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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dirty jobs

Fracking, Drilling, and Asset Pricing: Estimating the Economic Benefits of the Shale Revolution

Erik Gilje, Robert Ready & Nikolai Roussanov

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
We quantify the effect of a significant technological innovation, shale oil development, on asset prices. Using stock returns on major news announcement days allows us to link aggregate stock price fluctuations to shale technology innovations. We exploit cross-sectional variation in industry portfolio returns on days of major shale oil-related news announcements to construct a shale mimicking portfolio. This portfolio can explain a significant amount of variation in aggregate stock market returns, but only during the time period of shale oil development, which begins in 2012. Our estimates imply that $3.5 trillion of the increase in aggregate U.S. equity market capitalization since 2012 can be explained by this mimicking portfolio. Similar portfolios based on major monetary policy announcements do not explain the positive market returns over this period. We also show that exposure to shale oil technology has significant explanatory power for the cross-section of employment growth rates of U.S. industries over this period.

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Institutions and the shale boom

Ilia Murtazashvili

Journal of Institutional Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper uses the institutional economics of Douglass North to explain three features of the shale boom: why fracking technology emerged in the United States, the rapid increase in production of natural gas in the United States and the uneven response to these new economic opportunities in shale-rich economies. It argues that the institutional matrix of the United States, in particular private ownership of minerals, encouraged experimentation on the barren Texas oil and gas fields, where fracking technology emerged and the rapid transfer of mineral rights to gas companies. Institutional entrepreneurs, namely landmen and lawyers, facilitated contracting between owners of mineral rights and drillers. Private ownership of minerals and an ideology supportive of drilling provide insight into the adoption of regulations that encourage hydraulic fracturing.

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Energy Efficiency Standards Are More Regressive Than Energy Taxes: Theory and Evidence

Arik Levinson

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
Economists promote energy taxes as cost-effective. But policymakers raise concerns about their regressivity, or disproportional burden on poorer families, preferring to set energy efficiency standards instead. I first show that in theory, regulations targeting energy efficiency are more regressive than energy taxes, not less. I then provide an example in the context of automotive fuel consumption in the United States: taxing gas would be less regressive than regulating the fuel economy of cars if the two policies are compared on a revenue-equivalent basis.

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The Law of the Test: Performance-Based Regulation and Diesel Emissions Control

Cary Coglianese & Jennifer Nash

Yale Journal on Regulation, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal of 2015 not only pushed that company’s stock and retail sales into freefall, but also raised serious questions about the efficacy of existing regulatory controls. The same furtive actions taken by Volkswagen had been taken nearly twenty years earlier by other firms in the diesel industry. In that previous scandal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that diesel truck engine manufacturers had, like Volkswagen would later do, programmed on-board computers to calibrate their engines one way to satisfy the required emissions test. Those manufacturers had also programmed the on-board computers to re-calibrate the engines automatically to achieve better fuel economy and responsiveness when the trucks were on the road, even though doing so increased emissions above the mandated level. This paper provides an in-depth retrospective study of the federal government’s efforts to regulate diesel emissions. In particular, it chronicles the earlier saga over heavy-duty diesel truck engines to reveal important lessons for regulators who use a regulatory strategy known as performance-based regulation. Endorsed around the world and used in many settings, performance-based regulation mandates the attainment of outcomes — the passing of a test — but leaves the means for doing so up to the regulated entities. In theory, performance standards are highly appealing, but their actual performance in practice has remained virtually unstudied by scholars of regulation. This paper’s extensive analysis of U.S. diesel emissions control provides a new basis to learn how performance-based regulation works in action, revealing some of its previously unacknowledged limitations. Precisely because performance-based regulation offers flexibility, it facilitates, if not invites, private-sector firms to innovate in ways that allow them to pass mandated tests while confounding regulators’ broader policy objectives. When regulating the diesel industry or any other aspect of the economy, policymakers should temper their enthusiasm for performance standards and, when they use them, maintain constant vigilance for private-sector tactics that run counter to proper regulatory goals.

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EU air pollution regulation: A breath of fresh air for Eastern European polluting industries?

Igor Bagayev & Julie Lochard

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, forthcoming

Abstract:
Does air quality regulation in the European Union (EU) foster polluting activity in emerging and developing countries? In this paper, we propose an original variable that evaluates regulation stringency, based on the EU Air Quality Framework Directive. Focusing on the underlying mechanism and controlling for endogeneity in the relation between regulation and trade, we provide robust evidence that EU countries implementing more stringent air pollution regulations import relatively more in pollution-intensive sectors from developing and emerging countries in Europe and Central Asia.

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Identifying the Impacts of Critical Habitat Designation on Land Cover Change

Erik Nelson et al.

Resource and Energy Economics, February 2017, Pages 89–125

Abstract:
The US Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulates what landowners, land managers, and industry can do on lands occupied by listed species. The ESA does this in part by requiring the designation of habitat within each listed species’ range considered critical to their recovery. Critics have argued that critical habitat (CH) designation creates significant economic costs while contributing little to species recovery. Here we examine the effects of CH designation on land cover change. We find that the rate of change from 1992 to 2011 in developed (urban and residential) and agricultural land in CH areas was not significantly different compared to similar lands without CH designation, but still subject to ESA regulations. Although CH designation on average does not affect overall rates of land cover change, CH designation did slightly modify the impact of land cover change drivers. Generally, variation in land prices played a larger role in land cover decisions within CH areas than in similar areas without CH designation. These trends suggest that developers may require a greater than typical expected return to development in CH areas to compensate for the higher risk of regulatory scrutiny. Ultimately, our results bring into question the very rationale for the CH regulation. If it is for the most part not affecting land cover choices, is CH helping species recover?

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Does the Modernization of Environmental Enforcement Reduce Toxic Releases? An Examination of Self-policing, Criminal Prosecutions, and Toxic Releases in the United States, 1988–2014

Paul Stretesky et al.

Sociological Spectrum, January/February 2017, Pages 48-62

Abstract:
According to modernization theory, enforcement schemes that rely on end-of-the-pipe regulation are not as effective at achieving improved environmental performance as market-based approaches that encourage pollution prevention. Consistent with that observation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency transitioned to the use of self-policing to encourage pollution prevention. Other studies note that environmental compliance is significantly affected by traditional “command-and-control” strategies. Using Prais Winston regression we examine these contrasting views by estimating the relationship between toxic releases, self-policing, and criminal prosecutions from 1988 through 2014. Initial correlations suggest that (1) self-policing is not associated with toxic releases but that (2) criminal prosecutions may reduce toxic releases through general deterrence signals. Subsequent analyses controlling for gross domestic product revealed that neither self-policing nor criminal enforcement correlate with toxic releases but that gross domestic product was the strongest predictor of emissions. The implications of these findings for the control of toxic emissions are discussed.

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Corrective Policy and Goodhart's Law: The Case of Carbon Emissions from Automobiles

Mathias Reynaert & James Sallee

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
Firms sometimes comply with externality-correcting policies by gaming the measure that determines policy. We show theoretically that such gaming can benefit consumers, even when it induces them to make mistakes, because gaming leads to lower prices by reducing costs. We use our insights to quantify the welfare effect of gaming in fuel-consumption ratings for automobiles, which we show increased sharply following aggressive policy reforms. We estimate a structural model of the car market and derive empirical analogs of the price effects and choice distortions identified by theory. We find that price effects outweigh distortions; on net, consumers benefit from gaming.

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Has the Clean Air Interstate Rule Fulfilled Its Mission? An Assessment of Federal Rule-Making in Preventing Regional Spillover Pollution

Derek Glasgow & Shuang Zhao

Review of Policy Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Environmental Protection Agency developed the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) to minimize sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants and prevent pollution spillover into downwind states. While observers of CAIR claim success in the reduction of air pollution, our innovative multivariate statistical analysis based on spatial and facility-level panel data finds mixed results concerning the rule's effectiveness. On the one hand, we find that CAIR facilities are associated with increases in the reduction rate of pollution compared to non-CAIR facilities. However, the evidence suggests that sulfur dioxide levels decreased in CAIR-mandated facilities before the actual implementation of the program. Additionally, on the one hand, CAIR facilities in the interior of states are associated with slower pollution reduction rates than those on the border. However, this difference in reduction rate does not change dramatically before or after the adoption or implementation of this rule. This suggests that the CAIR program was ineffective in targeting specific facilities most likely to contribute to interstate pollution. We conclude that while CAIR spurred the electrical utility industry to reduce air pollution, some of these reductions occurred before the actual implementation of the program. More substantially, gains in interstate spillover pollution did not occur by targeting specific facilities most likely to spillover but rather through the overall reduction of air pollution in the eastern states.

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The Response of Consumer Spending to Changes in Gasoline Prices

Michael Gelman et al.

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
This paper estimates how overall consumer spending responds to changes in gasoline prices. It uses the differential impact across consumers of the sudden, large drop in gasoline prices in 2014 for identification. This estimation strategy is implemented using comprehensive, daily transaction-level data for a large panel of individuals. The estimated marginal propensity to consume (MPC) is approximately one, a higher estimate than estimates found in less comprehensive or well-measured data. This estimate takes into account the elasticity of demand for gasoline and potential slow adjustment to changes in prices. The high MPC implies that changes in gasoline prices have large aggregate effects.

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Employment Impacts of Upstream Oil and Gas Investment in the United States

Mark Agerton et al.

Energy Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use dynamic panel methods at the state level to understand how the increase in exploration and production of oil and natural gas since the mid 2000s has impacted employment. We find robust statistical support for the hypothesis that changes in drilling do, in fact, have an economically meaningful and positive impact on employment. The strongest impact is contemporaneous, though months later in the year also experience statistically and economically meaningful growth. Once dynamic effects are accounted for, we estimate that an additional rig count results in the creation of 31 jobs immediately and 315 jobs in the long run. Robustness checks suggest that these multipliers could be even bigger. Our results imply that the national impact of upstream investment remains small, perhaps due to the sector’s small size and inter-state migration.

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Distributional Effects of Air Pollution from Electric Vehicle Adoption

Stephen Holland et al.

NBER Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
We examine the distributional effects of changes in local air pollution from driving electric vehicles in the United States. We employ an econometric model to estimate power plant emissions and an integrated assessment model to value damages in air pollution from both electric and gasoline vehicles. Using the locations of currently registered electric vehicles, we find that people living in census block groups with median income greater than about $65,000 receive positive environmental benefits from these vehicles while those below this threshold receive negative environmental benefits. Asian and Hispanic residents receive positive environmental benefits, but White and Black residents receive negative environmental benefits. In multivariate analyses, environmental benefits are positively correlated with income and urban measures, conditional on racial composition. In addition, conditional on income and urbanization, separate regressions find environmental benefits to be positively related with Asian and Hispanic block-group population shares, negatively correlated with White share, and uncorrelated with Black share. Environmental benefits tend to be larger in states offering purchase subsidies. However, for these states, an increase in subsidy size is associated with a decrease in created environmental benefits.

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Is Energy Efficiency Capitalized into Home Prices? Evidence from Three U.S. Cities

Margaret Walls et al.

Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, March 2017, Pages 104–124

Abstract:
We test for evidence that energy efficiency features are capitalized into home prices in three U.S. metropolitan areas. Using hedonic regressions and multiple matching procedures, we find that Energy Star certification is associated with higher sales prices in two of the markets: the Research Triangle region of North Carolina and Portland, Oregon. We find that local “green” certifications in Portland and in Austin, Texas, are also associated with higher prices and that the estimated price impacts are larger than those from Energy Star. Matching on observables proves to be important in some cases, reducing the estimated impacts compared with models without matching. We calculate the implied energy savings from the estimated premiums and find that, in the Research Triangle market, the Energy Star premiums approximately equal the savings that program is designed to achieve, but in Portland, the premiums are slightly greater than the program's savings due to low energy costs in the region.

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Bombs and Babies: US Navy Bombing Activity and Infant Health in Vieques, Puerto Rico

Gustavo Bobonis, Mark Stabile & Leonardo Tovar

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
We study the relationship between in utero exposure to military exercises and children’s early-life health outcomes in a no-war zone. This allows us to document non-economic impacts of military activity on neonatal health outcomes. We combine monthly data on tonnage of ordnance in the context of naval exercises in Vieques, Puerto Rico, with the universe of births in Puerto Rico between 1990 and 2000; studying this setting is useful because these exercises have no negative consequences for local economic activity. We find that a one standard deviation increase in exposure to bombing activity leads to a three per thousand point (70 percent) increase in extremely premature births; a three to seven per thousand point – 34 to 77 percent – increase in the incidence of congenital anomalies; and a five per thousand point increase in low APGAR scores (38 percent). The evidence is generally consistent with the channel of environmental pollution. Given the well-documented relationship between neonatal health and later life outcomes, there is reason to believe that our substantial short-term effects may have longer-term consequences for this population.

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Environmental consequences of oil production from oil sands

Lorenzo Rosa et al.

Earth's Future, forthcoming

Abstract:
Crude oil from oil sands will constitute a substantial share of future global oil demand. Oil sands deposits account for a third of globally proven oil reserves, underlie large natural forested areas, and have extraction methods requiring large volumes of freshwater. Yet little work has been done to quantify some of the main environmental impacts of oil sands operations. Here we examine forest loss and water use for the world's major oil sands deposits. We calculate actual and potential rates of water use and forest loss both in Canadian deposits, where oil sands extraction is already taking place, and in other major deposits worldwide. We estimated that their exploitation, given projected production trends, could result in 1.31 km3 yr−1 of freshwater demand and 8700 km2 of forest loss. The expected escalation in oil sands extraction thus portends extensive environmental impacts.

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Fault activation by hydraulic fracturing in western Canada

Xuewei Bao & David Eaton

Science, 16 December 2016, Pages 1406-1409

Abstract:
Hydraulic fracturing has been inferred to trigger the majority of injection-induced earthquakes in western Canada, in contrast to the Midwestern United States, where massive saltwater disposal is the dominant triggering mechanism. A template-based earthquake catalog from a seismically active Canadian shale play, combined with comprehensive injection data during a 4-month interval, shows that earthquakes are tightly clustered in space and time near hydraulic fracturing sites. The largest event [moment magnitude (MW) 3.9] occurred several weeks after injection along a fault that appears to extend from the injection zone into crystalline basement. Patterns of seismicity indicate that stress changes during operations can activate fault slip to an offset distance of >1 km, whereas pressurization by hydraulic fracturing into a fault yields episodic seismicity that can persist for months.

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Something in the Air? Air Quality and Children's Educational Outcomes

Dave Marcotte

Economics of Education Review, February 2017, Pages 141–151

Abstract:
Poor air quality has been shown to harm the health and development of children. Research on these relationships has focused almost exclusively on the effects of human-made pollutants, and has not fully distinguished between contemporaneous and long-run effects. This paper contributes on both of these fronts. Merging data on ambient levels of human-made pollutants and plant pollen with detailed panel data of children beginning kindergarten in 2010, I study the relationship between poor air quality on achievement in early grades. I also provide tentative estimates of the effects of air quality in the first years of life on school-readiness. I find that students score between 1 to 2 percent lower on math and reading scores on days with high levels of pollen or fine airborne particulate matter, and that asthmatic students score about 10 percent lower on days with high levels of ozone. I find suggestive evidence that poor air quality during early childhood negatively affects school readiness.

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Overcoming Salience Bias: How Real-Time Feedback Fosters Resource Conservation

Verena Tiefenbeck et al.

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Inattention and imperfect information bias behavior toward the salient and immediately visible. This distortion creates costs for individuals, the organizations in which they work, and society at large. We show that an effective way to overcome this bias is by making the implications of one’s behavior salient in real time, while individuals can directly adapt. In a large-scale field experiment, we gave participants real-time feedback on the resource consumption of a daily, energy-intensive activity (showering). We find that real-time feedback reduced resource consumption for the target behavior by 22%. At the household level, this led to much larger conservation gains in absolute terms than conventional policy interventions that provide aggregate feedback on resource use. High baseline users displayed a larger conservation effect, in line with the notion that real-time feedback helps eliminate “slack” in resource use. The approach is cost effective, is technically applicable to the vast majority of households, and generated savings of 1.2 kWh per day and household, which exceeds the average energy use for lighting. The intervention also shows how digitalization in our everyday lives makes information available that can help individuals overcome salience bias and act more in line with their preferences.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Racial past

“Undistinguished Destruction”: The Effects of Smallpox on British Emancipation Policy in the Revolutionary War

Gary Sellick

Journal of American Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
In 1775, Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, offered freedom to any African American who fought for the British cause against the colonial rebels in his province. Dunmore's plan to reconquer Virginia with his “Ethiopian Regiment” ended in failure, not due to a lack of willing volunteers but because of a familiar eighteenth-century killer: smallpox. Five years later, similar proclamations were issued in South Carolina. Yet smallpox again hindered British designs, devastating the eager African Americans who flooded to their lines. This paper uses primary source material and research on smallpox to analyze the experiences of African Americans who actively sought freedom with the British during the Revolutionary War. Focusing on the differing regions of Virginia and South Carolina this paper will assess the impact of smallpox on British military designs for runaway slaves while also evaluating the reasons why the disease had such a devastating effect on African Americans during the period. Overall, this paper will show how smallpox, so common in eighteenth-century Europe, put a fatal end to the first widespread push for emancipation on the American continent and helped derail one of Britain's best hopes for turning the tide in the Revolutionary War.

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Resilience in Adolescence, Health, and Psychosocial Outcomes

Gene Brody et al.

Pediatrics, December 2016

Methods: Secondary data analyses were executed with the use of waves 1 and 4 of the US Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). At wave 1, when participants were age 16, data were obtained on a behavioral style termed “striving.” Striving includes high aspirations, unwavering persistence, investment in education, and avoidance of activities that sidetrack success. At wave 4, when participants were age 29, college graduation, personal income, symptoms of depression, and type 2 diabetes status were assessed.

Results: Black and non-Hispanic white youth who displayed striving during adolescence evinced, at age 29, a higher likelihood of college graduation, greater personal income, and fewer symptoms of depression than did nonstrivers. Among black participants, the findings were consistent with the “skin-deep resilience” pattern for type 2 diabetes. High-striving black adolescents in the most disadvantaged families had a greater likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes during adulthood than did similar high-striving black adolescents living in more privileged families. The skin-deep resilience pattern did not emerge among non-Hispanic white participants.

Conclusions: This study is the first to show that an unrelenting determination to succeed among black adolescents from disadvantaged backgrounds forecasts an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes during adulthood.

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Coloring the War on Drugs: Arrest Disparities in Black, Brown, and White

David Koch, Jaewon Lee & Kyunghee Lee

Race and Social Problems, December 2016, Pages 313–325

Abstract:
Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) data, this study examines racial disparities in arrests for drug offending. Of the total 8984 NLSY97 participants, the study sample was restricted to the 4868 respondents who had ever reported using drugs (black = 1191, Hispanic = 980, white = 2697). The study questions are as follows: (1) Are there racial disparities in arrests for drug use, after controlling for incidence of drug use as well as other socio-demographic variables? (2) Are there racial disparities in arrests for drug dealing, after controlling for incidence of drug dealing as well as other socio-demographic variables? Compared with whites, blacks were more likely to be arrested for drug offending, even after controlling for incidence and other socio-demographic variables. Several socio-demographic variables, particularly gender, were also associated with arrests for drug offending. Bans on racial profiling and other legislative and policy changes are considered as potential strategies to ameliorate drug enforcement disparities.

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Where is Latisha’s Law? Black Invisibility in the Social Construction of Victimhood

Teresa Kulig & Francis Cullen

Justice Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Laws named after specific crime victims have become increasingly common. These laws are part of a broader effort to downgrade the status and rehabilitative needs of offenders and to hear the voices and trumpet the legitimate concerns of victims — often as a means of justifying punitive crime control policies. Beyond the substantive merit of individual statutes, collectively these named laws provide a clear image of which victims warrant protection and memorialization: Victims who are vulnerable in some way, who are pursued by predatory criminals into their otherwise safe domains, and — above all — who are White. In this regard, an analysis of 51 named laws from 1990 to 2016 reveals that the vast majority of them (86.3%) honor White victims. In asking the question, “Where is Latisha’s Law?,” we seek to illuminate the virtual invisibility of African American victims and the implicit social construction of which lives matter more in American society.

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Toward a Demographic Understanding of Incarceration Disparities: Race, Ethnicity, and Age Structure

Matt Vogel & Lauren Porter

Journal of Quantitative Criminology, December 2016, Pages 515–530

Methods: We apply two techniques commonly employed in the field of demography, age-standardization and decomposition, to data provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the 2010 decennial census to assess the contribution of age structure to racial and ethnic disparities in incarceration.

Findings: The non-Hispanic black and Hispanic incarceration rates in 2010 would have been 13–20 % lower if these groups had age structures identical to that of the non-Hispanic white population. Moreover, age structure accounts for 20 % of the Hispanic/white disparity and 8 % of the black/white disparity.

Conclusion: The comparison of crude incarceration rates across racial/ethnic groups may not be ideal because these groups boast strikingly different age structures. Since the risk of imprisonment is tied to age, criminologists should consider adjusting for age structure when comparing rates of incarceration across groups.

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Race, Representation, and the Voting Rights Act

Sophie Schuit & Jon Rogowski

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite wide scholarly interest in the Voting Rights Act, surprisingly little is known about how its specific provisions affected Black political representation. In this article, we draw on theories of electoral accountability to evaluate the effect of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the preclearance provision, on the representation of Black interests in the 86th to 105th congresses. We find that members of Congress who represented jurisdictions subject to the preclearance requirement were substantially more supportive of civil rights–related legislation than legislators who did not represent covered jurisdictions. Moreover, we report that the effects were stronger when Black voters composed larger portions of the electorate and in more competitive districts. This result is robust to a wide range of model specifications and empirical strategies, and it persists over the entire time period under study. Our findings have especially important implications given the Supreme Court's recent decision in Shelby County v. Holder.

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Education Outcomes of Children of Asian Intermarriages: Does Gender of the Immigrant Parent Matter?

Sukanya Basu & Mike Insler

U.S. Naval Academy Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
Studies about the effects of native and immigrant intermarriage on the human capital of children generally group all immigrants. They ignore disparate impacts by gender, ethnicity, or other attributes. Using 2000 U.S. Census data, we compare the high school dropout rates of 16-17-year-old children of Asian intermarriages and intra-marriages. We study differences between Asian-father and Asian-mother only families, controlling for observable child, parental and residential characteristics, as well as unobservable selection into intermarriage. Despite the higher average education and income levels of intermarried families, the children of Asian-father-native-mother households have higher dropout rates compared to both Asian intra-married and Asian-mother-native-father households. Children of less-educated fathers do worse, relative to children of less-educated mothers, suggesting the importance of intergenerational paternal transmission of education. Racial self-identity is also important – children identify as “non-Asian” more often when the mother is native, and their families may under-emphasize education bringing them closer to native levels.

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Risk, Race, and Recidivism: Predictive Bias and Disparate Impact

Jennifer Skeem & Christopher Lowenkamp

Criminology, November 2016, Pages 680–712

Abstract:
One way to unwind mass incarceration without compromising public safety is to use risk assessment instruments in sentencing and corrections. Although these instruments figure prominently in current reforms, critics argue that benefits in crime control will be offset by an adverse effect on racial minorities. Based on a sample of 34,794 federal offenders, we examine the relationships among race, risk assessment [the Post Conviction Risk Assessment (PCRA)], and future arrest. First, application of well-established principles of psychological science revealed little evidence of test bias for the PCRA — the instrument strongly predicts arrest for both Black and White offenders, and a given score has essentially the same meaning — that is, the same probability of recidivism — across groups. Second, Black offenders obtain higher average PCRA scores than do White offenders (d = .34; 13.5 percent nonoverlap in groups’ scores), so some applications could create disparate impact. Third, most (66 percent) of the racial difference in PCRA scores is attributable to criminal history — which is already embedded in sentencing guidelines. Finally, criminal history is not a proxy for race, but instead it mediates the relationship between race and future arrest. Data are more helpful than rhetoric if the goal is to improve practice at this opportune moment in history.

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Residential segregation and mental health among Latinos in a nationally representative survey

Carrie Nobles et al.

Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, forthcoming

Background: Among Latinos, living in a locality with greater Latino ethnic density may be protective for mental health, although findings vary by Latino subgroup, gender and birthplace. Although little studied, Latino residential segregation may capture different pathways linking risk and protective environmental factors to mental health than local ethnic density.

Methods: This study evaluated the association between residential segregation and mental distress as measured by the Kessler-10 (K10) among Latino participants in the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). Census data from 2000 was used to calculate metropolitan statistical area (MSA) residential segregation using the dissimilarity and isolation indices, as well as census tract ethnicity density and poverty. Latino subgroup (Puerto Rican, Mexican American, Cuban American and other Latino subgroup), gender and generation status were evaluated as moderators.

Results: Among 2554 Latino participants in NLAAS, residential segregation as measured by the isolation index was associated with less mental distress (β −0.14, 95% CI −0.26 to −0.03 log(K10)) among Latinos overall after adjustment for ethnic density, poverty and individual covariates. Residential segregation as measured by the dissimilarity index was significantly associated with less mental distress among men (β −0.56, 95% CI −1.04 to −0.08) but not among women (β −0.20, 95% CI −0.45 to 0.04, p-interaction=0.019). No modification was observed by Latino subgroup or generation.

Conclusions: Among Latinos, increasing residential segregation was associated with less mental distress, and this association was moderated by gender. Findings suggest that MSA-level segregation measures may capture protective effects associated with living in Latino communities for mental health.

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Understanding Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Arrest: The Role of Individual, Home, School, and Community Characteristics

Lauren Nichol Gase et al.

Race and Social Problems, December 2016, Pages 296–312

Abstract:
Contact with the justice system can lead to a range of poor health and social outcomes. While persons of color are disproportionately represented in both the juvenile and criminal justice systems, reasons for these patters remain unclear. This study sought to examine the extent and sources of differences in arrests during adolescence and young adulthood among blacks, whites, and Hispanics in the USA. Multilevel cross-sectional logistic regression analyses were conducted using data from waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 12,752 respondents). Results showed significantly higher likelihood of having ever been arrested among blacks, when compared to whites, even after controlling for a range of delinquent behaviors (odds ratio = 1.58, 95 % confidence interval = 1.27, 1.95). These black–white disparities were no longer present after accounting for racial composition of the neighborhood, supporting the growing body of research demonstrating the importance of contextual variables in driving disproportionate minority contact with the justice system.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, January 9, 2017

Principals and agents

Who Killed the Inner Circle? The Decline of the American Corporate Interlock Network

Johan Chu & Gerald Davis

American Journal of Sociology, November 2016, Pages 714-754

Abstract:
U.S. corporations have shared members of their boards of directors since the early 1900s, creating a dense interlock network in which nearly every major corporation was connected through short paths and elevating a handful of well-connected directors to an influential "inner circle." This network remained highly connected throughout the 20th century, serving as a mechanism for the rapid diffusion of information and practices and promoting elite cohesion. Some of the most well-established findings in the sociology of networks sprang from this milieu. In the 2000s, however, board recruiting practices changed: the authors find that well-connected directors became less preferred. As a result, the inner circle disappeared and companies became less connected to each other. Revisiting three classic studies, on the diffusion of corporate policies, on corporate executives' political unity, and on elite socialization, shows that established understandings of the effects of board interlocks on U.S. corporations, directors, and social elites no longer hold.

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Short-Termism and Shareholder Payouts: Getting Corporate Capital Flows Right

Jesse Fried & Charles Wang

Harvard Working Paper, January 2017

Abstract:
During the period 2005-2014, S&P 500 firms distributed to shareholders more than $3.95 trillion via stock buybacks and $2.45 trillion via dividends―$6.4 trillion in total. These shareholder payouts amounted to over 93% of the firms' net income. Academics, corporate lawyers, asset managers, and politicians point to such shareholder-payout figures as compelling evidence that "short-termism" and "quarterly capitalism" are impairing firms' ability to invest, innovate, and provide good wages. We explain why S&P 500 shareholder-payout figures provide a misleadingly incomplete picture of corporate capital flows and the financial capacity of U.S. public firms. Most importantly, they fail to account for offsetting equity issuances by firms. We show that, taking into account issuances, net shareholder payouts by all U.S. public firms during the period 2005-2014 were in fact only about $2.50 trillion, or 33% of their net income. Moreover, much of these net shareholder payouts were offset by net debt issuances, and thus effectively recapitalizations rather than firm-shrinking distributions. After excluding marginal debt capital inflows, net shareholder payouts by public firms during the period 2005-2014 were only about 22% of their net income. In short, S&P 500 shareholder-payout figures are not indicative of actual capital flows in public firms, and thus cannot provide much basis for the claim that short-termism is starving public firms of needed capital. We also offer three other reasons why corporate capital flows are unlikely to pose a problem for the economy.

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The Role of Facial Appearance on CEO Selection After Firm Misconduct

David Gomulya et al.

Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigate a particular aspect of CEO successor trustworthiness that may be critically important after a firm has engaged in financial misconduct. Specifically, drawing on prior research that suggests that facial appearance is one critical way in which trustworthiness is signaled, we argue that leaders who convey integrity, a component of trustworthiness, will be more likely to be selected as successors after financial restatement. We predict that such appointments garner more positive reactions by external observers such as investment analysts and the media because these CEOs are perceived as having greater integrity. In an archival study of firms that have announced financial restatements, we find support for our predictions. These findings have implications for research on CEO succession, leadership selection, facial appearance, and firm misconduct.

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Into the Dark: Shifts in Corporate Political Activity after Social Movement Challenges

Mary-Hunter McDonnell & Timothy Werner

University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
Using a unique database on social movement boycotts of corporations, we examine how firms alter their political activities in the wake of a reputational threat. We show that boycotts lead to significant reductions in the amount of targets' political action committee campaign contributions and simultaneous increases in targets' CEOs' personal campaign contributions, as well as targets' lobbying expenditures. We argue that these patterns represent a shift toward more covert forms of political engagement that present new problems for activists and shareholders seeking to monitor corporate political activity.

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Do Good Times Breed Cheats? Prosperous Times Have Immediate and Lasting Implications for CEO Misconduct

Emily Bianchi & Aharon Mohliver

Organization Science, November-December 2016, Pages 1488-1503

Abstract:
We examine whether prosperous economic times have both immediate and lasting implications for corporate misconduct among chief executive officers (CEOs). Drawing on research suggesting that prosperous times are associated with excessive risk-taking, overconfidence, and more opportunities to cheat, we first propose that CEOs will be more likely to engage in corporate misconduct during good economic times. Next, we propose that CEOs who begin their careers in prosperous times will be more likely to engage in self-serving corporate misconduct later in their careers. We tested these hypotheses by assembling a large data set of American CEOs and following their stock option reporting patterns between 1996 and 2005. We found that in good economic times, CEOs were more likely to backdate their stock options grants. Moreover, CEOs who began their careers in prosperous times were more likely to backdate stock option grants later in their careers. These findings suggest that the state of the economy can influence current ethical behavior and leave a lasting imprint on the moral proclivities of new workforce entrants.

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How Common Are Intentional GAAP Violations? Estimates from a Dynamic Model

Anastasia Zakolyukina

University of Chicago Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
This paper estimates the extent of undetected misstatements that violate GAAP using data on detected misstatements - earnings restatements - and a dynamic model. The model features a CEO who can manipulate his firm's stock price by misstating earnings. I find that the CEO's expected cost of misleading investors is low. The probability of detection over a five-year horizon is 13.91%, and the average misstatement, if detected, results in a 8.53% loss in the CEO's wealth. The low expected cost implies a high fraction of CEOs who misstate earnings at least once at 60%, inflation in stock prices across CEOs who misstate earnings at 2.02%, and inflation in stock prices across all CEOs at 0.77%. Wealthier CEOs with higher equity holdings or higher cash wealth manipulate less and the average misstatement is larger in smaller firms.

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Marital Status and Earnings Management

Gilles Hilary, Sterling Huang & Yanping Xu

Georgetown University Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
In this note, we examine the effect of CEO marital status on the riskiness of financial reporting. Using multiple proxies, we find that firms headed by a single CEO display a higher degree of earnings management than those headed by a married CEO. The effect is economically significant. Our results persist in an instrumental variable regression, suggesting that our results are not driven by innate heterogeneity in preferences.

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Do Fraudulent Firms Produce Abnormal Disclosure?

Gerard Hoberg & Craig Lewis

Journal of Corporate Finance, April 2017, Pages 58-85

Abstract:
Using text-based analysis of 10-K MD&A disclosures, we find that fraudulent firms produce verbal disclosure that is abnormal relative to strong counterfactuals. This abnormal text predicts fraud out of sample, has a verbal factor structure, and can be interpreted to reveal likely mechanisms that surround fraudulent behavior. Using a conservative difference-based approach, we find evidence that fraudulent managers discuss fewer details explaining the sources of the firm's performance, while disclosing more information about positive aspects of firm performance. They also provide less content relating the disclosure to the managerial team itself. We also find new interpretable verbal support for the well-known hypothesis that managers commit fraud in order to artificially lower their cost of capital.

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The impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on corporate innovation

Yuqi Gu & Ling Zhang

Journal of Economics and Business, March-April 2017, Pages 17-30

Abstract:
We study the effect of the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) on corporate innovation. SOX dramatically changed corporate governance landscape of public firms in the U.S, especially in increasing monitoring from outside independent directors, which may have an impact on corporate innovation. The passage of SOX introduced an exogenous shock to the corporate governance structure, which enables us to establish causality between SOX and corporate innovation. Using patent and citation data from the NBER patent citation database, board of directors data from Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and a difference-in-difference regression technique, we find that SOX increases corporate innovation, as measured by the number of patents and the number of citations per patent. Moreover, we find that the effects are stronger for firms facing more severe agency problems, i.e., firms with more entrenched CEOs as proxied by a longer tenure, and firms with low institutional ownerships. The effect is also found to be stronger for firms operating in innovative industries.

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Do Clawbacks Have Claws? The Value Implications of Mandatory Clawback Provisions

Tor-Erik Bakke, Hamed Mahmudi & Aazam Virani

University of Oklahoma Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
Performance-based compensation can give managers an incentive to misreport financial information. This incentive can be mitigated by requiring the recoupment of erroneously awarded performance-based compensation from executives, which is known as a clawback provision. We study the value implications of having a clawback provision by examining the stock market's reaction to the SEC's announcement of proposed Rule 10D-1 that mandates clawback provisions. We find that relative to firms that had voluntarily adopted a clawback provision prior to the SEC's announcement, firms that did not have a clawback provision experienced positive abnormal returns, suggesting that clawback provisions are value-enhancing. Furthermore, the announcement had the greatest positive impact on firms without a clawback with more powerful managers. Our findings suggest that clawbacks create a valuable disincentive to misreport information, but that despite this, powerful managers may resist their adoption, which is why regulation mandating clawbacks may be necessary.

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How does governance affect tax avoidance? Evidence from shareholder proposals

Alex Young

Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
I examine the effect of corporate governance on tax avoidance. Specifically, I use a regression discontinuity design to analyse the effect of governance-related shareholder proposals that pass or fail by a small percentage of votes. The passage of such proposals around the 50% threshold can be viewed as random assignment of improved governance and thus cleanly identifies a causal estimate. I find that the adoption of governance proposals decreases cash effective tax rates (ETR), which suggests that improved governance increases tax avoidance. The result contributes to our understanding of the determinants of firms' ETR.

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Decision Diversion in Diverse Teams: Findings from Inside a Corporate Boardroom

Sarah Harvey, Steven Currall & Tove Helland-Hammer

Academy of Management Discoveries, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using qualitative data from a five-year participant observation study conducted inside the corporate board of a publicly-held company, we discovered what happened when team composition changed to increase the diversity of perspectives and interests represented on the team. Based on board meeting transcripts over the five-year period, we observed that a change in team composition was followed by a process we label decision diversion, a dysfunctional process in which the team replaced its goal of effective task performance with negotiating the interests of sub-group members. A key insight of our study is that this process unfolded as team members attempted to engage in effective task-based information analysis and decision-making. Our study suggests that the traditional assumptions underlying the understanding of team composition may be insufficient. We provide alternative explanations for the origins of the dynamics of decision diversion in teams.

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Explaining CEO Retention in Misreporting Firms

Messod Beneish, Cassandra Marshall & Jun Yang

Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We propose a framework that advances our understanding of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) retention decisions in misreporting firms. Consistent with economic intuition, outside directors are more likely to fire (retain) CEOs when retention (replacement) costs are high relative to replacement (retention) costs. When the decision is ambiguous because neither cost dominates, outside directors are more likely to retain the CEO when they both benefit from selling stock in the misreporting period. We show that joint abnormal selling captures director-CEO alignment incrementally to biographical overlap. This new proxy operationalizes information sharing and trust, making it useful for studying economic decision-making embedded in social relationships.

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Does a Long-Term Orientation Create Value? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity

Caroline Flammer & Pratima Bansal

Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this paper, we theorize and empirically investigate how a long-term orientation impacts firm value. To study this relationship, we exploit exogenous changes in executives' long-term incentives. Specifically, we examine shareholder proposals on long-term executive compensation that pass or fail by a small margin of votes. The passage of such "close call" proposals is akin to a random assignment of long-term incentives and hence provides a clean causal estimate. We find that the adoption of such proposals leads to i) an increase in firm value and operating performance ― suggesting that a long-term orientation is beneficial to companies ― and ii) an increase in firms' investments in long-term strategies such as innovation and stakeholder relationships. Overall, our results are consistent with a "time-based" agency conflict between shareholders and managers.

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Corporate social responsibility and CEO confidence

Scott McCarthy, Barry Oliver & Sizhe Song

Journal of Banking & Finance, February 2017, Pages 280-291

Abstract:
This study examines the relationship between firm corporate social responsibility (CSR) and CEO confidence. Research shows that CSR has a hedging feature. Research also shows that more confident CEOs underestimate firm risks, which, in turn, leads them to undertake relatively less hedging. Consistent with this, we find that CEO confidence is negatively related to the level of CSR. Closer analysis shows that this effect is stronger in the institutional aspects of CSR, such as community and workforce diversity, rather than in the technical aspects of CSR, such as corporate governance and product quality. Our results are robust to different competing explanations, including narcissism, which refers in this context to CEOs who engage in CSR to attract attention and alternative proxies for CSR and CEO confidence.

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Takeover Defenses: Entrenchment and Efficiency

Sanjeev Bhojraj, Partha Sengupta & Suning Zhang

Journal of Accounting and Economics, February 2017, Pages 142-160

Abstract:
This paper explores the potential role of anti-takeover provisions (ATPs) in long-term value creation. Using a change in the legal environment in Delaware as an exogenous event, we document that a subset of firms with a relatively longer term focus (innovative firms) benefit from ATPs. Particularly, these firms experience an increase in Tobin's Q following a state law change in Delaware that increases the effectiveness of ATPs in defending against hostile takeovers. This increase is greater than that for non-innovative firms in Delaware as well as for innovative firms outside Delaware. Furthermore, the innovative firms in Delaware experience a stronger positive market reaction around the state law change dates, relative to other firms. Finally, in a cross-sectional setting we find that innovative firms with above-average takeover protection outperform other firms and are less likely to engage in harmful real earnings management. Taken together, these results provide empirical evidence of potential benefits of ATPs and help explain why such protection continues to be prevalent in the United States.

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Outsourcing Corporate Governance: Conflicts of Interest Within the Proxy Advisory Industry

Tao Li

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Proxy advisory firms wield large influence with voting shareholders. However, conflicts of interest may arise when an advisor sells services to both investors and issuers. Using a unique data set on voting recommendations, I find that for most types of proposals, competition from a new entrant reduces favoritism toward management by an incumbent advisor that serves both corporations and investors. The results are not driven by factors that influence the entrant's coverage decision, such as the marginal cost of new coverage or previously biased recommendations by the incumbent. Similar to other information intermediaries, biased advice by proxy advisors is shown to have real, negative consequences that allow management to enjoy greater private benefits. These results suggest conflicts of interest are a real concern in the proxy advisory industry, and increasing competition could help alleviate them.

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Inside Directors, Risk Aversion, and Firm Performance

Arun Upadhyay et al.

Review of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Prior literature provides mixed evidence on managerial risk aversion. Using a sample of 1737 large US firms from 1996 to 2005, we find a negative association between the insider ratio and firm risk. Upon further analysis, we show that firms with a greater insider ratio are also likely to have more conservative CEO compensation and investment policies. Analysis of CEO compensation policies indicates that firms with a greater insider ratio offer lower equity based compensation, lower vega and lower total compensation to their CEOs. Also, firms with a greater insider ratio tend to invest more in tangible assets such as plant and equipment and have lower intangible investments. Consistent with these boards instituting conservative policies, we find that firms with a greater insider ratio perform better when they operate in highly volatile environments. Overall, this study suggests that high-insider boards are more conservative in policy initiation and that such boards are valuable in firms with greater operating uncertainties.

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Independent Boards and Innovation

Benjamin Balsmeier, Lee Fleming & Gustavo Manso

Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Much research has suggested that independent boards of directors are more effective in reducing agency costs and improving firm governance. How they influence innovation is less clear. Relying on regulatory changes, we show that firms that transition to independent boards focus on more crowded and familiar areas of technology. They patent and claim more and receive more total future citations to their patents. However, the citation increase comes mainly from incremental patents in the middle of the citation distribution; the numbers of uncited and highly cited patents - arguably associated with riskier innovation strategies - do not change significantly.

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The Power of the Pen Reconsidered: The Media, CEO Human Capital, and Corporate Governance

Baixiao Liu, John McConnell & Wei Xu

Journal of Banking & Finance, March 2017, Pages 175-188

Abstract:
By examining the post-retirement outside board seats held by former CEOs of S&P 1500 firms, we find that CEOs' post-retirement outside board memberships are influenced by the level and the tone of media coverage given to the CEOs' firms while the CEOs were "on the job." These results provide evidence of a direct economic link between media coverage of CEOs' performance today and CEOs' future opportunity sets. These results lend support to the proposition that the media can play a role in corporate governance by influencing the value of CEOs' human capital.

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Corporate Governance and Nested Authority: Cohesive Network Structure, Actor-Driven Mechanisms, and the Balance of Power in American Corporations

Richard Benton

American Journal of Sociology, November 2016, Pages 661-713

Abstract:
Corporate governance describes practices that allocate power and control within public corporations, especially between shareholders, the board of directors, and managers. Shareholder value norms have replaced earlier managerialist governance models. Concurrently, cohesion among the managerial corporate elite has declined, further contributing to a declining managerialist governance consensus. This study considers how governance orientations in publicly held corporations are nested within interfirm networks. Drawing on prior theory, the author argues that cohesive substructures among the corporate elite help account for the surprising resilience of managerial control. He finds that more cohesive subgroups in the board interlock network have greater managerial control and shows how cohesive substructures emerge out of local actor-driven mechanisms: (1) directors affiliated with managerialist firms select into dense groups, (2) firms appoint directors from similarly governed firms, and (3) interlocks help spread governance orientations. These findings have implications for theory and research on collective action in corporate governance.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Friend of a friend

Intensity of Facebook Use Is Associated With Lower Self-Concept Clarity: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Evidence

Markus Appel et al.

Journal of Media Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Social networking sites such as Facebook provide individuals with opportunities to express and gather information relevant to their self-concept. Previous theoretical work yielded contrasting assumptions about a potential link between individuals’ Internet use and their self-concept clarity, that is, individuals’ perception of a clear and internally consistent self-concept content. Focusing on social networking sites, our aim was to provide cross-sectional as well as longitudinal evidence regarding the relationship between individuals’ feelings of connectedness to Facebook (Facebook intensity) and self-concept clarity. Two cross-sectional studies (N1 = 244; N2 = 166) and one longitudinal study (N3 = 101) are presented. Independent samples of adolescents, adults, and students from Austria participated. The statistical procedures included hierarchical regression analyses (Studies 1 and 2) and a cross-lagged panel analysis (Study 3). The studies provided consistent evidence of a negative relationship between Facebook intensity and self-concept clarity. Moreover, the longitudinal study showed that Facebook intensity predicted a decline in self-concept clarity over time whereas a reverse pathway was not supported. Future research should examine the content of the self-concept and should continue searching for specific Facebook activities that might explain the decline in self-concept clarity. Our results suggest that an intense attachment to Facebook contributes to an inconsistent and unclear self-concept.

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Is Virginia for lovers? Geographic variation in adult attachment orientation

William Chopik & Matt Motyl

Journal of Research in Personality, February 2017, Pages 38–45

Abstract:
People often use relationships to characterize and describe places. Yet, little research examines whether people’s relationships and relational style vary across geography. The current study examined geographic variation in adult attachment orientation in a sample of 127,070 adults from the 50 United States. The states that were highest in attachment anxiety tended to be in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast region of the United States. The states that were highest in attachment avoidance tended to be in the frontier region of the United States. State-level avoidance was related to state-level indicators of relationship status, social networks, and volunteering behavior. The findings are discussed in the context of the mechanisms that may give rise to regional variation in relational behavior.

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Heterogeneous peer effects in education

Eleonora Patacchini, Edoardo Rainone & Yves Zenou

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigate whether, how, and why individual education attainment depends on the educational attainment of schoolmates. Specifically, using longitudinal data on students and their friends in a nationally representative set of US schools, we consider the influence of different types of peers on educational outcomes. We find that there are strong and persistent peer effects in education, but peers tend to be influential in the long run only when their friendships last more than a year. This evidence is consistent with a network model in which convergence of preferences and the emergence of social norms among peers require long-term interactions.

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Something to talk about: Gossip increases oxytocin levels in a near real-life situation

Natascia Brondino, Laura Fusar-Poli & Pierluigi Politi

Psychoneuroendocrinology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Gossip is a pervasive social behavior. Its evolutionary survival seems related to its social functions, such as establishing group rules, punishing trespassers, exercising social influence through reputational systems, and developing and strengthening social bonds. We aimed at evaluating the effect of gossip on hormones (oxytocin and cortisol) and at identifying potential mediators of hormonal response to gossip. Twenty-two female students were randomly assigned to a gossip conversation or to an emotional non-gossip conversation. Additionally, all participants underwent a neutral conversation on the second day of the study. Salivary oxytocin and cortisol levels were measured. Oxytocin increased significantly in the gossip compared to the emotional non-gossip conversation. A decrease in cortisol levels was observed in all three conditions (gossip, emotional non-gossip, neutral). Change in cortisol levels was similar across conditions. Psychological characteristics (e.g. empathy, autistic traits, perceived stress, envy) did not affect oxytocin rise in the gossip condition. Our findings suggest that oxytocin may represent a potential hormonal correlate of gossip behavior.

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Sex differences in biological response to peer rejection and performance challenge across development: A pilot study

Laura Stroud et al.

Physiology & Behavior, February 2017, Pages 224–233

Abstract:
A pilot study of sex differences in biological response to peer rejection and performance challenges across development was conducted. Participants were 59 typically-developing children (ages 8–17; 58% girls); 59 children completed one challenge: 37 completed both challenges. Following a habituation session, participants completed peer rejection (exclusion challenges) and/or performance (speech, arithmetic, tracing) stress sessions. Saliva cortisol and alpha amylase (AA) were measured throughout. Post-pubertal girls showed increased AA and equivalent cortisol output in response to rejection vs. performance; pre-pubertal girls showed heightened cortisol and AA response to performance vs. rejection. Boys showed similar biological responses across puberty, with pre- and post-pubertal boys demonstrating heightened cortisol, but equivalent AA output in response to performance vs. rejection stressors. Although results are preliminary, they suggest increases in relative sensitivity to rejection vs. performance stressors and malleability of stress response across development in girls, but stability of stress response across development in boys. Future, larger-scale, longitudinal studies are needed.

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Beyond risk: Prospective effects of GABA Receptor Subunit Alpha-2 (GABRA2) × Positive Peer Involvement on adolescent behavior

Elisa Trucco et al.

Development and Psychopathology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on Gene × Environment interactions typically focuses on maladaptive contexts and outcomes. However, the same genetic factors may also impact susceptibility to positive social contexts, leading to adaptive behavior. This paper examines whether the GABA receptor subunit alpha-2 (GABRA2) single nucleotide polymorphism rs279858 moderates the influence of positive peer affiliation on externalizing behavior and various forms of competence. Regions of significance were calculated to determine whether the form of the interaction supported differential susceptibility (increased sensitivity to both low and high positive peer affiliation) or vantage sensitivity (increased sensitivity to high positive peer affiliation). It was hypothesized that those carrying the homozygous minor allele (GG) would be more susceptible to peer effects. A sample (n = 300) of primarily male (69.7%) and White (93.0%) adolescents from the Michigan Longitudinal Study was assessed from ages 12 to 17. There was evidence for prospective Gene × Environment interactions in three of the four models. At low levels of positive peer involvement, those with the GG genotype were rated as having fewer adaptive outcomes, while at high levels they were rated as having greater adaptive outcomes. This supports differential susceptibility. Conceptualizing GABRA2 variants as purely risk factors may be inaccurate. Genetic differences in susceptibility to adaptive environmental exposures warrants further investigation.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Trolling

The effects of environmental resource and security on aggressive behavior

Henry Kin Shing Ng & Tak Sang Chow

Aggressive Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Exposure to different environments has been reported to change aggressive behavior, but previous research did not consider the underlying elements that caused such an effect. Based on previous work on environmental perception, we examined the role of environmental resource and security in altering aggression level. In three experiments, participants were exposed to environments that varied in resource (High vs. Low) and security (High vs. Low) levels, after which aggression was measured. The environments were presented through visual priming (Experiments 1–2) and a first-person gameplay (Experiment 3). We observed a consistent resource-security interaction effect on aggression, operationalized as the level of noise blast (Experiment 1) and number of unpleasant pictures (Experiments 2–3) delivered to strangers by the participants. High resource levels associated with higher aggression in insecure conditions, but lower aggression in secure conditions. The findings suggest that the adaptive value of aggression varies under different environmental constraints. Implications are discussed in terms of the effects of adverse environments on aggression, and the nature's effects on social behavior.

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Witnessing substance use increases same-day antisocial behavior among at-risk adolescents: Gene–environment interaction in a 30-day ecological momentary assessment study

Michael Russell, Lin Wang & Candice Odgers

Development and Psychopathology, November 2016, Pages 1441-1456

Abstract:
Many young adolescents are embedded in neighborhoods, schools, and homes where alcohol and drugs are frequently used. However, little is known about (a) how witnessing others' substance use affects adolescents in their daily lives and (b) which adolescents will be most affected. The current study used ecological momentary assessment with 151 young adolescents (ages 11–15) to examine the daily association between witnessing substance use and antisocial behavior across 38 consecutive days. Results from multilevel logistic regression models indicated that adolescents were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior on days when they witnessed others using substances, an association that held when substance use was witnessed inside the home as well as outside the home (e.g., at school or in their neighborhoods). A significant Gene × Environment interaction suggested that the same-day association between witnessing substance use and antisocial behavior was significantly stronger among adolescents with, versus without, the dopamine receptor D4 seven repeat (DRD4-7R) allele. The implications of the findings for theory and research related to adolescent antisocial behavior are discussed.

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After the Bell and into the Night: The Link between Delinquency and Traditional, Cyber-, and Dual-Bullying Victimization

Timothy McCuddy & Finn-Aage Esbensen

Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, forthcoming

Method: Data come from a longitudinal sample of middle school students (N = 3,271) as part of the evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program. A hybrid random effects model is used to estimate the between- and within-individual effects of traditional, cyber-, and dual-bullying victimization while controlling for other predictors of delinquency. Outcomes include general delinquency, violent and nonviolent delinquency, and substance use.

Results: The findings demonstrate that those who are cyberbullied exhibit a higher propensity for substance use and nonviolent delinquency compared to those who are traditionally bullied. Changes in dual victimization within respondents over time are most strongly related to general delinquency. With one exception, the effect of traditional bullying victimization remained weakest in all of the models.

Conclusions: This study finds evidence that victims of cyberbullying may be more likely to engage in delinquent and deviant behavior compared to victims of traditional bullying. Criminologists and antibullying prevention efforts should consider the broader role of cyberbullying victimization in the developmental processes of adolescents.

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Automatic female dehumanization across the menstrual cycle

Valentina Piccoli et al.

British Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this study, we investigate whether hormonal shifts during the menstrual cycle contribute to the dehumanization of other women and men. Female participants with different levels of likelihood of conception (LoC) completed a semantic priming paradigm in a lexical decision task. When the word ‘woman’ was the prime, animal words were more accessible in high versus low LoC whereas human words were more inhibited in the high versus low LoC. When the word ‘man’ was used as the prime, no difference was found in terms of accessibility between high and low LoC for either animal or human words. These results show that the female dehumanization is automatically elicited by menstrual cycle-related processes and likely associated with an enhanced activation of mate-attraction goals.

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Antisocial peer affiliation and externalizing disorders: Evidence for Gene × Environment × Development interaction

Diana Samek et al.

Development and Psychopathology, February 2017, Pages 155-172

Abstract:
Gene × Environment interaction contributes to externalizing disorders in childhood and adolescence, but little is known about whether such effects are long lasting or present in adulthood. We examined gene–environment interplay in the concurrent and prospective associations between antisocial peer affiliation and externalizing disorders (antisocial behavior and substance use disorders) at ages 17, 20, 24, and 29. The sample included 1,382 same-sex twin pairs participating in the Minnesota Twin Family Study. We detected a Gene × Environment interaction at age 17, such that additive genetic influences on antisocial behavior and substance use disorders were greater in the context of greater antisocial peer affiliation. This Gene × Environment interaction was not present for antisocial behavior symptoms after age 17, but it was for substance use disorder symptoms through age 29 (though effect sizes were largest at age 17). The results suggest adolescence is a critical period for the development of externalizing disorders wherein exposure to greater environmental adversity is associated with a greater expression of genetic risk. This form of Gene × Environment interaction may persist through young adulthood for substance use disorders, but it appears to be limited to adolescence for antisocial behavior.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, January 6, 2017

Legal advice

Supreme Court Justices’ Loyalty to the President

Lee Epstein & Eric Posner

Journal of Legal Studies, June 2016, Pages 401-436

Abstract:
A statistical analysis of voting by Supreme Court justices from 1937 to 2014 provides evidence of a loyalty effect — justices more frequently vote for the government when the president who appointed them is in office than when subsequent presidents lead the government. This effect exists even when subsequent presidents are of the same party as the justices in question. However, the loyalty effect is much stronger for Democratic justices than for Republican justices. This may be because Republican justices are more ideologically committed than Democratic justices are, leaving less room for demonstrations of loyalty.

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The Signaling Effect of Pro se Status

Victor Quintanilla, Rachel Allen & Edward Hirt

Law & Social Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
When claimants press their claims without counsel, they fail at virtually every stage of civil litigation and overwhelmingly fail to obtain meaningful access to justice. This research program harnesses psychological science to experimentally test a novel hypothesis: mainly, a claimant's pro se status itself sends a signal that biases decision making about the claimant and her claim. We conducted social psychological experiments with the public (N = 157), law students (N = 198), and employment discrimination lawyers (N = 39), holding the quality and merit of a Title VII sex discrimination case constant. In so doing, we examined whether a claimant's pro se status itself shapes stereotypes held about the claimant and biases decision making about settlement awards. These experiments reveal that pro se status influences stereotypes of claimants and settlement awards received. Moreover, the signaling effect of pro se status is exacerbated by socialization in the legal profession. Among law-trained individuals (i.e., law students and lawyers), a claimant's pro se status generates negative stereotypes about the claimant and these negative stereotypes explain the adverse effect of pro se status on decision making about settlement awards.

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Justice Is Less Blind, and Less Legalistic, than We Thought: Evidence from an Experiment with Real Judges

Holger Spamann & Lars Klöhn

Journal of Legal Studies, June 2016, Pages 255-280

Abstract:
We experimentally investigate the determinants of judicial decisions in a setting resembling real-world judicial decision making. We gave US federal judges 55 minutes to adjudicate a real appeals case from an international tribunal, with minor modifications to accommodate the experimental treatments. The fictitious briefs focused on one easily understandable issue of law. Our 2 × 2 between-subject factorial design crossed a weak precedent and legally irrelevant defendant characteristics. In a survey, law professors predicted that the precedent would have a stronger effect than the defendant characteristics. In actuality, the precedent had no detectable effect on the judges’ decisions, whereas the two defendants’ affirmance rates differed by 45 percent. Judges’ written reasons, on the other hand, did not mention defendant characteristics, focusing instead on the precedent and other legalistic and policy considerations.

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Sleepy Punishers Are Harsh Punishers: Daylight Saving Time and Legal Sentences

Kyoungmin Cho, Christopher Barnes & Cristiano Guanara

Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
The degree of punishment assigned to criminals is of pivotal importance for the maintenance of social order and cooperation. Nonetheless, the amount of punishment assigned to transgressors can be affected by factors other than the content of the transgressions. We propose that sleep deprivation in judges increases the severity of their sentences. We took advantage of the natural quasi-manipulation of sleep deprivation during the shift to daylight saving time in the spring and analyzed archival data from judicial punishment handed out in the U.S. federal courts. The results supported our hypothesis: Judges doled out longer sentences when they were sleep deprived.

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Police reports of mock suspect interrogations: A test of accuracy and perception

Saul Kassin et al.

Law and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
A 2-phased experiment assessed the accuracy and completeness of police reports on mock interrogations and their effects on people’s perceptions. In Phase 1, 16 experienced officers investigated a mock crime scene, interrogated 2 innocent suspects — 1 described by the experimenter as more suspicious than the other — and filed an incident report. All 32 sessions were covertly recorded; the recordings were later used to assess the reports. In Phase 2, 96 lay participants were presented with a brief summary of the case and then either read 1 police report, read 1 verbatim interrogation transcript, or listened to an audiotape of a session. Results showed that (a) Police and suspects diverged in their perceptions of the interrogations; (b) Police committed frequent errors of omission in their reports, understating their use of confrontation, maximization, leniency, and false evidence; and (c) Phase 2 participants who read a police report, compared to those who read a verbatim transcript, perceived the process as less pressure-filled and were more likely to misjudge suspects as guilty. These findings are limited by the brevity and low-stakes nature of the task and by the fact that no significant effects were obtained for our suspicion manipulation, suggesting a need for more research. Limitations notwithstanding, this study adds to a growing empirical literature indicating the need for a requirement that all suspect interrogations be electronically recorded. To provide a more objective and accurate account of what transpired, this study also suggests the benefit of producing verbatim transcripts.

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Relative Judgments

Adi Leibovitch

Journal of Legal Studies, June 2016, Pages 281-330

Abstract:
This paper presents a theory of relative judgments, suggesting that judges evaluate individual cases on the basis of how those cases are ranked in comparison to the other cases in their caseloads. Consequently, judges view a case more severely when their caseloads contain milder cases and more leniently when their caseloads contain graver cases. The paper develops a novel empirical identification strategy that exploits the properties of caseload distribution under random assignment of cases as a source of exogenous variation in judicial exposure to gravity. Using sentencing data, I construct a matched sample of judges randomly located at different ends of the caseloads distribution and demonstrate the existence of relative-judgment bias in their decisions. Judges exposed to lower levels of criminal gravity order longer sentences and are more likely to use the aggravated sentencing guidelines range or depart above the sentencing guidelines recommendations than judges exposed to higher levels of criminal gravity.

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Does raising indigent defender pay rates improve defendant outcomes? Evidence from New York

Michael Roach

Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
Beginning 1 January 2004, the rates paid to assigned counsel – private attorneys who defend the indigent in criminal cases when a public defender does not – were raised from a maximum of $40 per hour to $75 per hour in the state of New York. This article examines the extent to which this relatively large pay increase affects case outcomes. Efficiency wage theory would suggest paying workers higher rates can improve their productivity, and the results of this analysis are consistent with this. Using a difference-in-difference approach, I find that after the assigned counsel rate increase, case outcomes significantly improved in counties with higher poverty rates relative to those with lower poverty rates. The likelihood of conviction and the likelihood of pleading guilty both fell by more than two percentage points in high-poverty counties compared to low-poverty counties after the rate increase, and the differences in the likelihood of being convicted are especially pronounced for cases involving violent felonies. The results suggest raising assigned counsel rates can be an effective policy tool to improve indigent defence systems that are in need of reform.

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Privatization, State Action, and Title IX: Do Campus Sexual Assault Hearings Violate Due Process?

Jed Rubenfeld

Yale Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
Sexual assault hearings are taking place at colleges and universities all over the country under the mandate of a 2011 Department of Education Dear Colleague letter. The procedures followed are secretive, sometimes inquisitorial, and frequently in violation of fundamental due process principles. Courts, however, have ruled that Due Process does not apply to sexual assault hearings at private schools because private schools are not state actors. These rulings are clearly mistaken. The Due Process Clause applies in full to campus Title IX sexual assault investigations and adjudications conducted under the mandate of the Dear Colleague letter.

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A probabilistic framework for modelling false Title IX ‘convictions’ under the preponderance of the evidence standard

John Villasenor

Law, Probability and Risk, December 2016, Pages 223-237

Abstract:
Conviction in criminal trials in the USA, the UK and many other common law countries requires establishing a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. By contrast, in Title IX proceedings at American colleges and universities, allegations of wrongdoing are adjudicated according to a much lower ‘preponderance of the evidence’ standard. Victims’ rights advocates correctly argue that a lower burden of proof makes it easier to ensure that the guilty are punished. But there is also a mathematically inevitable corollary: a lower burden of proof increases the probability of concluding that the innocent are guilty. This article provides a framework for using information regarding false conviction probabilities in criminal trials to model the probability of false guilty verdicts in Title IX proceedings in American colleges and universities. The quantitative results presented herein show that an innocent defendant faces a dramatically increased risk of conviction when tried under the preponderance of the evidence standard as opposed to under the beyond a reasonable doubt standard.

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Now or later? A dynamic analysis of judicial appointments

Jinhee Jo

Journal of Theoretical Politics, January 2017, Pages 149-164

Abstract:
Observing substantial variations in Senate confirmation durations, existing studies have tried to explain when the Senate takes more or less time to confirm presidential nominees. However, they have largely ignored the president’s incentives to nominate someone who he expects will be delayed and do not specify conditions under which delay occurs. To improve on existing literature, I develop a dynamic model of presidential appointments in which the Senate decides whether to delay as well as whether to confirm the nominee. The model shows that the president rationally chooses a nominee who he expects the Senate will delay if the status quo belongs to a certain interval in a one-dimensional policy space. Moreover, the president sometimes chooses a nominee who may fail to gain confirmation after a delay. Finally, the effects of important factors on expected confirmation duration are analyzed: most interestingly, as presidential popularity increases, the Senate takes longer to confirm the nominee.

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Altruistic Lying in an Alibi Corroboration Context: The Effects of Liking, Compliance, and Relationship between Suspects and Witnesses

Stéphanie Marion & Tara Burke

Behavioral Sciences & the Law, forthcoming

Abstract:
Police investigators, judges, and jurors are often very skeptical of alibi witness testimony. To investigate when and why individuals lie for one another, we conducted two studies in which witnesses' support of a false alibi was observed. We varied the level of social pressure exerted on witnesses and the level of affinity between suspect–witness pairs. During a study session purportedly intended to investigate dyadic problem-solving ability, a mock theft was staged. When questioned, participants were provided the opportunity to either corroborate or refute a confederate's false alibi that the latter was with them when the theft occurred. Participants were more likely to lie for the confederate when the latter explicitly asked participants to conceal his/her whereabouts during the time of the theft (Study 1). How much participants liked the suspect did not impact lying; however, participants lied for a confederate more often when the latter was a friend rather than a stranger (Study 2). Results show that alibi witnesses often lie and that investigators and jurors may not accurately estimate the likelihood that such witnesses will lie for one another. Witnesses who lied also reported doing so more often because they believed that the suspect was innocent rather than guilty.

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Small-Group Dynamics, Ideology, and Decision Making on the US Courts of Appeals

Banks Miller & Brett Curry

Law & Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
There is some evidence that judges who specialize in particular legal areas vote in more ideologically consistent ways than do nonspecialists. Upon replicating those individual results across multiple legal areas in the US courts of appeals, we assess how this increasing reliance on ideology by specialists affects decision making by others on a three-judge panel. We find that judges who serve with a specialist are especially likely to vote in a manner consistent with the ideological position of the specialist with whom they serve. These results suggest that specialization has the potential to facilitate panel effects across numerous legal policy areas.

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Tell It to the Judge: Procedural Justice and a Community Court in Brooklyn

Avram Bornstein et al.

PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, November 2016, Pages 206–225

Abstract:
Based on direct observation inside and outside the courts and on interviews with one hundred residents and two hundred previous offenders, this article examines the performance of procedural justice in a community court in the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Results show that the community court is widely praised compared to the downtown Brooklyn courts and in sharp contrast to police enforcement. The content of this praise suggests that the community court cultivates legitimacy by treating people respectfully and by helping to mitigate problems with powerful institutions such as the police and the New York City Housing Authority. In light of these results, this article considers intertwined debates about procedural justice and how these ideas articulate with legal anthropologists’ understanding of hegemony.

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Homeowner Representation in the Foreclosure Crisis

Emily Taylor Poppe

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, December 2016, Pages 809–836

Abstract:
The dramatic increase in the number of homeowners entering the foreclosure process over the past decade has been well documented. While some of these cases end in foreclosure, many homeowners are able to secure alternate outcomes. There is reason to believe that legal representation may help homeowners to achieve more favorable outcomes. However, other aspects of the foreclosure process, particularly those instituted to increase court oversight and homeowner participation, may circumscribe the benefits of legal representation. In this article, I investigate whether homeowners with legal representation are more likely to avoid foreclosure than those who are unrepresented, taking into account procedural reforms that might shape the effectiveness of legal representation. Using a representative sample of residential foreclosure cases initiated in New York City between 2007 and 2011, I find that cases where the homeowner has legal representation less frequently end in foreclosure. However, after accounting for the enactment of reforms to the foreclosure process, the probability of foreclosure is not significantly different for cases where the homeowner has legal representation. The results suggest that the characteristics of the foreclosure process may be consequential for the resolution of foreclosure cases and the benefit of legal representation. This research contributes to scholarship on the use and effect of lawyers by considering the role of legal representation for homeowners facing foreclosure in the context of the rapid social and economic changes of the Great Recession.

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Calibrating Legal Judgments

Frederick Schauer & Barbara Spellman

Journal of Legal Analysis, forthcoming

Abstract:
In ordinary life, people who assess other people’s judgments typically take into account the other judgments of those they are assessing in order to calibrate the judgment presently being assessed. The restaurant and hotel rating website TripAdvisor is exemplary, because it facilitates calibration by providing access to a rater’s previous ratings. Such information allows a user to see whether a particular rating comes from a rater who is enthusiastic about every place she patronizes, or instead from someone who is incessantly hard to please. And even when less systematized, as in assessing a letter of recommendation or college transcript, calibration by recourse to the decisional history of those whose judgments are being assessed is ubiquitous. Yet despite the ubiquity and utility of such calibration, the legal system seems perversely to reject it. Appellate courts do not openly adjust their standard of review based on the previous judgments of the judge whose decision they are reviewing, nor do judges in reviewing legislative or administrative decisions, magistrates in evaluating search warrant representations, or jurors in assessing witness perception. In most legal domains, calibration by reference to the prior decisions of the reviewee is invisible, either because it does not exist or because reviewing bodies are unwilling to admit using what they in fact know and employ. Assisted by insights from cognitive psychology and philosophy, this article examines law’s aversion to overt calibration and explores what this says about the nature of law and legal decision-making.

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Who's on the Bench? The Impact of Latino Descriptive Representation on U.S. Supreme Court Approval Among Latinos and Anglos

Diana Evans et al.

Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Methods: Using repeated measures from surveys conducted in Texas in 2006 and 2011, we use ordered logit analysis to estimate the impact of the Sotomayor appointment on approval of the U.S. Supreme Court among Latinos and Anglos.

Results: At all levels of political knowledge, Latinos were more aware of the Sotomayor appointment than Anglos. Moreover, Latinos’ approval of the Court increased dramatically after the appointment, while Anglos’ approval was unchanged.

Conclusions: We find a political empowerment effect among Latinos, but find no evidence that Anglos considered the appointment a threat. Additionally, given that the Latinos in our sample are overwhelmingly of Mexican origin and Justice Sotomayor is Puerto Rican, we find evidence of pan-ethnic effects.

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A Multilevel Test of the Racial Threat Hypothesis in One State’s Juvenile Court

Patrick Lowery, John Burrow & Robert Kaminski

Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming

Abstract:
Noting the paucity of research on the racial threat hypothesis in the juvenile courts, this study examined the interplay of defendant characteristics and country-level characteristics on dispositions. Data were retrieved from the Department of Juvenile Justice files in South Carolina and were analyzed using multinomial logistic hierarchical linear modeling. Results revealed support for the racial threat hypothesis, as racial inequity operated in a different manner (more punitively) for Black defendants. Larger Black populations in counties also led to an increased use of punitive sanctions. In addition, concentrated disadvantage effects were found, and heightened levels of teenage population led to higher incarceration rates for Black defendants. Limitations of this study, implications for stakeholders/practitioners, and directions for future research are discussed.

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Socializing Distrust of the Justice System through the Family in Juvenile Delinquency Court

Liana Pennington

Law & Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
Juvenile delinquency courts in the United States generally require parents to attend all court hearings, but little is known about how parents' experiences in the court process affect their discussions of the justice system with their court-involved children. Using multiperspectival and longitudinal data combining observations with interviews of parents and youth in two courts, this research finds that many parents discuss the legal process in negative terms with their children when parents are outside the presence of legal authorities. This research adds to the literature on legal socialization by examining how parents' perceptions of law and their experiences with the court become part of the socializing content provided by parents to their court-involved children. Creating a more meaningful role for parents in the juvenile justice process may potentially lead to more positive discussions of the court process between parents and juvenile defendants.

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Exploring the Relationship of Shared Race/Ethnicity With Court Actors, Perceptions of Court Procedural Justice, and Obligation to Obey Among Male Offenders

Thomas Baker

Race and Justice, January 2017, Pages 87-102

Abstract:
Using survey data from a sample of White, Black, and Hispanic male offenders (n = 311), this study examines whether the relationship between procedural justice and obligation to obey the law is substantiated among a sample of offenders. Further, this study explores the impact that sharing the race/ethnicity of the defense attorney, prosecutor, and judge in their most recent conviction has on male offenders’ perceptions of court procedural justice and their perceived obligation to obey the law. The findings reveal that male offenders who perceive the courts as more procedurally just report a significantly greater obligation to obey the law. In addition, Black and Hispanic offenders who shared the race/ethnicity of the prosecutor in their case perceived the courts as significantly more just. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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Training in the Strategic Use of Evidence technique: Improving deception detection accuracy of American law enforcement officers

Timothy Luke et al.

Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, December 2016, Pages 270–278

Abstract:
The Strategic Use of Evidence (SUE) approach is a framework for planning and executing suspect interviews with the aim of facilitating judgments of truth and deception. US law enforcement officers (N = 59) either received training in the SUE approach or did not. Each officer interviewed a mock suspect (N = 59) who had either committed a simulated security breach or had completed a benign task. The officers who received SUE training interviewed in line with the training: They questioned the suspect systematically, withheld the evidence and critical case information until after questioning, and relied on statement-evidence inconsistency to detect deceit. Consequently, SUE-trained interviewers achieved a higher deception detection accuracy rate (65%) compared to untrained interviewers (43%).

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Are Arbitrators Human?

Rebecca Helm, Andrew Wistrich & Jeffrey Rachlinski

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, December 2016, Pages 666–692

Abstract:
Empirical research has confirmed the correctness of the legal realists’ assertion that “judges are human.” It demonstrates that judicial decisions are sometimes tainted by bias, ideology, or error. Presumably, arbitrators are “human” in that sense too, but that conclusion does not necessarily follow. Although arbitrators and judges both umpire disputes, they differ in a variety of ways. Therefore, it is possible that arbitrators’ awards are either better or worse than judges’ decisions. This article reports the results of research conducted on elite arbitrators specializing in resolving commercial disputes. Our goal was to determine whether, like judges, arbitrators are subject to three common cognitive illusions — specifically, the conjunction fallacy, the framing effect, and the confirmation bias. We also wanted to find out whether, like judges, arbitrators exhibit a tendency to rely excessively on intuition that may exacerbate the impact of cognitive illusions on their decision making. Our results reveal that “arbitrators are human,” and indicate that arbitrators perform about the same as judges in experiments designed to detect the presence of common cognitive errors and excessive reliance on intuition. This suggests that arbitrators lack an inherent advantage over judges when it comes to making high-quality decisions. Whether the situation in which arbitrators make their awards is more conducive to sound decision making than the setting in which judges make their rulings, however, remains unclear.

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Unraveling the conjunction paradox

Mark Spottswood

Law, Probability and Risk, December 2016, Pages 259-296

Abstract:
The conjunction paradox arises when a claim requires proof of multiple elements and the likelihood of some elements are at least partially independent of the likelihood of others. In that situation, probability theory may dictate that the conjunction of the elements is less likely than their disjunction, implying that a defendant should not be found liable, even though each element is probably true when considered in isolation. Nonetheless, American jury instructions reject this implication, and many scholars of proof have sought to construct normative theories to justify that rejection. This article collects and critiques two families of arguments about the conjunction paradox. First, I explain why an explanatory conception of proof cannot eliminate the paradox. Second, I show why various mathematical alternatives to standard probability theory are normatively deficient when applied to legal fact-finding. Instead, I suggest that the best way to resolve the paradox is through instructions that encourage juries to make appropriate adjustments for conjunctive and disjunctive likelihoods without having to frame their analyses in mathematical terms.

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Matching with Moral Hazard: Assigning Attorneys to Poor Defendants

Behrang Kamali Shahdadi

American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We model the problem of assigning counsel to poor defendants as a matching problem. A novel aspect of this matching problem is the moral hazard component on the part of counsel. Within the model, we show that holding the total expenditure for counsel fixed and changing the matching procedure to accommodate defendants' and attorneys' preferences, i.e., switch from random matching to stable matching, defendants become worse off because a stable matching exacerbates the moral hazard problem on the part of counsel. In addition, we show that under suitable conditions random matching is the efficient way to allocate defendants to counsel.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Not a white male

Racial Inequality in Democratic Accountability: Evidence from Retrospective Voting in Local Elections

Patrick Flavin & Michael Hartney

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
One important and, to date, overlooked component of democratic accountability is the extent to which it might exacerbate existing societal inequalities if the outcomes for some groups of citizens are prioritized over others when voters evaluate governmental performance. We analyze a decade of California school board elections and find evidence that voters reward or punish incumbent board members based on the achievement of white students in their district, whereas outcomes for African American and Hispanic students receive comparatively little attention. We then examine public opinion data on the racial education achievement gap and report results from an original list experiment of California school board members that finds approximately 40% of incumbents detect no electoral pressure to address poor academic outcomes among racial minority students. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for several scholarly literatures, including retrospective voting, racial inequality in political influence, intergovernmental policymaking, and education politics.

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Be an advocate for others, unless you are a man: Backlash against gender-atypical male job candidates

Janine Bosak et al.

Psychology of Men & Masculinity, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous research shows that gender vanguards (individuals who demonstrate gender-atypical skills and behavior) suffer backlash in the form of social and economic penalties (Rudman & Phelan, 2008). This study examined backlash against female and male job applicants who were either gender-atypical or typical. Professionals (N = 149) evaluated female or male managerial applicants for internal promotion described in their performance review as showing either self-advocacy or advocacy on behalf of their team. Atypical, other-advocating men were judged to be low on agency and competence and penalized with job dismissal. Serial mediation analysis demonstrated that, compared with other-advocating women, other-advocating men were perceived to lack agency, which contributed to a perceived loss of competence that ultimately led to greater penalties. The implications of these findings for contemporary leadership theories and men’s and women’s professional success in the workplace are discussed.

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The Boundaries of Latino Sport Leadership: How Skin Tone, Ethnicity, and Nationality Construct Baseball's Color Line

Jen McGovern

Sociological Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
Ethnoracial minorities constitute a sizeable percentage of the U.S. labor force, but are underrepresented in top management positions. Research examining the leadership gap focuses primarily on blacks and whites without giving ample attention to Latinos, whose experiences differ greatly based on phenotype, birthplace, and citizenship. This research uses an intersectional approach to examine how these categories overlap to influence Latino leadership in Major League Baseball. Using records data and descriptive statistics, the study shows that skin color and nationality influence leadership opportunities more than ethnicity does. Americans from all ethnoracial groups are more likely to lead than foreign-born individuals. Regardless of ethnicity, white and light-skinned individuals are more likely to be pitchers, catchers, managers, coaches, and broadcasters while dark-skinned people are underrepresented in those roles. The data indicate that American-born and light-skinned Latinos have experiences similar to their white counterparts while foreign-born and dark-skinned Latinos merge into collective blackness. This hierarchal structure reinforces historical racialized meanings about race and points toward a racial classification system where individuals will be sorted based on multiple, overlapping categories.

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Leaning Out: How Negative Recruitment Experiences Shape Women’s Decisions to Compete for Executive Roles

Raina Brands & Isabel Fernandez-Mateo

Administrative Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper proposes that gender differences in responses to recruitment rejections contribute to women’s underrepresentation in top management. We theorize and show that women are less likely than men to consider another job with a prospective employer that has rejected them in the past. Because of women’s status as a negatively stereotyped minority in senior roles, recruitment rejection triggers uncertainty about their general belonging in the executive domain, which in turn leads women to place greater weight than men on fair treatment and negatively affects their perceptions of the fairness of the treatment they receive. This dual process makes women less inclined than men to apply again to a firm that has rejected them. We test our theory with three studies: a field study using longitudinal archival data from an executive search firm, a survey of executives, and an experiment using executive respondents testing the effects of rejection on willingness to apply to a firm for another position. The results have implications for theory and practice regarding gender inequality at the labor market’s upper echelons, highlighting that women’s supply-side decisions to “lean out” of competition for senior roles must be understood in light of their previous experiences with employers’ demand-side practices. Given the sequential nature of executive selection processes, rejection-driven differences in the willingness to compete in a given round would affect the proportion of available women in subsequent selection rounds, contributing to a cumulative gender disadvantage and thus possibly increasing gender inequality over time.

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Breadwinner Bonus and Caregiver Penalty in Workplace Rewards for Men and Women

Julia Bear & Peter Glick

Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Two studies examine whether the workplace motherhood penalty and fatherhood bonus are better conceived, respectively, as a caregiver penalty and breadwinner bonus. Participants acting as employers structured offers for married female or male job candidates with children. In Study 1, participants assumed “mother = caregiver” and “father = breadwinner.” These assumptions moderated significantly higher salary offers to fathers and more (explicitly career-dampening) flexible schedules to mothers. Study 2 manipulated family roles (nonparent, parent-unspecified role, parent-breadwinner, and parent-caregiver). Supporting a breadwinner bonus, the female candidate fared best in salary and leadership training offers when labeled a breadwinner (vs. caregiver and unspecified role), equaling a male breadwinner’s offer. A caregiver penalty decreased salary for caregivers of both sexes and leadership training for women (compared to breadwinners) but not men. Thus, the motherhood penalty can become a breadwinner bonus if mothers present themselves as family breadwinners.

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Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability

Linda Babcock et al.

American Economic Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Gender differences in task allocations may sustain vertical gender segregation in labor markets. We examine the allocation of a task that everyone prefers be completed by someone else (writing a report, serving on a committee, etc.) and find evidence that women more than men volunteer, are asked to volunteer, and accept requests to volunteer for such tasks. Beliefs that women, more than men, say yes to tasks with low promotability appear as an important driver of these differences. If women hold tasks that are less promotable than those held by men, then women will progress more slowly in organizations.

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The Impact of Paid Leave on Female Employment Outcomes

Natasha Sarin

Harvard Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
This paper provides evidence on the impact of paid leave legislation on female employment outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences and difference-in-difference-in-differences strategy, I study the impact of two state-level programs in California and New Jersey. This paper is first to exploit the fact that the cost of paid leave in these states is larger for firms with 50 or more employees (who are forced to offer job protection under the federal FMLA) than for firms with 49 or fewer employees. Comparing firms above and below this cutoff, I estimate that paid leave with job protection reduces female hiring by around 1.15 percent in large firms compared to small firms where leaves are unprotected. Women of child-bearing age are most negatively impacted (hiring falls by around 2 percent), as are female employees in industries that are relatively less human capital intensive, like utilities and accommodation and food services.

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Predicting First-year Law School Performance: The Influences of Race, Gender, and Undergraduate Major

John Fordyce, Lisa Jepsen & Ken McCormick

Eastern Economic Journal, January 2017, Pages 64–77

Abstract:
We use regression analysis and proprietary data from three top 30 law schools to test the relationships of race, gender, and undergraduate major to first-year law school performance, as measured by law school grade point average at the end of the first year. We conclude that, all else equal: (1) Non-white students perform worse than white students, (2) Women on average do as well as men, though non-white women do worse than both white and non-white men, and (3) For the most part, undergraduate major has no relationship to first-year law school performance.

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Laboratory Evidence on the Effects of Sponsorship on the Competitive Preferences of Men and Women

Nancy Baldiga & Katherine Coffman

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Sponsorship programs have been proposed as one way to promote female advancement in competitive career fields. A sponsor is someone who advocates for a protégé, and in doing so, takes a stake in her success. We use a laboratory experiment to explore two channels through which sponsorship has been posited to increase advancement in a competitive workplace. In our setting, being sponsored provides a vote of confidence and/or creates a link between the protégé’s and sponsor’s payoffs. We find that both features of sponsorship significantly increase willingness to compete among men on average, while neither of these channels significantly increases willingness to compete among women on average. As a result, sponsorship does not close the gender gap in competitiveness or earnings. We discuss how these insights from the laboratory could help to inform the design of sponsorship programs in the field.

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The effects of implicit gender role theories on gender system justification: Fixed beliefs strengthen masculinity to preserve the status quo

Laura Kray et al.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, January 2017, Pages 98-115

Abstract:
Four studies (n = 1199) tested support for the idea that implicit theories about the fixedness versus malleability of gender roles (entity vs. incremental theories) predict differences in the degree of gender system justification, that is, support for the status quo in relations between women and men in society. Relative to an incremental theory, the holding of an entity theory correlated with more system-justifying attitudes and self-perceptions (Study 1) for men and women alike. We also found that strength of identification with one’s gender in-group was a stronger predictor of system justification for men than it was for women, suggesting men’s defense of the status quo may be motivated by their membership in a high status group in the social hierarchy. In 3 experiments, we then tested whether exposure to a fixed gender role theory would lead men to identify more with masculine characteristics and their male gender group, thus increasing their defense of the gender system as fair and just. We did not expect a fixed gender role theory to trigger these identity-motivated responses in women. Overall, we found that, by increasing the degree of psychological investment in their masculine identity, adopting a fixed gender role theory increased men’s rationalization of the gender status quo compared with when gender roles were perceived to be changeable. This suggests that, when men are motivated to align with their masculine identity, they are more likely to endorse the persistence of gender inequality as a way of affirming their status as “real men.”

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Informal Training Experiences and Explicit Bias against African Americans among Medical Students

Sara Burke et al.

Social Psychology Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite the widespread inclusion of diversity-related curricula in U.S. medical training, racial disparities in the quality of care and physician bias in medical treatment persist. The present study examined the effects of both formal and informal experiences on non-African American medical students’ (N = 2,922) attitudes toward African Americans in a longitudinal study of 49 randomly selected U.S. medical schools. We assessed the effects of experiences related to medical training, accounting for prior experiences and attitudes. Contact with African Americans predicted positive attitudes toward African Americans relative to white people, even beyond the effects of prior attitudes. Furthermore, students who reported having witnessed instructors make negative racial comments or jokes were significantly more willing to express racial bias themselves, even after accounting for the effects of contact. Examining the effects of informal experiences on racial attitudes may help develop a more effective medical training environment and reduce racial disparities in healthcare.

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Negotiating Femininity: Gender-Relevant Primes Improve Women’s Economic Performance in Gender Role Incongruent Negotiations

Julia Bear & Linda Babcock

Psychology of Women Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
According to gender role congruity theory, women, compared to men, underperform in masculine negotiations because these negotiations are incongruent with women’s gender role. Based on this framework, we developed two gender-relevant primes — a masculine-supplement prime and a feminine-complement prime — that address role incongruity and should improve women’s economic performance by either supplementing masculinity or complementing femininity. In Study 1, physicians (N = 78; 50% women) in an executive education program engaged in a masculine-supplement prime, which involved recalling agentic behavior; in Study 2, undergraduate students (N = 112; 50% women) completed a feminine-complement prime, which involved imagining negotiating for a friend. In Study 3, a community sample (N = 996; 46% women) completed an online experiment with the primes. Results from the three studies showed that these primes improved women’s economic performance and eliminated the gender gap in negotiation. Perception of fit partially explained the efficacy of the masculine-supplement prime for women, though not the feminine-complement prime. We build on past research concerning situational moderators by investigating gender role congruity from an intrapsychic perspective. We also make a practical contribution; these primes can be used by women to improve economic performance in gender role incongruent negotiations.

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Sex Differences in Cortisol's Regulation of Affiliative Behavior

Gary Sherman et al.

Hormones and Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
A stress perspective is used to illuminate how competitive defeat and victory shape biology and behavior. We report on a field study examining how change in cortisol following perceived defeat (vs. victory) in a competition — in this case, a dog agility competition — relates to affiliative behavior. Following competition, we measured cortisol change and the extent to which dog handlers directed affiliative behaviors toward their dogs. We found striking sex differences in affiliation. First, men were more affiliative toward their dogs after victory, whereas women were more affiliative after defeat. Second, the greater a female competitor's increase in cortisol, the more time she spent affiliating with her dog, whereas for men, the pattern was the exact opposite: the greater a male competitor's increase in cortisol, the less time he spent affiliating with his dog. This pattern suggests that, in the wake of competition, men and women's affiliative behavior may serve different functions — shared celebration for men; shared consolation for women. These sex differences show not only that men and women react very differently to victory and defeat, but also that equivalent changes in cortisol across the sexes are associated with strikingly different behavioral consequences for men and women.

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Post-Executive Order 13583: A Reexamination of Occupational Barriers in Federal Law Enforcement

Helen Yu

Women & Criminal Justice, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study examined occupational barriers in federal law enforcement between 2011 and 2015, replicating research conducted prior to the passage of Executive Order 13583. Qualitative and quantitative data were generated from surveys collected from 101 sworn female federal law enforcement officers on the challenges they face in the work environment. With little progress to gender equity, findings revealed that male colleagues’ resistance to women in federal policing and the perceived lack of promotions has increased, while work–life balance policies and sexual discrimination continue to be a challenge. Policy implications for improving organizational practices are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

At the helm

Pilot CEOs and Corporate Innovation

Jayanthi Sunder, Shyam Sunder & Jingjing Zhang

Journal of Financial Economics, January 2017, Pages 209–224

Abstract:
We find evidence that chief executive officers’ (CEOs’) hobby of flying airplanes is associated with significantly better innovation outcomes, measured by patents and citations, greater innovation effectiveness, and more diverse and original patents. We rule out alternative explanations, leading us to conclude that CEO pilot credentials capture the personality trait of sensation seeking. Sensation seeking combines risk taking with a desire to pursue novel experiences and has been associated with creativity. Our evidence highlights sensation seeking as a valuable personality trait that can be used to identify CEOs who are likely to drive innovation success.

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How Destructive is Innovation?

Daniel Garcia-Macia, Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter Klenow

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
Entrants and incumbents can create new products and displace the products of competitors. Incumbents can also improve their existing products. How much of aggregate productivity growth occurs through each of these channels? Using data from the U.S. Longitudinal Business Database on all non-farm private businesses from 1976–1986 and 2003–2013, we arrive at three main conclusions: First, most growth appears to come from incumbents. We infer this from the modest employment share of entering firms (defined as those less than 5 years old). Second, most growth seems to occur through improvements of existing varieties rather than creation of brand new varieties. Third, own-product improvements by incumbents appear to be more important than creative destruction. We infer this because the distribution of job creation and destruction has thinner tails than implied by a model with a dominant role for creative destruction.

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Impact of Financial Leverage on the Incidence and Severity of Product Failures: Evidence from Product Recalls

Omesh Kini, Jaideep Shenoy & Venkat Subramaniam

Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study the impact of the financial condition of firms on firms’ ability to produce safer products that result in fewer recalls. Using a variety of tests, including two quasi-natural experiments that result in exogenous negative industry cash-flow shocks, we find that firms with higher leverage or distress likelihood have a greater probability of a product recall. These firms also face more frequent and severe recalls. Further, firms with more debt due at the onset of the financial crisis experience a greater likelihood and frequency of recalls. We conclude that a firm’s financial condition has real effects that impact product safety.

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Earnings Expectations and Employee Safety

Judson Caskey & Bugra Ozel

Journal of Accounting and Economics, February 2017, Pages 121–141

Abstract:
We examine the relation between workplace safety and managers’ attempts to meet earnings expectations. Using establishment-level data on workplace safety from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we document significantly higher injury/illness rates in firms that meet or just beat analyst forecasts compared to firms that miss or comfortably beat analyst forecasts. The higher injury/illness rates in firms that meet or just beat analyst forecasts are associated with both increases in employee workloads and in abnormal reductions of discretionary expenses. The relation between benchmark beating and workplace safety is stronger when there is less union presence, when workers’ compensation premiums are less sensitive to injury claims, and among firms with less government business. Our findings highlight a specific consequence of managers’ attempts to meet earnings expectations through real activities management.

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The Payoff to Consistency in Performance

Christian Deutscher et al.

Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study investigates whether firms are willing to pay higher wages to workers who demonstrate consistent performance than to those whose performance is more volatile. A formal model reflects a production technology view, assuming the law of diminishing marginal product. This model suggests that a more consistent worker produces higher expected output and therefore receives a higher wage. The test of the model uses data from the National Basketball Association. The empirical data support the model: Players whose performances were more consistent than the performances of other players received higher wages on average.

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Customer-Base Concentration, Profitability and the Information Environment: The U.S. Government as a Major Customer

Daniel Cohen & Bin Li

University of Texas Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
While prior research focuses on a firm’s relationships with corporate customers, we examine a firm’s interaction with the U.S. government as a unique and important customer. Specifically, we compare government customers vis-à-vis corporate customers by investigating their different economic implications for supplier firms. The evidence suggests that firms with more concentrated sales to government customers exhibit greater economies of scale as reflected in their better profitability, whereas firms with more concentrated sales to corporate customers do not. Our further analyses imply that relative to corporate customers, government customers help suppliers in achieving higher efficiencies in asset turnover and customer-specific SG&A investments, a consequence of lower operational uncertainty and a more transparent external information environment.

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Let them go? How losing employees to competitors can enhance firm status

David Tan & Christopher Rider

Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Because employees can provide a firm with human capital advantages over competitors, firms invest considerably in employee recruiting and retention. Departing from the retention imperative of strategic human capital management, we propose that certain employee departures can enhance a firm's competitiveness in the labor market. Specifically, increased rates of career-advancing departures by a firm's employees can signal to potential future employees that the firm offers a prestigious employment experience that enhances external mobility opportunities. Characterizing advancement based on subsequent employers and positions, we analyze data on U.S. law firm hiring and industry surveys of perceived firm status between 2004 and 2013. We find that increased rates of employee departures lead to increases in a firm's prestige when these departures are for promotions with high-status competitors.

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The Employee Clientele of Corporate Leverage

Jie He, Tao Shu & Huan Yang

University of Georgia Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Using the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) data from the Census Bureau, we document a robust, negative correlation between corporate leverage and employee job risk aversion. Specifically, we find that a firm uses less debt in its capital structure when its employees are more risk averse towards their jobs in the company, i.e., when a larger fraction of the employees’ total personal labor income or total household labor income is accounted for by their income from this particular firm. Meanwhile, firms with a lower existing level of leverage are more likely to recruit risk averse employees in terms of new hires. Our results continue to hold after we control for firm fixed effects, other employee characteristics such as wages, gender, age, race, and education, and the risk attitude of firm managers. Further, the matching between leverage and employee job risk attitude is more pronounced for firms with higher labor intensity and those in financial distress. Overall, our paper provides novel evidence for a clientele effect of corporate leverage with respect to employees, consistent with the theoretical predictions of Titman (1984) and Berk, Stanton, and Zechner (2010).

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Killer Incentives: Status Competition and Pilot Performance during World War II

Philipp Ager, Leonardo Bursztyn & Hans-Joachim Voth

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
A growing theoretical and empirical literature shows that public recognition can lead to greater effort amongst employees. At the same time, status competition can be associated with excessive expenditure on status goods, higher risk of bankruptcy, and more risk taking amongst money managers. In this paper, we look at the effects of recognition and status competition jointly: We focus on the spillover effects of public recognition on the performance and risk taking of peers. Using newly collected data on monthly victory scores of over 5,000 German pilots during World War II, we find corrosive effects of status competition: When the daily bulletin of the German armed forces mentioned the accomplishments of a particular fighter pilot, his former peers perform markedly better. Outperformance is differential across skill groups. When a former squadron peer is mentioned, the best pilots try harder, score more, and die no more frequently; average pilots win only a few additional victories, but die at a markedly higher rate. Our results suggest that the overall efficiency effects of non-financial rewards can be ambiguous in settings where both risk and output affect aggregate performance.

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The Contribution of Managers to Organizational Success: Evidence from German Soccer

Gerd Muehlheusser et al.

Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study the impact of managers on the success of professional soccer teams using data from the German Bundesliga, where we are exploiting the high turnover rate of managers between teams to disentangle the managers’ contributions. Teams employing a manager from the top of the ability distribution gain on average considerably more points than those employing a manager from the bottom. Moreover, estimated abilities have significant predictive power for future performance. Managers also affect teams’ playing style. Finally, teams whose manager has been a former professional player perform worse on average compared to managers without a professional player career.

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Expecting the Unexpected: Using Team Charters to Handle Disruptions and Facilitate Team Performance

Therese Sverdrup, Vidar Schei & Øystein Tjølsen

Group Dynamics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Teams are increasingly relied on to manage and adapt to a changing world. Previous studies have found adaptive teams to be less susceptible to disruptive events. In this study, we test whether or not the development of a team charter 2 weeks prior to a given task increases a team’s ability to adapt to disruptions and overall performance. We find that teams that develop team charters are better able to handle disruptive events, which in turn increases their performance.

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Fitting In or Standing Out? The Tradeoffs of Structural and Cultural Embeddedness

Amir Goldberg et al.

American Sociological Review, December 2016, Pages 1190-1222

Abstract:
A recurring theme in sociological research is the tradeoff between fitting in and standing out. Prior work examining this tension tends to take either a structural or a cultural perspective. We fuse these two traditions to develop a theory of how structural and cultural embeddedness jointly relate to individual attainment within organizations. Given that organizational culture is hard to observe, we develop a novel approach to assessing individuals’ cultural fit with their colleagues based on the language expressed in internal e-mail communications. Drawing on a unique dataset that includes a corpus of 10.24 million e-mail messages exchanged over five years among 601 employees in a high-technology firm, we find that network constraint impedes, whereas cultural fit promotes, individual attainment. More importantly, we find evidence of a tradeoff between the two forms of embeddedness: cultural fit benefits individuals with low network constraint (i.e., brokers), whereas network constraint promotes attainment for people with low cultural fit.

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Procrastination in the Workplace: Evidence from the U.S. Patent Office

Michael Frakes & Melissa Wasserman

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
Despite much theoretical attention over the concept of procrastination and much exploration of this phenomenon in laboratory settings, there remain few empirical investigations into procrastination in real world contexts, especially in the workplace. In this paper, we attempt to fill these gaps by exploring procrastination among U.S. patent examiners. We find that nearly half of examiners’ first substantive reports are completed immediately prior to the operable deadlines. Moreover, we find a range of additional empirical markers to support that this “endloading” of reviews results from a model of procrastination rather than various time-consistent models of behavior. In one such approach, we take advantage of the natural experiment afforded by the Patent Office’s staggered implementation of its telecommuting program, a development that we theorize might exacerbate employee self-control problems. Supporting the procrastination theory, we estimate an immediate spike in application endloading and other indicia of procrastination upon the onset of telecommuting. Finally, we assess the consequences of procrastination for the quality of the completed reviews. This analysis suggests that the primary harm stemming from procrastination is delay in the ultimate application process, with rushed reviews completed at deadlines resulting in the need for revisions in subsequent rounds of review.

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The Labor Market Signaling Value of Promotions

Bobak Moallemi, Ramana Ramakrishnan & Ryan Shyu

Stanford Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Do firms learn from other firms' human resource allocation decisions? This paper studies this question in the context of worker promotions, which according to theory serve as informative signals to external employers under asymmetric learning about employee ability. Using variation in the timing of promotion reports on LinkedIn CVs, we implement a differences-in-differences strategy to demonstrate that online promotion reports increase recruiter-initiated worker contacts ("InMails''). The signaling impact of promotions is concentrated among those who have recently attracted previous recruiter interest, consistent with a higher expected value of firm information acquisition among such workers.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Expectant

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Women's Timing of Marriage and Childbearing

Joelle Abramowitz

Journal of Family and Economic Issues, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper exploited variation in mandated insurance coverage of assisted reproductive technology (ART) across US states and over time to examine the connection between the price of ART and women's timing of family including marriage and child bearing in and out of wedlock. Duration and competing risks analyses were estimated to investigate the effects of ART insurance mandates on women's timing of first marriage and first birth using the 1968-2009 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The findings suggest that the mandates were associated with delayed marriage and childbearing at younger ages and an increased likelihood of marriage and motherhood at ages 30 and older, but only for college graduate women. For the full sample of women, the mandates were associated with an increased likelihood of marriage at ages 25 and older and motherhood within marriage after at ages 30 and older, but not with delay at younger ages. Results by race were similar to those for the full sample for Whites, but were generally less significant for Blacks. No significant effects of the mandates were found for out-of-wedlock childbearing.

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Son-biased sex ratios in 2010 US census and 2011-2013 US natality data

Douglas Almond & Yixin Sun

Social Science & Medicine, forthcoming

Abstract:
If gender bias is receding, demographic manifestations of son preference should also tend to decrease. The sex composition of US children provides a key barometer of gender preference. In the 2010 US Population Census, Chinese and Asian-Indian families are more likely to have a son after a daughter, consistent with previous research. Korean-American families, by contrast, do not show this same pattern, paralleling recent declines in sex selection observed for South Korea. Non-Hispanic White families have sex ratios within the range of the biological norm regardless of the sex composition of previous children. We corroborate the 2010 Census data with 2011-2013 birth certificate microdata, which likewise show elevated sex ratios for Chinese and Asian Indians at higher birth orders.

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Seeing is believing -- Can increasing the number of female leaders reduce sex selection in rural India?

Priti Kalsi

Journal of Development Economics, May 2017, Pages 1-18

Abstract:
Cultural values regarding gender roles encourage gender discrimination and the practice of sex selection. Increasing political and work force participation of women challenges such norms. Exploiting the implementation of an Indian law that required one-third of local political seats to be reserved for women, I investigate the impact of female leadership on sex selection in rural India. I find an increase in the survival of higher birth order girls if political seats at the local level have been reserved for women. I argue that the likely underlying mechanism is a change in beliefs due to exposure to female leaders.

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The Roots of Modern Sex Ratios

Jesse Keith Anttila-Hughes, Patrick Krause & Yaniv Stopnitzky

University of San Francisco Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
While most measures of female empowerment have improved with development, sex ratios in many countries have become increasingly male. We exploit countries' prior history of plough-based agriculture to identify cultural variation in patriarchal norms following Boserup (1970) and Alesina, Giuliano, and Nunn (2013). Using detailed birth records from 76 countries between 1970 and 2010, we show that the cultural legacy of plough use explains a large portion of variation in modern sex ratios, and present evidence that plough countries' male-skewed sex ratios are achieved through a mix of in-utero sex-selection, son-based stopping rules, and increased mortality suggestive of neglect or infanticide. This cultural bias intensifies with lower fertility, even when controlling for a suite of economic and historical controls, a pattern that is not found in non-plough countries.

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Women's Mental Health and Well-being 5 Years After Receiving or Being Denied an Abortion: A Prospective, Longitudinal Cohort Study

Antonia Biggs et al.

JAMA Psychiatry, forthcoming

Design, Setting, and Participants: This study presents data from the Turnaway Study, a prospective longitudinal study with a quasi-experimental design. Women were recruited from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010, from 30 abortion facilities in 21 states throughout the United States, interviewed via telephone 1 week after seeking an abortion, and then interviewed semiannually for 5 years, totaling 11 interview waves. Interviews were completed January 31, 2016. We examined the psychological trajectories of women who received abortions just under the facility's gestational limit (near-limit group) and compared them with women who sought but were denied an abortion because they were just beyond the facility gestational limit (turnaway group, which includes the turnaway-birth and turnaway-no-birth groups). We used mixed effects linear and logistic regression analyses to assess whether psychological trajectories differed by study group.

Results: Of the 956 women (mean [SD] age, 24.9 [5.8] years) in the study, at 1 week after seeking an abortion, compared with the near-limit group, women denied an abortion reported more anxiety symptoms (turnaway-births, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.01 to 1.13; turnaway-no-births, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.39 to 3.18), lower self-esteem (turnaway-births, -0.33; 95% CI, -0.56 to -0.09; turnaway-no-births, -0.40; 95% CI, -0.78 to -0.02), lower life satisfaction (turnaway-births, -0.16; 95% CI, -0.38 to 0.06; turnaway-no-births, -0.41; 95% CI, -0.77 to -0.06), and similar levels of depression (turnaway-births, 0.13; 95% CI, -0.46 to 0.72; turnaway-no-births, 0.44; 95% CI, -0.50 to 1.39).

Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, compared with having an abortion, being denied an abortion may be associated with greater risk of initially experiencing adverse psychological outcomes. Psychological well-being improved over time so that both groups of women eventually converged. These findings do not support policies that restrict women's access to abortion on the basis that abortion harms women's mental health.

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Estimating the Effect of Abortion Facility Closures on Fertility, Sexual Health and Human Capital

Scott Cunningham & Andrea Schlosser

Baylor University Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Historically, abortion regulation has sought to reduce abortions by raising the costs pregnant women face when seeking an abortion. But a more recent wave of regulations has sought to reduce abortions by raising abortion facility costs. A contemporary example of these supply-side regulations is Texas House Bill 2 (HB2) which in 2013 banned abortions after 20 weeks, required physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility, mandated medical abortions follow the labeling approved by the FDA, and imposed the requirement that all abortion facilities meet the standards of an ambulatory surgical center. These regulations significantly increased firm costs and caused more than half of all abortion facilities to close. We exploit the fact that the closures increased the driving distance to the nearest abortion facility to identify the causal effect of HB2 on abortions, births, low weight births, first trimester prenatal care, and gonorrhea incidence. We find robust evidence that HB2 increased the distance to the nearest facility by 61 miles. We also find that this increased distance reduced abortions by 9-12%. These effects were concentrated among 15-24 year olds. We also find that the increased driving distance caused county-level births to increase, suggesting that the two are substitutes. We estimate the abortion elasticity of births is between -0.1 and -0.4. Finally, we find increases in driving distance increased prenatal healthcare investments, low weight births and gonorrhea incidence. While we ultimately find restrictive abortion access led to large changes in reproductive health, we find no evidence that it interrupted the schooling of high school students.

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Reducing Health Disparities by Removing Cost, Access, and Knowledge Barriers

Melody Goodman et al.

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, forthcoming

Importance: While the rate of unintended pregnancy has declined in the U.S. in recent years, unintended pregnancy among teens in the U.S. is the highest among industrialized nations, and disproportionately affects minority teens. Our objective of this secondary analysis was to estimate the risk of unintended pregnancy for both Black and White women age 15- 19 years when barriers to access, cost, and knowledge are removed. Our hypothesis was that the Black-White disparities would be reduced when access, education, and cost barriers are removed.

Design, Setting, and Participants: We performed an analysis of Contraceptive CHOICE Project (CHOICE) database. CHOICE is a longitudinal cohort study of 9,256 sexually active women ages 14-45 in the St. Louis region from 2007 to 2013. Two measures of disparities were used to analyze teenage pregnancy rates and pregnancy risk from 2008 to 2013 among teens ages 15-19. These rates were then compared to the rates of pregnancy among all sexually active teens in the US during the years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. We estimated an absolute measure (rate difference (RD)) and a relative measure (rate ratio (RR)) to examine Black-White disparities in the rates of unintended pregnancy.

Results: While national rates of unintended pregnancy are decreasing, racial disparities in these rates persist. The Black-White rate difference dropped from 158.5 per 1,000 in 2008 to 120.1 per 1,000 in 2011; however, the relative ratio disparity decreased only from 2.6 to 2.5, suggesting that Black sexually active teens in the U.S. have 2.5 times the rate of unintended pregnancy as White teenagers. In the CHOICE Project, there was a decreasing trend in racial disparities in unintended pregnancy rates among sexually active teens (age 15-19); 2008-2009 (RD=18.2; RR=3.7), 2010-2011 (RD=4.3; RR=1.2) and 2013-2014 (RD=-1.5; RR=1.0).

Conclusions: When barriers to cost, access, and knowledge were removed, such as in the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, Black-White disparities in unintended pregnancy rates among sexually active teens are reduced on both absolute and relative scales. The rate of unintended pregnancy was almost equal between Black and White women compared to large Black-White disparities on the national level.

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Teen Childbearing and Depression: Do Pregnancy Attitudes Matter?

Tanya Rouleau Whitworth

Journal of Marriage and Family, forthcoming

Abstract:
The relationship between teen childbearing and depression has been extensively studied; however, little is known about how young women's own attitudes toward becoming pregnant shape this association. This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to investigate whether the relationship between teen childbearing and adult depression is moderated by adolescent attitudes toward becoming pregnant. The results showed that although, on average, women who had first births between ages 16 and 19 experienced no more depressive symptoms in adulthood than women who had first births at age 20 or older, the relationship between teen childbearing and adult depression varied significantly based on adolescent pregnancy attitudes. When they had negative adolescent attitudes toward getting pregnant, teen mothers had similar levels of depression as adult mothers, but when they had positive adolescent pregnancy attitudes, teen mothers actually had fewer depressive symptoms than women with adult first births.

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Sperm Donor Anonymity and Compensation: An Experiment with American Sperm Donors

Glenn Cohen et al.

Journal of Law and the Biosciences, December 2016, Pages 468-488

Abstract:
Most sperm donation that occurs in the USA proceeds through anonymous donation. While some clinics make the identity of the sperm donor available to a donor-conceived child at age 18 as part of 'open identification' or 'identity release programs,' no US law requires clinics to do so, and the majority of individuals do not use these programs. By contrast, in many parts of the world, there have been significant legislative initiatives requiring that sperm donor identities be made available to children after a certain age (typically when the child turns 18). One major concern with prohibiting anonymous sperm donation has been that the number of willing sperm donors will decrease leading to shortages, as have been experienced in some of the countries that have prohibited sperm donor anonymity. One possible solution, suggested by prior work, would be to pay current anonymous sperm donors more per donation to continue to donate when their anonymity is removed. Using a unique sample of current anonymous and open identity sperm donors from a large sperm bank in the USA, we test that approach. As far as we know, this is the first attempt to examine what would happen if the USA adopted a prohibition on anonymous sperm donation that used the most ecologically valid population, current sperm donors. We find that 29% of current anonymous sperm donors in the sample would refuse to donate if the law changed such that they were required to put their names in a registry available to donor-conceived children at age 18. When we look at the remaining sperm donors who would be willing to participate, we find that they would demand an additional $60 per donation (using our preferred specification). We also discuss the ramifications for the industry.

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The 9/11 Dust Cloud and Pregnancy Outcomes: A Reconsideration

Janet Currie & Hannes Schwandt

Journal of Human Resources, Fall 2016, Pages 805-831

Abstract:
The events of 9/11 released a million tons of toxic dust into lower Manhattan, an unparalleled environmental disaster. It is puzzling, then, that the literature has shown little effect of fetal exposure to the dust. However, inference is complicated by preexisting differences between the affected mothers and other NYC mothers as well as heterogeneity in effects on boys and girls. Using all births in-utero on 9/11 in NYC and comparing them to their siblings, we show that residence in the affected area increased prematurity and low birth weight, especially for boys.

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Testosterone and immune-reproductive tradeoffs in healthy women

Tierney Lorenz, Julia Heiman & Gregory Demas

Hormones and Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although testosterone (T) has been characterized as universally immunosuppressive across species and sexes, recent ecoimmunology research suggests that T's immunomodulatory effects (enhancing/suppressing) depend on the organism's reproductive context. Very little is known about the immune effects of T in healthy females, and even less about how reproductive effort modulates the immune effects of T in humans. We investigated how the interaction between endogenous T and sexual activity predicted menstrual cycle-related changes in several measures of immunity: inflammation (indexed by interleukin-6, IL-6), adaptive immunity (indexed by immunoglobulin A, IgA), and functional immunity (indexed by bactericidal assay). Thirty-two healthy women (sexually abstinent, N = 17; sexually active with one male partner, N = 15) provided saliva samples at four points in the menstrual cycle: menses, follicular, ovulation, and luteal phases. Among sexually abstinent women, T was positively associated with IL-6 across the cycle; for sexually active women, however, T was positively associated with IL-6 in the luteal phase only, and negatively associated with IL-6 at ovulation. High T predicted higher IgA among women who reported infrequent intercourse, but lower IgA among women who reported very frequent intercourse. Finally, across groups, T was positively associated with greater bacterial killing at menses, but negatively associated in the luteal phase. Overall, rather than being universally immunosuppressive, T appeared to signal immunomodulation relevant to reproduction (e.g., lowering inflammation at ovulation, potentially preventing immune interference with conception). Our findings support the hypothesis that the immunomodulatory effects of endogenous T in healthy females depend on sexual and reproductive context.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, January 2, 2017

How the sausage is made

Does Public Attention Reduce the Influence of Interest Groups? Policy Positions on SOPA/PIPA before and after the Internet Blackout

Ulrich Matter & Alois Stutzer

Harvard Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
We investigate the role that public attention plays in determining the effect that campaign contributions funded by interests groups have on legislators’ policy positions. In so doing, we exploit the Internet service blackout of January 2012 as a quasi-experiment in which a shock increases the salience of the SOPA/PIPA bills aimed at securing stronger protection of property rights on the Internet. Using a newly compiled dataset of U.S. congressmen’s public statements, which capture their positions throughout the debate, we find an initially strong statistical relationship between campaign contributions funded by the affected industries and legislators’ positions. However, this relationship evaporates once the two bills become primary policy issues. The evidence presented is in line with the theoretical notion that legislators choose positions on secondary policy issues in order to cater to organized interests, whereas positions on primary policy issues are driven by electoral support.

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A Very Particular Set of Skills: Former Legislator Traits and Revolving Door Lobbying in Congress

Todd Makse

American Politics Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
In recent decades, observers of Congress have devoted increasing attention to the phenomenon of the revolving door, whereby members of Congress and staffers go on to careers in lobbying. This practice raises a number of normative concerns that are perhaps most heightened when it comes to the lobbying activities of members of Congress themselves. In this article, I examine the factors determining which former members go through the revolving door, and find that members with central network positions and highly effective legislators are more likely to become lobbyists. I then examine the extent to which members-turned-lobbyists have an impact on bills in Congress. I find evidence that lobbying by former members increases a bill’s probability of progressing and some evidence that highly effective legislators also go on to become more effective lobbyists. Taken together, these findings support conventional wisdom that former members become some of the most influential lobbyists.

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All the President's Senators: Presidential Copartisans and the Allocation of Federal Grants

Dino Christenson, Douglas Kriner & Andrew Reeves

Legislative Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous scholarship argues that House members' partisan relationship to the president is among the most important determinants of the share of federal dollars they bring home to their constituents. Do presidential politics also shape distributive outcomes in the Senate? Analyzing the allocation of more than $8.5 trillion of federal grants across the states from 1984 to 2008, we show that presidential copartisan senators are more successful than opposition party members in securing federal dollars for their home states. Moreover, presidents appear to target grants ex post to states that gain presidential copartisans in recent elections.

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The Effects of Gender on Winnowing in the U.S. House of Representatives

Victoria Rickard

Politics & Gender, December 2016, Pages 807-834

Abstract:
Notwithstanding the importance of winnowing, scholars have devoted little attention to deciphering and systematically explaining the effects that gender may have on determining which small proportion of bills ultimately receive committee attention from the thousands that are introduced every legislative session. Building on past research evincing gendered differences in legislative behavior and effectiveness, this study analyzes the 111th and 112th Congresses in order to ascertain the extent to which gender affects winnowing in the U.S. House of Representatives. The findings suggest that female lawmakers are working hard to achieve legislative success by sponsoring a greater number of bills than their male colleagues, but that their efforts are not being similarly rewarded. Female sponsored bills fail to progress past the winnowing stage at rates comparable to male sponsored bills. Thus, policymaking may be skewed toward the preferences of male lawmakers despite the numeric and positional gains of women in the U.S. Congress.

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Labor Union Strength and the Equality of Political Representation

Patrick Flavin

British Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Amid growing evidence of ‘unequal democracy’ in the United States, labor unions can play a potentially important role by ensuring that low-income citizens’ opinions receive more equal consideration when elected officials make policy decisions. To investigate this possibility, this article evaluates the relationship between labor union strength and representational equality across states and finds evidence that states with higher levels of union membership weigh citizens’ opinions more equally in the policy-making process. In contrast, there is no relationship between the volume of labor union contributions to political campaigns in a state and the equality of its political representation. These findings suggest that labor unions promote greater political equality primarily by mobilizing their working-class members to political action and, more broadly, underscore the important role that organized labor continues to play in shaping the distribution of political power across American society.

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Losers Go to Jail: Congressional Elections and Union Officer Prosecutions

Mitch Downey

University of California Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Democratic societies rely on fair judicial systems and competitive political systems. If politicians can control criminal investigations of influential groups and use them to undermine political opponents and protect supporters, it subverts these systems. I test whether prosecutions of politically active labor unions respond to Congressional election outcomes. I use novel data on federal indictments, campaign contributions to measure support, and a regression discontinuity to recover causal effects. I find that union officers are 67% more likely to be indicted when the candidate their union supported barely loses. These indictments weaken unions’ ability to influence politics, making reelection more difficult for union-supported Representatives and easier for the union-opposed. As such, the discontinuity might reflect reduced indictments to protect election winners’ union supporters or increased indictments to target winners’ union opponents. A series of analyses suggest it includes both. The results show that US politicians manipulate the justice system to maintain power.

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It's a Sweetheart of a Deal: Political Connections and Federal Contracting

Stephen Ferris & Reza Houston

Indiana State University Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
We examine whether political connections measured by political contributions influences the choice of terms included in government contracts awarded to firms. We construct an index of four “sweetheart” contract terms that are highly favorable to the firm, but not obviously advantageous to the government. We find that firms making larger political contributions more frequently have these terms included in their contracts. We then examine how changes in a firm’s political contributions influence the terms of subsequent contracts. We find that firms which increase their contributions are more likely to have these terms as part of their contract. We conclude that there is a political effect on the choice of terms included in federal contracts awarded to firms.

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Networks, Big Data, and Intermedia Agenda Setting: An Analysis of Traditional, Partisan, and Emerging Online U.S. News

Chris Vargo & Lei Guo

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
This large-scale intermedia agenda–setting analysis examines U.S. online media sources for 2015. The network agenda–setting model showed that media agendas were highly homogeneous and reciprocal. Online partisan media played a leading role in the entire media agenda. Two elite newspapers — The New York Times and The Washington Post — were found to no longer be in control of the news agenda and were more likely to follow online partisan media. This article provides evidence for a nuanced view of the network agenda–setting model; intermedia agenda–setting effects varied by media type, issue type, and time periods.

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Congressional Investigations and the Electoral Connection

Kenneth Lowande & Justin Peck

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
We demonstrate that a direct “electoral connection” with voters motivates members of Congress to more vigorously investigate the executive branch during divided government. Our strategy for estimating the effect of the electoral connection is to leverage the enactment of 17th Amendment — which influenced the electoral mechanism for senators but not for members of the House of Representatives. This plausibly exogenous institutional variation allows us to isolate the effect of the electoral connection from other possible historical influences — such as the growth of the administrative state or the rise of political progressivism. We find that the 17th Amendment dramatically increased the Senate’s propensity to investigate during divided party control. Importantly, we also find little evidence of such an increase in the House. Our findings support the contemporary claim that congressional investigations are political tool motivated by the desire to discredit the opposition and reap individual electoral gains.

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Dynamics of Senate Retirements

Theodore Masthay & Marvin Overby

Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although there is a large literature on the career decisions of House members, there is a dearth of critical scholarship examining retirement decisions in the Senate. This study aims to address this under-explored topic and identify the key factors in Senate retirement decisions. With a less demanding election schedule, greater power afforded to individual senators, more prestige attached to the office, and fewer attractive options for progressive ambition, we find that Senate retirement decisions differ substantially from patterns observed in the House. Among other things, the partisan retirement differential that is so obvious and persistent in the House (with Republican MCs retiring at higher rates than Democrats) is markedly absent in the Senate. We explore this and other inter-chamber differences, discussing both their empirical and normative ramifications, and noting their importance for our understanding not only of the two chambers but also of the two parties.

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Elections, Ideology, and Turnover in the U.S. Federal Government

Alexander Bolton, John de Figueiredo & David Lewis

NBER Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
A defining feature of public sector employment is the regular change in elected leadership. Yet, we know little about how elections influence public sector careers. We describe how elections alter policy outputs and disrupt the influence of civil servants over agency decisions. These changes shape the career choices of employees motivated by policy, influence, and wages. Using new Office of Personnel Management data on the careers of millions of federal employees between 1988 and 2011, we evaluate how elections influence employee turnover decisions. We find that presidential elections increase departure rates of career senior employees, particularly in agencies with divergent views relative to the new president and at the start of presidential terms. We also find suggestive evidence that vacancies in high-level positions after elections may induce lower-level executives to stay longer in hopes of advancing. We conclude with implications of our findings for public policy, presidential politics, and public management.

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The political economy of wage and price controls: Evidence from the Nixon tapes

Burton Abrams & James Butkiewicz

Public Choice, January 2017, Pages 63–78

Abstract:
In late July, 1971, Nixon reiterated his adamant opposition to wage and price controls calling them a scheme to socialize America. Yet, less than a month later, in a stunning reversal, he imposed the first and only peacetime wage and price controls in U.S. history. The Nixon tapes, personal tape recordings made during the presidency of Richard Nixon, provide a unique body of evidence to investigate the motivations for Nixon’s stunning reversal. We uncover and report in this paper evidence that Nixon manipulated his New Economic Policy to help secure his reelection victory in 1972. He became convinced that wage and price controls were necessary to grab the headlines away from the defeatist abandonment of the Bretton Woods Agreement and the closing of the U.S. gold window. Nixon understood the impact of his wage and price controls, but chose to trade off longer-term economic costs to the economy for his own short-term political gain.

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The Role of Elite Accounts in Mitigating the Negative Effects of Repositioning

Joshua Robison

Political Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Repositioning by political elites plays a key role in a variety of political phenomena, including legislative policymaking and campaigning. While previous studies suggest that repositioning will lead to negative evaluations, these studies have not explored the role of elite communications in structuring mass responses. We argue that this omission is problematic because elite explanations for their actions may limit the costs associated with ‘flip-flopping’ by persuading some citizens to update their attitudes so that they agree with the elite’s new stance and also by molding beliefs about the motives of the elite when repositioning. We present evidence supportive of this argument obtained from two large experiments conducted on samples of American adults. Ultimately, we show that elites offering a satisfactory justification for their change can avoid most, if not all, of the evaluative costs that would otherwise occur. This study thus has important implications not just for this particular element of elite behavior, but also related questions concerning governmental accountability and representation.

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Captured Development: Industry Influence and State Economic Development Subsidies in the Great Recession Era

Joshua Jansa & Virginia Gray

Economic Development Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Scholars focus on interstate competition and intrastate economic conditions as the primary determinants of state economic development policies, including direct subsidies. New data from the Good Jobs First Subsidy Tracker illustrates large differences in subsidy spending across the states and that established firms are the disproportionate beneficiaries. In light of this new evidence, we argue that the political presence of the business sector within the state is an important determinant of state subsidy spending. A large political presence helps forward industry interests before government and has the potential to capture state governments. We find support for the cultural capture model by demonstrating that a greater number of lobbyists and campaign contributions from businesses leads to more subsidy spending, all else equal. We conclude that subsidies, and which companies receive them, are a product of both politics and economics.

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A Room for One’s Own? The Partisan Allocation of Affordable Housing

Claudine Gay

Urban Affairs Review, January 2017, Pages 40-70

Abstract:
Millions of Americans live in communities without an adequate supply of affordable housing. The governmental response to the crisis has focused on subsidies to private developers who build below-market housing, with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) at the center of this effort. Although federally funded, the LIHTC program grants states wide latitude in distributing billions of dollars of tax credits annually. Do state officials exploit this discretion to channel housing subsidies to geographic constituencies for political ends? Drawing on 20 years of LIHTC administrative data, I test whether electoral support for the state’s governing party predicts the level of tax credit investment directed to an area. The analysis reveals a modest relationship between partisan loyalty and housing investment, conditional on the partisan and institutional contexts. Democratic governors steer tax credits to areas of core support, but only where the governor exercises a high level of control over the state’s LIHTC-allocating agency.

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The Birth of Pork: Local Appropriations in America's First Century

Sanford Gordon & Hannah Katherine Simpson

NYU Working Paper, December 2016

Abstract:
After describing a newly assembled dataset consisting of all local appropriations made by the U.S. Congress between 1789 and 1882, we test a number of competing accounts of the politics surrounding them before offering a more nuanced, historically contingent view of the emergence of the pork barrel. First, we demonstrate that the pattern of appropriations is inconsistent with credit-claiming motivations, even accounting for the frequent rotation in office common during the period. Second, it was rare that over fifty percent of districts directly benefited from these appropriations until the 1870s, even aggregating by congressional session. Moreover, support for these appropriations was not reducible to geographic proximity, but did, until the end of Reconstruction, map cleanly onto the partisan/ideological structure of Congress. Finally, we show how the growth of recurrent expenditures and the emergence of a solid Democratic South eventually produced the universalistic coalitions commonly associated with pork-barrel spending.

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Veto Override Requirements and Executive Success

Robert McGrath, Jon Rogowski & Josh Ryan

Political Science Research and Methods, forthcoming

Abstract:
Presidential systems around the world vary in the proportion of legislators required to override an executive veto. We argue that the nature of the override provision affects executive influence in policymaking; as the proportion needed to override a veto increases, so should executive influence. We leverage varying override requirements across the US states to conduct a comparative study of executive influence over budgetary outcomes. Using governors’ budget requests and enacted appropriations for fiscal years 1987–2011, we provide evidence that state legislatures better accommodate budgetary requests in states with higher override requirements. Further, governors whose preferences are extreme relative to the legislature are more likely to have their budgetary goals met in states with a higher veto threshold.

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Electoral Rules and Legislative Particularism: Evidence from U.S. State Legislatures

Tanya Bagashka & Jennifer Hayes Clark

American Political Science Review, August 2016, Pages 441-456

Abstract:
We argue that state legislative politics is qualitatively different from national congressional politics in the extent to which it focuses on localized and geographically specific legislation salient to subconstituencies within a legislative district. Whereas congressional politics focuses on casework benefits for individual constituents, state legislative politics is more oriented to the delivery of localized benefits for groups of citizens in specific areas within a district, fostering a geographically specific group connection. A primary way to build such targeted geographical support is for members to introduce particularistic legislation designed to aid their specific targeted geographical area within the district. We argue that this is primarily a function of electoral rules. Using original sponsorship data from U.S. state houses, we demonstrate that greater district magnitude and more inclusive selection procedures such as open primaries are associated with more particularism. Our findings provide strong support for a voter-group alignment model of electoral politics distinct from the personal vote/electoral connection model that characterizes U.S. congressional politics and is more akin to patterns of geographically specific group-oriented electoral politics found in Europe and throughout the world.

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The Role of Constituency, Party, and Industry in Pennsylvania’s Act 13

Bradford Bishop & Mark Dudley

State Politics & Policy Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
While a large body of research exists regarding the role of industry money on roll-call voting in the U.S. Congress, there is surprisingly little scholarship pertaining to industry influence on state politics. This study fills this void in an analysis of campaign donations and voting during passage of Act 13 in Pennsylvania during 2011 and 2012. After collecting information about natural gas production in state legislative districts, we estimate a series of multivariate models aimed at uncovering whether campaign donations contributed to a more favorable policy outcome for industry. Our findings indicate that campaign donations played a small but systematic role in consideration of the controversial legislation, which represented one of the first and most important state-level regulatory reforms for the hydraulic fracturing industry.

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Opportunities in Parliament and Political Careers: A Natural Experiment in the United Kingdom

Yusaku Horiuchi & Peter John

University College London Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
Why do some politicians acquire more posts and achieve faster career progression, while others do not? We argue that it is the opportunity for members of parliament (MPs) to develop and demonstrate their effectiveness as lawmakers and politicians that helps them develop political careers. By leveraging a natural experiment in the United Kingdom where randomly selected twenty MPs are given an opportunity to bring in legislation in each session, we show that winning the ballot decreases the probability of getting a new post among less experienced MPs, while it increases the probability among the more experienced. This finding shows that whether or not MPs can seize the randomly assigned new career-boosting opportunity hinges on the non-randomly generated pre-existing opportunity gap.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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