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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Attitude problem

Catching Rudeness Is Like Catching a Cold: The Contagion Effects of Low-Intensity Negative Behaviors

Trevor Foulk, Andrew Woolum & Amir Erez
Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this article we offer a new perspective to the study of negative behavioral contagion in organizations. In 3 studies, we investigate the contagion effect of rudeness and the cognitive mechanism that explains this effect. Study 1 results show that low-intensity negative behaviors like rudeness can be contagious, and that this contagion effect can occur based on single episodes, that anybody can be a carrier, and that this contagion effect has second-order consequences for future interaction partners. In Studies 2 and 3 we explore in the laboratory the cognitive mechanism that underlies the negative behavioral contagion effect observed in Study 1. Specifically, we show that rudeness activates a semantic network of related concepts in individuals’ minds, and that this activation influences individual’s hostile behaviors. In sum, in these 3 studies we show that just like the common cold, common negative behaviors can spread easily and have significant consequences for people in organizations.

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Violent Video Games: The Effects of Narrative Context and Reward Structure on In-Game and Postgame Aggression

James Sauer, Aaron Drummond & Natalie Nova
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, forthcoming

Abstract:
The potential influence of video game violence on real-world aggression has generated considerable public and scientific interest. Some previous research suggests that playing violent video games can increase postgame aggression. The generalized aggression model (GAM) attributes this to the generalized activation of aggressive schemata. However, it is unclear whether game mechanics that contextualize and encourage or inhibit in-game violence moderate this relationship. Thus, we examined the effects of reward structures and narrative context in a violent video game on in-game and postgame aggression. Contrary to GAM-based predictions, our manipulations differentially affected in-game and postgame aggression. Reward structures selectively affected in-game aggression, whereas narrative context selectively affected postgame aggression. Players who enacted in-game violence through a heroic character exhibited less postgame aggression than players who enacted comparable levels of in-game violence through an antiheroic character. Effects were not attributable to self-activation or character-identification mechanisms, but were consistent with social–cognitive context effects on the interpretation of behavior. These results contradict the GAM’s assertion that violent video games affect aggression through a generalized activation mechanism. From an applied perspective, consumer choices may be aided by considering not just game content, but the context in which content is portrayed.

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An Investigation of the Tenets of Social Norms Theory as They Relate to Sexually Aggressive Attitudes and Sexual Assault Perpetration: A Comparison of Men and Their Friends

Christina Dardis at al.
Psychology of Violence, forthcoming

Objective: Social norms approaches to sexual assault prevention have proliferated despite a dearth of empirical evidence for the tenets of social norms theory as it relates to sexual assault. Whereas previous research has found that men’s perceptions of peer aggression influence their perpetration of sexual assault, previous research has not assessed the extent to which men’s perceptions are accurate about their close peers.

Method: Undergraduate men (N = 100) from the psychology participant pool completed surveys along with a close friend (N = 100); the concordance in their beliefs about rape and attitudes toward women as well as reported sexually aggressive behaviors was assessed.

Results: Men’s own beliefs about rape and attitudes about women were correlated with both their perceptions of their friends’ and of the average college male’s beliefs, but not with their friends’ actual reported beliefs; men’s perceptions of their friends’ beliefs about rape and attitudes toward women were uncorrelated with their friends’ actual reported beliefs as well. Perpetrators of sexual assault were significantly more likely to overestimate their friends’ involvement in sexually aggressive behaviors than were nonperpetrators. The order of measures presented was unrelated to endorsement of any of the variables of interest.

Conclusions: Perpetrators of sexual assault hold inaccurate beliefs about their peers’ sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviors, which can be targeted in prevention programming. Such programming should provide more accurate descriptive (e.g., rates of sexual assault among men) as well as injunctive norms (i.e., rates of men’s approval or disapproval of attitudes and beliefs) to combat pluralistic ignorance and the false consensus effect.

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Child Exposure to Serious Life Events, COMT, and Aggression: Testing Differential Susceptibility Theory

Beate Wold Hygen et al.
Developmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to individual differences in aggression. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met (COMT), a common, functional polymorphism, has been implicated in aggression and aggression traits, as have childhood experiences of adversity. It is unknown whether these effects are additive or interactional and, in the case of interaction, whether they conform to a diathesis-stress or differential susceptibility model. We examined Gene × Environment interactions between COMT and serious life events on measures of childhood aggression and contrasted these 2 models. The sample was composed of community children (N = 704); 355 were boys, and the mean age was 54.8 months (SD = 3.0). The children were genotyped for COMT rs4680 and assessed for serious life events and by teacher-rated aggression. Regression analysis showed no main effects of COMT and serious life events on aggression. However, a significant interactive effect of childhood serious life events and COMT genotype was observed: Children who had faced many serious life events and were Val homozygotes exhibited more aggression (p = .02) than did their Met-carrying counterparts. Notably, in the absence of serious life events, Val homozygotes displayed significantly lower aggression scores than did Met carriers (p = .03). When tested, this constellation of findings conformed to the differential susceptibility hypothesis: In this case, Val homozygotes are more malleable to the effect of serious life events on aggression and not simply more vulnerable to the negative effect of having experienced many serious life events.

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DRD4 Genotype and the Developmental Link of Peer Social Preference with Conduct Problems and Prosocial Behavior Across Ages 9–12 Years

Marieke Buil et al.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, July 2015, Pages 1360-1378

Abstract:
The peer environment is among the most important factors for children’s behavioral development. However, not all children are equally influenced by their peers, which is potentially due to their genetic make-up. The dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) is a potential candidate gene that may influence children’s susceptibility to the peer environment. In the present study, we explored whether variations in the DRD4 gene moderated the association between children’s social standing in the peer group (i.e., social preference among classmates) with subsequent conduct problems and prosocial behavior among 405 (51 % females) elementary school children followed annually throughout early adolescence (ages 9–12 years). The behavioral development of children with and without the DRD4 7-repeat allele was compared. The results indicated that children who had higher positive social preference scores (i.e., who were more liked relative to disliked by their peers) showed less conduct problem development in subsequent years relative to children who had lower positive social preference scores. In contrast, children who had more negative preference scores (i.e., who were more disliked relative to liked among peers) showed more conduct problem development in subsequent years, relative to children who had less negative preference scores. However, these effects only occurred when children had a 7-repeat allele. For children who did not have a 7-repeat allele, the level of social preference was not associated with subsequent conduct problems. No evidence for gene–environment interaction effects for prosocial behavior was found. The implications for our understanding of conduct problem development and its prevention are discussed.

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Longitudinal Associations Between Cybervictimization and Mental Health Among U.S. Adolescents

Chad Rose & Brendesha Tynes
Journal of Adolescent Health, forthcoming

Purpose: An emerging body of literature suggests that victims of bullying report detrimental mental health outcomes, such as depression and anxiety. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between cybervictimization, depression, and anxiety among school-aged youth over a 3-year time frame.

Methods: Students in Grades 6 through 12 at the initial wave of the study responded to survey items designed to assess their online experiences, including cybervictimization and self-reported depression and anxiety at three separate time points, over a 3-year period. In total, 559 school-aged youth participated in the study.

Results: Results suggest a reciprocal relationship between cybervictimization and depression and cybervictimization and anxiety. More specifically, depression at Time 1 predicted cybervictimization at Time 2, depression at Time 2 predicted cybervictimization at Time 3, and cybervictimization at Time 1 predicted depression at Time 3. Additionally, cybervictimization at Time 1 predicted anxiety at Time 2, cybervictimization at Time 2 predicted anxiety at Time 3, and anxiety at Time 1 predicted cybervictimization at Time 2.

Conclusions: Based on the findings from this study, cybervictimization, depression, and anxiety seem to have a reciprocal relationship. Therefore, educational and mental health professionals should consider interventions that address adolescents' online experiences, while supporting mental health and social and emotional learning.

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Stereotypic Beliefs About Masculine Honor Are Associated With Perceptions of Rape and Women Who Have Been Raped

Donald Saucier et al.
Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Masculine honor consists of stereotypic beliefs about male behavior, including the belief that men’s aggression is appropriate, justifiable, and necessary in response to provocation, especially provocation that insults or threatens one’s manhood, family, or romantic partner. We conducted two studies examining the relationships between stereotypic masculine honor beliefs and perceptions of rape. Masculine honor beliefs generally were associated with both negative attitudes toward rape and negative attitudes toward women who have been raped. Further, different components of masculine honor beliefs correlated differently with various rape perceptions. These outcomes illustrate the complexity of the stereotypic beliefs about appropriate male behavior that comprise masculine honor, and which emphasize men’s responsibility to both take care of others and demonstrate interpersonal dominance.

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Intergenerational Continuity in Parents’ and Adolescents’ Externalizing Problems: The Role of Life Events and Their Interaction With GABRA2

Jessica Salvatore et al.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examine whether parental externalizing behavior has an indirect effect on adolescent externalizing behavior via elevations in life events, and whether this indirect effect is further qualified by an interaction between life events and adolescents’ GABRA2 genotype (rs279871). We use data from 2 samples: the Child Development Project (CDP; n = 324) and FinnTwin12 (n = 802). In CDP, repeated measures of life events, mother-reported adolescent externalizing, and teacher-reported adolescent externalizing were used. In FinnTwin12, life events and externalizing were assessed at age 14. Parental externalizing was indexed by measures of antisocial behavior and alcohol problems or alcohol dependence symptoms in both samples. In CDP, parental externalizing was associated with more life events, and the association between life events and subsequent adolescent externalizing varied as a function of GABRA2 genotype (p ≤ .05). The association between life events and subsequent adolescent externalizing was stronger for adolescents with 0 copies of the G minor allele compared to those with 1 or 2 copies of the minor allele. Parallel moderation trends were observed in FinnTwin12 (p ≤ .11). The discussion focuses on how the strength of intergenerational pathways for externalizing psychopathology may differ as a function of adolescent-level individual differences.

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Different Slopes for Different Folks: Genetic Influences on Growth in Delinquent Peer Association and Delinquency During Adolescence

Eric Connolly et al.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, July 2015, Pages 1413-1427

Abstract:
An extensive line of research has identified delinquent peer association as a salient environmental risk factor for delinquency, especially during adolescence. While previous research has found moderate-to-strong associations between exposure to delinquent peers and a variety of delinquent behaviors, comparatively less scholarship has focused on the genetic architecture of this association over the course of adolescence. Using a subsample of kinship pairs (N = 2379; 52 % female) from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth—Child and Young Adult Supplement (CNLSY), the present study examined the extent to which correlated individual differences in starting levels and developmental growth in delinquent peer pressure and self-reported delinquency were explained by additive genetic and environmental influences. Results from a series of biometric growth models revealed that 37 % of the variance in correlated growth between delinquent peer pressure and self-reported delinquency was explained by additive genetic effects, while nonshared environmental effects accounted for the remaining 63 % of the variance. Implications of these findings for interpreting the nexus between peer effects and adolescent delinquency are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, July 10, 2015

Give me your good people

Unfamiliar Others: Contact with Unassimilated Immigrants and Public Support for Restrictive Immigration Policy

Benjamin Newman
International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Summer 2015, Pages 197-219

Abstract:
The belief that immigrants threaten the American culture is a paramount source of opposition to immigration in the U.S. Known as cultural threat, this trepidation is largely conceptualized in the opinion research as symbolic in nature and stemming from concern over the maintenance of national identity. A problematic feature of this conceptualization is that it neglects contact as a potential realistic aspect of the cultural threat of immigration. In response, this article develops a realistic theory of cultural threat that emphasizes personal encounters with unassimilated immigrants. Relying on national survey data, this article demonstrates that contact with non-English-speaking immigrants, as well as the negative emotions it engenders, heightens perceived threat to American culture and support for restrictive immigration policies.

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Viable Republicans or fool's gold? The consequences of confusing Latino respondents with Latino voters

Eric Juenke
Politics, Groups, and Identities, forthcoming

Abstract:
Consistent survey evidence supports the notion that Latinos are more ideologically conservative than their party identification would predict, making them ripe for party switching. However, when controlling for citizenship, generational differences, and policy attitudes, the partisan picture looks much different and much less optimistic for Republicans hoping to keep Latino voters “in-play.” Much of this puzzle is caused by a lingering confusion about Latino respondents versus Latino voters. Socially conservative Latino respondents are much more likely to be non-citizens and non-voters, providing them with little plausible electoral role. Previous research has underestimated this problem because scholars have been more interested in the acquisition of Latino partisanship, regardless of whether the respondents are viable voters or not. Using the 2006 Latino National Survey I demonstrate that ignoring citizenship and voting likelihood produces the misleading (but venerable) truism that conservative Latinos are available Republican voters.

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Recruitment of Foreigners in the Market for Computer Scientists in the United States

John Bound et al.
Journal of Labor Economics, July 2015, Pages S187-S223

Abstract:
We present and calibrate a dynamic model that characterizes the labor market for computer scientists. In our model, firms can recruit computer scientists from recently graduated college students, from STEM workers working in other occupations, or from a pool of foreign talent. Counterfactual simulations suggest that wages for computer scientists would have been 2.8%–3.8% higher and the number of Americans employed as computer scientists 7.0%–13.6% higher in 2004 if firms could not hire more foreigners than they could in 1994. In contrast, total computer science employment would have been 3.8%–9.0% lower and consequently output smaller.

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Unauthorized Immigrants Prolong the Life of Medicare’s Trust Fund

Leah Zallman et al.
Journal of General Internal Medicine, forthcoming

Background and Objective: Unauthorized immigrants seldom have access to public health insurance programs such as Medicare Part A, which pays hospitals and other health facilities and is funded through the Medicare Trust Fund.

Design and Main Measures: We tabulated annual and total Trust Fund contributions and withdrawals by unauthorized immigrants (i.e., outlays on their behalf) from 2000 to 2011 using the Current Population Survey and Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys. We estimated when the Trust Fund would be depleted if unauthorized immigrants had neither contributed to it nor withdrawn from it. We estimated Trust Fund surpluses by unauthorized immigrants if 10 % were to become authorized annually over the subsequent 7 years.

Key Results: From 2000 to 2011, unauthorized immigrants contributed $2.2 to $3.8 billion more than they withdrew annually (a total surplus of $35.1 billion). Had unauthorized immigrants neither contributed to nor withdrawn from the Trust Fund during those 11 years, it would become insolvent in 2029 — 1 year earlier than currently predicted. If 10 % of unauthorized immigrants became authorized annually for the subsequent 7 years, Trust Fund surpluses contributed by unauthorized immigrants would total $45.7 billion.

Conclusions: Unauthorized immigrants have prolonged the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. Policies that curtail the influx of unauthorized immigrants may accelerate the Trust Fund’s depletion.

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Harbingers of Migration Regression: Global Trends and a Mexican Case Study

Richard Jones
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objectives: The question raised here is whether global labor migration has reached its high-water mark and will not in fact recover its prerecession magnitudes. This study examines this question, and the underlying causes of migration regression, reviewing studies at the international level and carrying out a case study of Jerez municipio, Zacatecas, Mexico.

Methods: Two surveys in Jerez — of 242 randomly selected households in six towns in 1995, and of 304 households in the same towns in 2009 — provide a cross-section of conditions before and after U.S. economic setbacks beginning around 2000.

Results: The results point to a reduction in migration to the United States over the period. Furthermore, in the later period, lower fertility, higher educational attainment, and higher household income were all associated with lower levels of active U.S. migration, and income returns to local education were positive, whereas the income returns to U.S. migration were negative.

Conclusions: The results for Jerez are consistent with trends elsewhere in Mexico and those within leading sending nations globally, and they suggest a regression in future migration from these countries.

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Race and Nation: How Racial Hierarchy Shapes National Attachments

Niambi Carter & Efrén Pérez
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We contend that the boundaries and nature of national attachments are shaped by the position of one's group within America's racial order, with higher status yielding more racially exclusive forms of identity. We test our claims in the realm of xenophobia. Using an original survey of African Americans (n = 1,000) and Whites (n = 1,000), we assess national pride, nationalism, nativism, and racial identity, plus affect toward various immigrant groups. We establish that national attachments have racially varied meanings, thereby producing sharp differences in each racial group's response to foreigners. Although national pride is unrelated to White antipathy toward outsiders, nationalism and nativism increase White hostility to immigrants — except when they are White. In contrast, national pride diminishes African American hostility to Black and non-Black immigrants, while nativism is generally unrelated to Black antipathy to outsiders. Finally, while nationalism heightens xenophobia among Blacks, this sentiment envelops all foreigners — including African immigrants. We discuss our results' implications for theories of national attachment in intergroup settings.

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Does Immigration Affect Whether US Natives Major in Science and Engineering?

Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny
Journal of Labor Economics, July 2015, Pages S79-S108

Abstract:
Immigration may affect the likelihood that US natives major in science or engineering. Foreign-born students may crowd US natives out of science or engineering, or they may have positive spillovers on US natives that attract or retain them in those fields. This study uses data on college majors from the 2009–11 American Community Surveys to examine the effect of the immigrant share in US natives’ age cohort while they are in high school or in college. We find some evidence that immigration adversely affects whether US-born women who graduated from college majored in a science or engineering field.

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The Occupational Cost of Being Illegal in the United States: Legal Status, Job Hazards, and Compensating Differentials

Matthew Hall & Emily Greenman
International Migration Review, Summer 2015, Pages 406–442

Abstract:
Considerable research and pervasive cultural narratives suggest that undocumented immigrant workers are concentrated in the most dangerous, hazardous, and otherwise unappealing jobs in U.S. labor markets. Yet, owing largely to data limitations, little empirical work has addressed this topic. Using data from the 2004 and 2008 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we impute legal status for Mexican and Central American immigrants and link their occupations to Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) data on occupational fatalities and occupational hazard data from the U.S. Department of Labor to explore racial and legal status differentials on several specific measures of occupational risk. Results indicate that undocumented workers face heightened exposure to numerous dimensions of occupational hazard – including higher levels of physical strain, exposure to heights, and repetitive motions – but are less exposed than native workers to some of the potentially most dangerous environments. We also show that undocumented workers are rewarded less for employment in hazardous settings, receiving low or no compensating differential for working in jobs with high fatality, toxic materials, or exposure to heights. Overall, this study suggests that legal status plays an important role in determining exposure to job hazard and in structuring the wage returns to risky work.

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Creating a racially polarized electorate: The political fallout of immigration politics in Arizona and California

Gregory Robinson et al.
Politics, Groups, and Identities, forthcoming

Abstract:
We explore the potential political impact of Arizona's controversial immigration statute, SB 1070, using a parallel event: the 1994 passage of Proposition 187 in California. Both statutes were efforts to respond to the flow of illegal immigrants mainly from Mexico and were widely seen as anti-Latino, and both became the central theme of their proponents' reelection campaigns. We reexamine and extend the academic literature on the political impact of Proposition 187, applying the effect estimates to Arizona via a Monte Carlo simulation to project its vote in future presidential elections. These projections show that the potential changes in voting behavior brought on by SB 1070, coupled with population trends, give Democrats a discernable and growing advantage in presidential elections as early as 2016. The results of 2012 make clear that the GOP's best hope to hold the state rests on a strong and enduring move by its white voters toward the Republicans, leaving Arizona with a racially polarized electorate more reminiscent of the American South than its Southwest. We speculate about the potential to create such an electorate where an unusually large percentage of white voters immigrated there as adults from other states.

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Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures of US Firms

Sari Pekkala Kerr, William Kerr & William Lincoln
Journal of Labor Economics, July 2015, Pages S147-S186

Abstract:
We study the impact of skilled immigrants on the employment structures of US firms using matched employer-employee data. Unlike most previous work, we use the firm as the lens of analysis to account for greater heterogeneity and the fact that many skilled immigrant admissions are driven by firms themselves (e.g., the H-1B visa). OLS and IV specifications show rising overall employment of skilled workers with increased skilled immigrant employment by the firm. Employment expansion is greater for young natives than for their older counterparts. The departure rates for older workers relative to younger workers appear highest for those in STEM occupations.

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The Labor Market Effects of Opening the Border: New Evidence from Switzerland

Andreas Beerli & Giovanni Peri
NBER Working Paper, July 2015

Abstract:
Between 1999 and 2007 Switzerland opened its labor markets to immigrants from the European Union (EU), fully liberalizing access by 2007. The timing of this labor market liberalization differed by geography, however. In particular, cross-border workers, who constituted more than half of EU immigrants, were allowed free-entry into the border region (BR), but not the non-border region (NBR), already in 2004. In this paper, we exploit the different timing of these policies in a difference-in-difference approach and estimate the effects of the policy changes on the inflow of new immigrants and on native labor market outcomes such as wages and employment by comparing the BR and NBR. We find that opening the border to EU immigrants increased their presence by 4 percent of employment, and this had no significant impact on average native wages and employment. Decomposing the effect between skill groups we find that immigrants complemented highly educated native workers, while they displaced middle educated workers and had no effect on less educated.

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The protective impact of immigrant concentration on juvenile recidivism: A statewide analysis of youth offenders

Kevin Wolff et al.
Journal of Criminal Justice, forthcoming

Purpose: The majority of existing research on immigration and crime suggests that immigrant concentration has either a null or negative impact on rates of criminal behavior. Far less research has examined the effect of immigration on the future outcomes for youth with prior criminal history. Youth who have had prior contact with the juvenile justice system represent an especially vulnerable population that could be expected to benefit most from the protective effects of immigration as identified in the literature.

Methods: We examine the effect of concentrated immigration on reoffending using a large sample of previously referred youth nested within 3,547 neighborhoods from the state of Florida. Hierarchical logistic regression is used in order to assess the effect of neighborhood conditions on juvenile recidivism, net of commonly considered individual-level attributes.

Results: Consistent with past research on the effect of immigrant concentration, results suggest a general protective effect of immigrant concentration on juvenile reoffending, controlling for levels of neighborhood disadvantage.

Conclusions: Neighborhood conditions impact the likelihood of juvenile offending, net of commonly considered individual characteristics. The current study adds to the literature suggesting a protective effect of immigrant concentration on criminal behavior. Study limitations and implications for future research are also discussed.

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Stuck between a rock and a hard place: The relationship between Latino/a's personal connections to immigrants and issue salience and presidential approval

Gabriel Sanchez et al.
Politics, Groups, and Identities, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Obama administration has simultaneously marketed the prospect of providing undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship through comprehensive immigration reform and overseen mass deportations of mostly Latino immigrants. While it is clear that immigration policy was highly influential to Latino voters in 2012, it remains unclear how this political hypocrisy is being interpreted by Latino voters. As deportations have risen steadily during the Obama administration, there has been little research on how deportations and personal connections to undocumented immigrants have influenced the political attitudes of the Latino/a electorate. Using a nationally representative survey of 800 registered Latino/a voters administered in 2013, we explore the relationships between personal connections to undocumented immigrants and issue salience among Latinos as well as Latinos’ views of President Obama. This study finds that registered Latino voters who know deportees and undocumented immigrants are more likely to report that they think the President and Congress should act on immigration policy versus all other policies. Moreover, Latino voters who know someone who is undocumented are less likely to have favorable views toward President Obama. This study has implications for our collective knowledge of how direct and indirect connections to policy outcomes influence the political behavior of the highly influential Latino/a electorate and how political and policy outcomes will be influenced in the future when a much higher proportion of the electorate have such connections.

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Immigration, Trade and Productivity in Services: Evidence from U.K. Firms

Gianmarco Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri & Greg Wright
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
This paper explores the impact of immigrants on the imports, exports and productivity of service-producing firms in the U.K. Immigrants may substitute for imported intermediate inputs (offshore production) and they may impact the productivity of the firm as well as its export behavior. The first effect can be understood as the re-assignment of offshore productive tasks to immigrant workers. The second can be seen as a productivity or cost cutting effect due to immigration, and the third as the effect of immigrants on specific bilateral trade costs. We test the predictions of our model using differences in immigrant inflows across U.K. labor markets, instrumented with an enclave-based instrument that distinguishes between aggregate and bilateral immigration, as well as immigrant diversity. We find that immigrants increase overall productivity in service-producing firms, revealing a cost cutting impact on these firms. Immigrants also reduce the extent of country-specific offshoring, consistent with a reallocation of tasks and, finally, they increase country-specific exports, implying an important role in reducing communication and trade costs for services.

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Comparing Immigration Policies: An Overview from the IMPALA Database

Michel Beine et al.
International Migration Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper introduces a method and preliminary findings from a database that systematically measures the character and stringency of immigration policies. Based on the selection of that data for nine countries between 1999 and 2008, we challenge the idea that any one country is systematically the most or least restrictive toward admissions. The data also reveal trends toward more complex and, often, more restrictive regulation since the 1990s, as well as differential treatment of groups, such as lower requirements for highly skilled than low-skilled labor migrants. These patterns illustrate the IMPALA data and methods but are also of intrinsic importance to understanding immigration regulation.

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The Hispanic health paradox across generations: The relationship of child generational status and citizenship with health outcomes

A.J. Balcazar, S.E. Grineski & T.W. Collins
Public Health, June 2015, Pages 691–697

Objectives: In examining the Hispanic health paradox, researchers rarely determine if the paradox persists across immigrant generations. This study examines immigrant respiratory health disparities among Hispanic children in terms of current asthma, bronchitis, and allergies using an expanded six-group immigrant cohort framework that includes citizenship and the fourth-plus generation.

Study design: Cross-sectional primary survey data from 1568 caretakers of Hispanic schoolchildren in El Paso, Texas (USA), were utilized.

Results: Results indicate that a healthy immigrant advantage lasts until the 2.5 generation for bronchitis and allergies (P < 0.05), and until the third generation for asthma (P < 0.10). Citizenship was not an influence on the likelihood of a child having a respiratory health condition.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrate the utility of the expanded six-group cohort framework for examining intergenerational patterns in health conditions among immigrant groups.

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Ethnic Change, Personality, and Polarization Over Immigration in the American Public

Christopher Johnston, Benjamin Newman & Yamil Velez
Public Opinion Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article explores the interplay between ethnic change and individual psychology in shaping mass opinion on immigration. Recent research suggests that personality traits related to uncertainty aversion structure left-right orientation in American politics, and we argue that this personality cleavage should shape citizens’ reactions to ethnic change. Using national survey data and a survey experiment, our analysis reveals that ethnic change polarizes citizens by personality, as those averse to uncertainty feel heightened cultural threat from ethnic change, while those open to uncertainty feel less threatened. The association of traits related to uncertainty aversion with left-right orientation suggests that polarization over immigration is exacerbated by the interaction of citizen personality and ethnic context. While the opinion literature on immigration is replete with studies analyzing the separate effects of ethnic context and individual differences, this article contributes to the literature by analyzing the two in conjunction.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, July 9, 2015

We do things differently

Culture and National Well-Being: Should Societies Emphasize Freedom or Constraint?

Jesse Harrington, Pawel Boski & Michele Gelfand
PLoS ONE, June 2015

Abstract:
Throughout history and within numerous disciplines, there exists a perennial debate about how societies should best be organized. Should they emphasize individual freedom and autonomy or security and constraint? Contrary to proponents who tout the benefits of one over the other, we demonstrate across 32 nations that both freedom and constraint exhibit a curvilinear relationship with many indicators of societal well-being. Relative to moderate nations, very permissive and very constrained nations exhibit worse psychosocial outcomes (lower happiness, greater dysthymia, higher suicide rates), worse health outcomes (lower life expectancy, greater mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and diabetes) and poorer economic and political outcomes (lower gross domestic product per capita, greater risk for political instability). This supports the notion that a balance between freedom and constraint results in the best national outcomes. Accordingly, it is time to shift the debate away from either constraint or freedom and focus on both in moderation.

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Recent evolution of learnability in American English from 1800 to 2000

Thomas Hills & James Adelman
Cognition, October 2015, Pages 87–92

Abstract:
Concreteness — the psycholinguistic property of referring to a perceptible entity — enhances processing speed, comprehension, and memory. These represent selective filters for cognition likely to influence language evolution in competitive language environments. Taking a culturomics approach, we use multiple language corpora representing more than 350 billion words combined with concreteness norms for over 40,000 English words and demonstrate a systematic rise in concrete language in American English over the last 200 years, both within and across word classes (nouns, verbs, and prepositions). Comparisons between new and old concreteness norms indicate this is not explained by semantic bleaching, but we find some evidence that the rise is related to changes in population demographics and may be associated with increasing numbers of second language learners or attention economics in response to crowding in the language market. We also examine the influence of gender and literacy. In sum, we demonstrate evolution in the psycholinguistic structure of American English, with a well-established impact on cognitive processing, which is likely to permeate modern language use.

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African polygamy: Past and present

James Fenske
Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
I evaluate the impact of education on polygamy in Africa. Districts of French West Africa that received more colonial teachers and parts of sub-Saharan Africa that received Protestant or Catholic missions have lower polygamy rates in the present. I find no evidence of a causal effect of modern education on polygamy. Natural experiments that have expanded education in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Kenya have not reduced polygamy. Colonial and missionary education, then, have been more powerful sources of cultural change than the cases of modern schooling I consider.

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Fair Is Not Fair Everywhere

Marie Schäfer, Daniel Haun & Michael Tomasello
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Distributing the spoils of a joint enterprise on the basis of work contribution or relative productivity seems natural to the modern Western mind. But such notions of merit-based distributive justice may be culturally constructed norms that vary with the social and economic structure of a group. In the present research, we showed that children from three different cultures have very different ideas about distributive justice. Whereas children from a modern Western society distributed the spoils of a joint enterprise precisely in proportion to productivity, children from a gerontocratic pastoralist society in Africa did not take merit into account at all. Children from a partially hunter-gatherer, egalitarian African culture distributed the spoils more equally than did the other two cultures, with merit playing only a limited role. This pattern of results suggests that some basic notions of distributive justice are not universal intuitions of the human species but rather culturally constructed behavioral norms.

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Behavioural variation in 172 small-scale societies indicates that social learning is the main mode of human adaptation

Sarah Mathew & Charles Perreault
Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, 7 July 2015

Abstract:
The behavioural variation among human societies is vast and unmatched in the animal world. It is unclear whether this variation is due to variation in the ecological environment or to differences in cultural traditions. Underlying this debate is a more fundamental question: is the richness of humans’ behavioural repertoire due to non-cultural mechanisms, such as causal reasoning, inventiveness, reaction norms, trial-and-error learning and evoked culture, or is it due to the population-level dynamics of cultural transmission? Here, we measure the relative contribution of environment and cultural history in explaining the behavioural variation of 172 Native American tribes at the time of European contact. We find that the effect of cultural history is typically larger than that of environment. Behaviours also persist over millennia within cultural lineages. This indicates that human behaviour is not predominantly determined by single-generation adaptive responses, contra theories that emphasize non-cultural mechanisms as determinants of human behaviour. Rather, the main mode of human adaptation is social learning mechanisms that operate over multiple generations.

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Auspicious Birth Dates among Chinese in California

Douglas Almond et al.
Economics & Human Biology, July 2015, Pages 153–159

Abstract:
The number eight is considered lucky in Chinese culture, e.g. the Beijing Olympics began at 8:08 pm on 8/8/2008. Given the potential for discretion in selecting particular dates of labor induction or scheduled Cesarean section (C-section), we consider whether Chinese-American births in California occur disproportionately on the 8th, 18th, or 28th day of the month. We find 2.3% “too many” Chinese births on these auspicious birth dates, whereas Whites show no corresponding increase. The increase in Chinese births is driven by higher parity C-sections: the number of repeat C-sections is 6% “too high” on auspicious birth dates. Sons born to Chinese parents account for the entire increase; daughter deliveries do not seem to be timed to achieve “lucky” birth dates. We also find avoidance of repeat C-section deliveries on the 4th, 14th, and 24th of the month, considered unlucky in Chinese culture. Finally, we replicate earlier work finding that Friday the 13th delivery dates are avoided and document a particularly large decrease among Chinese. For Whites and Chinese in California, mothers with higher levels of education are particularly likely to avoid delivering on the 13th.

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To create without losing face: The effects of face cultural logic and social-image affirmation on creativity

Ella Miron-Spektor, Susannah Paletz & Chun-Chi Lin
Journal of Organizational Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Creativity is universally valued and desired. Yet, people are often reluctant to engage in creativity out of fear of being dismissed by others and losing face — the positive social image that individuals want to maintain in the presence of others. This paper investigates the effect of face logic endorsement on creativity and proposes face as a possible new explanation for cross-cultural differences in creativity. In three studies using different creativity tasks and with participants from Japan, Israel, and the United States, participants who endorsed the cultural logic of face were less creative than those less endorsing this logic. Face logic endorsement mediated the effect of culture on the novelty and fluency dimensions of creativity (Study 1). Furthermore, social-image affirmation moderated the effects of culture and face logic endorsement on creativity. When individuals' social image was affirmed, cultural differences in creativity were weakened (Study 2), and the within-culture association between face logic endorsement and creativity disappeared (Study 3). We discuss the theoretical and practical implications for fostering creativity in different cultures and in multicultural settings.

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Wanting to Maximize the Positive and Minimize the Negative: Implications for Mixed Affective Experience in American and Chinese Contexts

Tamara Sims et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous studies have demonstrated that European Americans have fewer mixed affective experiences (i.e., are less likely to experience the bad with the good) compared with Chinese. In this article, we argue that these cultural differences are due to “ideal affect,” or how people ideally want to feel. Specifically, we predict that people from individualistic cultures want to maximize positive and minimize negative affect more than people from collectivistic cultures, and as a result, they are less likely to actually experience mixed emotions (reflected by a more negative within-person correlation between actual positive and negative affect). We find support for this prediction in 2 experience sampling studies conducted in the United States and China (Studies 1 and 2). In addition, we demonstrate that ideal affect is a distinct construct from dialectical view of the self, which has also been related to mixed affective experience (Study 3). Finally, in Study 4, we demonstrate that experimentally manipulating the desire to maximize the positive and minimize the negative alters participants’ actual experience of mixed emotions during a pleasant (but not unpleasant or combined pleasant and unpleasant) TV clip in the United States and Hong Kong. Together, these findings suggest that across cultures, how people want to feel shapes how they actually feel, particularly people’s experiences of mixed affect.

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Culture and Getting to Yes: The Linguistic Signature of Creative Agreements in the United States and Egypt

Michele Gelfand et al.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
We complement the dominant rational model of negotiation found in the West with a new honor model of negotiation found in many Arabic-speaking populations and illustrate the linguistic processes that facilitate creativity in negotiation agreements in the United States and Egypt. Community samples (N = 136) were recruited in the United States and Egypt and negotiated an integrative bargaining task, Discount Marketplace. Analyses of categories of the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) and our own newly developed honor dictionary illustrate that the same language that predicts integrative agreements in the United States, namely, that which is rational and logical (cognitive mechanisms, LIWC), actually backfires and hinders agreements in Egypt. Creativity in Egypt, by contrast, reflects an honor model of negotiating with language that promotes honor gain (i.e., moral integrity) and honor protection (i.e., image and strength). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Amoral Familism, Social Capital, or Trust? The Behavioural Foundations of the Italian North-South Divide

Maria Bigoni et al.
Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
We present the first lab-in-the field experiment on the Italian North-South divide. Using a representative sample of the population, we measure whether regional disparities in ability to cooperate emerge even if differences in geography, institutions, and criminal intrusion are silenced. We report that a behavioural gap in cooperation exists: Northern and Southern citizens react differently to the same incentives. Moreover, this gap cannot be accounted for by tolerance for risk, proxies of social capital, and ’amoral familism.’ At least a share of North-South disparities is likely to derive from persistent differences in social norms.

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Why Work More? The Impact of Taxes, and Culture of Leisure on Labor Supply in Europe

Naci Mocan & Luiza Pogorelova
NBER Working Paper, June 2015

Abstract:
We use micro data from the European Social Survey to investigate the impact of “culture of leisure” and taxes on labor force participation and hours worked of second-generation immigrants who reside in 26 European countries. These individuals are born in Europe, and they have been exposed to institutional, legal and labor market structures of their countries, including the tax rates. Fathers of these individuals are first-generation immigrants who migrated from 81 different countries. We construct measures of “taste for leisure” in the country of origin of each immigrant father. We employ average and marginal taxes for each country of residence, and control for a large set of individual characteristics, in addition to attributes of the country of residence and country of ancestry. The results show that for women, both taxes and culture of leisure impact participation and hours worked. For men, taxes influence labor supply both at the intensive and the extensive margins, but culture of leisure has no impact.

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Avoid or Fight Back? Cultural Differences in Responses to Conflict and the Role of Collectivism, Honor, and Enemy Perception

Ceren Günsoy et al.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigated how responses to interpersonal conflict differed across Ghana, Turkey, and the northern United States. Due to low levels of interpersonal embeddedness, people from individualistic cultures (northern United States) have more freedom to prioritize individual goals and to choose competitive and confrontational responses to conflict compared with people from collectivistic cultures (Turkey, Ghana). Consistent with this idea, we found that northern American participants were less willing to avoid instigators but more willing to retaliate against them compared with other cultural groups. Moreover, in honor cultures like Turkey, there is strong concern for other people’s opinions, and insults are more threatening to personal and family reputation compared with non-honor cultures. Therefore, Turkish participants were less willing to engage in submissive behaviors such as yielding to the instigator. Finally, in Ghana, relationships are more obligatory and enemies are more prominent compared with other cultures. Consistent with our predictions, Ghanaian participants were less willing than Turkish or northern American participants to choose retaliation but more willing to yield to the instigator. Differences in response styles were consistent with dominant cultural values and the cultural nature of interpersonal relationships.

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The Effect of Cultural Distance on Contracting Decisions: The Case of Executive Compensation

Stephen Bryan, Robert Nash & Ajay Patel
Journal of Corporate Finance, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper focuses on how differences in national culture may relate to cross-country differences in the structure of executive compensation contracts. We know that firms design executive compensation contracts to reduce conflicts of interest between owners and managers. We contend that cultural context affects these conflicts of interest and hypothesize that firms from cultures that are similar (different) should design compensation contracts that are similar (different). To specify cultural context, we calculate cultural distance using value dimensions from Hofstede (1980) and test for a relation between culture and contracting using compensation data for 39 countries from 1996-2009. Our findings indicate that culture is a significant determinant of cross-sectional differences in compensation structures. These results are robust to our use of instrumental variables methodologies (to mitigate concerns of potential omitted variables and reverse causation). By exploring the relatively unexplored impact of national culture on compensation structure, we hope to contribute to a better overall understanding of contracting decisions.

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Predicting Attitudes toward Press- and Speech Freedom across the U.S.A.: A Test of Climato-Economic, Parasite Stress, and Life History Theories

Jinguang Zhang, Scott Reid & Jing Xu
PLoS ONE, June 2015

Abstract:
National surveys reveal notable individual differences in U.S. citizens’ attitudes toward freedom of expression, including freedom of the press and speech. Recent theoretical developments and empirical findings suggest that ecological factors impact censorship attitudes in addition to individual difference variables (e.g., education, conservatism), but no research has compared the explanatory power of prominent ecological theories. This study tested climato-economic, parasite stress, and life history theories using four measures of attitudes toward censoring the press and offensive speech obtained from two national surveys in the U.S.A. Neither climate demands nor its interaction with state wealth — two key variables for climato-economic theory — predicted any of the four outcome measures. Interstate parasite stress significantly predicted two, with a marginally significant effect on the third, but the effects became non-significant when the analyses were stratified for race (as a control for extrinsic risks). Teenage birth rates (a proxy of human life history) significantly predicted attitudes toward press freedom during wartime, but the effect was the opposite of what life history theory predicted. While none of the three theories provided a fully successful explanation of individual differences in attitudes toward freedom of expression, parasite stress and life history theories do show potentials. Future research should continue examining the impact of these ecological factors on human psychology by further specifying the mechanisms and developing better measures for those theories.

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Culture Moderates Biases in Search Decisions

Jake Pattaratanakun & Vincent Mak
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Prior studies suggest that people often search insufficiently in sequential-search tasks compared with the predictions of benchmark optimal strategies that maximize expected payoff. However, those studies were mostly conducted in individualist Western cultures; Easterners from collectivist cultures, with their higher susceptibility to escalation of commitment induced by sunk search costs, could exhibit a reversal of this undersearch bias by searching more than optimally, but only when search costs are high. We tested our theory in four experiments. In our pilot experiment, participants generally undersearched when search cost was low, but only Eastern participants oversearched when search cost was high. In Experiments 1 and 2, we obtained evidence for our hypothesized effects via a cultural-priming manipulation on bicultural participants in which we manipulated the language used in the program interface. We obtained further process evidence for our theory in Experiment 3, in which we made sunk costs nonsalient in the search task — as expected, cross-cultural effects were largely mitigated.

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Expressions of Gratitude in Children and Adolescents: Insights From China and the United States

Dan Wang, Yudan Wang & Jonathan Tudge
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Gratitude is a socially desirable virtue that is related to well-being at both personal and societal levels. The present study took a developmental perspective to examine changes with age in types of wishes and gratitude in two societies. The samples consisted of 357 children, aged 7 to 14 years, from a medium-sized city in the southeast United States, and 334 children from a metropolitan area in southern China. Results showed that the expression of connective gratitude, which is considered the most sophisticated form of gratitude and theorized to promote personal well-being and social relationships, increased with age, regardless of society. Participants in China, a society considered to emphasize relatedness more than does the United States, were more likely to express connective gratitude than were their counterparts in the United States. Furthermore, an inverse relationship between hedonistic wishes and connective gratitude was revealed in the U.S. sample.

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The White-Man Effect: How Foreigner Presence Affects Behavior in Experiments

Jacobus Cilliers, Oeindrila Dube & Bilal Siddiqi
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
We experimentally vary white foreigner presence in dictator games across 60 villages in Sierra Leone, and find that the simple presence of a white foreigner increases player contributions by 19 percent. To separate the impact of the white foreigner's race and nationality from other characteristics, we test additional predictions. First, the white foreigner's presence may heighten demand effects, prompting players to impress the white foreigner by being more generous. This should make behavior in the game less indicative of true generosity. Consistent with this, we find that game contributions are no longer predicted by real-world public good contributions when the white foreigner is present. Second, those more familiar with aid may perceive the games as a form of means-testing, and therefore give less to signal that they are poor. Consistent with this, in the presence of the white foreigner, players in more aid-exposed villages give less, and are more likely to believe that the games are testing them for aid suitability. Together, these results suggest that players’ giving decisions respond to the white foreigner's race and nationality. Behavioral measures are increasingly used to infer cross-national differences in social preferences or to assess aid effectiveness — our results suggest that we should be cautious in these uses.

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Generosity and sharing among villagers: Do women give more?

Sosina Bezu & Stein Holden
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, August 2015, Pages 103–111

Abstract:
This paper explores generosity among anonymous villagers and sharing within families using a dictator game field experiment that was carried out in rural villages in Ethiopia. We find that generosity among anonymous villagers is very low compared with the findings in the dictator game literature. On average, the dictators in our sample allocate only 6% of their endowments to anonymous persons in the village, and 73% of the dictators keep all of their endowments to themselves when paired with anonymous persons. However, we found very high levels of sharing between husband and wife. In terms of gender differences, we find that women are not more generous towards anonymous persons, nor are they more likely to share within their families. In fact, there is some evidence, albeit weak, showing that women allocate less to anonymous persons than do men. Additionally, there is strong evidence that women are less likely to share their resources with their spouse than are men.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Heated debate

Climate Change and Disasters: How Framing Affects Justifications for Giving or Withholding Aid to Disaster Victims

Daniel Chapman & Brian Lickel
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
This research examined whether framing a natural disaster as the product of climate change impacts attitudes toward disaster victims and humanitarian relief. Participants (n = 211) read an article about a famine caused by severe droughts, with one condition attributing the droughts to climate change and the other condition made no mention of climate change. All participants then responded to measures of justifications for or against providing aid, attitudes toward the possibility of donating, and climate change beliefs. As predicted, those high in climate change skepticism reported greater justifications for not helping the victims when the disaster was attributed to climate change. Additional moderated mediation analyses showed there was an indirect effect of climate change framing on attitudes toward donating through donation justifications.

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Political influences on greenhouse gas emissions from US states

Thomas Dietz et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 7 July 2015, Pages 8254-8259

Abstract:
Starting at least in the 1970s, empirical work suggested that demographic (population) and economic (affluence) forces are the key drivers of anthropogenic stress on the environment. We evaluate the extent to which politics attenuates the effects of economic and demographic factors on environmental outcomes by examining variation in CO2 emissions across US states and within states over time. We find that demographic and economic forces can in part be offset by politics supportive of the environment — increases in emissions over time are lower in states that elect legislators with strong environmental records.

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The relationship between climate change concern and national wealth

Alex Lo & Alex Chow
Climatic Change, July 2015, Pages 335-348

Abstract:
Based on a cross-national social survey, this paper ascertains how perception of climate change is related to national wealth and adaptive capacity across 33 countries. Results indicate that citizens of wealthier countries tend to see climate change as the most important problem, but are less likely to rank it as a highly dangerous threat. We find that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita correlates positively with perceived importance of climate change, but negatively with perceived risk. Also, climate change is less likely to be seen as highly dangerous in those countries that are better prepared for climate change. These findings have important implications for climate adaptation. The relatively weaker sense of danger among the wealthiest societies may eventually lead to maladaptation to climate change. Adequate economic resources provide people collective security and protection from impending crises, but could elevate a self-assuring attitude that might prematurely reduce their caution toward the impending threat and capacity for dealing with climate uncertainties.

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Recent California Water Year Precipitation Deficits: A 440-Year Perspective

Henry Diaz & Eugene Wahl
Journal of Climate, June 2015, Pages 4637–4652

Abstract:
An analysis of the October 2013–September 2014 precipitation in the western United States and in particular over the California–Nevada region suggests this anomalously dry season, while extreme, is not unprecedented in comparison with the approximately 120-yr-long instrumental record of water year (WY; October–September) totals and in comparison with a 407-yr WY precipitation reconstruction dating back to 1571. Over this longer period, nine other years are known or estimated to have been nearly as dry or drier than WY 2014. The 3-yr deficit for WYs 2012–14, which in California exceeded the annual mean precipitation, is more extreme but also not unprecedented, occurring three other times over the past approximate 440 years in the reconstruction. WY precipitation has also been deficient on average for the past 14 years, and such a run of predominantly dry WYs is also a rare occurrence in the authors’ merged reconstructed plus instrumental period record.

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A Hybrid Dynamical–Statistical Downscaling Technique. Part II: End-of-Century Warming Projections Predict a New Climate State in the Los Angeles Region

Fengpeng Sun, Daniel Walton & Alex Hall
Journal of Climate, June 2015, Pages 4618–4636

Abstract:
Using the hybrid downscaling technique developed in part I of this study, temperature changes relative to a baseline period (1981–2000) in the greater Los Angeles region are downscaled for two future time slices: midcentury (2041–60) and end of century (2081–2100). Two representative concentration pathways (RCPs) are considered, corresponding to greenhouse gas emission reductions over coming decades (RCP2.6) and to continued twenty-first-century emissions increases (RCP8.5). All available global climate models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) are downscaled to provide likelihood and uncertainty estimates. By the end of century under RCP8.5, a distinctly new regional climate state emerges: average temperatures will almost certainly be outside the interannual variability range seen in the baseline. Except for the highest elevations and a narrow swath very near the coast, land locations will likely see 60–90 additional extremely hot days per year, effectively adding a new season of extreme heat. In mountainous areas, a majority of the many baseline days with freezing nighttime temperatures will most likely not occur. According to a similarity metric that measures daily temperature variability and the climate change signal, the RCP8.5 end-of-century climate will most likely be only about 50% similar to the baseline. For midcentury under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 and end of century under RCP2.6, these same measures also indicate a detectable though less significant climatic shift. Therefore, while measures reducing global emissions would not prevent climate change at this regional scale in the coming decades, their impact would be dramatic by the end of the twenty-first century.

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Climate change impacts on extreme temperature mortality in select metropolitan areas in the United States

David Mills et al.
Climatic Change, July 2015, Pages 83-95

Abstract:
This paper applies city-specific mortality relationships for extremely hot and cold temperatures for 33 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States to develop mortality projections for historical and potential future climates. These projections, which cover roughly 100 million of 310 million U.S. residents in 2010, highlight a potential change in health risks from uncontrolled climate change and the potential benefits of a greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation policy. Our analysis reveals that projected mortality from extremely hot and cold days combined increases significantly over the 21st century because of the overwhelming increase in extremely hot days. We also find that the evaluated GHG mitigation policy could substantially reduce this risk. These results become more pronounced when accounting for projected population changes. These results challenge arguments that there could be a mortality benefit attributable to changes in extreme temperatures from future warming. This finding of a net increase in mortality also holds in an analog city sensitivity analysis that incorporates a strong adaptation assumption. While our results do not address all sources of uncertainty, their scale and scope highlight one component of the potential health risks of unmitigated climate change impacts on extreme temperatures and draw attention to the need to continue to refine analytical tools and methods for this type of analysis.

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Moral Frames and Climate Change Policy Attitudes

Alexander Severson & Eric Coleman
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objective: This article compares the effects of various climate change issue frames (deontological-moral, empirical-scientific, and economic) on support for climate change mitigation policies.

Methods: Using an issue-framing survey experiment conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk, we assess framing effects on climate change policy support using ordinary least squares regression.

Results: We find mixed evidence regarding frame effectiveness. Religious moral frames and economic efficiency frames are ineffective, whereas scientific frames, secular moral frames, and economic equity frames are effective at increasing overall policy support. Additionally, the positive science frame and economic equity frame reduce the ideological divide in climate policy support.

Conclusion: The effects of issue framing on climate policy support are mixed. Frames that we expected conservatives to be responsive to (religious morality; economic efficiency) fail to change support for climate policy. Frames that emphasize science, secular morality, and economy equity have the potential to increase public support for climate change policies.

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Climate change impacts on extreme events in the United States: An uncertainty analysis

Erwan Monier & Xiang Gao
Climatic Change, July 2015, Pages 67-81

Abstract:
In this study, we analyze changes in extreme temperature and precipitation over the US in a 60-member ensemble simulation of the 21st century with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Integrated Global System Model–Community Atmosphere Model (IGSM-CAM). Four values of climate sensitivity, three emissions scenarios and five initial conditions are considered. The results show a general intensification and an increase in the frequency of extreme hot temperatures and extreme precipitation events over most of the US. Extreme cold temperatures are projected to decrease in intensity and frequency, especially over the northern parts of the US. This study displays a wide range of future changes in extreme events in the US, even simulated by a single climate model. Results clearly show that the choice of policy is the largest source of uncertainty in the magnitude of the changes. The impact of the climate sensitivity is largest for the unconstrained emissions scenario and the implementation of a stabilization scenario drastically reduces the changes in extremes, even for the highest climate sensitivity considered. Finally, simulations with different initial conditions show conspicuously different patterns and magnitudes of changes in extreme events, underlining the role of natural variability in projections of changes in extreme events.

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Well-to-Wheels Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Canadian Oil Sands Products: Implications for U.S. Petroleum Fuels

Hao Cai et al.
Environmental Science & Technology, 7 July 2015, Pages 8219–8227

Abstract:
Greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations affecting U.S. transportation fuels require holistic examination of the life-cycle emissions of U.S. petroleum feedstocks. With an expanded system boundary that included land disturbance-induced GHG emissions, we estimated well-to-wheels (WTW) GHG emissions of U.S. production of gasoline and diesel sourced from Canadian oil sands. Our analysis was based on detailed characterization of the energy intensities of 27 oil sands projects, representing industrial practices and technological advances since 2008. Four major oil sands production pathways were examined, including bitumen and synthetic crude oil (SCO) from both surface mining and in situ projects. Pathway-average GHG emissions from oil sands extraction, separation, and upgrading ranged from ∼6.1 to ∼27.3 g CO2 equivalents per megajoule (in lower heating value, CO2e/MJ). This range can be compared to ∼4.4 g CO2e/MJ for U.S. conventional crude oil recovery. Depending on the extraction technology and product type output of oil sands projects, the WTW GHG emissions for gasoline and diesel produced from bitumen and SCO in U.S. refineries were in the range of 100–115 and 99–117 g CO2e/MJ, respectively, representing, on average, about 18% and 21% higher emissions than those derived from U.S. conventional crudes. WTW GHG emissions of gasoline and diesel derived from diluted bitumen ranged from 97 to 103 and 96 to 104 g CO2e/MJ, respectively, showing the effect of diluent use on fuel emissions.

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Increased heat waves with loss of irrigation in the United States

Yaqiong Lu & Lara Kueppers
Environmental Research Letters, June 2015

Abstract:
A potential decline in irrigation due to groundwater depletion or insufficient surface water would not only directly affect agriculture, but also could alter surface climate. In this study we investigated how loss of irrigation affects heat wave frequency, duration, and intensity across fifteen heat wave indices (HINs) using a regional climate model that incorporated dynamic crop growth. Averaged across all indices, loss of irrigation increased heat wave frequency, duration, and intensity. In the United States, irrigation effects on heat waves were statistically significant over irrigated cropland for the majority of HINs, but in non-irrigated regions, the effects were significant only for a few HINs. The heat index temperature metrics that include humidity were less sensitive to loss of irrigation due to the trade-off between increased temperature and decreased humidity. Using the same temperature metric but different temperature thresholds resulted in qualitatively similar effects on heat waves. Regions experiencing strong groundwater depletion, such as the southern high plains, may suffer more and longer heat waves with reduced irrigation.

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Heat stress causes substantial labour productivity loss in Australia

Kerstin Zander et al.
Nature Climate Change, July 2015, Pages 647–651

Abstract:
Heat stress at the workplace is an occupational health hazard that reduces labour productivity. Assessment of productivity loss resulting from climate change has so far been based on physiological models of heat exposure. These models suggest productivity may decrease by 11–27% by 2080 in hot regions such as Asia and the Caribbean, and globally by up to 20% in hot months by 2050. Using an approach derived from health economics, we describe self-reported estimates of work absenteeism and reductions in work performance caused by heat in Australia during 2013/2014. We found that the annual costs were US$655 per person across a representative sample of 1,726 employed Australians. This represents an annual economic burden of around US$6.2 billion (95% CI: 5.2–7.3 billion) for the Australian workforce. This amounts to 0.33 to 0.47% of Australia’s GDP. Although this was a period when many Australians experienced what is at present considered exceptional heat, our results suggest that adaptation measures to reduce heat effects should be adopted widely if severe economic impacts from labour productivity loss are to be avoided if heat waves become as frequent as predicted.

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Recent accelerated warming of the continental shelf off New Jersey: Observations from the CMV Oleander expendable bathythermograph line

Jacob Samuel Tse Forsyth, Magdalena Andres & Glen Gawarkiewicz
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, March 2015, Pages 2370–2384

Abstract:
Expendable bathythermographs (XBTs) have been launched along a repeat track from New Jersey to Bermuda from the CMV Oleander through the NOAA/NEFSC Ship of Opportunity Program about 14 times per year since 1977. The XBT temperatures on the Middle Atlantic Bight shelf are binned with 10 km horizontal and 5 m vertical resolution to produce monthly, seasonally, and annually averaged cross-shelf temperature sections. The depth-averaged shelf temperature, Ts, calculated from annually averaged sections that are spatially averaged across the shelf, increases at 0.026 ± 0.001°C yr−1 from 1977 to 2013, with the recent trend substantially larger than the overall 37 year trend (0.11 ± 0.02°C yr−1 since 2002). The Oleander temperature sections suggest that the recent acceleration in warming on the shelf is not confined to the surface, but occurs throughout the water column with some contribution from interactions between the shelf and the adjacent Slope Sea reflected in cross-shelf motions of the shelfbreak front. The local warming on the shelf cannot explain the region's amplified rate of sea level rise relative to the global mean. Additionally, Ts exhibits significant interannual variability with the warmest anomalies increasing in intensity over the 37 year record even as the cold anomalies remain relatively uniform throughout the record. Ts anomalies are not correlated with annually averaged coastal sea level anomalies at zero lag. However, positive correlation is found between 2 year lagged Ts anomalies and coastal sea level anomalies, suggesting that the region's sea level anomalies may serve as a predictor of shelf temperature.

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Stronger warming amplification over drier ecoregions observed since 1979

Liming Zhou, Haishan Chen & Yongjiu Dai
Environmental Research Letters, June 2015

Abstract:
Observations show that the global mean surface temperature has increased steadily since the 1950s and this warming trend is particularly strong and linear over land after 1979. This paper analyzes the relationship between surface temperature trends observed over land for the period 1979–2012 and enhanced vegetation index (EVI), a satellite measured vegetation greenness index, by large-scale ecoregion. The land areas between 50°S and 50°N are classified into various large-scale ecoregions based on the climatological EVI values. The regional mean temperature trends exhibit significant spatial dependence on the regional mean EVI. In general, the warming rate increases dramatically with decreasing EVI, with the strongest warming rate seen over the driest ecoregions. When anthropogenic and natural forcings are included, climate models are generally able to reproduce observed major features of the spatial dependence. When only natural forcings are used, none of the observed features are simulated. Furthermore, the simulated temperature changes in the latter are mostly far outside the range of those in the former. These results suggest stronger warming amplification over drier ecoregions in the context of global warming, pointing mainly to human influence.

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Time scales and ratios of climate forcing due to thermal versus carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels

Xiaochun Zhang & Ken Caldeira
Geophysical Research Letters, 16 June 2015, Pages 4548–4555

Abstract:
The Earth warms both when fossil fuel carbon is oxidized to carbon dioxide and when greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide inhibits longwave radiation from escaping to space. Various important time scales and ratios comparing these two climate forcings have not previously been quantified. For example, the global and time-integrated radiative forcing from burning a fossil fuel exceeds the heat released upon combustion within 2 months. Over the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, the cumulative CO2-radiative forcing exceeds the amount of energy released upon combustion by a factor >100,000. For a new power plant, the radiative forcing from the accumulation of released CO2 exceeds the direct thermal emissions in less than half a year. Furthermore, we show that the energy released from the combustion of fossil fuels is now about 1.71% of the radiative forcing from CO2 that has accumulated in the atmosphere as a consequence of historical fossil fuel combustion.

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Sea level rise projections for northern Europe under RCP8.5

Aslak Grinsted et al.
Climate Research, July 2015, Pages 15-23

Abstract:
Sea level rise poses a significant threat to coastal communities, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Sea level rise is not uniform globally but is affected by a range of regional factors. In this study, we calculate regional projections of 21st century sea level rise in northern Europe, focusing on the British Isles, the Baltic Sea, and the North Sea. The input to the regional sea level projection is a probabilistic projection of the major components of the global sea level budget. Local sea level rise is partly compensated by vertical land movement from glacial isostatic adjustment. We explore the uncertainties beyond the likely range provided by the IPCC, including the risk and potential rate of marine ice sheet collapse. Our median 21st century relative sea level rise projection is 0.8 m near London and Hamburg, with a relative sea level drop of 0.1 m in the Bay of Bothnia (near Oulu, Finland). Considerable uncertainties remain in both the sea level budget and in the regional expression of sea level rise. The greatest uncertainties are associated with Antarctic ice loss, and uncertainties are skewed towards higher values, with the 95th percentile being characterized by an additional 0.9 m sea level rise above median projections.

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Climate change tightens a metabolic constraint on marine habitats

Curtis Deutsch et al.
Science, 5 June 2015, Pages 1132-1135

Abstract:
Warming of the oceans and consequent loss of dissolved oxygen (O2) will alter marine ecosystems, but a mechanistic framework to predict the impact of multiple stressors on viable habitat is lacking. Here, we integrate physiological, climatic, and biogeographic data to calibrate and then map a key metabolic index — the ratio of O2 supply to resting metabolic O2 demand — across geographic ranges of several marine ectotherms. These species differ in thermal and hypoxic tolerances, but their contemporary distributions are all bounded at the equatorward edge by a minimum metabolic index of ~2 to 5, indicative of a critical energetic requirement for organismal activity. The combined effects of warming and O2 loss this century are projected to reduce the upper ocean’s metabolic index by ~20% globally and by ~50% in northern high-latitude regions, forcing poleward and vertical contraction of metabolically viable habitats and species ranges.

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Ocean acidification impairs crab foraging behavior

Luke Dodd et al.
Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, 7 July 2015

Abstract:
Anthropogenic elevation of atmospheric CO2 is driving global-scale ocean acidification, which consequently influences calcification rates of many marine invertebrates and potentially alters their susceptibility to predation. Ocean acidification may also impair an organism's ability to process environmental and biological cues. These counteracting impacts make it challenging to predict how acidification will alter species interactions and community structure. To examine effects of acidification on consumptive and behavioural interactions between mud crabs (Panopeus herbstii) and oysters (Crassostrea virginica), oysters were reared with and without caged crabs for 71 days at three pCO2 levels. During subsequent predation trials, acidification reduced prey consumption, handling time and duration of unsuccessful predation attempt. These negative effects of ocean acidification on crab foraging behaviour more than offset any benefit to crabs resulting from a reduction in the net rate of oyster calcification. These findings reveal that efforts to evaluate how acidification will alter marine food webs should include quantifying impacts on both calcification rates and animal behaviour.

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Climate change impacts on freshwater fish, coral reefs, and related ecosystem services in the United States

Diana Lane et al.
Climatic Change, July 2015, Pages 143-157

Abstract:
We analyzed the potential physical and economic impacts of climate change on freshwater fisheries and coral reefs in the United States, examining a reference case and two policy scenarios that limit global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We modeled shifts in suitable habitat for three freshwater fish guilds and changes in coral reef cover for three regions. We estimated resulting economic impacts from projected changes in recreational fishing and changes in recreational use of coral reefs. In general, coldwater fisheries are projected to be replaced by less desirable fisheries over the 21st century, but these impacts are reduced under the GHG mitigation scenarios. Similarly, coral cover is projected to decline over the 21st century primarily due to multiple bleaching events, but the GHG mitigation scenarios delay these declines in Hawaii (but not in South Florida or Puerto Rico). Using a benefit-transfer approach, we estimated that global policies limiting GHG emissions would provide economic benefits in the range of $10–28 billion over the 21st century through maintaining higher values for recreational services for all freshwater fisheries and coral reefs, compared to the reference scenario. These economic values are a subset of the total economic and societal benefits associated with avoiding projected future declines in freshwater fisheries and coral reef cover due to unmitigated climate change.

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Ocean impact on decadal Atlantic climate variability revealed by sea-level observations

Gerard McCarthy et al.
Nature, 28 May 2015, Pages 508–510

Abstracts:
Decadal variability is a notable feature of the Atlantic Ocean and the climate of the regions it influences. Prominently, this is manifested in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) in sea surface temperatures. Positive (negative) phases of the AMO coincide with warmer (colder) North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. The AMO is linked with decadal climate fluctuations, such as Indian and Sahel rainfall, European summer precipitation, Atlantic hurricanes and variations in global temperatures. It is widely believed that ocean circulation drives the phase changes of the AMO by controlling ocean heat content. However, there are no direct observations of ocean circulation of sufficient length to support this, leading to questions about whether the AMO is controlled from another source. Here we provide observational evidence of the widely hypothesized link between ocean circulation and the AMO. We take a new approach, using sea level along the east coast of the United States to estimate ocean circulation on decadal timescales. We show that ocean circulation responds to the first mode of Atlantic atmospheric forcing, the North Atlantic Oscillation, through circulation changes between the subtropical and subpolar gyres — the intergyre region. These circulation changes affect the decadal evolution of North Atlantic heat content and, consequently, the phases of the AMO. The Atlantic overturning circulation is declining and the AMO is moving to a negative phase. This may offer a brief respite from the persistent rise of global temperatures, but in the coupled system we describe, there are compensating effects. In this case, the negative AMO is associated with a continued acceleration of sea-level rise along the northeast coast of the United States.

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Quantifying and monetizing potential climate change policy impacts on terrestrial ecosystem carbon storage and wildfires in the United States

David Mills et al.
Climatic Change, July 2015, Pages 163-178

Abstract:
This paper develops and applies methods to quantify and monetize projected impacts on terrestrial ecosystem carbon storage and areas burned by wildfires in the contiguous United States under scenarios with and without global greenhouse gas mitigation. The MC1 dynamic global vegetation model is used to develop physical impact projections using three climate models that project a range of future conditions. We also investigate the sensitivity of future climates to different initial conditions of the climate model. Our analysis reveals that mitigation, where global radiative forcing is stabilized at 3.7 W/m2 in 2100, would consistently reduce areas burned from 2001 to 2100 by tens of millions of hectares. Monetized, these impacts are equivalent to potentially avoiding billions of dollars (discounted) in wildfire response costs. Impacts to terrestrial ecosystem carbon storage are less uniform, but changes are on the order of billions of tons over this time period. The equivalent social value of these changes in carbon storage ranges from hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars (discounted). The magnitude of these results highlights their importance when evaluating climate policy options. However, our results also show national outcomes are driven by a few regions and results are not uniform across regions, time periods, or models. Differences in the results based on the modeling approach and across initializing conditions also raise important questions about how variability in projected climates is accounted for, especially when considering impacts where extreme or threshold conditions are important.

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Protected Area Tourism in a Changing Climate: Will Visitation at US National Parks Warm Up or Overheat?

Nicholas Fisichelli et al.
PLoS ONE, June 2015

Abstract:
Climate change will affect not only natural and cultural resources within protected areas but also tourism and visitation patterns. The U.S. National Park Service systematically collects data regarding its 270+ million annual recreation visits, and therefore provides an opportunity to examine how human visitation may respond to climate change from the tropics to the polar regions. To assess the relationship between climate and park visitation, we evaluated historical monthly mean air temperature and visitation data (1979–2013) at 340 parks and projected potential future visitation (2041–2060) based on two warming-climate scenarios and two visitation-growth scenarios. For the entire park system a third-order polynomial temperature model explained 69% of the variation in historical visitation trends. Visitation generally increased with increasing average monthly temperature, but decreased strongly with temperatures > 25°C. Linear to polynomial monthly temperature models also explained historical visitation at individual parks (R2 0.12-0.99, mean = 0.79, median = 0.87). Future visitation at almost all parks (95%) may change based on historical temperature, historical visitation, and future temperature projections. Warming-mediated increases in potential visitation are projected for most months in most parks (67–77% of months; range across future scenarios), resulting in future increases in total annual visits across the park system (8–23%) and expansion of the visitation season at individual parks (13–31 days). Although very warm months at some parks may see decreases in future visitation, this potential change represents a relatively small proportion of visitation across the national park system. A changing climate is likely to have cascading and complex effects on protected area visitation, management, and local economies. Results suggest that protected areas and neighboring communities that develop adaptation strategies for these changes may be able to both capitalize on opportunities and minimize detriment related to changing visitation.

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Benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation on the supply, management, and use of water resources in the United States

K. Strzepek et al.
Climatic Change, July 2015, Pages 127-141

Abstract:
Climate change impacts on water resources in the United States are likely to be far-reaching and substantial because the water is integral to climate, and the water sector spans many parts of the economy. This paper estimates impacts and damages from five water resource-related models addressing runoff, drought risk, economics of water supply/demand, water stress, and flooding damages. The models differ in the water system assessed, spatial scale, and unit of assessment, but together provide a quantitative and descriptive richness in characterizing water sector effects that no single model can capture. The results, driven by a consistent set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and climate scenarios, examine uncertainty from emissions, climate sensitivity, and climate model selection. While calculating the net impact of climate change on the water sector as a whole may be impractical, broad conclusions can be drawn regarding patterns of change and benefits of GHG mitigation. Four key findings emerge: 1) GHG mitigation substantially reduces hydro-climatic impacts on the water sector; 2) GHG mitigation provides substantial national economic benefits in water resources related sectors; 3) the models show a strong signal of wetting for the Eastern US and a strong signal of drying in the Southwest; and 4) unmanaged hydrologic systems impacts show strong correlation with the change in magnitude and direction of precipitation and temperature from climate models, but managed water resource systems and regional economic systems show lower correlation with changes in climate variables due to non-linearities created by water infrastructure and the socio-economic changes in non-climate driven water demand.

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Projections of climate conditions that increase coral disease susceptibility and pathogen abundance and virulence

Jeffrey Maynard et al.
Nature Climate Change, July 2015, Pages 688–694

Abstract:
Rising sea temperatures are likely to increase the frequency of disease outbreaks affecting reef-building corals through impacts on coral hosts and pathogens. We present and compare climate model projections of temperature conditions that will increase coral susceptibility to disease, pathogen abundance and pathogen virulence. Both moderate (RCP 4.5) and fossil fuel aggressive (RCP 8.5) emissions scenarios are examined. We also compare projections for the onset of disease-conducive conditions and severe annual coral bleaching, and produce a disease risk summary that combines climate stress with stress caused by local human activities. There is great spatial variation in the projections, both among and within the major ocean basins, in conditions favouring disease development. Our results indicate that disease is as likely to cause coral mortality as bleaching in the coming decades. These projections identify priority locations to reduce stress caused by local human activities and test management interventions to reduce disease impacts.

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Impacts of rising air temperatures and emissions mitigation on electricity demand and supply in the United States: A multi-model comparison

James McFarland et al.
Climatic Change, July 2015, Pages 111-125

Abstract:
The electric power sector both affects and is affected by climate change. Numerous studies highlight the potential of the power sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet fewer studies have explored the physical impacts of climate change on the power sector. The present analysis examines how projected rising temperatures affect the demand for and supply of electricity. We apply a common set of temperature projections to three well-known electric sector models in the United States: the US version of the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM-USA), the Regional Electricity Deployment System model (ReEDS), and the Integrated Planning Model (IPM®). Incorporating the effects of rising temperatures from a control scenario without emission mitigation into the models raises electricity demand by 1.6 to 6.5 % in 2050 with similar changes in emissions. The increase in system costs in the reference scenario to meet this additional demand is comparable to the change in system costs associated with decreasing power sector emissions by approximately 50 % in 2050. This result underscores the importance of adequately incorporating the effects of long-run temperature change in climate policy analysis.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In your judgment

Waste Management: How Reducing Partiality Can Promote Efficient Resource Allocation

Shoham Choshen-Hillel, Alex Shaw & Eugene Caruso
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Two central principles that guide resource-allocation decisions are equity (providing equal pay for equal work) and efficiency (not wasting resources). When these two principles conflict with one another, people will often waste resources to avoid inequity. We suggest that people wish to avoid inequity not because they find it inherently unfair, but because they want to avoid the appearance of partiality associated with it. We explore one way to reduce waste by reducing the perceived partiality of inequitable allocations. Specifically, we hypothesize that people will be more likely to favor an efficient (albeit inequitable) allocation if it puts them in a disadvantaged position than if it puts others in a disadvantaged position. To test this hypothesis, we asked participants to choose between giving some extra resource to one person (thereby creating inequity between this person and equally deserving others) and not giving the resource to anyone (thereby wasting the resource). Six studies, using realistic scenarios and behavioral paradigms, provide robust evidence for a self-disadvantaging effect: Allocators were consistently more likely to create inequity to avoid wasting resources when the resulting inequity would put them at a relative disadvantage than when it would put others at a relative disadvantage. We further find that this self-disadvantaging effect is a direct result of people’s concern about appearing partial. Our findings suggest the importance of impartiality even in distributive justice, thereby bridging a gap between the distributive and procedural justice literatures.

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Grouping Promotes Equality: The Effect of Recipient Grouping on Allocation of Limited Medical Resources

Helen Colby, Jeff DeWitt & Gretchen Chapman
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Decisions about allocation of scarce resources, such as transplant organs, often entail a trade-off between efficiency (i.e., maximizing the total benefit) and fairness (i.e., dividing resources equally). In three studies, we used a hypothetical scenario for transplant-organ allocation to examine allocation to groups versus individuals. Study 1 demonstrated that allocation to individuals is more efficient than allocation to groups. Study 2 identified a factor that triggers the use of fairness over efficiency: presenting the beneficiaries as one arbitrary group rather than two. Specifically, when beneficiaries were presented as one group, policymakers tended to allocate resources efficiently, maximizing total benefit. However, when beneficiaries were divided into two arbitrary groups (by hospital name), policymakers divided resources more equally across the groups, sacrificing efficiency. Study 3 replicated this effect using a redundant attribute (prognosis) to create groups and found evidence for a mediator of the grouping effect — the use of individualizing information to rationalize a more equitable allocation decision.

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Interviewing to Elicit Information: Using Priming to Promote Disclosure

Evan Dawson, Maria Hartwig & Laure Brimbal
Law and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on implicit cognition has found that activating mental concepts can lead people to behave in ways that are consistent with the primed concept. In a pilot study we tested the effects of priming attachment security on the accessibility of disclosure-related concepts. Subsequently, we tested whether activating disclosure concepts by priming attachment security would influence people’s forthcomingness. Participants (N = 102) delivered a flash drive to a confederate who exposed them to details of a mock eco terrorism conspiracy, which they were subsequently interviewed about. Before being interviewed, half of the participants were primed; the other half were not. Results showed that primed participants disclosed significantly more information than those who were not primed. Our findings highlight the need for further research on basic nonconscious processes in investigative interviews, as such influences can affect the outcome of the interview. The operation of nonconscious influences in such contexts has implications for practitioners, who may be able to utilize priming to facilitate disclosure.

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Other-serving bias in advice-taking: When advisors receive more credit than blame

Mauricio Palmeira, Gerri Spassova & Hean Tat Keh
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, September 2015, Pages 13–25

Abstract:
We examine attributions of responsibility in advice-taking. In contrast to the well-documented self-serving bias, we find the opposite phenomenon, whereby decision-makers view an advisor as more responsible for a positive rather than a negative outcome, while they view themselves as more responsible for a negative rather than a positive outcome. We propose that this other-serving pattern of attributions is driven by a hindsight bias in the positive-outcome condition. Namely, knowledge that the outcome is positive and consistent with the advisor’s recommendation makes the outcome appear to be under the control of the advisor, which increases the perceived responsibility of the advisor relative to that of the decision-maker. No such bias is observed in the negative-outcome condition. We conduct five studies that show the robustness of this bias, provide evidence for the mechanism, and rule out several alternative explanations.

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Behavioral bias and the demand for bicycle and flood insurance

Mark Browne, Christian Knoller & Andreas Richter
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, April 2015, Pages 141-160

Abstract:
With data from an insurer that provides coverage for both a low probability, high consequence (LPHC) risk (the flood peril) and a high probability, low consequence (HPLC) risk (bicycle theft), we investigate behavioral bias in the demand for insurance. Our analysis provides evidence which is consistent with a preference for insurance for HPLC risks over LPHC risks: we find that many more policyholders purchase add-on coverage to their homeowner’s insurance to cover the risk of bicycle theft than to cover the risk of loss due to flooding. In addition, we find mixed evidence on whether policyholders’ insurance coverage decisions are responsive to changes in their risk exposure. We find a strong relationship between wealth and the demand for both types of coverage.

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The role of social comparison for maximizers and satisficers: Wanting the best or wanting to be the best?

Kimberlee Weaver et al.
Journal of Consumer Psychology, July 2015, Pages 372–388

Abstract:
Consumers chose between options that paired either an objectively inferior good with high relative standing (Your laptop is rated 60/100 in quality; others' laptops are rated 50/100) or an objectively superior good with low relative standing (Your laptop is rated 80/100 in quality; others' laptops are rated 95/100). Decision makers who try to make the “best” decision, known as maximizers (Schwartz et al., 2002), pursued relative standing more than decision makers who are satisfied with outcomes that are “good enough” (known as satisficers). That is, maximizers were more likely than satisficers to choose objectively inferior products when they were associated with higher relative standing. Subsequent analyses investigating decisions across time showed that maximizers' interest in relative standing persisted even when the nature of the tradeoff was made overt, suggesting it is a conscious aspect of the maximizer identity. Overall, results suggest that the maximizer self concept is more complex than has been previously assumed — they are focused on relative outcomes in addition to absolute outcomes.

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A Model of Nonbelief in the Law of Large Numbers

Daniel Benjamin, Matthew Rabin & Collin Raymond
Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming

Abstract:
People believe that, even in very large samples, proportions of binary signals might depart significantly from the population mean. We model this “nonbelief in the Law of Large Numbers” by assuming that a person believes that proportions in any given sample might be determined by a rate different than the true rate. In prediction, a nonbeliever expects the distribution of signals will have fat tails. In inference, a nonbeliever remains uncertain and influenced by priors even after observing an arbitrarily large sample. We explore implications for beliefs and behavior in a variety of economic settings.

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The Making of Homo Honoratus: From Omission to Commission

Michael Hallsworth et al.
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
Framing remains one of the pillars of behavioral economics. While framing effects have been found to be quite important in the lab, what is less clear is how well evidence drawn from naturally-occurring settings conforms to received laboratory insights. We use debt obligation to the UK government as a case study to explore the ‘omission bias’ present in decision making with large stakes. Using a natural field experiment that generates nearly 40,000 observations, we find that repayment rates are roughly doubled when the act is reframed as one of commission rather than omission. We estimate that this reframing of the perceived nature of the action generated over $1.3 million of new yield. We find evidence that this behavior may result from a deliberate ‘omission strategy’, rather than a behavioral bias, as is often assumed in the literature. Our natural field experiment highlights that behavioral economics is much more than a series of empirical exercises to quench the intellectual curiosity of academics.

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Threat-Related Information Suggests Competence: A Possible Factor in the Spread of Rumors

Pascal Boyer & Nora Parren
PLoS ONE, June 2015

Abstract:
Information about potential danger is a central component of many rumors, urban legends, ritual prescriptions, religious prohibitions and witchcraft crazes. We investigate a potential factor in the cultural success of such material, namely that a source of threat-related information may be intuitively judged as more competent than a source that does not convey such information. In five studies, we asked participants to judge which of two sources of information, only one of which conveyed threat-related information, was more knowledgeable. Results suggest that mention of potential danger makes a source appear more competent than others, that the effect is not due to a general negativity bias, and that it concerns competence rather than a more generally positive evaluation of the source.

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Is Trust Always Better than Distrust? The Potential Value of Distrust in Newer Virtual Teams Engaged in Short-Term Decision-Making

Paul Benjamin Lowry et al.
Group Decision and Negotiation, July 2015, Pages 723-752

Abstract:
The debate on the benefits of trust or distrust in groups has generated a substantial amount of research that points to the positive aspects of trust in groups, and generally characterizes distrust as a negative group phenomenon. Therefore, many researchers and practitioners assume that trust is inherently good and distrust is inherently bad. However, recent counterintuitive evidence obtained from face-to-face (FtF) groups indicates that the opposite might be true; trust can prove detrimental, and distrust instrumental, to decision-making in groups. By extending this argument to virtual teams (VTs), we examined the value of distrust for VTs completing routine and non-routine decision tasks, and showed that the benefits of distrust can extend to short-term VTs. Specifically, VTs seeded with distrust significantly outperformed all control groups in a non-routine decision-making task. In addition, we present quantitative evidence to show that the decision task itself can significantly affect the overall levels of trust/distrust within VTs. In addition to its practical and research implications, the theoretical contribution of our study is that it extends to a group level, and then to a VT setting, a theory of distrust previously tested in the psychology literature in the context of completing non-routine and routine decision tasks at an individual level.

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Syllogisms delivered in an angry voice lead to improved performance and engagement of a different neural system compared to neutral voice

Kathleen Smith et al.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, May 2015

Abstract:
Despite the fact that most real-world reasoning occurs in some emotional context, very little is known about the underlying behavioral and neural implications of such context. To further understand the role of emotional context in logical reasoning we scanned 15 participants with fMRI while they engaged in logical reasoning about neutral syllogisms presented through the auditory channel in a sad, angry, or neutral tone of voice. Exposure to angry voice led to improved reasoning performance compared to exposure to sad and neutral voice. A likely explanation for this effect is that exposure to expressions of anger increases selective attention toward the relevant features of target stimuli, in this case the reasoning task. Supporting this interpretation, reasoning in the context of angry voice was accompanied by activation in the superior frontal gyrus — a region known to be associated with selective attention. Our findings contribute to a greater understanding of the neural processes that underlie reasoning in an emotional context by demonstrating that two emotional contexts, despite being of the same (negative) valence, have different effects on reasoning.

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Pushing away from representative advice: Advice taking, anchoring, and adjustment

Christina Rader, Jack Soll & Richard Larrick
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, September 2015, Pages 26–43

Abstract:
Five studies compare the effects of forming an independent judgment prior to receiving advice with the effects of receiving advice before forming one’s own opinion. We call these the independent-then-revise sequence and the dependent sequence, respectively. We found that dependent participants adjusted away from advice, leading to fewer estimates close to the advice compared to independent-then-revise participants (Studies 1–5). This “push-away” effect was mediated by confidence in the advice (Study 2), with dependent participants more likely to evaluate advice unfavorably and to search for additional cues than independent-then-revise participants (Study 3). Study 4 tested accuracy under different advice sequences. Study 5 found that classic anchoring paradigms also show the push-away effect for median advice. Overall, the research shows that people adjust from representative (median) advice. The paper concludes by discussing when push-away effects occur in advice taking and anchoring studies and the value of independent distributions for observing these effects.

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Language Switching — But Not Foreign Language Use Per Se — Reduces the Framing Effect

Y. Oganian, C.W. Korn & H.R. Heekeren
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent studies reported reductions of well-established biases in decision making under risk, such as the framing effect, during foreign language (FL) use. These modulations were attributed to the use of FL itself, which putatively entails an increase in emotional distance. A reduced framing effect in this setting, however, might also result from enhanced cognitive control associated with language-switching in mixed-language contexts, an account that has not been tested yet. Here we assess predictions of the 2 accounts in 2 experiments with over 1,500 participants. In Experiment 1, we tested a central prediction of the emotional distance account, namely that the framing effect would be reduced at low, but not high, FL proficiency levels. We found a strong framing effect in the native language, and surprisingly also in the foreign language, independent of proficiency. In Experiment 2, we orthogonally manipulated foreign language use and language switching to concurrently test the validity of both accounts. As in Experiment 1, foreign language use per se had no effect on framing. Crucially, the framing effect was reduced following a language switch, both when switching into the foreign and the native language. Thus, our results suggest that reduced framing effects are not mediated by increased emotional distance in a foreign language, but by transient enhancement of cognitive control, putting the interplay of bilingualism and decision making in a new light.

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Counter-Regulating on the Internet: Threat Elicits Preferential Processing of Positive Information

Hannah Greving, Kai Sassenberg & Adam Fetterman
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Internet is a central source of information. It is increasingly used for information search in self-relevant domains (e.g., health). Self-relevant topics are also associated with specific emotions and motivational states. For example, individuals may fear serious illness and feel threatened. Thus far, the impact of threat has received little attention in Internet-based research. The current studies investigated how threat influences Internet search. Threat is known to elicit the preferential processing of positive information. The self-directed nature of Internet search should particularly provide opportunities for such processing behavior. We predicted that during Internet search, more positive information would be processed (i.e., allocated more attention to) and more positive knowledge would be acquired under threat than in a control condition. Three experiments supported this prediction: Under threat, attention is directed more to positive web pages (Study 1) and positive links (Study 2), and more positive information is acquired (Studies 1 and 3) than in a control condition. Notably, the effect on knowledge acquisition was mediated by the effect on attention allocation during an actual Internet search (Study 1). Thus, Internet search under threat leads to selective processing of positive information and dampens threatened individuals’ negative affect.

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Conflicted advice and second opinions: Benefits, but unintended consequences

Sunita Sah & George Loewenstein
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, September 2015, Pages 89–107

Abstract:
Second opinions have been advocated as an antidote to bias in advice when primary advisors have conflicts of interest. In four experiments, we demonstrate how primary advisors alter their advice due to knowledge of the presence of a second advisor. We show that advisors give more biased advice and adopt a profit-maximizing frame when they are aware of the mere availability of a second opinion. The bias increases when primary advisors are aware that the second opinion is of low quality, and decreases when they know the second opinion is of high quality and easy to access. Both economic concerns (e.g., losing future business) and noneconomic concerns (e.g., concern that a second advisor will expose the poor quality advice) decrease bias in primary advisors’ advice. Based on these findings, we discuss circumstances in which second opinions are likely to be beneficial or detrimental to advice-recipients.

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Not looking yourself: The cost of self-selecting photographs for identity verification

David White, Amy Burton & Richard Kemp
British Journal of Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Photo-identification is based on the premise that photographs are representative of facial appearance. However, previous studies show that ratings of likeness vary across different photographs of the same face, suggesting that some images capture identity better than others. Two experiments were designed to examine the relationship between likeness judgments and face matching accuracy. In Experiment 1, we compared unfamiliar face matching accuracy for self-selected and other-selected high-likeness images. Surprisingly, images selected by previously unfamiliar viewers – after very limited exposure to a target face – were more accurately matched than self-selected images chosen by the target identity themselves. Results also revealed extremely low inter-rater agreement in ratings of likeness across participants, suggesting that perceptions of image resemblance are inherently unstable. In Experiment 2, we test whether the cost of self-selection can be explained by this general disagreement in likeness judgments between individual raters. We find that averaging across rankings by multiple raters produces image selections that provide superior identification accuracy. However, benefit of other-selection persisted for single raters, suggesting that inaccurate representations of self interfere with our ability to judge which images faithfully represent our current appearance.

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Does the presence of a mannequin head change shopping behavior?

Annika Lindström et al.
Journal of Business Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Mannequins are ubiquitous; this research investigates a specific element of mannequin style, namely, the presence or absence of a humanized head. Study 1 demonstrates that in physical stores, the presence of a humanized head enhances purchase intentions for the merchandise displayed on that mannequin. However, in online stores, mannequin styles with and without humanized heads are equally effective. Study 2 confirms the physical store results among customers with less fashion knowledge (novices), but among customers with more fashion knowledge (experts), the results reverse, such that mannequins without humanized heads enhance purchase intentions. Further, accessories are more likely to be viewed by experts when the mannequin is headless. These results are based on experiments whose dependent measures included both survey and eye-tracking data.

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Oxytocin enhances implicit social conformity to both in-group and out-group opinions

Yi Huang et al.
Psychoneuroendocrinology, October 2015, Pages 114–119

Abstract:
People often alter their own preferences when facing conflicting opinions expressed by others. This is known as the social conformity effect and tends to be stronger in response to opinions expressed by in-group relative to out-group members. The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin promotes in-group favoritism, elicits parochial altruism, and stimulates in-group conformity under explicit social pressure. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled design experiment using a facial attractiveness judgment task, we therefore investigated whether social conformity to either in-group or out-group opinions is influenced by intranasal oxytocin treatment when social pressure is implicit. After oxytocin or placebo treatment, male participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of unfamiliar Chinese female faces, and then they were informed of ratings given by peers from an in-group (Chinese) and out-group (Japanese) simultaneously. They were subsequently asked unexpectedly to re-rate the same faces. Results showed that oxytocin increased conformity to both in- and out-group opinions. Thus oxytocin promotes conformity to opinions of both in- and out-group members when social pressure is implicit, suggesting that it facilitates ‘tend and befriend’ behaviors by increasing the general level of social conformity.

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Ostracism Reduces Reliance on Poor Advice from Others during Decision Making

Kaileigh Byrne et al.
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, forthcoming

Abstract:
Decision making is rarely context-free, and often, both social information and non-social information are weighed into one's decisions. Incorporating information into a decision can be influenced by previous experiences. Ostracism has extensive effects, including taxing cognitive resources and increasing social monitoring. In decision making situations, individuals are often faced with both objective and social information and must choose which information to include or filter out. How will ostracism affect the reliance on objective and social information during decision making? Participants (N = 245) in Experiment 1 were randomly assigned to be included or ostracized in a standardized, group task. They then performed a dynamic decision making task that involved the presentation of either non-social (i.e. biased reward feedback) or social (i.e., poor advice from a previous participant) misleading information. In Experiment 2, participants (N = 105) completed either the ostracism non-social condition or social misleading information condition with explicit instructions stating that the advice given was from an individual who did not partake in the group task. Ostracized individuals relied more on non-social misleading information and performed worse than included individuals. However, ostracized individuals discounted misleading social information and outperformed included individuals. Results of Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1. Across two experiments, ostracized individuals were more critical of advice from others, both individuals who may have ostracized them and unrelated individuals. In other words, compared with included individuals, ostracized individuals underweighted advice from another individual but overweighed non-social information during decision making. We conclude that when deceptive objective information is present, ostracism results in disadvantageous decision making.

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Willpower Depletion and Framing Effects

Thomas de Haan & Roel van Veldhuizen
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, September 2015, Pages 47–61

Abstract:
One of the hallmark findings from behavioral economics is that choices are sensitive to the context they are presented in. However, the strength of such ‘framing effects’ varies between studies, and some studies fail to find any effect at all. A long line of research has argued that the presence and size of framing effects depend to a large extent on whether people use higher or lower-level mental decision making processes (or heuristics). A similarly important line of research in social psychology and economics suggests that higher-level mental processes such as self-control draw upon a limited pool of mental resources that can be exhausted. This study links these two lines of research and investigates whether depleting people's mental resources (or ‘willpower’) affects the degree to which they are susceptible to framing effects. In three separate experiments we depleted participants’ willpower using the commonly used Stroop task method and subsequently made them take part in a series of tasks, including a framed prisoner's dilemma, an attraction effect task and an anchoring effect task. However, though we find strong evidence of a framing effect in all three tasks, the strength of these effects is not affected by induced changes in the level of willpower depletion.

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The effect of cognitive load on economic decision making: A survey and new experiments

Cary Deck & Salar Jahedi
European Economic Review, August 2015, Pages 97–119

Abstract:
Psychologists and economists have examined the effect of cognitive load in a variety of situations from risk taking to snack choice. We review previous experiments that have directly manipulated cognitive load and summarize their findings. We report the results of two new experiments where participants engage in a digit-memorization task while simultaneously performing a variety of economic tasks including: (1) choices involving risk, (2) choices involving intertemporal substitution, (3) choices with anchoring effects, (4) choices over healthy and unhealthy snacks, and (5) math problems. We find that higher cognitive load reduces numeracy as measured by performance in math problems. Moreover, within-subject analysis indicates that cognitive load leads to more risk-averse behavior, more impatience over money, and (nominally) more likelihood to anchor. We do not find any evidence that cognitive load increases impatience over consumption goods or unhealthy snack choices. Exploiting the panel nature of our data set, we find that those individuals who are most sensitive to cognitive load, as measured by a large drop in their own math performance across 1- and 8-digit memorization treatments, are driving much of the effect.

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My Mug Is Valuable, But My Partner's Is Even More So: Economic Decisions for Close Others

Michael Greenstein & Xiaomeng Xu
Basic and Applied Social Psychology, May/June 2015, Pages 174-187

Abstract:
In three experiments, we investigated how people make economic decisions for close others. Participants performed an imaginary valuation task for objects of theirs, a close other, and a stranger. Replicating the endowment effect, people valued their objects more than a stranger's. Of interest, participants valued a close other's objects more than their own. Further experiments showed that the inflated values for a close other's objects were not due to social desirability or task demands. These results convey the importance of considering for whom an economic decision is being made, as people respond differently for themselves, close others, and strangers.

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The need to belong and the value of belongings: Does ostracism change the subjective value of personal possessions?

Lukasz Walasek, William Matthews & Tim Rakow
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
A growing body of research has demonstrated that feelings of possession influence the valuation of personal possessions. Psychological theories of ownership suggest that a special bond between a person and his/her possession arises in response to the innate motivation for effectance, self-identity and need for home. However, current empirical support is insufficient to make a causal link between these psychological needs and feelings of ownership. In four studies (total N > 800), we manipulated people's basic needs by inducing feelings of ostracism, which threatens the needs for belonging, self-esteem, control, and belief in a meaningful existence. Despite the fact that these social needs are closely related to the putative antecedents of feelings of ownership, the ostracism manipulation did not significantly affect participants’ feelings of ownership, or their valuations of their possessions, whether measured by willingness to accept or willingness to pay. These results suggest that the special bond that people have with their belongings is not readily used to restore basic psychological needs following the experience of social exclusion.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, July 6, 2015

Backward

Deals and Delays: Firm-level Evidence on Corruption and Policy Implementation Times

Caroline Freund, Mary Hallward-Driemeier & Bob Rijkers
World Bank Economic Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Whether demands for bribes for particular government services are associated with expedited or delayed policy implementation underlies debates around the role of corruption in private sector development. The “grease the wheels” hypothesis, which contends that bribes act as speed money, implies three testable predictions. First, on average, bribe requests should be negatively correlated with wait times. Second, this relationship should vary across firms, with those with the highest opportunity cost of waiting being more likely to pay and facing shorter delays. Third, the role of grease should vary across countries, with benefits larger where regulatory burdens are greatest. The data are inconsistent with all three predictions. According to the preferred specifications, ceteris paribus, firms confronted with demands for bribes take approximately 1.5 times longer to get a construction permit, operating license, or electrical connection than firms that did not have to pay bribes and, respectively, 1.2 and 1.4 times longer to clear customs when exporting and importing. The results are robust to controlling for firm fixed effects and at odds with the notion that corruption enhances efficiency.

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Does wealth inequality matter for growth? The effect of billionaire wealth, income distribution, and poverty

Sutirtha Bagchi & Jan Svejnar
Journal of Comparative Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
A fundamental question in social sciences relates to the effect of wealth inequality on economic growth. Yet, in tackling the question, researchers have had to use income as a proxy for wealth. We derive a global measure of wealth inequality from Forbes magazine's listing of billionaires and compare its effect on growth to the effects of income inequality and poverty. Our results suggest that wealth inequality has a negative relationship with economic growth, but when we control for the fact that some billionaires acquired wealth through political connections, the relationship between politically connected wealth inequality and economic growth is negative, while politically unconnected wealth inequality, income inequality, and initial poverty have no significant relationship.

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Does Democracy Drive Income in the World, 1500–2000?

Jakob Madsen, Paul Raschky & Ahmed Skali
European Economic Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using data for political regimes, income and human capital for a sample of 141 countries over the periods 1820–2000 and 1500–2000, this research examines the income and growth effects of democracy when human capital, among other key variables, is controlled for. Linguistic distance-weighted foreign democracy is used as an instrument for domestic democracy. Democracy is found to be a significant determinant of income and growth and the result is robust to various estimation methods and covariates. We find that a one-standard deviation increase in democracy is associated with a 44–98% increase in per capita income.

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The Rise in Life Expectancy and Economic Growth in the 20th Century

Casper Worm Hansen & Lars Lønstrup
Economic Journal, May 2015, Pages 838–852

Abstract:
This research exploits conditional exogenous variation in mortality from the diffusion of modern medicine to study the effect of growth in life expectancy on the growth in GDP per capita. The empirical analysis establishes that countries that obtained higher growth rates of life expectancy due to this shock to mortality in the mid-twentieth century experienced lower growth rates of GDP per capita in the second half of the twentieth century. In addition, a negative relationship between initial level of life expectancy and the subsequent growth rate of GDP per capita is found.

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Empty Thrones: Medieval Politics, State Building and Contemporary Development in Europe

Avidit Acharya & Alexander Lee
Stanford Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
The development of modern state institutions is a major legacy of the medieval period in Europe. In this paper, we investigate the effects of medieval politics on contemporary economic development through their effect on the success or failure of medieval state building efforts. During the Middle Ages, most European polities operated under a norm that gave only the close male relatives of a deceased monarch a clear place in the line of succession. When no such heirs were available, succession disputes were more likely, with more distant relatives and female(-line) heirs laying competing claims to the throne. These disputes often produced violent conflicts that destroyed existing state institutions and stunted the subsequent development of the state. We therefore hypothesize that a shortage of male heirs to a European monarchy in the Middle Ages has a deleterious effect on levels of development across contemporary European regions ruled by that monarchy. We find that regions that were more likely to have a shortage of such heirs are today poorer than other regions. Our finding highlights the importance of the medieval period in European development, and show how luck works in combination with both institutions and norms in shaping development trajectories.

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An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble: The Commercial Transition and the Commodity Price Boom of 1845-1885

Ewout Frankema, Jeffrey Williamson & Pieter Woltjer
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
This is the first study to present a unified quantitative account of African commodity trade in the long 19th century from the zenith of the Atlantic slave trade (1790s) to the eve of World War II (1939). Drawing evidence from a new dataset on export and import prices, volumes, composition and net barter terms of trade for five African regions, we show that Sub-Saharan Africa experienced a terms of trade boom that was comparable to other parts of the ‘global periphery’ from the late 18th century up to the mid-1880s, with an exceptionally sharp price boom in the four decades before the Berlin conference (1845-1885). We argue that this commodity price boom changed the economic context in favor of a European scramble for Africa. We also show that the accelerated export growth after the establishment of colonial rule deepened Africa’s specialization in primary commodities, even though the terms of trade turned into a prolonged decline after 1885.

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The “Peter Pan Syndrome” in Emerging Markets: The Productivity-Transparency Trade-off in IT Adoption

K. Sudhir & Debabrata Talukdar
Marketing Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Firms invest in technology to increase productivity. Yet in emerging markets, where a culture of informality is widespread, information technology (IT) investments leading to greater transparency can impose a cost through higher taxes and the need for regulatory compliance. The tendency of firms to avoid productivity-enhancing technologies and remain small to avoid transparency has been dubbed the “Peter Pan Syndrome.” We examine whether firms make the trade-off between productivity and transparency by examining IT adoption in the Indian retail sector. We find that computer technology adoption is lower when firms are motivated to avoid transparency. Specifically, technology adoption is lower when there is greater corruption, but higher when there is better enforcement and auditing. So, firms have a higher productivity gain threshold to adopt computers in corrupt business environments that suffer from patchy and variable enforcement of the tax laws. Not accounting for this motivation to hide from the formal sector underestimates productivity gains from computer adoption. Thus, in addition to their direct effects on the economy, enforcement, auditing, and corruption can have indirect effects through their negative impact on adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies that also increase operational transparency.

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The Culture of Corruption, Tax Evasion, and Economic Growth

Maksym Ivanyna, Alexandros Moumouras & Peter Rangazas
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study uses a dynamic general equilibrium model to quantify the effects of corruption and tax evasion on fiscal policy and economic growth. The model is calibrated to match estimates of tax evasion in developing countries. The calibrated model is able to generate reasonable predictions for net tax rates, the corruption associated with public investment projects, and the negative correlation between corruption and tax revenue. The presence of corruption and evasion is shown to have significant, but not large, negative effects on economic growth. The relatively moderate effects help explain the absence of a robust negative correlation between growth and corruption in cross-country data. The model also implies that cracking down on tax evasion before addressing corruption can be a bad idea and that higher wages for public officials can improve welfare.

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The mortality cost of political connections

Raymond Fisman & Yongxiang Wang
Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study the relationship between the political connections of Chinese firms and workplace fatalities. In our preferred specification we find that the worker death rate for connected companies is two to three times that of unconnected firms (depending on the sample employed), a pattern that holds for within-firm estimations. The connections-mortality relationship is attenuated in provinces where safety regulators’ promotion is contingent on meeting safety targets. In the absence of fatalities, connected firms receive fewer reports of major violations for safety compliance, whereas in years of fatal accidents the rate of reported violations is identical. Moreover, fatal accidents produce negative returns at connected companies and are associated with the subsequent departure of well-connected executives. These results provide suggestive evidence that connections enable firms to avoid (potentially costly) compliance measures, rather than using connections to avoid regulatory response after accidents occur. Our findings emphasize the social costs of political connections, and suggest that appropriate regulatory incentives may be useful in mitigating these costs.

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Debt into Growth: How Sovereign Debt Accelerated the First Industrial Revolution

Jaume Ventura & Hans-Joachim Voth
NBER Working Paper, June 2015

Abstract:
Why did the country that borrowed the most industrialize first? Earlier research has viewed the explosion of debt in 18th century Britain as either detrimental, or as neutral for economic growth. In this paper, we argue instead that Britain’s borrowing boom was beneficial. The massive issuance of liquidly traded bonds allowed the nobility to switch out of low-return investments such as agricultural improvements. This switch lowered factor demand by old sectors and increased profits in new, rising ones such as textiles and iron. Because external financing contributed little to the Industrial Revolution, this boost in profits in new industries accelerated structural change, making Britain more industrial more quickly. The absence of an effective transfer of financial resources from old to new sectors also helps to explain why the Industrial Revolution led to massive social change – because the rich nobility did not lend to or invest in the revolutionizing industries, it failed to capture the high returns to capital in these sectors, leading to relative economic decline.

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Old habits die hard (sometimes)

Tommy Murphy
Journal of Economic Growth, June 2015, Pages 177-222

Abstract:
Unified growth theory suggests the fertility decline was crucial for achieving long-term growth, yet the causes behind that decline are still not entirely clear from an empirical point of view. In particular for France, the first country to experience this demographic transition in the European context, the reasons why some areas of the country had lower fertility than others are poorly understood. Using département level data for the last quarter of the nineteenth century, this paper exploits the French regional variation to study the correlates of fertility, estimating various fixed-effects models. The findings confirm the importance of some of the forces suggested by standard fertility choice models. Education in general, female education in particular, for example, seems to be crucial. Results also highlight the relevance of non-economic factors (such as secularisation), for which I provide new measurements. The presence of spatial dependence also suggests that diffusion of fertility played a particular role.

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Globalization and the Ethnic Divide: Recent Longitudinal Evidence

Phanindra Wunnava, Aniruddha Mitra & Robert Prasch
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objective: This article investigates the impact of increasing global integration on economic growth, emphasizing its interaction with the level of ethnic heterogeneity in a society.

Methods: We perform a feasible generalized least squares estimation of a random effects model on a longitudinal sample of 103 countries taken over the period 1992–2005.

Results: We find that economic globalization has generally had a beneficial impact on economic growth. We also find that societies marked by greater ethnic heterogeneity have gained more from global integration. Further, while ethnic heterogeneity has been a significant impediment to growth over the sample period, religious and linguistic heterogeneity have not. Finally, we find that democracies have significantly outperformed autocracies over this period.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that globalization may have a role in redressing the detrimental impact of ethnic cleavages in a society.

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The more the merrier? Evidence on quality of life and population size using historical mines

Stefan Leknes
Regional Science and Urban Economics, September 2015, Pages 1–17

Abstract:
I investigate the relationship between population size and quality of life. The quantity and quality of consumer amenities will increase with urban scale if they are not offset by congestion effects. To deal with endogenous urban scale, I utilize a quasi-experimental design where I exploit the spatial distribution of mineral resources using Norwegian mines from the 12th to the 19th century. The findings suggest that cities become more attractive as a consequence of higher population size.

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Constitutional Rights and Education: An International Comparative Study

Sebastian Edwards & Alvaro Garcia Marin
Journal of Comparative Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigate whether the inclusion of educational rights in political constitutions affects the quality of education. We rely on data for 61 countries that participated in the 2012 PISA tests. Our results are strong and robust to the estimation technique (least squares or instrumental variables): there is no evidence that including the right to education in the constitution has been associated with higher test scores. The quality of education depends on socioeconomic, structural, and policy variables, such as expenditure per student, the teacher-pupil ratio, and families’ background. These results are important for emerging countries that are discussing the adoption of new constitutions, such as Thailand and Chile.

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Neighborhood Sanitation and Infant Mortality

Michael Geruso & Dean Spears
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
In the developing world, there has been significant policy interest in recent years in ending open defecation — that is, defecation in fields, behind homes, and near roads. This attention is in part motivated by a belief that the private demand for latrines and toilets is below the social optimum. We investigate the infant mortality externalities of poor sanitation by exploiting differences in the demand for latrines between Muslim and Hindu households in India: Indian Muslims, despite being poorer, are 25 percentage points more likely than Indian Hindus to use latrines or toilets. Instrumenting for local sanitation with the religious composition of neighborhoods, we show large infant mortality externalities of neighbors defecating in the open. Estimates of these neighbor effects are similar regardless of the household's own latrine use and own religion. Our findings are informative of the external harm generated by the roughly 1 billion people today who defecate in the open.

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To Kill and Tell? State Power, Criminal Competition, and Drug Violence

Angelica Duran-Martinez
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
Violence is commonly viewed as an inherent attribute of the drug trade. Yet, there is dramatic variation in drug violence within countries afflicted by drug trafficking. This article advances a novel framework that explains how the interaction between two critical variables, the cohesion of the state security apparatus, and the competition in the illegal market determines traffickers’ incentives to employ violence. The analysis introduces a generally overlooked dimension of violence, its visibility. Visibility refers to whether traffickers publicly expose their use of violence or claim responsibility for their attacks. Drawing on fieldwork in five cities in Colombia and Mexico (Cali, Medellin, Ciudad Juárez, Culiacán, and Tijuana), 175 interviews, and a new data set on drug violence, I argue that violence becomes visible and frequent when trafficking organizations compete and the state security apparatus is fragmented. By contrast, violence becomes less visible and less frequent when the criminal market is monopolized and the state security apparatus is cohesive.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Besties

Not so lonely at the top: The relationship between power and loneliness

Adam Waytz et al.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, September 2015, Pages 69–78

Abstract:
Eight studies found a robust negative relationship between the experience of power and the experience of loneliness. Dispositional power and loneliness were negatively correlated (Study 1). Experimental inductions established causality: we manipulated high versus low power through autobiographical essays, assignment to positions, or control over resources, and found that each manipulation showed that high versus low power decreased loneliness (Studies 2a–2c). We also demonstrated both that low power can increase loneliness and that high power can decrease loneliness by comparing these conditions to a baseline condition (Studies 3–4, 6). Furthermore, we establish a key mechanism that explains this effect, demonstrating that the need to belong mediates the effect of power on loneliness (Studies 5–6). These findings help explain some effects of power on social cognition, offer insights into organizational well-being and motivation, and speak to the fundamental question of whether it is “lonely at the top” or lonelier at the bottom.

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Differences in Expressivity Based on Attractiveness: Target or Perceiver Effects?

Jennifer Rennels & Andrea Kayl
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, September 2015, Pages 163–172

Abstract:
A significant association exists between adults’ expressivity and facial attractiveness, but it is unclear whether the association is linear or significant only at the extremes of attractiveness. It is also unclear whether attractive persons actually display more positive expressivity than unattractive persons (target effects) or whether high and low attractiveness influences expressivity valence judgments (perceiver effects). Experiment 1 demonstrated adult ratings of attractiveness were predictive of expressivity valence only for high and low attractive females and medium attractive males. Experiment 2 showed that low attractive females actually display more negative expressivity than medium and high attractive females, but there were no target effects for males. Also, attractiveness influenced expressivity valence judgments (perceiver effects) for both females and males. Our findings demonstrate that low attractive females are at a particular disadvantage during social interactions due to their low attractiveness, actual displays of negative expressivity, and perceptions of their negative expressivity.

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Contagious yawning and psychopathy

Brian Rundle, Vanessa Vaughn & Matthew Stanford
Personality and Individual Differences, November 2015, Pages 33–37

Abstract:
Psychopathy is characterized by a general antisocial lifestyle with behaviors including being selfish, manipulative, impulsive, fearless, callous, possibly domineering, and particularly lacking in empathy. Contagious yawning in our species has been strongly linked to empathy. We exposed 135 students, male and female, who completed the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised (PPI-R), to a yawning paradigm intended to induce a reactionary yawn. Further, we exposed males to an emotion-related startle paradigm meant to assess peripheral amygdalar reactivity. We found that scores on the PPI-R subscale Coldheartedness significantly predicted a reduced chance of yawning. Further, we found that emotion-related startle amplitudes were predictive of frequency of contagious yawning. These data suggest that psychopathic traits may be related to the empathic nature of contagious yawning in our species.

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Sugarcoated isolation: Evidence that social avoidance is linked to higher basal glucose levels and higher consumption of glucose

Tsachi Ein-Dor et al.
Frontiers in Psychology, April 2015

Objective: The human brain adjusts its level of effort in coping with various life stressors as a partial function of perceived access to social resources. We examined whether people who avoid social ties maintain a higher fasting basal level of glucose in their bloodstream and consume more sugar-rich food, reflecting strategies to draw more on personal resources when threatened.

Methods: In Study 1 (N = 60), we obtained fasting blood glucose and adult attachment orientations data. In Study 2 (N = 285), we collected measures of fasting blood glucose and adult attachment orientations from older adults of mixed gender, using a measure of attachment style different from Study 1. In Study 3 (N = 108), we examined the link between trait-like attachment avoidance, manipulation of an asocial state, and consumption of sugar-rich food. In Study 4 (N = 115), we examined whether manipulating the social network will moderate the effect of attachment avoidance on consumption of sugar-rich food.

Results: In Study 1, fasting blood glucose levels corresponded with higher attachment avoidance scores after statistically adjusting for time of assessment and interpersonal anxiety. For Study 2, fasting blood glucose continued to correspond with higher adult attachment avoidance even after statistically adjusting for interpersonal anxiety, stress indices, age, gender, social support and body mass. In Study 3, people high in attachment avoidance consume more sugar-rich food, especially when reminded of asocial tendencies. Study 4 indicated that after facing a stressful task in the presence of others, avoidant people gather more sugar-rich food than more socially oriented people.

Conclusion: Results are consistent with the suggestion that socially avoidant individuals upwardly adjust their basal glucose levels and consume more glucose-rich food with the expectation of increased personal effort because of limited access to social resources. Further investigation of this link is warranted.

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Face-trait inferences show robust child-adult agreement: Evidence from three types of faces

E.J. Cogsdill & M.R. Banaji
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, September 2015, Pages 150–156

Abstract:
Humans rapidly and automatically use facial appearance to attribute personality traits (“trustworthy,” “competent”). To what extent is this face-to-trait attribution learned gradually across development versus early in childhood? Here, we demonstrate that child-adult concordance occurs even when faces should minimize agreement: natural (not computer-generated) adult faces; less developed children’s faces; and perceptually unfamiliar monkey faces. In Study 1, 3- to 12-year-olds and adults selected “nice/mean” faces among pairs with a priori “nice-mean” ratings. Significant cross-age consensus emerged for all three face types. Study 2 replicated this result using an improved procedure in which 44–48 faces appeared in randomized pairs. This converging evidence supports the idea that complex forms of social cognition – allowing perceivers to believe they can derive personality from faces – emerge early in childhood, a finding that calls for new procedures to detect this central facet of cognition earlier in life.

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Feeling High but Playing Low: Power, Need to Belong, and Submissive Behavior

Kimberly Rios, Nathanael Fast & Deborah Gruenfeld
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Past research has demonstrated a causal relationship between power and dominant behavior, motivated in part by the desire to maintain the social distinctiveness created by one’s position of power. In this article, we test the novel idea that some individuals respond to high-power roles by displaying not dominance but instead submissiveness. We theorize that high-power individuals who are also high in the need to belong experience the social distinctiveness associated with power as threatening, rather than as an arrangement to protect and maintain. We predict that such individuals will counter their feelings of threat with submissive behaviors to downplay their power and thereby reduce their distinctiveness. We found support for this hypothesis across three studies using different operationalizations of power, need to belong, and submissiveness. Furthermore, Study 3 illustrated the mediating role of fear of (positive) attention in the relationship between power, need to belong, and submissive behavior.

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Who compares and despairs? The effect of social comparison orientation on social media use and its outcomes

Erin Vogel et al.
Personality and Individual Differences, November 2015, Pages 249–256

Abstract:
People vary in their tendencies to compare themselves to others, an individual difference variable called social comparison orientation (SCO). Social networking sites provide information about others that can be used for social comparison. The goal of the present set of studies was to explore the relationship between SCO, Facebook use, and negative psychological outcomes. Studies 1a and 1b used correlational approaches and showed that participants high (vs. low) in SCO exhibited heavier Facebook use. Study 2 used an experimental approach and revealed that participants high in SCO had poorer self-perceptions, lower self-esteem, and more negative affect balance than their low-SCO counterparts after engaging in brief social comparisons on Facebook. SCO did not have as strong or consistent effects for participants engaging in control tasks. Results are discussed in the context of extant literature and the impact of social media use on well-being.

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The development of adolescents’ friendships and antipathies: A longitudinal multivariate network test of balance theory

Ashwin Rambaran et al.
Social Networks, October 2015, Pages 162–176

Abstract:
We examined the interplay between friendship (best friend) and antipathy (dislike) relationships among adolescents (N = 480; 11–14 years) in two US middle schools over three years (grades 6, 7, and 8). Using longitudinal multivariate network analysis (RSiena), the effects of friendships on antipathies and vice versa were tested, while structural network effects (e.g., density, reciprocity, and transitivity) and individual (age, gender, and ethnicity) and behavioral (prosocial and antisocial behavior) dispositions were controlled for. Based on (structural) balance theory, it was expected that friendships would be formed or maintained when two adolescents disliked the same person (shared enemy hypothesis), that friends would tend to agree on whom they disliked (friends’ agreement hypothesis), that adolescents would tend to dislike the friends of those they disliked (reinforced animosity hypothesis), and, finally, that they would become or stay friends with dislikes of dislikes (enemy's enemy hypothesis). Support was found for the first three hypotheses, and partially for the fourth hypothesis. Results are discussed in light of adolescents’ peer relationships.

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I need you closer to me: Effects of affiliation goals on perceptions of interpersonal distance

Mariëlle Stel & Guido van Koningsbruggen
European Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
People's perceptions are often distorted in a way that aligns with their desires and goals. We argue that having a goal to affiliate changes the perception of interpersonal distance in a way that may help to fulfil this affiliation goal. As other people are goal-relevant when having an affiliation goal, we expected that people with affiliation goals would estimate the distance between themselves and another person as smaller than people with no affiliation goals. In two studies, we manipulated affiliation goals by priming participants with affiliation or control words. Our main dependent variable was the estimated interpersonal distance between themselves and the experimenter. Results showed that participants primed with affiliation estimated the interpersonal distance as smaller compared with participants primed with control words. We did not obtain reliable differences between the affiliation and control conditions on other distance and height estimations. Our results suggest that having or not having affiliation goals influences people's perception of the distance between them and other people.

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Differential Effects of Oxytocin on Agency and Communion for Anxiously and Avoidantly Attached Individuals

Jennifer Bartz et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Oxytocin promotes prosocial behavior, especially in those individuals who are low in affiliation (e.g., avoidantly attached individuals), but can exacerbate interpersonal insecurities in those preoccupied with closeness (e.g., anxiously attached individuals). One explanation for these opposing observations is that oxytocin induces a communal, other-orientation. Becoming more other oriented should help those people who focus on the self to the exclusion of others, but could be detrimental to those who are other focused but have little sense of an agentic self. Using a within-subjects design, we administered intranasal oxytocin and placebo to 40 males and measured their agency (self-orientation) and communion (other-orientation). Oxytocin produced a slight increase in communion for the average participant; however, as predicted, avoidantly attached individuals were especially likely to perceive themselves as more communal (“kind,” “warm,” “gentle,” etc.) after receiving oxytocin than after receiving the placebo. There was no main effect of oxytocin on agency for the average participant; however, anxiously attached individuals showed a selective decrease in agency (“independent,” “self-confident,” etc.) following administration of oxytocin. These data help explain the complex social effects of oxytocin.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Light and transient causes

The self-control consequences of political ideology

Joshua Clarkson et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Evidence from three studies reveals a critical difference in self-control as a function of political ideology. Specifically, greater endorsement of political conservatism (versus liberalism) was associated with greater attention regulation and task persistence. Moreover, this relationship is shown to stem from varying beliefs in freewill; specifically, the association between political ideology and self-control is mediated by differences in the extent to which belief in freewill is endorsed, is independent of task performance or motivation, and is reversed when freewill is perceived to impede (rather than enhance) self-control. Collectively, these findings offer insight into the self-control consequences of political ideology by detailing conditions under which conservatives and liberals are better suited to engage in self-control and outlining the role of freewill beliefs in determining these conditions.

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The Attentional Cost of Receiving a Cell Phone Notification

Cary Stothart, Ainsley Mitchum & Courtney Yehnert
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, forthcoming

Abstract:
It is well documented that interacting with a mobile phone is associated with poorer performance on concurrently performed tasks because limited attentional resources must be shared between tasks. However, mobile phones generate auditory or tactile notifications to alert users of incoming calls and messages. Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance. We found that cellular phone notifications alone significantly disrupted performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the task. The magnitude of observed distraction effects was comparable in magnitude to those seen when users actively used a mobile phone, either for voice calls or text messaging.

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A Series of Meta-Analytic Tests of the Depletion Effect: Self-Control Does Not Seem to Rely on a Limited Resource

Evan Carter et al.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming

Abstract:
Failures of self-control are thought to underlie various important behaviors (e.g., addiction, violence, obesity, poor academic achievement). The modern conceptualization of self-control failure has been heavily influenced by the idea that self-control functions as if it relied upon a limited physiological or cognitive resource. This view of self-control has inspired hundreds of experiments designed to test the prediction that acts of self-control are more likely to fail when they follow previous acts of self-control (the depletion effect). Here, we evaluated the empirical evidence for this effect with a series of focused, meta-analytic tests that address the limitations in prior appraisals of the evidence. We find very little evidence that the depletion effect is a real phenomenon, at least when assessed with the methods most frequently used in the laboratory. Our results strongly challenge the idea that self-control functions as if it relies on a limited psychological or physical resource.

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Implicit Theories About Willpower Predict the Activation of a Rest Goal Following Self-Control Exertion

Veronika Job et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Past research indicates that peoples' implicit theories about the nature of willpower moderate the ego-depletion effect. Only people who believe or were led to believe that willpower is a limited resource (limited-resource theory) showed lower self-control performance after an initial demanding task. As of yet, the underlying processes explaining this moderating effect by theories about willpower remain unknown. Here, we propose that the exertion of self-control activates the goal to preserve and replenish mental resources (rest goal) in people with a limited-resource theory. Five studies tested this hypothesis. In Study 1, individual differences in implicit theories about willpower predicted increased accessibility of a rest goal after self-control exertion. Furthermore, measured (Study 2) and manipulated (Study 3) willpower theories predicted an increased preference for rest-conducive objects. Finally, Studies 4 and 5 provide evidence that theories about willpower predict actual resting behavior: In Study 4, participants who held a limited-resource theory took a longer break following self-control exertion than participants with a nonlimited-resource theory. Longer resting time predicted decreased rest goal accessibility afterward. In Study 5, participants with an induced limited-resource theory sat longer on chairs in an ostensible product-testing task when they had engaged in a task requiring self-control beforehand. This research provides consistent support for a motivational shift toward rest after self-control exertion in people holding a limited-resource theory about willpower.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Medication Use Among Teens and Young Adults

Michael Johansen, Kathleen Matic & Ann Scheck McAlearney
Journal of Adolescent Health, forthcoming

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine rates of stimulant/atomoxetine use among teens (aged 12-17 years) and young adults (aged 18-23 years) and to investigate associations in medication use before and after the transition from teen to young adult.

Methods: Repeated cross-sectional analyses using the nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The sample included all teens and young adults between 2003 and 2012. Within this group, a staggered sample of individuals between 2006 and 2012 born during a 5-year range was used to minimize false positive findings due to temporal trends. The primary outcome was attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication use (two or more prescriptions and ?60 tablets). A multivariable logistic regression was utilized to determine associations between ADHD medication use and race/ethnicity and other sociodemographic factors.

Results: A total of 62,699 individuals were included between 2003 and 2012. Rates of ADHD medication use increased for both teens (4.2%-6.0%) and young adults (1.2%-2.6%) between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. In adjusted analysis, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians had lower rates of use compared with whites. The decrease in use among young adults was more pronounced among blacks compared with whites. A usual source of care and health insurance were less common among young adults, and both were associated with ADHD medication use.

Conclusions: Although there has been an increase in the use of ADHD medications in both teens and young adults, we found a drop-off in levels of ADHD treatment among young adults when compared with teens. A portion of this decrease appears to be related to race/ethnicity, usual source of care, and health insurance status.

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Napping to modulate frustration and impulsivity: A pilot study

Jennifer Goldschmied et al.
Personality and Individual Differences, November 2015, Pages 164-167

Abstract:
Recent research has shown that napping can increase positive mood, and improve immune functioning, demonstrating the additional benefits of naps beyond reducing sleepiness and fatigue. Because prolonged wakefulness is becoming more common, it is becoming increasingly important to identify effective approaches to decrease resultant cognitive deficiencies. The present study aimed to examine the impact of a brief, midday nap on an aspect of executive functioning, emotional control. 40 subjects were randomized into a nap or no-nap condition, and emotional control was measured with a self-report impulsivity measure and frustration tolerance task. Results revealed that nappers showed a decrease in self-reported impulsivity and increased tolerance for frustration, while those in the no-nap condition showed the opposite pattern. These results indicate that emotional control may become impaired from wakefulness that builds across the day, and that napping may be an effective countermeasure.

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Time pressure reverses risk preferences

Najam Saqib & Eugene Chan
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, September 2015, Pages 58-68

Abstract:
In this research, we offer the hypothesis that time pressure reverses risk preferences. That is, people are typically risk-averse over gains and risk-seeking over losses, as predicted by prospect theory, but we propose that people under time pressure are risk-seeking over gains and risk-averse over losses. This is because people under time pressure perceive the maximal possible outcome - that is, the best possible gain over gains and the worst possible loss over losses - to be more likely to occur, such that they use it as their reference point and not the status quo to evaluate all other outcomes. As such, they perceive intermediary gains relative to the best possible gain as relative losses, which results in risk-seeking, and they perceive intermediary losses relative to the worst possible loss as relative gains, which results in risk-aversion. We conclude by situating our research among prior work generally and with prospect theory specifically.

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Effect of Casino-Related Sound, Red Light and Pairs on Decision-Making During the Iowa Gambling Task

Damien Brevers et al.
Journal of Gambling Studies, June 2015, Pages 409-421

Abstract:
Casino venues are often characterized by "warm" colors, reward-related sounds, and the presence of others. These factors have always been identified as a key factor in energizing gambling. However, few empirical studies have examined their impact on gambling behaviors. Here, we aimed to explore the impact of combined red light and casino-related sounds, with or without the presence of another participant, on gambling-related behaviors. Gambling behavior was estimated with the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). Eighty non-gamblers participants took part in one of four experimental conditions (20 participants in each condition); (1) IGT without casino-related sound and under normal (white) light (control), (2) IGT with combined casino-related sound and red light (casino alone), (3) IGT with combined casino-related sound, red light and in front of another participant (casino competition - implicit), and (4) IGT with combined casino-related sound, red light and against another participant (casino competition - explicit). Results showed that, in contrast to the control condition, participants in the three "casino" conditions did not exhibit slower deck selection reaction time after losses than after rewards. Moreover, participants in the two "competition" conditions displayed lowered deck selection reaction time after losses and rewards, as compared with the control and the "casino alone" conditions. These findings suggest that casino environment may diminish the time used for reflecting and thinking before acting after losses. These findings are discussed along with the methodological limitations, potential directions for future studies, as well as implications to enhance prevention strategies of abnormal gambling.

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Happiness increases verbal and spatial working memory capacity where sadness does not: Emotion, working memory and executive control

Justin Storbeck & Raeya Maswood
Cognition & Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
The effects of emotion on working memory and executive control are often studied in isolation. Positive mood enhances verbal and impairs spatial working memory, whereas negative mood enhances spatial and impairs verbal working memory. Moreover, positive mood enhances executive control, whereas negative mood has little influence. We examined how emotion influences verbal and spatial working memory capacity, which requires executive control to coordinate between holding information in working memory and completing a secondary task. We predicted that positive mood would improve both verbal and spatial working memory capacity because of its influence on executive control. Positive, negative and neutral moods were induced followed by completing a verbal (Experiment 1) or spatial (Experiment 2) working memory operation span task to assess working memory capacity. Positive mood enhanced working memory capacity irrespective of the working memory domain, whereas negative mood had no influence on performance. Thus, positive mood was more successful holding information in working memory while processing task-irrelevant information, suggesting that the influence mood has on executive control supersedes the independent effects mood has on domain-specific working memory.

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Risk taking, behavioral biases and genes: Results from 149 active investors

Anders Anderson, Anna Dreber & Roine Vestman
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, June 2015, Pages 93-100

Abstract:
Recent evidence suggests that there is genetic basis for economic behaviors, including preferences for risk taking. We correlate variation in risk taking and behavioral biases with two genetic polymorphisms related to the uptake of dopamine and serotonin (7R+ DRD4 and s/s 5-HTTLPR), hypothesizing that they are positively (negatively) related to risk taking. We use a small but detailed sample of active investors where we combine survey data with DNA samples and data from Swedish tax records that give us objective information about actual economic choices. We find a positive (negative) relationship between the dopamine (serotonin) gene and life expectancy bias, but no other significant correlations between the two genes and behaviors, including risk taking and measures of equity holdings. We acknowledge that our tests suffer from low power originating from the small sample size, which warrants some caution when interpreting these results.

By KEVIN LEWIS

Friday, July 3, 2015

Rebels without a cause

The Effects of Asset Forfeiture on Policing: A Panel Approach

Brian Kelly & Maureen Kole
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
Asset forfeiture has proven highly controversial in the United States since its expansion in 1984. Most contentious is the widespread policy that allows police agencies to keep the assets seized, which both proponents and critics assert changes police behavior. From newly developed panel data sets, we find some statistical support for the proposition that police agencies change the intensity and pattern of policing in response to forfeiture. However, in economic terms these effects are very weak and do not support the proposition that forfeiture provides vital funds and incentives for crime policing.

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Disentangling the Effects of Racial Self-identification and Classification by Others: The Case of Arrest

Andrew Penner & Aliya Saperstein
Demography, June 2015, Pages 1017-1024

Abstract:
Scholars of race have stressed the importance of thinking about race as a multidimensional construct, yet research on racial inequality does not routinely take this multidimensionality into account. We draw on data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to disentangle the effects of self-identifying as black and being classified by others as black on subsequently being arrested. Results reveal that the odds of arrest are nearly three times higher for people who were classified by others as black, even if they did not identify themselves as black. By contrast, we find no effect of self-identifying as black among people who were not seen by others as black. These results suggest that racial perceptions play an important role in racial disparities in arrest rates and provide a useful analytical approach for disentangling the effects of race on other outcomes.

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Stereotype Threat and Racial Differences in Citizens’ Experiences of Police Encounters

Cynthia Najdowski, Bette Bottoms & Phillip Atiba Goff
Law and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
We conducted 2 studies to investigate how cultural stereotypes that depict Blacks as criminals affect the way Blacks experience encounters with police officers, expecting that such encounters induce Blacks to feel stereotype threat (i.e., concern about being judged and treated unfairly by police because of the stereotype). In Study 1, we asked Black and White participants to report how they feel when interacting with police officers in general. As predicted, Blacks, but not Whites, reported concern that police officers stereotype them as criminals simply because of their race. In addition, this effect was found for Black men but not Black women. In Study 2, we asked Black and White men to imagine a specific police encounter and assessed potential downstream consequences of stereotype threat. Consistent with Study 1, Black but not White men anticipated feeling stereotype threat in the hypothetical police encounter. Further, racial differences in anticipated threat translated into racial differences in anticipated anxiety, self-regulatory efforts, and behavior that is commonly perceived as suspicious by police officers. By demonstrating that Blacks might expect to be judged and treated unfairly by police because of the negative stereotype of Black criminality, this research extends stereotype threat theory to the new domain of criminal justice encounters. It also has practical implications for understanding how the stereotype could ironically contribute to bias-based policing and racial disparities in the justice system.

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The Unintended Effects of Penal Reform: African American Presence, Incarceration, and the Abolition of Discretionary Parole in the United States

Andres Rengifo & Don Stemen
Crime & Delinquency, June 2015, Pages 719-741

Abstract:
The authors use a pooled-time series design to examine the interplay between state incarceration rates, determinate sentencing, and the size of the African American population between 1978 and 2004. Consistent with prior research, findings show that larger Black populations are associated with higher incarceration rates but that this association has weakened over time. Results also indicate that determinate sentencing is associated with lower imprisonment rates. The interaction between a higher proportion of African American residents and determinate sentencing, however, is associated with higher incarceration rates, suggesting that in states with greater minority presence the abolition of discretionary parole amplifies the impact of punitive responses linked to racial threat. It is argued that this unintended effect reflects the fact that formal constraints on release decision making reduce the ability of justice systems to administer greater punishments to specific subpopulations.

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The Economics of Counterfeiting

Elena Quercioli & Lones Smith
Econometrica, May 2015, Pages 1211–1236

Abstract:
We develop a strategic theory of counterfeiting as a multi-market large game. Bad guys choose whether to counterfeit, and what quality to produce. Opposing them is a continuum of good guys who select a costly verification effort. In equilibrium, counterfeiters produce better quality at higher notes, but verifiers try sufficiently harder that verification still improves. We develop a graphical framework for deducing comparative statics. Passed and counterfeiting rates vanish for low and high notes. Our predictions are consistent with time series and cross-sectional patterns in a unique data set assembled largely from the Secret Service.

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School Suspension and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Alison Evans Cuellar & Sara Markowitz
International Review of Law and Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Schools have many available strategies to address problem behavior among students. One option increasingly used by schools is to suspend problem youth and remove them for defined periods. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether this type of disciplinary policy has unintended consequences by giving problem youth greater opportunity to commit crimes outside of school. Previous studies have looked at the “incapacitation” effect of school holidays and teacher strike days, but these studies do not directly address the relevant school policy decisions. The current study relies on administrative data from a school district and a juvenile justice system. The results indicate that out-of-school suspension may increase criminal offending behavior by problem youth, more than doubling the probability of arrest. The effect is particularly large among African American youth, relative to Whites.

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Housing Choice Voucher Holders and Neighborhood Crime: A Dynamic Panel Analysis from Chicago

Leah Hendey et al.
Urban Affairs Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
It is often alleged that households moving into neighborhoods with the aid of housing choice vouchers (HCVs) raise crime rates there. We use 1999–2008 quarterly data from Chicago census tracts to test this allegation with a dynamic panel model designed to overcome the challenges of omitted variable and endogeneity biases. We find no support for the proposition that growth in HCV holders leads to growth in violent crime rates, regardless of neighborhood context. We find that growth in HCV holders is positively associated with growth in property crime rates, however, in higher poverty neighborhoods or if HCVs exceed a threshold concentration.

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Public and Private Spheres of Neighborhood Disorder: Assessing Pathways to Violence Using Large-scale Digital Records

Daniel Tumminelli O’Brien & Robert Sampson
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, July 2015, Pages 486-510

Objectives: “Broken windows” theory is an influential model of neighborhood change, but there is disagreement over whether public disorder leads to more serious crime. This article distinguishes between public and private disorder, arguing that large-scale administrative data provide new opportunities to examine broken windows theory and alternative models of neighborhood change.

Method: We apply an ecometric methodology to two databases from Boston: 1,000,000+ 911 dispatches and indicators of physical disorder from 200,000+ requests for nonemergency services. Both distinguish between disorder in public and private spaces. A cross-lag longitudinal analysis was conducted using two full years of data (2011–2012).

Results: The two databases provided six dimensions of physical and social disorder and crime. The cross-lag model revealed eight pathways by which one form of disorder or crime in 2011 predicted a significant increase in another in 2012. Although traditional interpretations of broken windows emphasize the role of public disorder, private conflict most strongly predicted future crime.

Conclusions: Our results describe a social escalation model where future disorder and crime emerge not from public cues but from private disorder within the community, demonstrating how “big data” from administrative records, when properly measured and interpreted, represent a growing resource for studying neighborhood change.

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Alcohol misuse, firearm violence perpetration, and public policy in the United States

Garen Wintemute
Preventive Medicine, forthcoming

Objective: Firearm violence is a significant public health problem in the United States, and alcohol is frequently involved. This article reviews existing research on the relationships between alcohol misuse; ownership, access to, and use of firearms; and the commission of firearm violence, and discusses the policy implications of these findings.

Method: Narrative review augmented by new tabulations of publicly-available data.

Results: Acute and chronic alcohol misuse is positively associated with firearm ownership, risk behaviors involving firearms, and risk for perpetrating both interpersonal and self-directed firearm violence. In an average month, an estimated 8.9 to 11.7 million firearm owners binge drink. For men, deaths from alcohol-related firearm violence equal those from alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. Enforceable policies restricting access to firearms for persons who misuse alcohol are uncommon. Policies that restrict access on the basis of other risk factors have been shown to reduce risk for subsequent violence.

Conclusion: The evidence suggests that restricting access to firearms for persons with a documented history of alcohol misuse would be an effective violence prevention measure. Restrictions should rely on unambiguous definitions of alcohol misuse to facilitate enforcement and should be rigorously evaluated.

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Firearm Ownership and Violent Crime in the U.S.: An Ecologic Study

Michael Monuteaux et al.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, forthcoming

Introduction: Although some view the ownership of firearms as a deterrent to crime, the relationship between population-level firearm ownership rates and violent criminal perpetration is unclear. The purpose of this study is to test the association between state-level firearm ownership and violent crime.

Methods: State-level rates of household firearm ownership and annual rates of criminal acts from 2001, 2002, and 2004 were analyzed in 2014. Firearm ownership rates were taken from a national survey and crime data were taken from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports. Rates of criminal behavior were estimated as a function of household gun ownership using negative binomial regression models, controlling for several demographic factors.

Results: Higher levels of firearm ownership were associated with higher levels of firearm assault and firearm robbery. There was also a significant association between firearm ownership and firearm homicide, as well as overall homicide.

Conclusions: The findings do not support the hypothesis that higher population firearm ownership rates reduce firearm-associated criminal perpetration. On the contrary, evidence shows that states with higher levels of firearm ownership have an increased risk for violent crimes perpetrated with a firearm. Public health stakeholders should consider the outcomes associated with private firearm ownership.

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Can Easing Concealed Carry Deter Crime?

David Fortunato
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objective: Laws reducing hurdles to legally carrying concealed firearms are argued to have a deterrent effect on crime by increasing its perceived costs. This argument rests on the assumption that these policies will either directly or indirectly increase the perceived distribution of firearm carriers, an assumption that is as yet untested. This article tests this assumption and, in so doing, suggests testing the necessary conditions of policy can be useful when assessing outcomes is difficult.

Methods: I collect survey data on the perceived number of firearm carriers across the United States and then use a hierarchical regression model to assess the impact of concealed carry policies on these perceptions, controlling for several contextual and individual-level factors.

Results: The data suggest that there is no statistically discernible relationship between concealed carry policies and the public's perceptions of the number of firearm carriers. Indeed, the data suggest that the perceived density of firearm carriers is similarly uncorrelated to the number of active concealed carriers.

Conclusion: The link between concealed carry policy and people's beliefs about the number of firearm carriers in their community is unidentifiable in the data. The rationale for concealed carry deterrence, however, depends on such a link existing: it assumes that potential assailants are aware of the distribution of firearm carriers in the potential victim population, but the empirical evidence presented here suggests that that assumption simply does not hold. Because beliefs over the distribution of firearm carriers are impervious to permitting policies and do not respond positively to the true distribution of carriers, the data suggest easing concealed carry cannot deter crime.

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Assessing the “Statistical Accuracy” of the National Incident-Based Reporting System Hate Crime Data

James Nolan et al.
American Behavioral Scientist, forthcoming

Abstract:
The current study introduces a method to assess hate crime classification error in a state Incident-Based Reporting System. The study identifies and quantifies the “statistical accuracy” of aggregate hate crime data and provides insight from frontline officers about thought processes involved with classifying bias offenses. Random samples of records from two city and two county agencies provided data for the study. A systematic review of official case narratives determined hate crime classification error using state and federal definitions. A focus group sought to inquire about officers’ handling of hate crimes. Undercounting of hate crimes in official data was evident. When error rates were extrapolated, National Incident-Based Reporting System Group A hate crimes were undercounted by 67%. Officers’ responses validated complications involved with classifying hate crimes, particularly, incidents motivated “in part” by bias. Classification errors in reporting hate crimes have an impact on the statistical accuracy of official hate crime statistics. Officers’ offense descriptions provided greater awareness to issues with accurately interpreting and classifying hate crimes. The results yield useful information for officer training, understanding the true magnitude of these crimes, and a precursor for adjusting crime statistics to better estimate the “true” number of hate crimes in the population.

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Sexual Victimization Among College Women: Role of Sexual Assertiveness and Resistance Variables

Erika Kelley, Lindsay Orchowski & Christine Gidycz
Psychology of Violence, forthcoming

Objective: College women are at high risk for sexual assault, especially women with a history of sexual victimization. The present study uses a longitudinal design to explore the role of sexual assertiveness, psychological barriers to resistance, and resistance self-efficacy as putative mediators between prior sexual victimization and sexual revictimization among a sample of 296 college women.

Method: Women completed assessments of sexual victimization since the age of 14, as well as putative mediator variables at a baseline assessment. Sexual revictimization was assessed over a 7-month interim.

Results: Results of structural equation modeling indicated that the relationship between baseline and follow-up sexual assault was mediated by the study variables. Follow-up analyses suggested that sexual assertiveness served as a particularly salient mediator.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that increasing women’s sexual assertiveness skills may be a particularly important component of reducing risk for sexual revictimization among women with a history of assault.

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Public Officials and a “Private” Matter: Attitudes and Policies in the County Sheriff Office Regarding Violence Against Women

Emily Farris & Mirya Holman
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objective: This article examines sheriffs’ attitudes and their offices’ policies concerning violence against women and assesses the connection between their attitudes and policies.

Methods: Using data from an original, national survey completed in the fall of 2012 of elected sheriffs (N = 553), we evaluate a battery of rape and domestic violence myths and examine the presence of various violence against women policies.

Results: We find that many sheriffs express belief in inaccurate myths concerning violence against women. We find strong connections between sheriffs’ attitudes about women's equality and their attitudes about violence against women. In turn, their attitudes about gender-based violence relate to training and policies for addressing these cases.

Conclusion: In an office like that of the sheriff, with both bureaucratic and political elements, attitudes of political leaders influence policies. Our findings suggest an important connection between elected officials’ attitudes and policy actions beyond the traditional legislative arena.

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The Beheading of Criminal Organizations and the Dynamics of Violence in Mexico

Gabriela Calderón et al.
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
In 2006, the Mexican government launched an aggressive campaign to weaken drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs). The security policies differed significantly from those of previous administrations in the use of a leadership strategy (the targeting for arrest of the highest levels or core leadership of criminal networks). While these strategies can play an important role in disrupting the targeted criminal organization, they can also have unintended consequences, increasing inter-cartel and intra-cartel fighting and fragmenting criminal organizations. What impact do captures of senior drug cartel members have on the dynamics of drug-related violence? Does it matter if governments target drug kingpins versus lower-ranked lieutenants? We analyze whether the captures or killings of kingpins and lieutenants have increased drug-related violence and whether the violence spills over spatially. To estimate effects that are credibly causal, we use different empirical strategies that combine difference-in-differences and synthetic control group methods. We find evidence that captures or killings of drug cartel leaders have exacerbating effects not only on DTO-related violence but also on homicides that affect the general population. Captures or killings of lieutenants, for their part, only seem to exacerbate violence in “strategic places” or municipalities located in the transportation network. While most of the effects on DTO-related violence are found in the first six months after a leader’s removal, effects on homicides affecting the rest of the population are more enduring, suggesting different mechanisms through which leadership neutralizations breed violence.

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Responding to probation and parole violations: Are jail sanctions more effective than community-based graduated sanctions?

Eric Wodahl, John Boman & Brett Garland
Journal of Criminal Justice, May–June 2015, Pages 242–250

Purpose: In response to escalating revocation rates in community supervision, many jurisdictions have adopted graduated sanction policies. Research on graduated sanctions has shown promising results. However, most studies focus exclusively on jail sanctions and have largely ignored the possibility that community-based graduated sanctions such as written assignments, increased treatment participation, or community service hours may be as effective, or more effective, than jail sanctions. Extending this research, the current study examines whether community-based sanctions are as effective in increasing offender compliance as spending time in jail.

Methods: Using data from over 800 violations committed by a random sample of probationers and parolees on intensive supervision probation, multilevel models are estimated that examine whether jail sanctions are more effective than community sanctions in 1) extending time to the offender’s next violation event, 2) reducing the number of future violations, and 3) successfully completing the probation program.

Results: Results consistently indicate that jail sanctions do not outperform community-based sanctions.

Conclusion: Due to the financial, social, and potentially criminogenic effects of jail, the lack of significant differences between jail sanctions and community-based sanctions calls into question the use of jail as a means of punishing persons on community supervision.

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The Weed and Seed Program: A Nationwide Analysis of Crime Outcomes

David Lilley
Criminal Justice Policy Review, July 2015, Pages 423-447

Abstract:
The Weed and Seed program was created to target high-crime neighborhoods with sustained and intensive enforcement and community restoration resources. At present, however, no nationwide assessment of crime outcomes has yet been conducted comparing all jurisdictions that implemented this program with those that did not. This study conducted a series of panel data analyses to compare every Weed and Seed jurisdiction with 250 randomly selected, matched comparison locations nationwide from 1990 through 2004 to assess the impact of this program on Uniform Crime Report Part I felony offenses. In this first evaluation of crime outcomes among all Weed and Seed jurisdictions nationwide, results from five different quasi-experimental and panel data analyses indicated that the program was associated with reductions in robbery, burglary, and vehicle theft. In addition, the level of impact of the Weed and Seed program was similar to more expensive Department of Justice programs from the Office of Community-Oriented Policing, and Local Law Enforcement Block Grants.

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Economic Impact of Multisystemic Therapy With Juvenile Sexual Offenders

Charles Borduin & Alex Dopp
Journal of Family Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study investigated the economics of multisystemic therapy for problem sexual behaviors (MST-PSB), a family-based treatment that has shown promise with juvenile sexual offenders. We evaluated the cost and benefits of MST-PSB versus usual community services using arrest data obtained in an 8.9-year follow-up from a randomized clinical trial with 48 juvenile sexual offenders, who averaged 22.9 years of age at follow-up (Borduin, Schaeffer, & Heiblum, 2009). The net benefit of MST-PSB over usual community services was calculated in terms of (a) the value to taxpayers, which was based on measures of criminal justice system expenses (e.g., police and sheriff’s offices, court processing, community supervision); and (b) the value to crime victims, which was based on measures of both tangible (e.g., property damage and loss, health care, lost productivity) and intangible (e.g., pain, suffering, reduced quality of life) losses. Lower rates of posttreatment arrests in the MST-PSB versus usual community services conditions were associated with lasting reductions in expenses for both taxpayers and crime victims, with an estimated total benefit of $343,455 per MST-PSB participant. Stated differently, every dollar spent on MST-PSB recovered $48.81 in savings to taxpayers and crime victims over the 8.9-year follow-up. These findings demonstrate that a family-based treatment such as MST-PSB can produce lasting economic benefits with juvenile sexual offenders. Policymakers and public service agencies should consider these findings when making decisions about interventions for this challenging clinical population.

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Assessing the Celerity of Arrest on 3-Year Recidivism Patterns in a Sample of Criminal Defendants

Haley Zettler et al.
Journal of Criminal Justice, forthcoming

Purpose: In an effort to build on celerity research, we use longitudinal data to examine whether celerity, as measured by the amount of time from the commission of an offense to the time of arrest, impacts the likelihood for recidivism.

Methods: Propensity score matching is used to examine how the effects of several different measures of celerity are related to subsequent arrests.

Results: Findings were consistent with assumptions of deterrence theory; experiencing a shorter time between offense and arrest date was related to a significantly lower risk of recidivism, while the effect diminished beyond thirty days.

Conclusions: Results suggest that celerity of arrest may have a small, short-term deterrent effect — a finding that is similar to one from the research on sanction certainty.

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Examining Public Preferences for the Allocation of Resources to Rehabilitative Versus Punitive Crime Policies

Thomas Baker et al.
Criminal Justice Policy Review, July 2015, Pages 448-462

Abstract:
Fear of crime has been recognized as one of the driving forces underlying the punitive turn in the criminal justice system. Despite this, evidence suggests that rehabilitative efforts are still supported by the general public. The current study uses a national random sample to examine the impact of fear on public preference for allocating resources to rehabilitative versus punitive criminal justice system policies. Contrary to prior studies, respondents are forced to make a choice between punitive and rehabilitative options, and both the emotional and cognitive aspects of crime salience — fear of crime and victimization risk — are evaluated to determine their independent and combined impact on crime policy preference. The findings suggest that the majority of the public prefers putting resources toward rehabilitative crime polices, but fear of crime and risk of victimization both reduce this tendency. The implications of our results for current criminal justice system policies are discussed.

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Making the most of second chances: An evaluation of Minnesota's high-risk revocation reduction reentry program

Valerie Clark
Journal of Experimental Criminology, June 2015, Pages 193-215

Objectives: To assess whether a reentry program targeted towards high-risk offenders leaving Minnesota state prisons significantly reduced recidivism.

Methods: Adult male release violators serving incarceration periods of 2–6 months in two Minnesota state prisons were randomly assigned to either the control group (n = 77) or the High-Risk Revocation Reduction (HRRR) program (n = 162). The latter group was provided with supplemental case planning, housing, employment, mentoring, cognitive-behavioral programming, and transportation assistance services, while the former group was given standard case management services. After 1–2 years of post-release follow-up time, event history analysis was used to predict the following four measures of recidivism: supervised release revocation, rearrest, reconviction, and new offense reincarceration.

Results: The Cox regression analyses revealed that participation in HRRR significantly lowered the risk of supervised release revocations and reconvictions by 28 and 43 %, respectively. Regardless of treatment or control group membership, receiving more reentry assistance significantly reduced supervision revocation and rearrest. Analyses also revealed that employment assistance, including subsidized employment, was especially effective at reducing recidivism.

Conclusions: Targeting resources towards this previously under-served population may be useful for lowering overall rates of recidivism. However, a later follow-up analysis is needed to ensure that these results remain over time.

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The Effect of Media Exposure of Suspects on Solving Crime

Dinand Webbink, Judith van Erp & Froukje van Gastel
Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this study we investigate the effect of showing suspects of crime in a TV programme on the probability of apprehension. We exploit exogenous variation in the number of viewers of the crime programme induced by Champions League games broadcasted on competing channels. The estimates show that an increase in the number of viewers of the TV programme increases the probability of solving crime, especially for criminal cases with many potential observers or cases for which it is easier to recognise suspects due to the quality of the images. The implication of our findings is that media can be effectively used for detection of crime suspects.

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Stress and Hardship after Prison

Bruce Western et al.
American Journal of Sociology, March 2015, Pages 1512-1547

Abstract:
The historic increase in U.S. incarceration rates made the transition from prison to community common for poor, prime-age men and women. Leaving prison presents the challenge of social integration—of connecting with family and finding housing and a means of subsistence. The authors study variation in social integration in the first months after prison release with data from the Boston Reentry Study, a unique panel survey of 122 newly released prisoners. The data indicate severe material hardship immediately after incarceration. Over half of sample respondents were unemployed, two-thirds received public assistance, and many relied on female relatives for financial support and housing. Older respondents and those with histories of addiction and mental illness were the least socially integrated, with weak family ties, unstable housing, and low levels of employment. Qualitative interviews show that anxiety and feelings of isolation accompanied extreme material insecurity. Material insecurity combined with the adjustment to social life outside prison creates a stress of transition that burdens social relationships in high-incarceration communities.

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Mass imprisonment and the life course revisited: Cumulative years spent imprisoned and marked for working-age black and white men

Evelyn Patterson & Christopher Wildeman
Social Science Research, September 2015, Pages 325–337

Abstract:
Over the last 40 years, imprisonment has become a common stage in the life-course for low-skilled and minority men, with implications not only for inequality among adult men but also for inequality more broadly. Unfortunately, all research documenting how increases in imprisonment have transformed the life-course of poor, minority men has neglected to estimate how much time black and white men on average spend imprisoned or marked as an ex-prisoner. In this article, we fill this gap by using multistate life tables to estimate what share of their working lives (18–64) black and white men will spend imprisoned and marked as ex-prisoners. Our estimates imply that white men spend on average 0.33 years of their working lives imprisoned and 2.31 years marked, while black men spend on average 1.79 years of their working lives imprisoned and 11.14 years marked. This implies that black men spend on average one-third of their working lives either imprisoned or having been freed but marked by the penal system. For the 32.2% of black men who ever experience imprisonment (Bonczar, 2003), moreover, these estimates imply that they spend on average 5.56 years imprisoned, corresponding to 13.4% of their working lives. Taken together, these findings imply a dramatic reorientation of the life course for black men, as one-third of the black male population will spend one-seventh of their working life in prison.

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Causal Effects of Mental Health Treatment on Education Outcomes for Youth in the Justice System

Alison Evans Cuellar & Dhaval Dave
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
This study assesses whether mental health interventions can improve academic outcomes for justice-involved youth. Only a limited number of studies have linked justice policies to outcomes beyond crime, particularly education, which carries large monetary and non-monetary benefits. The current study relies on detailed administrative data and unique policy rules under which youth are assigned to behavioral treatment programs. The administrative data allow for a rich set of controls for observed family- and youth-specific heterogeneity. In addition, the treatment assignment rules create a discontinuity among youth who are deemed eligible or not eligible for treatment, rules which the study exploits empirically to address the non-random selection bias in estimating plausibly causal effects of treatment eligibility and treatment receipt. Estimates indicate that certain types of intensive mental health intervention can lower dropout and increase high-school completion for justice-involved youth. Effects on grades are negative or not significant, possibly due to the greater retention of less academically-skilled students. We also assess heterogeneity in the treatment effects, and find that the effects on dropout tend to be greater among youth believed to be less academically engaged prior to treatment.

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Incapacitated and Forcible Rape of College Women: Prevalence Across the First Year

Kate Carey et al.
Journal of Adolescent Health, June 2015, Pages 678–680

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to document the point and cumulative prevalence of incapacitated rape (IR) and forcible rape (FR) among first-year college women.

Methods: Female students (N = 483) completed a health questionnaire (1) on arrival on campus; (2) at the end of the fall semester; (3) at the end of the spring semester; and (4) at the end of the summer following their first year of college.

Results: Before entering college, 18% reported IR (attempted and/or completed), and 15% reported FR (attempted and/or completed). During the first year of college, 15% reported IR (attempted or completed) and 9% reported FR (attempted or completed). By the start of the second year (lifetime prevalence), 26% and 22% had experienced IR and FR (attempted or completed), respectively.

Conclusions: Both incapacitated and forcible sexual assaults and rape have reached epidemic levels among college women. Interventions to address sexual violence on campus are urgently needed.

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Close-Ups and the Scale of Ecology: Land Uses and the Geography of Social Context and Crime

Adam Boessen & John Hipp
Criminology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Whereas one line of recent neighborhood research has placed an emphasis on zooming into smaller units of analysis such as street blocks, another line of research has suggested that even the meso-area of neighborhoods is too narrow and that the area surrounding the neighborhood is also important. Thus, there is a need to examine the scale at which the social ecology impacts crime. We use data from seven cities from around the year 2000 to test our research questions using multilevel negative binomial regression models (N = 73,010 blocks and 8,231 block groups). Our results suggest that although many neighborhood factors seem to operate on the microscale of blocks, others seem to have a much broader impact. In addition, we find that racially and ethnically homogenous blocks within heterogeneous block groups have the most crime. Our findings also show the strongest results for a multitude of land-use measures and that these measures sharpen some of the associations from social characteristics. Thus, we find that accounting for multiple scales simultaneously is important in ecological studies of crime.

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Processed as an Adult: A Regression Discontinuity Estimate of the Crime Effects of Charging Nontransfer Juveniles as Adults

Charles Loeffler & Ben Grunwald
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, forthcoming

Objectives: Test whether processing non-transfer-eligible juvenile arrestees as adults has any effect on their likelihood of criminal recidivism.

Methods: A regression discontinuity design is used to analyze the effect of processing juveniles as adults on a four-year felony rearrest measure using a sample of 78,142 felony drug arrests.

Results: For the felony drug offenders in this sample, processing juveniles as adults reduced the probability of recidivism by 3 to 5 percent. Based on the rapid onset and limited change in size of these effects over the duration of a four-year follow-up as well as the concentration of the effect within a subpopulation having the least risk of incarceration, we attribute this finding to a combination of enhanced deterrence and incapacitation in the adult system.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that processing juveniles in the adult system may not uniformly increase offending and may reduce offending in some circumstances. Our findings also highlight the utility of quasi-experimental research designs for estimating the life-course effects of contact with the criminal justice system.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Blitzed

Exposure to female fertility pheromones influences men’s drinking

Robin Tan & Mark Goldman
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, June 2015, Pages 139-146

Abstract:
Research has shown that humans consciously use alcohol to encourage sexual activity. In the current study, we investigated whether decision making about alcohol use and sex can be cued outside of awareness by recently revealed sexual signaling mechanisms. Specifically, we examined if males exposed without their knowledge to pheromones emitted by fertile females would increase their alcohol consumption, presumably via neurobehavioral information pathways that link alcohol to sex and mating. We found that men who smelled a T-shirt worn by a fertile female drank significantly more (nonalcoholic) beer, and exhibited significantly greater approach behavior toward female cues, than those who smelled a T-shirt worn by a nonfertile female. These findings reveal previously unknown influences on human alcohol consumption, augment the research base for pheromone cuing of sexual behavior in humans, and raise the possibility that other, as yet unknown, pathways of behavioral influence may be operating hidden from view.

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Parent Involvement, Sibling Companionship, and Adolescent Substance Use: A Longitudinal, Genetically Informed Design

Diana Samek et al.
Journal of Family Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
A large literature shows that parent and sibling relationship factors are associated with an increased likelihood of adolescent substance use. Less is known about the etiology of these associations. Using a genetically informed sibling design, we examined the prospective associations between parent involvement, sibling companionship, and adolescent substance use at 2 points in mid- and late-adolescence. Adolescents were adopted (n = 568) or the biological offspring of both parents (n = 412). Cross-lagged panel results showed that higher levels of parent involvement in early adolescence were associated with lower levels of substance use later in adolescence. Results did not significantly differ across adoption status, suggesting this association cannot be due to passive gene-environment correlation. Adolescent substance use at Time 1 was not significantly associated with parent involvement at Time 2, suggesting this association does not appear to be solely due to evocative (i.e., “child-driven”) effects either. Together, results support a protective influence of parent involvement on subsequent adolescent substance use that is environmental in nature. The cross-paths between sibling companionship and adolescent substance use were significant and negative in direction (i.e., protective) for sisters, but positive for brothers (in line with a social contagion hypothesis). These effects were consistent across genetically related and unrelated pairs, and thus appear to be environmentally mediated. For mixed gender siblings, results were consistent with environmentally driven, protective influence hypothesis for genetically unrelated pairs, but in line with a genetically influenced, social contagion hypothesis for genetically related pairs. Implications are discussed.

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Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the USA from 1991 to 2014: Results from annual, repeated cross-sectional surveys

Deborah Hasin et al.
Lancet Psychiatry, July 2015, Pages 601–608

Background: Adolescent use of marijuana is associated with adverse later effects, so the identification of factors underlying adolescent use is of substantial public health importance. The relationship between US state laws that permit marijuana for medical purposes and adolescent marijuana use has been controversial. Such laws could convey a message about marijuana acceptability that increases its use soon after passage, even if implementation is delayed or the law narrowly restricts its use. We used 24 years of national data from the USA to examine the relationship between state medical marijuana laws and adolescent use of marijuana.

Methods: Using a multistage, random-sampling design with replacement, the Monitoring the Future study conducts annual national surveys of 8th, 10th, and 12th-grade students (modal ages 13–14, 15–16, and 17–18 years, respectively), in around 400 schools per year. Students complete self-administered questionnaires that include questions on marijuana use. We analysed data from 1 098 270 adolescents surveyed between 1991 and 2014. The primary outcome of this analysis was any marijuana use in the previous 30 days. We used multilevel regression modelling with adolescents nested within states to examine two questions. The first was whether marijuana use was higher overall in states that ever passed a medical marijuana law up to 2014. The second was whether the risk of marijuana use changed after passage of medical marijuana laws. Control covariates included individual, school, and state-level characteristics.

Findings: Marijuana use was more prevalent in states that passed a medical marijuana law any time up to 2014 than in other states (adjusted prevalence 15.87% vs 13.27%; adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.27, 95% CI 1.07–1.51; p=0.0057). However, the risk of marijuana use in states before passing medical marijuana laws did not differ significantly from the risk after medical marijuana laws were passed (adjusted prevalence 16.25% vs 15.45%; adjusted OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.82–1.04; p=0.185). Results were generally robust across sensitivity analyses, including redefining marijuana use as any use in the previous year or frequency of use, and reanalysing medical marijuana laws for delayed effects or for variation in provisions for dispensaries.

Interpretation: Our findings, consistent with previous evidence, suggest that passage of state medical marijuana laws does not increase adolescent use of marijuana. However, overall, adolescent use is higher in states that ever passed such a law than in other states. State-level risk factors other than medical marijuana laws could contribute to both marijuana use and the passage of medical marijuana laws, and such factors warrant investigation.

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The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Juvenile Marijuana Use

Lisa Stolzenberg, Stewart D’Alessio & Dustin Dariano
International Journal of Drug Policy, forthcoming

Background: A number of states in the United States legally allow the use of marijuana as a medical therapy to treat an illness or to alleviate symptoms. Concern persists as to whether these types of laws are increasing juvenile recreational marijuana use. It is also plausible that medical marijuana laws engender an escalation of illicit non-marijuana drug use among juveniles because marijuana is frequently considered to be a gateway drug.

Methods: This study uses longitudinal data drawn from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for the 50 U.S. states and a cross-sectional pooled-time series research design to investigate the effect of medical marijuana laws on juvenile marijuana use and on juvenile non-marijuana illicit drug use. Our study period encompasses five measurement periods calibrated in two-year intervals (2002-03 to 2010-11). This research design is advantageous in that it affords us the ability not only to assess the effect of the implementation of medical marijuana laws on juvenile drug use, but also to consider other state-specific factors that may explain variation in drug use that cannot be accounted for using a single time series.

Results: Findings show that medical marijuana laws amplify recreational juvenile marijuana use. Other salient predictors of juvenile marijuana use at the state-level of analysis include perceived availability of marijuana, percent of juveniles skipping school, severity of perceived punishment for marijuana possession, alcohol consumption, percent of respondents with a father residing in household, and percent of families in the state receiving public assistance. There is little empirical evidence to support the view that medical marijuana laws affect juveniles’ use of illicit non-marijuana drugs.

Conclusion: Based on our findings, it seems reasonable to speculate that medical marijuana laws amplify juveniles’ use of marijuana by allaying the social stigma associated with recreational marijuana use and by placating the fear that marijuana use could potentially result in a negative health outcome.

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Cigarette Taxes and Youth Smoking: Updated Estimates Using YRBS Data

Benjamin Hansen, Joseph Sabia & Daniel Rees
NBER Working Paper, June 2015

Abstract:
Using data from the state and national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys for the period 1991-2005, Carpenter and Cook (2008) found a strong, negative relationship between cigarette taxes and youth smoking. We revisit this relationship using four additional waves of YRBS data (2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013). Our results suggest that youths have become much less responsive to cigarette taxes since 2005. In fact, we find little evidence of a negative relationship between cigarette taxes and youth smoking when we restrict our attention to the period 2007-2013.

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Alcohol-related cues potentiate alcohol impairment of behavioral control in drinkers

Jessica Weafer & Mark Fillmore
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, June 2015, Pages 290-299

Abstract:
The acute impairing effects of alcohol on inhibitory control are well-established, and these disinhibiting effects are thought to play a role in its abuse potential. Alcohol impairment of inhibitory control is typically assessed in the context of arbitrary cues, yet drinking environments are comprised of an array of alcohol-related cues that are thought to influence drinking behavior. Recent evidence suggests that alcohol-related stimuli reduce behavioral control in sober drinkers, suggesting that alcohol impairment of inhibitory control might be potentiated in the context of alcohol cues. The current study tested this hypothesis by examining performance on the attentional-bias behavioral activation (ABBA) task that measures the degree to which alcohol-related stimuli can reduce inhibition of inappropriate responses in a between-subjects design. Social drinkers (N = 40) performed the task in a sober condition, and then again following placebo (0.0 g/kg) and a moderate dose of alcohol (0.65 g/kg) in counterbalanced order. Inhibitory failures were greater following alcohol images compared to neutral images in sober drinkers, replicating previous findings with the ABBA task. Moreover, alcohol-related cues exacerbated alcohol impairment of inhibitory control as evidenced by more pronounced alcohol-induced disinhibition following alcohol cues compared to neutral cues. Finally, regression analyses showed that greater alcohol-induced disinhibition following alcohol cues predicted greater self-reported alcohol consumption. These findings have important implications regarding factors contributing to binge or “loss of control” drinking. That is, the additive effect of disrupted control mechanisms via both alcohol cues and the pharmacological effects of the drug could compromise an individual’s control over ongoing alcohol consumption.

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Historical variation in young adult binge drinking trajectories and its link to historical variation in social roles and minimum legal drinking age

Justin Jager, Katherine Keyes & John Schulenberg
Developmental Psychology, July 2015, Pages 962-974

Abstract:
This study examines historical variation in age 18 to 26 binge drinking trajectories, focusing on differences in both levels of use and rates of change (growth) across cohorts of young adults over 3 decades. As part of the national Monitoring the Future Study, over 64,000 youths from the high school classes of 1976 to 2004 were surveyed at biennial intervals between ages 18 and 26. We found that, relative to past cohorts, recent cohorts both enter the 18 to 26 age band engaging in lower levels and exit the 18 to 26 age band engaging in higher levels of binge drinking. The reason for this reversal is that, relative to past cohorts, binge drinking among recent cohorts accelerates more quickly across ages 18 to 22 and decelerates more slowly across ages 22 to 26. Moreover, we found that historical increases in minimum legal drinking age account for a portion of the historical decline in age 18 level, whereas historical variation in social role acquisition (e.g., marriage, parenthood, and employment) accounts for a portion of the historical acceleration in age 18 to 22 growth. We also found that historical variation in the age 18 to 22 and age 22 to 26 growth rates was strongly and positively connected, suggesting common mechanism(s) underlie historical variation of both growth rates. Findings were generally consistent across gender and indicate that historical time is an important source of individual differences in young adult binge drinking trajectories. Beyond binge drinking, historical time may also inform the developmental course of other young adult risk behaviors, highlighting the interplay of epidemiology and etiology.

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Adolescent Socioeconomic and School-Based Social Status, Smoking, and Drinking

Helen Sweeting & Kate Hunt
Journal of Adolescent Health, July 2015, Pages 37–45

Purpose: Relationships between subjective social status (SSS) and health-risk behaviors have received less attention than those between SSS and health. Inconsistent associations between school-based SSS and smoking or drinking might be because it is a single measure reflecting several status dimensions. We investigated how adolescent smoking and drinking are associated with “objective” socioeconomic status (SES), subjective SES, and three dimensions of school-based SSS.

Methods: Scottish 13–15 years-olds (N = 2,503) completed questionnaires in school-based surveys, providing information on: “objective” SES (residential deprivation, family affluence); subjective SES (MacArthur Scale youth version); and three school-based SSS dimensions (“SSS-peer”, “SSS-scholastic” and “SSS-sports”). We examined associations between each status measure and smoking (ever and weekly) and drinking (ever and usually five or more drinks) and investigated variations according to gender and age.

Results: Smoking and heavier drinking were positively associated with residential deprivation; associations with family affluence and subjective SES were weak or nonexistent. Both substances were related to each school-based SSS measure, and these associations were equally strong or stronger than those with deprivation. Although SSS-peer was positively associated with both smoking and (especially heavier) drinking, SSS-scholastic and SSS-sports were negatively associated with both substances. There were no gender differences in the associations and few according to age.

Conclusions: Subjective school-based status has stronger associations with adolescent smoking and drinking than “objective” or subjective SES. However, different dimensions of school-based status relate to adolescent smoking and drinking in opposing directions, meaning one measure based on several dimensions might show inconsistent relationships with adolescent substance use.

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The impacts of marijuana dispensary density and neighborhood ecology on marijuana abuse and dependence

Christina Mair et al.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, forthcoming

Background: As an increasing number of states liberalize cannabis use and develop laws and local policies, it is essential to better understand the impacts of neighborhood ecology and marijuana dispensary density on marijuana use, abuse, and dependence. We investigated associations between marijuana abuse/dependence hospitalizations and community demographic and environmental conditions from 2001-2012 in California, as well as cross-sectional associations between local and adjacent marijuana dispensary densities and marijuana hospitalizations.

Methods: We analyzed panel population data relating hospitalizations coded for marijuana abuse or dependence and assigned to residential ZIP codes in California from 2001 through 2012 (20,219 space-time units) to ZIP code demographic and ecological characteristics. Bayesian space-time misalignment models were used to account for spatial variations in geographic unit definitions over time, while also accounting for spatial autocorrelation using conditional autoregressive priors. We also analyzed cross-sectional associations between marijuana abuse/dependence and the density of dispensaries in local and spatially adjacent ZIP codes in 2012.

Results: An additional one dispensary per square mile in a ZIP code was cross-sectionally associated with a 6.8% increase in the number of marijuana hospitalizations (95% credible interval 1.033, 1.105) with a marijuana abuse/dependence code. Other local characteristics, such as the median household income and age and racial/ethnic distributions, were associated with marijuana hospitalizations in cross-sectional and panel analyses.

Conclusions: Prevention and intervention programs for marijuana abuse and dependence may be particularly essential in areas of concentrated disadvantage. Policy makers may want to consider regulations that limit the density of dispensaries.

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Losing jobs and lighting up: Employment experiences and smoking in the Great Recession

Shelley Golden & Krista Perreira
Social Science & Medicine, August 2015, Pages 110–118

Abstract:
The Great Recession produced the highest rates of unemployment observed in decades, in part due to particularly high rates of people losing work involuntarily. The impact of these job losses on health is unknown, due to the length of time required for most disease development, concerns about reverse causation, and limited data that covers this time period. We examine associations between job loss, employment status and smoking, the leading preventable cause of death, among 13,571 individuals participating in the 2001–2011 waves of the U.S.-based Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Results indicate that recent involuntary job loss is associated with an average 1.1 percentage point increase in smoking probability. This risk is strongest when people have returned to work, and appears reversed when they leave the labor market altogether. Although some job loss is associated with changes in household income and psychological distress levels, we find no evidence that these changes explain smoking behavior modifications. Smoking prevention programs and policies targeted at displaced workers or the newly employed may alleviate some negative health effects produced by joblessness during the Great Recession.

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Military Service and Alcohol Use in the United States

Jay Teachman, Carter Anderson & Lucky Tedrow
Armed Forces & Society, July 2015, Pages 460-476

Abstract:
It is well known that enlistees and veterans in the United States are more likely to use alcohol than civilians. However, most of this research is potentially biased in that it often does not employ control variables (other than age) and is based on cross-sectional data. Much of this research also fails to consider the relationship between military service and alcohol use among women. Using longitudinal data taken from the 1997 National Longitudinal Study of Youth, we investigate the relationship between military service and alcohol consumption employing a fixed-effects approach. We find that military service appears to encourage young men to consume alcohol. It is also the case that the effect of military service is not limited to the time that men spend in the military given that male veterans are also more likely to consume alcohol than are comparable nonveterans. We find, however, that women who serve, both enlistees and veterans, are less likely to drink than their civilian counterparts.

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A participant walks into a bar…: Subjective intoxication buffers ostracism’s negative effects

Andrew Hales, Kipling Williams & Christopher Eckhardt
Social Psychology, Summer 2015, Pages 157-166

Abstract:
Alcohol is commonly used to cope with social pain, but its effectiveness remains unknown. Existing theories offer diverging predictions. Pain overlap theory predicts that because alcohol numbs physical pain it should also numb people to the negative effects of ostracism. Alcohol myopia predicts that because alcohol intensifies salient emotions it should enhance the negative effects of ostracism. We conducted a field experiment in a bar, exposing individuals to ostracism or inclusion using Cyberball on an iPad. Subjective intoxication, but not blood alcohol concentration, was associated with less distress for participants who were ostracized, and more distress in participants who were included. We conclude that alcohol reduces both the pain of ostracism and the pleasure of inclusion.

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A Single Dose of Kudzu Extract Reduces Alcohol Consumption in a Binge Drinking Paradigm

David Penetar et al.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, forthcoming

Background: Overconsumption of alcohol has significant negative effects on an individual's health and contributes to an enormous economic impact on society as a whole. Pharmacotherapies to curb excessive drinking are important for treating alcohol use disorders.

Methods: Twenty (20) men participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, between subjects design experiment (n = 10/group) that tested the effects of kudzu extract (Alkontrol-Herbal™) for its ability to alter alcohol consumption in a natural settings laboratory. A single dose of kudzu extract (2 grams total with an active isoflavone content of 520 mg) or placebo was administered 2.5 hours before the onset of a 90 minute afternoon drinking session during which participants had the opportunity to drink up to 6 beers ad libitum; water and juice were always available as alternative beverages.

Results: During the baseline session, the placebo-randomized group consumed 2.7 ± 0.78 beers before treatment and increased consumption to 3.4 ± 1.1 beers after treatment. The kudzu group significantly reduced consumption from 3.0 ± 1.7 at baseline to 1.9 ± 1.3 beers after treatment. The placebo-treated group opened 33 beers during baseline conditions and 38 following treatment whereas the kudzu-treated group opened 32 beers during baseline conditions and only 21 following treatment. Additionally, kudzu-treated participants drank slower.

Conclusion: This is the first demonstration that a single dose of kudzu extract quickly reduces alcohol consumption in a binge drinking paradigm. These data add to the mounting clinical evidence that kudzu extract may be a safe and effective adjunctive pharmacotherapy for alcohol abuse and dependence.

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Gateway to Curiosity: Medical Marijuana Ads and Intention and Use During Middle School

Elizabeth D’Amico, Jeremy Miles & Joan Tucker
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, forthcoming

Abstract:
Over the past several years, medical marijuana has received increased attention in the media, and marijuana use has increased across the United States. Studies suggest that as marijuana has become more accessible and adults have become more tolerant regarding marijuana use, adolescents perceive marijuana as more beneficial and are more likely to use if they are living in an environment that is more tolerant of marijuana use. One factor that may influence adolescents’ perceptions about marijuana and marijuana use is their exposure to advertising of this product. We surveyed sixth- to eighth-grade youth in 2010 and 2011 in 16 middle schools in Southern California (n = 8,214; 50% male; 52% Hispanic; mean age = 13 years) and assessed exposure to advertising for medical marijuana, marijuana intentions, and marijuana use. Cross-lagged regressions showed a reciprocal association of advertising exposure with marijuana use and intentions during middle school. Greater initial medical marijuana advertising exposure was significantly associated with a higher probability of marijuana use and stronger intentions to use 1 year later, and initial marijuana use and stronger intentions to use were associated with greater medical marijuana advertising exposure 1 year later. Prevention programs need to better explain medical marijuana to youth, providing information on the context for proper medical use of this drug and the potential harms from use during this developmental period. Furthermore, as this is a new frontier, it is important to consider regulating medical marijuana advertisements, as is currently done for alcohol and tobacco products.

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Special-Interest Spillovers and Tobacco Taxation

Adam Hoffer
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study explores the effects tobacco special interest has had on cigarette tax rates. Using a spatial econometric model to control for tax competition and the endogeneity present in state tax rates, this study finds that tobacco special interest has played a significant role in influencing state cigarette tax rates. Pounds of tobacco grown in a state and tobacco industry campaign contributions are associated with lower cigarette tax rates. The empirical results show that the magnitude of the special-interest effect can be two to five times as large when the spatial spillover effects are included.

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Adolescent Substance Use: The Role of Demographic Marginalization and Socioemotional Distress

Aprile Benner & Yijie Wang
Developmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigated the links between racial/ethnic marginalization (i.e., having few same-race/ethnic peers at school) and adolescents’ socioemotional distress and subsequent initiation of substance use (alcohol and marijuana) and substance use levels. Data from 7,731 adolescents (52% female; 55% White, 21% African American, 16% Latino, 8% Asian American) were drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. In our path analysis model, we found that adolescents who were racially/ethnically marginalized at school (i.e., who had less than 15% same-ethnicity peers) reported poorer school attachment, which was linked to more depressive symptoms. More depressive symptoms were associated with higher levels of subsequent marijuana and alcohol use. These relationships showed some variation by students’ gender, race/ethnicity, and age. Findings suggest that the influence of school demographics extends beyond the academic domain into the health and well-being of young people.

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Gender Differences in the Associations Among Marijuana Use, Cigarette Use, and Symptoms of Depression During Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Natania Crane, Scott Langenecker & Robin Mermelstein
Addictive Behaviors, October 2015, Pages 33–39

Introduction: As prevalence of marijuana use increases, it is important that we better understand how factors like gender, cigarette use, and depression are related to marijuana use during adolescence and young adulthood. We examined longitudinal relationships among these variables in adolescents moving into young adulthood who were studied longitudinally for six years.

Methods: 1,263 individuals were included in the study. Participants were oversampled for ever-smoking a cigarette at baseline, when they were 15–16 years old. Frequency of cigarette smoking and marijuana use, as well as depression symptoms were assessed at baseline, 6, 15-, 24-, 60- and 72-months.

Results: Cigarette use frequency and depression symptoms were associated with frequency of marijuana use (p-values < .001), particularly in adolescence, but there were important gender differences in these relationships. Specifically, symptoms of depression were related to marijuana use frequency among males (p < .001), but not females (p = .62). In addition, frequency of marijuana use was associated with increased cigarette use frequency, especially among males who had higher symptoms of depression (p < .001). However, this effect was not seen among females. Exploratory analyses suggested relationships between frequency of use and depression are specific to marijuana, not cigarettes.

Conclusions: Marijuana use is strongly related to depression symptoms and cigarette use frequency in males, indicating that in males these detrimental factors converge, whereas in females they do not. Gender differences in the factors related to marijuana use may mean that there are different risks for and consequences from use and have implications for prevention and intervention efforts.

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A Multi-level Analysis of the Impact of Neighborhood Structural and Social Factors on Adolescent Substance Use

Abigail Fagan, Emily Wright & Gillian Pinchevsky
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, forthcoming

Background: This paper examined the effects of neighborhood structural (i.e., economic disadvantage, immigrant concentration, residential stability) and social (e.g., collective efficacy, social network interactions, intolerance of drug use, legal cynicism) factors on the likelihood of any adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use.

Methods: Analyses drew upon information from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN). Data were obtained from a survey of adult residents of 79 Chicago neighborhoods, two waves of interviews with 1,657 to 1,664 care-givers and youth aged 8 to 16 years, and information from the 1990 U.S. Census Bureau. Hierarchical Bernoulli regression models estimated the impact of neighborhood factors on substance use controlling for individual-level demographic characteristics and psycho-social risk factors.

Results: Few neighborhood factors had statistically significant direct effects on adolescent tobacco, alcohol or marijuana use, although youth living in neighborhoods with greater levels of immigrant concentration were less likely to report any drinking.

Conclusion: Additional theorizing and more empirical research are needed to better understand the ways in which contextual influences affect adolescent substance use and delinquency.

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Incidence and Salience of Alcohol Taxes: Do Consumers Overreact?

Andrew Hanson & Ryan Sullivan
Public Finance Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use a unique, geocoded micro data set of retail prices to estimate the incidence of alcohol taxation. We estimate the pass-through of alcohol taxation employing both standard ordinary least squares (OLS) and a regression discontinuity design (RDD), using the abrupt change in excise tax occurring at state borders for identification. Our results show that sales and excise taxes on alcohol have different effects on final consumer price. Our estimates suggest that while 40 percent to 50 percent of sales taxes are passed on to consumers, excise taxes have a negative pass-through rate. Negative rates of pass-through on the excise portion of the alcohol tax are likely the result of consumers overreacting to the tax compared to how they would react to a general price increase, or that the alcohol tax is quite salient for consumers. This effect is particularly strong in areas near state borders when using the RDD estimation strategy.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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