HR department (Experiment 2).

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Does Performance Consistency Pay Off Financially for Players? Evidence From the Bundesliga

Christian Deutscher & Arne Büschemann
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The purpose of the current study is to investigate how consistency of professional soccer players’ performance affects salaries in the German Bundesliga. Using game-level data for five consecutive seasons (n = 34,413 player–match day observations), we find empirical evidence for a salary premium to players showing volatility in performance. Applying ordinary least squares, fixed-effects as well as quantile regression analyses, this effect remains robust.

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Are two interviewers better than one?

Mario Fifić & Gerd Gigerenzer
Journal of Business Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
How many interviewers per job applicant are necessary for a company to achieve the highest hit rate? Are two better than one? Condorcet's Jury Theorem and the “wisdom of the crowd” suggest that more is better. Under quite general conditions this study shows, surprisingly, that two interviewers are on average not superior to the best interviewer. Adding further interviewers will also not increase the expected collective hit rate when interviewers are homogeneous (i.e., their hits are nested), only doing so when interviewers are heterogeneous (i.e., their hits are not nested). The current study shows how these results depend on the number of interviewers, their expertise, and the chance of free riding, and specify the conditions when “less is more”. This analysis suggests that the best policy is to invest resources into improving the quality of the best interviewer rather than distribute these to improve the quality of many interviewers.

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The Effect of High-Performing Mentors on Junior Officer Promotion in the US Army

David Lyle & John Smith
Journal of Labor Economics, April 2014, Pages 229-258

Abstract:
Military assignment mechanisms provide a unique opportunity to estimate the impact of high-performing mentors on job advancement of their subordinates. Combining US Army administrative data with officer evaluation reports, we find that high-performing mentors positively affect early junior officer promotion and that early promotion probabilities rise as the duration of the high-quality mentorship increases. These effects are largest for high-ability protégés. Junior officers who were exposed to multiple high-performing mentors did not experience an additional increase in promotion rates.

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Beginning the workday yet already depleted? Consequences of late-night smartphone use and sleep

Klodiana Lanaj, Russell Johnson & Christopher Barnes
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, May 2014, Pages 11–23

Abstract:
Smartphones have become a prevalent technology as they provide employees with instant access to work-related information and communications outside of the office. Despite these advantages, there may be some costs of smartphone use for work at night. Drawing from ego depletion theory, we examined whether smartphone use depletes employees’ regulatory resources and impairs their engagement at work the following day. Across two studies using experience sampling methodology, we found that smartphone use for work at night increased depletion the next morning via its effects on sleep. Morning depletion in turn diminished daily work engagement. The indirect effects of smartphone use on depletion and engagement the next day were incremental to the effects of other electronic devices (e.g., computer, tablet, and television use). We also found some support that the negative effects of morning depletion on daily work engagement may be buffered by job control, such that depletion impairs work engagement only for employees who experience low job control.

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Experimental evidence for the effects of task repetitiveness on mental strain and objective work performance

Jan Alexander Häusser et al.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
People frequently have to work in high repetitive jobs. Previous research has focused exclusively on the effects of task repetitiveness on well-being, while neglecting effects on work performance. In the present study, we aimed to fill this void by conducting two workplace simulations with experimental manipulations of task repetitiveness. Participants worked for about 5 hours at either a computer workstation, compiling computer hardware packages according to customer requests (Experiment 1, N = 160), or at an assembly line, piecing together equipment sets for furniture (Experiment 2, N = 213). Both experiments provide consistent evidence that high repetitiveness has a detrimental effect on well-being, whereas work performance increases under conditions of high repetitiveness. On a practical level, our study hence shows that high task repetitiveness is a double-edged sword for both employees and organizations. On a conceptual level, our findings emphasize the necessity to account for both mental strain and work performance when examining the effects of task repetitiveness.

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Social Comparison and Effort Provision: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Alain Cohn et al.
Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming

Abstract:
Social comparison has potentially far reaching consequences in many economic domains. We conducted a field experiment to examine how social comparison affects workers' effort provision if their own wage or that of a co-worker is cut. Workers were assigned to groups of two, performed identical individual tasks, and received the same performance-independent hourly wage. Cutting both group members' wages caused a decrease in performance. But when only one group member's wage was cut, the affected workers decreased their performance more than twice as much as when both workers' wages were cut. This finding indicates that social comparison among workers affects effort provision because the only difference between the two wage-cut treatments is the other group member's wage level. In contrast, workers whose wage was not cut but who witnessed their group member's pay being cut displayed no change in performance relative to the baseline treatment in which both workers' wages remained unchanged. This indicates that social comparison exerts asymmetric effects on effort.

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Supercenters, Unionized Labor, and Performance in Food Retail

Richard Volpe
Industrial Relations, April 2014, Pages 325–355

Abstract:
This study examines the impact of unionized labor on supermarket performance, as measured by profit and sales, accounting for the competitive presence of supercenters. The results confirm prior research that shows that supercenters have negative effects on supermarket performance. Unionized supermarkets generally outperform nonunionized supermarkets. However this effect disappears when accounting for supercenters, largely because unionized stores are less likely to compete with supercenters. I find no evidence for a significant union effect on supermarket performance. The deleterious effects of supercenters are stronger for unionized stores. Unionized supermarkets utilize less full-time labor and more labor-saving technology than do nonunionized ones.

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Span of Control and Span of Attention

Oriana Bandiera et al.
Harvard Working Paper, February 2014

Abstract:
Using novel data on CEO time use, we document the relationship between the size and composition of the executive team and the attention of the CEO. We combine information about CEO span of control for a sample of 65 companies with detailed data on how CEOs allocate their time, which we define as their span of attention. CEOs with larger executive teams do not save time for personal use, or to cultivate external constituencies. Instead, CEOs with broader spans of control invest more in a “team” model of interaction. They spend more time internally, specifically in pre-planned meetings that have more participants from different functions. The complementarity between span of control and the team model of interaction is more prevalent in larger firms.

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Working Harder or Hardly Working? Posting Performance Eliminates Social Loafing and Promotes Social Laboring in Workgroups

Robert Lount & Steffanie Wilk
Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
The current paper examines how posting performance — an act that triggers increased social comparisons between workers — influences employees' motivation when working in groups. In the study, posting employee performance moderated the relationship between groupwork and employee motivation. When individual performance was publicly posted in the workplace, employees working in a group performed better than when working alone (i.e., social laboring); however, when individual performance was not posted, employees working in a group performed worse than when working alone (i.e., social loafing). The findings shed light on how social comparisons can have positive implications for employee performance in groups.

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Are Referrals More Productive or More Likeable? Social Networks and the Evaluation of Merit

Uri Shwed & Alexandra Kalev
American Behavioral Scientist, February 2014, Pages 288-308

Abstract:
Scholars and practitioners agree that referrals provide firms with better workers. Economists and sociologists debate whether the underlying mechanism behind such relations is a better match between workers and firms or an advantage conferred by social relations. Building on insights from network theory and cognitive psychology, we offer a new approach to the debate, arguing that network relations can also create evaluative bias. We reexamine the connection between social ties and workers’ performance using unique data on the actual productivity of sales employees and their evaluations in a large global firm. Results suggest that the preexistence of ties between an incoming employee and insiders in the firm creates an evaluative advantage — an advantage that is unrelated to workers’ concrete performance. We discuss the implications of these results for a relational approach to social stratification, organizations and work, as well as social networks.

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Signaling in Secret: Pay for Performance and the Incentive and Sorting Effects of Pay Secrecy

Elena Belogolovsky & Peter Bamberger
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although the vast majority of U.S. firms follow a policy of pay secrecy, research provides a limited understanding of its overall utility to organizations. Building on signaling theory, we develop and test a model of the incentive and sorting effects of pay secrecy -- a pay communication policy that limits employees' access to pay-related information and discourages the discussion of pay issues - under varying pay-for-performance (PFP) system characteristics. Results of a multi-round laboratory simulation largely support the proposed moderated-mediation model. They indicate that pay secrecy has an adverse impact on individual task performance that is mediated by PFP perceptions and amplified when pay determination criteria are relative (as opposed to absolute) and attenuated when performance assessment is objective (as opposed to subjective). They also indicate that pay secrecy has a similar adverse effect on participant continuation intentions (mediated through PFP perceptions, amplified when pay determination criteria are relative and attenuated when performance assessment is objective), particularly among high performers. These findings suggest that weak signals associated with a particular managerial practice may become salient when interpreted in the context of other practice-based signals, and that under such conditions, even weak signals may drive negative-oriented inferences having important behavioral implications.

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More Stars Stay, But The Brightest Ones Still Leave: Job Hopping In The Shadow Of Patent Enforcement

Martin Ganco, Rosemarie Ziedonis & Rajshree Agarwal
Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Competitive advantage often rests on the skills and expertise of individuals that may leave for rival organizations. Although institutional factors like non-compete regimes shape intra-industry mobility patterns, far less is known about firm-specific reputations built through patent enforcement. This study formally models and empirically tests how a firm's prior litigiousness over patents (i.e., its reputation for IP toughness) influences employee mobility. Based on inventor data from the U.S. semiconductor industry, we find that litigiousness not only diminishes the proclivity of inventive workers to ‘job hop’ to others in the industry, it also shifts the distribution of talent released to the market. The study contributes new insights linking firm-level reputations as tough legal enforcers to the ‘stay versus exit’ calculus of knowledge workers.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Outsiders

MLK Day and Racial Attitudes: Liking the Group More but Its Members Less

William Chopik et al.
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Intuition suggests that the Martin Luther King holiday (MLK Day) should improve racial attitudes toward African Americans. However, its influence may depend on whether African Americans are evaluated as a group or individually. In two studies, we assessed racial attitudes either on MLK Day or on a control day. As might be expected, participants had more sympathetic attitudes towards African Americans as a group on MLK Day compared to control days; however, they evaluated individual African American exemplars more negatively on MLK Day compared to control days, who presumably seemed worse by comparison to the eminent political figure.

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Children's racial bias in perceptions of others' pain

Rebecca Dore et al.
British Journal of Developmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research indicates that American adults, both Black and White, assume a priori that Black people feel less pain than do White people (Trawalter, Hoffman, & Waytz, 2012, PLoS One, 7[11], 1–8). The present work investigates when in development this bias emerges. Five-, 7-, and 10-year-olds first rated the amount of pain they themselves would feel in 10 situations such as biting their tongue or hitting their head. They then rated the amount of pain they believed two other children – a Black child and a White child, matched to the child's gender – would feel in response to the same events. We found that by age 7, children show a weak racial bias and that by age 10, they show a strong and reliable racial bias. Consistent with research on adults, this bias was not moderated by race-related attitudes or interracial contact. This finding is important because knowing the age of emergence can inform the timing of interventions to prevent this bias.

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The Effect of Belief in Free Will on Prejudice

Xian Zhao et al.
PLoS ONE, March 2014

Abstract:
The current research examined the role of the belief in free will on prejudice across Han Chinese and white samples. Belief in free will refers to the extent to which people believe human beings truly have free will. In Study 1, the beliefs of Han Chinese people in free will were measured, and their social distances from the Tibetan Chinese were used as an index of ethnic prejudice. The results showed that the more that Han Chinese endorsed the belief in free will, the less that they showed prejudice against the Tibetan Chinese. In Study 2, the belief of the Han Chinese in free will was manipulated, and their explicit feelings towards the Uyghur Chinese were used as an indicator of ethnic prejudice. The results showed that the participants in the condition of belief in free will reported less prejudice towards Uyghur Chinese compared to their counterparts in the condition of disbelief in free will. In Study 3, white peoples’ belief in free will was manipulated, and their pro-black attitudes were measured as an indirect indicator of racial prejudice. The results showed that, compared to the condition of disbelief in free will, the participants who were primed by a belief in free will reported stronger pro-black attitudes. These three studies suggest that endorsement of the belief in free will can lead to decreased ethnic/racial prejudice compared to denial of the belief in free will. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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The Sins of Their Fathers: When Current Generations Are Held to Account for the Transgressions of Previous Generations

Nobuhiko Goto et al.
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
When are current generations held accountable for transgressions committed by previous generations? In two studies, we test the prediction that current generations will only be assigned guilt for past atrocities when victim group members perceive high levels of cultural continuity between historical perpetrators and the current generation within the perpetrator group. Japanese participants were presented with information describing the current generation of Americans as either similar or dissimilar in personality to the Americans who were implicated in dropping the atomic bomb on Japan during World War II. The results of both studies revealed that victim group members assigned more guilt to current Americans when they perceived high (compared to low) outgroup continuity, and they did so relatively independently of the transgressor group's guilt expressions.

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Reach Out and Reduce Prejudice: The Impact of Interpersonal Touch on Intergroup Liking

Charles Seger et al.
Basic and Applied Social Psychology, January/February 2014, Pages 51-58

Abstract:
A brief, casual interpersonal touch results in positive behavior toward the toucher, presumably because touch is a cue to friendship. Research on intergroup contact shows that feelings of friendship toward an individual outgroup member reduce prejudice toward that entire group. Integrating these areas, we examined whether interpersonal touch by an outgroup member could reduce prejudice. In three replications in two studies, interpersonal touch decreased implicit, though not explicit, prejudice toward the toucher's group. Effects of interpersonal touch can extend beyond the toucher to others sharing the toucher's ethnicity, and findings suggest that such effects are automatic and outside conscious awareness.

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The Ontogeny of the Motivation That Underlies In-Group Bias

David Buttelmann & Robert Böhm
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Humans demonstrate a clear bias toward members of their own group over members of other groups in a variety of ways. It has been argued that the motivation underlying this in-group bias in adults may be favoritism toward one’s own group (in-group love), derogation of the out-group (out-group hate), or both. Although some studies have demonstrated in-group bias among children and infants, nothing is known about the underlying motivations of this bias. Using a novel game, we found that in-group love is already present in children of preschool age and can motivate in-group-biased behavior across childhood. In contrast, out-group hate develops only after a child’s sixth birthday and is a sufficient motivation for in-group-biased behavior from school age onward. These results help to better identify the motivation that underlies in-group-biased behavior in children.

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Beyond Deserving More: Psychological Entitlement Also Predicts Negative Attitudes Toward Personally Relevant Out-Groups

Phyllis Anastasio & Karen Rose
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Psychological entitlement is defined as the “stable and pervasive sense that one deserves more and is entitled to more than others.” Research has shown those high in entitlement tend to behave selfishly, experience greater workplace conflict, and are low on the Big Five trait of Agreeableness. In a series of four studies, we demonstrate that psychological entitlement also predicts negative views of out-groups: It predicted lower liking for a rival student body, prejudice toward lesbians and gay men, negative attitudes toward female equality among male participants, and modern racism toward African Americans. Given that entitlement was unrelated to in-group identification or favoritism, these results suggest that it may be possible for those higher in entitlement to hold more negative views of out-groups without stronger in-group identification. Combined with previous findings, these studies suggest that the role of “others” in entitlement goes beyond merely believing that one deserves more than them.

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The Content of Our Cooperation, Not the Color of Our Skin: An Alliance Detection System Regulates Categorization by Coalition and Race, but Not Sex

David Pietraszewski, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby
PLoS ONE, February 2014

Abstract:
Humans in all societies form and participate in cooperative alliances. To successfully navigate an alliance-laced world, the human mind needs to detect new coalitions and alliances as they emerge, and predict which of many potential alliance categories are currently organizing an interaction. We propose that evolution has equipped the mind with cognitive machinery that is specialized for performing these functions: an alliance detection system. In this view, racial categories do not exist because skin color is perceptually salient; they are constructed and regulated by the alliance system in environments where race predicts social alliances and divisions. Early tests using adversarial alliances showed that the mind spontaneously detects which individuals are cooperating against a common enemy, implicitly assigning people to rival alliance categories based on patterns of cooperation and competition. But is social antagonism necessary to trigger the categorization of people by alliance—that is, do we cognitively link A and B into an alliance category only because they are jointly in conflict with C and D? We report new studies demonstrating that peaceful cooperation can trigger the detection of new coalitional alliances and make race fade in relevance. Alliances did not need to be marked by team colors or other perceptually salient cues. When race did not predict the ongoing alliance structure, behavioral cues about cooperative activities up-regulated categorization by coalition and down-regulated categorization by race, sometimes eliminating it. Alliance cues that sensitively regulated categorization by coalition and race had no effect on categorization by sex, eliminating many alternative explanations for the results. The results support the hypothesis that categorizing people by their race is a reversible product of a cognitive system specialized for detecting alliance categories and regulating their use. Common enemies are not necessary to erase important social boundaries; peaceful cooperation can have the same effect.

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“I pick you”: The impact of fairness and race on infants’ selection of social partners

Monica Burns & Jessica Sommerville
Frontiers in Psychology, February 2014

Abstract:
By 15 months of age infants are sensitive to violations of fairness norms as assessed via their enhanced visual attention to unfair versus fair outcomes in violation-of-expectation paradigms. The current study investigated whether 15-month-old infants select social partners on the basis of prior fair versus unfair behavior, and whether infants integrate social selections on the basis of fairness with the race of the distributors and recipients involved in the exchange. Experiment 1 demonstrated that after witnessing one adult distribute toys to two recipients fairly (2:2 distribution), and another adult distribute toys to two recipients unfairly (1:3 distribution), Caucasian infants selected fair over unfair distributors when both distributors were Caucasian; however, this preference was not present when the fair actor was Asian and the unfair actor was Caucasian. In Experiment 2, when fairness, the race of the distributor, and the race of the recipients were fully crossed, Caucasian infants’ social selections varied as a function of the race of the recipient advantaged by the unfair distributor. Specifically, infants were more likely to select the fair distributor when the unfair recipient advantaged the Asian (versus the Caucasian) recipient. These findings provide evidence that infants select social partners on the basis of prior fair behavior and that infants also take into account the race of distributors and recipients when making their social selections.

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Exposure to Outgroup Members Criticizing Their Own Group Facilitates Intergroup Openness

Tamar Saguy & Eran Halperin
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
A major barrier to conflict resolution is group members’ tendency to hold on to the ingroup’s narrative of the conflict and reject the outgroup’s perspective. In the current research, we propose that voicing internal criticism to an outgroup crowd can undermine such orientations and foster intergroup openness. Across four experiments, Israeli Jews who were exposed to a Palestinian criticizing Palestinians were more open to the Palestinians’ perspective of the conflict, than those not exposed to the criticism. This effect was obtained when the criticism was related (Study 1) and unrelated (Study 2) to the conflict, and was consistently mediated by increased hope about the future relations between the groups. Study 3 showed that the effect is more pronounced among those who believe that groups can change. Study 4 established that perceptions about the outgroup as open-minded underlie the effect of ingroup criticism on hope, and further demonstrated downstream effects of openness.

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Changing Race Boundary Perception by Reading Narrative Fiction

Dan Johnson, Brandie Huffman & Danny Jasper
Basic and Applied Social Psychology, January/February 2014, Pages 83-90

Abstract:
Participants read a story about a counterstereotypical Muslim woman and were then asked to determine the race of ambiguous-race Arab-Caucasian faces. Compared to a content-matched control condition, participants who read the narrative exhibited lower categorical race bias by making fewer categorical race judgments and perceiving greater genetic overlap between Arabs and Caucasians (Experiment 1). In Experiment 2, participants determined the race of ambiguous-race Arab-Caucasian faces depicting low and moderate anger. Emotion-related perceptual race bias was observed in the control conditions where higher intensity anger expressions led participants to disproportionately categorize faces as Arab. This bias was eliminated in the narrative condition.

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Creating positive out-group attitudes through intergroup couple friendships and implications for compassionate love

Keith Welker et al.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, forthcoming

Abstract:
Building personal relationships with out-group members is an important catalyst of positive intergroup attitudes. In a 2 × 2 experimental design, Caucasian and African American individuals and couples were randomly assigned to interact in either cross-race or same-race individual dyads and couple pairs. Participants completed pretest measures of race attitudes and engaged in a high self-disclosure closeness-induction task with an in-group or out-group race member in pairs of couples or individuals and completed measures of self-disclosure and intergroup attitudes. These results suggest that intergroup contact in the presence of romantic partners may be particularly effective for improving intergroup attitudes. We explore the implications of these results for developing compassionate love toward out-groups.

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The Emergence of “Us and Them” in 80 Lines of Code: Modeling Group Genesis in Homogeneous Populations

Kurt Gray et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Psychological explanations of group genesis often require population heterogeneity in identity or other characteristics, whether deep (e.g., religion) or superficial (e.g., eye color). We used agent-based models to explore group genesis in homogeneous populations and found robust group formation with just two basic principles: reciprocity and transitivity. These emergent groups demonstrated in-group cooperation and out-group defection, even though agents lacked common identity. Group formation increased individual payoffs, and group number and size were robust to varying levels of reciprocity and transitivity. Increasing population size increased group size more than group number, and manipulating baseline trust in a population had predictable effects on group genesis. An interactive demonstration of the parameter space and source code for implementing the model are available online.

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Contextual effect of positive intergroup contact on outgroup prejudice

Oliver Christ et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 18 March 2014, Pages 3996–4000

Abstract:
We assessed evidence for a contextual effect of positive intergroup contact, whereby the effect of intergroup contact between social contexts (the between-level effect) on outgroup prejudice is greater than the effect of individual-level contact within contexts (the within-level effect). Across seven large-scale surveys (five cross-sectional and two longitudinal), using multilevel analyses, we found a reliable contextual effect. This effect was found in multiple countries, operationalizing context at multiple levels (regions, districts, and neighborhoods), and with and without controlling for a range of demographic and context variables. In four studies (three cross-sectional and one longitudinal) we showed that the association between context-level contact and prejudice was largely mediated by more tolerant norms. In social contexts where positive contact with outgroups was more commonplace, norms supported such positive interactions between members of different groups. Thus, positive contact reduces prejudice on a macrolevel, whereby people are influenced by the behavior of others in their social context, not merely on a microscale, via individuals’ direct experience of positive contact with outgroup members. These findings reinforce the view that contact has a significant role to play in prejudice reduction, and has great policy potential as a means to improve intergroup relations, because it can simultaneously impact large numbers of people.

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Why are all the White (Asian) kids sitting together in the cafeteria? Resegregation and the role of intergroup attributions and norms

Ananthi Al Ramiah et al.
British Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Over three studies, we identified the phenomenon of ethnic ‘resegregation’ and assessed the extent to which it was predicted by attributions and norms, among other variables. Study 1, an observational study, showed extensive resegregation between White and Asian students in the cafeteria of a highly mixed school. In Study 2, we found evidence of attributional correspondence for White students, who attributed both their own and the outgroup's contact avoidance more to a lack of interest than fear of rejection, whereas Asian students attributed the outgroup's contact avoidance more to lack of interest, but preferred neither explanation of their own avoidance. In Study 3, we observed a pattern of attributional correspondence among both White and Asian students who attributed both their own and the outgroup's inaction in a hypothetical intergroup cafeteria scenario more to a lack of interest than fear of rejection. Study 3 also demonstrated longitudinally, for both groups, that own lack of interest in the outgroup reduced likelihood of cafeteria contact, whereas having outgroup friends and perceiving positive ingroup norms promoted it. In addition, positive outgroup norms promoted likelihood of cafeteria contact only for Asian students. We discuss how an understanding of the factors driving resegregation is critical to effectively realizing the potential of desegregated settings.

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Differences in Anticipated Interaction Drive Own Group Biases in Face Memory

John Paul Wilson et al.
PLoS ONE, March 2014

Abstract:
According to much research, the Own Group Bias (OGB) in face memory occurs as a consequence of social categorization – ingroup members are more likely than outgroup members to be encoded as individuals and remembered well. The current work is an examination of the role of anticipated future interaction in the OGB. We conducted two studies showing that anticipated interaction influences group-based face memory. In Study 1, we provided correlational evidence that beliefs about the amount and importance of future interaction one will have with racial outgroup members is associated with the OGB, such that people expecting more interaction with outgroup members show a reduced OGB. In Study 2, we manipulated expectations about future interactions with lab-created groups and observed that high levels of anticipated future interaction with the outgroup eliminated the OGB. Thus, social group categorization drives face memory biases to the extent that group membership affords the expectation of interpersonal interaction.

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Motivation to Control Prejudice Predicts Categorization of Multiracials

Jacqueline Chen et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Multiracial individuals often do not easily fit into existing racial categories. Perceivers may adopt a novel racial category to categorize multiracial targets, but their willingness to do so may depend on their motivations. We investigated whether perceivers’ levels of internal motivation to control prejudice (IMS) and external motivation to control prejudice (EMS) predicted their likelihood of categorizing Black–White multiracial faces as Multiracial. Across four studies, IMS positively predicted perceivers’ categorizations of multiracial faces as Multiracial. The association between IMS and Multiracial categorizations was strongest when faces were most racially ambiguous. Explicit prejudice, implicit prejudice, and interracial contact were ruled out as explanations for the relationship between IMS and Multiracial categorizations. EMS may be negatively associated with the use of the Multiracial category. Therefore, perceivers’ motivations to control prejudice have important implications for racial categorization processes.

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Of Affect and Ambiguity: The Emergence of Preference for Arbitrary Ingroups

Yarrow Dunham & Jason Emory
Journal of Social Issues, March 2014, Pages 81–98

Abstract:
What cognitive and affective processes underlie the all-too-human tendency toward group-based affiliation and exclusion? Using a paradigm in which children are randomly assigned to previously unfamiliar and meaningless “minimal” social groups, we investigate the developmental origins of the tendency to prefer and positively evaluate the actions of social ingroup members. Using a procedure derived from evaluative priming as well as children's verbal descriptions of intergroup encounters, we show that 6-year olds but not 3-year olds manifest robust ingroup preference. These results suggest that the mechanisms underlying the wide range of human social group affiliations undergoes a striking increase in generality between ages 3 and 6, perhaps driven by a shift from an individual-level to a group-level or “sociocentric” orientation.

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Stereotype Associations and Emotion Recognition

Gijsbert Bijlstra et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigated whether stereotype associations between specific emotional expressions and social categories underlie stereotypic emotion recognition biases. Across two studies, we replicated previously documented stereotype biases in emotion recognition using both dynamic (Study 1) and static (Study 2) expression displays. Stereotype consistent expressions were more quickly decoded than stereotype inconsistent expression on Moroccan and White male faces. Importantly, we found consistent and novel evidence that participants’ associations between ethnicities and emotions, as measured with a newly developed emotion Implicit Association Test (eIAT), predicted the strength of their ethnicity-based stereotype biases in expression recognition. In both studies, as perceivers’ level of Moroccan-anger and Dutch-sadness associations (compared with the opposite) increased, so did perceivers’ tendency to decode anger more readily on Moroccan faces and sadness on White faces. The observed stereotype effect seemed to be independent of implicit prejudice (Study 2), suggesting dissociable effects of prejudices and stereotypes in expression perception.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fire away

Minimum Wage Effects on Permanent Versus Temporary Minimum Wage Employment

Michele Campolieti, Morley Gunderson & Byron Lee
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
We estimate the effect of minimum wages on employment using the Master Files of the Canadian Labour Force Survey over the recent period 1997–2008. Particular attention is paid to the differences between permanent and temporary minimum wage workers — an important distinction not made in the existing literature. Our estimates for permanent and temporary minimum wage workers combined are at the lower end of estimates based on Canadian studies estimated over earlier time periods, suggesting that the adverse employment effects are declining over time for reasons discussed. Importantly, the adverse employment effects are substantially larger for permanent compared to temporary minimum wage workers; in fact they fall almost exclusively on permanent minimum wage workers.

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Labor Laws and Innovation

Viral Acharya, Ramin Baghai & Krishnamurthy Subramanian
Journal of Law and Economics, November 2013, Pages 997-1037

Abstract:
When contracts are incomplete, dismissal laws prevent employers from arbitrarily discharging employees and thereby limit employers’ ability to hold up innovating employees after an innovation is successful. Therefore, dismissal laws can enhance employees’ innovative efforts and encourage firms to invest in risky but potentially groundbreaking projects. Other forms of labor laws that do not affect dismissal of employees do not have this bright side. We find support for these predictions in empirical tests that exploit country-level changes in dismissal laws in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany: more stringent dismissal laws foster innovation, particularly in innovation-intensive industries, but other labor laws do not.

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Do Labour Laws Increase Equality at the Expense of Higher Unemployment? The Experience of Six OECD Countries, 1970-2010

Simon Deakin, Jonas Malmberg & Prabirjit Sarkar
University of Cambridge Working Paper, February 2014

Abstract:
Using longitudinal data on labour law in France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the USA for the four decades after 1970, we estimate the impact of labour regulation on unemployment and equality, using labour’s share of national income as a proxy for the latter. We employ a dynamic panel data analysis which distinguishes between short-run and long-run effects of legal change. We find that worker-protective labour laws in general have no consistent relationship to unemployment but are positively correlated with equality. Laws relating to working time and employee representation are found to have beneficial impacts on both efficiency and distribution.

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Technology Adoption, Turbulence, and the Dynamics of Unemployment

Georg Duernecker
Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming

Abstract:
Starting in the late 1970s, European unemployment began to increase while US unemployment remained constant. At the same time, capital-embodied technical change began to accelerate, and the United States adopted the new capital much faster than Europe. I argue that these two facts are related. The main idea is that if there is capital-embodied technical change, then the unemployment rate depends critically on how obsolete the installed capital stock is compared to the frontier. In particular, European workers initially worked with relatively obsolete capital, and so they lacked the skills required to work with frontier capital. When they lost their jobs they therefore stayed unemployed for longer than their American counterparts. I find that this channel accounts for about 70% of the discrepancy between the behavior of unemployment rates in Europe and the United States.

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International trade, risk taking and welfare

G. Vannoorenberghe
Journal of International Economics, March 2014, Pages 363–374

Abstract:
This paper shows that the gains from opening up to international trade are smaller when firms do not fully internalize downward risk. I develop a general equilibrium model with two key assumptions. First, when faced with adverse productivity shocks, employers can lay off workers without fully paying the social costs of their layoff decisions, a common feature of many institutions. Second, when opening to international trade, the elasticity of demand perceived by an industry increases. In this setup, I show that international trade induces firms to take more risk and (i) raises the equilibrium unemployment rate, (ii) increases the volatility of sectoral sales and (iii) increases welfare proportionately less than in the absence of the externality. Inducing firms to internalize the costs of layoff (Blanchard and Tirole, 2003) therefore appears even more important in a globalized world.

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Fit-for-Work – or Work Fit for Disabled People? The Role of Changing Job Demands and Control in Incapacity Claims

Ben Baumberg
Journal of Social Policy, April 2014, Pages 289-310

Abstract:
It remains a puzzle as to why incapacity claims rose in many OECD countries when life expectancy was increasing. While potentially due to hidden unemployment and policy failure, this paper tests a further explanation: that work has become more difficult for disabled workers. It focuses on the UK as a ‘most likely’ case, given evidence of intensification and declining control at work. To get a more objective measure of working conditions, the models use average working conditions in particular occupations, and impute this into the British Household Panel Survey. The results show that people in low-control (but not high-demands) jobs are more likely to claim incapacity benefits in the following year, a result that is robust to a number of sensitivity analyses. Deteriorating job control seems to be a part of the explanation for rising incapacity, and strategies to cut the number of incapacity claimants should therefore consider ways to improve job control. Given the challenges in changing job characteristics, however, an equally important implication is that high levels of incapacity should not just be seen as a result of poor policies and a lack of jobs, but also as a result of the changing nature of work.

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Real Options Approach to Inter-Sectoral Migration of U.S. Farm Labor

Gülcan Önel & Barry Goodwin
American Journal of Agricultural Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The core of the literature on inter-sectoral labor migration is based on net present value models of investment in which individuals are assumed to migrate to take advantage of positive wage differentials. In this article, we argue that a real options approach, taken together with the adjustment costs associated with sectoral relocation, may provide a basis for explaining the migration of farm labor out of the agricultural sector. Given the irreversibility of migration decisions and uncertainty in the economy, potential migrants might choose to postpone migration, even in the face of positive wage differentials. Using annual U.S. employment data from between 1948 and 2009, our results indicate that large elasticities between economic incentives and out-farm migration are observed after a high threshold of wage differentials between farm and off-farm sectors is surpassed.

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Who Works for Startups? The Relation between Firm Age, Employee Age, and Growth

Paige Ouimet & Rebecca Zarutskie
Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Young firms disproportionately employ and hire young workers. On average, young employees in young firms earn higher wages than young employees in older firms. Young employees disproportionately join young firms with greater innovation potential and that exhibit higher growth, conditional on survival. We argue that the skills, risk tolerance, and joint dynamics of young workers contribute to their disproportionate share of employment in young firms. Moreover, an increase in the supply of young workers is positively related to new firm creation in high-tech industries, supporting a causal link between the supply of young workers and new firm creation.

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The Role of Health in Retirement

Alan Gustman & Thomas Steinmeier
NBER Working Paper, February 2014

Abstract:
This paper constructs and estimates a dynamic model of the evolution of health for those over the age of 50 and then embeds that model of health dynamics in a structural, econometric model of retirement and saving. The health model traces the effects of smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, depression and other proclivities on medical conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart problems, stroke, psychiatric problems and arthritis. These in turn influence an overall index of health status based on self-reported health, work limitations and ADLs, which is used to classify the population into good, fair, poor or terrible health. Compared to a situation where the entire population is in good health, the current health status of the population reduces the retirement age of the entire population by an average of about one year. While poor health or terrible health have a great impact on the disutility of work and thus on retirement, fair health as opposed to good health has a relatively minor effect. Smoking depresses full-time work effort by up to 3.5 percentage points by those in the early sixties, reducing the average retirement age by four to five months. Effects of trends in health care and health policies on retirement are also analyzed. Including detailed measurement of health dynamics in a retirement model improves understanding of the effects of health on retirement. It does not, however, influence estimates of the marginal effects of economic incentives on retirement.

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The Effect of 21st Century Military Service on Civilian Labor and Educational Outcomes

Wesley Routon
Journal of Labor Research, March 2014, Pages 15-38

Abstract:
I estimate the effect of military service during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on civilian labor and educational outcomes using several empirical methodologies including sibling fixed effects and propensity score matching. Since military occupations and training have changed significantly in the past few decades, these effects may be different than those found in previous studies on veterans of earlier theaters. I find that veteran status increases civilian wages by approximately ten percent for minorities but has little or no effect on whites in this regard. Veterans of all demographic groups are found to be equally employable and equally as satisfied with their civilian occupation as non-veterans. For females and minorities, veteran status substantially increases the likelihood one attempts college. These veterans are found to be more apt to pursue and obtain a two year (associate’s) degree instead of a four year (bachelor’s) degree. Lastly, I find mixed evidence that veteran status increases the likelihood of public sector employment.

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A search for evidence of skill mismatch in the aftermath of the great recession

J. Hotchkiss, M. Pitts & F. Rios-Avila
Applied Economics Letters, Spring 2014, Pages 587-592

Abstract:
Using matched individual-level data from the Current Population Survey, this article identifies a significant trend shift upwards in schooling among prime-age labour force leavers following the 2008–2009 recession. However, further evidence discredits skill mismatch as an explanation for that trend shift.

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Do Workers Profit from the Nonprofit Tax Exemption? The Impact of State Tax Exemption on the Nonprofit Wage Differential of Hospital Workers

Paul Byrne
Public Finance Review, March 2014, Pages 199-221

Abstract:
Previous studies on the impact of nonprofit status on employee compensation view nonprofit status as yielding a fixed benefit attributable to the legal prohibition against distributing profits. However, nonprofit status also exempts firms from many federal, state, and local taxes resulting in the size of economic rents varying by the jurisdiction. This study examines how differences in the implied subsidy of state and local tax exemption impact the nonprofit wage differential in the hospital industry. The study also takes advantage of the fact that a significant proportion of nonprofit hospitals are religiously affiliated to control for worker self-selection into the nonprofit sector. Results indicate that nonprofit hospital workers receive a wage premium; however, the wage premium decreases as state tax burden increases. This finding suggests that the nonprofit wage differential is not accentuated by a hospital’s tax-exempt status but is instead a byproduct of the nondistribution constraint.

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College Graduates, Local Retailers, and Community Belonging in the United States

Samuel Stroope et al.
Sociological Spectrum, March/April 2014, Pages 143-162

Abstract:
How do communities retain their highly educated residents? Do local retailers play a role? This study addresses these questions using confidential U.S. census data on locally-oriented retail employment and county-level public-use files. Hierarchical linear modeling is employed to test hypotheses derived from prior research on civic community and migration. The results confirm that state-level local retail employment buffers the extent to which county-level college graduation is associated with county nonmigration. This finding is consistent with civic community theory, suggesting that locally-oriented retailers are a valuable resource for promoting residential stability.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Psych evaluation

Winning Big But Feeling No Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health

Benedicte Apouey & Andrew Clark
Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use British panel data to determine the exogenous impact of income on a number of individual health outcomes: general health status, mental health, physical health problems, and health behaviours (drinking and smoking). Lottery winnings allow us to make causal statements regarding the effect of income on health, as the amount won by winners is largely exogenous. Positive income shocks have no significant effect on self-assessed overall health, but a significant positive effect on mental health. This result seems paradoxical on two levels. First, there is a well-known gradient in health status in cross-sectional data, and second, general health should partly reflect mental health, so that we may expect both variables to move in the same direction. We propose a solution to the first apparent paradox by underlining the endogeneity of income. For the second, we show that lottery winnings are also associated with more smoking and social drinking. General health will reflect both mental health and the effect of these behaviours and so may not improve following a positive income shock.

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School Mobility and Prospective Pathways to Psychotic-Like Symptoms in Early Adolescence: A Prospective Birth Cohort Study

Swaran Singh et al.
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, forthcoming

Objective: Social adversity and urban upbringing increase the risk of psychosis. We tested the hypothesis that these risks may be partly attributable to school mobility and examined the potential pathways linking school mobility to psychotic-like symptoms.

Method: A community sample of 6,448 mothers and their children born between 1991 and 1992 were assessed for psychosocial adversities (i.e., ethnicity, urbanicity, family adversity) from birth to 2 years, school and residential mobility up to 9 years, and peer difficulties (i.e., bullying involvement and friendship difficulties) at 10 years. Psychotic-like symptoms were assessed at age 12 using the Psychosis-like Symptoms Interview (PLIKSi).

Results: In regression analyses, school mobility was significantly associated with definite psychotic-like symptoms (Odds Ratio [OR] =1.60; 95% Confidence Interval [C.I] =1.07 to 2.38) after controlling for all confounders. Within path analyses, school mobility (Probit co-efficient [β] = 0.108; p = 0.039), involvement in bullying (β = 0.241; p < 0.001), urbanicity (β = 0.342; p = 0.016) and family adversity (β = 0.034; p < 0.001) were all independently associated with definite psychotic-like symptoms. School mobility was indirectly associated with definite psychotic-like symptoms via involvement in bullying (β = 0.018; p = 0.034).

Conclusions: School mobility is associated with increased risk of psychotic-like symptoms both directly and indirectly. The findings highlight the potential benefit of strategies to help mobile students establish themselves within new school environments in order to reduce peer difficulties, and diminish the risk of psychotic-like symptoms. Awareness of mobile students as a possible high-risk population and routine inquiry regarding school changes and bullying experiences may be advisable in mental health care settings.

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Paternal Age at Childbearing and Offspring Psychiatric and Academic Morbidity

Brian D’Onofrio et al.
JAMA Psychiatry, forthcoming

Objective: To examine the associations between advancing paternal age at childbearing and numerous indexes of offspring morbidity.

Design, Setting, and Participants: We performed a population-based cohort study of all individuals born in Sweden in 1973-2001 (N = 2 615 081), with subsets of the data used to predict childhood or adolescent morbidity. We estimated the risk of psychiatric and academic morbidity associated with advancing paternal age using several quasi-experimental designs, including the comparison of differentially exposed siblings, cousins, and first-born cousins.

Results: In the study population, advancing paternal age was associated with increased risk of some psychiatric disorders (eg, autism, psychosis, and bipolar disorders) but decreased risk of the other indexes of morbidity. In contrast, the sibling-comparison analyses indicated that advancing paternal age had a dose-response relationship with every index of morbidity, with the magnitude of the associations being as large or larger than the estimates in the entire population. Compared with offspring born to fathers 20 to 24 years old, offspring of fathers 45 years and older were at heightened risk of autism (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.45; 95% CI, 1.62-7.33), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (HR = 13.13; 95% CI, 6.85-25.16), psychosis (HR = 2.07; 95% CI, 1.35-3.20), bipolar disorder (HR = 24.70; 95% CI, 12.12-50.31), suicide attempts (HR = 2.72; 95% CI, 2.08-3.56), substance use problems (HR = 2.44; 95% CI, 1.98-2.99), failing a grade (odds ratio [OR] = 1.59; 95% CI, 1.37-1.85), and low educational attainment (OR = 1.70; 95% CI, 1.50-1.93) in within-sibling comparisons. Additional analyses using several quasi-experimental designs obtained commensurate results, further strengthening the internal and external validity of the findings.

Conclusions and Relevance: Advancing paternal age is associated with increased risk of psychiatric and academic morbidity, with the magnitude of the risks being as large or larger than previous estimates. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that new genetic mutations that occur during spermatogenesis are causally related to offspring morbidity.

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Ripple Effects of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness on Nondisabled Adult Siblings

Barbara Wolfe et al.
Social Science & Medicine, May 2014, Pages 1–9

Abstract:
Developmental disabilities and severe mental illness are costly to the affected individual and frequently to their family as well. Little studied are their nondisabled siblings. Here we examine major life course outcomes (education, employment, and marriage) of these siblings in adulthood using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. Our sample comprises 113 individuals with developmental disabilities and 337 of their nondisabled siblings; 97 individuals with mental illness and 235 of their nondisabled siblings; and 17,126 unaffected comparison group members. We find that siblings of individuals with mental illness have less education and less employment than the unaffected comparison group, whereas those who have a sibling with developmental disabilities had normative patterns of education and employment, but less marriage and more divorce. Robustness tests incorporating genetic data do not change the conclusions based on the nongenetic analyses.

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Worrying about the Stock Market: Evidence from Hospital Admissions

Joseph Engelberg & Christopher Parsons
University of California Working Paper, March 2013

Abstract:
Using individual patient records for every hospital in California from 1983-2011, we find a strong inverse link between daily stock returns and hospital admissions, particularly for psychological conditions such as anxiety, panic disorder, or major depression. The effect is nearly instantaneous (within the same day), suggesting that anticipation over future consumption directly influences instantaneous utility, e.g., Caplin and Leahy (2001). Moreover, the effect of such anticipation is path dependent, being strongest during low volatility regimes, and immediately following low returns.

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Long-Term Effects of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Compared with Non-Sexual War Trauma in Female World War II Survivors: A Matched Pairs Study

Philipp Kuwert et al.
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
The aim of the study was to compare the long-term effects of conflict-related sexual violence experienced at the end of World War II (WWII) with non-sexual WWII trauma (e.g., being exposed to shell shock or physical violence). A total of 27 elderly wartime rape survivors were compared to age- and gender-matched control subjects who were drawn from a larger sample of subjects over 70 years of age who had experienced WWII-related trauma. A modified version of the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale was used to assess trauma characteristics and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 was used to assess current psychopathology. Additionally, measures of posttraumatic growth (Posttraumatic Growth Inventory) and social acknowledgement as a trauma survivor (Social Acknowledgement Questionnaire) were used to assess two mediating variables in post-trauma conditions of rape victims. Women exposed to conflict-related sexual violence reported greater severity of PTSD-related avoidance and hyperarousal symptoms, as well as anxiety, compared with female long-term survivors of non-sexual WWII trauma. The vast majority (80.9 %) of these women also reported severe sexual problems during their lifetimes relative to 19.0 % of women who experienced non-sexual war trauma. Women exposed to conflict-related sexual violence also reported greater posttraumatic growth, but less social acknowledgement as trauma survivors, compared to survivors of non-sexual war trauma. The results were consistent with emerging neurobiological research, which suggests that different traumas may be differentially associated with long-term posttraumatic sequelae in sexual assault survivors than in other survivor groups and highlights the need to treat (or better prevent) deleterious effects of conflict-related sexual violence in current worldwide crisis zones.

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Childhood maltreatment and personality disorders in the USA: Specificity of effects and the impact of gender

Rachel Waxman et al.
Personality and Mental Health, February 2014, Pages 30–41

Abstract:
Childhood maltreatment increases the risk for adult personality disorders (PDs), but several PDs or maltreatment types co-occur. Specificity of maltreatment–personality associations is poorly understood. Using a representative US population sample, we identified specific associations between maltreatment types (sexual, physical and emotional abuse and physical and emotional neglect) and PDs after controlling for basic demographics, parental psychopathology, co-occurring maltreatment types and comorbid PD. We then examined interactions of gender and maltreatment in predicting PDs. Each maltreatment type significantly predicted three–four PDs. Borderline and schizotypal PDs were most strongly predicted by sexual abuse, antisocial by physical abuse and avoidant and schizoid by emotional neglect. Specific vulnerabilities differ by gender; maltreated boys may respond with attention seeking and girls with social withdrawal. Findings highlight the importance of evaluating all forms of maltreatment even when they co-occur and can inform development of interventions to prevent personality pathology in at-risk children.

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Suicide assisted by right-to-die associations: A population based cohort study

Nicole Steck et al.
International Journal of Epidemiology, forthcoming

Background: In Switzerland, assisted suicide is legal but there is concern that vulnerable or disadvantaged groups are more likely to die in this way than other people. We examined socio-economic factors associated with assisted suicide.

Methods: We linked the suicides assisted by right-to-die associations during 2003–08 to a census-based longitudinal study of the Swiss population. We used Cox and logistic regression models to examine associations with gender, age, marital status, education, religion, type of household, urbanization, neighbourhood socio-economic position and other variables. Separate analyses were done for younger (25 to 64 years) and older (65 to 94 years) people.

Results: Analyses were based on 5 004 403 Swiss residents and 1301 assisted suicides (439 in the younger and 862 in the older group). In 1093 (84.0%) assisted suicides, an underlying cause was recorded; cancer was the most common cause (508, 46.5%). In both age groups, assisted suicide was more likely in women than in men, those living alone compared with those living with others and in those with no religious affiliation compared with Protestants or Catholics. The rate was also higher in more educated people, in urban compared with rural areas and in neighbourhoods of higher socio-economic position. In older people, assisted suicide was more likely in the divorced compared with the married; in younger people, having children was associated with a lower rate.

Conclusions: Assisted suicide in Switzerland was associated with female gender and situations that may indicate greater vulnerability such as living alone or being divorced, but also with higher education and higher socio-economic position.

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Regular Aerobic Exercise Increases Dispositional Mindfulness in Men: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Hendrik Mothes et al.
Mental Health and Physical Activity, forthcoming

Abstract:
Dispositional mindfulness is a construct described as the propensity to be aware of one’s actions in everyday life. Although high dispositional mindfulness has been demonstrated to be beneficial for improved mental and physical health, little is known about ways to improve dispositional mindfulness for individuals not practicing meditation or mindful exercises. The study aimed at investigating (1) whether dispositional mindfulness can also be trained by regular aerobic exercise and (2) whether changes in dispositional mindfulness are associated with changes in mental and physical health. 149 healthy men were randomly allocated to one of two 12-week interventions (aerobic exercise or relaxation training) or a waitlist control condition. Dispositional mindfulness and mental and physical health were assessed before and after the intervention by self-report questionnaires. Over the course of the intervention, increases in dispositional mindfulness occurred in the aerobic exercise group but not in the relaxation or waitlist control conditions (p = .018). Increases in dispositional mindfulness were moderately correlated with improvements in mental health. For the first time, this study shows that dispositional mindfulness can be increased through regular aerobic exercise. Future research is needed to identify how the mindfulness-enhancing potential of aerobic exercise can be used most effectively.

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Shorter telomeres with high telomerase activity are associated with raised allostatic load and impoverished psychosocial resources

Argita Zalli et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent work has linked psychological stress with premature cellular aging as indexed by reduced leukocyte telomere length. The combination of shorter telomeres with high telomerase activity (TA) may be indicative of active cell stress. We hypothesized that older individuals characterized by shorter telomeres with high TA in unstimulated leukocytes would show signs of high allostatic load and low levels of protective psychosocial resources. We studied 333 healthy men and women aged 54–76 y who underwent laboratory testing in which we measured cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and inflammatory responses to standardized mental stress tasks. The tasks elicited prompt increases in blood pressure (BP), heart rate, cortisol, and mediators of inflammation and reductions in heart rate variability, returning toward baseline levels following stress. However, men having shorter telomeres with high TA showed blunted poststress recovery in systolic BP, heart rate variability, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, together with reduced responsivity in diastolic BP, heart rate, and cortisol, in comparison to men with longer telomeres or men with shorter telomeres and low TA. Shorter telomeres with high TA were also associated with reduced social support, lower optimism, higher hostility, and greater early life adversity. These effects were independent of age, socioeconomic status, and body mass index. We did not observe differences among older women. Our findings suggest that active cell stress is associated with impaired physiological stress responses and impoverished psychosocial resources, reflecting an integration of cellular, systemic, and psychological stress processes potentially relevant to health in older men.

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The effect of the physical environment and levels of activity on affective states

Florence-Emilie Kinnafick & Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani
Journal of Environmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
The physical environment and physical activity can independently improve positive affect. The current studies investigated the effects of two opposing environments (urban versus natural) and levels of activity (walking and sitting) on affective states in either a laboratory (study 1) or an outdoor setting (study 2). While doing each activity (walking and sitting in each environment), participants watched film clips of urban or natural outdoor settings (study 1), or were naturally immersed in an urban or a natural environment (study 2). Measures of affect were administered pre, mid and post each condition. Findings highlighted the benefits of being immersed in a natural outdoor environment with physical activity being key for positive effects on energy. Short bouts of sedentary behaviour increased state negative affect, tiredness, and decreased energy levels. Attempts by policy-makers, urban planners and public health promoters should encourage greater use of natural open space to promote acute psychological well-being.

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Overt head movements moderate the effect of depressive symptoms on mood regulation

Juan Rahona et al.
Cognition & Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
A dysfunction in the regulation of negative mood states is one of the core symptoms of depression. Research has found that levels of depression are associated with the intensity of the mood-regulation deficit. The present study aimed to explore the role the body plays in mood-regulation processes. More specifically, we studied whether head movements can influence mood persistence in dysphoric states. Subsequent to a sad-mood induction, participants were presented with a set of positive pictures immediately after performing either vertical (i.e., nodding) or lateral (i.e., shaking) head movements. We considered changes in mood from before to after the experimental task as an index of the effectiveness of mood regulation. As expected, the results showed that higher initial levels of depressive symptoms were associated with greater persistence of sad mood. More importantly, this association was present in participants who shook their heads, but not in those who nodded. These results show that body movements can contribute to mood-regulation processes, thus expanding our knowledge of the psychopathology of mood disorders.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Making it happen

Positive Thinking About the Future in Newspaper Reports and Presidential Addresses Predicts Economic Downturn

Timur Sevincer et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research has shown that positive thinking, in the form of fantasies about an idealized future, predicts low effort and poor performance. In the studies reported here, we used computerized content analysis of historical documents to investigate the relation between positive thinking about the future and economic development. During the financial crisis from 2007 to 2009, the more weekly newspaper articles in the economy page of USA Today contained positive thinking about the future, the more the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined in the subsequent week and 1 month later. In addition, between the New Deal era and the present time, the more presidential inaugural addresses contained positive thinking about the future, the more the gross domestic product and the employment rate declined in the presidents’ subsequent tenures. These counterintuitive findings may help reveal the psychological processes that contribute to an economic crisis.

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Objects of Desire: Subordinate Ingratiation Triggers Self-Objectification Among the Powerful

Ena Inesi, Sun Young Lee & Kimberly Rios
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2014, Pages 19–30

Abstract:
We propose that powerful individuals can become victims of self-objectification, whereby power-relevant attributes become more important to their self-definition and lead to behavior consistent with that self-definition. This process is triggered by the receipt of ostensibly kind acts from subordinates, which are interpreted by power-holders as objectifying acts of ingratiation. In Studies 1 and 2, high-power participants rated power-relevant attributes as more important to their self-definition, but only after a triggering event (i.e., receiving a favor, reading a scenario about a subordinate who voices agreement with his boss’s ideas). In Studies 3 and 4, high-power participants who received a favor were more likely than others to believe that they are objectified for their power-relevant attributes. As a result, they rated power-relevant attributes as more important to their self-definition (Study 3) and were willing to pay more for products associated with power, but not for products unrelated to power (Study 4).

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Survivor mission: Do those who survive have a drive to thrive at work?

Lauren Eskreis-Winkler, Elizabeth Shulman & Angela Duckworth
Journal of Positive Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Are helping professionals who have experienced the same types of struggles as their clients more engaged at work? In the current investigation, we examine this question in samples of police detectives (with and without a history of violent victimization) and mental health workers (with and without a history of mental illness). Our results indicate that police detectives who have experienced violent victimization and mental health professionals who have experienced the same mental illness as their clients do indeed exhibit greater work engagement than their colleagues who lack these parallel life experiences. The link between a professional’s firsthand experience of his/her client’s hardships and work engagement appears to be partially explained by higher levels of grit among police detectives and by a greater sense of life-narrative continuity among mental health professionals.

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Playing 'Hard to Get': An Economic Rationale for Crowding Out of Intrinsically Motivated Behavior

Wendelin Schnedler & Christoph Vanberg
European Economic Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Anecdotal, empirical, and experimental evidence suggests that offering extrinsic rewards for certain activities can reduce people's willingness to engage in those activities voluntarily. We propose a simple rationale for this ‘crowding out’ phenomenon, using standard economic arguments. The central idea is that the potential to earn rewards in return for an activity may create incentives to play ‘hard to get’ in an effort to increase those rewards. We discuss two specific contexts in which such incentives arise. In the first, refraining from the activity causes others to attach higher value to it because it becomes scarce. In the second, restraint serves to conceal the actor's intrinsic motivation. In both cases, not engaging in the activity causes others to offer larger rewards. Our theory yields the testable prediction that such effects are likely to occur when a motivated actor enjoys a sufficient degree of ‘market power.’

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Preliminary evidence of salivary cortisol predicting performance in a controlled setting

Franziska Lautenbach et al.
Psychoneuroendocrinology, April 2014, Pages 218–224

Abstract:
The aims of this study were to examine the influence of salivary cortisol on tennis serve performance in a controlled setting and to investigate if cortisol predicts unique variance in performance beyond a subjective anxiety measure (i.e., Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 [CSAI-2]). Twenty-three tennis players performed two series of second tennis serves separated by an anxiety induction (i.e., arithmetic task). Cortisol was assessed six times during the experiment. Results show that cortisol response and a drop in serving performance are positively correlated (r = .68, p < .001). Cortisol also explains unique variance in performance (i.e., 19%) beyond CSAI-2 measures. Thus, considering cortisol measurements seems warranted in future research aimed at understanding performance.

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Dopamine and the Cognitive Downside of a Promised Bonus

Esther Aarts et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
It is often assumed that the promise of a monetary bonus improves cognitive control. We show that in fact appetitive motivation can also impair cognitive control, depending on baseline levels of dopamine-synthesis capacity in the striatum. These data not only demonstrate that appetitive motivation can have paradoxical detrimental effects for cognitive control but also provide a mechanistic account of these effects.

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Combining Self-Affirmation With Implementation Intentions to Promote Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Peter Harris et al.
Health Psychology, forthcoming

Objective: The current study tested whether self-affirmation in the context of a threatening health message helps promote a health behavior (fruit and vegetable consumption) over a 3-month period, and whether adding a manipulation to support the translation of intentions into behavior (an implementation intentions induction) enhances the impact of self-affirmation.

Methods: Participants (N = 332, 71% women) reported their baseline consumption and were randomly assigned to condition in a 2 (self-affirmation: yes, no) × 2 (implementation intentions: formed, not formed) between-subjects factorial design. They completed a self-affirmation/control task and then read a health communication advising eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Next participants reported intentions for behavior change, after which they formed/did not form relevant implementation intentions. Consumption was measured again 7 days and 3 months postintervention.

Results: Self-affirmed (vs. nonaffirmed) participants reported eating more fruit and vegetables at both follow-ups. Forming (vs. not forming) implementation intentions was also beneficial for consumption. At 7 days, there was also a significant self-affirmation × implementation intentions interaction: consumption was highest when self-affirmed participants also formed implementation intentions.

Conclusions: The present study offers new evidence concerning the impact and durability of self-affirmation on health behaviors and the role of implementation intentions in enhancing the impact of self-affirmation.

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Using memories to motivate future behaviour: An experimental exercise intervention

Mathew Biondolillo & David Pillemer
Memory, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study tested a novel memory-based experimental intervention to increase exercise activity. Undergraduate students completed a two-part online survey ostensibly regarding college activity choices. At Time 1, they completed questionnaires that included assessments of exercise-related attitudes, motivation and self-reported behaviours. Next, they described a memory of a positive or negative experience that would increase their motivation to exercise; students in a control condition did not receive a memory prompt. Finally, they rated their intentions to exercise in the future. Eight days following Time 1, students received a Time 2 survey that included an assessment of their self-reported exercise during the prior week. Students in the positive memory condition reported higher levels of subsequent exercise than those in the control condition; students in the negative memory condition reported intermediate levels of exercise. Activating a positive motivational memory had a significant effect on students' self-reported exercise activity even after controlling for prior attitudes, motivation and exercise activity.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pushing the boundaries

Against a ‘world of enemies’: The impact of the First World War on the development of Hitler's ideology

Brendan Simms
International Affairs, March 2014, Pages 317–336

Abstract:
Adolf Hitler's experiences during the First World War have been much discussed, with historians tending to concentrate on his involvement in the fighting and the operational lessons he later claimed to draw. Much less has been written about the impact of the war on his world view, though recent work has tended to suggest that his paranoid anti-Semitism was not yet visible during the conflict. Drawing on this latest research, but also on newly discovered sources and previously underused material, the author shows that Hitler's main preoccupation during the war and its immediate aftermath was the overwhelming power of Great Britain and its American ally. He associated these two powers with the alleged international Jewish economic conspiracy that had crushed the German empire. Hitler's anti-Semitism thus originated in an anti-capitalist, rather than anti-communist, discourse. He blamed Britain and the US for the rigours of the Versailles peace settlement, a moment which was far more politically formative for him than the experience of defeat itself. His encounter with American soldiers in the summer of 1918 also marked his first engagement with the global power of the United States and the start of a belief in the demographic weakness of the German empire which inspired his plans for Lebensraum in the east.

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Precision Weapons, Civilian Casualties, and Support for the Use of Force

James Igoe Walsh
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Precision weapons such as drones have become important elements of the military strategies of the United States and other countries. How does the use of precision weapons influence public support for the use of force? The public is averse to casualties, mission failure, and collateral damage. I argue that precision weapons increase the salience and importance of avoiding civilian harm. Individuals adopt their expectations about the outcomes of using these weapons and have lower tolerance for attacks that result in civilian deaths. This proposition is consistent with the results of two survey experiments. In the first, the possibility of civilian casualties leads to larger declines in support for the use of force than do military casualties or mission failure. In the second, respondents primed with information about an attack with precision weapons exhibited less tolerance for civilian harm than those primed with other weapons systems, despite the fact that the outcomes described to all respondents were identical.

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Flip-Flops and High Heels: An Experimental Analysis of Elite Position Change and Gender on Wartime Public Support

Sarah Croco & Scott Gartner
International Interactions, Winter 2014, Pages 1-24

Abstract:
We address whether politicians ' flip-flopping on support for a war is damaging to their electoral fortunes, and if the gender of the politician has a conditioning effect on this relationship. A series of survey experiments, conducted in 2010 and designed specifically for this project, allows us to examine the causal power of these two cues. Our results challenge the conventional wisdom: respondents do not fault leaders who change their minds about a conflict, and importantly, this effect holds irrespective of the gender of the politician. Instead, individuals react to the policy position the politician currently holds on a war regardless of the politician's consistency and gender.

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Accommodation or Confrontation? Explaining Differences in Policies Toward Iran

Wolfgang Wagner & Michal Onderco
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Even though democracies by and large share the perception of Iran as a threat to peace and security, they disagree over the appropriate policy response. This paper examines why some democracies prefer accommodation while others plead for confrontation. Using a new data set on democracies' policies toward Iran in the 2000s, we assess the impact of power positions, commercial interests, and domestic political cultures while controlling for government ideology. While we find little support for any impact of power positions, “cultures of dealing with deviance,” that is, the discourses and practices of dealing with violations of norms domestically as institutionalized in a society's criminal law and justice system, have a substantial and statistically significant effect on state policies. Finally, we find qualified support for commercial liberalism: Whereas high levels of total trade do not have the expected effect of making states more accommodationist, high levels of trade in strategic goods such as oil do.

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Humanitarian Assistance and the Duration of Peace after Civil War

Neil Narang
Journal of Politics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The principles of humanitarian assistance dictate that aid be distributed in accordance with need while remaining neutral with respect to the political stakes. However, these principles have unique implications in the postconflict context, where need is often correlated with opponents' performance in the previous contest. In these cases, humanitarian assistance is likely to be biased towards the conflict loser. Using a crisis-bargaining framework, this article describes a simple logic for how humanitarian aid can inadvertently undermine peace by creating a revisionist party with the incentive to renegotiate the postwar settlement. The empirical expectations of the theory are tested using a panel dataset of cross-national humanitarian aid expenditures in civil conflicts since the end of the Cold War. As the theory predicts, postconflict states treated with higher levels of humanitarian assistance exhibit shorter spells of peace; however, this effect only occurs after conflicts that ended with a decisive victory.

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The Austrian hunger crisis and the genesis of international organization after the First World War

Patricia Clavin
International Affairs, March 2014, Pages 265–278

Abstract:
From its foundation in 1918, the new Austrian republic was gripped by famine and a crisis of confidence in its currency that threatened to tip the new state into hyperinflation and revolution. This article shows how western efforts to aid Austria combat famine and its financial crisis were linked, and how they had a profound impact on the new League of Nations, the world's first multi-purpose intergovernmental organization. It also demonstrates the importance of the incipient wartime international bureaucracy for League agency. Contrary to the expectations of its architects, member governments, international financiers, businessmen and economists began to see the League as a useful tool to meet common needs that today would be called the search for human security. The article demonstrates how the Austrian food and financial crisis was the founding moment in the institutionalization of international economic and financial coordination, cooperation and oversight. It established the Economic and Financial Organization of the League of Nations, whose work would later inform its successors, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Union. The study speaks to the ways in which the notion of security has broadened in the past two decades to embrace economic, social, political and environmental concerns. But the notion of ‘human security’ is not new; it was written into the body of the League.

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Does State Failure Cause Terrorism? An Empirical Analysis (1999–2008)

Bridget Coggins
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
A developed-world consensus ties state failure to new and serious international insecurity. But that conclusion rests upon an uncertain foundation; insights into the nature and intensity of failure-related threats remain tentative and unsystematic. This study begins to remedy the problem, examining the broad relationships between weakness, failure, and terrorism with panel data for 153 countries (1999–2008). I argue that the quantitative literature too often disregards the political context determining terrorism's use, that terrorism is endogenous to many measures of state failure, and that estimates of the failure-related threat of terrorism are overstated. Consistent with these expectations, I find that most failing and failed states are not predisposed to terrorism. However, among the “most failed” states, those at war or experiencing political collapse are significantly more likely to experience and produce terror. These results refine the relationship between failure and external threat and highlight the importance of terrorism's macro-level political context.

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Under Construction: Development, Democracy, and Difference as Determinants of Systemic Liberal Peace

Erik Gartzke & Alex Weisiger
International Studies Quarterly, March 2014, Pages 130–145

Abstract:
The widely documented dyadic democratic peace observation has led to optimism that the spread of democracy might prove pacifying even outside of democratic dyads. Yet, tensions between the logic of liberal peace in dyads and systems suggest that economic development may be better suited than democracy as a determinant of systemic liberal peace. In particular, regime type heterogeneity (difference) stands to increase conflict at the system level. We argue that there exists a systemic developmental peace, in which increased wealth encourages powerful developed nations to discourage other countries from fighting, even as these same developed states continue to use force in service of their own private objectives. We also separate out the effects of aggregate democracy from regime type difference in our analysis. Systemic and cross-level statistical tests support the following propositions: greater systemic development encourages peace, difference propagates war, and increased systemic democracy has no consistent impact on interstate conflict.

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Information, Popular Constraint, and the Democratic Peace

Philip Potter & Matthew Baum
Harvard Working Paper, March 2014

Abstract:
Politicians and scholars have long argued that democracies are less prone to international conflict, at least with other democracies. However, while there is widespread acceptance of this “law” in international affairs, the theoretical mechanism that drives it remains opaque. We argue that the distinctive behavior of democracies arises from very specific features of their political institutions that can facilitate (or hinder) the transmission of information between leaders and the public. Specifically, popular constraint on executive action relies on robust partisan opposition that can blow the whistle on foreign policy failures, and media institutions that can effectively relay this information to the voting public. Crucially, not all democracies are alike when it comes to these institutions, meaning that the “democratic peace” may not actually apply equally to all. We find support for these propositions in time series, cross-sectional analyses of conflict initiation from 1965 to 2006.

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Nuclear Dominoes: A Self-Defeating Prophecy?

Nicholas Miller
Security Studies, Winter 2014, Pages 33-73

Abstract:
Is the nuclear domino theory historically valid? Despite its longstanding centrality to thinking on nuclear proliferation amongst scholars and policymakers, in recent years a revisionist consensus has emerged in opposition to this traditional view. Based on an analysis of historical evidence from the aftermath of the 1964 Chinese nuclear test, this article argues that scholars have gone too far in rejecting the nuclear domino theory. Reactive proliferation has been more prevalent than commonly believed, and while it is true that only India acquired a nuclear arsenal in response to the Chinese test, to a significant extent this is precisely because the United States was aware of the danger of reactive proliferation and worked to stop it. Finally, the historical evidence suggests that the nuclear domino theory is compatible with both domestic and prestige motivations for proliferation in addition to the security motives normally associated with the theory.

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Employment Restrictions and Political Violence in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Sami Miaari, Asaf Zussman & Noam Zussman
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, May 2014, Pages 24–44

Abstract:
Following the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, Israel imposed severe restrictions on the employment of Palestinians within its borders. We study the effect of this policy change on the involvement of West Bank Palestinians in fatal confrontations with Israelis during the first phase of the Intifada. Identification relies on the fact that variation in the pre-Intifada employment rate in Israel across Palestinian localities was not only considerable but also unrelated to prior levels of involvement in the conflict. We find robust evidence that localities that suffered from a sharper drop in employment opportunities were more heavily involved in the conflict.

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The Political Economy of Multilateral Foreign Aid: UNICEF as a Tool of U.S. Foreign Policy

Marek Hlavac
Harvard Working Paper, February 2013

Abstract:
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has long been controlled by the United States. I show that countries that are politically closely aligned with the United States receive more foreign aid from UNICEF. In addition, UNICEF provides more aid to U.S.-friendly governments in recipient countries' election years, but only if those elections are competitive. I conclude that the United States uses UNICEF as a tool of its foreign policy. It uses its influence in an international organization to help aligned governments win elections, but does not want to waste aid money on elections whose result is known ahead of time. None of these findings hold for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) or the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), two U.N. organizations that have not been dominated by the United States.

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Groupthink and Terrorist Radicalization

Eteri Tsintsadze-Maass & Richard Maass
Terrorism and Political Violence, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why do groups adopt terrorism? Major theories of terrorist radicalization assume it to be a rational process whereby groups select terrorism as the policy most likely to advance their goals. Not all terrorism is rational, however, and these theories cannot explain cases when groups pursue terrorism despite it being self-defeating. We distinguish between rational and irrational terrorism, and explain the latter using social psychology's groupthink mechanism. Although terrorists are widely assumed to be vulnerable to groupthink, empirical work on the phenomenon has focused overwhelmingly on decision-making by national executives. We firmly establish the link between groupthink and terrorist radicalization by tracing groupthink's operation through the development of the Weather Underground, an American terrorist group that emerged in the late 1960s and conducted six years of bombings against the U.S. government. All of the antecedent conditions, symptoms, and decision-making defects predicted by groupthink are evident in the Weather Underground, providing valuable evidence of the dangers of irrational radicalization and offering lessons for its prevention.

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Force or Friendship? Explaining Great Power Nonproliferation Policy

Matthew Kroenig
Security Studies, Winter 2014, Pages 1-32

Abstract:
Why do great powers take such different approaches to the issue of nuclear proliferation? Why do states oppose nuclear proliferation more vigorously in some cases than in others? In short, what explains great power nonproliferation policy? To answer these questions, this article tests two competing theories of nonproliferation policy. The first, political relationship theory, suggests that states oppose nuclear proliferation to their enemies but are less concerned when friends acquire nuclear weapons. The second, power-projection theory, argues that states oppose the spread of nuclear weapons to states over which they have the ability to project military power because nuclear proliferation in those situations would constrain their military freedom of action. In contrast, states will be less likely to resist, and more likely to promote, nuclear proliferation to states against which they cannot use force. To test these hypotheses, this article uses evidence from great power nonproliferation policy from 1945 to 2000. While both theories find some support, the power-projection theory performs significantly better. The findings of this article have important implications for international relations theory and US nonproliferation policy.

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Vicarious Revenge and the Death of Osama bin Laden

Mario Gollwitzer et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Three hypotheses were derived from research on vicarious revenge and tested in the context of the assassination of Osama bin Laden in 2011. In line with the notion that revenge aims at delivering a message (the “message hypothesis”), Study 1 shows that Americans’ vengeful desires in the aftermath of 9/11 predicted a sense of justice achieved after bin Laden’s death, and that this effect was mediated by perceptions that his assassination sent a message to the perpetrators to not “mess” with the United States. In line with the “blood lust hypothesis,” his assassination also sparked a desire to take further revenge and to continue the “war on terror.” Finally, in line with the “intent hypothesis,” Study 2 shows that Americans (but not Pakistanis or Germans) considered the fact that bin Laden was killed intentionally more satisfactory than the possibility of bin Laden being killed accidentally (e.g., in an airplane crash).

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Suicide Bombers in Iraq, 2003–2010: Disaggregating Targets Can Reveal Insurgent Motives and Priorities

Katherine Seifert & Clark McCauley
Terrorism and Political Violence, forthcoming

Abstract:
Extending data reported by Mohammed Hafez in 2007, we compiled a database of 1,779 suicide bombers who attempted or completed attacks in Iraq from 2003 through 2010. From 2003 through 2006, monthly totals of suicide bombers show a pattern different from the pattern of non-suicide insurgent attacks, but from 2007 through 2010 the two patterns were similar. This biphasic pattern indicates that suicide attacks sometimes warrant separate analysis but sometimes are just one tactic in a larger envelope of insurgent violence. We also show that only 13 percent of suicide bombers targeted coalition forces and international civilians, primarily during the early years of the conflict, whereas 83 percent of suicide bombers targeted Iraqis (civilians, members of the Anbar Awakening Movement, Iraqi security forces, and government entities) in attacks that extended throughout the duration of the insurgency. These results challenge the idea that suicide attacks are primarily a nationalist response to foreign occupation, and caution that “smart bombs” may be more often sent against soft targets than hard targets. More generally, our results indicate that suicide attacks must be disaggregated by target in order to understand these attacks as the expression of different insurgent priorities at different times.

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Scenarios for Russia's natural gas exports to 2050

Sergey Paltsev
Energy Economics, March 2014, Pages 262–270

Abstract:
Russia is an important energy supplier as it holds the world's largest natural gas reserves and it is the world's largest exporter of natural gas. Despite a recent reduction in Russia's exports to Europe, it plans to build new pipelines. We explore the long-term (up to 2050) scenarios of Russian natural gas exports to Europe and Asia using the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model, a computable general equilibrium model of the world economy. We found that over the next 20–40 years natural gas can still play a substantial role in Russian exports and there are substantial reserves to support a development of the gas-oriented energy system both in Russia and in its current and potential gas importers. Based on the considered scenarios, Russia does not need any new pipeline capacity to the EU unless it wants to diversify its export routes to supply the EU without any gas transit via Ukraine and Belarus. Asian markets are attractive to Russian gas and substantial volumes may be exported there. Relatively cheap shale gas in China may sufficiently alter the prospects of Russian gas, especially in Asian markets. In the Reference scenario, exports of natural gas grow from Russia's current 7 Tcf to 11–12 Tcf in 2030 and 13–14 Tcf in 2050. Alternative scenarios provide a wider range of projections, with a share of Russian gas exports shipped to Asian markets rising to more than 30% by 2030 and almost 50% in 2050. Europe's reliance on LNG imports increases, while it still maintains sizable imports from Russia.

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Grounds for War: The Evolution of Territorial Conflict

Dominic Johnson & Monica Duffy Toft
International Security, Winter 2013/14, Pages 7-38

Abstract:
In international relations, unlike the natural sciences, there are few fundamental principles or laws. The world map, however, reveals at least one iron law of global politics: human territoriality. Almost every inch of the globe is partitioned into exclusive and bounded spaces that “belong” to specific groups of humans. Any that is not — such as Kashmir, Jerusalem, and the South China Sea — remains hotly contested. Throughout history, territory has led to recurrent and severe conflict. States are prepared to go to war, and individuals are prepared to die, even over land with little intrinsic value. While such behavior presents a puzzle for international relations theory, a broader evolutionary perspective reveals that territorial behavior has the following three characteristics: (1) it is common across the animal kingdom, suggesting a convergent solution to a common strategic problem; (2) it is a dominant strategy in the “hawk-dove” game of evolutionary game theory (under certain well-defined conditions); and (3) it follows a strategic logic, but one calibrated to cost-benefit ratios that prevailed in our evolutionary past, not those of the present. These insights generate novel predictions about when territorial conflict is more or less likely to occur in international relations.

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Multi-decadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict

Michael Mills et al.
Earth's Future, forthcoming

Abstract:
We present the first study of the global impacts of a regional nuclear war with an Earth system model including atmospheric chemistry, ocean dynamics, and interactive sea-ice and land models. A limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan in which each side detonates 50 15-kt weapons could produce about 5 Tg of black carbon. This would self-loft to the stratosphere, where it would spread globally, producing a sudden drop in surface temperatures and intense heating of the stratosphere. Using the Community Earth System Model with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (CESM1(WACCM)), we calculate an e-folding time of 8.7 years for stratospheric black carbon, compared to 4–6.5 years for previous studies. Our calculations show that global ozone losses of 20-50% over populated areas, levels unprecedented in human history, would accompany the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years. We calculate summer enhancements in UV indices of 30-80% over Mid-Latitudes, suggesting widespread damage to human health, agriculture, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Killing frosts would reduce growing seasons by 10–40 days per year for 5 years. Surface temperatures would be reduced for more than 25 years, due to thermal inertia and albedo effects in the ocean and expanded sea ice. The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies and could trigger a global nuclear famine. Knowledge of the impacts of 100 small nuclear weapons should motivate the elimination of the more than 17,000 nuclear weapons that exist today.

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Anti-Americanism in Europe: Theoretical Mechanisms and Empirical Evidence

Heiko Beyer & Ulf Liebe
European Sociological Review, February 2014, Pages 90-106

Abstract:
One of the most popular explanations for post-9/11 anti-Americanism argues that resentment against America and Americans is mainly a function of the US government’s unpopular actions. The present article challenges this interpretation: first, it argues that neither the vitality of the resentment in times when the United States had no influence in the respective parts of the world nor its recent radical manifestations are accounted for in a political reductionist framework. In fact, specific traditions of anti-Americanism have an influence on the negative attitudes observed today, as a comparison between Britain, France, Germany, and Poland reveals. Second, this article suggests an alternative theoretical approach. Anti-Americanism can be explained by two basic mechanisms: it functions as a strategy to project denied and disliked self-concepts onto an external object, and it offers an interpretation frame for complex social processes that allows to reduce cognitive dissonance. Multivariate analyses based on empirical data collected in the Pew surveys of 2002 and 2007 show the fruitfulness of our theoretical approach.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cultured

Conspicuous Consumption and Political Regimes: Evidence from East and West Germany

Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel
European Economic Review, April 2014, Pages 62–81

Abstract:
This paper investigates the influence of political regimes on the relative importance of conspicuous consumption. We use the division of Germany into the communist GDR and the democratic FRG and its reunification in 1990 as a natural experiment. Relying on household data that are representative for Germany, our empirical results strongly indicate that conspicuous consumption is relatively more important in East Germany. Significantly, although we find some convergence, a considerable gap in conspicuous consumption expenditures remains even 18 years after the German reunification.

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Observing culture: Differences in U.S.-American and German team meeting behaviors

Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Joseph Allen & Annika Meinecke
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, March 2014, Pages 252-271

Abstract:
Although previous research has theorized about team interaction differences between the German and U.S. cultures, actual behavioral observations of such differences are sparse. This study explores team meetings as a context for examining intercultural differences. We analyzed a total of 5,188 meeting behaviors in German and U.S. student teams. All teams discussed the same task to consensus. Results from behavioral process analyses showed that German teams focused significantly more on problem analysis, whereas U.S. teams focused more on solution production. Moreover, U.S. teams showed significantly more positive socioemotional meeting behavior than German teams. Finally, German teams showed significantly more counteractive behavior such as complaining than U.S. teams. We discuss theoretical and pragmatic implications for understanding these observable differences and for improving interaction in intercultural teams.

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Exploring the Microfoundations of International Community: Toward a Theory of Enlightened Nationalism

Calvert Jones
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper challenges conventional wisdom about the drivers of international community at the individual level. Presenting new data and a novel natural experiment approach to the study of cross-border contact and international community, it tests some of the key microfoundations of international relations theory about how a sense of shared international community may arise and evolve among individuals. The hypotheses are tested using survey data from a large sample (n = 571) of American study abroad students in a range of universities across a treatment and a control group. Surprisingly, findings do not support the main hypothesis that cross-border contact fosters a sense of shared international community. However, the second hypothesis drawn from the liberal paradigm, suggesting that cross-border contact lowers threat perceptions, is strongly supported. The “Huntingtonian” hypothesis that cross-border contact heightens nationalism also garners wide support. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for theory and future research, especially the potential of rethinking the drivers of international community at the individual level to rely less on a sense of shared identity and essential sameness, and more on a feeling of “enlightened nationalism” and appreciation for difference.

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Superstition in the Housing Market

Nicole Fortin, Andrew Hill & Jeff Huang
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
We provide the first solid evidence that Chinese superstitious beliefs can have significant effects on house prices in a North American market with a large immigrant population. Using real estate data on close to 117,000 house sales, we find that houses with address number ending in “4” are sold at a 2.2% discount and those ending in “8” are sold at a 2.5% premium in comparison to houses with other addresses. These price effects are found either in neighborhoods with a higher than average percentage of Chinese residents, consistent with cultural preferences, or in repeated transactions, consistent with speculative behavior.

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Cross-Cultural Differences in Categorical Memory Errors

Aliza Schwartz, Aysecan Boduroglu & Angela Gutchess
Cognitive Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Cultural differences occur in the use of categories to aid accurate recall of information. This study investigated whether culture also contributed to false (erroneous) memories, and extended cross-cultural memory research to Turkish culture, which is shaped by Eastern and Western influences. Americans and Turks viewed word pairs, half of which were categorically related and half unrelated. Participants then attempted to recall the second word from the pair in response to the first word cue. Responses were coded as correct, as blanks, or as different types of errors. Americans committed more categorical errors than did Turks, and Turks mistakenly recalled more non-categorically related list words than did Americans. These results support the idea that Americans use categories either to organize information in memory or to support retrieval strategies to a greater extent than Turks and suggest that culture shapes not only accurate recall but also erroneous distortions of memory.

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Richer in Money, Poorer in Relationships and Unhappy? Time Series Comparisons of Social Capital and Well-Being in Luxembourg

Francesco Sarracino
Social Indicators Research, January 2014, Pages 561-622

Abstract:
The worrying decline of social capital (Putnam in Bowling alone: the collapse and revival of American community. Simon and Schuster, New York, 2000) and the disappointing trends of subjective well-being characterising the US (Easterlin in Nations and households in economic growth. Academic Press, New York, 1974; Easterlin and Angelescu in Happiness and growth the world over: time series evidence on the happiness-income paradox, 2009; Easterlin et al. in Proc Natl Acad Sci 107:22463–22468, 2010) raise urgent questions for modern societies: is the erosion of social capital a feature of the more developed and richer countries or is it rather a characteristic aspect of the American society? To test the hypothesis that the erosion of social capital and declining well-being are not a common feature of richer countries, present work focuses on Luxembourg. The main results are: (1) the erosion of social capital is not a legacy of the richest countries in the world; (2) between 1999 and 2008, people in Luxembourg experienced a substantial increase in almost every proxy of social capital; (3) both endowments and trends of social capital and subjective well-being differ significantly within the population. Migrants participate less in social relationships and report lower levels of well-being; (4) the positive relationship between trends of subjective well-being and social capital found in previous literature is confirmed.

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The Country's Crime Rate Moderates the Relation Between Authoritarian Predispositions and the Manifestations of Authoritarianism: A Multilevel, Multinational Study

Michele Roccato, Alessio Vieno & Silvia Russo
European Journal of Personality, January/February 2014, Pages 14–24

Abstract:
We performed a multilevel, multinational test of Stenner's model on authoritarianism using the 2008 European Values Survey dataset (N = 55 199, nested in 38 nations). We focussed on the effects exerted on four authoritarian manifestations (racial intolerance, political intolerance, negative attitudes towards immigrants, and moral intolerance) by the cross-level interaction between participants' authoritarian predispositions (assessed in terms of childrearing values) and their country's crime rate. Associations between authoritarian predispositions and racial intolerance, political intolerance, negative attitudes towards immigrants, and moral intolerance were significantly stronger among participants living in countries characterised by high crime rates than those among participants living in countries with low crime rates. Limitations, implications, and future directions of this study are discussed.

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Cultural differences in responses to real-life and hypothetical trolley problems

Natalie Gold, Andrew Colman & Briony Pulford
Judgment and Decision Making, January 2014, Pages 65–76

Abstract:
Trolley problems have been used in the development of moral theory and the psychological study of moral judgments and behavior. Most of this research has focused on people from the West, with implicit assumptions that moral intuitions should generalize and that moral psychology is universal. However, cultural differences may be associated with differences in moral judgments and behavior. We operationalized a trolley problem in the laboratory, with economic incentives and real-life consequences, and compared British and Chinese samples on moral behavior and judgment. We found that Chinese participants were less willing to sacrifice one person to save five others, and less likely to consider such an action to be right. In a second study using three scenarios, including the standard scenario where lives are threatened by an on-coming train, fewer Chinese than British participants were willing to take action and sacrifice one to save five, and this cultural difference was more pronounced when the consequences were less severe than death.

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Culture and the Role of Exchange vs. Communal Norms in Friendship

Joan Miller et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We conducted three studies among European-American and Hindu Indian populations examining cultural differences in the norms underlying social support in friend relationships. Study 1 investigated the role of communal norms as compared with reciprocal exchange in real life helping interactions among friends; Study 2 compared respondents’ evaluations of contrasting modes of reciprocating help; while Study 3 experimentally tested whether reciprocation reduces readiness to respond to future need. We found that Indians give greater emphasis to communal norms in friend relationships than do Americans, with this effect unrelated to socioeconomic status; and that Americans place greater emphasis on reciprocal exchange, a relaxed form of exchange that is compatible with close interpersonal ties. Our results point to cultural variation in the strength of communal relationships and imply that reciprocal exchange assumes a more prominent role in close relationships than has been previously observed in the communal/exchange tradition.

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Character strengths in 75 nations: An update

Robert McGrath
Journal of Positive Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study represents an extension of Park, Peterson, and Seligman, who found substantial convergence across 54 nations and all 50 US states in the self-report of character strengths. Though their overall sample was substantial, some countries were represented by as few as 20 cases. The present study updates their work, using a sample of 1,063,921 adults who completed the Values in Action Inventory-Inventory of Strengths online between 2002 and 2012. The results for 75 nations each represented by at least 150 respondents suggest substantial cross-cultural similarity in endorsement of the strengths. The most highly endorsed character strengths were Honesty, Fairness, Kindness, Judgment, and Curiosity, while the least endorsed were Self-Regulation, Modesty, Prudence, and Spirituality. Though the participants probably represent a biased sample for many of the countries examined in the study, these results suggest grounds exist for cross-cultural dialog on how to advance the development of good character.

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An economic–genetic theory of corporate corruption across cultures: An interactive effect of wealth and the 5HTTLPR-SS/SL frequency on corporate corruption mediated by cultural endorsement of self-protective leadership

Dejun Tony Kong
Personality and Individual Differences, June 2014, Pages 106–111

Abstract:
Corruption research largely rests on institutional and economic theories. Biological, psychological, and anthropological theories and research can provide unique insights on corporate corruption. Following the emerging perspective of gene–environment interaction in cross-cultural research, the current research presents an economic–genetic theory of corporate corruption across cultures. By examining 30 societies, I found a positive interactive effect of wealth and the 5HTTLPR-SS/SL frequency on corporate corruption mediated by cultural endorsement of self-protective leadership (CESPL). Additionally, the 5HTTLPR-SS/SL frequency moderated the positive effect of CESPL on corporate corruption and CESPL mediated the wealth effect on corporate corruption in societies with low 5HTTLPR-SS/SL frequencies. These findings shed novel light on research on corporate corruption and cross-cultural leadership.

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Shared Burdens, Personal Costs on the Emotional and Social Consequences of Family Honor

Patricia Rodriguez Mosquera, Leslie Tan & Faisal Saleem
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, April 2014, Pages 400-416

Abstract:
We present two studies on the consequences of threats to family honor. In Study 1, 99 Pakistanis (67 females, 30 males, 2 undisclosed) and 134 European-Americans (65 females, 69 males) reported a recent insult to their family where the offender was either a family or a non-family member. The insults targeted the family as collective or individual family members other than parents. Across targets, insults to one’s family had more negative emotional (e.g., more intense anger, shame) and social (greater relationship strain) consequences for Pakistanis than for European-Americans. Study 2 examined whether these effects extend to insults to parents. Fifty-one Pakistanis (29 females, 22 males) and 58 European-Americans (30 females, 28 males) responded to an insult-to-parents or an insult-to-self scenario. Insults-to-parents and insults-to-self elicited similar emotional responses among Pakistanis. By contrast, European-Americans responded more negatively (e.g., more intense anger) to an insult-to-self than to an insult-to-parents.

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Cultural Relativity in Perceiving Emotion From Vocalizations

Maria Gendron et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
A central question in the study of human behavior is whether certain emotions, such as anger, fear, and sadness, are recognized in nonverbal cues across cultures. We predicted and found that in a concept-free experimental task, participants from an isolated cultural context (the Himba ethnic group from northwestern Namibia) did not freely label Western vocalizations with expected emotion terms. Responses indicate that Himba participants perceived more basic affective properties of valence (positivity or negativity) and to some extent arousal (high or low activation). In a second, concept-embedded task, we manipulated whether the target and foil on a given trial matched in both valence and arousal, neither valence nor arousal, valence only, or arousal only. Himba participants achieved above-chance accuracy only when foils differed from targets in valence only. Our results indicate that the voice can reliably convey affective meaning across cultures, but that perceptions of emotion from the voice are culturally variable.

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No one likes a copycat: A cross-cultural investigation of children’s response to plagiarism

F. Yang et al.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, May 2014, Pages 111–119

Abstract:
Copying other people’s ideas is evaluated negatively by American children and adults. The current study investigated the influence of culture on children’s evaluations of plagiarism by comparing children from three countries — the United States, Mexico, and China — that differ in terms of their emphasis on the protection of intellectual property and ideas. Children (3- to 6-year-olds) were presented with videos involving two characters drawing pictures and were asked to evaluate the character who drew unique work or the character who copied someone else’s drawing. The study showed that 5- and 6-year-olds from all three cultures evaluated copiers negatively compared with unique drawers. These results suggest that children from cultures that place different values on the protection of ideas nevertheless develop similar concerns with plagiarism by 5-year-olds.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Penal system

The Public's Increasing Punitiveness and Its Influence on Mass Incarceration in the United States

Peter Enns
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Following more than 30 years of rising incarceration rates, the United States now imprisons a higher proportion of its population than any country in the world. Building on theories of representation and organized interest group behavior, this article argues that an increasingly punitive public has been a primary reason for this prolific expansion. To test this hypothesis, I generate a new over-time measure of the public's support for being tough on crime. The analysis suggests that, controlling for the crime rate, illegal drug use, inequality, and the party in power, since 1953 public opinion has been a fundamental determinant of changes in the incarceration rate. If the public's punitiveness had stopped rising in the mid-1970s, the results imply that there would have been approximately 20% fewer incarcerations. Additionally, an analysis of congressional attention to criminal justice issues supports the argument that the public's attitudes have led, not followed, political elites.

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Criminal Group Embeddedness And The Adverse Effects Of Arresting A Gang's Leader: A Comparative Case Study

Robert Vargas
Criminology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although law enforcement agencies arrest criminal group leaders to dismantle organized crime, few studies have assessed whether such interventions produce adverse effects. Through a mixed-method comparative case study of the Latin Kings and 22 Boys street gangs in Chicago, this article examines the consequences of arresting a gang's leader. Using violent crime data, I show that a spike in violent crime took place in the first month after the arrest of the 22 Boys gang leader. In contrast, the arrest of the Latin Kings gang leader produced no change in violent crime. Using several qualitative data sources, I show that the arrest of the 22 Boys gang leader temporarily led to the gang's withdrawal from its territory, which spurred violent aggression from rival gangs in adjacent territories. In contrast, the Latin Kings gang continued its operations because the gang's prison leaders quickly appointed new leadership. The results suggest that criminal group embeddedness (or the social relations between criminal groups) can contribute to adverse effects in interventions targeting gang or other criminal group leaders.

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Do Gang Members Commit Abnormal Homicide?

Matt DeLisi et al.
American Journal of Criminal Justice, March 2014, Pages 125-138

Abstract:
Gang membership is a robust correlate of homicide offending and victimization, but little is known about the association between gang status and various abnormal forms of homicide (e.g., multiple-victim homicide, sexual homicide, and abduction homicide). The current study utilized data from a large sample of 618 male convicted murderers to empirically examine gang status and diverse forms of homicide perpetration. Gang-involved offenders were nearly three times as likely to commit a normal homicide characterized as a single-victim murder. However, gang members were 64 % less likely to perpetrate multiple-victim murder. In other models, gang status reduced the likelihood of sexual homicide by 75 % and reduced the likelihood of abduction homicide by 56 %. These findings present an anomaly in the gang-homicide literature, and suggestions for additional research are offered.

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Traumatic Brain Injury Among Newly Admitted Adolescents in the New York City Jail System

Fatos Kaba et al.
Journal of Adolescent Health, forthcoming

Purpose: Relatively little is known about the prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among adolescents who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

Methods: We undertook screening for TBI among newly admitted adolescents in the New York City jail system using a validated TBI screening tool. A convenience sample of 300 male and 84 female screenings was examined.

Results: Screening revealed that 50% of male and 49% of female adolescents enter jail with a history of TBI. Incidence of TBI was assessed using patient health records, and revealed an incidence of 3,107 TBI per 100,000 person-years.

Conclusions: Elevated prevalence and incidence of TBI among incarcerated adolescents may relate to criminal justice involvement as well as friction in jail. Given the large representation of violence as a cause of TBI among our patients, we have begun focus groups with them to elicit meaningful strategies for living with and avoiding TBI.

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Prior problem behavior accounts for the racial gap in school suspensions

John Paul Wright et al.
Journal of Criminal Justice, forthcoming

Purpose: A large body of empirical research finds a significant racial gap in the use of exclusionary school discipline with black students punished at rates disproportionate to whites. Furthermore, no variable or set of variables have yet to account for this discrepancy, inviting speculation that this association is caused by racial bias or racial antipathy. We investigate this link and the possibility that differential behavior may play a role.

Methods: Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K), the largest sample of school-aged children in the United States, we first replicate the results of prior studies. We then estimate a second model controlling for prior problem behavior.

Results: Replicating prior studies, we first show a clear racial gap between black and white students in suspensions. However, in subsequent analyses the racial gap in suspensions was completely accounted for by a measure of the prior problem behavior of the student – a finding never before reported in the literature.

Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of early problem behaviors and suggest that the use of suspensions by teachers and administrators may not have been as racially biased as some scholars have argued.

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Probable posttraumatic stress disorder in a sample of urban jail detainees

Dawn Ruzich, Jessica Reichert & Arthur Lurigio
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study examined the nature and extent of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among men in a substance abuse treatment program in a large urban jail. Specifically, it explored the prevalence of probable PTSD and other psychiatric problems among jail detainees, the types of trauma detainees experienced during different phases of their lives, and how those experiences might have contributed to the development of probable PTSD. Results showed that psychiatric problems were quite serious; nearly one-quarter of the sample reported previous psychiatric hospitalization, and nearly 10% were being currently treated with psychiatric medication. In addition, 21% of the sample met the criteria for probable PTSD, a rate five times greater than that in the general population. The current study suggests that the presence of probable PTSD among male detainees should be incorporated into the creation and implementation of jail-based behavioral healthcare services, including screening, assessment, and clinical interventions. Furthermore, in-custody drug treatment programs should adopt trauma-informed strategies for all program participants as the expected standard of care.

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The Effect and Implications of Sex Offender Residence Restrictions: Evidence from a Two-State Evaluation

Beth Huebner et al.
Criminology & Public Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
We evaluated the efficacy of sex offender residence restrictions in Michigan and Missouri using a quasi-experimental design with propensity score matching. First, we examined the implementation of the laws and found that sex offenders in both states were less likely to live in restricted areas after the implementation of the laws than the prerestriction sample, but the differences were not statistically significant. In our outcome analysis, we find little evidence that residence restrictions changed the prevalence of recidivism substantially for sex offenders in the postrelease period. In Michigan, trends indicate that the implementation of the laws led to a slight increase in recidivism among the sex offender groups, whereas in Missouri, this effect resulted in a slight decrease in recidivism. Technical violations also declined for both groups in Missouri. The small effect sizes, inconsistent results across states, and the null results between sex offender and non–sex offender models cast doubt on the potential usefulness of the laws to influence individual patterns of recidivism broadly.

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The ‘pains’ of electronic monitoring: A slap on the wrist or just as bad as prison?

Brian Payne, David May & Peter Wood
Criminal Justice Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
The purpose of this research is to examine whether inmates that have served electronic monitoring (EM) find it more punitive than offenders that have not served electronic monitoring. We asked a sample of 1194 inmates currently incarcerated in a Midwestern state to estimate exchange rates of electronic monitoring over prison by rating how many months of EM they would serve to avoid 12 months in prison. The results indicate that inmates view EM as less punitive than prison and that monitored offenders find EM more punitive than unmonitored offenders. Additionally, black inmates were more likely to have served EM than white inmates and older inmates find EM more punitive than younger inmates. Previously monitored offenders report that they will be less likely to rely on family and friends upon release from prison. These results suggest that EM is perceived as a punitive sanction by those that have experienced it. Furthermore, racial differences uncovered here may help explain why minorities view alternative sanctions as particularly punitive and may also partially explain why the experience of EM may negatively impact family relationship among those that have served EM.

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The Minimum Wage and Crime

Andrew Beauchamp & Stacey Chan
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
Does crime respond to changes in the minimum wage? A growing body of empirical evidence indicates that increases in the minimum wage have a displacement effect on low-skilled workers. Economic reasoning provides the possibility that disemployment may cause youth to substitute from legal work to crime. However, there is also the countervailing effect of a higher wage raising the opportunity cost of crime for those who remain employed. We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort to measure the effect of increases in the minimum wage on self-reported criminal activity and examine employment–crime substitution. Exploiting changes in state and federal minimum wage laws from 1997 to 2010, we find that workers who are affected by a change in the minimum wage are more likely to commit crime, become idle, and lose employment. Individuals experiencing a binding minimum wage change were more likely to commit crime and work only part time. Analyzing heterogeneity shows those with past criminal connections are especially likely to see decreased employment and increased crime following a policy change, suggesting that reduced employment effects dominate any wage effects. The findings have implications for policy regarding both the low-wage labor market and efforts to deter criminal activity.

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“Last Hired, First Fired”: The Effect of the Unemployment Rate on the Probability of Repeat Offending

Stewart D’Alessio, Lisa Stolzenberg & David Eitle
American Journal of Criminal Justice, March 2014, Pages 77-93

Abstract:
Research examining the connection between the unemployment rate and the aggregate crime is inconclusive. One explanation for the inconsistent findings is that the unemployment rate influences the criminal activity of repeat and first-time offenders in different ways. Results support this thesis by revealing an inverted U-shaped association between the unemployment rate and the probability of repeat offending. The curvilinear relationship likely results from repeat offenders and those lacking a criminal record entering and exiting the labor force at different levels of unemployment. Our findings highlight the role that the unemployment rate plays in affecting repeat offending and underscore the importance of distinguishing between repeat and first-time offending when analyzing the effect of the unemployment rate on crime.

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Mythical numbers and the proceeds of organised crime: Estimating mafia proceeds in Italy

Francesco Calderoni
Global Crime, forthcoming

Abstract:
Organised crime is a field vulnerable to mythical numbers, i.e. exaggerated estimates lacking empirical support, but acquiring acceptance through repetition. The figures on mafia proceeds in Italy are a striking example of this problem. This study proposes an estimation of mafia proceeds in Italy from nine criminal activities (sexual exploitation of women, illicit firearms trafficking, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, the illicit cigarette trade, illicit gambling, illicit waste disposal, loan sharking, and extortion racketeering) by region and type of mafia (Cosa Nostra, Camorra, ‘Ndrangheta, Apulian mafias, and other mafias). The results estimate yearly mafia proceeds at approximately €10.7 bn (0.7% of the Italian GDP), discussing the impact on the regional and national economies and the differences among the types of mafias as to their geographical sources of revenues.

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Cost Analysis of Youth Violence Prevention

Adam Sharp et al.
Pediatrics, March 2014, Pages 448 -453

Background and objective: Effective violence interventions are not widely implemented, and there is little information about the cost of violence interventions. Our goal is to report the cost of a brief intervention delivered in the emergency department that reduces violence among 14- to 18-year-olds.

Methods: Primary outcomes were total costs of implementation and the cost per violent event or violence consequence averted. We used primary and secondary data sources to derive the costs to implement a brief motivational interviewing intervention and to identify the number of self-reported violent events (eg, severe peer aggression, peer victimization) or violence consequences averted. One-way and multi-way sensitivity analyses were performed.

Results: Total fixed and variable annual costs were estimated at $71 784. If implemented, 4208 violent events or consequences could be prevented, costing $17.06 per event or consequence averted. Multi-way sensitivity analysis accounting for variable intervention efficacy and different cost estimates resulted in a range of $3.63 to $54.96 per event or consequence averted.

Conclusions: Our estimates show that the cost to prevent an episode of youth violence or its consequences is less than the cost of placing an intravenous line and should not present a significant barrier to implementation.

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Long-term recidivism of mental health court defendants

Bradley Ray
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, forthcoming

Abstract:
The first MHC was established in 1997 and now, over 15 years later, there are over 300 mental health courts in the United States. In a relatively short time these courts have become an established criminal justice intervention for persons with a mental illness. However, few studies have looked at the long-term outcomes of MHCs on criminal recidivism. Of the studies evaluating the impact of MHCs on criminal recidivism, most follow defendants after entry into the court during their participation, and only a few have followed defendants after court exit for periods of one or two years. This study follows MHC defendants for a minimum of five years to examine recidivism post-exit with particular attention to MHC completion's effect. Findings show that 53.9% of all MHC defendants were rearrested in the follow-up and averaged 15 months to rearrest. Defendants who completed MHC were significantly less likely to be rearrested (39.6% vs. 74.8%), and went longer before recidivating (17.15 months vs. 12.27 months) than those who did not complete. This study suggests that MHCs can reduce criminal recidivism among offenders with mental illness and that this effect is sustained for several years after defendants are no longer under the court's supervision.

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Maybe I Should Do This Alone: A Comparison of Solo and Co-offending Robbery Outcomes

Marie Skubak Tillyer & Rob Tillyer
Justice Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
There has been a notable increase in co-offending research in recent years, with most studies focusing on the causes and correlates of co-offending. There is little known, however, about the consequences of co-offending and how it may influence crime event outcomes for the offender. The present study compares the monetary reward and arrest risk of solo and co-offending robberies. Data from the National Incident Based Reporting System were analyzed to examine the characteristics and outcomes of robberies perpetrated by one, two, three, and four or more offenders. Though co-offending incidents were associated with greater total property value stolen, co-offending incidents resulted in significantly less property value per offender, controlling for other incident characteristics. The likelihood of an incident resulting in an arrest significantly increased with the number of offenders. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory and research on the real and perceived benefits and costs of co-offending.

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The Role of Transformation Narratives in Desistance Among Released Lifers

Marieke Liem & Nicholas Richardson
Criminal Justice and Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on desistance emphasizes the importance of the transformation narrative, in which the individual has replaced his old, criminal self with a new, law-abiding self. Key elements of the transformation narrative are generative motivations, the core self, and a sense of agency. Thus far, it is not known what role these elements play in desistance among released lifers. To fill this caveat, we conducted in-depth life interviews with 67 individuals who had served a life sentence. Almost all interviewees presented a transformation narrative that included a good core self and generative motivations, including those who persisted in criminal behavior. We found that individual agency was a key factor distinguishing the paroled lifers from the re-incarcerated lifers. Findings suggest that rather than learning to present a transformation narrative focused on reflecting a good core self and generative motivations, (post-)prison programs should focus on restoring agency to ensure successful re-entry.

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The influence of neighborhood characteristics on police officers' encounters with persons suspected to have a serious mental illness

Shaily Krishan et al.
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, forthcoming

Objective: Police officers' decisions and behaviors are impacted by the neighborhood context in which police encounters occur. For example, officers may use greater force and be more likely to make arrests in disadvantaged neighborhoods. We examined whether neighborhood characteristics influence police encounters with individuals suspected to have a serious mental illness, addictive disorder, or developmental disability.

Method: We obtained data on 916 encounters from 166 officers in six jurisdictions in Georgia, USA and abstracted geographical data pertaining to the location of these encounters from United States Decennial Census data. Encounters were nested within 163 census tracts. Officer-reported data covered general encounter characteristics, the officer's perception of the subject's condition, subject demographics, use of force, and disposition of the encounter (e.g., arrest v. referral or transport to treatment services). Geographical data included 17 variables representing population and housing characteristics of the census tracts, from which three indices pertaining to neighborhood income, stability, and immigration status were derived using factor-analytic techniques. We then examined associations of these indices with various encounter-related variables using multi-level analysis.

Results: Encounters taking place in higher-income and higher-stability census tracts were more likely to be dispatch-initiated and take place in a private home compared to those in lower-income and lower-stability neighborhoods. In higher-income neighborhoods, encounters were more likely to involve a subject suspected to have a mental illness (as opposed to an addictive disorder or developmental disability) and less likely to involve a subject suspected to have alcohol problems. The officer's level of force used was not associated with neighborhood factors. Regarding disposition, although the likelihood of arrest was unrelated to neighborhood characteristics, encounters taking place in higher-immigrant neighborhoods were more likely to result in referral or transport to services than those in lower-immigrant neighborhoods.

Conclusion: Neighborhood characteristics are important to consider in research on police interactions with individuals with serious mental illnesses, addictive disorders, or developmental disabilities. Such research could inform departmental training policies and procedures based on the needs of the jurisdictions served.

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Profiling, Screening and Criminal Recruitment

Christopher Cotton & Cheng Li
Journal of Public Economic Theory, forthcoming

Abstract:
We model major criminal activity as a game in which a law enforcement officer chooses the rate at which to screen different population groups, and a criminal organization (e.g. drug cartel, terrorist cell) chooses the observable characteristics of its recruits. Our model best describes smuggling or terrorism activities at borders, airports and other security checkpoints. The most effective law enforcement policy imposes only moderate restrictions on the officer's ability to profile. In contrast to models of decentralized crime, requiring equal treatment never improves the effectiveness of law enforcement.

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Estimating the Effect of Crime Risk on Property Values and Time on Market: Evidence from Megan's Law in Virginia

Scott Wentland, Bennie Waller & Raymond Brastow
Real Estate Economics, Spring 2014, Pages 223–251

Abstract:
We examine neighborhood externalities that arise from the perceived risk associated with the proximity of a registered sex offender's residence. We find large negative externality effects on a property's price and liquidity, employing empirical techniques that include a fixed-effects OLS model, a correction for sample selection bias and censoring using a Heckman treatment, and a three-stage least-squares model to account for simultaneity bias in the joint determination of a home's sale price and liquidity. Additionally, we find amplified effects for homes with more bedrooms (a proxy for children) and if the nearby offender is designated by the state as “violent.”

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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