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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

School choices

School District Lines Stratify Educational Opportunity by Race and Poverty

Jennifer Ayscue & Gary Orfield
Race and Social Problems, March 2015, Pages 5-20

Abstract:
School segregation has serious consequences for educational opportunity and success. Across the nation, school segregation by race and poverty is deepening and varies by state. Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data, this study explores the relationship between fragmentation - the degree to which metropolitan areas are split into many separate school districts - and segregation. Three measures of segregation - exposure, concentration, and evenness - are employed to analyze state- and metropolitan-level data between 1989 and 2010 in four states with different school district structures. Findings in this exploratory study indicate that states and metropolitan areas with more fragmented district structures are associated with higher levels of segregation. In comparison with the less fragmented states of North Carolina and Virginia, in the highly fragmented states of New York and New Jersey, the typical black and Latino student are exposed to smaller shares of white students, the typical white student is more isolated with other white peers, there are greater disparities in exposure to low-income students by race, the share of non-white segregated schools is substantially larger, and levels of multiracial unevenness are higher. (These states were selected from a set of in-depth state studies by the Civil Rights Project of the states from Maine to North Carolina; comparable data are not available for many other states.) Highly fragmented states and metropolitan areas with numerous small school districts cannot confront segregation by exclusively focusing their efforts within districts; in these areas, segregation is fundamentally occurring among districts rather than within districts. Instead, highly fragmented areas could use regional strategies, such as interdistrict transfer programs, regional magnet schools, and district consolidation, to make progress in desegregating their schools across school district lines.

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College Access, Initial College Choice and Degree Completion

Joshua Goodman, Michael Hurwitz & Jonathan Smith
NBER Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
The relatively low degree completion rate of U.S. college students has prompted debate over the extent to which the problem is attributable to the students or to their choice of colleges. Estimating the impact of initial college choice is confounded by the non-random nature of college selection. We solve this selection problem by studying the universe of SAT-takers in the state of Georgia, where minimum SAT scores required for admission to the four-year public college sector generate exogenous variation in initial college choice. Regression discontinuity estimates comparing the relatively low-skilled students just above and below this minimum threshold show that access to this sector increases enrollment in four-year colleges, largely by diverting students from two-year community colleges. Most importantly, access to four-year public colleges substantially increases bachelor's degree completion rates, particularly for low-income students. Conditional on a student's own academic skill, the institutional completion rate of his initial college explains a large fraction of his own probability of completion. Consistent with prior research on college quality and the two-year college penalty, these results may explain part of the labor market return to college quality.

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Inequality, marketisation and the left: Schools policy in England and Sweden

Timothy Hicks
European Journal of Political Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
It is argued in this article that the marketisation of schools policy has a tendency to produce twin effects: an increase in educational inequality, and an increase in general satisfaction with the schooling system. However, the effect on educational inequality is very much stronger where prevailing societal inequality is higher. The result is that cross-party political agreement on the desirability of such reforms is much more likely where societal inequality is lower (as the inequality effects are also lower). Counterintuitively, then, countries that are more egalitarian - and so typically thought of as being more left-wing - will have a higher likelihood of adopting marketisation than more unequal countries. Evidence is drawn from a paired comparison of English and Swedish schools policies from the 1980s to the present. Both the policy history and elite interviews lend considerable support for the theory in terms of both outcomes and mechanisms.

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Missed Signals: The Effect of ACT College-Readiness Measures on Post-Secondary Decisions

Andrew Foote, Lisa Schulkind & Teny Shapiro
Economics of Education Review, June 2015, Pages 39-51

Abstract:
In the face of shrinking government budgets and a growing need to train a high-skilled labor force, policymakers have become increasingly interested in cost-effective measures that induce more students to apply to and enroll in college. In this paper, we use a regression discontinuity design to identify the causal effect of students receiving information about their own college-readiness after taking the ACT on their subsequent college enrollment decisions. Using data from Colorado, where all high school students are required to take the ACT, we find that students who receive information that they are college-ready are no more likely to attend college than those that do not receive this information. We discuss possible reasons for these findings.

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The Impact of Chicago's Small High School Initiative

Lisa Barrow, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Amy Claessens
Journal of Urban Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This project examines the effects of the introduction of new small high schools on student performance in the Chicago Public School (CPS) district. Specifically, we investigate whether students attending small high schools have better graduation/enrollment rates and achievement than similar students who attend regular CPS high schools. We show that students who choose to attend a small school are more disadvantaged on average, including having prior test scores that are about 0.2 standard deviations lower than their elementary school classmates. To address the selection problem, we use an instrumental variables strategy and compare students who live in the same neighborhoods but differ in their residential proximity to a small school. In this approach, one student is more likely to sign up for a small school than another statistically identical student because the small school is located closer to the student's house and therefore the "cost" of attending the school is lower. The distance-to-small-school variable has strong predictive power to identify who attends a small school. We find that small schools students are substantially more likely to persist in school and eventually graduate. Nonetheless, there is no positive impact on student achievement as measured by test scores.

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Teachers' Pay for Performance in the Long-Run: Effects on Students' Educational and Labor Market Outcomes in Adulthood

Victor Lavy
NBER Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
The long term effect of teachers' pay for performance is of particular interest, as critics of these schemes claim that they encourage teaching to the test or orchestrated cheating by teachers and schools. In this paper, I address these concerns by examining the effect of teachers' pay for performance on long term human capital outcomes, in particular attainment and quality of higher education, and labor market outcomes at adulthood, in particular employment and earnings. I base this study on an experiment conducted a decade and a half ago in Israel and present evidence that the pay for performance scheme increased a wide range of long run human capital measures. Treated students are 4.3 percentage points more likely to enroll in a university and to complete an additional 0.17 years of university schooling, a 60 percent increase relative to the control group mean. These gains are mediated by overall improvements in the high school matriculation outcomes due to the teachers' intervention at 12th grade. The pay scheme led also to a significant 7 percent increase in annual earnings, to a 2 percent reduction in claims for unemployment benefits, and a 1 percent decline in eligibility for the government disability payment.

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How the Time of Day Affects Productivity: Evidence from School Schedules

Nolan Pope
Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Increasing the efficiency of the school system is a primary focus of policy makers. I analyze how the time of day affects students' productivity and if efficiency gains can be obtained by rearranging the order of tasks performed throughout the school day. Using a panel data set of nearly two million 6th through 11th grade students in Los Angeles county, I perform within teacher, class type, and student estimation of the time-of-day effect on students' learning as measured by GPA and state test scores. I find that given a school start time students' learn more in the morning than later in the school day. Having a morning instead of afternoon math or English class increases a student's GPA by 0.072 (0.006) and 0.032 (0.006) respectively. A morning math class increases state test scores by an amount equivalent to increasing teacher quality by one-fourth standard deviation or half of the gender gap. Rearranging school schedules can lead to increased academic performance.

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Peer Turnover and Student Achievement: Implications for Classroom Assignment Policy

Marc Luppino
Economics of Education Review, June 2015, Pages 98-111

Abstract:
This paper examines the effect of peer turnover on academic achievement using random variation in classroom composition induced by Tennessee's Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) experiment. In central city school districts, I find that first graders benefit from greater peer turnover. Conversely, turnover is found to have a negative effect on young students in schools outside of central city districts. These results are consistent with a model of classroom learning in which the educational returns to having a stronger social network depend on neighborhood context. They suggest that a richer understanding of peer continuity effects is essential for designing optimal classroom assignment policies.

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The Paradox of Success at a No-Excuses School

Joanne Golann
Sociology of Education, April 2015, Pages 103-119

Abstract:
No recent reform has had so profound an effect as no-excuses schools in increasing the achievement of low-income black and Hispanic students. In the past decade, no-excuses schools - whose practices include extended instructional time, data-driven instruction, ongoing professional development, and a highly structured disciplinary system - have emerged as one of the most influential urban school-reform models. Yet almost no research has been conducted on the everyday experiences of students and teachers inside these schools. Drawing from 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork inside one no-excuses school and interviews with 92 school administrators, teachers, and students, I argue that even in a school promoting social mobility, teachers still reinforce class-based skills and behaviors. Because of these schools' emphasis on order as a prerequisite to raising test scores, teachers stress behaviors that undermine success for middle-class children. As a consequence, these schools develop worker-learners - children who monitor themselves, hold back their opinions, and defer to authority - rather than lifelong learners. I discuss the implications of these findings for market-based educational reform, inequality, and research on noncognitive skills.

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Productivity Returns to Experience in the Teacher Labor Market: Methodological Challenges and New Evidence on Long-Term Career Improvement

John Papay & Matthew Kraft
Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We present new evidence on the relationship between teacher productivity and job experience. Econometric challenges require identifying assumptions to model the within-teacher returns to experience with teacher fixed effects. We describe the identifying assumptions used in past models and in a new approach that we propose, and we demonstrate how violations of these assumptions can lead to substantial bias. Consistent with past research, we find that teachers experience rapid productivity improvement early in their careers. However, we also find evidence of returns to experience later in the career, indicating that teachers continue to build human capital beyond these first years.

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Risky business: An analysis of teacher risk preferences

Daniel Bowen et al.
Education Economics, July/August 2015, Pages 470-480

Abstract:
A range of proposals aim to reform teacher compensation, recruitment, and retention. Teachers have generally not embraced these policies. One potential explanation for their objections is that teachers are relatively risk averse. We examine this hypothesis using a risk-elicitation task common to experimental economics. By comparing preferences of new teachers with those entering other professions, we find that individuals choosing to teach are significantly more risk averse. This suggests that the teaching profession may attract individuals who are less amenable to certain reforms. Policy-makers should take into account teacher risk characteristics when considering reforms that may clash with preferences.

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Does early schooling narrow outcome gaps for advantaged and disadvantaged children?

Agne Suziedelyte & Anna Zhu
Economics of Education Review, April 2015, Pages 76-88

Abstract:
This paper explores how starting school at a younger age affects the developmental score gaps between relatively advantaged and disadvantaged children. While previous findings suggest that delaying school entry may improve school readiness, less is known about whether it has differential effects for advantaged and disadvantaged children. For disadvantaged children, starting school early may be a better alternative to staying at home for longer as school provides a more stable and educational environment than the family home, overcompensating for the penalties of starting school early. This may be less applicable to relatively advantaged children who generally have greater access to resources in the home and who are more likely to utilise formal pre-school services. We use the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to investigate if there is support for this hypothesis. The endogeneity of school starting age is addressed using the regression discontinuity design. We find that an early school start generally improves children's cognitive skills, which is even more pronounced for disadvantaged children. In contrast, an early school start tends to negatively affect children's non-cognitive skills with both advantaged and disadvantaged children affected in similar ways. Thus, our findings suggest that an earlier school entry may narrow the gaps in cognitive skills, whereas the gaps in non-cognitive skills are not affected by the school starting age.

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The distributional effects of the multi-track year-round calendar: A quantile regression approach

Steven McMullen, Kathryn Rouse & Justin Haan
Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
Year-round school (YRS) calendars that redistribute the 180 school days more evenly across the calendar year are growing in popularity. Learning loss theory predicts student response to year-round calendars could vary substantially across achievement levels. Existing research on the heterogeneous effects of YRS focuses on estimating mean treatment effects by subgroup. We instead use a quantile regression approach with school and grade-by-year fixed effects to estimate the distributional impact of year-round calendars using a natural experiment setting in Wake County, NC. Contrary to the prior literature, we find evidence of a positive impact of year-round calendars for the lowest-performing students. However, even for these students, the estimated academic impact is small.

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Effects of professorial tenure on undergraduate ratings of teaching performance

Dorothy Cheng
Education Economics, May/June 2015, Pages 338-357

Abstract:
This study estimates the effect of professorial tenure on undergraduate ratings of learning, instructor quality, and course quality at the University of California, San Diego from Summer 2004 to Spring 2012. During this eight-year period, 120 assistant professors received tenure and 83 associate professors attained full rank. A differences-in-differences model controlling for teaching experience, study hours, response rate, and unobserved heterogeneity among terms, courses, and professors suggests that for a given professor, tenure does not have a significant impact on student ratings of teaching performance, at least in the immediate years after advancement. The results are similar for the promotion from associate to full professor.

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College-Going Benefits of High School Sports Participation: Race and Gender Differences Over Three Decades

Dara Shifrer et al.
Youth & Society, May 2015, Pages 295-318

Abstract:
The long touted athlete advantage in college enrollment has been tempered by assertions that this advantage is actually due to characteristics that precede participation. Moreover, it remains unclear whether the benefits of sports extend into contemporary times and apply equally to female and racial minority athletes. This study uses three nationally representative longitudinal data sets of students who were 10th graders in 1980, 1990, and 2002. We find that high school sports participation was positively associated with college enrollment, even with the utilization of propensity score modeling, for White boys and girls, Black boys, and Latino boys and girls during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The most important gender and race differences include Black female athletes' college-going disadvantage in the 1980s and 1990s, and girls' persistently lower rates of high school sports participation than boys'.

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Spillovers from Universities: Evidence from the Land-Grant Program

Shimeng Liu
Journal of Urban Economics, May 2015, Pages 25-41

Abstract:
This paper estimates the short- and long-run effects of universities on geographic clustering of economic activity, labor market composition and local productivity and presents evidence of local spillovers from universities. I treat the designation of land-grant universities in the 1860s as a natural experiment after controlling for the confounding factors with a combination of synthetic control methods and event-study analyses. Three key results are obtained. First, the designation increased local population density by 6 percent within 10 years and 45 percent in 80 years. Second, the designation did not change the relative size of local manufacturing sector. Third, the designation enhanced local manufacturing output per worker by $2136 (1840 dollars; 57 percent) in 80 years while the short-run effects were negligible. This positive effect on the productivity in non-education sectors suggests the existence of local spillovers from universities. Over an 80-year horizon, my results indicate that the increase in manufacturing productivity reflects both the impact of direct spillovers from universities and general agglomeration economies that arise from the increase in population.

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The Currents beneath the "Rising Tide" of School Choice: An Analysis of Student Enrollment Flows in the Chicago Public Schools

Irmak Sirer et al.
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Spring 2015, Pages 358-377

Abstract:
Existing research highlights that families face geographic, social, and psychological constraints that may limit the extent to which competition can take hold in school choice programs. In this paper, we address the implications of such findings by creating a network of student flows from 11 cohorts of eighth-grade students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). We applied a custom algorithm to group together schools with similar sending and receiving patterns, and calculated the difference in mean achievement between a student's attended and assigned high schools. For all identified school groupings, we found that the students were on average moving to higher achieving schools. We also found that the movement toward higher achieving schools of the top achievement quartile of students was over twice as large as that of the bottom quartile, but that the flows of both the highest and lowest achieving student quartiles were toward higher achieving destinations. Our results suggest that student movements in CPS between the years of 2001 to 2005 were consistent with creating market pressure for improvement as well as increasing segregation by achievement. However, further research into how schools responded to those movements is required to make inferences about the level or consequences of competition generated by choice-related reforms during that time.

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Earlier school start times as a risk factor for poor school performance: An examination of public elementary schools in the commonwealth of Kentucky

Peggy Keller et al.
Journal of Educational Psychology, February 2015, Pages 236-245

Abstract:
Adequate sleep is essential for child learning. However, school systems may inadvertently be promoting sleep deprivation through early school start times. The current study examines the potential implications of early school start times for standardized test scores in public elementary schools in Kentucky. Associations between early school start time and poorer school performance were observed primarily for schools serving few students who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches. Associations were controlled for teacher-student ratio, racial composition, and whether the school was in the Appalachian region. Findings support the growing body of research showing that early school start times may influence student learning but offer some of the first evidence that this influence may occur for elementary school children and depend on school characteristics.

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Grade-Specific Experience, Grade Reassignments, and Teacher Turnover

Ben Ost & Jeffrey Schiman
Economics of Education Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study documents that teacher turnover is strongly related to the pattern of grades that a teacher is asked to teach. Elementary teachers in North Carolina that teach the same grade in their first two years are approximately 20% more likely to stay than teachers who teach two different grades in their first two years of teaching. More generally, within total experience categories, teachers with the fewest years of grade-specific experience have the highest probability of turnover. We argue that this pattern is driven both by the disruption caused by grade reassignment and by the fact that teachers with stable grade assignments have effectively smaller workloads since they can reuse lesson plans and, more generally, apply grade-specific skills.

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Capitalization of Charter Schools into Residential Property Values

Scott Imberman, Michael Naretta & Margaret O'Rourke
NBER Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
While prior research has found clear impacts of schools and school quality on property values, little is known about whether charter schools have similar effects. Using sale price data for residential properties in Los Angeles County from 2008 to 2011 we estimate the neighborhood level impact of charter schools on housing prices. Using an identification strategy that relies on census block fixed-effects and variation in charter penetration over time, we find little evidence that the availability of charter schools affect housing prices on average. However, we do find that when restricting to charter schools located in the same school district as the household, housing prices outside Los Angeles Unified School District fall in response to an increase in nearby charter penetration.

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State Merit-Based Financial Aid Programs and College Attainment

David Sjoquist & John Winters
Journal of Regional Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper examines the effects of state merit-based student aid programs on college attendance and degree completion. Our primary analysis uses microdata from the 2000 United States Census and 2001-2010 American Community Survey to estimate the effects of exposure to merit programs on educational outcomes for 25 states that adopted such programs by 2004. We also utilize administrative data for the University System of Georgia to look more in depth at the effects of exposure to the HOPE Scholarship on degree completion. We find strong consistent evidence that exposure to state merit aid programs have no meaningfully positive effect on college completion.

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School Quality and Educational Attainment: Japanese American Internment as a Natural Experiment

Martin Saavedra
Explorations in Economic History, forthcoming

Abstract:
In 1942, the United States incarcerated all Japanese Americans on the West Coast, including children, in internment camps. Using non-West Coast Japanese Americans and non-Japanese Asians as control groups, I estimate the effect of attending a War Relocation Authority school on educational attainment. Non-linear difference-in-differences estimates suggest that attending school within the internment camps decreased the probability of receiving a post-collegiate education by approximately 4 to 5 percentage points and decreased the probability of receiving a college degree by between 2 and 7 percentage points. I find some evidence that attending a WRA school may have decreased the returns to education as well. By using un-incarcerated birth cohorts and races, placebo tests find no evidence that the identifying assumptions are violated.

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Salaries in Space: The Spatial Dimensions of Teacher Compensation

Jacob Fowles
Public Finance Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article, drawing on a rich panel of administrative data comprising all public school teachers employed in Kentucky from 1997 to 2005, utilizes methods developed in spatial econometrics to test for spatial interdependence in the teacher remuneration policies utilized by public school districts. The results of the best fitting model suggest that a 1 percentage point increase in the salary generosity of a particular district's distance-weighted neighbors yields a 0.57 percentage point increase in the generosity of salaries within that district, even after controlling for relevant district characteristics and including time and district fixed effects. The results are discussed within the context of state education finance reforms, the school choice movement as well as the continued national focus on improving teacher quality as a primary mechanism to increase student achievement.

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Blissful Ignorance? A Natural Experiment on the Effect of Feedback on Students' Performance

Oriana Bandiera, Valentino Larcinese & Imran Rasul
Labour Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We provide evidence on whether providing university students with feedback on their past exam performance affects their future exam performance. Our identification strategy exploits a natural experiment in a leading UK university where different departments have historically different rules on the provision of feedback to their students. We find the provision of feedback has a positive effect on students' subsequent test scores: the mean impact corresponds to 13% of a standard deviation in test scores. The impact of feedback is stronger for more able students and for students who have less information to start with about the academic environment, while no subset of individuals is found to be discouraged by feedback. Our findings suggest that students have imperfect information on how their effort translates into test scores and that the provision of feedback might be a cost-effective means to increase students' exam performance.

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Ill Communication: Technology, Distraction & Student Performance

Louis-Philippe Beland & Richard Murphy
Louisiana State University Working Paper, December 2014

Abstract:
This paper investigates the impact of removing mobile phones from classrooms. Combining administrative data on student performance with a unique survey of school mobile phone policies in four cities in England, we investigate the impact of introducing a ban on mobile phones on student performance, exploiting variations in schools' autonomous decisions to ban mobile phones. Our results indicate that there is an increase in student performance after a school bans the use of mobile phones and that these gains are driven by the lowest-achieving students. This suggests that restricting mobile phone use can be a low-cost policy to reduce educational inequality.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sick days

The Relationship Between Workplace Stressors and Mortality and Health Costs in the United States

Joel Goh, Jeffrey Pfeffer & Stefanos Zenios
Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Even though epidemiological evidence links specific workplace stressors to health outcomes, the aggregate contribution of these factors to overall mortality and health spending in the United States is not known. In this paper, we build a model to estimate the excess mortality and incremental health expenditures associated with exposure to the following 10 workplace stressors: unemployment, lack of health insurance, exposure to shift work, long working hours, job insecurity, work–family conflict, low job control, high job demands, low social support at work, and low organizational justice. Our model uses input parameters obtained from publicly accessible data sources. We estimated health spending from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and joint probabilities of workplace exposures from the General Social Survey, and we conducted a meta-analysis of the epidemiological literature to estimate the relative risks of poor health outcomes associated with exposure to these stressors. The model was designed to overcome limitations with using inputs from multiple data sources. Specifically, the model separately derives optimistic and conservative estimates of the effect of multiple workplace exposures on health, and uses optimization to calculate upper and lower bounds around each estimate, which accounts for the correlation between exposures. We find that more than 120,000 deaths per year and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs are associated with and may be attributable to how U.S. companies manage their work forces. Our results suggest that more attention should be paid to management practices as important contributors to health outcomes and costs in the United States.

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The Content and Effect of Politicized Health Controversies

Erika Franklin Fowler & Sarah Gollust
ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, March 2015, Pages 155-171

Abstract:
Health issues are increasingly becoming politicized, but little is known about how politicization takes shape in the news and its effect on the public. We analyze the evolution of politicization in news coverage of two health controversies: the uproar over the 2009 mammography screening guidelines and the 2006–2007 debate over mandating the HPV vaccine as a requirement for middle school–aged girls. We then examine the public response to politicization in the HPV case, using original data from a survey-embedded experiment that was linked with news coverage in all fifty states. We find that real-world politicization is associated with decreases in support for HPV vaccine requirements, state immunization programs, and confidence in doctors and in government. In addition, among those less likely to have encountered real-world politicization, we find marginal evidence that exposure to political conflict decreases support for state immunization programs and clear evidence that politicization reduces confidence in doctors. We discuss the implications of these findings and suggest future avenues of research.

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Success is Something to Sneeze at: Influenza Mortality in Regions that Send Teams to the Super Bowl

Charles Stoecker, Nicholas Sanders & Alan Barreca
Tulane University Working Paper, January 2015

Abstract:
Using county-level Vital Statistics of the United States data from 1974-2009, we employ a differences-in-differences framework comparing influenza mortality rates in Super Bowl-participating counties to non-participants. Having a local team in the Super Bowl causes an 18% increase in influenza deaths for the population over age 65, with evidence suggesting one mechanism is increased local socialization. Effects are most pronounced in years when the dominant influenza strain is more virulent, or when the Super Bowl occurs closer to the peak of influenza season. Mitigating influenza transmission at gatherings related to large spectator events could have substantial returns for public health.

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Disentangling Race and Social Context in Understanding Disparities in Chronic Conditions among Men

Roland Thorpe et al.
Journal of Urban Health, February 2015, Pages 83-92

Abstract:
Disparities in men’s health research may inaccurately attribute differences in chronic conditions to race rather than the different health risk exposures in which men live. This study sought to determine whether living in the same social environment attenuates race disparities in chronic conditions among men. This study compared survey data collected in 2003 from black and white men with similar incomes living in a racially integrated neighborhood of Baltimore to data from the 2003 National Health Interview Survey. Multivariable logistic regression models estimated to determine whether race disparities in chronic conditions were attenuated among men living in the same social environment. In the national sample, black men exhibited greater odds of having hypertension (odds ratio [OR] = 1.58, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.34, 1.86) and diabetes (OR = 1.62, 95 % CI 1.27–2.08) than white men. In the sample of men living in the same social context, black and white respondents had similar odds of having hypertension (OR = 1.05, 95 % CI 0.70, 1.59) and diabetes (OR = 1.12, 95 % CI 0.57–2.22). There are no race disparities in chronic conditions among low-income, urban men living in the same social environment. Policies and interventions aiming to reduce disparities in chronic conditions should focus on modifying social aspects of the environment.

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Successful Scientific Replication and Extension of Levitt (2008): Child Seats are Still No Safer Than Seat Belts

Lauren Jones & Nicolas Ziebarth
Journal of Applied Econometrics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using US fatality data from 1975 to 2003, Levitt (Evidence that seat belts are as effective as child safety seats in preventing death for children aged two and up, Review of Economics and Statistics 2008; 90(1): 158–163) shows that child safety seats do not significantly reduce fatalities for children aged 2–6 years as compared to standard seat belts. Although we were unable to gain access to the original programs and dataset used, we were able to replicate Levitt's (2008) findings almost exactly. We extend Levitt (2008) by showing that the findings also hold for the years 2004–2011 despite changing driver characteristics and restraint use patterns. We fail to find evidence that SUVs provide additional safety for children.

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Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability

Govert Bijwaard, Hans van Kippersluis & Justus Veenman
Journal of Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We aim to disentangle the relative impact of (i) cognitive ability, and (ii) education on health and mortality using a structural equation model suggested by Conti et al. (2010). We extend their model by allowing for a duration dependent variable (mortality), and an ordinal educational variable. Data come from a Dutch cohort born between 1937 and 1941, including detailed measures of cognitive ability and family background in the final grade of primary school. The data are linked to the mortality register 1995-2011, such that we observe mortality between ages 55 and 75. The results suggest that at least half of the unconditional survival differences between educational groups are due to a ‘selection effect’, primarily on the basis of cognitive ability. Conditional survival differences across those having finished just primary school and those entering secondary education are still substantial, and amount to a 4 years gain in life expectancy, on average.

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Neighborhood Blight, Stress, and Health: A Walking Trial of Urban Greening and Ambulatory Heart Rate

Eugenia South et al.
American Journal of Public Health, forthcoming

Abstract:
We measured dynamic stress responses using ambulatory heart rate monitoring as participants in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania walked past vacant lots before and after a greening remediation treatment of randomly selected lots. Being in view of a greened vacant lot decreased heart rate significantly more than did being in view of a nongreened vacant lot or not in view of any vacant lot. Remediating neighborhood blight may reduce stress and improve health.

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Does higher income inequality adversely influence infant mortality rates? Reconciling descriptive patterns and recent research findings

Arjumand Siddiqi, Marcella Jones & Paul Campbell Erwin
Social Science & Medicine, April 2015, Pages 82–88

Abstract:
As the struggle continues to explain the relatively high rates of infant mortality (IMR) exhibited in the United States, a renewed emphasis is being placed on the role of possible 'contextual' determinants. Cross-sectional and short time-series studies have found that higher income inequality is associated with higher IMR at the state level. Yet, descriptively, the longer-term trends in income inequality and in IMR seem to call such results into question. To assess whether, over the period 1990–2007, state-level income inequality is associated with state-level IMR; to examine whether the overall effect of income inequality on IMR over this period varies by state; to test whether the association between income inequality and IMR varies across this time period. IMR data - number of deaths per 1000 live births in a given state and year - were obtained from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Wonder database. Income inequality was measured using the Gini coefficient, which varies from zero (complete equality) to 100 (complete inequality). Covariates included state-level poverty rate, median income, and proportion of high school graduates. Fixed and random effects regressions were conducted to test hypotheses. Fixed effects models suggested that, overall, during the period 1990–2007, income inequality was inversely associated with IMR (β = −0.07, SE (0.01)). Random effects models suggested that when the relationship was allowed to vary at the state-level, it remained inverse (β = −0.05, SE (0.01)). However, an interaction between income inequality and time suggested that, as time increased, the effect of income inequality had an increasingly positive association with total IMR (β = 0.009, SE (0.002)). The influence of state income inequality on IMR is dependent on time, which may proxy for time-dependent aspects of societal context.

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The impact of low birth weight and maternal age on adulthood offending

Jamie Vaske et al.
Journal of Criminal Justice, January–February 2015, Pages 49–56

Purpose: The current study examines the relationship between low birth weight and adult offending, and whether maternal age at childbirth moderates this relationship.

Methods: Using longitudinal data from mothers and offspring from the Providence sample of the Collaborative Perinatal Project, multivariate logistic regression models were used to study the relationship between low birth weight and adulthood arrest by maternal age.

Results: Offspring born at low birth weight were at an increased risk of adult arrest, but only if they were born to adolescent (and not adult) mothers. These results remained while controlling for preterm delivery, number of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy, mothers’ marital status, socioeconomic status, African American race, gender, and court contact during adolescence.

Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of considering the moderating role of maternal age at childbirth, and underscore the notion that the adverse effect of a child born at low birth weight — with respect to crime — can be exacerbated if the child is born to a young mother but lessened or even ameliorated if born to an older mother. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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The impact of minimum age and child access prevention laws on firearm-related youth suicides and unintentional deaths

Mark Gius
Social Science Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
The aim of the present study is to quantify the association between child access prevention (CAP) and minimum age laws and state-level youth firearm-related suicide and unintentional death rates. This paper differs from prior research in several ways. First, this is one of the few studies to focus exclusively on youth death rates. Second, this study looks at those laws with the most impact on youth suicides and unintentional deaths. Finally, this study uses one of the largest and most recent data sets of any study on this topic. In order to estimate the determinants of youth firearm deaths, a fixed effects regression model, controlling for both state-level and year-specific effects, is used. Results indicate that state-level minimum age laws have no significant effects on either youth suicides or unintentional deaths and that state-level CAP laws have no significant effects on unintentional deaths. States with CAP laws, however, have lower rates of youth suicide, and, after the enactment of the Federal minimum age requirement, both youth suicide and unintentional death rates fell. Given the mixed results regarding state-level juvenile firearm laws, national restrictions on juvenile handgun possession may be more effective in reducing both youth suicides and unintentional deaths than state-level regulations.

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Web search activity data accurately predict population chronic disease risk in the USA

Thin Nguyen et al.
Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, forthcoming

Background: The WHO framework for non-communicable disease (NCD) describes risks and outcomes comprising the majority of the global burden of disease. These factors are complex and interact at biological, behavioural, environmental and policy levels presenting challenges for population monitoring and intervention evaluation. This paper explores the utility of machine learning methods applied to population-level web search activity behaviour as a proxy for chronic disease risk factors.

Methods: Web activity output for each element of the WHO's Causes of NCD framework was used as a basis for identifying relevant web search activity from 2004 to 2013 for the USA. Multiple linear regression models with regularisation were used to generate predictive algorithms, mapping web search activity to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) measured risk factor/disease prevalence. Predictions for subsequent target years not included in the model derivation were tested against CDC data from population surveys using Pearson correlation and Spearman's r.

Results: For 2011 and 2012, predicted prevalence was very strongly correlated with measured risk data ranging from fruits and vegetables consumed (r=0.81; 95% CI 0.68 to 0.89) to alcohol consumption (r=0.96; 95% CI 0.93 to 0.98). Mean difference between predicted and measured differences by State ranged from 0.03 to 2.16. Spearman's r for state-wise predicted versus measured prevalence varied from 0.82 to 0.93.

Conclusions: The high predictive validity of web search activity for NCD risk has potential to provide real-time information on population risk during policy implementation and other population-level NCD prevention efforts.

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Dangerous Double Dosing: How Naive Beliefs Can Contribute to Unintentional Overdose with Over-the-Counter Drugs

Jesse Catlin, Cornelia (Connie) Pechmann & Eric Brass
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, forthcoming

Abstract:
In a series of studies, consumers reviewed over-the-counter (OTC) drug packages and evaluated these OTC drugs for concurrent use to investigate whether they utilized the active ingredients and recognized the risks of double dosing when using two drugs contained the same active ingredient. Both novice and expert consumers used active ingredients to assess drug similarity, indicating the information was accessible. However, only medically trained experts used this information to assess the risks of taking two drugs concurrently, indicating they understood its diagnosticity or relevancy. Novices' failure to view double dosing as risky suggested they might hold a naive belief that OTC drugs are relatively risk-free, and so interventions to increase active ingredient diagnosticity versus accessibility were tested. One intervention considered by OTC drug manufacturers makes active ingredients more accessible on packages using icons. However, this approach alone was not found to be effective, while interventions enhancing the diagnosticity of ingredients through public service messages or package warnings yielded promising results. Thus, interventions may benefit from going beyond accessibility to also highlight active ingredient diagnosticity.

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Allergy in Children in Hand Versus Machine Dishwashing

Bill Hesselmar, Anna Hicke-Roberts & Göran Wennergren
Pediatrics, March 2015, Pages e590-e597

Backrgound and objective: The hygiene hypothesis stipulates that microbial exposure during early life induces immunologic tolerance via immune stimulation, and hence reduces the risk of allergy development. Several common lifestyle factors and household practices, such as dishwashing methods, may increase microbial exposure. The aim of this study was to investigate if such lifestyle factors are associated with allergy prevalence.

Methods: Questionnaire-based study of 1029 children aged 7 to 8 years from Kiruna, in the north of Sweden, and Mölndal, in the Gothenburg area on the southwest coast of Sweden. Questions on asthma, eczema, and rhinoconjunctivitis were taken from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire.

Results: Hand dishwashing was associated with a reduced risk of allergic disease development (multivariate analysis, odds ratio 0.57; 95% confidence interval: 0.37–0.85). The risk was further reduced in a dose-response pattern if the children were also served fermented food and if the family bought food directly from farms.

Conclusions: In families who use hand dishwashing, allergic diseases in children are less common than in children from families who use machine dishwashing. We speculate that a less-efficient dishwashing method may induce tolerance via increased microbial exposure.

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Health Selection Theory: An Explanation for the Paradox between Perceived Male Well-Being and Mortality

Susan Brown, Susan Shirachi & Danielle Zandbergen
Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2015, Pages 3-21

Abstract:
Paradoxically, men report better health and quality of life than women, but men experience higher mortality rates than women at most ages. One conclusion from these findings is that men have been selected to disregard signs of ill health, or even to deceive themselves about their health, to their detriment because presenting themselves as healthy has fitness benefits. We hypothesize that men have been sexually selected to present themselves to women as healthy but that the cost of not attending to their minor health problems results in earlier mortality than women. We present a review of the human and primate literature that supports health selection theory, the hypothesis that females have preferentially selected males who present themselves as healthy.

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Accelerometer-Monitored Sedentary Behavior and Observed Physical Function Loss

Pamela Semanik et al.
American Journal of Public Health, March 2015, Pages 560-566

Objectives: We examined whether objectively measured sedentary behavior is related to subsequent functional loss among community-dwelling adults with or at high risk for knee osteoarthritis.

Methods: We analyzed longitudinal data (2008–2012) from 1659 Osteoarthritis Initiative participants aged 49 to 83 years in 4 cities. Baseline sedentary time was assessed by accelerometer monitoring. Functional loss (gait speed and chair stand testing) was regressed on baseline sedentary time and covariates (baseline function; socioeconomics [age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, education], health factors [obesity, depression, comorbidities, knee symptoms, knee osteoarthritis severity, prior knee injury, other lower extremity pain, smoking], and moderate-to-vigorous activity).

Results: This cohort spent almost two thirds of their waking hours (average = 9.8 h) in sedentary behaviors. Sedentary time was significantly positively associated with subsequent functional loss in both gait speed (−1.66 ft/min decrease per 10% increment sedentary percentage waking hours) and chair stand rate (−0.75 repetitions/min decrease), controlling for covariates.

Conclusions: Being less sedentary was related to less future decline in function, independent of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity. Both limiting sedentary activities and promoting physical activity in adults with knee osteoarthritis may be important in maintaining function.

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Antimicrobial Resistance: The Major Contribution of Poor Governance and Corruption to This Growing Problem

Peter Collignon et al.
PLoS ONE, March 2015

Objectives: To determine how important governmental, social, and economic factors are in driving antibiotic resistance compared to the factors usually considered the main driving factors—antibiotic usage and levels of economic development.

Design: A retrospective multivariate analysis of the variation of antibiotic resistance in Europe in terms of human antibiotic usage, private health care expenditure, tertiary education, the level of economic advancement (per capita GDP), and quality of governance (corruption). The model was estimated using a panel data set involving 7 common human bloodstream isolates and covering 28 European countries for the period 1998–2010.

Results: Only 28% of the total variation in antibiotic resistance among countries is attributable to variation in antibiotic usage. If time effects are included the explanatory power increases to 33%. However when the control of corruption indicator is included as an additional variable, 63% of the total variation in antibiotic resistance is now explained by the regression. The complete multivariate regression only accomplishes an additional 7% in terms of goodness of fit, indicating that corruption is the main socioeconomic factor that explains antibiotic resistance. The income level of a country appeared to have no effect on resistance rates in the multivariate analysis. The estimated impact of corruption was statistically significant (p< 0.01). The coefficient indicates that an improvement of one unit in the corruption indicator is associated with a reduction in antibiotic resistance by approximately 0.7 units. The estimated coefficient of private health expenditure showed that one unit reduction is associated with a 0.2 unit decrease in antibiotic resistance.

Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that poor governance and corruption contributes to levels of antibiotic resistance and correlate better than antibiotic usage volumes with resistance rates. We conclude that addressing corruption and improving governance will lead to a reduction in antibiotic resistance.

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Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics

Ebrahim Afshinnekoo et al.
Cell Systems, forthcoming

Abstract:
The panoply of microorganisms and other species present in our environment influence human health and disease, especially in cities, but have not been profiled with metagenomics at a city-wide scale. We sequenced DNA from surfaces across the entire New York City (NYC) subway system, the Gowanus Canal, and public parks. Nearly half of the DNA (48%) does not match any known organism; identified organisms spanned 1,688 bacterial, viral, archaeal, and eukaryotic taxa, which were enriched for harmless genera associated with skin (e.g.,Acinetobacter). Predicted ancestry of human DNA left on subway surfaces can recapitulate U.S. Census demographic data, and bacterial signatures can reveal a station’s history, such as marine-associated bacteria in a hurricane-flooded station. Some evidence of pathogens was found (Bacillus anthracis), but a lack of reported cases in NYC suggests that the pathogens represent a normal, urban microbiome. This baseline metagenomic map of NYC could help long-term disease surveillance, bioterrorism threat mitigation, and health management in the built environment of cities.

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Effect of oral melatonin and wearing earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep in healthy subjects in a simulated intensive care unit environment: Which might be a more promising strategy for ICU sleep deprivation?

Hua-Wei Huang et al.
Critical Care, March 2015

Introduction: Sleep deprivation is common in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Noise and light in the ICU and the reduction in plasma melatonin play the essential roles. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of simulated ICU noise and light on nocturnal sleep quality, and compare the effectiveness of melatonin and earplugs and eye masks on sleep quality in these conditions in healthy subjects.

Methods: This study was conducted in two parts. In part one, 40 healthy subjects slept under baseline night and simulated ICU noise and light (NL) by a cross-over design. In part two, 40 subjects were randomly assigned to four groups: NL, NL plus placebo (NLP), NL plus use of earplugs and eye masks (NLEE) and NL plus melatonin (NLM). 1 mg of oral melatonin or placebo was administered at 21:00 on four consecutive days in NLM and NLP. Earplugs and eye masks were made available in NLEE. The objective sleep quality was measured by polysomnography. Serum was analyzed for melatonin levels. Subjects rated their perceived sleep quality and anxiety levels.

Results: Subjects had shorter total sleep time (TST) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, longer sleep onset latency, more light sleep and awakening, poorer subjective sleep quality, higher anxiety level and lower serum melatonin level in NL night (P <0.05). NLEE had less awakenings and shorter sleep onset latency (P <0.05). NLM had longer TST and REM and shorter sleep onset latency (P <0.05). Compared with NLEE, NLM had fewer awakenings (P = 0.004). Both NLM and NLEE improved perceived sleep quality and anxiety level (P = 0.000), and NLM showed better than NLEE in perceived sleep quality (P = 0.01). Compared to baseline night, the serum melatonin levels were lower in NL night at every time point, and the average maximal serum melatonin concentration in NLM group was significantly greater than other groups (P <0.001).

Conclusions: Compared with earplugs and eye masks, melatonin improves sleep quality and serum melatonin levels better in healthy subjects exposed to simulated ICU noise and light.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, March 30, 2015

Let the record show

Courting the President: How Circuit Court Judges Alter Their Behavior for Promotion to the Supreme Court

Ryan Black & Ryan Owens
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examine whether circuit court judges sacrifice policy purity for career goals. We compare the behavior of contender judges-those most likely to be elevated to the Supreme Court-during vacancy periods with their behavior outside vacancy periods. We also examine the behavior of noncontender judges during those same times. The data show that during vacancy periods, contender judges are more likely to vote consistently with the president's preferences, to rule in favor of the United States, and to write dissenting opinions. Noncontender judges fail to evidence such behavior. These findings provide empirical support for the argument that federal judges adapt their behavior to specific audiences, and provide new avenues for research into judges' goals and the role of audiences in judicial decision making.

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Media Influence on Courts: Evidence from Civil Case Adjudication

Claire Lim
American Law and Economics Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper quantitatively assesses media influence on civil case adjudication in U.S. state courts. It shows that media influence substantially mitigates disparity in damage awards across political orientation of districts. That is, in areas with frequent newspaper coverage of courts, there is little difference in damage awards between conservative and liberal districts. In contrast, in areas with little newspaper coverage, liberal districts tend to grant substantially larger damage awards than do conservative ones. This result suggests that the presence of active media coverage may enhance consistency in the civil justice system.

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Differential Treatment of Female Defendants: Does Criminal History Moderate the Effect of Gender on Sentence Length in Federal Narcotics Cases?

Rob Tillyer, Richard Hartley & Jeffrey Ward
Criminal Justice and Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Past research indicates that men and women are treated differently at the sentencing phase, but the specifics of this relationship have not been fully explicated. The current study draws on the chivalry and evil woman hypotheses to examine how a defendant's gender may interact with criminal history to affect sentence length in federal narcotics cases. Results indicate that gender's effect on sentence length is nuanced, complex, and dependent on a defendant's criminal history score; thus, conditional support is found for both the chivalry and evil woman hypotheses. Specifically, female defendants with lower criminal history scores received more lenient treatment (relative to male defendants) whereas those with higher criminal history scores received more severe sentences. These findings suggest that further exploration of interactions between extralegal and legal factors is necessary to uncover the complex ways in which gender influences court outcomes.

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Precinct or Prejudice? Understanding Racial Disparities in New York City's Stop-and-Frisk Policy

Sharad Goel, Justin Rao & Ravi Shroff
Stanford Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
Recent studies have examined racial disparities in stop-and-frisk, a widely employed but controversial policing tactic. The statistical evidence, though, has been limited and contradictory. We investigate by analyzing three million stops in New York City over five years, focusing on cases where officers suspected the stopped individual of criminal possession of a weapon (CPW). For each CPW stop, we estimate the ex-ante probability that the detained suspect would have a weapon. We find that in 44% of cases, the likelihood of finding a weapon was less than 1%, raising concerns that the legal requirement of "reasonable suspicion" was often not met. We further find that blacks and Hispanics were disproportionately stopped in these low hit rate contexts, a phenomenon largely attributable to lower thresholds for stopping individuals in high-crime, predominately minority areas, particularly public housing. Even after adjusting for location effects, however, we find that stopped blacks and Hispanics were still less likely than similarly situated whites to possess weapons, indicative of racial bias in stop decisions. We demonstrate that by conducting only the 6% ex-ante highest hit rate stops, one can both recover the majority of weapons and mitigate racial disparities. Finally, we develop stop heuristics that can be implemented as a simple scoring rule, and have comparable accuracy to our full statistical models.

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The Death Penalty: Should the Judge or the Jury Decide Who Dies?

Valerie Hans et al.
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, March 2015, Pages 70-99

Abstract:
This article addresses the effect of judge versus jury decision making through analysis of a database of all capital sentencing phase hearing trials in the State of Delaware from 1977-2007. Over the three decades of the study, Delaware shifted responsibility for death penalty sentencing from the jury to the judge. Currently, Delaware is one of the handful of states that gives the judge the final decision-making authority in capital trials. Controlling for a number of legally relevant and other predictor variables, we find that the shift to judge sentencing significantly increased the number of death sentences. Statutory aggravating factors, stranger homicides, and the victim's gender also increased the likelihood of a death sentence, as did the county of the homicide. We reflect on the implications of these results for debates about the constitutionality of judge sentencing in capital cases.

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Classing Sex Offenders: How Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys Differentiate Men Accused of Sexual Assault

Jamie Small
Law & Society Review, March 2015, Pages 109-141

Abstract:
As public awareness of and concern about sexual victimization has increased in recent decades, stigmatization of sex offenders has also increased considerably. Contemporary sex offender policies transform discrete criminal behaviors into lifelong social identities. Although there is much debate about the efficacy and constitutionality of such policies, we know little about how the category of "sex offender" is constituted in the first place. In this article, I reveal how prosecutors and defense attorneys construct sex offenders, not as monsterous or racialized as is commonly thought, but as "lower class" men. This analysis is based on 30 in-depth interviews with prosecutors and defense attorneys in Michigan. These legal actors wield disproportionate power in defining the boundaries of criminal behaviors and individuals. That they associate sexual criminality with lower class men demonstrates yet another way that class-based inequalities are reproduced in the legal field.

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The Role of Age in Jury Selection and Trial Outcomes

Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson
Journal of Law and Economics, November 2014, Pages 1001-1030

Abstract:
This paper uses data from more than 700 felony trials in Florida to examine the role of age in jury selection and trial outcomes. The results imply that prosecutors are more likely to use their peremptory challenges to exclude younger members of the jury pool, while defense attorneys exclude older potential jurors. To examine the causal impact of age, we employ a research design that isolates the effect of the random variation in the age composition of the pool of eligible jurors called for jury duty. Consistent with the jury selection patterns, the empirical evidence implies that older jurors are significantly more likely to convict. Results are robust to controls for county, time, and judge fixed effects. Thus, many cases are decided differently for reasons that are completely independent of the nature of the evidence in the case - that is, there is substantial randomness in the application of criminal justice.

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Lawyers Steer Clients Toward Lucrative Filings: Evidence from Consumer Bankruptcies

Frank McIntyre, Daniel Sullivan & Laura Summers
American Law and Economics Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Consumers often rely on lawyers to make complicated legal decisions, though in many cases the lawyer's financial interests are at odds with those of the client. We consider this general problem in the context of consumers filing for bankruptcy. Lawyers advise debtors on whether to file the cheaper Chapter 7 filing or the more expensive Chapter 13 filing. Bankruptcy courts that allow lawyers to charge more for Chapter 13 bankruptcy see a significantly larger fraction of Chapter 13 filings (elasticity of 0.3). This is true controlling for a host of demographic controls at the zip code level, as well as with state fixed effects and district policy controls. Our estimates suggest that 5.4% of cross-district variation in relative Chapter 13 rates could be eliminated by harmonizing relative fees.

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Judicial Contributions to US National Policy Change since 1945

Matt Grossmann & Brendon Swedlow
Journal of Law and Courts, Spring 2015, Pages 1-35

Abstract:
How often, at what times, and on what issues do courts directly make policy or indirectly influence policy making by other branches of government? We assess the judicial contribution to policy change using 268 policy histories covering 14 issue areas of US domestic policy making from 1945 to 2004. Contrary to the prominent view that courts are relatively inconsequential policy-making institutions, we find that federal courts made or influenced nearly one in four significant federal policy changes. Courts directly made almost as many significant policies as the executive branch and indirectly influenced about as many significant policies in other branches as Congress. We also find that judicial policy making and influence are concentrated in a few time periods and issue areas.

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Preemption in the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts: An Empirical Analysis

Michael Greve et al.
George Mason University Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
This article presents an empirical analysis of the Rehnquist Court's and the Roberts Court's decisions on the federal (statutory) preemption of state law. In addition to raw outcomes for or against preemption, we examine cases by subject-matter, level of judicial consensus, tort versus regulatory preemption, party constellation, and origin in state or federal court. We present additional data and analysis on the role of state amici and of the U.S. Solicitor General in preemption cases, and we examine individual justices' voting records. Among our findings, one stands out: over time and especially under the Roberts Court, lawyerly preemption questions have assumed a distinctly ideological flavor. Preemption cases are much more likely to be contested than they were in earlier decades; and in those cases, once-rare judicial bloc voting has become common.

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Appellate Caseload and the Switch to Comparative Negligence

Jef De Mot, Michael Faure & Jonathan Klick
International Review of Law and Economics, June 2015, Pages 147-156

Abstract:
The switch from contributory to comparative negligence is thought to have been motivated primarily out of a concern for justice. We offer a different perspective. Language in state supreme court decisions suggests that some judges thought the switch would reduce appeal rates. We hypothesize that courts were more likely to make the switch when their appellate caseloads are relatively high. To examine this, we estimate hazard models, showing that states with appellate courts where caseloads grew relatively faster made the switch more quickly, and the effect was more pronounced for the switch to the pure, as opposed to the modified, form of comparative negligence.

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Sentencing Outcomes in U.S. District Courts: Can Offenders' Educational Attainment Guard Against Prevalent Criminal Stereotypes?

Travis Franklin
Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming

Abstract:
Numerous studies have examined the influence of offender characteristics on sentencing outcomes, yet little attention has been afforded to offenders' educational attainment. The focal concerns theory provides reason to suspect that greater educational attainment may insulate offenders from the effects of criminal stereotypes linked to extralegal factors, including race/ethnicity, age, and sex. The current analysis employs a sample of 115,674 federal offenders to test this assumption on the in/out and sentence length decisions. Results of the in/out models demonstrate a general pattern where the effects of several extralegal factors (i.e., race, ethnicity, age, sex, and detention) are reduced, and in some cases fully moderated, by offenders' educational attainment. This pattern, however, is not apparent during the sentence length decision.

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Leveling the Odds: The Effect of Quality Legal Representation in Cases of Asymmetrical Capability

Banks Miller, Linda Camp Keith & Jennifer Holmes
Law & Society Review, March 2015, Pages 209-239

Abstract:
How much does attorney quality influence the outcome of cases in which one litigant is significantly more capable than the other? Using a unique dataset of all asylum merits decision from 1990 to 2010, we find that high quality representation evens the odds for asylum applicants and that not being represented by legal counsel is actually better than being represented by a poor lawyer. In this analysis, we draw on a modified party capability theory and create new measures of attorney capability. We find that variation in attorney capability is a primary driver of the disparity in asylum outcomes in U.S. immigration courts and that a likely causal mechanism for this influence is the judge-specific reputation of an attorney.

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The Politics of Selecting the Bench from the Bar: The Legal Profession and Partisan Incentives to Politicize the Judiciary

Adam Bonica & Maya Sen
Harvard Working Paper, January 2015

Abstract:
The American judiciary has increasingly come under attack as polarized and politicized. Using a newly collected dataset that captures the ideological positioning of nearly half a million judges and lawyers who have made campaign contributions, we present empirical evidence showing politicization through various tiers of the judicial hierarchy. We show that the higher the court, the more conservative and more polarized it becomes, in contrast with the broader population of attorneys, who tend to be liberal. These findings suggest that political actors not only appear to rely on ideology in the selection of judges, but that they strategically prioritize higher courts. To our knowledge, our study is the first to provide a direct ideological comparison across tiers of the judiciary and between judges and lawyers, and also the first to document how - and why - American courts are politicized.

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Measuring the Fortress: Explaining Trends in Supreme Court and Circuit Court Dictionary Use

John Calhoun
Yale Law Journal, November 2014, Pages 484-526

Abstract:
Recent research argues that the increasing use of dictionaries in Supreme Court and circuit court opinions may pose risks to the legitimacy, credibility, and accuracy of federal appellate court judgments. However, it is hard to understand why dictionary use has grown so much over the last thirty years, because existing data on Justices' and judges' dictionary use is insufficient. This Note introduces a comprehensive dataset covering dictionary usage in every Supreme Court and circuit court opinion from 1950 to 2010. The dataset allows one to test leading theories about Supreme Court dictionary usage by seeing how those same theories fare in light of circuit court dictionary usage trends. Such comparisons suggest that the Supreme Court's increasing dictionary usage reflects, among other factors, fear of charges of judicial activism, the rising popularity of originalism and textualism, the persuasive power of Justice Scalia, and an increased number of criminal law cases on the Court's docket.

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From Commemoration to Conviction: Prosecuting Edgar Ray Killen for the "Mississippi Burning" Murders

Claire Whitlinger
Race and Justice, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite the growing number of civil rights era cold cases brought to trial over the past 20 years, surprisingly little social scientific research has examined how these cases emerged. This article examines one such case - the 2005 prosecution of Edgar Ray Killen for the 1964 murder of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Using event structure analysis and drawing on archival sources, media accounts, and interview data, this study finds that the trial would not have occurred without the 40th anniversary commemoration in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Furthermore, this study suggests that commemorations can serve as mechanisms connecting collective memory with broader social change by catalyzing mnemonic entrepreneurship and cultivating organizational structures and resources necessary to achieve positive legal outcomes. Such outcomes, however, can only occur when political opportunities are favorable and potential jurors have been primed through the "memory of commemoration."

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Race Differences in Drug Offending and Drug Distribution Arrests

Ojmarrh Mitchell & Michael Caudy
Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming

Abstract:
The War on Drugs' emphasis on apprehending low-level drug offenders dramatically increased the number of arrests for drug distribution and exacerbated racial and ethnic disparities in such arrests. Although these disparities have been the topic of much discussion, they rarely have been the subject of multivariate empirical scrutiny. This research examines the degree to which race differences in drug offending, nondrug offending, and community context explain race differences in the likelihood of experiencing a drug distribution arrest in a longitudinal sample of youthful respondents (age 12-29). Our results indicate that in comparison with White drug offenders, Hispanic drug offenders' greater likelihood of arrest is largely due to differences in community context; however, African Americans' greater likelihood of arrest is not explained by differences in offending or community context. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.

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U.S. Latino Arrest: An Analysis of Risk by Nativity and Origin

Mike Tapia
Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, February 2015, Pages 37-58

Abstract:
This article examines the impact of Latino nativity and origin on the risk of arrest. Survey data are used to compare the odds of arrest within and between various U.S. race-ethnic groups over one decade. Net of legal, demographic, and social correlates of arrest in teen and young adult samples, Blacks consistently experience higher odds of arrest than other groups. Puerto Rican arrest risk approximates that of Blacks while foreign-born Latinos consistently experienced a lower arrest risk than Whites. This effect was nearly indistinguishable from that of U.S.-born Latinos. The study has implications for the life-course perspective in terms of how arrest correlates change for all groups over time. For Latinos, findings also inform acculturation and segmented assimilation perspectives.

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Nominating Commissions, Judicial Retention, and Forward-Looking Behavior on State Supreme Courts: An Empirical Examination of Selection and Retention Methods

Ryan Owens et al.
State Politics & Policy Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
High-profile advocates are pushing states to move away from judicial elections and toward a "merit" method because it purportedly produces the best quality judges. Quality, however, is difficult to measure empirically. Rather than attempt to measure quality, we examine whether certain types of state supreme courts are more forward-looking than others. States are likely to desire forward-looking behavior among judges because it can protect judicial legitimacy, help states to control policy, and could be more efficient than myopic behavior. Using a recent innovation in matching called covariate-balancing propensity scores, we find that the U.S. Supreme Court is equally likely to review and reverse decisions by judges regardless of their selection or retention methods. These results suggest that state supreme court justices, no matter their paths of getting to (and staying on) their courts, are roughly equal in terms of forward-looking behavior.

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The Intersection of Victim Race and Gender: The "Black Male Victim Effect" and the Death Penalty

Alicia Girgenti
Race and Justice, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research on race and the death penalty has shown that victim race is a significant predictor of whether a jury imposes a death sentence. However, less attention has been given to the effects of victim gender and to the combined effects of victim race and gender. With a growing scholarly interest in intersectionality, it is crucial to consider the interaction effect of victim race and gender on death sentencing outcomes. Data from the Capital Jury Project were used to examine whether the intersection of victim race and gender is associated with an increased odds of defendants receiving a death sentence and whether a "White female victim effect" exists. This study instead reveals a significant "Black male victim" effect. Black male victim cases are the least likely to be perceived by jurors as involving brutality, heinousness, and victim suffering. Results indicate that a defendant's odds of receiving a death sentence in a White female victim case is 3.8 times greater and 3.6 times greater in a White male victim case than in a Black male victim case. Victim race rather than victim gender appears to be the factor most strongly influencing jury decision making in capital cases.

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Plaintiphobia in State Courts Redux? An Empirical Study of State Court Trials on Appeal

Theodore Eisenberg & Michael Heise
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, March 2015, Pages 100-127

Abstract:
Prior federal and state civil appeals studies show that appeals courts overturn jury verdicts more than bench decisions and that defendants fare better than plaintiffs on appeal. Attitudinal and selection effect hypotheses may help explain an appellate court tilt that favors defendants. This study builds on and extends our prior work on state civil appeals and examines a comprehensive state court civil appeals data set to test leading theories on appellate outcomes as well as to explore the relation between plaintiff success at trial and on appeal. Using data from 40 different states and 141 counties on 8,872 completed civil trials and 646 concluded appeals, we find that appellate reversal rates for jury trials and defendant appeals exceed reversal rates for bench trials and plaintiff appeals. The reversal rate for plaintiff appeals is 21 percent, compared with 40.9 percent for defendant appeals. The reversal rate for jury trials is 33.1 percent, compared with 25 percent for bench trials. Both the attitudinal and selection effect hypotheses find some level of support in our descriptive analyses and results from more formal models. Finally, we find little correlation between how plaintiffs fare at trial and how they fare on appeal.

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Automated insights: Verbal cues to deception in real-life high-stakes lies

Sarah McQuaid et al.
Psychology, Crime & Law, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study differentiated between the language of deceptive and genuine pleaders who were pleading for the return of a missing loved one during a televised press conference. The Wmatrix (Rayson, 2008) linguistic analysis tool was used to examine the language of 78 pleaders. Approximately half (n = 35) of these individuals were deceptive and were responsible for the disappearance. Transcripts of the pleas were analyzed for various linguistic cues, and a separate analysis was conducted across gender. Results revealed that deceptive pleaders used the word 'they', singular indefinite pronouns (e.g., 'anybody', 'somebody'), and exclusivizers/particularizers (e.g., 'just') significantly more than genuine pleaders, while genuine pleaders used more temporal words (e.g., 'days', 'weeks'), and the word 'we' more frequently in their pleas. Specific gender differences were also revealed across credible and deceptive pleaders. Our analysis of linguistic differences across pleader veracity provides an enhanced understanding of the verbal elements of high-stakes deception and what differentiates truths from deceptions in high-stakes cases. It also provides further validation of the use of automated linguistic tools like the Wmatrix in forensic contexts.

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How Do Case Law and Statute Differ? Lessons from the Evolution of Mortgage Law

Andra Ghent
Journal of Law and Economics, November 2014, Pages 1085-1122

Abstract:
This paper traces the history of mortgage law in the United States. I explore the history of foreclosure procedures, redemption periods, restrictions on deficiency judgments, and foreclosure moratoria. The historical record shows that the most enduring aspects of mortgage law stem from case law rather than statute. In particular, the ability of creditors to foreclose nonjudicially is determined very early in states' histories, usually before the Civil War, and usually in case law. In contrast, the aspects of mortgage law developed through statute change more frequently. This finding calls into question whether common law is inherently more flexible than the civil-law system used in some other countries. However, case law tends to be less responsive to populist pressures than statutes. My findings suggest that the reason common law favors financial development is unlikely to be its greater flexibility relative to law made by statute.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Letdown

Having 'Been There' Doesn't Mean I Care: When Prior Experience Reduces Compassion for Emotional Distress

Rachel Ruttan, Mary-Hunter McDonnell & Loran Nordgren
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
For those who are struggling with a difficult experience and who seek the support of others, it is a common assumption that others who have been through the experience in the past will be more understanding. To the contrary, the current research found that participants who had previously endured an emotionally distressing event (e.g., bullying, unemployment) more harshly evaluated another person's failure to endure a similar distressing event compared to participants with no experience enduring the event. These effects emerged for three naturally occurring distressing events, as well as one experimentally-induced distressing event. The effect was driven by the tendency for those who previously endured the distressing event to view the event as less difficult to overcome. Taken together, the paper's findings present a paradox such that, in the face of struggle or defeat, the people we are most apt to seek for advice or comfort may be the least likely to provide it.

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Social Identities of Clients and Therapists During the Mental Health Intake Predict Diagnostic Accuracy

Ora Nakash & Tamar Saguy
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Across countries, common mental disorders are often more prevalent and/or more persistent among disadvantaged members (e.g., ethnic minorities) compared with advantaged group members. Although these disparities constitute a heavy challenge to national health organizations, there is little empirical evidence to help account for the mechanism underlying them. In this study, conducted in clinics across Israel, we investigated processes, rooted in the clinical encounter that may contribute to mental health disparities. We focused on the accuracy of diagnostic decisions, which are likely to substantially impact the client’s prognosis. Therapists’ diagnostic decisions following the initial intake with their client were compared with independent structured diagnostic interview of the client. Results revealed that therapists were twice as likely to misdiagnose mental illness when their client was a member of a disadvantaged (relative to advantaged) group. Implications for the quality of mental health services that members of disadvantaged groups receive are discussed.

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Suicidality among military-connected adolescents in California schools

Tamika Gilreath et al.
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research indicates that suicidal ideation is higher among military-connected youth than non military-connected youth. This study extends prior work by examining suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts in military-connected and non military-connected adolescents. Data were gathered from 390,028 9th and 11th grade students who completed the 2012–2013 California Healthy Kids Survey. Bivariate comparisons and multivariate logistic analyses were conducted to examine differences in suicidal ideation, plans, attempts, and attempts requiring medical attention between military and not military-connected youth. In multivariate logistic analyses, military-connected youth were at increased risk for suicidal ideation (OR = 1.43, 95 % CI = 1.37–1.49), making a plan to harm themselves (OR = 1.19, CI = 1.06–1.34), attempting suicide (OR = 1.67, CI = 1.43–1.95), and an attempted suicide which required medical treatment (OR = 1.71, CI = 1.34–2.16). These results indicate that military-connected youth statewide are at a higher risk for suicidal ideation, plans, attempts, and attempts requiring medical care because of suicidal behaviors. It is suggested that policies be implemented to increase awareness and screening among primary care providers, school personnel, and military organizations that serve military-connected youth.

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Suicidal Disclosures among Friends: Using Social Network Data to Understand Suicide Contagion

Anna Mueller & Seth Abrutyn
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, March 2015, Pages 131-148

Abstract:
A robust literature suggests that suicide is socially contagious; however, we know little about how and why suicide spreads. Using network data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, we examine the effects of alter’s (1) disclosed and (2) undisclosed suicide attempts, (3) suicide ideation, and (4) emotional distress on ego’s mental health one year later to gain insights into the emotional and cultural mechanisms that underlie suicide contagion. We find that when egos know about alter’s suicide attempt, they report significantly higher levels of emotional distress and are more likely to report suicidality, net of extensive controls; however, alter’s undisclosed suicide attempts and ideation have no significant effect on ego’s mental health. Finally, we find evidence that emotional distress is contagious in adolescence, though it does not seem to promote suicidality. We discuss the implications of our findings for suicide contagion specifically and sociology more generally.

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Learning Problems as Predictors of Depressive Symptomology in Women TANF Recipients

Elizabeth Wahler, Melanie Otis & Carl Leukefeld
Journal of Poverty, forthcoming

Abstract:
Little is known about relationships between barriers to self-sufficiency in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) population. This study utilized ordinary least squares regression to analyze secondary data from a nonprobability sample of 2,156 women TANF recipients to examine learning problems as a predictor of depressive symptomology. After controlling for substance abuse, intimate partner violence victimization, physical health problems, demographics, and difficulty with interpersonal relationships, learning problems significantly predicted depressive symptomology. Findings suggest that many TANF recipients with learning problems are at an increased risk of experiencing depressive symptomology. To assist these individuals with overcoming mental health issues, underlying causes should be identified and addressed.

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Widening Rural-Urban Disparities in Youth Suicides, United States, 1996-2010

Cynthia Fontanella et al.
JAMA Pediatrics, forthcoming

Objective: To examine trends in US suicide mortality for adolescents and young adults across the rural-urban continuum.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Longitudinal trends in suicide rates by rural and urban areas between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2010, were analyzed using county-level national mortality data linked to a rural-urban continuum measure that classified all 3141 counties in the United States into distinct groups based on population size and adjacency to metropolitan areas. The population included all suicide decedents aged 10 to 24 years.

Results: Across the study period, 66 595 youths died by suicide, and rural suicide rates were nearly double those of urban areas for both males (19.93 and 10.31 per 100 000, respectively) and females (4.40 and 2.39 per 100 000, respectively). Even after controlling for a wide array of county-level variables, rural-urban suicide differentials increased over time for males, suggesting widening rural-urban disparities (1996-1998: adjusted incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.98; 2008-2010: adjusted IRR, 1.19; difference in IRR, P = .02). Firearm suicide rates declined, and the rates of hanging/suffocation for both males and females increased. However, the rates of suicide by firearm (males: 1996-1998, 2.05; and 2008-2010: 2.69 times higher) and hanging/suffocation (males: 1996-1998, 1.24; and 2008-2010: 1.63 times higher) were disproportionately higher in rural areas, and rural-urban differences increased over time (P = .002 for males; P = .06 for females).

Conclusions and Relevance: Suicide rates for adolescents and young adults are higher in rural than in urban communities regardless of the method used, and rural-urban disparities appear to be increasing over time. Further research should carefully explore the mechanisms whereby rural residence might increase suicide risk in youth and consider suicide-prevention efforts specific to rural settings.

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Sadness Shifts to Anxiety Over Time and Distance From the National Tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut

Bruce Doré et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
How do increasing temporal and spatial distance affect the emotions people feel and express in response to tragic events? Standard views suggest that emotional intensity should decrease but are silent on changes in emotional quality. Using a large Twitter data set, we identified temporal and spatial patterns in use of emotional and cognitive words in tweets about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Although use of sadness words decreased with time and spatial distance, use of anxiety words showed the opposite pattern and was associated with concurrent increases in language reflecting causal thinking. In a follow-up experiment, we found that thinking about abstract causes (as opposed to concrete details) of this event similarly evoked decreased sadness but increased anxiety, which was associated with perceptions that a similar event might occur in the future. These data challenge current theories of emotional reactivity and identify time, space, and abstract causal thinking as factors that elicit categorical shifts in emotional responses to tragedy.

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Gendered Contexts: Variation in Suicidal Ideation by Female and Male Youth across U.S. States

Kathryn Nowotny, Rachel Peterson & Jason Boardman
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, March 2015, Pages 114-130

Abstract:
We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (13,186 respondents in 30 states) to develop a unique state-level measure of the gendered context in order to examine the influence of gender normative attitudes and behaviors on state rates of suicidal ideation and individual-level suicidal ideation for female and male youth (ages 13 to 22). The findings demonstrate the negative consequences for youth, especially females who report feminine-typical traits, who live in contexts defined by restrictive gender norms at both the ecological and individual levels. This study points to the importance of fatalistic suicide for female youth and suggests possible mechanisms to explain this association.

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I Think I Am Doing Great but I Feel Pretty Bad About It: Affective Versus Cognitive Verbs and Self-Reports

Thomas Holtgraves
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Four experiments were conducted to examine the effect of responding to self-report items framed with either a cognitive verb (think) or an affective verb (feel). Participants’ open-ended self-descriptions were significantly more negative when they responded to a feel prompt than when they responded to a think prompt (Experiments 1 and 2). This effect persisted and influenced scores on a subsequent measure of self-esteem (Experiment 2). Substituting the verb think for feel in the Rosenberg self-esteem scale resulted in significantly higher reported self-esteem for female participants but not for male participants (Experiments 3 and 4). The research contributes to the literature demonstrating the subtle effects of word choice on responses to self-report items.

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The Distance Between Selves: The Influence of Self-Discrepancy on Purpose in Life

Maclen Stanley & Anthony Burrow
Self and Identity, forthcoming

Abstract:
The present investigation (total N = 643) sought to examine for the first time self-discrepancy theory in relation to purpose in life. Negative associations were found between purpose and discrepancies in perceptions of one's actual and ideal personality (Study 1) and body image (Study 2). Study 3 further demonstrated experimentally that individuals describing differences between their actual and ideal physique reported less purpose than those describing similarities. Finally, Study 4 sought to compare the effects of actual/ideal and actual/ought self-discrepancies on purpose in life. Participants who wrote about differences between their actual/ideal or actual/ought selves subsequently reported less purpose than those who wrote about similarities between these domains. However, neither a main effect nor an interaction emerged between actual/ideal versus actual/ought conditions, thereby suggesting that greater discrepancy denigrated purpose independent of self-domain. Importantly, agency emerged as a mechanism explaining the association between both actual/ideal and actual/ought discrepancies and purpose.

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Adolescent earthquake survivors' show increased prefrontal cortex activation to masked earthquake images as adults

Xue Du et al.
International Journal of Psychophysiology, March 2015, Pages 292–298

Abstract:
The great Sichuan earthquake in China on May 12, 2008 was a traumatic event to many who live near the earthquake area. However, at present, there are few studies that explore the long-term impact of the adolescent trauma exposure on adults' brain function. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the brain activation evoked by masked trauma-related stimuli (earthquake versus neutral images) in 14 adults who lived near the epicenter of the great Sichuan earthquake when they were adolescents (trauma-exposed group) and 14 adults who lived farther from the epicenter of the earthquake when they were adolescents (control group). Compared with the control group, the trauma-exposed group showed significant elevation of activation in the right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) in response to masked earthquake-related images. In the trauma-exposed group, the right ACC activation was negatively correlated with the frequency of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These findings differ markedly from the long-term effects of trauma exposure in adults. This suggests that trauma exposure during adolescence may have a unique long-term impact on ACC/MPFC function, top-down modulation of trauma-related information, and subsequent symptoms of PTSD.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, March 28, 2015

It doesn't fit

The Glass Runway: How Gender and Sexuality Shape the Spotlight in Fashion Design

Allyson Stokes
Gender & Society, April 2015, Pages 219-243

Abstract:
Fashion design is a feminized occupation, but there is a widespread perception that gay male designers are advantaged in receiving awards, publicity, and praise. This article develops the notion of a “glass runway” to explain this inequality. First, using design canons and lists of award recipients, I show that men, especially gay men, receive more consecration than women. Second, I show how men and women are consecrated differently by analyzing the content of 157 entries in Voguepedia’s design canon and 96 fashion media articles. Attributions of value and legitimacy construct a gendered image of the ideal fashion designer through discourses of art and culture that reinforce essentialist ideas about gender difference. Because cultural value is ambiguous, processes of valorization are shaped by gender essentialism, pushing male cultural producers down the glass runway and into the spotlight of fame, consecration, and legitimation. Finally, the case of fashion design offers insights into how intersecting inequalities can shape the glass runway. Gay designers experience both valorization and discrimination from intersections of gender and sexuality.

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Relationship Preferences Among Gay and Lesbian Online Daters: Individual and Contextual Influences

Gina Potârcă, Melinda Mills & Wiebke Neberich
Journal of Marriage and Family, April 2015, Pages 523–541

Abstract:
There is currently little knowledge about what gay men and lesbians seek in a romantic relationship. This study extends the literature on gay men and lesbians' partnership preferences by engaging in the first large-scale empirical study of the long-term dating intentions and monogamy beliefs of gay and lesbian online daters across 53 regions in 8 European countries (N = 24,598). Looking at profile and preference information, the authors examined both individual and contextual determinants in a series of multilevel logistic regression analyses. They show that lesbians give more importance to monogamy but show less interest in starting a long-term relationship. The data also reveal the importance of life course aspects such as relationship history and presence of children. Finally, the authors empirically demonstrate that social tolerance and legal recognition of same-sex unions are associated with higher long-term dating intentions and stronger monogamy beliefs.

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Medical Aspects of Transgender Military Service

Joycelyn Elders et al.
Armed Forces & Society, April 2015, Pages 199-220

Abstract:
At least eighteen countries allow transgender personnel to serve openly, but the United States is not among them. In this article, we assess whether US military policies that ban transgender service members are based on medically sound rationales. To do so, we analyze Defense Department regulations and consider a wide range of medical data. Our conclusion is that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban on service by transgender personnel, that the ban is an unnecessary barrier to health care access for transgender personnel, and that medical care for transgender individuals should be managed using the same standards that apply to all others. Removal of the military’s ban on transgender service would improve health outcomes, enable commanders to better care for their troops, and reflect the military’s commitment to providing outstanding medical care for all military personnel.

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Structural stigma and sexual orientation disparities in adolescent drug use

Mark Hatzenbuehler et al.
Addictive Behaviors, July 2015, Pages 14–18

Abstract:
Although epidemiologic studies have established the existence of large sexual orientation disparities in illicit drug use among adolescents and young adults, the determinants of these disparities remain understudied. This study sought to determine whether sexual orientation disparities in illicit drug use are potentiated in states that are characterized by high levels of stigma surrounding sexual minorities. State-level structural stigma was coded using a previously established measure based on a 4-item composite index: (1) density of same-sex couples; (2) proportion of Gay–Straight Alliances per public high school; (3) 5 policies related to sexual orientation discrimination (e.g., same-sex marriage, employment non-discrimination); and (4) public opinion toward homosexuality (aggregated responses from 41 national polls). The index was linked to individual-level data from the Growing Up Today Study, a prospective community-based study of adolescents (2001–2010). Sexual minorities report greater illicit drug use than their heterosexual peers. However, for both men and women, there were statistically significant interactions between sexual orientation status and structural stigma, such that sexual orientation disparities in marijuana and illicit drug use were more pronounced in high-structural stigma states than in low-structural stigma states, controlling for individual- and state-level confounders. For instance, among men, the risk ratio indicating the association between sexual orientation and marijuana use was 24% greater in high- versus low-structural stigma states, and for women it was 28% greater in high- versus low-structural stigma states. Stigma in the form of social policies and attitudes may contribute to sexual orientation disparities in illicit drug use.

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A Comparison of the Mental Health and Well-Being of Sexual Minority and Heterosexual First-Year Medical Students: A Report From the Medical Student CHANGE Study

Julia Przedworski et al.
Academic Medicine, forthcoming

Purpose: Research is lacking on psychological distress and disorder among sexual minority medical students (students who identify as nonheterosexual). If left unaddressed, distress may result in academic and professional difficulties and undermine workforce diversity goals. The authors compared depression, anxiety, and self-rated health among sexual minority and heterosexual medical students.

Method: This study included 4,673 first-year students who self-reported sexual orientation in the fall 2010 baseline survey of the Medical Student Cognitive Habits and Growth Evaluation Study, a national longitudinal cohort study. The authors used items from published scales to measure depression, anxiety, self-rated health, and social stressors. They conducted bivariate and multivariate analyses to estimate the association between sexual identity and depression, anxiety, and self-rated health.

Results: Of 4,673 students, 232 (5.0%) identified as a sexual minority. Compared with heterosexual students, after adjusting for relevant covariates, sexual minority students had greater risk of depressive symptoms (adjusted relative risk [ARR] = 1.59 [95% confidence interval, 1.24-2.04]), anxiety symptoms (ARR = 1.64 [1.08-2.49]), and low self-rated health (ARR = 1.77 [1.15-2.60]). Sexual minority students were more likely to report social stressors, including harassment (22.7% versus 12.7%, P < .001) and isolation (53.7% versus 42.8%, P = .001). Exposure to social stressors attenuated but did not eliminate the observed associations between minority sexual identity and mental and self-reported health measures.

Conclusions: First-year sexual minority students experience significantly greater risk of depression, anxiety, and low self-rated health than heterosexual students. Targeted interventions are needed to improve mental health and well-being.

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Translating Oppression: Understanding How Sexual Minority Status is Associated With White Men’s Racial Attitudes

Sela Kleiman, Lisa Spanierman & Nathan Grant Smith
Psychology of Men & Masculinity, forthcoming

Abstract:
The present study comprised 3 interrelated purposes. First, the authors examined differences between White heterosexual (n = 97) and sexual minority (e.g., gay, bisexual, and queer; n = 83) men on various racial attitudes and empathy. Second, they examined whether highlighting oppressed identity status with an experimental prime could influence racial empathy. Third, the authors investigated whether sexual orientation disclosure and experiences with heterosexist discrimination among sexual minority men were associated with racial attitudes directly and indirectly through racial empathy. Key findings included: (a) sexual minority participants demonstrated more positive racial attitudes and empathy than heterosexual men; (b) there was no effect of prime on racial empathy; and (c) sexual orientation disclosure and experiences with heterosexism were associated significantly with positive racial attitudes indirectly through racial empathy. Implications for diversity education and future research directions are discussed.

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The Power of Love: The Role of Emotional Attributions and Standards in Heterosexuals' Attitudes toward Lesbian and Gay Couples

Long Doan, Lisa Miller & Annalise Loehr
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
Do people attribute emotions differently to members of various social groups? If so, do these differences have any bearing on formal and informal forms of social recognition? Using data from a nationally representative survey experiment, we examine whether American heterosexuals differentially attribute love to lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples. We also examine the relationship between how in love lesbian, gay, and heterosexual couples are perceived to be and attitudes toward (1) granting them partnership benefits (formal rights); (2) the acceptability of their public displays of affection (informal privileges); and (3) marriage. Three main findings suggest that heterosexuals differentially attribute love to different types of romantic couples and that these differences are related to willingness to grant social recognition. First, gay couples are viewed as less loving than both heterosexual and lesbian couples; lesbian couples are seen as equally loving as heterosexual couples. Second, perceptions of love are related to willingness to grant social recognition. Third, perceptions of love matter more for gay and, to a lesser extent, lesbian couples than for heterosexual couples regarding informal privileges and marriage. In contrast, love matters equally for same-sex and heterosexual couples regarding formal rights. The results show that gay couples are penalized most in terms of perceptions of love and social recognition, whereas lesbians occupy a liminal space between heterosexual and gay couples. Collectively, these findings suggest that sexual identity and gender shape emotional attributions, which in turn play a key role in explaining inequalities that same-sex couples face.

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Exploring the Social Integration of Sexual Minority Youth Across High School Contexts

Alexa Martin-Storey et al.
Child Development, forthcoming

Abstract:
Mental health disparities between sexual minority and other youth have been theorized to result in part from the effects of the stigmatization on social integration. Stochastic actor-based modeling was applied to complete network data from two high schools in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Mage = 15 years, N = 2,533). Same-sex attracted youth were socially marginalized in a smaller predominantly White school but not in a larger, more racially diverse school. For both schools, homophily was a critical network feature, and could represent social support for and social segregation of such youth. These findings emphasize the school context in studying the social lives of sexual minority youth and suggest that youth may be better off socially in larger and more diverse schools.

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Sexual Orientation Identity Change and Depressive Symptoms: A Longitudinal Analysis

Bethany Everett
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, March 2015, Pages 37-58

Abstract:
Several new studies have documented high rates of sexual identity mobility among young adults, but little work has investigated the links between identity change and mental health. This study uses the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 11,727) and employs multivariate regression and propensity score matching to investigate the impact of identity change on depressive symptoms. The results reveal that only changes in sexual identity toward more same-sex-oriented identities are associated with increases in depressive symptoms. Moreover, the negative impacts of identity change are concentrated among individuals who at baseline identified as heterosexual or had not reported same-sex romantic attraction or relationships. No differences in depressive symptoms by sexual orientation identity were found among respondents who reported stable identities. Future research should continue to investigate the factors that contribute to the relationship between identity change and depression, such as stigma surrounding sexual fluidity.

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Salivary oxytocin increases concurrently with testosterone and time away from home among returning Tsimane’ hunters

Adrian Jaeggi et al.
Biology Letters, March 2015

Abstract:
Oxytocin, testosterone and cortisol can have opposing effects on social behaviour, yet few studies have examined their interactions. We measured changes in salivary oxytocin, testosterone and cortisol among Tsimane’ men returning home after hunting, an ancient context of male status competition, parental investment and cooperation. Contra normal diurnal rhythm, oxytocin increased relative to baseline and this increase was positively associated with duration of the hunt and change in testosterone, but not cortisol, social context, hunting outcome or physical activity. The concurrent increase in endogenous peripheral oxytocin and testosterone is unexpected given their opposing independent effects on social cognition and behaviour, and has not been observed before. We discuss the potential significance of these effects for the biology of pair-bonding, parenting and social foraging in humans and other species.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, March 27, 2015

Representative of government

Presidential Particularism and Divide-the-Dollar Politics

Douglas Kriner & Andrew Reeves
American Political Science Review, February 2015, Pages 155-171

Abstract:
When influencing the allocation of federal dollars across the country, do presidents strictly pursue maximally efficient outcomes, or do they systematically target dollars to politically influential constituencies? In a county-level analysis of federal spending from 1984 to 2008, we find that presidents are not universalistic, but particularistic — that is, they reliably direct dollars to specific constituents to further their political goals. As others have noted, presidents target districts represented by their co-partisans in Congress in the pursuit of influence vis-à-vis the legislature. But we show that, at much higher levels, presidents target both counties within swing states and counties in core states that strongly supported the president in recent elections. Swing state particularism is especially salient during presidential reelection years, and core partisan counties within swing states are most heavily rewarded. Rather than strictly pursuing visions of good public policy or pandering to the national median voter, our results suggest that presidents systematically prioritize the needs of politically important constituents.

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The Influence of News Media on Political Elites: Investigating Strategic Responsiveness in Congress

Kevin Arceneaux et al.
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
News media play a central role in democratic politics, yet we know little about how media affect the behavior of policy makers. To understand the conditions under which news media influence political elites, we advance a theory of strategic responsiveness, which contends that elected representatives are more likely to heed their constituents' preferences when voters are attentive. Accordingly, news media's influence on legislative behavior should be most apparent near elections and dependent on the partisan composition of the constituency. We capitalize on the incremental rollout of the conservative Fox News Channel in the late 1990s to evaluate our theoretical predictions. Fox News caused both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to increase support for the Republican Party position on divisive votes, but only in the waning months of the election cycle and among those members who represent districts with a sizable portion of Republican voters.

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Pulling Closer and Moving Apart: Interaction, Identity, and Influence in the U.S. Senate, 1973 to 2009

Christopher Liu & Sameer Srivastava
American Sociological Review, February 2015, Pages 192-217

Abstract:
This article reconciles two seemingly incompatible expectations about interpersonal interaction and social influence. One theoretical perspective predicts that an increase in interaction between two actors will promote subsequent convergence in their attitudes and behaviors, whereas another view anticipates divergence. We examine the role of political identity in moderating the effects of interaction on influence. Our investigation takes place in the U.S. Senate — a setting in which actors forge political identities for public consumption based on the external constraints, normative obligations, and reputational concerns they face. We argue that interaction between senators who share the same political identity will promote convergence in their voting behavior, whereas interaction between actors with opposing political identities will lead to divergence. Moreover, we theorize that the consequences of political identity for interpersonal influence depend on the local interaction context. Political identity’s effects on influence will be greater in more divided Senate committees than in less divided ones. We find support for these hypotheses in analyses of data, spanning over three decades, on voting behavior, interaction, and political identity in the Senate. These findings contribute to research on social influence; elite integration and political polarization; and identity theory.

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Federal employee unionization and presidential control of the bureaucracy: Estimating and explaining ideological change in executive agencies

Jowei Chen & Tim Johnson
Journal of Theoretical Politics, January 2015, Pages 151-174

Abstract:
We present a formal model explaining that US presidents strategically unionize federal employees to reduce bureaucratic turnover and ‘anchor’ the ideological composition of like-minded agency workforces. To test our model’s predictions, we advance a method of estimating bureaucratic ideology via the campaign contributions of federal employees; we then use these bureaucratic ideal point estimates in a comprehensive empirical test of our model. Consistent with our model’s predictions, our empirical tests find that federal employee unionization stifles agency turnover, suppresses ideological volatility when the president’s partisanship changes, and occurs more frequently in agencies ideologically proximate to the president.

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Wall Street, Capitol Hill, and K Street: Political Influence and Financial Regulation

Deniz Igan & Prachi Mishra
Journal of Law and Economics, November 2014, Pages 1063-1084

Abstract:
This paper explores the link between the political influence of the financial industry and financial regulation in the run-up to the global financial crisis. We construct a detailed database documenting the lobbying activities, campaign contributions, and political connections of the financial industry from 1999 to 2006 in the United States. We find evidence that spending on lobbying by the financial industry and network connections between lobbyists and legislators were positively associated with the probability of a legislator changing positions in favor of deregulation. The evidence also suggests that hiring lobbyists who had worked for legislators in the past enhanced this link.

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American Constitutional Exceptionalism Revisited

Mila Versteeg & Emily Zackin
University of Chicago Law Review, Fall 2014, Pages 1641-1707

Abstract:
The US Constitution is a global outlier. Its omission of positive rights, its brevity, and its remarkable duration and stability make it exceptional by global standards. The uniqueness of this venerable document has spurred a passionate debate over America’s constitutional exceptionalism. In this Article, we show that not all of American constitutionalism is nearly so distinctive. Over the past two centuries, Americans not only wrote the federal Constitution, but they have also written 149 state constitutions and approved thousands of amendments to those constitutions. Those state constitutions are also an essential part of the American constitutional tradition and yet are unexceptional by global standards. We draw on original data based on our own hand coding of all state constitutions ratified between 1776 and 2011 to provide the first systematic comparison of US state constitutions to the world’s national constitutions. Using these data, we highlight three features of state constitutions that should prompt reconsideration of America’s constitutional exceptionalism. First, like most of the world’s constitutions, state constitutions are rather long and elaborate documents that set out government policies in painstaking detail. Second, like most of the world’s constitutions, state constitutions are frequently amended or overhauled. Third, like most of the world’s constitutions, state constitutions contain positive rights relating to, for example, education, labor, social welfare, and the environment. Thus, at the state level, Americans have written their constitutions much like everyone else. Our findings invite reconsideration not only of America’s alleged constitutional exceptionalism but also of the nature of state constitutions. State constitutions are frequently derided for falling short of the example set by the federal Constitution and dismissed as statutory rather than constitutional in character. Our analysis suggests that the defining features of state constitutions do not merely represent a subnational mode of constitution making but characterize national and subnational constitutions alike. Moreover, these features represent an underappreciated mechanism of constitutional design that emphasizes flexibility and specificity over the entrenchment of broad statements of principles.

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Divided governments and futures prices

Elvira Sojli & Wing Wah Tham
Journal of Econometrics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper investigates the effect of divided governments on asset prices. For identification, we use changes in the implied probability of a divided government while votes are being counted. Using high frequency data from the betting market and U.S. overnight futures market, we estimate a 1.4% decrease in the S&P 500 futures in the election event of a divided government. Results are similar for the 2010 U.K. election. Further analysis shows that divided government affects expected stock returns through the mechanism of policy uncertainty.

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The unintended effects of political party affirmative action policies on female candidates’ nomination chances

Angela Bos
Politics, Groups and Identities, Winter 2015, Pages 73-93

Abstract:
Some state political party organizations that hold nominating conventions implement affirmative action (AA) policies to encourage the nomination of women and minority candidates. This paper assesses whether these policies help or hinder female candidates seeking statewide office. On the one hand, these policies could benefit female candidates since they demonstrate an organization's commitment to diversity. On the other hand, diversity and AA policies may have negative, unintended consequences for female candidates such as promoting gender stereotype activation or creating a stigma of incompetence for female candidates. I examine whether and how delegates’ awareness of these policies shapes candidate evaluations, gender stereotypes, and nominee choice. I test this by analyzing unique survey data from Democratic state nominating convention delegates who evaluate candidates in statewide nominations in four states. The results suggest that while evaluations of the female candidate are not downgraded, focus on AA leads Democratic delegates to inflate their views of her male opponent. Furthermore, when delegates perceive that their party focuses on AA, they are less likely to choose the female candidate, in part because this perceived focus highlights that female candidates might lack masculine strengths. The resulting implications for female candidates and political party organizations are discussed.

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Court-Ordered Campaign Finance Deregulation and Stock Value of Contributors

Haishan Yuan
American Law and Economics Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 addressed two issues, soft money and independent expenditures on issue ads for electoral advocacy. The Supreme Court initially upheld most provisions in 2003 but subsequently weakened and struck down provisions on independent expenditures. I examine the stock value of firms with a long history of campaign contributions around the key developments of three Supreme Court cases. Stock prices of contributing firms react positively to Court events associated with campaign finance deregulation. It implies that the average rates of return to these rights of political spending are between 1 and 2% of stock values.

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The Double-Edged Sword: The Effects of Journalists' Social Media Activities on Audience Perceptions of Journalists and Their News Products

Jayeon Lee
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, forthcoming

Abstract:
As social media become popular news platforms, journalists and news organizations have been keen to capitalize on their potential to build and maintain audiences. However, little is known about the extent to which these efforts may have adverse implications. Based on normative theories, the present study investigates the influence of journalists' social media activities (specifically, self-disclosure and interaction with other users) on audience perceptions of journalists. An experiment (N = 267) revealed that: Although both journalists' self-disclosure and interaction positively influenced audience perceptions of the journalists in the personal dimension, interaction negatively influenced audience perceptions in the professional dimension; and the perceptions transferred to perceptions of news products, thereby mediating the relationship between journalists' social media activities and audience news perceptions.

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An Opportunity Cost Theory of US Treaty Behavior

Judith Kelley & Jon Pevehouse
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
The United States often leads in the creation of treaties, but it sometimes never joins those treaties or does so only after considerable delay. This presents an interesting puzzle. Most international relations theory expects states to join treaties as long as the benefits outweigh the costs. Domestic theories modify this with the constraints of institutional veto players. Yet, sometimes neither of these arguments explains the delay or absence of US participation. We supplement these explanations with an opportunity cost theory. We argue that the advice and consent process sometimes slows or stalls because it imposes costs in terms of legislative time and political capital. These costs alter the calculus of key players and may obstruct the process. Statistical analysis supports the argument. The priority the Senate and President give to treaties depends not only on the value they assign to the treaty, but also on the value of the time needed to process the treaty. Presidents are less, not more, likely to transmit treaties to the Senate the more support they have in Congress. Furthermore, the more support the President has in Congress, the more the cost of Senate floor time matters for advice and consent.

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When Government Subsidizes Its Own: Collective Bargaining Laws as Agents of Political Mobilization

Patrick Flavin & Michael Hartney
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Government policies can activate a political constituency not only by providing material resources to, or altering the interpretive experiences of, individual citizens, but also by directly subsidizing established interest groups. We argue that state laws mandating collective bargaining for public employees provided organizational subsidies to public sector labor unions that lowered the costs of mobilizing their members to political action. Exploiting variation in the timing of laws across the states and using data on the political participation of public school teachers from 1956 to 2004, we find that the enactment of a mandatory bargaining law significantly boosted subsequent political participation among teachers. We also identify increased contact from organized groups seeking to mobilize teachers as a likely mechanism that explains this finding. These results have important implications for the current debate over collective bargaining rights and for our understanding of policy feedback, political parties and interest groups, and the bureaucracy.

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Political Effects on Pension Underfunding

Erick Elder & Gary Wagner
Economics & Politics, March 2015, Pages 1–27

Abstract:
Pension underfunding in the public sector has received considerable attention recently and is often cited as the next looming crisis. The majority of recent research has focused on appropriately measuring the underfunding. In this paper, we employ a political economy framework to show that increases in partisan polarization and electoral uncertainty lead to greater underfunding. Using an unbalanced panel of individual pension plans, we find robust empirical evidence that higher legislative turnover rates, more electoral competition, and term limits all lead to more pension underfunding. The political environments of state and local governments play a pivotal role in pension underfunding.

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News, Politics, and Negativity

Stuart Soroka & Stephen McAdams
Political Communication, Winter 2015, Pages 1-22

Abstract:
Work in political communication has discussed the ongoing predominance of negative news, but has offered few convincing accounts for this focus. A growing body of literature shows that humans regularly pay more attention to negative information than to positive information, however. This article argues that we should view the nature of news content in part as a consequence of this asymmetry bias observed in human behavior. A psychophysiological experiment capturing viewers’ reactions to actual news content shows that negative news elicits stronger and more sustained reactions than does positive news. Results are discussed as they pertain to political behavior and communication, and to politics and political institutions more generally.

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Electoral Institutions and Electoral Cycles in Economic Development: A Field Experiment of Over 3,000 US Municipalities

Nathan Jensen, Michael Findley & Daniel Nielson
George Washington University Working Paper, January 2015

Abstract:
The central importance of economic growth and job creation for incumbent politics leads to considerable efforts for national and local economic development. We argue that the proliferation of economic development policies that provide financial incentives to individual firms provides a window into understanding how political factors shape these economic development policies. We specifically explore how political institutions and electoral cycles affect the allocation of incentives targeted to individual firms. We designed a field experiment in which we approached more than 3,000 U.S. cities on behalf of a real investor interested in relocating. We present observational and experimental evidence showing that cities with direct elections (as opposed to appointed leaders) are dramatically more likely to offer more and bigger incentives than cities without direct elections. Contrary to our expectations, we do not find evidence of the greater use of incentives prior to elections, a result that we can be fairly confident is null, although we do find that directly elected mayors (as opposed to appointed executives) are more likely to utilize incentives. We thus conclude that elected officials use economic incentives for political gain and that political institutions shape this behavior, but the precise timing for offering incentives is not important.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ethnic markets

What's in a Name? Mutual Fund Flows When Managers Have Foreign-Sounding Names

Alok Kumar, Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi & Oliver Spalt
Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
We show that name-induced stereotypes affect the investment choices of U.S. mutual fund investors. Managers with foreign-sounding names have about 10% lower annual fund flows, and this effect is stronger among funds with investor clienteles more likely to be suspicious of foreigners. Foreign-named managers experience lower appreciation (greater decline) in flows following good (bad) performance. Following 9/11, flows to funds with managers with Middle-Eastern-sounding names declined abnormally. In an experimental setting in which skill differences are absent, individuals allocate 11% less money to an index fund managed by a foreign-named manager. This gap widens following the Boston marathon bombings.

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The Black-White Wage Gap Among Young Women in 1990 vs. 2011: The Role of Selection and Educational Attainment

James Albrecht, Aico van Vuuren & Susan Vroman
Labour Economics, April 2015, Pages 66–71

Abstract:
In this paper, we compare the black-white median log wage gap for women aged 26–31 in 1990 and 2011. Two stylized facts emerge. First, the pattern of selection in the two years is similar – the gaps observed among women employed in 1990 and 2011 substantially understate the gaps that would have been observed had all 26–31 year-old women been working in those years. Second, both the median log wage gap observed in the data and the selection-corrected gap increased substantially between the two years, a fact that can be mostly attributed to changes in the distributions of educational attainment among young black and white women.

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Bank Deregulation and Racial Inequality in America

Ross Levine, Yona Rubinstein & Alexey Levkov
Critical Finance Review, 2014, Pages 1-48

Abstract:
We use the cross-state, cross-time variation in bank deregulation across the U.S. states to assess how improvements in banking systems affected the labor market opportunities of black workers. Bank deregulation from the 1970s through the 1990s improved bank efficiency, lowered entry barriers facing nonfinancial firms, and intensified competition for labor throughout the economy. Consistent with Becker's (1957) theory of racial discrimination, we find that in economies where employers have sufficiently strong racial biases, deregulation-induced improvements in the banking system boosted black workers' relative wages by facilitating the entry of new firms and reducing the manifestation of racial prejudices in labor markets.

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Criminal stigma, race, and ethnicity: The consequences of imprisonment for employment

Scott Decker et al.
Journal of Criminal Justice, March–April 2015, Pages 108–121

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess the role of race/ethnicity and prior prison sentences on employment opportunities. Secondarily, we compare the impact of applying for jobs (in-person and online), and the role of education in securing employment. This work was conducted in a large southwestern city (Phoenix AZ) with high rates of imprisonment for blacks and Hispanics.

Methods: First, an audit test involving matched pairs of males within race/ethnicity categories (black, Hispanic, white) who applied for jobs in-person was conducted. More than 500 jobs were applied for by the audit testers. Second, a correspondence test was conducted using three pairs of résumés matched within race/ethnicity. In the correspondence test, over 3,000 jobs were applied for online. Each test used random assignment. Because of its importance for entry level employment, a separate analysis of food service jobs applied for online was conducted.

Results: Both sets of analyses were completed using cross-classified random effects (CCRE) models. Contrary to expectations, neither race/ethnicity nor prior prison record affected outcomes in the online application process. In contrast, both race/ethnicity and prison record had significant effects in the in-person audit analysis. The effect of a prison record was particularly strong for blacks.

Conclusions: Race/ethnicity and prior prison sentence remain important impediments to success in gaining employment. These results are particularly strong for in-person job applications and are somewhat smaller for online job applications.

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Accounting for the Gap: A Firm Study Manipulating Organizational Accountability and Transparency in Pay Decisions

Emilio Castilla
Organization Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Great progress has been made in documenting how employer practices may shape workplace inequality. Less research attention, however, has been given to investigating which organizational strategies are effective at addressing gender and racial inequality in labor markets. Using a unique field study design, this article identifies and tests, for the first time, whether accountability and transparency in pay decisions — two popular organizational initiatives discussed among scholars and practitioners — may reduce the pay gap by employee gender, race, and foreign nationality. Through a longitudinal analysis of a large private company, I study the performance-based reward decisions concerning almost 9,000 employees before and after high-level management adopted a set of organizational procedures, introducing accountability and transparency into the company’s performance-reward system. Before such procedures were introduced, there was an observed gap in the distribution of performance-based rewards where women, ethnic minorities, and non-U.S.-born employees received lower monetary rewards compared with U.S.-born white men having the same performance evaluation scores and working in the same job and work unit with the same manager and the same human capital characteristics. Analyses of the company’s employee performance-reward data after the adoption of accountability and transparency procedures show a reduction in this pay gap. I conclude by discussing the implications of this study for future research about employer strategies targeting workplace inequality and diversity.

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Is There A Taste For Racial Discrimination Among Employers?

Alex Bryson & Arnaud Chevalier
Labour Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on employers’ hiring discrimination is limited by the unlawfulness of such activity. Consequently, researchers have focused on the intention to hire. Instead, we rely on a virtual labour market, the Fantasy Football Premier League, where employers can freely exercise their taste for racial discrimination in terms of hiring and firing. The setting allows us to eliminate co-worker, consumer-based and statistical discrimination as potential sources of discrimination, thus isolating the effect of taste-based discrimination. We find no evidence of racial discrimination, either in initial hiring or through the season, in a context where employers are fully aware of current and prospective workers’ productivity.

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Walk the Walk but Don't Talk the Talk: The Strategic Use of Color-Blind Ideology in an Interracial Social Movement Organization

Angie Beeman
Sociological Forum, March 2015, Pages 127–147

Abstract:
In this study, I examine the strategies interracial organizations use in the twenty-first century, where color-blind ideology dominates. Much theoretical work on racism examines how it has evolved during different historical periods, but this work does not address how these changing forms of racism affect social movement organizations, particularly those on the left. While the literature on color-blind ideology has examined how it is expressed by African Americans and European Americans separately, my work investigates how color-blind ideology operates when European Americans and people of color are working together in the same organizational setting. Studies of social movements have examined how organizational culture affects strategies but have neglected how external racist culture and color-blind ideology impacts organizational strategies. Findings from 3 years of ethnographic data collected on an interracial social movement organization and its corresponding coalition suggest that activists in interracial organizations use racism evasiveness strategically to maintain solidarity. I conceptualize racism evasiveness as the action resulting from color-blind ideology within a larger system of racism. While activists perceive advantages to these strategies, there are also long-term negative consequences. Without explicitly naming and addressing racism, progressive organizations may be limited in their ability to challenge systemic racism.

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Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Evidence from a Field Experiment

John Nunley et al.
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
We present experimental evidence from a correspondence test of racial discrimination in the labor market for recent college graduates. We find strong evidence of differential treatment by race: black applicants receive approximately 14% fewer interview requests than their otherwise identical white counterparts. The racial gap in employment opportunities is larger when comparisons are made between job seekers with credentials that proxy for expected productivity and/or match quality. Moreover, the racial discrimination detected is driven by greater discrimination in jobs that require customer interaction. Various tests for the type of discrimination tend to support taste-based discrimination, but we are unable to rule out risk aversion on the part of employers as a possible explanation.

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Pocketbook Prejudice? Exploring Economic Determinants of Prejudice Toward Chinese

Laura Silver
International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Spring 2015, Pages 71-89

Abstract:
This article examines causes for prejudice toward Chinese, focusing on whether economic attitudes — both sociotropic and personal — affect prejudice. Using a nationally representative sample of American workers, I find prejudice toward Chinese is related in part to personal economic interest. This finding contrasts with other studies of prejudice that have focused on sociotropic explanations. Leveraging a comparison with prejudice toward Canadians, I argue that this may be in part because of how the media frame China.

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Understanding Diversity: The Importance of Social Acceptance

Jacqueline Chen & David Hamilton
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, April 2015, Pages 586-598

Abstract:
Two studies investigated how people define and perceive diversity in the historically majority-group dominated contexts of business and academia. We hypothesized that individuals construe diversity as both the numeric representation of racial minorities and the social acceptance of racial minorities within a group. In Study 1, undergraduates’ (especially minorities’) perceptions of campus diversity were predicted by perceived social acceptance on a college campus, above and beyond perceived minority representation. Study 2 showed that increases in a company’s representation and social acceptance independently led to increases in perceived diversity of the company among Whites. Among non-Whites, representation and social acceptance only increased perceived diversity of the company when both qualities were high. Together these findings demonstrate the importance of both representation and social acceptance to the achievement of diversity in groups and that perceiver race influences the relative importance of these two components of diversity.

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Are companies beholden to bias? The impact of leader race on consumer purchasing behavior

Derek Avery et al.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, forthcoming

Abstract:
Given that racial stereotypes often influence leader appraisals, many businesses assume consumers will respond unfavorably to Black leaders. Recent research, however, suggests observers may suppress negative stereotypes of Black leaders when they head high-performing organizations. We integrate theory on implicit leadership and motivated social cognition to better understand how leader stereotype application and suppression influence consumer purchasing behavior. Across archival studies, a classroom exercise, and an experiment, we found that customers (real and prospective) appraised Black leaders less favorably than White leaders, resulting in lower patronage only when motivated to view leaders stereotypically. Namely, significant consumer bias against companies with Black leaders emerged only when organizational failure was accompanied by (a) unfamiliarity with the leader(s) in question, (b) greater societal acceptance of racist behavior (i.e., in the past), or (c) high consumer desire to bask-in-reflected-glory of an organization.

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Being part of diversity. The effects of an all-inclusive multicultural diversity approach on majority members’ perceived inclusion and support for organizational diversity efforts

Wiebren Jansen, Sabine Otten & Karen van der Zee
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
In two experiments we tested how explicitly including the cultural majority group in an organization’s diversity approach (all-inclusive multiculturalism) affects the extent to which majority members feel included in the organization and support organizational diversity efforts. In Study 1 we focused on prospective employees. We found that an all-inclusive diversity approach, compared with the “standard” multicultural approach in which the majority group is not explicitly made part of organizational diversity, led to higher levels of anticipated inclusion for those with a high need to belong. In Study 2 we turned to sitting organizational members. Here, we again found that an all-inclusive multicultural approach increased perceptions of inclusion, but now the effect was present regardless of individual levels of need to belong. Perceived inclusion, in turn, was positively related to majority members’ support for organizational diversity efforts. Together, these findings underline the effectiveness of an all-inclusive multicultural approach towards diversity.

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Who Should We Help? An Experimental Test of Discrimination in the British Welfare State

Robert Ford
Political Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
The impact of immigration and rising ethnic diversity on support for the welfare state has been the subject of intense debate. Previous European research has found little evidence for an aggregate impact of diversity on support for welfare, but has not tested for discrimination between claimants at the individual level. This article presents two survey experiments which demonstrate that, in the ethnically diverse, high immigration British context, white majority respondents favour co-ethnic welfare claimants over foreign-born or ethnically different claimants. Both race and migrant status trigger discrimination, and the impact of these is cumulative, so a foreign-born Muslim claimant suffers a ‘double disadvantage’. Three mechanisms contribute to discrimination. Ethnocentrism reduces willingness to support minority welfare claimants, but not co-ethnic claimants. Economic insecurity increases support for co-ethnic welfare claimants, but not minority claimants. The perception that welfare claimants are generally undeserving of help has a larger negative impact on minority claimants than on co-ethnic claimants.

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Pigmentocracies: Educational Inequality, Skin Color and Census Ethnoracial Identification in Eight Latin American Countries

Edward Telles, René Flores & Fernando Urrea-Giraldo
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, June 2015, Pages 39–58

Abstract:
For the first time, most Latin American censuses ask respondents to self-identify by race or ethnicity allowing researchers to examine long-ignored ethnoracial inequalities. However, reliance on census ethnoracial categories could poorly capture the manifestation(s) of race that lead to inequality in the region, because of classificatory ambiguity and within-category racial or color heterogeneity. To overcome this, we modeled the relation of both interviewer-rated skin color and census ethnoracial categories with educational inequality using innovative data from the 2010 America's Barometer from the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) and 2010 surveys from the Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA) for eight Latin American countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru). We found that darker skin color was negatively and consistently related to schooling in all countries, with and without extensive controls. Indigenous and black self-identification was also negatively related to schooling, though not always at a statistically significant and robust level like skin color. In contrast, results for self-identified mulattos, mestizos and whites were inconsistent and often counter to the expected racial hierarchy, suggesting that skin color measures often capture racial inequalities that census measures miss.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Following the rules

What Is the Optimal Speed Limit on Freeways?

Arthur van Benthem
Journal of Public Economics, April 2015, Pages 44–62

Abstract:
When choosing his speed, a driver faces a trade-off between private benefits (time savings) and private costs (fuel cost and own damage and injury). Driving faster also has external costs (pollution, adverse health impacts and injury to other drivers). This paper uses large-scale speed limit increases in the western United States in 1987 and 1996 to address three related questions. First, do the social benefits of raising speed limits exceed the social costs? Second, do the private benefits of driving faster exceed the private costs? Third, what is the optimal speed limit? I find that a 10 mph speed limit increase on highways leads to a 3-4 mph increase in travel speed, 9-15% more accidents, 34-60% more fatal accidents, and elevated pollutant concentrations of 14-24% (carbon monoxide), 8-15% (nitrogen oxides), 1-11% (ozone) and 9% higher fetal death rates around the affected freeways. Using these estimates, I find that the social costs of speed limit increases are two to seven times larger than the social benefits. In contrast, many individual drivers would enjoy a net private benefit from driving faster. Privately, a value of a statistical life (VSL) of $6.0 million or less justifies driving faster, but the social planner’s VSL could be at most $0.9-$2.0 million to justify higher speed limits. I conclude that the optimal speed limit was lower, but not much lower, than 55 mph.

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Is Regulation to Blame for the Decline in American Entrepreneurship?

Nathan Goldschlag & Alex Tabarrok
George Mason University Working Paper, December 2014

Abstract:
Mounting evidence suggests that economic dynamism and entrepreneurial activity are declining in the United States. Over the past thirty years, the annual number of new business startups and the pace of job reallocation have declined significantly. A variety of causes for these trends have been suggested, including an increasing ability of firms to respond to idiosyncratic shocks, technology induced changes in the costs of hiring and training, and increasing regulation. This research combines data from the Statistics of U.S. Businesses, which contains measures of the decline in economic dynamism, with RegData, a novel dataset leveraging the textual content of the Code of Federal Regulations. RegData contains annual industry level measures of the stringency of regulation. By combining these data, we are able to estimate the extent to which changes in the level of federal regulation can explain decreasing entrepreneurial activity and dynamism. We find that Federal regulation has had little to no effect on declining dynamism.

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Industrial Concentration under the Rule of Reason

Sam Peltzman
Journal of Law and Economics, August 2014, Pages S101-S120

Abstract:
Robert Bork thought that antitrust restrictions on horizontal mergers should be confined to already highly concentrated markets. Actual policy, which had been much more restrictive, adopted Bork’s recommendation in the early 1980s. This paper examines the connection between this policy shift and concentration in the manufacturing sector. I find that concentration, which had been unchanged on average for all of the 20th century, began rising at the same time that merger policy changed. Concentration has increased steadily over the entire post-Bork period. The increase has been especially pronounced in consumer goods industries, which were already becoming more concentrated in the pre-Bork era. I find little difference in the underlying trends between already highly concentrated industries and the rest of manufacturing. Neither slowing growth in domestic manufacturing nor growing imports seem sufficient to explain the increased concentration.

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Analyzing the Labor Market Outcomes of Occupational Licensing

Maury Gittleman, Mark Klee & Morris Kleiner
NBER Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
Recent assessments of occupational licensing have shown varying effects of the institution on labor market outcomes. This study revisits the relationship between occupational licensing and labor market outcomes by analyzing a new topical module to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Relative to previously available data, the topical module offers more detailed information on occupational licensing from government, with larger sample sizes and access to richer sets of person-level characteristics. We exploit this larger and more detailed data set to examine the labor market outcomes of occupational licensing and how workers obtain these licenses from government. More specifically, we analyze whether there is evidence of a licensing wage premium, and how this premium varies with aspects of the regulatory regime such as the requirements to obtain a license or certification and the level of government oversight. After controlling for observable heterogeneity, including occupational status, we find that those with a license earn higher pay, are more likely to be employed, and have a higher probability of retirement and pension plan offers.

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Unaffordable housing and local employment growth: Evidence from California municipalities

Ritashree Chakrabarti & Junfu Zhang
Urban Studies, May 2015, Pages 1134-1151

Abstract:
It is widely believed that unaffordable housing could drive businesses away and thus impede job growth. However, there is little evidence to support this view. This paper presents a simple model to clarify how housing affordability is linked to employment growth and why unaffordable housing could negatively affect employment growth. The paper then investigates this effect empirically using data on California municipalities. For various reasons, a simple correlation between unaffordable housing and employment growth cannot be interpreted as causal. Several empirical strategies are employed to identify the causal effect of unaffordable housing on employment growth. The estimation results provide consistent evidence that unaffordable housing indeed slows local employment growth.

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Impact of a Letter-Grade Program on Restaurant Sanitary Conditions and Diner Behavior in New York City

Melissa Wong et al.
American Journal of Public Health, March 2015, Pages e81-e87

Objectives: We evaluated the impact of the New York City restaurant letter-grading program on restaurant hygiene, food safety practices, and public awareness.

Methods: We analyzed data from 43 448 restaurants inspected between 2007 and 2013 to measure changes in inspection score and violation citations since program launch in July 2010. We used binomial regression to assess probability of scoring 0 to 13 points (A-range score). Two population-based random-digit-dial telephone surveys assessed public perceptions of the program.

Results: After we controlled for repeated restaurant observations, season of inspection, and chain restaurant status, the probability of scoring 0 to 13 points on an unannounced inspection increased 35% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 31%, 40%) 3 years after compared with 3 years before grading. There were notable improvements in compliance with some specific requirements, including having a certified kitchen manager on site and being pest-free. More than 91% (95% CI = 88%, 94%) of New Yorkers approved of the program and 88% (95% CI = 85%, 92%) considered grades in dining decisions in 2012.

Conclusions: Restaurant letter grading in New York City has resulted in improved sanitary conditions on unannounced inspection, suggesting that the program is an effective regulatory tool.

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Characteristics of Bitcoin users: An analysis of Google search data

Aaron Yelowitz & Matthew Wilson
Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
The anonymity of Bitcoin prevents analysis of its users. We collect Google Trends data to examine determinants of interest in Bitcoin. Based on anecdotal evidence regarding Bitcoin users, we construct proxies for four possible clientele: computer programming enthusiasts, speculative investors, Libertarians and criminals. Computer programming and illegal activity search terms are positively correlated with Bitcoin interest, while Libertarian and investment terms are not.

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Does State Antitrust Enforcement Drive Establishment Exit?

Robert Feinberg, Thomas Husted & Florian Szücs
Journal of Competition Law & Economics, March 2015, Pages 85-106

Abstract:
While studies have examined motivations for businesses to exit and relocate in response to tax and regulatory policies at the state level, no previous work has considered whether U.S. state antitrust enforcement may have similar effects. The results of this article suggest that state-level antitrust (even when coordinated with the federal government) plays a fairly minor role in the exit decision of firms. Where it does play a role, the type of enforcement — anti-cartel vs. other measures — seems to determine the direction of impact. The economic significance of these effects is quite small, however, suggesting that state antitrust authorities need not worry about impacts on the broader economy in their enforcement decisions. Their focus should simply be on the merits of the particular case.

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Regulating Innovation with Uncertain Quality: Information, Risk, and Access in Medical Devices

Matthew Grennan & Robert Town
NBER Working Paper, February 2015

Abstract:
This paper examines optimal regulatory testing requirements when new product quality is uncertain but market participants may learn over time. We develop a model capturing the regulator's tradeoff between consumer risk exposure and access to innovation. Using new data and exogenous variation between EU and US medical device regulatory rules, we document patterns consistent with our model and estimate its parameters. We find: without information from regulatory testing, risk shuts down the market; US policy is close to the one that maximizes a measure of welfare derived from our theoretical model and our empirical estimates; EU surplus could increase 20 percent with more pre-market testing; and “post-market surveillance” could increase surplus 24 percent.

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Vertical Separation Increases Gasoline Prices

Nathan Wilson
Economic Inquiry, April 2015, Pages 1380–1391

Abstract:
I examine the relationship between vertical separation and gasoline stations' prices and sales. The endogeneity of stations' organizational forms is addressed using both panel methods and an instrumental variables strategy. Controlling for the endogeneity of form, I find that vertical separation raises margins by 25%–45% but does not have a statistically significant impact on output. I interpret these results as suggesting that vertical separation induces local agents to exert effort in ways that increase consumers' demand.

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Can state law combat exclusionary zoning? Evidence from Massachusetts

Lynn Fisher & Nicholas Marantz
Urban Studies, May 2015, Pages 1071-1089

Abstract:
This paper empirically analyses a Massachusetts law (Chapter 40B) allowing developers of income-restricted housing to appeal local land-use decisions to a state administrative body. Based on a unique dataset, we assess whether Chapter 40B was more likely to be used by developers in municipalities that place stronger restrictions on development. We find that the use of Chapter 40B to overcome regulatory barriers depends on the type of project. For rental development, developers were more likely to use the law in municipalities that were relatively accessible to jobs and that placed relatively stringent zoning restrictions on multifamily development. The use of Chapter 40B for condominium development was more likely in larger, less well-located municipalities with relatively stringent wetlands regulations.

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Time Is Money: An Empirical Examination of the Effects of Regulatory Delay on Residential Subdivision Development

Douglas Wrenn & Elena Irwin
Regional Science and Urban Economics, March 2015, Pages 25–36

Abstract:
Variation in regulatory costs over time and across different types of investment projects creates risk for developers who hold land. These so-called implicit costs, which arise as a result of regulatory delay in the land development process, are hypothesized to be potentially large, but empirical evidence of their influence on development outcomes is limited. Using a unique micro-level data set on parcel-level subdivision development that includes data on the timing of subdivision approvals, we test the effects of implicit costs that arise as a result of increased subdivision approval times on the timing and pattern of residential subdivision development. Consistent with theory, we find that these regulation-induced implicit costs reduce the probability of subdivision development on any given parcel. In addition, we find that systematic variation in regulation-induced implicit costs across space has reduced development in more heavily regulated urbanized areas intended for development and intensified development in less regulated exurban areas located farther away. The results provide a new explanation of scattered, low-density urban development as the result of optimal land development with multiple development options and heterogeneous regulatory costs.

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The Impact of a Multiple Listing Service

Lingxiao Li & Abdullah Yavas
Real Estate Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article offers a theoretical investigation of the impact of a multiple listing service (MLS) and its optimal size. We study a principal-agent model of real estate brokerage with multiple agents, where the entry of new agents imposes externalities on the other agents. We solve simultaneously for the equilibrium and socially efficient levels of agents’ effort choices, the size of the MLS and the commission rate. Introducing an MLS reduces the number of agents, increases agents’ effort levels and improves total surplus. Current commission rates of 5–7% appear much higher than the competitive commission rate, leading to too many agents, too much effort by agents and a lower overall surplus. We also find that giving a greater portion of the commission to the selling agent increases effort levels, reduces the number of agents and improves total surplus.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

One giant leap for womankind

Gender Segregation in Occupations: The Role of Tipping and Social Interactions

Jessica Pan
Journal of Labor Economics, April 2015, Pages 365-408

Abstract:
This paper documents that the dynamics of occupational segregation are highly nonlinear and exhibit tipping patterns. Occupations experience discontinuous declines in net male employment growth at tipping points ranging from 25% to 45% (from 13% to 30%) female in white-collar (blue-collar) occupations from 1940 to 1990. These patterns appear consistent with a Schelling (1971) social interaction model where tipping results from male preferences toward the fraction female in their occupation. Supporting the model’s predictions, evidence from the General Social Survey indicates that tipping points are lower in regions where males hold more sexist attitudes toward the appropriate role of women.

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Affirmative Action and Stereotype Threat

Anat Bracha, Alma Cohen & Lynn Conell-Price
Harvard Working Paper, January 2015

Abstract:
This paper provides experimental evidence on the effect of affirmative action (AA). In particular, we investigate whether affirmative action has a ”stereotype threat effect” – that is, whether AA cues a negative stereotype that leads individuals to conform to the stereotype and adversely affects their performance. Stereotype threat has been shown in the literature to be potentially significant for individuals who identify strongly with the domain of the stereotype and who engage in complex stereotype-relevant tasks. We therefore explore this question in the context of gender-based AA for a complex math task. In this context, the stereotype is most relevant for women with high math ability, and the stereotype threat effects can be expected to work in the opposite direction to AA’s competition effect that encourages women to compete. We find that, consistent with the presence of a stereotype threat, AA has an overall negative effect on the performance of high-ability women performing complex math tasks.

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Unanticipated Effects of California's Paid Family Leave Program

Tirthatanmoy Das & Solomon Polachek
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examine the effect of California paid family leave (CPFL) on young women's labor force participation and unemployment, relative to men and older women. CPFL enables workers to take at most 6 weeks of paid leave over a 12-month period in order to bond with new born or adopted children, or to care for sick family members or ailing parents. The policy benefits women, especially young women, as they are more prone to take such a leave. However, the effect of the policy on overall labor market outcomes is less clear. We apply difference-in-difference techniques to identify the effects of the CPFL legislation on young women's labor force participation and unemployment. We find that the labor force participation rate, the unemployment rate, and the duration of unemployment among young women rose in California compared to men (particularly young men) and older women in California, and to other young women, men, and older women in states that did not adopt PFL. The latter two findings regarding higher young women's unemployment and unemployment duration are unanticipated effects of the CPFL program. We utilize robustness checks as well as unique placebo tests to validate these results.

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Do Men and Women Respond Differently to Competition? Evidence from a Major Education Reform

Louis-Philippe Morin
Journal of Labor Economics, April 2015, Pages 443-491

Abstract:
This paper provides new evidence of gender differences in response to increased competition, focusing on important life tasks performed in a regular social environment. The analysis takes advantage of a major education reform in Ontario that exogenously increased competition for university grades. Comparing students prereform and postreform using rich administrative data, I find that male average grades and the proportion of male students graduating “on time” increased relative to females. Further, the evidence indicates that these changes were due to increased relative effort rather than self-selection. The findings have implications for the delivery of education and incentive provision more generally.

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Gender and Dynamic Agency: Theory and Evidence on the Compensation of Top Executives

Stefania Albanesi, Claudia Olivetti & Maria Jose Prados
University of Southern California Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
We document three new facts about gender differences in executive compensation. First, female executives receive lower share of incentive pay in total compensation relative to males. This difference accounts for 93% of the gender gap in total pay. Second, the compensation of female executives displays lower pay-performance sensitivity. A $1 million dollar increase in firm value generates a $17,150 increase in firm specific wealth for male executives and a $1,670 increase for females. Third, female executives are more exposed to bad firm performance and less exposed to good firm performance relative to male executives. We find no link between firm performance and the gender of top executives. We discuss evidence on differences in preferences and the cost of managerial effort by gender and examine the resulting predictions for the structure of compensation. We consider two paradigms for the pay-setting process, the efficient contracting model and the “managerial power” or skimming view. The efficient contracting model can explain the first two facts. Only the skimming view is consistent with the third fact. This suggests that the gender differentials in executive compensation may be inefficient.

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Gender Biases in (Inter) Action: The Role of Interviewers’ and Applicants’ Implicit and Explicit Stereotypes in Predicting Women’s Job Interview Outcomes

Ioana Latu, Marianne Schmid Mast & Tracie Stewart
Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although explicit stereotypes of women in the workplace have become increasingly positive, negative stereotypes persist at an implicit level, with women being more likely associated with incompetent — and men with competent — managerial traits. Drawing upon work on self-fulfilling prophecies and interracial interactions, we investigated whether and how implicit and explicit gender stereotypes held by both male interviewers and female applicants predicted women’s interview outcomes. Thirty male interviewers conducted mock job interviews with 30 female applicants. Before the interview, we measured interviewers’ and applicants’ implicit and explicit gender stereotypes. The interviewers’ and applicants’ implicit stereotypes independently predicted external evaluations of the performance of female applicants. Whereas female applicants’ higher implicit stereotypes directly predicted lower performance, male interviewers’ implicit stereotypes indirectly impaired female applicants’ performance through lower evaluations by the interviewer and lower self-evaluations by the applicant. Moreover, having an interviewer who was at the same time high in implicit and low in explicit stereotypes predicted the lowest performance of female applicants. Our findings highlight the importance of taking into account both implicit and explicit gender stereotypes in mixed-gender interactions and point to ways to reduce the negative effects of gender stereotypes in job interviews.

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Do Women Suffer from Network Closure? The Moderating Effect of Social Capital on Gender Inequality in a Project-Based Labor Market, 1929 to 2010

Mark Lutter
American Sociological Review, April 2015, Pages 329-358

Abstract:
That social capital matters is an established fact in the social sciences. Less clear, however, is how different forms of social capital affect gender disadvantages in career advancement. Focusing on a project-based type of labor market, namely the U.S. film industry, this study argues that women suffer a “closure penalty” and face severe career disadvantages when collaborating in cohesive teams. At the same time, gender disadvantages are reduced for women who build social capital in open networks with higher degrees of diversity and information flow. Using large-scale longitudinal data on career profiles of about one million performances by 97,657 film actors in 369,099 film productions between the years 1929 and 2010, I analyze career survival models and interaction effects between gender and different measures of social capital and information openness. Findings reveal that female actors have a higher risk of career failure than do their male colleagues when affiliated in cohesive networks, but women have better survival chances when embedded in open, diverse structures. This study contributes to the understanding of how and what type of social capital can be either a beneficial resource for otherwise disadvantaged groups or a constraining mechanism that intensifies gender differences in career advancement.

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When Judging Is Power: A Gender Perspective on the French and American Judiciaries

Adélaïde Remiche
Journal of Law and Courts, Spring 2015, Pages 95-114

Abstract:
This article examines the feminization of the judiciary in France and in the United States through the prism of the “imagined judge,” that is, the judge as he or she is represented in a specific legal culture. The French imagined judge is a knowledgeable automaton mechanically applying the law entirely created by the parliament, while his or her American counterpart is a decision maker well equipped to solve social problems. Interpreting the gender composition of the judiciary through the intellectual device of the imagined judge leads to a crucial observation: there is a correlation between the conceptualization of the imagined judge as a being exercising power, as in the United States, and the continued underrepresentation of women on the bench. From this observation comes an important hypothesis: the conceptualization of judging as an act of power works to keep women off the bench.

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Estimating Gender Differences in Access to Jobs

Laurent Gobillon, Dominique Meurs & Sébastien Roux
Journal of Labor Economics, April 2015, Pages 317-363

Abstract:
This paper proposes a new measure of gender differences in access to jobs based on a job assignment model. This measure is the probability ratio of getting a job for a female and a male at each rank of the wage ladder. We derive a nonparametric estimator of this access measure and estimate it for French full-time executives aged 40–45 in the private sector. Our results show that the gender difference in the probability of getting a job increases along the wage ladder from 9% to 50%. Females thus have a significantly lower access to high-paid jobs than to low-paid jobs.

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Gender Congruence and Work Effort in Manager–Employee Relationships

John Marvel
Public Administration Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article uses data on public school teachers and principals to examine whether teachers who share the gender of their principal work more overtime hours than teachers who do not. Findings show that gender congruence is associated with overtime hours for female teachers but not for male teachers. This result holds between schools and within schools: female teachers with female principals work more overtime hours than female teachers with male principals, and female teachers with female principals work more overtime hours than male teachers who work in the same school, for the same female principal. In light of multiple competing explanations for this finding, the author explores why gender congruence matters for female teachers but not for male teachers.

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Geography and Gender: Variation in the Gender Earnings Ratio Across U.S. States

Saul Hoffman
Social Science Quarterly, March 2015, Pages 235–250

Objectives: The gender earnings ratio for year-round full-time (YRFT) workers varies substantially across U.S. states, with a range of 24 percentage points. I examine the sources of this variation to assess to what extent it reflects compositional differences by gender that vary across state and/or nonneutral effects of state of residence on gender earnings.

Methods: Using CPS data, I estimate earnings models for men and women that incorporate state fixed effects in addition to standard human capital and demographic variables. I use those estimates to compute unadjusted and regression-adjusted estimates of the impact of state residence on the gender earnings ratio.

Results: I find that nonneutral gender-specific state effects on earnings exist even after controlling for other determinants of earnings and that state of residence appears, therefore, to have a genuine effect on the gender earnings ratio. I also find that states with particularly low overall gender earnings ratios have consistently low ratios even within quite detailed education and occupation categories.

Conclusions: Variation in the gender earnings ratio for YRFT workers across states is not simply a result of compositional differences. It is unclear, however, what policy instruments or other factors account for these differences.

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How Do Stereotypes Influence Choice?

Anne-Sophie Chaxel
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
In the study reported here, I tracked one process through which stereotypes affect choice. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) and a measurement of predecisional information distortion were used to assess the influence of the association between male gender and career on the evaluation of information related to the job performance of stereotypical targets (male) and nonstereotypical targets (female). When the IAT revealed a strong association between male gender and career and the installed leader in the choice process was a stereotypical target, decision makers supported the leader with more proleader distortion; when the IAT revealed a strong association between male gender and career and the installed leader in the choice process was a nonstereotypical target, decision makers supported the trailer with less antitrailer distortion. A stronger association between male gender and career therefore resulted in an upward shift of the evaluation related to the stereotypical target (both as a trailer and a leader), which subsequently biased choice.

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Unbuttoned: The Interaction Between Provocativeness of Female Work Attire and Occupational Status

Neil Howlett et al.
Sex Roles, February 2015, Pages 105-116

Abstract:
Gender-biased standards in United Kingdom (UK) workplaces continue to exist. Women experience gender discrimination in judgements of competence, even by other women. Clothing cues can subtly influence professional perceptions of women. The aim of this study was to investigate how minor manipulations to female office clothing affect the judgements of competence of them by other UK females and to examine whether such effects differ with occupational status. One group of female university students (n = 54) and one group of employed females (n = 90), all from London and the East of England, rated images of faceless female targets, on a global competence measure derived from six competence ratings (of intelligence, confidence, trustworthiness, responsibility, authority, and organisation). The dress style was conservative but varied slightly by skirt length and the number of buttons unfastened on a blouse. The female targets were ascribed different occupational roles, varying by status (high – senior manager, or low - receptionist). Participants viewed the images for a maximum of 5 s before rating them. Overall participants rated the senior manager less favourably when her clothing was more provocative, but more favourably when dressed more conservatively (longer skirt, buttoned up blouse). This interaction between clothing and status was not present for the receptionist. Employed participants also rated females lower than did student participants. We conclude that even subtle changes to clothing style can contribute towards negative impressions of the competence of women who hold higher status positions in a UK cultural context.

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The bachelor’s to Ph.D. STEM pipeline no longer leaks more women than men: A 30-year analysis

David Miller & Jonathan Wai
Frontiers in Psychology, February 2015

Abstract:
For decades, research and public discourse about gender and science have often assumed that women are more likely than men to “leak” from the science pipeline at multiple points after entering college. We used retrospective longitudinal methods to investigate how accurately this “leaky pipeline” metaphor has described the bachelor’s to Ph.D. transition in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in the U.S. since the 1970s. Among STEM bachelor’s degree earners in the 1970s and 1980s, women were less likely than men to later earn a STEM Ph.D. However, this gender difference closed in the 1990s. Qualitatively similar trends were found across STEM disciplines. The leaky pipeline metaphor therefore partially explains historical gender differences in the U.S., but no longer describes current gender differences in the bachelor’s to Ph.D. transition in STEM. The results help constrain theories about women’s underrepresentation in STEM. Overall, these results point to the need to understand gender differences at the bachelor’s level and below to understand women’s representation in STEM at the Ph.D. level and above. Consistent with trends at the bachelor’s level, women’s representation at the Ph.D. level has been recently declining for the first time in over 40 years.

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The gender wage gap among PhDs in the UK

Ute Schulze
Cambridge Journal of Economics, March 2015, Pages 599-629

Abstract:
This article analyses the gender wage gap (GWG) among PhD graduates in the UK 42 months after their graduation in 2004–5. We find a sizeable overall GWG of 19 log percentage points, which is explained by a large wage premium for men outside academia compared to women and men in academia. The GWG in academia is small in comparison. Whilst the GWG outside academia is very high six months after graduation and remains largely unaltered, the GWG inside academia doubles in the following three years. The Oaxaca decomposition suggests that for this relatively homogeneous group the GWG cannot be explained by differences in endowments (university and employment characteristics). We find stark differences in wage patterns between the fields of study and a strongly increasing coefficient effect for higher quantiles.

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The Effect of Stereotype Threat on Performance of a Rhythmic Motor Skill

Meghan Huber et al.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, forthcoming

Abstract:
Many studies using cognitive tasks have found that stereotype threat, or concern about confirming a negative stereotype about one’s group, debilitates performance. The few studies that documented similar effects on sensorimotor performance have used only relatively coarse measures to quantify performance. This study tested the effect of stereotype threat on a rhythmic ball bouncing task, where previous analyses of the task dynamics afforded more detailed quantification of the effect of threat on motor control. In this task, novices hit the ball with positive racket acceleration, indicative of unstable performance. With practice, they learn to stabilize error by changing their ball-racket impact from positive to negative acceleration. Results showed that for novices, stereotype threat potentiated hitting the ball with positive racket acceleration, leading to poorer performance of stigmatized females. However, when the threat manipulation was delivered after having acquired some skill, reflected by negative racket acceleration, the stigmatized females performed better. These findings are consistent with the mere effort account that argues that stereotype threat potentiates the most likely response on the given task. The study also demonstrates the value of identifying the control mechanisms through which stereotype threat has its effects on outcome measures.

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Engineering Exchanges: Daily Social Identity Threat Predicts Burnout Among Female Engineers

William Hall, Toni Schmader & Elizabeth Croft
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Efforts to promote women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) require a clearer understanding of the experience of social identity threat outside academic contexts. Although social identity threat has been widely studied among students, very little research has examined how the phenomenon occurs naturalistically among working professionals in ways that could undermine productivity and well-being. The present research employed daily diary methodology to examine conversations with colleagues as triggers of social identity threat among a sample of 44 male and 52 female working engineers. Results of multilevel modeling revealed that (1) women (but not men) reported greater daily experiences of social identity threat on days when their conversations with male (but not female) colleagues cued feelings of incompetence and a lack of acceptance, and (2) these daily fluctuations of social identity threat predicted daily levels of mental exhaustion and psychological burnout. The implications for social identity threat in working professionals are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, March 23, 2015

You will be assimilated

Identity loan: The moral economy of migrant document exchange in California's Central Valley

Sarah Horton
American Ethnologist, February 2015, Pages 55–67

Abstract:
“Identity loan” is common among U.S. farmworkers. In contrast to “identity theft,” it is a voluntary exchange in which citizens and legal permanent residents lend unauthorized migrants their identity documents so that the latter may obtain a job. Drawing on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with 45 migrant farmworkers in California's Central Valley, I show that federal and state policies have encouraged identity loan as a mode of reciprocal gift-giving in resource- and document-poor migrant communities. Document exchange benefits “identity donors” by increasing their unemployment payments and directly depositing deductions from unauthorized migrants’ wages into their Social Security accounts. While many scholars theorize that unauthorized status serves as a hidden subsidy for the state, this study illuminates the microprocesses through which ordinary citizens and residents agentively vie to divert this “profit reserve” into their own pockets.

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Immigration and the Human Capital of Natives

Peter McHenry
Journal of Human Resources, Winter 2015, Pages 34-71

Abstract:
Large low-skilled immigration flows influence both the distribution of local school resources and also local relative wages, which exert counterbalancing pressures on the local return to schooling. I use the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88) and U.S. Census data to show that low-skilled immigration to an area induces local natives to improve their performance in school, attain more years of schooling, and take jobs that involve communication-intensive tasks for which they (native English speakers) have a comparative advantage. These results point out mechanisms that mitigate the potentially negative effect of immigration on natives’ wages.

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Hispanic Older Adult Mortality in the United States: New Estimates and an Assessment of Factors Shaping the Hispanic Paradox

Joseph Lariscy, Robert Hummer & Mark Hayward
Demography, February 2015, Pages 1-14

Abstract:
Hispanics make up a rapidly growing proportion of the U.S. older adult population, so a firm grasp of their mortality patterns is paramount for identifying racial/ethnic differences in life chances in the population as a whole. Documentation of Hispanic mortality is also essential for assessing whether the Hispanic paradox — the similarity in death rates between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites despite Hispanics’ socioeconomic disadvantage — characterizes all adult Hispanics or just some age, gender, nativity, or national-origin subgroups. We estimate age-/sex- and cause-specific mortality rate ratios and life expectancy for foreign-born and U.S.-born Hispanics, foreign-born and U.S.-born Mexican Americans, non-Hispanic blacks, and non-Hispanic whites ages 65 and older using the 1989–2006 National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality Files. Results affirm that Hispanic mortality estimates are favorable relative to those of blacks and whites, but particularly so for foreign-born Hispanics and smoking-related causes. However, if not for Hispanics’ socioeconomic disadvantage, their mortality levels would be even more favorable.

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Relational skill assets and anti-immigrant sentiments

Naeyun Lee & Cheol-Sung Lee
Social Science Research, July 2015, Pages 270–289

Abstract:
This study introduces the role of relational skill assets in accounting for attitudes toward immigrants. Drawing upon stratification researchers’ notion of “non-cognitive skills,” we build a theoretical framework highlighting the role of occupational skill requirements in explaining anti-immigrant sentiment. Then, utilizing two occupation-specific measures, interpersonal skill requirement and instrumental skill requirement, we construct an explanatory factor, relational skill specificity. We test its effect on anti-immigrant attitudes as well as on the concentration of foreign-born workers in occupations, using the 2004 national identity module of General Social Survey. The findings confirm our argument that workers with a higher possession of interpersonal skill assets relative to instrumental skill assets are exposed to less intense competitions with immigrants, and are therefore less likely to express anti-immigrant sentiments. Our findings suggest that occupational-level relational skill assets based on sociocultural differences play an important role in shaping native workers’ attitudes’ toward immigrants.

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Do Concerns About Labor Market Competition Shape Attitudes Toward Immigration? New Evidence

Jens Hainmueller, Michael Hiscox & Yotam Margalit
Journal of International Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Are concerns about labor market competition a powerful source of anti-immigrant sentiment? Several prominent studies have examined survey data on voters and concluded that fears about the negative effects of immigration on wages and employment play a major role generating anti-immigrant attitudes. We examine new data from a targeted survey of U.S. employees in 12 different industries. In contrast with previous studies, the findings indicate that fears about labor market competition do not appear to have substantial effects on attitudes toward immigration, and preferences with regard to immigration policy, among this large and diverse set of voters.

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Duration of US residence and suicidality among racial/ethnic minority immigrants

Monique Brown, Steven Cohen & Briana Mezuk
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, February 2015, Pages 257-267

Purpose: The immigration experience embodies a range of factors including different cultural norms and expectations, which may be particularly important for groups who become racial/ethnic minorities when they migrate to the US. However, little is known about the correlates of mental health indicators among these groups. The primary and secondary aims were to determine the association between duration of US residence and suicidality, and 12-month mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders, respectively, among racial/ethnic minority immigrants.

Methods: Data were obtained from the National Survey of American Life and the National Latino and Asian American Survey. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association between duration of US residence, and suicidality and 12-month psychopathology.

Results: Among Afro-Caribbeans, there was a modest positive association between duration of US residence and 12-month psychopathology (P linear trend = 0.016). Among Asians there was a modest positive association between duration of US residence and suicidal ideation and attempts (P linear trend = 0.018, 0.063, respectively). Among Latinos, there was a positive association between duration of US residence, and suicidal ideation, attempts and 12-month psychopathology (P linear trend = 0.001, 0.012, 0.002, respectively). Latinos who had been in the US for >20 years had 2.6 times greater likelihood of suicidal ideation relative to those who had been in the US for <5 years (95 % CI 1.01–6.78).

Conclusions: The association between duration of US residence and suicidality and psychopathology varies across racial/ethnic minority groups. The results for Latino immigrants are broadly consistent with the goal-striving or acculturation stress hypothesis.

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Beyond “White by Law”: Explaining the Gulf in Citizenship Acquisition between Mexican and European Immigrants, 1930

Cybelle Fox & Irene Bloemraad
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
Between 1790 and 1952, naturalization was reserved primarily for “free white persons.” Asian immigrants were deemed non-white and racially ineligible for citizenship by legislation and the courts. European immigrants and, importantly, Mexican immigrants were considered white by law and eligible for naturalization. Yet, few Mexicans acquired US citizenship. By 1930, only 9 percent of Mexican men had naturalized, compared to 60 percent of southern and eastern Europeans and 80 percent of northern and western Europeans. If Mexicans were legally white, why did they rarely acquire citizenship in the early decades of the 20th century? We go beyond analyses focused on formal law or individual-level determinants to underscore the importance of region and non-white social status in influencing naturalization. Using 1930 US Census microfile data, we find that while individual characteristics (e.g., length of residence and literacy) explain some of the gulf in citizenship, the context of reception mattered nearly as much. Even if Mexicans were “white by law,” they were often judged non-white in practice, which significantly decreased their likelihood of naturalizing. Moreover, the more welcoming political and social climate of the Northeast and Midwest, where most European migrants lived, facilitated their acquisition of American citizenship.

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Behavioral Functioning among Mexican-origin Children: Does Parental Legal Status Matter?

Nancy Landale et al.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, March 2015, Pages 2-18

Abstract:
Using data on 2,535 children included in the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, we investigate how the legal status of immigrant parents shapes their children’s behavioral functioning. Variation in internalizing and externalizing problems among Mexican youth with undocumented mothers, documented or naturalized citizen mothers, and U.S.-born mothers is analyzed using a comparative framework that contrasts their experience with that of other ethnoracial groups. Our findings reinforce the importance of differentiating children of immigrants by parental legal status in studying health and well-being. Children of undocumented Mexican migrants have significantly higher risks of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems than their counterparts with documented or naturalized citizen mothers. Regression results are inconsistent with simple explanations that emphasize group differences in socioeconomic status, maternal mental health, or family routines.

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Hispanic Immigration and Black Violence at the Macro-Level: Examining the Conditioning Effect of Victim Race/Ethnicity

Casey Harris, Jeff Gruenewald & Noah Painter-Davis
Sociological Forum, March 2015, Pages 62–82

Abstract:
Much attention has been devoted to the relationship between Hispanic immigration and violent offending at the macro-level, including how it varies across racial and ethnic groups. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the conditioning effect of the race/ethnicity of the victim, or how Hispanic immigration is associated with crime by one racial/ethnic group against members of the same or different groups. Using National Incident-Based Reporting System offending estimates and American Community Survey data, we examine the association between Hispanic immigration and black intra- and intergroup (black-on-white and black-on-Hispanic) homicide, robbery, and serious index violence in over 350 U.S. communities. We employ advanced imputation methods to address missing data that have constrained much prior research, as well as utilize crime measures adjusted for the likelihood of random contact between groups. Findings suggest that (1) Hispanic immigration has a positive association with black violence on the whole, but that (2) this association is conditioned by the race/ethnicity of the victim. Our results reinforce the importance of distinguishing across offender–victim dyads in research on the immigration–crime nexus, particularly in light of competing theoretical expectations. Directions for future research and policy are discussed.

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Immigrants and Mortgage Delinquency

Zhenguo Lin, Yingchun Liu & Jia Xie
Real Estate Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article studies the effect of immigrant status on mortgage delinquency. Due to their different social and economic background, immigrant households may not integrate well into the host society, and therefore are more likely to be delinquent on mortgages than otherwise identical native-born households. We test this hypothesis by comparing the mortgage delinquency rate between immigrant and native-born households in the 2009 PSID (Panel Study of Income Dynamics) data, in which all the immigrant households have been in the United States for more than 10 years. We find that, after controlling for observables, those relatively recent immigrants who have been in the United States for 10 to 20 years have a higher mortgage delinquency rate than native-born, while immigrants who have resided in the United States for more than 20 years are no different from native-borns. In addition, there is no evidence that the second generation of immigrants is more likely to be delinquent than the third-or-higher generations. Our results are robust to potential sample-selection bias and functional misspecifications.

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Does neighbourhood composition modify the association between acculturation and unhealthy dietary behaviours?

Donglan Zhang et al.
Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, forthcoming

Objective: Studies have shown that immigrants’ acculturation is associated with numerous unhealthy behaviours. Yet, the role of environmental factors in modifying the effect of acculturation on health behaviours has received little attention. This study aims to create a more nuanced understanding of the health effects of acculturation by examining how neighbourhood immigrant composition modifies the association between individuals’ eating patterns and acculturation.

Methods: Cross-sectional Data from Los Angeles County Health Survey 2007 adult sample were linked to data on retail food establishments and US Census 2000 neighbourhood characteristics. Acculturation was measured by language spoken at home and years stayed in the US. Eating fast food more than once per week and eating zero serving of fruit or vegetables during the previous day were used as proxy indicators for unhealthy dietary behaviour. Multilevel logistic regression models were performed in the full sample and in the sample with only Latino adults.

Results: Immigrants’ lack of acculturation and living in a neighbourhood with a high percentage immigrants were associated with healthier dietary behaviour. We also identified that lack of acculturation conveyed a significantly stronger protective effect on regular fast-food consumption for immigrants living in neighbourhoods with higher percentage immigrants (OR: 0.34, 95% CI: 0.12 to 0.93).

Conclusions: Among immigrants in Los Angeles County, living in a neighbourhood with a high density of other immigrants attenuates the negative effects of acculturation on healthy eating behaviours. Healthy eating promotion efforts should build on this protective effect in outreach to acculturating immigrant communities.

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Hispanics at the Starting Line: Poverty among Newborn Infants in Established Gateways and New Destinations

Daniel Lichter, Scott Sanders & Kenneth Johnson
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
High rates of Hispanic fertility raise an important question: Do Hispanic newborn babies start life's race behind the starting line, poor and disadvantaged? To address this question, we link the newborn infants identified with the new fertility question in the 2006–2010 American Community Survey (ACS) to the poverty status of mothers. Our results document the disproportionately large share (40 percent) of Hispanic babies who are born into poverty. The prospect of poverty is especially high in new Hispanic destinations, especially those in rural areas. For Hispanic newborn babies, poverty cannot be reduced to supply-side explanations that emphasize maladaptive behavioral decision-making of parents, that is, nonmarital or teen childbearing, low educational attainment, acquisition of English language skills, or other dimensions of human capital. Hispanics in new destinations often start well behind the starting line — in poverty and with limited opportunities for upward mobility and an inadequate welfare safety net. The recent concentration of Hispanic poverty in new immigrant destinations portends continuing intergenerational inequality as today's newborn infants make their way to productive adult roles.

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Americana or Latina? Gender and identity acquisition among Hispanics in the United States

Heather Silber Mohamed
Politics, Groups and Identities, Winter 2015, Pages 40-58

Abstract:
Existing literature demonstrates that Hispanic men and women incorporate into the USA differently. Research also finds that Latinas participate politically in greater numbers than Latino men on a range of indicators, including voting, naturalization, and citizenship acquisition. Using data from the 2006 Latino National Survey, I extend this line of scholarship to study gendered differences in Latino self-perception. My results demonstrate that despite higher levels of participation in the USA, Latinas are less likely to identify as American than Latino men. Moreover, while these ideas are not mutually exclusive, Latino men express a greater desire to blend into the USA, while Latinas are more likely to want to maintain a distinct Hispanic culture. However, consistent with intersectionality theory, which emphasizes the interaction between race/ethnicity, gender, and class, these differences disappear once a certain socioeconomic status is reached. I also demonstrate a stronger relationship between an American identity and political participation for Latino men than for Latinas. Overall, these findings underscore the importance of including gender as both a dependent and an independent variable in future studies of identity.

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Examining the U.S. Labor Market Performance of Immigrant Workers in the Presence of Network Effects

Gihoon Hong
Journal of Labor Research, March 2015, Pages 9-26

Abstract:
Networks are thought to have an important impact on individuals’ access to labor markets. Yet, it is a challenging task to identify network effects because the functioning of networks relies heavily on unobservables that may be correlated with other productivity-related characteristics. In this study, we quantify the importance of networks as a determinant of workers’ labor market outcomes. Using variation in the distance to the nearest Mexican rail lines in the past as a source of identification, we find that the size of the network is positively related to current wages and to the probability of being a documented immigrant.

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Welfare states and immigrant poverty: Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom in comparative perspective

Christel Kesler
Acta Sociologica, February 2015, Pages 39-61

Abstract:
This article examines immigrant poverty across three institutionally distinct European states: Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Focusing on 33 immigrant groups and controlling for sending country in addition to human capital and family characteristics, the analysis explores host country variation in (1) immigrant/native-born poverty gaps and (2) the underlying poverty levels at which these gaps occur. Findings reveal the largest poverty gaps in Sweden and demonstrate that this is due to immigrants’ comparatively severe labor market disadvantages. However, underlying poverty levels are also lowest in Sweden because of a two-pronged policy strategy of enabling work (particularly among women, immigrant and native-born alike) and reducing poverty through income support. Thus, immigrants in Sweden live at lower levels of poverty than their immigrant counterparts elsewhere, despite facing higher levels of inequality vis-à-vis native-born Swedes. The conclusion considers implications of poverty gaps and poverty levels, especially for the children of immigrants.

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Migration and welfare state spending

Stuart Soroka et al.
European Political Science Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Is international migration a threat to the redistributive programmes of destination countries? Existing work is divided. This paper examines the manner and extent to which increases in immigration are related to welfare state retrenchment, drawing on data from 1970 to 2007. The paper makes three contributions: (1) it explores the impact of changes in immigration on social welfare policy over both the short and medium term; (2) it examines the possibility that immigration matters for spending not just directly, but indirectly, through changes in demographics and/or the labour force; and (3) by disaggregating data on social expenditure into subdomains (including unemployment, pensions, and the like), it tests the impact of immigration on different elements of the welfare state. Results suggest that increased immigration is indeed associated with smaller increases in spending. The major pathway is through impact on female labour force participation. The policy domains most affected are ones subject to moral hazard, or at least to rhetoric about moral hazard.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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