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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Out of the ordinary

Same-sex relationship escalation with uncertain marriage legality: Theory and empirical implications

Amy Farmer & Andrew Horowitz
Southern Economic Journal, April 2015, Pages 995-1011

Abstract:
We develop a strategic model of same-sex dating, cohabitation, and potential marriage with location-specific marriage legality. With an initial illegal location, couples bargain over a relationship path that internalizes the probability of future legalization and potential migration-for-marriage. Our model generates testable, empirical implications on relationship hazard rates, migration, and utility due to changes in migration costs and legalization probabilities. Specifically, we show that decreased migration costs or increased legalization probabilities will increase relationship hazard rates (dissolution) for both daters and cohabitators. These changes will also decrease utility for an identifiable segment of the relationship quality distribution.

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Why (and When) Straight Women Trust Gay Men: Ulterior Mating Motives and Female Competition

Eric Russell et al.
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous findings indicate that heterosexual women experience a greater sense of comfort and trust in their friendships with gay men than in their friendships with heterosexual individuals. In the present studies, we tested a hypothesis that not only explains why women exhibit increased trust in gay men but also yields novel predictions about when (i.e., in what contexts) this phenomenon is likely to occur. Specifically, we propose that gay men's lack of motives to mate with women or to compete with them for mates enhances women's trust in gay men and openness to befriend them. Study 1 demonstrated that women placed greater trust in a gay man's mating - but not non-mating (e.g., career) advice - than in the same advice given by heterosexual individuals. Study 2 showed that women perceived a gay man to be more sincere in scenarios relevant to sexual and competitive mating deception. In Study 3, exposing women to a visualization of increased mating competition enhanced their trust in gay men; when mating competition was salient, women's trust in mating information from a gay man was amplified. Study 4 showed that women who perceived higher levels of mating competition were more open to befriending gay men. Together, these converging findings support our central hypothesis, which not only provides a distal explanation for the trust that straight women place in gay men, but also provides novel insights into previously unidentified contexts that facilitate the formation and strengthening of this unique bond.

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Sexual Arousal and Masculinity-Femininity of Women

Gerulf Rieger et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Studies with volunteers in sexual arousal experiments suggest that women are, on average, physiologically sexually aroused to both male and female sexual stimuli. Lesbians are the exception because they tend to be more aroused to their preferred sex than the other sex, a pattern typically seen in men. A separate research line suggests that lesbians are, on average, more masculine than straight women in their nonsexual behaviors and characteristics. Hence, a common influence could affect the expression of male-typical sexual and nonsexual traits in some women. By integrating these research programs, we tested the hypothesis that male-typical sexual arousal of lesbians relates to their nonsexual masculinity. Moreover, the most masculine-behaving lesbians, in particular, could show the most male-typical sexual responses. Across combined data, Study 1 examined these patterns in women's genital arousal and self-reports of masculine and feminine behaviors. Study 2 examined these patterns with another measure of sexual arousal, pupil dilation to sexual stimuli, and with observer-rated masculinity-femininity in addition to self-reported masculinity-femininity. Although both studies confirmed that lesbians were more male-typical in their sexual arousal and nonsexual characteristics, on average, there were no indications that these 2 patterns were in any way connected. Thus, women's sexual responses and nonsexual traits might be masculinized by independent factors.

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Changes in spatial cognition and brain activity after a single dose of testosterone in healthy women

Carl Pintzka et al.
Behavioural Brain Research, 1 February 2016, Pages 78-90

Abstract:
Studies have consistently shown that males perform better than females on several spatial tasks. Animal and human literature suggests that sex hormones have an important role in both establishing and maintaining this difference. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of exogenous testosterone on spatial cognition and brain activity in healthy women. A cross-sectional, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was performed in 42 healthy young women who either received one dose of 0.5 mg sublingual testosterone or placebo. They then learned a virtual environment and performed navigation tasks during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Subsequently, their knowledge of the virtual environment, self-reported navigation strategy, and mental rotation abilities were measured. The testosterone group had improved representations of the directions within the environment and performed significantly better on the mental rotation task compared to the placebo group, but navigation success and navigation strategy were similar in the two groups. Nevertheless, the testosterone group had significantly increased activity within the medial temporal lobe during successful navigation compared to the placebo group, and a positive correlation between testosterone load and medial temporal lobe activity was found. Fetal testosterone levels, measured as second-to-fourth digit length ratio, interacted significantly with parahippocampal activity and tended towards giving higher mental rotation task scores. These results demonstrated that testosterone had a limited effect pertaining specifically to spatial cognition involving 3D-visualization in healthy women, while complex behaviors such as navigation, relying more on learned strategies, were not altered despite increased neuronal activity in relevant brain regions.

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The side effect of egalitarian norms: Reactive group distinctiveness, biological essentialism, and sexual prejudice

Juan Manuel Falomir-Pichastor, Gabriel Mugny & Jacques Berent
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
In the context of sexual prejudice, in which group distinctiveness motivation is particularly strong for men, three studies tested the hypothesis that egalitarian norms can intensify reactive distinctiveness motives, and then paradoxically increase intergroup differentiation and prejudice. Depending on the studies, the egalitarian norm was experimentally manipulated or induced and kept constant. Group distinctiveness was manipulated through scientific support for the theory that a person's sexual orientation is determined by biological factors in terms of the extant biological differences (high distinctiveness) versus biological similarities (low distinctiveness) between heterosexual and gay people. Egalitarian norms increased men's (but not women's) intergroup differentiation (Study 1) and prejudice (Study 2) when group distinctiveness was low (as compared to high). This pattern was specific to men with high gender self-esteem, and appeared when the biological theory was framed in terms of intergroup differences rather than the uncontrollability of sexual orientation (Study 3).

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Straight but Not Narrow; Within-Gender Variation in the Gender-Specificity of Women's Sexual Response

Meredith Chivers, Katrina Bouchard & Amanda Timmers
PLoS ONE, December 2015

Abstract:
Gender differences in the specificity of sexual response have been a primary focus in sexual psychophysiology research, however, within-gender variability suggests sexual orientation moderates category-specific responding among women; only heterosexual women show gender-nonspecific genital responses to sexual stimuli depicting men and women. But heterosexually-identified or "straight" women are heterogeneous in their sexual attractions and include women who are exclusively androphilic (sexually attracted to men) and women who are predominantly androphilic with concurrent gynephilia (sexually attracted to women). It is therefore unclear if gender-nonspecific responding is found in both exclusively and predominantly androphilic women. The current studies investigated within-gender variability in the gender-specificity of women's sexual response. Two samples of women reporting concurrent andro/gynephilia viewed (Study 1, n = 29) or listened (Study 2, n = 30) to erotic stimuli varying by gender of sexual partner depicted while their genital and subjective sexual responses were assessed. Data were combined with larger datasets of predominantly gyne- and androphilic women (total N = 78 for both studies). In both studies, women reporting any degree of gynephilia, including those who self-identified as heterosexual, showed significantly greater genital response to female stimuli, similar to predominantly gynephilic women; gender-nonspecific genital response was observed for exclusively androphilic women only. Subjective sexual arousal patterns were more variable with respect to sexual attractions, likely reflecting stimulus intensity effects. Heterosexually-identified women are therefore not a homogenous group with respect to sexual responses to gender cues. Implications for within-gender variation in women's sexual orientation and sexual responses are discussed.

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Interactive effects of culture and sex hormones on the sex role self-concept

Belinda Pletzer et al.
Frontiers in Neuroscience, July 2015

Abstract:
Sex role orientation, i.e., a person's masculinity or femininity, influences cognitive and emotional performance, like biological sex. While it is now widely accepted that sex differences are modulated by the hormonal status of female participants (menstrual cycle, hormonal contraceptive use), the question, whether hormonal status and sex hormones also modulate participants sex role orientation has hardly been addressed previously. The present study assessed sex role orientation and hormonal status as well as sex hormone levels in three samples of participants from two different cultures (Northern American, Middle European). Menstrual cycle phase did not affect participant's masculinity or femininity, but had a significant impact on reference group. While women in their follicular phase (low levels of female sex hormones) determined their masculinity and femininity in reference to men, women in their luteal phase (high levels of female sex hormones) determined their masculinity and femininity in reference to women. Hormonal contraceptive users rated themselves as significantly more feminine and less masculine than naturally cycling women. Furthermore, the impact of biological sex on the factorial structure of sex role orientation as well as the relationship of estrogen to masculinity/femininity was modulated by culture. We conclude that culture and sex hormones interactively affect sex role orientation and hormonal status of participants should be controlled for when assessing masculinity and/or femininity.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, December 4, 2015

Status check

Do E-Verify Mandates Improve Labor Market Outcomes of Low-Skilled Native and Legal Immigrant Workers?

Sarah Bohn, Magnus Lofstrom & Steven Raphael
Southern Economic Journal, April 2015, Pages 960–979

Abstract:
We examine the impact of the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on employment outcomes of low-skilled legal workers. We use the synthetic control method to select a group of states against which the labor market trends of Arizona can be compared. Our results suggest that contrary to its intent, LAWA does not appear to have improved labor market outcomes of legal low-skilled workers who compete with unauthorized immigrants, the target of the legislation. In fact, we find some evidence of diminished employment and increased unemployment among legal low-skilled workers in Arizona. These findings are concentrated on the largest demographic group of workers — non-Hispanic white men. While they are less likely to find employment, those who do have on average higher earnings as a result of LAWA. The pattern of results points to both labor supply and labor demand contractions due to LAWA, with labor supply dominating in terms of magnitude.

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The Association between Immigration and Labor Market Outcomes in the United States

Gaetano Basso & Giovanni Peri
University of California Working Paper, October 2015

Abstract:
In this paper we present important correlations between immigration and labor market outcomes of native workers in the US. We use data on local labor markets, states and regions from the Census and American Community Survey over the period 1970-2010. We first look at simple correlations and then we use regression analysis with an increasing number of controls for observed and unobserved factors. We review the potential methods to separate the part of this correlation that captures the causal link from immigrants to native labor outcomes and we show estimates obtained with 2SLS method using the popular shift-share instrument. One fact emerging from all the specifications is that the net growth of immigrant labor has a zero to positive correlation with changes in native wages and native employment, in aggregate and by skill group. We briefly review the literature on the channels and the mechanisms that allow local economies to absorb immigrants with no negative (and possibly positive) impact on the labor demand for natives.

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Integration policy: Cultural transmission with endogenous fertility

Sagit Bar-Gill & Chaim Fershtman
Journal of Population Economics, January 2016, Pages 105-133

Abstract:
We live in heterogeneous societies with many cultural and ethnic minorities. The cultural composition of our societies changes over time as a result of immigration, fertility choices, and cultural assimilation. Studying such population dynamics, we examine the effect of integration policies, which increase the cost of direct cultural transmission, on the size of the cultural minority. We show that integration policies, while often aimed at reducing the minority’s size, may have the opposite effect of increasing minority fertility and its growth rate.

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Immigration, Human Capital Formation and Endogenous Economic Growth

Isaac Ehrlich & Jinyoung Kim
NBER Working Paper, November 2015

Abstract:
Data assembled by the World Bank and other sources covering 77% of the world’s migrant population indicate that the skill composition of migrants in major destination countries, including the US, has been rising over the last 4 decades, and that the population share of skilled migrants has been approaching or exceeding that of skilled natives. We offer theoretical propositions and empirical tests consistent with these trends via a general-equilibrium model of endogenous growth where human capital, population, income growth and distribution, and migration trends are endogenous. We derive new insights about the impact of migration on long-term income growth and distribution and net benefits to natives in both destination and source countries.

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High-Skilled Migration and Global Innovation

Rui Xu
Stanford Working Paper, November 2015

Abstract:
Science and engineering (S&E) workers are the fundamental inputs into scientific innovation and technology adoption. In the United States, more than 20% of the S&E workers are immigrants from developing countries. In this paper, I evaluate the impact of such brain drain from non-OECD (i.e., developing) countries using a multi-country endogenous growth model. The proposed framework introduces and quantifies a “frontier growth effect” of skilled migration: migrants from developing countries create more frontier knowledge in the U.S., and the non-rivalrous knowledge diffuses to all countries. In particular, each source country is able to adopt technology invented by migrants from other countries, a previously ignored externality of skilled migration. I quantify the model by matching both micro and macro moments, and then consider counterfactuals wherein U.S. immigration policy changes. My results suggest that a policy – which doubles the number of immigrants from every non-OECD country – would boost U.S. productivity growth by 0.1 percentage point per year, and improve average welfare in the U.S. by 3.3%. Such a policy can also benefit the source countries because of the “frontier growth effect”. Taking India as an example source country, I find that the same policy would lead to faster long-run growth and a 0.9% increase in average welfare in India. This welfare gain in India is largely the result of additional non-Indian migrants, indicating the significance of the previously overlooked externality.

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Can selective immigration policies reduce migrants’ quality?

Simone Bertoli, Vianney Dequiedt & Yves Zenou
Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Destination countries can adopt selective immigration policies to improve migrants’ quality. Screening potential migrants on the basis of observable characteristics also influences their self-selection on unobservables. We propose a model that analyzes the effects of selective immigration policies on migrants’ quality, measured by their wages at destination. We show that the prevailing pattern of selection on unobservables influences the effect of an increase in selectivity, which can reduce migrants’ quality when migrants are positively self-selected on unobservables. We also demonstrate that, in this case, the quality-maximizing share of educated migrants declines with the scale of migration.

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Between the Public and the State: The Shipping Lobby's Strategies against US Immigration Restrictions 1882–1917

Torsten Feys
International Migration Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Based on Freeman's model of interest group-driven migration policies, the article gives a qualitative inside look on a neglected actor during the formative years of US immigration reform. It analyzes the central role of the shipping companies in coordinating the pro-immigration campaign with and against other interest groups. Their lobbying is divided into two complementary sections: inside top-down efforts (lobbyists) to influence legislators and outside bottom-up efforts (migrant communities and the press) to mobilize the public. It assesses the importance of public opinion in their lobby campaigns and the shipping companies' success in delaying far-reaching restrictions until 1917.

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Immigration Quotas and Immigrant Selection

Catherine Massey
Explorations in Economic History, forthcoming

Abstract:
Several factors influenced the composition of migrants in the early 20th century, including World War I, the Literacy Act of 1917, and the implementation of strict immigration quotas. This paper examines whether the United States’ first immigration quota, established under the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, affected migrant selection. The Emergency Immigration Act of 1921 severely capped the number of admittable migrants by nationality. Canadian migrants, or any migrants who resided in Canada for five consecutive years, were unrestricted by the quota and could freely migrate to the U.S. Using transcribed ship records from states bordering Canada (specifically New York, Alaska, and Washington), I compare the skills of restricted migrants to the skills of unrestricted Canadian migrants, before and after establishment of the 1921 quota. Difference-in-differences estimates indicate that the quota resulted in migrants of higher skill.

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Tu Casa, Mi Casa: Naturalization and Belonging among Latino Immigrants

Maria Abascal
International Migration Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous studies reach contradictory conclusions regarding the relationship between residential concentration and naturalization. This paper tackles the impasse by exploring the pathways through which immigrant communities influence individual naturalization. Specifically, this study examines naturalization among Latino immigrants using the 2006 Latino National Survey linked to county data. Multilevel model results indicate that the county concentration of naturalized co-ethnics positively predicts individual naturalization, and this relationship operates through two channels: information dissemination and perceived belonging. Regarding the latter, Latino immigrants who live among naturalized co-ethnics identify more strongly as “American,” and strength of American identification mediates nearly one-half of the relationship between concentration and naturalization.

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Whom Do Immigrants Marry? Emerging Patterns of Intermarriage and Integration in the United States

Daniel Lichter, Zhenchao Qian & Dmitry Tumin
ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, November 2015, Pages 57-78

Abstract:
We document patterns of intermarriage between immigrants and natives during a period of unprecedented growth in the size and diversity of America’s foreign-born population. Roughly one in six U.S. marriages today involve immigrants and a large share includes U.S.-born partners. Ethno-racial background clearly shapes trajectories of immigrant social integration. White immigrants are far more likely than other groups to marry U.S.-born natives, mostly other whites. Black immigrants are much less likely to marry black natives or out-marry with other groups. Intermarriage is also linked with other well-known proxies of social integration — educational attainment, length of time in the country, and naturalization status. Classifying America’s largest immigrant groups (e.g., Chinese and Mexican) into broad panethnic groups (e.g., Asians and Hispanics) hides substantial diversity in the processes of marital assimilation and social integration across national origin groups.

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Immigrant Employment and Earnings Growth in Canada and the U.S.: Evidence from Longitudinal Data

Neeraj Kaushal et al.
NBER Working Paper, November 2015

Abstract:
We study the short-term trajectories of employment, hours worked, and real wages of immigrants in Canada and the U.S. using nationally representative longitudinal datasets covering 1996-2008. Models with person fixed effects show that on average immigrant men in Canada do not experience any relative growth in these three outcomes compared to men born in Canada. Immigrant men in the U.S., on the other hand, experience positive annual growth in all three domains relative to U.S. born men. This difference is largely on account of low-educated immigrant men, who experience faster or longer periods of relative growth in employment and wages in the U.S. than in Canada. We further compare longitudinal and cross-sectional trajectories and find that the latter over-estimate wage growth of earlier arrivals, presumably reflecting selective return migration.

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The healthy immigrant (migrant) effect: In search of a better native-born comparison group

Tod Hamilton
Social Science Research, November 2015, Pages 353–365

Abstract:
This paper evaluates whether immigrants’ initial health advantage over their U.S.-born counterparts results primarily from characteristics correlated with their birth countries (e.g., immigrant culture) or from selective migration (e.g., unobserved characteristics such as motivation and ambition) by comparing recent immigrants’ health to that of recent U.S.-born interstate migrants (“U.S.-born movers”). Using data from the 1999–2013 waves of the March Current Population Survey, I find that, relative to U.S.-born adults (collectively), recent immigrants have a 6.1 percentage point lower probability of reporting their health as fair or poor. Changing the reference group to U.S.-born movers, however, reduces the recent immigrant health advantage by 28%. Similar reductions in the immigrant health advantage occurs in models estimated separately by either race/ethnicity or education level. Models that examine health differences between recent immigrants and U.S.-born movers who both moved for a new job — a primary motivation behind moving for both immigrants and the U.S.-born — show that such immigrants have only a 1.9 percentage point lower probability of reporting their health as fair or poor. Together, the findings suggest that changing the reference group from U.S.-born adults collectively to U.S.-born movers reduces the identified immigrant health advantage, indicating that selective migration plays a significant role in explaining the initial health advantage of immigrants in the United States.

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Return Migration to Mexico: Does Health Matter?

Erika Arenas et al.
Demography, December 2015, Pages 1853-1868

Abstract:
We use data from three rounds of the Mexican Family Life Survey to examine whether migrants in the United States returning to Mexico in the period 2005–2012 have worse health than those remaining in the United States. Despite extensive interest by demographers in health-related selection, this has been a neglected area of study in the literature on U.S.-Mexico migration, and the few results to date have been contradictory and inconclusive. Using five self-reported health variables collected while migrants resided in the United States and subsequent migration history, we find direct evidence of higher probabilities of return migration for Mexican migrants in poor health as well as lower probabilities of return for migrants with improving health. These findings are robust to the inclusion of potential confounders reflecting the migrants’ demographic characteristics, economic situation, family ties, and origin and destination characteristics. We anticipate that in the coming decade, health may become an even more salient issue in migrants’ decisions about returning to Mexico, given the recent expansion in access to health insurance in Mexico.

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The Relative Quality of Foreign-Educated Nurses in the United States

Patricia Cortés & Jessica Pan
Journal of Human Resources, Fall 2015, Pages 1009-1050

Abstract:
We examine the relative quality of foreign-educated nurses using wages as a measure of skill. Philippine-educated nurses enjoy a wage premium that is not explained by observed differences in worker or job characteristics. We reconcile the results with a Roy model featuring endogenous skill acquisition and provide some empirical evidence of double-selection into nursing and migration. Our results suggest that the wage premium is likely driven by strong positive selection into nursing among Filipinos resulting from high and heterogeneous returns to the occupation due to active government support for nurse migration in the Philippines.

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Recovering Heritage and Homeland: Ethnic Revival Among Fourth-Generation Japanese Americans

Takeyuki (Gaku) Tsuda
Sociological Inquiry, November 2015, Pages 600–627

Abstract:
In recent years, fourth-generation Japanese American youth have been attempting to recover their ethnic heritage and reconnect with their ancestral homeland. This ethnic revival is a response to their continued racialization as “Japanese,” which has caused them to become concerned about their overassimilation to American society in an era of multiculturalism where cultural heritage and homeland have come to be positively valued. As a result, they are studying Japanese, majoring in Asian studies, living in Japan as college exchange students, and participating in Japanese taiko drum ensembles in local ethnic communities. Although this return to ethnic roots is a more serious commitment than the symbolic ethnicity observed among white ethnics in the past, it indicates that ethnicity remains involuntary for racial minorities, even after four generations. The case of later-generation Japanese Americans demonstrates that cultural assimilation does not preclude the continuation and active production of ethnic difference.

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Russian Jewish Immigrants in the United States: The Adjustment of their English Language Proficiency and Earnings in the American Community Survey

Barry Chiswick & Nicholas Larsen
Contemporary Jewry, October 2015, Pages 191-209

Abstract:
This paper is concerned with the determinants of the English language proficiencies and labor market earnings of adult Russian Jewish male and female immigrants to the United States, compared to other immigrants, using the pooled files of the American Community Survey (2005–09). Although at arrival the Russian Jewish immigrants report lower levels of English skills and earnings, they experience a more rapid improvement over time, and eventually attain parity or higher levels than other immigrants. Moreover, they appear to obtain greater earnings (compared to other immigrants) in the US labor market from their schooling, their time in the United States, and their English proficiency. These findings mirror those found in earlier post-war data (1980–2000 Census) and, to the extent comparable, late 19th and early 20th century studies of Russian Jewish immigrants.

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Inverting the Logic of Economic Migration: Happiness Among Migrants Moving from Wealthier to Poorer Countries in Europe

David Bartram
Journal of Happiness Studies, October 2015, Pages 1211-1230

Abstract:
Migration from a poorer country to a wealthier one often results in a lower relative economic status for the migrant (even when it increases their incomes in an “absolute” sense) — and thus perhaps results also in a decrease in his/her happiness. By the same logic, migration from a wealthy country to a poorer one might bring a higher status position for the migrant and so might raise his/her happiness. This paper investigates happiness among migrants who move from northern European countries to Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus, comparing them to stayers in the origin countries (Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands). The analysis shows that migrants are less happy than stayers, in a bivariate comparison and a conventional regression model. A consideration of results from “treatment models” and matching analyses suggests that the difference represents a decrease in happiness for the migrants (and not a difference in happiness prior to migration), contrary to an expectation rooted in an anticipated increase in economic status. Migrants have lower relative incomes than stayers; when relative income is controlled, the happiness disadvantage of migrants is smaller. Controlling additionally for absolute income does not lead to further change in that difference.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Group policy

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance and the Gender Wage Gap

Benjamin Cowan & Benjamin Schwab
Journal of Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
During prime working years, women have higher expected healthcare expenses than men. However, employees’ insurance rates are not gender-rated in the employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) market. Thus, women may experience lower wages in equilibrium from employers who offer health insurance to their employees. We show that female employees suffer a larger wage gap relative to men when they hold ESI: our results suggest this accounts for roughly 10% of the overall gender wage gap. For a full-time worker, this pay gap due to ESI is on the order of the expected difference in healthcare expenses between women and men.

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Closing Achievement Gaps With a Utility-Value Intervention: Disentangling Race and Social Class

Judith Harackiewicz et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Many college students abandon their goal of completing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) when confronted with challenging introductory-level science courses. In the U.S., this trend is more pronounced for underrepresented minority (URM) and first-generation (FG) students, and contributes to persisting racial and social-class achievement gaps in higher education. Previous intervention studies have focused exclusively on race or social class, but have not examined how the 2 may be confounded and interact. This research therefore investigates the independent and interactive effects of race and social class as moderators of an intervention designed to promote performance, measured by grade in the course. In a double-blind randomized experiment conducted over 4 semesters of an introductory biology course (N = 1,040), we tested the effectiveness of a utility-value intervention in which students wrote about the personal relevance of course material. The utility-value intervention was successful in reducing the achievement gap for FG-URM students by 61%: the performance gap for FG-URM students, relative to continuing generation (CG)-Majority students, was large in the control condition, .84 grade points (d = .98), and the treatment effect for FG-URM students was .51 grade points (d = 0.55). The UV intervention helped students from all groups find utility value in the course content, and mediation analyses showed that the process of writing about utility value was particularly powerful for FG-URM students. Results highlight the importance of intersectionality in examining the independent and interactive effects of race and social class when evaluating interventions to close achievement gaps and the mechanisms through which they may operate.

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Educational Outcomes of Asian and Hispanic Americans: The Significance of Skin Color

Igor Ryabov
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, forthcoming

Abstract:
Existing evidence suggests that skin tone is an important determinant of one's life chances. Although social science research has a strong tradition of elucidating the link between race and educational outcomes, the effect of skin color on educational attainment has not received adequate attention. The main objective of the present investigation was, using a nationally representative longitudinal data, to evaluate educational attainment of Asian American and Hispanic young adults in the United States as a function of skin tone and other co-variates. Separate analyses were carried out for Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, other Hispanics, East Asian, Filipino American and other Asians. Additional analyses were conducted on a subsample of sibling pairs of Asian and Hispanic origin. Control variables included family socio-economic background, parental involvement, family social support, average school SES and others. Although we observed a certain degree of cross-ethnic heterogeneity, the results consistently point to a strong association between educational attainment and the lightness of skin tone. The findings also suggest that the aforementioned relationship is the strongest among U.S. young adults of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent.

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Knowing When to Ask: The Cost of Leaning In

Christine Exley, Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund
Harvard Working Paper, September 2015

Abstract:
Gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations has been used to explain the persistent wage gap between men and women, and a recent literature suggests that women would benefit from "leaning-in" and negotiating more. We use a laboratory experiment to examine the effect of such a recommendation. After learning their contribution to a joint firm-worker profit, workers receive a random wage offer which is on average lower than the workers' contribution. Workers then decide whether to accept this wage offer, or whether to enter a negotiation with the firm. We find that women often avoid the negotiation, even though those who enter negotiations have significantly positive returns from doing so. Thus our data suggest that a recommendation to lean-in would improve the outcome for women. To assess the effect of a lean-in recommendation we investigate returns from negotiations when women are instead forced to negotiate. We find that the additional women who now enter negotiations have significant negative returns from asking. Indeed we find that when given a choice women optimally select into the negotiation: women knew when and whether to ask. Those who were not good at negotiating avoided negotiations that they would lose from. Thus we demonstrate that there are environments where the recommendation to lean-in is harmful.

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Glass Floors and Glass Ceilings: Sex Homophily and Heterophily in Job Interviews

Lauren Rivera, Jayanti Owens & Katherine Gan
Northwestern University Working Paper, 2015

Abstract:
A widely assumed but little tested theory of employment interviewing suggests that female job applicants will be evaluated more favorably when they are paired with female versus male interviewers. To capitalize on this hypothesized affinity, a number of organizations have begun explicitly pairing female job applicants with female interviewers, with the hopes of increasing the representation of women among new hires. However, whether this practice actually results in more favorable outcomes for female job candidates remains an open empirical question. Using micro-level data on real-life job interview evaluations from a large, professional services organization, we test the effect of matching female job candidates with female interviewers on hiring recommendations. Highlighting the contextually dependent nature of sex homophily, we find that the effect of being matched with a female interviewer for female candidates varies by the perceived skill level of the candidate. Sex matches in job interviews work in favor of those female candidates perceived to be lowest in skill, have a small, statistically non-significant negative effect for female candidates of average perceived skill, and have a significant, negative effect for women at the highest level of perceived skill. Consequently, we argue that matching female candidates with female evaluators in job interviews can operate both as a glass floor that can prevent female applicants from falling below a certain scoring threshold but also a glass ceiling that can prevent the most skilled female applicants from receiving the highest interview ratings and most positive hiring recommendations.

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A lesson in bias: The relationship between implicit racial bias and performance in pedagogical contexts

Drew Jacoby-Senghor, Stacey Sinclair & Nicole Shelton
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We posit instructors' implicit racial bias as a factor in racial disparities in academic achievement and test the relationship between this factor, instructor lesson quality, and learners' subsequent test performance. In Study 1, white participants were assigned to the role of instructor and gave a short lesson to a learner who was either black or white. Instructors' implicit bias predicted diminished test performance on the part of black, but not white, learners. Further, instructors' anxiety and lesson quality, as rated by coders, mediated the relationship between their implicit bias and learners' test performance. In Study 2, a separate sample of non-black participants watched videos of instructors from cross-race lessons from the first experiment. Once again, instructors' implicit bias predicted diminished test performance by participants. These findings suggest that underperformance by minorities in academic domains may be driven by the effect implicit racial biases have on educators' pedagogical effectiveness.

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Credit Where Credit is Due?: Race, Gender, and Discrimination in the Credit Scores of Business Startups

Loren Henderson et al.
Review of Black Political Economy, December 2015, Pages 459-479

Abstract:
This research seeks to understand the degree to which credit scores of new business startups are influenced by racial or gender discrimination. It examines the degree to which access to business credit lines is influenced by racial and gender-related factors that go beyond would-be borrowers’ credit scores. Using credit data from new startups, the analysis finds that, when controlling for firm and human capital characteristics, Black-owned startups receive lower than expected business credit scores. Whites are more favorably treated in credit score determination than are African Americans with the same firm characteristics and owner characteristics. Moreover, Whites are more favorably treated when it comes to access to credit lines than are African Americans, Latinos, and Asians with the same firm characteristics, owner characteristics, and credit scores. Men are more favorably treated when it comes to access to credit lines than are women. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition suggests that credit lines for Black-owned businesses would more than double, Latino-owned businesses’ lines of credit would nearly triple, Asian-owned businesses’ lines of credit would more than triple, and those where the primary owners are women would be more than twice as large if their business lines of credit were determined in the same way as those for businesses owned primarily by Whites and by men. The implications of these results are discussed.

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Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work

Heather Sarsons
Harvard Working Paper, September 2015

Abstract:
Within academia, men are tenured at higher rates than women are in most quantitative fields, including economics. Researchers have attempted to identify the source of this disparity but find that nearly 30% of the gap remains unexplained even after controlling for family commitments and differences in productivity. Using data from academic economists' CVs, I test whether coauthored and solo-authored publications matter differently for tenure for men and women. While solo-authored papers send a clear signal about one's ability, coauthored papers are noisy in that they do not provide specific information about each contributor's skills. I find that men are tenured at roughly the same rate regardless of whether they coauthor or solo-author. Women, however, suffer a significant penalty when they coauthor. The results hold after controlling for the total number of papers published, quality of papers, field of study, tenure institution, tenure year, and the number of years it took an individual to go up for tenure. The result is most pronounced for women coauthoring with only men and is less pronounced the more women there are on a paper, suggesting that some gender bias is at play. I present a model in which bias enters when workers collaborate and test its predictions in the data.

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Members of high-status groups are threatened by pro-diversity organizational messages

Tessa Dover, Brenda Major & Cheryl Kaiser
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, January 2016, Pages 58–67

Abstract:
Members of high-status groups may perceive pro-diversity messages from organizations as threatening to their group's status. Two initial studies (N = 322) demonstrate that when imagining applying for a job, whites — and not ethnic/racial minorities — expressed more concerns about being treated unfairly and about anti-white discrimination when the company mentioned (vs. did not mention) its pro-diversity values. In a third experiment, white men (N = 77) participated in a hiring simulation. Participants applying to the pro-diversity company exhibited greater cardiovascular threat, expressed more concerns about being discriminated against, and made a poorer impression during the interview relative to white men applying to a neutral company. These effects were not moderated by individual differences in racial identification, racial attitudes, or system fairness beliefs. These findings suggest that high-status identities may be more sensitive to identity threats than commonly assumed, and that this sensitivity is robust to differences in higher-order beliefs and attitudes.

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Sex Differences in Furniture Assembly Performance: An Experimental Study

Susanne Wiking et al.
Applied Cognitive Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study examined sex differences in furniture assembly performance by manipulating the availability of instructions. Two groups of participants with an equal number of men and women assembled a kitchen trolley from IKEA. One group received step-by-step instructions, and the other group a diagram of the finished product. In addition, individual spatial ability was measured with the mental rotation test (MRT) and added to the analyses. Our results showed that men assembled the furniture faster (d = 0.78) and more accurately (d = 0.65) than women. Overall, participants performed better with step-by-step instructions than without (d = 0.61), and the time spent on instructions was negatively related to MRT scores, r = −.428, p = .006. Aside from the time spent on instructions, women assembled the furniture nearly as fast as men did, and the sex difference in assembly score could be explained by differences in individual spatial ability.

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Priming Effects and Performance Expectations in Mixed-Sex Task Groups

Joseph Dippong
Social Psychology Quarterly, December 2015, Pages 387-398

Abstract:
I report the results of a laboratory experiment in which I examine the relationship between cognitive categorization processes and status-organizing processes, focusing on how seemingly irrelevant information becomes relevant to the informational structure of a task situation. In phase one, participants completed a task in which they were primed with photographs of women occupying either stereotypical or counter-stereotypical roles. In phase two, participants, along with a partner, completed a collective decision-making task. The two experimental phases were ostensibly unrelated from the participants’ point of view. Results indicate that priming manipulations significantly affected patterns of influence in mixed-sex groups. These effects were driven primarily by altering expectations of female group members.

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Risk Aversion for Decisions under Uncertainty: Are there Gender Differences?

Rakesh Sarin & Alice Wieland
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
It has become well accepted that women are more risk averse than men. For objective probability gambles, typically used in eliciting risk aversion, we find women generally have a lower valuation than men, thus exhibiting greater risk aversion. This paper investigates whether this finding extends to decisions under uncertainty – where probabilities are not given and individuals may assign different probabilities to the same event (e.g. outcomes of award shows or sporting events).We find that for decisions under uncertainty, men and women value the bets similarly, both before and after controlling for participant's subjective probabilities.

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Priming status-legitimizing beliefs: Examining the impact on perceived anti-White bias, zero-sum beliefs, and support for Affirmative Action among White people

Joseph Wellman, Xi Liu & Clara Wilkins
British Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
The current research examines how status-legitimizing beliefs (SLBs) influence White people's perceptions of anti-White bias, endorsement of zero-sum beliefs, and support for Affirmative Action. We suggest that SLBs perpetuate inequality by increasing White people's perceptions of zero-sum beliefs and anti-White bias, which in turn lead to decreased support for Affirmative Action. White individuals primed with SLBs perceived greater anti-White bias, endorsed greater zero-sum beliefs, and indicated less support for Affirmative Action than individuals primed with neutral content. Mediation analysis revealed that the SLB prime decreased support for Affirmative Action by increasing perceptions of anti-White bias. This research offers experimental evidence that SLBs contribute to White people's perceptions of anti-White bias and to decreased support for Affirmative Action.

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Are Female CEOs and Chairwomen More Conservative and Risk Averse? Evidence from the Banking Industry During the Financial Crisis

Ajay Palvia, Emilia Vähämaa & Sami Vähämaa
Journal of Business Ethics, October 2015, Pages 577-594

Abstract:
This paper examines whether bank capital ratios and default risk are associated with the gender of the bank’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairperson of the board. Given the documented gender-based differences in conservatism and risk tolerance, we postulate that female CEOs and board Chairs should assess risks more conservatively, and thereby hold higher levels of equity capital and reduce the likelihood of bank failure during periods of market stress. Using a large panel of U.S. commercial banks, we document that banks with female CEOs hold more conservative levels of capital after controlling for the bank’s asset risk and other attributes. Furthermore, while neither CEO nor Chair gender is related to bank failure in general, we find strong evidence that smaller banks with female CEOs and board Chairs were less likely to fail during the financial crisis. Overall, our findings are consistent with the view that gender-based behavioral differences may affect corporate decisions.

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Which explanations for gender differences in competition are consistent with a simple theoretical model?

Christopher Cotton et al.
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, December 2015, Pages 56–67

Abstract:
Recent studies show that males may increase their performance by more than females in response to competitive incentives. The literature suggests that this may contribute to observed gender gaps in labor force pay and achievement. Understanding which factors may drive these gender differences is essential for designing policies that promote equality. We adopt a game theoretic model of contests to consider a variety of explanations for the differences in male and female competitive performance that have been proposed in the empirical and experimental literature. Comparing the testable predictions of the model with the empirical evidence from past papers, we reject explanations involving male over-confidence, misperceptions about relative ability, and some types of preference differences. Explanations involving female under-confidence and differences in risk aversion are consistent with the significant evidence. Two explanations provide perfect matches to observed performance patterns: (i) males are better than females at handling competitive pressure, and (ii) males enjoy competition more or have greater desire to win than females.

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Gender Gaps in High School Students’ Homework Time

Seth Gershenson & Stephen Holt
Educational Researcher, November 2015, Pages 432-441

Abstract:
Gender differences in human capital investments made outside of the traditional school day suggest that males and females consume, respond to, and form habits relating to education differently. We document robust, statistically significant one-hour weekly gender gaps in secondary students’ non-school study time using time diary data from the 2003–2012 waves of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and transcript data from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS). These complementary data sets provide consistent evidence of gender gaps that favor females and are not explained by gender differences in after-school time use, parental involvement, educational expectations, course taking, past academic achievement, or cognitive ability.

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Affecting Girls’ Activity and Job Interests Through Play: The Moderating Roles of Personal Gender Salience and Game Characteristics

Emily Coyle & Lynn Liben
Child Development, forthcoming

Abstract:
Gender schema theory (GST) posits that children approach opportunities perceived as gender appropriate, avoiding those deemed gender inappropriate, in turn affecting gender-differentiated career trajectories. To test the hypothesis that children's gender salience filters (GSF—tendency to attend to gender) moderate these processes, 62 preschool girls (M = 4.5 years) were given GSF measures. Two weeks later, they played a computer game about occupations that manipulated the game-character's femininity (hyperfeminized Barbie vs. less feminized Playmobil Jane). Following game play, girls’ interests in feminine activities showed an interaction of game condition and GSF: High-GSF girls showed intensified feminine activity interests only with Barbie; low-GSF girls showed no change with either character. Neither GSF nor game condition affected occupational interests. Implications for GST, individual differences, and occupational interventions are discussed.

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Survival Analysis of Faculty Retention and Promotion in the Social Sciences by Gender

Janet Box-Steffensmeier et al.
PLoS ONE, November 2015

Background: Recruitment and retention of talent is central to the research performance of universities. Existing research shows that, while men are more likely than women to be promoted at the different stages of the academic career, no such difference is found when it comes to faculty retention rates. Current research on faculty retention, however, focuses on careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We extend this line of inquiry to the social sciences.

Methods: We follow 2,218 tenure-track assistant professors hired since 1990 in seven social science disciplines at nineteen U.S. universities from time of hire to time of departure. We also track their time to promotion to associate and full professor. Using survival analysis, we examine gender differences in time to departure and time to promotion. Our methods account for censoring and unobserved heterogeneity, as well as effect heterogeneity across disciplines and cohorts.

Results: We find no statistically significant differences between genders in faculty retention. However, we do find that men are more likely to be granted tenure than women. When it comes to promotion to full professor, the results are less conclusive, as the effect of gender is sensitive to model specification.

Conclusions: The results corroborate previous findings about gender patterns in faculty retention and promotion. They suggest that advances have been made when it comes to gender equality in retention and promotion, but important differences still persist.

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The gender gap in federal and private support for entrepreneurship

Dora Gicheva & Albert Link
Small Business Economics, December 2015, Pages 729-733

Abstract:
The role of gender in entrepreneurship has been thoroughly investigated. However, less is known about gender differences in access to private investment when attempting to develop a new technology. In this paper, we use data collected by the National Research Council of the National Academies to estimate differences between the probability that a female-owned firm and a male-owned firm, both conducting research funded by the Small Business Innovation Research program, will receive private investment funding to help to commercialize the funded technology. We find that female-owned firms are disadvantaged in their access to private investment, especially in the West and Northeast regions of the USA.

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The Impact of Affirmative Action on the Employment of Minorities and Women: A Longitudinal Analysis Using Three Decades of EEO-1 Filings

Fidan Ana Kurtulus
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, forthcoming

Abstract:
What role has affirmative action played in the growth of minority and female employment in U.S. firms? This paper presents a longitudinal analysis of this question by exploiting rich variation across firms in the timing of federal contracting to identify affirmative action effects over the course of three decades spanning 1973 to 2003. It constitutes the first study to comprehensively document the long-term and dynamic effects of affirmative action in federal contracting on employment composition within firms in the United States. I use a new panel of over 100,000 large private-sector firms from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including both firms that obtain federal contracts and are therefore mandated to implement affirmative action and firms that are noncontractors, across all industries and regions. The paper's key results indicate that the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action in federal contracting over 1973 to 2003 were black and Native American women and men. Dynamic event study analysis of workforce composition around the time of contracting reveal that a large part of the effect of affirmative action on increasing protected group shares occurred within the first four years of gaining a contract, and that these increased shares persisted even after a firm was no longer a federal contractor. The paper also uncovers important results on how the impact of affirmative action evolved over 1973 to 2003, in particular that the fastest growth in the employment shares of minorities and women at federal contractors relative to noncontracting firms occurred during the 1970s and early 1980s, decelerating substantially in ensuing years.

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Objectification in Action: Self- and Other-Objectification in Mixed-Sex Interpersonal Interactions

Randi Garcia, Valerie Earnshaw & Diane Quinn
Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although the process of sexual objectification is theorized to occur within interpersonal interactions, we believe this is the first study to examine sexual objectification and self-objectification in actual (nonconfederate) interpersonal encounters. Men and women were brought into the laboratory and interacted in mixed-sex dyads. We used dyadic analysis to detect whether partners’ objectification of each other affected state self-objectification (SSO), and the resulting feelings of comfort and authenticity during the interaction. After the interaction, participants completed a cognitive performance task, a measure of career aspirations, and a measure of relationship agency. Results showed that for women only, being objectified by their male interaction partner was associated with an increase in SSO, and SSO led to perceptions that the interaction was less comfortable and less authentic. Furthermore, for women but not for men, having authentic interactions was found to relate positively to relationship agency, career aspirations, and cognitive performance. This research shows that self-objectification is not only a self-process but an interpersonal process heightened by the real-time sexual objectification of a male interaction partner.

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An Investigation of the Historical Black Wage Premium in Nursing

Nicole Coomer
Review of Black Political Economy, December 2015, Pages 323-335

Abstract:
This paper builds off of prior work analyzing the historical wage premium paid to black registered nurses (RNs) (Coomer, Nurs Econ 31(5):254–259, 2013). The average observed wages of black RNs was higher than that of white RNs in the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN) over more than two decades from 1984 to 2008. This study examines the wage differential between black and white nurses that remains after controlling for factors likely to affect wages in addition to race, such as experience, education, employer type, and specialty. The differential is decomposed, following Blinder (1973) and Oaxaca (1973), revealing a large unexplained portion. Four possible explanations are examined and support is found for self-selection, experience, shift work, and demand effects.

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How Medical School Applicant Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status Relate to Multiple Mini-Interview–Based Admissions Outcomes: Findings From One Medical School

Anthony Jerant et al.
Academic Medicine, December 2015, Pages 1667–1674

Purpose: To examine associations of medical school applicant underrepresented minority (URM) status and socioeconomic status (SES) with Multiple Mini-Interview (MMI) invitation and performance and acceptance recommendation.

Method: The authors conducted a correlational study of applicants submitting secondary applications to the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, 2011–2013. URM applicants were black, Southeast Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, and/or Hispanic. SES from eight application variables was modeled (0–1 score, higher score = lower SES). Regression analyses examined associations of URM status and SES with MMI invitation (yes/no), MMI score (mean of 10 station ratings, range 0–3), and admission committee recommendation (accept versus not), adjusting for age, sex, and academic performance.

Results: Of 7,964 secondary-application applicants, 19.7% were URM and 15.1% self-designated disadvantaged; 1,420 (17.8%) participated in the MMI and were evaluated for acceptance. URM status was not associated with MMI invitation (OR 1.14; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.33), MMI score (0.00-point difference, CI −0.08 to 0.08), or acceptance recommendation (OR 1.08; CI 0.69 to 1.68). Lower SES applicants were more likely to be invited to an MMI (OR 5.95; CI 4.76 to 7.44) and recommended for acceptance (OR 3.28; CI 1.79 to 6.00), but had lower MMI scores (−0.12 points, CI −0.23 to −0.01).

Conclusions: MMI-based admissions did not disfavor URM applicants. Lower SES applicants had lower MMI scores but were more likely to be invited to an MMI and recommended for acceptance. Multischool collaborations should examine how MMI-based admissions affect URM and lower SES applicants.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Advance

How Important Are Banks for Development? National Banks in the United States, 1870-1900

Scott Fulford
Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Do banks matter for growth, and if so, how? This paper examines the effects of national banks in the United States from 1870 to 1900. I use the discontinuity in entry caused by a large minimum size requirement to identify the effects of banking. For the counties on the margin between getting a bank and not, gaining a bank increased production per person by 10%. National banks in rural areas improved agriculture over manufacturing, moving counties toward geographic comparative advantage. Since these banks made few long-term loans, the evidence suggests that the provision of working capital and liquidity matters for growth.

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Barriers to Prosperity: Parasitic and Infectious Diseases, IQ, and Economic Development

Jakob Madsen
World Development, February 2016, Pages 172-187

Abstract:
IQ scores differ substantially across nations. This study argues that cross-country variations in IQ scores, to a large extent, reflect the burden of parasitic and infectious diseases (PIDs) and iron and iodine deficiency (IID) in infancy and in utero. Furthermore, it is shown that the prevalence of health insults, through the channel of cognitive ability, is influential for the level as well as the growth in productivity across the world. Using data for 181 countries and an instrumental variable approach, regressions reveal that the prevalence of PID-IIDs is influential for growth and income inequalities globally.

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Does democracy reduce corruption?

Ivar Kolstad & Arne Wiig
Democratization, forthcoming

Abstract:
While democracy is commonly believed to reduce corruption, there are obvious endogeneity problems in measuring the impact of democracy on corruption. This article attempts to address the endogeneity of democracy by exploiting the thesis that democracies seldom go to war against each other. We instrument for democracy using a dummy variable reflecting whether a country has been at war with a democracy in the period 1946-2008, while controlling for the extent to which countries have been at war in general. We find that democracy to a significant extent reduces corruption, and the effect is considerably larger than suggested by estimations not taking endogeneity into account. Democracy may hence be more important in combating corruption than previous studies would suggest.

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The monetary mechanism of stateless Somalia

William Luther
Public Choice, October 2015, Pages 45-58

Abstract:
A peculiar monetary institution emerged during the period of interregnum in Somalia from January 1991 to August 2012. Without a functioning government to restrict the supply of notes in circulation, Somalis found it profitable to contract with foreign printers and import forgeries. The exchange value of the largest denomination Somali shillings note fell from US $0.30 in 1991 to US $0.03 in 2008. However, the purchasing power eventually stabilized at the cost of producing additional notes.

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Donor Political Economies and the Pursuit of Aid Effectiveness

Simone Dietrich
International Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
In response to corruption and inefficient state institutions in recipient countries, some foreign aid donors outsource the delivery of aid to nonstate development actors. Other donor governments continue to support state management of aid, seeking to strengthen recipient states. These cross-donor differences can be attributed in large measure to different national orientations about the appropriate role of the state in public service delivery. Countries that place a high premium on market efficiency (for example, the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden) will outsource aid delivery in poorly governed recipient countries to improve the likelihood that aid reaches the intended beneficiaries of services. In contrast, states whose political economies emphasize a strong state in service provision (for example, France, Germany, Japan) continue to support state provision. This argument is borne out by a variety of tests, including statistical analysis of dyadic time-series cross-section aid allocation data and individual-level survey data on a cross-national sample of senior foreign aid officials. To understand different aid policies, one needs to understand the political economies of donors.

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Public Sector Corruption and Natural Hazards

Monica Escaleras & Charles Register
Public Finance Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Public sector corruption has been shown to increase death rates and damages from natural disasters. We consider whether natural hazards can lead to rising levels of public sector corruption. This might seem unlikely since natural hazards are predetermined, naturally occurring events. However, when the distinction between hazards and disasters is considered, it becomes clear that corruption may well increase the likelihood that any new hazard will become a disaster, increasing the existing level of corruption within a given country. Based on standard estimation techniques, we find a statistically significant, positive relation between predetermined natural hazards and public sector corruption.

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Slavery, Economic Freedom & Income Levels in the Former Slave-Exporting States of Africa

Travis Wiseman
Mississippi State University Working Paper, October 2015

Abstract:
This paper investigates the relationships between slavery, economic freedom and economic development across former slave-exporting states in Africa, using country-level slave export data from Nunn (2008a), the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World index, and per capita real GDP from the Maddison Project database. Recent studies document a negative link between slavery and present-day income. This study takes an additional step, aiming to connect slavery, institutions, and economic performance by testing whether the early institutions of slavery work through current institutions to affect modern incomes. I attempt to support this relationship using slave exports as an instrument for institutions in 2SLS income regressions. Results demonstrate a strong, positive relationship between economic freedom and present-day income. Further, based on tests of over-identifying restrictions, I cannot safely reject instrument validity. These findings, taken together, suggest that institutions likely serve as a conduit for the influence of slavery on incomes today.

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Democracy and policy stability

Pushan Dutt & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
International Review of Economics & Finance, forthcoming

Abstract:
We explain stable growth performance in democracies by characterizing political systems in terms of the distribution of political power across groups, and show when the qualities of policy alternatives are uncertain, greater democracy (decentralization of authority) leads to more stable policy choices. We empirically test this mechanism by creating measures of the inter-temporal variability in fiscal and trade policies. In an array of specifications (cross-sectional, panel with fixed-effects, matching models, instrumental variables, difference-in-difference), we show that policy choices are significantly more stable over time in democracies. This mechanism explains a large part of the negative link between democracy and output volatility.

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Is corruption bad for economic growth? Evidence from Asia-Pacific countries

Chiung-Ju Huang
North American Journal of Economics and Finance, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study utilizes the bootstrap panel Granger causality approach, which incorporates both cross-sectional dependence and heterogeneity across countries, to investigate whether corruption negatively impacts economic growth in thirteen Asia-Pacific countries over the 1997-2013 period. The empirical results show that there is a significantly positive causality running from corruption to economic growth in South Korea, a significantly positive causality running from economic growth to corruption in China and no significant causality between corruption and economic growth for the remaining countries. According to the empirical results, we do not support the common perception that corruption is bad for economic growth for all thirteen Asia-Pacific. On the contrary, results of this study suggest that the "grease the wheels" hypothesis is supported for South Korea. Additionally, results of this study indicate that for most Asia-Pacific countries, policy makers' use of anti-corruption policies to promote a country's economic development may not be effective. Finally, results of this study also suggest that for China, increase in economic growth leads to an increase in corruption.

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Property rights and the first great divergence: Europe 1500-1800

Cem Karayalcin
International Review of Economics & Finance, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent literature on developing countries has revived interest in structural change involving the reallocation of resources from agriculture to industry. Here, we focus on the first such historically important structural transformation in which some parts of Europe escaped from the Malthusian trap centuries earlier than the Industrial Revolution, while others stagnated. There is as yet no consensus as to the causes of this First Great Divergence. The paper advances the thesis that what lies at the root of different paths is the type of property rights inherited. As populations everywhere in Europe recovered from the catastrophes of the late medieval period, what mattered for the direction taken was the size of the landlord class and their landholdings. In western Europe where peasant proprietors tilled small plots, increases in population levels led to lower real wages. Given the low incomes of landlords and peasants, demand for manufactured goods remained low. At the other extreme, in eastern Europe, second serfdom kept wages low, and rents high. Yet given the small size of the land-owning class, these rents could not generate enough demand for high-end manufacturing processes either. Northwestern Europe, being in the middle in terms both of the size of the landholding classes and their properties, prospered as wages failed to decline even when population levels rapidly rose. Combined demand from landlords and workers kindled an expansion of the manufacturing sector.

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Measuring Changes in the Bilateral Technology Gaps between China, India and the U.S. 1979 - 2008

Keting Shen, Jing Wang & John Whalley
NBER Working Paper, October 2015

Abstract:
Popular literature suggests a rapid narrowing of the technology gap between China and the U.S. based on large percentage increases in Chinese patent applications, and equally large increases in college registrants and completed PhDs (especially in sciences) in China in recent years. Little literature attempts to measure the technology gap directly using estimates of country aggregate technologies. This gap is usually thought to be smaller than differences in GDP per capita since the later reflect both differing factor endowments and technology parameters. This paper assesses changes in China's technology gaps both with the U.S. and India between 1979 and 2008, comparing the technology level of these economies using a CES production framework in which the technology gap is reflected in the change of technology parameters. Our measure is related to but differs from the Malmquist index. We determine the parameter values for country technology by using calibration procedures. Our calculations suggest that the technology gap between China and the U.S. is significantly larger than that between India and the U.S. for the period before 2008. The pairwise gaps between the U.S. and China, and the U.S. and India remain large while narrowing at a slower rate than GDP per worker. Although China has a higher growth rate of total factor productivity than India over the period, the bilateral technology gap between China and India is still in India's favor. India had higher income per worker than China in the 1970's, and China's much more rapid physical and human capital accumulation has allowed China to move ahead, but a bilateral technology gap remains.

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Media, Institutions, and Government Action: Prevention vs. Palliation in the Time of Cholera

Chongwoo Choe & Paul Raschky
European Journal of Political Economy, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper studies how media and the quality of institutions affect government action taken before and after a natural disaster. Provided that more media activity is focused on post-disaster action, we show that more media activity and better democratic institutions both contribute positively to the palliative effort after the disaster, although corruption has a negative effect that decreases as media activity increases. On the preventive effort, however, media and democracy both have a negative effect, as does corruption. We provide empirical evidence based on major cholera epidemics and other natural disasters around the world, which largely support these hypotheses.

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Demography, Urbanization and Development: Rural Push, Urban Pull and...Urban Push?

Remi Jedwab, Luc Christiaensen & Marina Gindelsky
Journal of Urban Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Developing countries have urbanized rapidly since 1950. To explain urbanization, standard models emphasize rural-urban migration, focusing on rural push factors (agricultural modernization and rural poverty) and urban pull factors (industrialization and urban-biased policies). Using new historical data on urban birth and death rates for 7 countries from Industrial Europe (1800-1910) and 35 developing countries (1960-2010), we argue that a non-negligible part of developing countries' rapid urban growth and urbanization may also be linked to demographic factors, i.e. rapid internal urban population growth, or an urban push. High urban natural increase in today's developing countries follows from lower urban mortality, relative to Industrial Europe, where higher urban deaths offset urban births. This compounds the effects of migration and displays strong associations with urban congestion, providing additional insight into the phenomenon of urbanization without growth.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Taking offense

Conservatives negatively evaluate counterstereotypical people to maintain a sense of certainty

Chadly Stern, Tessa West & Nicholas Rule
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
People frequently use physical appearance stereotypes to categorize individuals when their group membership is not directly observable. Recent research indicates that political conservatives tend to use such stereotypes more than liberals do because they express a greater desire for certainty and order. In the present research, we found that conservatives were also more likely to negatively evaluate and distribute fewer economic resources to people who deviate from the stereotypes of their group. This occurred for people belonging to both preexisting and novel groups, regardless of whether the stereotypes were real or experimentally fabricated. Critically, conservatives only negatively evaluated counterstereotypical people when the stereotypes were functional — that is, when they expected that they would need to use the stereotypes at a later point to categorize individuals into groups. Moreover, increasing liberals’ desire for certainty led them to negatively evaluate counterstereotypical people just like conservatives did. Thus, conservatives are not only more likely to use stereotypes than are liberals, but are especially likely to negatively evaluate counterstereotypical people to organize the social world with greater certainty.

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Race effects on eBay

Ian Ayres, Mahzarin Banaji & Christine Jolls
RAND Journal of Economics, Winter 2015, Pages 891–917

Abstract:
We investigate the impact of seller race in a field experiment involving baseball card auctions on eBay. Photographs showed the cards held by either a dark-skinned/African-American hand or a light-skinned/Caucasian hand. Cards held by African-American sellers sold for approximately 20% ($0.90) less than cards held by Caucasian sellers. Our evidence of race differentials is important because the online environment is well controlled (with the absence of confounding tester effects) and because the results show that race effects can persist in a thick real-world market such as eBay.

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Moving While Black: Intergroup Attitudes Influence Judgments of Speed

Andreana Kenrick et al.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming

Abstract:
Four experiments examined whether intergroup attitudes shape the speed with which Blacks are thought to be moving. When participants rated the speed of Black and White faces that appeared to be moving toward them, greater intergroup anxiety was associated with judging Black targets as moving more slowly relative to White targets (Experiments 1a and 1b). Experiment 2 demonstrated that this effect occurs only for approaching targets. Experiment 3 showed that this slowing bias occurs, at least in part, because of the perceived duration of time each image was moving. Such a slowing bias is consistent with the time expansion and perceptual slowing reported by people who experienced threatening events.

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Racial Disparities in Pain Management of Children With Appendicitis in Emergency Departments

Monika Goyal et al.
JAMA Pediatrics, November 2015, Pages 996-1002

Objective: To evaluate racial differences in analgesia administration, and particularly opioid administration, among children diagnosed as having appendicitis.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Repeated cross-sectional study of patients aged 21 years or younger evaluated in the emergency department who had an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision diagnosis of appendicitis, using the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2003 to 2010. We calculated the frequency of both opioid and nonopioid analgesia administration using complex survey weighting. We then performed multivariable logistic regression to examine racial differences in overall administration of analgesia, and specifically opioid analgesia, after adjusting for important demographic and visit covariates, including ethnicity and pain score.

Results: An estimated 0.94 (95% CI, 0.78-1.10) million children were diagnosed as having appendicitis. Of those, 56.8% (95% CI, 49.8%-63.9%) received analgesia of any type; 41.3% (95% CI, 33.7%-48.9%) received opioid analgesia (20.7% [95% CI, 5.3%-36.0%] of black patients vs 43.1% [95% CI, 34.6%-51.4%] of white patients). When stratified by pain score and adjusted for ethnicity, black patients with moderate pain were less likely to receive any analgesia than white patients (adjusted odds ratio = 0.1 [95% CI, 0.02-0.8]). Among those with severe pain, black patients were less likely to receive opioids than white patients (adjusted odds ratio = 0.2 [95% CI, 0.06-0.9]). In a multivariable model, there were no significant differences in the overall rate of analgesia administration by race. However, black patients received opioid analgesia significantly less frequently than white patients (12.2% [95% CI, 0.1%-35.2%] vs 33.9% [95% CI, 0.6%-74.9%], respectively; adjusted odds ratio = 0.2 [95% CI, 0.06-0.8]).

Conclusions and Relevance: Appendicitis pain is undertreated in pediatrics, and racial disparities with respect to analgesia administration exist. Black children are less likely to receive any pain medication for moderate pain and less likely to receive opioids for severe pain, suggesting a different threshold for treatment.

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Analgesic Access for Acute Abdominal Pain in the Emergency Department Among Racial/Ethnic Minority Patients: A Nationwide Examination

Adil Shah et al.
Medical Care, December 2015, Pages 1000–1009

Objective: To evaluate race/ethnicity-based differences in ED analgesic pain management among a national sample of adult patients with acute abdominal pain based on a uniform definition.

Research Design/Subjects/Measures: The 2006–2010 CDC-NHAMCS data were retrospectively queried for patients 18 years and above presenting with a primary diagnosis of nontraumatic acute abdominal pain as defined by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Independent predictors of analgesic/narcotic-specific analgesic receipt were determined. Risk-adjusted multivariable analyses were then performed to determine associations between race/ethnicity and analgesic receipt. Stratified analyses considered risk-adjusted differences by the level of patient-reported pain on presentation. Secondary outcomes included: prolonged ED-LOS (>6 h), ED wait time, number of diagnostic tests, and subsequent inpatient admission.

Results: A total of 6710 ED visits were included: 61.2% (n=4106) non-Hispanic white, 20.1% (n=1352) non-Hispanic black, 14.0% (n=939) Hispanic, and 4.7% (n=313) other racial/ethnic group patients. Relative to non-Hispanic white patients, non-Hispanic black patients and patients of other races/ethnicities had 22%–30% lower risk-adjusted odds of analgesic receipt [OR (95% CI)=0.78 (0.67–0.90); 0.70 (0.56–0.88)]. They had 17%–30% lower risk-adjusted odds of narcotic analgesic receipt (P<0.05). Associations persisted for patients with moderate-severe pain but were insignificant for mild pain presentations. When stratified by the proportion of minority patients treated and the proportion of patients reporting severe pain, discrepancies in analgesic receipt were concentrated in hospitals treating the largest percentages of both.

Conclusions: Analysis of 5 years of CDC-NHAMCS data corroborates the presence of racial/ethnic disparities in ED management of pain on a national scale. On the basis of a uniform definition, the results establish the need for concerted quality-improvement efforts to ensure that all patients, regardless of race/ethnicity, receive optimal access to pain relief.

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Colored Perceptions: Racially Distinctive Names and Assessments of Skin Color

Denia Garcia & Maria Abascal
American Behavioral Scientist, forthcoming

Abstract:
Scholars are increasingly employing skin color measures to investigate racial stratification beyond the dimensions of self- or other-classification. Current understandings of the relationship between phenotypic traits, like skin color, and racial classification are incomplete. Scholars agree that perceptions of phenotypic traits shape how people classify others; it remains to be seen, however, whether racial classification in turn shapes people’s perceptions of phenotypic traits. The present study is based on an original survey experiment that tests whether assessments of others’ skin color are affected by a subtle racial cue, a name. Results indicate that skin color ratings are affected by the presence of a racially distinctive name: A significant share of people will rate the same face darker when that face is assigned a distinctively Hispanic name as opposed to a non-Hispanic name. In addition, ratings of male faces are more sensitive to racially distinctive names. The findings bear important lessons for our understanding of the social construction of race and its role in producing inequalities.

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The Whitewashing Effect: Using Racial Contact to Signal Trustworthiness and Competence

Stephen La Macchia et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, January 2016, Pages 118-129

Abstract:
The present research examines whether people use racial contact to signal positive and negative social attributes. In two experiments, participants were instructed to fake good (trustworthy/competent) or fake bad (untrustworthy/incompetent) when reporting their amount of contact with a range of different racial groups. In Experiment 1 (N = 364), participants faking good reported significantly more contact with White Americans than with non-White Americans, whereas participants faking bad did not. In Experiment 2 (N = 1,056), this pattern was replicated and was found to be particularly pronounced among those with stronger pro-White bias. These findings suggest that individuals may use racial contact as a social signal, effectively “whitewashing” their apparent contact and friendships when trying to present positively.

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Fetal sex determination and gendered prenatal consumption

Medora Barnes
Journal of Consumer Culture, November 2015, Pages 371-390

Abstract:
Although expectant mothers have long purchased items in preparation for their baby’s birth, the timing and type of purchases being made have changed in response to pregnant women routinely learning the sex of their fetus through ultrasound. This article examines changes in these consumption patterns through data drawn from personal narratives with 25 women divided between two cohorts — those who gave birth in the 2000s and those who gave birth in the 1970s. The routine use of ultrasound has encouraged changes in beliefs about the relationship between a fetus and its mother in younger women, which in turn inspires earlier purchases of baby items than was normative 30 years before. Not enough attention is being paid to the fact that newborn babies are more likely today than three decades ago to spend their first few months wearing gendered clothing and being surrounded by gender-specific furniture and objects, which their mothers are purchasing during pregnancy.

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How gender-stereotypical are selfies? A content analysis and comparison with magazine adverts

Nicola Döring, Anne Reif & Sandra Poeschl
Computers in Human Behavior, February 2016, Pages 955–962

Abstract:
Selfies (self-portrait photographs often taken with a camera phone) are popularly used for self-presentation in social media like Facebook and Instagram. These modern user-generated self-portraits have the potential to draw a more versatile picture of the genders instead of reproducing traditional gender stereotypes often presented in mainstream media and advertising. To investigate the degree of gender stereotyping in selfies, a random sample of 500 selfies uploaded on Instagram (50% representing females, 50% males) was drawn and subjected to quantitative content analysis. The degree of gender stereotyping in the selfies was measured using Goffman's (1979) and Kang's (1997) gender display categories (e.g. feminine touch, lying posture, withdrawing gaze, sparse clothing) plus three social media-related categories (kissing pout, muscle presentation, faceless portrayal). Additionally, gender stereotyping in selfies was directly compared to the degree of gender stereotyping in magazine adverts measured in the same way (Döring & Pöschl, 2006). Results reveal that male and female Instagram users' selfies not only reflect traditional gender stereotypes, but are even more stereotypical than magazine adverts.

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Attachment and prejudice: The mediating role of empathy

Elle Boag & Katherine Carnelley
British Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
In two studies, we examined the novel hypothesis that empathy is a mechanism through which the relationship between attachment patterns and prejudice can be explained. Study 1 examined primed attachment security (vs. neutral prime), empathy, and prejudice towards immigrants. Study 2 examined primed attachment patterns (secure, avoidant, anxious), empathy subscales (perspective taking, empathic concern, personal distress), and prejudice towards Muslims. Across both studies, empathy mediated the relationship between primed attachment security and low prejudice levels. The findings suggest that enhancing felt security and empathic skills in individuals high in attachment–avoidance may lead to reduced prejudice.

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Masculinities and ethnicities: Ethnic differences in drive for muscularity in British men and the negotiation of masculinity hierarchies

Viren Swami
British Journal of Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although relatively little is known about ethnic differences in men's drive for muscularity, recent theoretical developments suggest that ethnic minority men may desire greater muscularity to contest their positions of relative subordinate masculinity. This study tested this hypothesis in a sample of 185 White, 180 Black British, and 182 South Asian British men. Participants completed self-report measures of drive for muscularity, need for power, adherence to traditional cultural values, and ethnic group affiliation. Taking into account between-group differences in body mass index, results indicated that White men had significantly lower drive for muscularity than Black and South Asian men, who were not significantly different from each other. In addition, greater need for power was significantly associated with higher drive for muscularity in ethnic minority, but not White, men. Greater adherence to traditional cultural values, but not ethnic group affiliation, was associated with lower drive for muscularity in all ethnic groups. These results suggest that ethnic minority men may desire greater muscularity as a means of negotiating masculinity and attendant ideals of appearance.

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Hijab and “Hitchhiking”: A Field Study

Farid Pazhoohi & Robert Burriss
Evolutionary Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
In the West, the style of a woman’s dress is perceived as a cue to her sexual behavior and influences the likelihood that a man will initiate conversation with the woman or offer her assistance. Hijab, or Islamic veiling, varies in the extent to which it reveals skin and body shape; the style a woman adopts affects her attractiveness to men. To test whether women who wear more liberal or conservative forms of hijab are more likely to be offered help by men, we observed Iranian motorists in a “hitchhiking” situation. Here, we show that a young female confederate, standing beside a road and in view of motorists but not actively soliciting assistance, was more likely to be offered a ride when she wore a headscarf and close-fitting garments (liberal dress) rather than a full body veil (chador, conservative dress). When the woman wore liberal dress, 21.4 % of motorists offered a ride; only 3.9 % of motorists offered a ride to the woman when she wore conservative dress — a significant difference. All drivers were men. This small to medium effect is substantially larger than those reported in similar studies in Europe and extends previous research on male helping behavior and female attractiveness to Iran, a nation where courtship behavior and dress are constrained by stricter social mores and laws than apply in the West.

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Suspicion of motives predicts minorities' responses to positive feedback in interracial interactions

Brenda Major et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, January 2016, Pages 75–88

Abstract:
Strong social and legal norms in the United States discourage the overt expression of bias against ethnic and racial minorities, increasing the attributional ambiguity of Whites' positive behavior to ethnic minorities. Minorities who suspect that Whites' positive overtures toward minorities are motivated more by their fear of appearing racist than by egalitarian attitudes may regard positive feedback they receive from Whites as disingenuous. This may lead them to react to such feedback with feelings of uncertainty and threat. Three studies examined how suspicion of motives relates to ethnic minorities' responses to receiving positive feedback from a White peer or same-ethnicity peer (Experiment 1), to receiving feedback from a White peer that was positive or negative (Experiment 2), and to receiving positive feedback from a White peer who did or did not know their ethnicity (Experiment 3). As predicted, the more suspicious Latinas were of Whites' motives for behaving positively toward minorities in general, the more they regarded positive feedback from a White peer who knew their ethnicity as disingenuous and the more they reacted with cardiovascular reactivity characteristic of threat/avoidance, increased feelings of stress, heightened uncertainty, and decreased self-esteem. We discuss the implications for intergroup interactions of perceptions of Whites' motives for nonprejudiced behavior.

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Shades of Race: How Phenotype and Observer Characteristics Shape Racial Classification

Cynthia Feliciano
American Behavioral Scientist, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although race-based discrimination and stereotyping can only occur if people place others into racial categories, our understanding of this process, particularly in contexts where observers categorize others based solely on appearance, is limited. Using a unique data set drawn from observers’ assessments of photos posted by White, Black, Latino, and multiracial online daters, this study examines how phenotype and observer characteristics influence racial categorization and cases of divergence between self-identities and others’ classifications. I find that despite the growth in the multiracial population, observers tend to place individuals into monoracial categories, including Latino. Skin color is the primary marker used to categorize others by race, with light skin associated with Whiteness, medium skin with Latinidad, and, most strongly, dark skin with Blackness. Among daters who self-identify as Black along with other racial categories, those with dark skin are overwhelmingly placed solely into a Black category. These findings hold across observers, but the proportion of photos placed into different racial categories differs by observers’ gender and race. Thus, estimates of inequality may vary depending not only on how race is assessed but also on who classifiers are. I argue that patterns of racial categorization reveal how the U.S. racial structure has moved beyond binary divisions into a system in which Latinos are seen as a racial group in-between Blacks and Whites, and a dark-skin rule defines Blacks’ racial options.

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Part-Latinos and Racial Reporting in the Census: An Issue of Question Format?

Michael Hajime Miyawaki
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this study, the author examines the racial reporting decisions of the offspring of Latino/non-Latino white, black, and Asian intermarriages, focusing on the meanings associated with their racial responses in the 2010 census and their thoughts on the separate race and Hispanic origin question format. Through interviews with 50 part-Latinos from New York, the findings demonstrated that their racial responses were shaped largely by question design, often due to the lack of Hispanic origins in the race question. Many added that their responses did not reflect their racial identity as “mixed” or as “both” Latino and white, black, or Asian. Most preferred “Latino” racial categories, and when given the option in a combined race and Hispanic origin question format, they overwhelmingly marked Latino in combination with white, black, or Asian. Part-Latinos’ preference for “Latino” racial options may stem from the racialization of Latinos as nonwhite and their desire to express all aspects of their mixed heritage identity. Moreover, the contrast in racial reporting in the 2010 census and the Census Bureau’s recently proposed “race or origin” question for the 2020 census could result in different population counts and interpretations of racial statistics.

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Misinterpretation of African American English BIN by adult speakers of Standard American English

Tim Beyer, Karlyn Edwards & Caitlin Fuller
Language & Communication, November 2015, Pages 59–69

Abstract:
African American English (AAE) and Standard American English (SAE) share many cognates (forms similar in phonology and function) while differences are often masked by false cognates (forms similar in phonology but different in function). Because false cognates are interpretable via a listener's own variety, this likely impacts performance on language-based tests. This study investigates how adult SAE- (n = 24) and AAE-speakers (n = 24) process BIN, an AAE tense/aspect marker. In AAE, stressing BIN indicates the remote past; when unstressed, been indicates the recent past. Results show that while both AAE- and SAE-speakers can perceive and produce the phonetic cues that differentiate BIN and been, only the AAE-speakers accurately infer that BIN corresponds to the remote past.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, November 30, 2015

Out in force

War and the Growth of Government

Colin O'Reilly & Benjamin Powell
European Journal of Political Economy, December 2015, Pages 31-41

Abstract:
This paper empirically examines how wars impact the size and scope of government using a panel of all wars from 1965 to 2010. Higgs (1987) gives us reason to believe that wars may permanently increase government size and scope while Olson (1982) describes how wars can dislodge interest groups and allow for market liberalizing reforms. We find that wars permanently expand the scope of government regulation but do not impact government size systematically across the countries we study.

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Trading Hard Hats for Combat Helmets: The Economics of Rebellion in Eastern Ukraine

Yuri Zhukov
Journal of Comparative Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using new micro-level data on violence in Eastern Ukraine, this article evaluates the relative merits of 'identity-based' and 'economic' explanations of civil conflict. The first view expects rebellion to be most likely in areas home to the geographic concentration of ethnolinguistic minorities. The second expects more rebel activity where the opportunity costs of insurrection are low. Evidence from the armed conflict in Ukraine supports the second view more than the first. A municipality's prewar employment mix is a more robust predictor of rebel activity than local ethnolinguistic composition. Municipalities more exposed to trade shocks with Russia experienced a higher intensity of rebel violence throughout the conflict. Such localities also fell under rebel control earlier - and took longer for the government to liberate - than municipalities where the labor force was less dependent on exports to Russia.

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From Economic Competition to Military Combat: Export Similarity and International Conflict

Tyson Chatagnier & Kerim Can Kavaklı
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
The vast majority of the extant literature on trade and conflict focuses on bilateral trade to determine whether commerce has a pacifying effect upon pairs of states. We argue that this focus neglects a critical role of international trade: creating tension between states that sell similar goods to the global market. We consider this role explicitly and operationalize its effects empirically. Using commodity-level trade data from 1962 to 2000, we show that countries that produce and sell similar goods are generally more likely to fight, even after we take into account their bilateral trade ties and institutional membership in the global economic system. Our findings are robust to numerous alternative specifications and suggest a strong relationship between economic competition in the global market and military conflict between states.

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War and Relatedness

Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg
Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We find that more closely related populations are more prone to engage in international conflict with each other. We provide an economic interpretation based on two connected mechanisms. First, more closely related groups share more similar preferences over rival goods and are thus more likely to fight over them. Second, rulers have stronger incentives to conquer populations more similar to their own, to minimize post-conflict heterogeneity in preferences over government types and policies. We find support for these mechanisms using evidence on international conflicts over natural endowments and on territorial changes, including decolonization.

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Is Putin's Popularity Real?

Timothy Frye et al.
Post-Soviet Affairs, forthcoming

Abstract:
Vladimir Putin has managed to achieve strikingly high public approval ratings throughout his time as president and prime minister of Russia. But is his popularity real, or are respondents lying to pollsters? We conducted a series of list experiments in early 2015 to estimate support for Putin while allowing respondents to maintain ambiguity about whether they personally do so. Our estimates suggest support for Putin of approximately 80 percent, which is within ten percentage points of that implied by direct questioning. We find little evidence that these estimates are positively biased due to the presence of floor effects. In contrast, our analysis of placebo experiments suggests that there may be a small negative bias due to artificial deflation. We conclude that Putin's approval ratings largely reflect the attitudes of Russian citizens.

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The Political Legacies of Combat: Attitudes Toward War and Peace Among Israeli Ex-Combatants

Guy Grossman, Devorah Manekin & Dan Miodownik
International Organization, Fall 2015, Pages 981-1009

Abstract:
Recent research has highlighted combat's positive effects for political behavior, but it is unclear whether they extend to attitudes toward the conflict itself. We exploit the assignment of health rankings determining combat eligibility in the Israel Defense Forces to examine the effect of combat exposure on support for peaceful conflict resolution. Given the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to global affairs, and its apparent intractability, the political consequences of combat become all the more pressing. We find that exposure to combat hardens attitudes toward the rival and reduces support for negotiation and compromise. Importantly, these attitudes translate into voting behavior: combatants are likely to vote for more hawkish parties. These findings call for caution in emphasizing the benign effects of combat and underscore the importance of reintegrating combatants during the transition from conflict to peace.

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Who's Afraid of the Bomb? The Role of Nuclear Non-Use Norms in Confrontations between Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Opponents

Paul Avey
Security Studies, Fall 2015, Pages 563-596

Abstract:
This article examines the role that nuclear non-use norms play in non-nuclear state decision making during confrontations with nuclear opponents. The claim that norms constrain nuclear use is one of the most important examples of norms influencing state security decisions. Many extend the claim to argue that non-nuclear weapon states realize norms constrain the nuclear opponent and therefore discount the possibility of nuclear strikes. To date there has been little effort to examine this extended claim. This article outlines the normative claims and an alternative strategic logic. It assesses the positions by examining two cases that the normative literature highlights: Egypt in 1973 and Iraq in 1990. The article finds little evidence that the non-use norm played a significant role in non-nuclear state decision making. Rather, non-nuclear state leaders took their opponents' nuclear arsenals very seriously and sought to reduce the risks of nuclear strikes.

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Operational Stress and Correlates of Mental Health Among Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay Military Personnel

Jennifer Webb-Murphy et al.
Journal of Traumatic Stress, forthcoming

Abstract:
Military personnel deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay (JTF-GTMO) faced numerous occupational stressors. As part of a program evaluation, personnel working at JTF-GTMO completed several validated self-report measures. Personnel were at the beginning, middle, or end of their deployment phase. This study presents data regarding symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol abuse, depression, and resilience among 498 U.S. military personnel deployed to JTF-GTMO in 2009. We also investigated individual and organizational correlates of mental health among these personnel. Findings indicated that tenure at JTF-GTMO was positively related to adverse mental health outcomes. Regression models including these variables had R2 values ranging from .02 to .11. Occupation at JTF-GTMO also related to mental health such that guards reported poorer mental health than medical staff. Reluctance to seek out mental health care was also related to mental health outcomes. Those who reported being most reluctant to seek out care tended to report poorer mental health than those who were more willing to seek out care. Results suggested that the JTF-GTMO deployment was associated with significant psychological stress, and that both job-related and attitude-related variables were important to understanding mental health symptoms in this sample.

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Ethically Investigating Torture Efficacy: A New Methodology to Test the Influence of Physical Pain on Decision-Making Processes in Experimental Interrogation Scenarios

Shannon Houck & Lucian Gideon Conway
Journal of Applied Security Research, Fall 2015, Pages 510-524

Abstract:
Torture's effectiveness is a frequently debated yet under-researched topic. This article describes a new experimental method to ethically investigate one component of torture: The influence of physical pain on people's decisions to reveal secret or false information. In particular, participants played a game that was designed to be a proxy of an interrogation scenario. As part of the game, participants were instructed to keep specific information hidden from an opponent while their hand was submerged in varying temperatures of ice water (a cold pressor test that causes pain). Further, their opponent (actually a confederate) verbally pressured them to reveal the information. Participants could choose to give false information to their opponent, true information, or a combination of both. Results suggested the potential usefulness of this method to examine the effectiveness of using pain for information retrieval in a scenario similar to interrogation: Analyses revealed that participants were more likely to reveal false information when exposed to the cold pressor test, and this effect became more pronounced as manipulated water temperatures became colder (from 10 degrees to 5 degrees to 1 degree). This study offers a methodological advance on a challenging topic to research, and can inform our understanding of the efficacy of physical pain as an information retrieval tool.

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The interrogation game: Using coercion and rewards to elicit information from groups

David Blake Johnson & John Barry Ryan
Journal of Peace Research, November 2015, Pages 822-837

Abstract:
While there is widespread debate about techniques for obtaining information from non-cooperative sources, there is little research concerning the efficacy of different methods. We introduce the 'Interrogation Game' as a simple model of the information a source will provide when faced with either (1) an interrogator using coercive techniques or (2) an interrogator offering rewards. The model demonstrates that coercive interrogation results in a very slight increase in accurate information from knowledgeable sources, but much more inaccurate information from ignorant sources. In short, when ignorant group members refuse to provide information, this increases the inequality of payoffs among group members under coercion while the same behavior - truthfully revealing ignorance - decreases the inequality of payoffs under reward. If ignorant detainees have concern for the payoffs of their other group members, they will admit their ignorance in reward, but not coercion. We test the model with a group-based experiment. As the model predicts, coercion leads subjects to provide more inaccurate information. Contrary to the model's expectations, however, accurate information is almost equally likely in the coercion and reward treatments.

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Aiming at Doves: Experimental Evidence of Military Images' Political Effects

Jonathan Caverley & Yanna Krupnikov
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
Politicians (and journalists covering them) assume that association with the military has political consequences. We propose and experimentally test conditions under which military images have such effects. We presented subjects with images of the US president before varying backgrounds - including soldiers, students, children, and "ordinary" people. Only the image of soldiers has any significant effect, shifting participant preferences toward spending money on defense over education. The image does this by increasing respondent sense of threats to national security, despite the military's depiction out of combat and in the background. The soldiers image does little to shift opinion about the president. However, the image has the largest hawkish effect on both the president's copartisans and the strongest supporters. Given the routine use by many democracies of tactics unlikely to produce images of one's fellow citizens in combat, the power of more sanitized images to cue hawkish policy preferences requires increased attention.

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How Dominant Narratives Rise and Fall: Military Conflict, Politics, and the Cold War Consensus

Ronald Krebs
International Organization, Fall 2015, Pages 809-845

Abstract:
Contemporaries and historians often blame the errors and tragedies of US policy during the Cold War on a dominant narrative of national security: the "Cold War consensus." Its usual periodization, according to which it came together in the late 1940s and persisted until the late 1960s when it unraveled amidst the trauma of the Vietnam War, fits well with a common theory of change in ideas and discourse. That theory expects stasis until a substantial unexpected failure (in this domain, military defeat) discredits dominant ideas and unsettles dominant coalitions. However, systematic data reveal the standard history of this important case to be wrong. Based on a large-scale content analysis of newspaper editorials on foreign affairs, this article shows that the Cold War narrative was narrower than conventional accounts suggest, that it did not coalesce until well into the 1950s, and that it began to erode even before the Vietnam War's Americanization in 1965. To make sense of this puzzle, I develop an alternative theory of the rise and fall of the narratives that underpin and structure debate over national security. Rooted in the dynamics of public narrative and the domestic politics of the battlefield, the theory argues that military failure impedes change in the narrative in whose terms government officials had legitimated the mission, whereas victory creates the opportunity for departures from the dominant narrative. Process-tracing reveals causal dynamics consistent with the theory: failure in the Korean War, which might have undermined Cold War globalism, instead facilitated the Cold War narrative's rise to dominance (or consensus); and the triumph of the Cuban Missile Crisis made possible that dominant narrative's breakdown before the upheaval of Vietnam. This hard and important case suggests the need to rethink the relationship between success, failure, and change in dominant narratives of national security-and perhaps in other policy domains as well.

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Nuclear bombs and economic sanctions

Kaz Miyagiwa & Yuka Ohno
Southern Economic Journal, October 2015, Pages 635-646

Abstract:
We examine the efficacy of trade sanctions when a target's action causes an irrevocable change in the status quo; for example, sanctions to stop a target's nuclear weapons development program. We find that when a sanctioning country cannot precommit to maintain sanctions long after a target becomes a nuclear power, sanctions are not only inefficacious but they backfire, spurring a target to intensify its effort to complete the nuclear program. If the nuclear program has several stages to complete, gradually increasing sanctions as the nuclear threat becomes more imminent may also backfire even though the program is potentially stoppable when sufficient pressure is applied earlier on. We also discuss the policy implications of our analysis.

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Facing Off and Saving Face: Covert Intervention and Escalation Management in the Korean War

Austin Carson
International Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
States pursue their cooperative and competitive goals using both public and private policy tools. Yet there is a profound mismatch between the depth, variety, and importance of covert activity and what scholars of International Relations (IR) know about it. This article addresses this gap by analyzing how adversaries struggle for influence within the covert sphere, why they often retreat to it, and when they abandon it. It focuses on secrecy among adversaries intervening in local conflicts and develops a theory about secrecy's utility as a device for creating sustainable limits in war. Drawing on insights about secrecy and face-work from the sociologist Erving Goffman, I show that major powers individually and collectively conceal evidence of foreign involvement when the danger of unintended conflict escalation is acute. Doing so creates a kind of "backstage" in which adversaries can exceed limits on war without stimulating hard-to-resist pressure to escalate further. An important payoff of the theory is making sense of puzzling cases of forbearance: even though adversaries often know about their opponent's covert activity, they often abstain from publicizing it. Such "tacit collusion" arises when both sides seek to manage escalation risks even as they compete for power and refuse to capitulate. The article evaluates the theory via several nested cases of external intervention in the Korean War. Drawing on newly available materials documenting the covert air war between secretly deployed Soviet pilots and Western forces, the cases show how adversaries can successfully limit war by concealing activity from outside audiences. Beyond highlighting the promise in studying the covert realm in world politics, the article has important implications for scholarship on coercive bargaining, reputation, state uses of secrecy, and how regime type influences conflict behavior.

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Finding a Peace that Lasts: Mediator Leverage and the Durable Resolution of Civil Wars

Lindsay Reid
Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
How does leverage vary across different mediators? What influence does this variation have on mediation outcomes? Extant literature has equated mediation leverage with material power. Leverage, however, is context dependent and comprised of two dimensions: capability and credibility. Capability leverage is a function of economic resources and power, while credibility leverage derives influence from historical and cultural ties that bolster a mediator's contextual knowledge of a conflict. I hypothesize that mediators with capability leverage are more likely to achieve short-term success, whereas mediators with credibility leverage generate more durable settlements. I quantitatively test the hypotheses using civil war mediation attempts from 1989 to 2006. I find that capability leverage does indeed contribute to the achievement of short-term success; credibility leverage, however, generates a more durable peace. The results demonstrate the importance of understanding mediation leverage as a context-dependent concept and highlight the potential long-term benefits of softer forms of mediation.

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How Democratic Alliances Solve the Power Parity Problem

Justin Conrad
British Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Why do challengers attack some states that have allies, while avoiding conflict with others? This article builds upon previous research by arguing that parity in the observable capabilities of opposing states and their allies generates greater uncertainty and miscalculations on the part of challengers, which leads to a higher probability of conflict. Unlike previous research, however, this article argues that military alliances among democracies are better able to overcome this uncertainty, making power distributions largely irrelevant. The results demonstrate that uncertainty generated at power parity is mitigated when a target state's allies are more democratic, resulting in no overall change in the probability of conflict. This study therefore emphasizes that the effectiveness of military alliances lies not necessarily in their aggregation of power, but in their ability to co-ordinate their power and communicate this co-ordination to potential challengers.

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Americans' Value Preferences Pre- and Post-9/11

David Ciuk
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objective: This article examines the short- and long-term effects of the attacks of 9/11 on Americans' value preferences.

Method: Using data from 1994, 2002, and 2005, I estimate a rank-ordered logit model where the dependent variable is respondents' rank-ordered preferences on four values central to American political culture.

Results: The short-term effects of 9/11 are significant: Americans' were willing to "trade" equality and economic security for social order. In the long term, these effects fade and value preferences swing back to pre-9/11 levels.

Conclusion: These findings align nicely with a body of literature that suggests that traumatic public events induce feelings of panic and anxiety, thereby causing people to reorder their fundamental political cognitions. As these feelings fade, however, individuals' fundamental political cognitions revert back toward normal.

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Lootable resources and third-party intervention into civil wars

Michael Findley & Josiah Marineau
Conflict Management and Peace Science, November 2015, Pages 465-486

Abstract:
Third parties intervene in ongoing civil wars frequently and at times with nefarious intentions. In this paper, we consider the possibility that lootable natural resources motivate third parties to intervene in wars on the side of the opposition. Such resources offer a host of benefits to the intervener, including resource extraction and greater likelihood of rebel success. When rebels have access to lootable resources, we hypothesize that third parties will be more likely to intervene on the side of the rebels and simultaneously less likely to intervene on behalf of the government. Rare-events logit and split population (mixture-cure) survival models, in conjunction with close attention to the mechanisms found in individual cases, offer support for the theoretical argument. This paper advances our understanding of the motivations for intervention into civil war by highlighting the largely neglected role of economic factors in motivating opposition-biased interventions. It further adds insights into the role of natural resources in civil wars by shifting emphasis away from domestic combatants towards the motives of outside states.

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Profiting from Sanctions: Economic Coercion and US Foreign Direct Investment in Third-Party States

Colin Barry & Katja Kleinberg
International Organization, Fall 2015, Pages 881-912

Abstract:
Scholarship on the determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows has produced valuable insights into the role of host state characteristics and home-host relations. This study draws attention to another factor in investment decisions-the political and economic relations that home and host states maintain with third-party states. More narrowly, we focus on how investors respond to their home-state's imposition of economic sanctions against a trading partner. Greater economic integration has allowed states to use economic sanctions more frequently in recent decades. At the same time, economic sanctions are thought to have a distorting effect on global trade and financial flows as firms and governments adjust to new constraints. We argue that as firms at home in the sanctioning state respond to coercive measures against a trading partner by looking for alternative sources of profit, they will shift investments to states that can provide indirect access to the sanctioned economy. In particular, those states that are perceived as prospective sanctions-busters - major trading partners of the sanctions target or states with a history of sanctions-busting behavior - will benefit disproportionately from the misfortune of others. We test this conjecture using data on US economic sanctions and global flows of US FDI from 1966 to 2000. The findings reveal that investor decision making in part responds to political developments beyond the home-host dyad.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Liked

Neural mechanisms tracking popularity in real-world social networks

Noam Zerubavel et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Differences in popularity are a key aspect of status in virtually all human groups and shape social interactions within them. Little is known, however, about how we track and neurally represent others’ popularity. We addressed this question in two real-world social networks using sociometric methods to quantify popularity. Each group member (perceiver) viewed faces of every other group member (target) while whole-brain functional MRI data were collected. Independent functional localizer tasks were used to identify brain systems supporting affective valuation (ventromedial prefrontal cortex, ventral striatum, amygdala) and social cognition (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, precuneus, temporoparietal junction), respectively. During the face-viewing task, activity in both types of neural systems tracked targets’ sociometric popularity, even when controlling for potential confounds. The target popularity–social cognition system relationship was mediated by valuation system activity, suggesting that observing popular individuals elicits value signals that facilitate understanding their mental states. The target popularity–valuation system relationship was strongest for popular perceivers, suggesting enhanced sensitivity to differences among other group members’ popularity. Popular group members also demonstrated greater interpersonal sensitivity by more accurately predicting how their own personalities were perceived by other individuals in the social network. These data offer insights into the mechanisms by which status guides social behavior.

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The Other Side of Sharing: How Photo-taking Goals Impact Evaluations of Experiences

Alixandra Barasch, Gal Zauberman & Kristin Diehl
University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, September 2015

Abstract:
Millions of people share photos of their personal experiences every day. While prior work has looked exclusively at the effects of sharing information about an experience after it ends, sharing photos differs from other sharing methods by requiring people to take action during the experience itself, often with the intention to share already in mind. Accordingly, we investigate a distinct and novel aspect of this process: how this salient sharing goal affects enjoyment during the experience itself. Across three field and six laboratory studies, we find that relative to taking pictures for oneself (e.g., to preserve one’s memories), taking pictures with the intention to share them with others (e.g., to post on Facebook) reduces enjoyment of experiences. This effect occurs because taking photos to share increases self-presentational concern during the experience, which can not only reduce enjoyment directly, but also indirectly by lowering engagement with the experience. We identify several factors that affect self-presentational concern and thus moderate the effect of photo-taking goals on enjoyment, such as the closeness of the intended audience, the salience of the ability to delete photos during the experience, and the amount of time before the photos will be shared or reviewed in the future.

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Social class affects Mu-suppression during action observation

Michael Varnum, Chris Blais & Gene Brewer
Social Neuroscience, forthcoming

Abstract:
Socioeconomic status (SES) has been linked to differences in the degree to which people are attuned to others. Those who are lower in SES also tend to be more interpersonally attuned. However, to date, this work has not been demonstrated using neural measures. In the present electroencephalogram study, we found evidence that lower SES was linked to stronger Mu-suppression during action observation. This finding adds to the growing literature on factors that affect Mu-suppression and suggests that the mirror neuron system may be influenced by one’s social class.

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Giving support to others reduces sympathetic nervous system-related responses to stress

Tristen Inagaki & Naomi Eisenberger
Psychophysiology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Social support is a major contributor to the link between social ties and beneficial health outcomes. Research to date has focused on how receiving support from others might be good for us; however, we know less about the health effects of giving support to others. Based on prior work in animals showing that stimulating neural circuitry important for caregiving behavior can reduce sympathetic-related responses to stressors, it is possible that, in humans, giving to others can reduce stressor-evoked sympathetic nervous system responding, which has implications for health outcomes. To test the effect of giving support on the physiological stress response, participants either wrote a supportive note to a friend (support-giving condition) or wrote about their route to school/work (control condition) before undergoing a standard laboratory-based stress task. Physiological responses (heart rate, blood pressure, salivary alpha-amylase, salivary cortisol), and self-reported stress were collected throughout the protocol. In line with hypotheses, support giving (vs. control) reduced sympathetic-related responses (systolic blood pressure and alpha-amylase) to the stressor. No effects of support giving were found on self-reported psychological stress or cortisol levels. Results add to existing knowledge of the pathways by which support giving may lead to health benefits and highlight the contribution of giving to others in the broader social support-health link.

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My friends are all alike – the relation between liking and perceived similarity in person perception

Hans Alves, Alex Koch & Christian Unkelbach
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, January 2016, Pages 103–117

Abstract:
Past research showed that people accumulate more knowledge about other people and objects they like compared to those they dislike. More knowledge is commonly assumed to lead to more differentiated mental representations; therefore, people should perceive others they like as less similar to one another than others they dislike. We predict the opposite outcome based on the density hypothesis (Unkelbach, Fiedler, Bayer, Stegmüller, & Danner, 2008); accordingly, positive impressions are less diverse than negative impressions as there are only a few ways to be liked but many ways to be disliked. Therefore, people should perceive liked others as more similar to one another than disliked others even though they have more knowledge about liked others. Seven experiments confirm this counterintuitive prediction and show a strong association between liking and perceived similarity in person perception. We discuss the implications of these results for different aspects of person perception.

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In-Group Ostracism Increases High-Fidelity Imitation in Early Childhood

Rachel Watson-Jones, Harvey Whitehouse & Cristine Legare
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Cyberball paradigm was used to examine the hypothesis that children use high-fidelity imitation as a reinclusion behavior in response to being ostracized by in-group members. Children (N = 176; 5- to 6-year-olds) were either included or excluded by in- or out-group members and then shown a video of an in-group or an out-group member enacting a social convention. Participants who were excluded by their in-group engaged in higher-fidelity imitation than those who were included by their in-group. Children who were included by an out-group and those who were excluded by an out-group showed no difference in imitative fidelity. Children ostracized by in-group members also displayed increased anxiety relative to children ostracized by out-group members. The data are consistent with the proposal that high-fidelity imitation functions as reinclusion behavior in the context of in-group ostracism.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hooked on a feeling

Experiencing haptic roughness promotes empathy

Chen Wang, Rui (Juliet) Zhu & Todd Handy
Journal of Consumer Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Eliciting empathy plays a significant role in encouraging charitable donations. However, we know little about how incidental, contextual cues can facilitate empathy. In a series of behavioral, neuroscience, and field studies, we show that incidental exposure to haptic sensation of roughness (vs. smoothness) increases individuals' attention to the unfortunate others. Such heightened attention subsequently leads to enhanced empathic responses. These findings not only underscore the power of subtle contextual cues on shaping important behaviors, but also point to the possibility of developing novel intervention strategies for promoting empathy and prosociality.

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Human emotions track changes in the acoustic environment

Weiyi Ma & William Forde Thompson
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 24 November 2015, Pages 14563–14568

Abstract:
Emotional responses to biologically significant events are essential for human survival. Do human emotions lawfully track changes in the acoustic environment? Here we report that changes in acoustic attributes that are well known to interact with human emotions in speech and music also trigger systematic emotional responses when they occur in environmental sounds, including sounds of human actions, animal calls, machinery, or natural phenomena, such as wind and rain. Three changes in acoustic attributes known to signal emotional states in speech and music were imposed upon 24 environmental sounds. Evaluations of stimuli indicated that human emotions track such changes in environmental sounds just as they do for speech and music. Such changes not only influenced evaluations of the sounds themselves, they also affected the way accompanying facial expressions were interpreted emotionally. The findings illustrate that human emotions are highly attuned to changes in the acoustic environment, and reignite a discussion of Charles Darwin’s hypothesis that speech and music originated from a common emotional signal system based on the imitation and modification of environmental sounds.

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Crossmodal Communication: Sound Frequency Influences Consumer Responses to Color Lightness

Henrik Hagtvedt & Adam Brasel
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
This research demonstrates that the synesthetic crossmodal correspondence between sound frequency and color lightness can guide visual attention: High-frequency (low-frequency) sounds guide visual attention toward light-colored (dark-colored) objects. Three eye tracking studies indicate that this influence is automatic; it arises without goals or conscious awareness, it appears to take precedence over the influence from a simultaneously occurring semantic correspondence, and it even operates despite explicit instructions to the contrary. Two additional studies highlight the potential role for this influence in marketing contexts. In Study 4, the audio frequency in a soundtrack guides visual attention in a commercial, as evidenced by recall of marketing messages. In Study 5, customers in a supermarket exposed to high-frequency (vs. low-frequency) music are more likely to purchase products from a shelf with light (vs. dark) décor.

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Impact of Brand or Generic Labeling on Medication Effectiveness and Side Effects

Kate Faasse et al.
Health Psychology, forthcoming

Objective: Branding medication with a known pharmaceutical company name or product name bestows on the drug an added assurance of authenticity and effectiveness compared to a generic preparation. This study examined the impact of brand name and generic labeling on medication effectiveness and side effects.

Method: 87 undergraduate students with frequent headaches took part in the study. Using a within-subjects counterbalanced design, each participant took tablets labeled either as brand name “Nurofen” or “Generic Ibuprofen” to treat each of 4 headaches. In reality, half of the tablets were placebos, and half were active ibuprofen (400 mg). Participants recorded their headache pain on a verbal descriptor and visual analogue scale prior to taking the tablets, and again 1 hour afterward. Medication side effects were also reported.

Results: Pain reduction following the use of brand name labeled tablets was similar in active ibuprofen or a placebo. However, if the tablets had a generic label, placebo tablets were significantly less effective compared to active ibuprofen. Fewer side effects were attributed to placebo tablets with brand name labeling compared to the same placebo tablets with a generic label.

Conclusions: Branding of a tablet appears to have conferred a treatment benefit in the absence of an active ingredient, while generic labeled tablets were substantially less effective if they contained no active ingredient. Branding is also associated with reduced attribution of side effects to placebo tablets. Future interventions to improve perceptions of generics may have utility in improving treatment outcomes from generic drugs.

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The smell of death: Evidence that putrescine elicits threat management mechanisms

Arnaud Wisman & Ilan Shrira
Frontiers in Psychology, August 2015

Abstract:
The ability to detect and respond to chemosensory threat cues in the environment plays a vital role in survival across species. However, little is known about which chemical compounds can act as olfactory threat signals in humans. We hypothesized that brief exposure to putrescine, a chemical compound produced by the breakdown of fatty acids in the decaying tissue of dead bodies, can function as a chemosensory warning signal, activating threat management responses (e.g., heightened alertness, fight-or-flight responses). This hypothesis was tested by gaging people’s responses to conscious and non-conscious exposure to putrescine. In Experiment 1, putrescine increased vigilance, as measured by a reaction time task. In Experiments 2 and 3, brief exposure to putrescine (vs. ammonia and a scentless control condition) prompted participants to walk away faster from the exposure site. Experiment 3 also showed that putrescine elicited implicit cognitions related to escape and threat. Experiment 4 found that exposure to putrescine, presented here below the threshold of conscious awareness, increased hostility toward an out-group member. Together, the results are the first to indicate that humans can process putrescine as a warning signal that mobilizes protective responses to deal with relevant threats. The implications of these results are briefly discussed.

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Leveling Mountains: Purpose Attenuates Links Between Perceptions of Effort and Steepness

Anthony Burrow, Patrick Hill & Rachel Sumner
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, January 2016, Pages 94-103

Abstract:
People tend to overestimate the steepness of slopes, especially when they appraise the effort necessary to ascend them as greater. Recent studies, however, suggest the way individuals perceive visual stimuli may rely heavily on their personal motivations. In four studies (N = 517), purpose in life was tested as a motivational framework influencing how appraised effort relates to slope perception. Studies 1 and 2 found the amount of effort participants appraised necessary to ascend several virtual slopes was related to greater overestimation of their steepness. Yet, this relationship was attenuated by purpose assessed both as a disposition and experimental manipulation. Studies 3 and 4 replicated these findings using actual hills, again showing links between the amount of effort thought required to ascend them and their perceived angle were diminished by greater purpose. The discussion addresses implications of purpose as a broad motivational framework that shapes how individuals see their environment.

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Self-Rated Health in Healthy Adults and Susceptibility to the Common Cold

Sheldon Cohen, Denise Janicki-Deverts & William Doyle
Psychosomatic Medicine, November/December 2015, Pages 959–968

Objectives: To explore the association of self-rated health (SRH) with host resistance to illness after exposure to a common cold virus and identify mechanisms linking SRH to future health status.

Methods: We analyzed archival data from 360 healthy adults (mean [standard deviation] age = 33.07 [10.69] years, 45.6% women). Each person completed validated questionnaires that assessed SRH (excellent, very good, good, fair, poor), socioemotional factors, and health practices and was subsequently exposed to a common cold virus and monitored for 5 days for clinical illness (infection and objective signs of illness).

Results: Poorer SRH was associated in a graded fashion with greater susceptibility to developing clinical illness (good/fair versus excellent: odds ratio = 3.21, 95% confidence interval = 1.47–6.99; very good versus excellent: odds ratio = 2.60, 95% confidence interval = 1.27–5.32), independent of age, sex, race, prechallenge immunity (specific antibody), body mass, season, education, and income. Greater illness risk was not attributable to infection, but to increased likelihood of developing objective signs of illness once infected. Poorer SRH also correlated with poorer health practices, increased stress, lower positive emotions, and other socioemotional factors. However, none of these (alone or together) accounted for the association between SRH and host resistance. Additional data (separate study) indicated that history of having colds was unrelated to susceptibility and hence also did not account for the SRH link with immunocompetence.

Conclusions: Poorer SRH is associated with poorer immunocompetence, possibly reflecting sensitivity to sensations associated with premorbid immune dysfunction. In turn, poorer immune function may be a major contributing mechanism linking SRH to future health.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, November 27, 2015

On the job

Trading Down and the Business Cycle

Nir Jaimovich, Sergio Rebelo & Arlene Wong
NBER Working Paper, September 2015

Abstract:
We document two facts. First, during recessions consumers trade down in the quality of the goods and services they consume. Second, the production of low-quality goods is less labor intensive than that of high-quality goods. So, when households trade down, labor demand falls, increasing the severity of recessions. We find that the trading-down phenomenon accounts for a substantial fraction of the fall in U.S. employment in the recent recession. We study two business cycle models that embed quality choice and find that the presence of quality choice magnifies the response of these economies to real and monetary shocks.

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Identifying Opportunity Occupations in the Nation's Largest Metropolitan Areas

Keith Wardrip et al.
Federal Reserve Working Paper, September 2015

Abstract:
In this paper, we investigate the extent to which the U.S. economy offers decent-paying jobs to workers without a four-year college degree. We define an “opportunity occupation” as one that is generally considered accessible to someone without a bachelor’s degree and that pays at least the national annual median wage, adjusted for differences in local consumption prices. Focusing on the 100 largest metropolitan areas and using measures that reflect both the typical education needed to enter an occupation and the requisite education suggested by incumbent workers and occupational experts, we find that 27.4 percent of employment could be found in opportunity occupations in 2014. This estimate falls by more than seven percentage points — to 20.3 percent — when we predicate job accessibility on the educational attainment requested by employers in online job ads. The availability of opportunity-rich work for those without a bachelor’s degree varies dramatically across the metropolitan areas in our study, ranging from 36.6 percent to well under half that level. The educational preferences of employers as expressed in online job ads introduce a potentially significant barrier to economic self-sufficiency for those without a four-year degree, lowering the share of opportunity occupations by more than 10 percentage points in some metro areas. Our analysis suggests that since 2011, the level of education requested in job ads has become less stringent for some occupations and more stringent for others.

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Factors Determining Callbacks to Job Applications by the Unemployed: An Audit Study

Henry Farber, Dan Silverman & Till von Wachter
NBER Working Paper, October 2015

Abstract:
We use an audit study approach to investigate how unemployment duration, age, and holding a low-level “interim” job affect the likelihood that experienced college-educated females applying for an administrative support job receive a callback from a potential employer. First, the results show no relationship between callback rates and the duration of unemployment. Second, workers age 50 and older are significantly less likely to receive a callback. Third, taking an interim job significantly reduces the likelihood of receiving a callback. Finally, employers who have higher callback rates respond less to observable differences across workers in determining whom to call back. We interpret these results in the context of a model of employer learning about applicant quality.

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Does a high minimum wage spur low-skilled emigration?

D. Martin & A. Termos
Economics Letters, December 2015, Pages 200–202

Abstract:
We investigate the migration response to state and local variation in minimum wages in the United States. We find that a one dollar difference between two areas’ real minimum wage is associated with 3.1% more migration of low-skilled workers towards the location with the lower minimum wage. The minimum wage does not influence the migration decisions of high-skilled workers.

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Identifying the Employment Effect of Invoking and Changing the Minimum Wage: A Spatial Analysis of the UK

Peter Dolton, Chiara Rosazza Bondibene & Michael Stops
Labour Economics, December 2015, Pages 54–76

Abstract:
This paper assesses the impact of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) on employment in the UK over the 1999-2010 period explicitly modelling the effect of the 2008-10 recession. Identification of invoking a NMW is possible by reference to a pre-period (prior to 1999) without a NMW. Separate identification of the effect of incremental changes (and year interaction effects) in the NMW is facilitated by variation in the bite of the NMW across local labour markets. We address the issues of: possible endogeneity and dynamic structure of employment rate changes; regional demand side shocks induced by the recession; and take account of the spatial dependence of local labour markets. Using System GMM we conclude that there is no discernable effect of the NMW introduction or its uprating on employment but show how more naïve estimation may have revealed the various widely different positive and negative effects found in the literature.

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The Employment Effects of State Hiring Credits

David Neumark & Diego Grijalva
University of California Working Paper, June 2015

Abstract:
State and federal policymakers grappling with the aftermath of the Great Recession sought ways to spur job creation, in many cases adopting hiring credits to encourage employers to create new jobs. However, there is virtually no evidence on the effects of these kinds of counter-recessionary hiring credits – the only evidence coming from much earlier studies of the federal New Jobs Tax Credit in the 1970s. This paper provides evidence on the effects of state hiring credits on job growth. For many of the types of hiring credits we examine we do not find positive effects on job growth. However, some specific types of hiring credits – most notably including those targeting the unemployed, those that allow states to recapture credits when job creation goals are not met, and refundable hiring credits – appear to have succeeded in boosting job growth, more so during the Great Recession period or perhaps recessions generally. At the same time, some credits appear to generate hiring without increasing employment or to generate much more hiring than net employment growth, consistent with these credits leading to churning of employees that raises the costs of producing jobs via hiring credits.

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Work Incentives in the Social Security Disability Benefit Formula

Gopi Shah Goda, John Shoven & Sita Slavov
NBER Working Paper, November 2015

Abstract:
We examine the connection between taxes paid and benefits accrued under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program on both the intensive and extensive margins. We perform these calculations for stylized workers given the existing benefit structure and disability hazard rates. On the intensive margin, we examine the effect of an additional dollar of earnings on the marginal payroll taxes contributed and future benefits earned. We find that the present discounted value of disability benefits received from an additional dollar of earnings, net of the SSDI payroll tax, generally declines with age, becoming negative around age 40 and reaching almost zero at age 63. On the extensive margin, we determine the effect of working an additional year on the additional payroll taxes and future benefits as a percentage of income. The return to working an additional year at an income level just large enough to earn Social Security credits for the year is large and positive through age 60. However, the return to working an additional full year is substantially smaller and becomes negative at approximately age 57. Thus, older workers face strong incentives to earn enough to obtain creditable coverage through age 60, but they face disincentives for additional earnings. In addition, workers ages 61 and older face work disincentives at any level of earnings. We repeat this analysis for stylized workers at different levels of earnings and find that, while the program transfers resources from high earners to low earners, the workers experience similar patterns in the returns to working.

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Education and regional mobility in Europe

Christoph Weiss
Economics of Education Review, December 2015, Pages 129–141

Abstract:
This paper estimates the impact of education on regional mobility in Europe using compulsory schooling reforms. Using data on individuals from eight European countries, I find that people who are induced by a school reform to acquire one more year of education are much more likely to relocate to another region in their country between the age of 15 and 50. I also show that education increases the probability of moving to a city for people from rural areas.

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The Effects of Job Insecurity on Health Care Utilization: Findings from a Panel of U.S. Workers

Rita Hamad, Sepideh Modrek & Mark Cullen
Health Services Research, forthcoming

Objective: To examine the impacts of job insecurity during the recession of 2007–2009 on health care utilization among a panel of U.S. employees.

Data Sources/Study Setting: Linked administrative and claims datasets on a panel of continuously employed, continuously insured individuals at a large multisite manufacturing firm that experienced widespread layoffs (N = 9,486).

Study Design: We employed segmented regressions to examine temporal discontinuities in utilization during 2006–2012. To assess the effects of job insecurity, we compared individuals at high- and low-layoff plants. Because the dataset includes multiple observations for each individual, we included individual-level fixed effects.

Principal Findings: We found discontinuous increases in outpatient (3.5 visits/month/10,000 individuals, p = .002) and emergency (0.4 visits/month/10,000 individuals, p = .05) utilization in the panel of all employees. Compared with individuals at low-layoff plants, individuals at high-layoff plants decreased outpatient utilization (−4.0 visits/month/10,000 individuals, p = .008), suggesting foregone preventive care, with a marginally significant increase in emergency utilization (0.4 visits/month/10,000 individuals, p = .08).

Conclusions: These results suggest changes in health care utilization and potentially adverse impacts on employee health in response to job insecurity during the latest recession. This study contributes to our understanding of the impacts of economic crises on the health of the U.S. working population.

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Race, gender, and public-sector work: Prioritizing occupational values as a labor market privilege

Lauren Benditt,
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, December 2015, Pages 73–86

Abstract:
This paper examines the role of occupational values in job choice. Using public service motivation (PSM), a value orientation associated with public workers, this analysis predicts public sector employment using a mixed-methods approach: a quantitative analysis of the 2006 General Social Survey and a qualitative analysis of 87 semi-structured interviews with state government workers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Oregon. The results indicate variation within the public employee population in the effect of PSM on choosing to work in the public sector. They also suggest that prioritizing values in occupational choice may be a luxury, and assuming shared occupational values lacks consideration of the underlying rationales some individuals use when choosing a job.

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Mass Layoffs, Manufacturing and State Business Climates: Does State Policy Matter?

Christopher Surfield & Surender Reddy
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study provides the first estimates on the relationship between state public policies and job losses in the manufacturing sector. In addition, spatial model estimation is adopted to identify any effect that state policies may have on the adopting state as well as upon neighboring states. We find evidence that favorable ratings regarding some elements of a state's business climate coincide with a lower incidence of job loss. This relationship holds beyond the adopting state and is correlated with lower job losses in contiguous states.

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The impact of the net percentage growth rate in the number of small firms on differential state-level employment growth rates in the US: An exploratory empirical note

Richard Cebula et al.
Applied Economics Letters, Winter 2016, Pages 167-170

Abstract:
This brief exploratory empirical note seeks to identify key determinants of geographic differentials in the percentage growth rate of state-level employment in the US, with the primary focus being on the percentage net growth rate in the number of small firms (i.e., those with fewer than 20 employees) in each state, where this variable serves as a de facto reflection of ‘entrepreneurship’. In the interest of identifying other key factors that influence state-level employment growth rates, the effective income tax rate in each state, quality of life elements and labour market considerations are also included in the analysis. The study period runs from the year 2000 to the year 2007, ending just prior to the ‘Great Recession’. The estimation results imply that the state-level employment growth rate in the US was an increasing function of the percentage net growth rate in the number of small firms in each state. Thus, it appears that the small firms growth rate may in fact be a significant source.

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The Long Road to Employment: Incivility Experienced by Job Seekers

Abdifatah Ali et al.
Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study addresses how job seekers’ experiences of rude and discourteous treatment — incivility — can adversely affect self-regulatory processes underlying job searching. Using the social–cognitive model (Zimmerman, 2000), we integrate social–cognitive theory with the goal orientation literature to examine how job search self-efficacy mediates the relationship between incivility and job search behaviors and how individual differences in learning goal orientation and avoid-performance goal orientation moderate that process. We conducted 3 studies with diverse methods and samples. Study 1 employed a mixed-method design to understand the nature of incivility within the job search context and highlight the role of attributions in linking incivility to subsequent job search motivation and behavior. We tested our hypotheses in Study 2 and 3 employing time-lagged research designs with unemployed job seekers and new labor market entrants. Across both Study 2 and 3 we found evidence that the negative effect of incivility on job search self-efficacy and subsequent job search behaviors are stronger for individuals low, rather than high, in avoid-performance goal orientation. Theoretical implications of our findings and practical recommendations for how to address the influence of incivility on job seeking are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Going hungry

Low Childhood Socioeconomic Status Promotes Eating in the Absence of Energy Need

Sarah Hill et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Life history theory predicts that developmental exposure to conditions typical of low socioeconomic status (SES) should calibrate development in ways that promote survivability in harsh and unpredictable ecologies. Guided by these insights, the current research tested the hypothesis that low childhood SES would predict eating in the absence of energy need. Across three studies, we measured (Study 1) or manipulated (Studies 2 and 3) participants’ energy need and gave them the opportunity to eat provided snacks. Participants also reported their childhood and adult SES. Results revealed that people with higher childhood SES regulated food intake based on immediate energy need; they ate more when need was high than when need was low. This relationship was not observed among those with lower childhood SES. These individuals consumed comparably high amounts of food whether current energy need was high or low. Childhood SES may have a lasting impact on food regulation.

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Pleasure as a Substitute for Size: How Multisensory Imagery Can Make People Happier with Smaller Food Portions

Yann Cornil & Pierre Chandon
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on overeating assumes that pleasure must be sacrificed for the sake of good health. Contrary to this view, the authors show that focusing on sensory pleasure can make people happier and willing to spend more for less food, a triple win for public health, consumers and businesses alike. In five experiments, American and French adults and children were asked to imagine vividly the taste, smell and oro-haptic sensations of three hedonic foods prior to choosing a portion size of another hedonic food. Compared to a control condition, this “multisensory imagery” intervention led hungry and non-dieting people to choose smaller food portions, yet they anticipated greater eating enjoyment and were willing to pay more for them. This occurred because it prompted participants to evaluate portions based on expected sensory pleasure, which peaks with smaller portions, rather than on hunger. In contrast, health-based interventions led people to choose a smaller portion than the one they expected to enjoy most — a hedonic cost for them and an economic cost for food marketers.

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Five Years Later: Awareness Of New York City’s Calorie Labels Declined, With No Changes In Calories Purchased

Jonathan Cantor et al.
Health Affairs, November 2015, Pages 1893-1900

Abstract:
To follow up on a previous study that examined how the mandated displaying of calorie information on menu boards in fast-food restaurants in New York City influenced consumers’ behavior, we analyzed itemized cash register receipts and survey responses from 7,699 consumers at four fast-food chains. Using a difference-in-differences study design, we found that consumers exposed to menu labeling immediately after the mandate took effect in 2008 and at three points in 2013–14 reported seeing and using the information more often than their counterparts at fast-food restaurants without menu labeling. In each successive period of data collection, the percentage of respondents noticing and using the information declined, while remaining above the prelabeling baseline. There were no statistically significant changes over time in levels of calories or other nutrients purchased or in the frequency of visits to fast-food restaurants. Menu labeling at fast-food chain restaurants, which the Affordable Care Act requires to be implemented nationwide in 2016, remains an unproven strategy for improving the nutritional quality of consumer food choices at the population level. Additional policy efforts that go beyond labeling and possibly alter labeling to increase its impact must be considered.

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The (Ironic) Dove Effect: Usage of Acceptance Cues for Larger Body Types Increases Unhealthy Behaviors

Lily Lin & Brent McFerran
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, forthcoming

Abstract:
The average weight of the population has risen rapidly in much of the world. Concurrently, in recent years, advertisers have increased the usage of larger models in their campaigns, and many of these ads claim that their larger models (as compared to thin models commonly used) possess “realistic” body types. Many groups have lauded these moves as beneficial to promoting a healthy body image in society. However, in five studies, the authors found that cues suggesting the acceptance of larger body types resulted in greater intended or actual consumption of food and a reduced motivation to engage in a healthier lifestyle. The authors suggest that one reason why being larger-bodied may appear to be contagious is that as it is seen as more socially permissible, individuals exhibit lower motivation to engage in healthy behaviors and consume greater portions of unhealthy food. The authors also contrast acceptance with communications stigmatizing various body types, and identify limitations of both approaches. The authors conclude with implications for public policy.

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Exposure to Cues of Harsh or Safe Environmental Conditions Alters Food Preferences

Jim Swaffield & Craig Roberts
Evolutionary Psychological Science, June 2015, Pages 69-76

Abstract:
In humans, psychological stress is positively correlated with an increased desire for certain energy-dense food items, indicating that stress may trigger foraging behavior that adapts to perceived current and future resource availability. However, the extent to which such processes influence desire for different kinds of foods remains unclear. Here, we examine the effects of perceived environmental conditions on food preferences across the food spectrum of dairy, meats, vegetables, fruit, grains, and sweets. We first showed images of 30 different food items to participants and recorded their stated desire to eat each kind of food. We then repeated this procedure after exposing participants to cues of either a harsh or a safe environment. As predicted, we found cues of environmental harshness increased the desirability of energy-dense food items. However, there was also evidence for decreased desirability for energy-dense food items following exposure to cues of a relatively safe environment. Our findings indicate that simple manipulations of perceived environmental conditions may trigger changes in desire for different kinds of food. Our study has relevance for increasing efforts to understand eating behavior in order to promote uptake of healthier diets.

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Weight isn’t selling: The insidious effects of weight stigmatization in retail settings

Enrica Ruggs, Michelle Hebl & Amber Williams
Journal of Applied Psychology, September 2015, Pages 1483-1496

Abstract:
In recent years, the literature on the stigma of obesity has grown but there still remains a paucity of research examining specific issues associated with its impact in the workplace. In the current study, we examine 3 such issues related to the influence of weight-based stigmatization in retail settings. First, we highlight research on the impact of obesity in men often is minimized or altogether excluded, and we examine whether weight-based stigmatization influences men in authentic retail settings (Study 1). Across retail contexts, Study 1 reveals that heavy (vs. nonheavy) men do experience significantly more interpersonal (subtle) discrimination. Second, we examine the “why” of weight-based stigmatization and find that weight-related negative stereotypes compound to produce indirect but strong effects of stigmatization in retail settings (Study 2). Third and finally, we examine whether weight-based stigmatization against men and women in retail also influences ratings of associated products and the organizations for which heavy individuals work (also Study 2). Results from Study 2 show that stereotypes work similarly for men and women and that a stigma-by-association effect occurs in which evaluators rate products and organizations associated with heavy (vs. nonheavy) retail personnel more negatively. Finally, we discuss the importance of these findings in gaining a more holistic look at the influence of weight stigmatization in the workplace.

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Television and eating: Repetition enhances food intake

Utsa Mathur & Richard Stevenson
Frontiers in Psychology, November 2015

Abstract:
Some studies find that eating with TV increases food intake while others do not. Some of this variability may reflect the engagingness of what is being watched (i.e., content). To test this we varied engagingness by manipulating content familiarity. Female participants undertook two sessions. In the “Different” session they watched two different episodes of the comedy Friends, with snack food presented during the second episode. In the “Same” session they viewed another episode of Friends twice in succession, with snack food presented during the second repeat showing. The three episodes of Friends used here were fully counterbalanced, so overall the only difference between the “Same” and “Different” sessions was whether the content of the second show was familiar or novel. As expected, 14% less was eaten in the “Different” session, suggesting that novel and presumably more engaging content can reduce intake relative to watching familiar and presumably less engaging content. These findings are consistent with the idea that the engagingness of TV can differentially affect food intake, although boredom or irritability resulting from repeat viewing might also explain this effect.

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Healthy Reflections: The Influence of Mirror Induced Self-Awareness on Taste Perceptions

Ata Jami
Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Taste, as a focal aspect of food products, plays a major role in food consumption decisions as well as consumers’ eating habits. Here, we show that the taste perception of unhealthy food is malleable, and the presence of a mirror can make unhealthy food less tasty by increasing self-awareness. After eating unhealthy food in front of a mirror, individuals experience the discomfort of acting against the standards of healthy eating. We argue that people attribute this discomfort to the food’s taste since it is difficult to attribute the discomfort to the self while being self-aware. Four studies test the proposed effect of mirror on food taste and consumption, and examine its boundary conditions.

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Advance Ordering for Healthier Eating? Field Experiments on the Relationship between Time Delay and Meal Content

Eric VanEpps, Julie Downs & George Loewenstein
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Encouraging consumers to select meals in advance rather than at mealtime has been proposed as a strategy to promote healthier eating decisions, taking advantage of the improved self-control that is thought to accompany delayed decisions. In two field studies at an employee cafeteria and a third in a university setting, we examine how time delays between placing a lunch order and picking it up affect the healthfulness of that lunch. The first, a secondary data analysis, found that longer delays between placing an order and picking up the meal were associated with reductions in calorie content. The second study tested the causality of this relationship by exogenously restricting some lunch orders to be substantially delayed, leading to a marginally significant (approximately five percent) reduction in calories among delayed orders. The third study compared orders for truly immediate consumption versus orders placed in advance, and demonstrated a significant (100 calorie, or approximately ten percent) reduction in lunch calories. We discuss evidence regarding possible theoretical mechanisms underlying this effect, as well as practical implications of our findings.

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Energy Expenditure in Humans and Other Primates: A New Synthesis

Herman Pontzer
Annual Review of Anthropology, 2015, Pages 169-187

Abstract:
This review examines the proximate, ecological, and evolutionary determinants of energy expenditure in humans and primates, with an emphasis on empirical measurements of total energy expenditure (TEE). Body size is the main proximate determinant of TEE, both within and between species; physical activity, genetic variation, and endocrine regulation explain substantially less of the variation in TEE. Basal metabolism is the single largest component of TEE, far exceeding the cost of physical activity, digestion, growth and reproduction, and thermoregulation in most instances. Notably, differences in physical activity do not generally result in corresponding differences in TEE, undermining the utility of activity-based factorial estimates of TEE. Instead, empirical measurements of energy expenditure in humans and other primates suggest that the body adapts dynamically to long-term changes in physical activity, maintaining TEE within an evolved, and relatively narrow, physiological range.

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Health and Education Expansion

Jonathan James
Economics of Education Review, December 2015, Pages 193–215

Abstract:
In this paper I exploit a reform that expanded UK post-compulsory education during the 1980s and 1990s to examine the effect of education on health. The expansion resulted in a rapid increase in education over the whole education distribution. I find evidence that education had an effect in reducing body mass index, waist circumference and weight. For other health measures (self-reported general health, long term or limiting illnesses), blood pressure and health behaviours (smoking and drinking) there were small to no improvements. There is suggestive evidence that the mechanisms driving these results are improvements in labour market and social status.

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Diet And Perceptions Change With Supermarket Introduction In A Food Desert, But Not Because Of Supermarket Use

Tamara Dubowitz et al.
Health Affairs, November 2015, Pages 1858-1868

Abstract:
Placing full-service supermarkets in food deserts — areas with limited access to healthy food — has been promoted as a way to reduce inequalities in access to healthy food, improve diet, and reduce the risk of obesity. However, previous studies provide scant evidence of such impacts. We surveyed households in two Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, neighborhoods in 2011 and 2014, one of which received a new supermarket in 2013. Comparing trends in the two neighborhoods, we obtained evidence of multiple positive impacts from new supermarket placement. In the new supermarket neighborhood we found net positive changes in overall dietary quality; average daily intakes of kilocalories and added sugars; and percentage of kilocalories from solid fats, added sugars, and alcohol. However, the only positive outcome in the recipient neighborhood specifically associated with regular use of the new supermarket was improved perceived access to healthy food. We did not observe differential improvement between the neighborhoods in fruit and vegetable intake, whole grain consumption, or body mass index. Incentivizing supermarkets to locate in food deserts is appropriate. However, efforts should proceed with caution, until the mechanisms by which the stores affect diet and their ability to influence weight status are better understood.

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Resting metabolic rate varies by race and by sleep duration

Andrea Spaeth, David Dinges & Namni Goel
Obesity, December 2015, Pages 2349–2356

Objective: Short sleep duration is a significant risk factor for weight gain, particularly in African Americans and men. Increased caloric intake underlies this relationship, but it remains unclear whether decreased energy expenditure is a contributory factor. The current study assessed the impact of sleep restriction and recovery sleep on energy expenditure in African American and Caucasian men and women.

Methods: Healthy adults participated in a controlled laboratory study. After two baseline sleep nights, subjects were randomized to an experimental (n = 36; 4 h sleep/night for five nights followed by one night with 12 h recovery sleep) or control condition (n = 11; 10 h sleep/night). Resting metabolic rate and respiratory quotient were measured using indirect calorimetry in the morning after overnight fasting.

Results: Resting metabolic rate — the largest component of energy expenditure — decreased after sleep restriction (−2.6%, P = 0.032) and returned to baseline levels after recovery sleep. No changes in resting metabolic rate were observed in control subjects. Relative to Caucasians (n = 14), African Americans (n = 22) exhibited comparable daily caloric intake but a lower resting metabolic rate (P = 0.043) and higher respiratory quotient (P = 0.013) regardless of sleep duration.

Conclusions: Sleep restriction decreased morning resting metabolic rate in healthy adults, suggesting that sleep loss leads to metabolic changes aimed at conserving energy.

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Probiotic supplementation attenuates increases in body mass and fat mass during high-fat diet in healthy young adults

Kristin Osterberg et al.
Obesity, December 2015, Pages 2364–2370

Objective: The objective was to determine the effects of the probiotic, VSL#3, on body and fat mass, insulin sensitivity, and skeletal muscle substrate oxidation following 4 weeks of a high-fat diet.

Methods: Twenty non-obese males (18-30 years) participated in the study. Following a 2-week eucaloric control diet, participants underwent dual X-ray absorptiometry to determine body composition, an intravenous glucose tolerance test to determine insulin sensitivity, and a skeletal muscle biopsy for measurement of in vitro substrate oxidation. Subsequently, participants were randomized to receive either VSL#3 or placebo daily during 4 weeks of consuming a High-fat (55% fat), hypercaloric diet (+1,000 kcal day−1). Participants repeated all measurements following the intervention.

Results: Body mass (1.42 ± 0.42 kg vs. 2.30 ± 0.28 kg) and fat mass (0.63 ± 0.09 kg vs. 1.29 ± 0.27 kg) increased less following the High-fat diet in the VSL#3 group compared with placebo. However, there were no significant changes in insulin sensitivity or in vitro skeletal muscle pyruvate and fat oxidation with the High-fat diet or VSL#3.

Conclusions: VSL#3 supplementation appears to have provided some protection from body mass gain and fat accumulation in healthy young men consuming a High-fat and high-energy diet.

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Toddlers’ bias to look at average versus obese figures relates to maternal anti-fat prejudice

Ted Ruffman et al.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Anti-fat prejudice (weight bias, obesity stigma) is strong, prevalent, and increasing in adults and is associated with negative outcomes for those with obesity. However, it is unknown how early in life this prejudice forms and the reasons for its development. We examined whether infants and toddlers might display an anti-fat bias and, if so, whether it was influenced by maternal anti-fat attitudes through a process of social learning. Mother–child dyads (N = 70) split into four age groups participated in a preferential looking paradigm whereby children were presented with 10 pairs of average and obese human figures in random order, and their viewing times (preferential looking) for the figures were measured. Mothers’ anti-fat prejudice and education were measured along with mothers’ and fathers’ body mass index (BMI) and children’s television viewing time. We found that older infants (M = 11 months) had a bias for looking at the obese figures, whereas older toddlers (M = 32 months) instead preferred looking at the average-sized figures. Furthermore, older toddlers’ preferential looking was correlated significantly with maternal anti-fat attitudes. Parental BMI, education, and children’s television viewing time were unrelated to preferential looking. Looking times might signal a precursor to explicit fat prejudice socialized via maternal anti-fat attitudes.

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Associations of Dispositional Mindfulness with Obesity and Central Adiposity: The New England Family Study

Eric Loucks et al.
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, forthcoming

Purpose: To evaluate whether dispositional mindfulness (defined as the ability to attend nonjudgmentally to one’s own physical and mental processes) is associated with obesity and central adiposity.

Methods: Study participants (n = 394) were from the New England Family Study, a prospective birth cohort, with median age 47 years. Dispositional mindfulness was assessed using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Central adiposity was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans with primary outcomes android fat mass and android/gynoid ratio. Obesity was defined as body mass index ≥30 kg/m2.

Results: Multivariable-adjusted regression analyses demonstrated that participants with low vs. high MAAS scores were more likely to be obese (prevalence ratio for obesity = 1.34 (95 % confidence limit (CL): 1.02, 1.77)), adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, birth weight, childhood socioeconomic status, and childhood intelligence. Furthermore, participants with low vs. high MAAS level had a 448 (95 % CL 39, 857) g higher android fat mass and a 0.056 (95 % CL 0.003, 0.110) greater android/gynoid fat mass ratio. Prospective analyses demonstrated that participants who were not obese in childhood and became obese in adulthood (n = 154) had −0.21 (95 % CL −0.41, −0.01; p = 0.04) lower MAAS scores than participants who were not obese in childhood or adulthood (n = 203).

Conclusions: Dispositional mindfulness may be inversely associated with obesity and adiposity. Replication studies are needed to adequately establish whether low dispositional mindfulness is a risk factor for obesity and adiposity.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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