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Friday, June 19, 2015

Irreconcilable

Why Do Liberals Drink Lattes?

Michael Macy, Daniel DellaPosta & Yongren Shi
American Journal of Sociology, March 2015, Pages 1473-1511

Abstract:
Popular accounts of “lifestyle politics” and “culture wars” suggest that political and ideological divisions extend also to leisure activities, consumption, aesthetic taste, and personal morality. Drawing on a total of 22,572 pairwise correlations from the General Social Survey (1972–2010), the authors provide comprehensive empirical support for the anecdotal accounts. Moreover, most ideological differences in lifestyle cannot be explained by demographic covariates alone. The authors propose a surprisingly simple solution to the puzzle of lifestyle politics. Computational experiments show how the self-reinforcing dynamics of homophily and influence dramatically amplify even very small elective affinities between lifestyle and ideology, producing a stereotypical world of “latte liberals” and “bird-hunting conservatives” much like the one in which we live.

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Partisan Conflict and Private Investment

Marina Azzimonti
NBER Working Paper, June 2015

Abstract:
American politics have been characterized by a high degree of partisan conflict in recent years. Combined with a divided government, this has led not only to significant Congressional gridlock, but also to spells of high fiscal policy uncertainty. The unusually slow recovery from the Great Recession during the same period suggests the possibility that the two phenomena may be related. In this paper, I investigate the hypothesis that political discord depresses private investment. To this end, I first present a reduced-form political economy model to illustrate how news about political disagreement affects investment through agents' expectations. I then construct a novel high-frequency indicator of partisan conflict consistent with the model. The index, computed monthly between 1981 and 2015, uses a semantic search methodology to measure the frequency of newspaper articles reporting lawmakers' disagreement about policy. Using a 2SLS approach, I estimate that a 10% increase in the partisan conflict index is associated with a 3.4% decline in aggregate private investment in the US.

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Party Hacks and True Believers: The Effect of Party Affiliation on Political Preferences

Eric Gould & Esteban Klor
Hebrew University of Jerusalem Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
This paper examines the effect of party affiliation on an individual’s political views. To do this, we exploit the party realignment that occurred in the U.S. due to abortion becoming a more prominent and highly partisan issue over time. We show that abortion was not a highly partisan issue in 1982, but a person’s abortion views in 1982 led many to switch parties over time as the two main parties diverged in their stances on this issue. We find that voting for a given political party in 1996, due to the individual’s initial views on abortion in 1982, has a substantial effect on a person’s political, social, and economic attitudes in 1997. These findings are stronger for highly partisan political issues, and are robust to controlling for a host of personal views and characteristics in 1982 and 1997. As individuals realigned their party affiliation in accordance with their initial abortion views, their other political views followed suit.

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The Importance of Context in the Genetic Transmission of U.S. Party Identification

Zoltán Fazekas & Levente Littvay
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this study, we discuss one example where behavior genetic findings vary greatly across political contexts. We present original findings on how party identification is heritable around the 2008 election on a sample of twins from Minnesota. As this is in contrast with findings from the late 1980s and with how a mid-2000 study interpreted their results, we explain how the increasing partisan ideological polarization could be responsible for these seemingly contradictory findings. In the Minnesota sample, we show a genetic correlation between party identification and ideology, a finding consistent in the political science literature. We highlight how heritability of political characteristics, like all others, is population specific and highly context dependent stressing its nondeterministic nature.

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Red rural, blue rural? Presidential voting patterns in a changing rural America

Dante Scala, Kenneth Johnson & Luke Rogers
Political Geography, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper examines individual and aggregate data to document the growing political diversity in rural America. This political diversity is evident in the various economies within rural America. The new rural economy is reflected in recreational counties, where natural and built amenities combined with the provision of services to residents and visitors are the basis for the local economy. Residents of recreational counties tend to be more liberal than their rural peers on a variety of political issues, and supported Barack Obama at significantly higher levels in 2008 and 2012. In contrast, in regions dominated by the old rural economy of farming, political views are more conservative and there is far less support for Democrats in general and President Obama in particular. An analysis of survey data combined with multivariate spatial regression analysis demonstrates that these differences between the old and new rural economy persist even when a variety of demographic, economic, social and geographic variables are controlled.

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Speaking Different Languages or Reading from the Same Script? Word Usage of Democratic and Republican Politicians

Jayme Neiman et al.
Political Communication, forthcoming

Abstract:
Words are believed to be indicators of the values that are important to politicians and an impressive amount of empirical research has analyzed variations in language use. While it is generally accepted that there are value differences between Democrats and Republicans, the extent to which these differences are reflected in word usage has been theorized but is largely untested. The connection between values and language is, theoretically, not limited just to politicians, but should be especially evident among politicians as representatives of existing ideological poles. In this article, we examine elite rhetoric through the lens of four value-centered theoretical frameworks (Lakoff’s Parenting Styles model, Moral Foundations Theory, Schwartz’s Values Theory, and Motivated Social Cognition Theory). Contrary to the expectations posited by these four theories, we find little reliable evidence of value-related language differences between Democratic and Republican politicians. Our findings suggest that, at least when it comes to elite rhetoric, widely accepted theoretical claims about the value-based nature of political language and political differences are not consistently supported by empirical analysis.

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The Rich are Different: The Effect of Wealth on Partisanship

Erik Peterson
Political Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Rich voters tend to be Republicans and poor voters tend to be Democrats. Yet, in most settings it is difficult to distinguish the effects of affluence on partisanship from those of closely related variables such as education. To address these concerns I use state lottery and administrative records to examine the effect of changing economic circumstances on the partisanship of over 1,900 registered voters. Winning larger amounts in the lottery produces a small increase in the probability an individual is later a registered Republican, an effect that is larger for those who registered to vote after winning. This suggests that wealth does affect partisanship, particularly for those without preexisting attachments to a political party. Comparing estimates from the lottery to cross-sectional data suggests the latter exaggerates the relationship between wealth and partisanship, although controlling for additional variables produces largely similar estimates.

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Judging Political Hearts and Minds: How Political Dynamics Drive Social Judgments

James Cornwell, Allison Bajger & Tory Higgins
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigated how judgments of political messengers depend upon what would benefit one’s preferred candidate. In Study 1a, participants were asked to evaluate the warmth and competence of the writer of a pro- or anti-Obama political message for the 2012 presidential election (Obama/warm; Romney/competent). When judging the messages, warmth was emphasized by Democrats and competence by Republicans. Study 1b replicated these effects for messages about Romney as well. Study 2 examined the 2004 presidential election where perceptions of the party candidates’ warmth and competence reversed (Bush/warm; Kerry/competent). There competence was emphasized by Democrats and warmth by Republicans. Study 3 showed that varying the warmth and competence of each party’s prospective candidates for the 2016 election influences whether warmth or competence is emphasized by Democrats or Republicans. Thus, differences between Republicans and Democrats in emphasizing warmth or competence reflect a dynamic motivated cognition that is tailored to benefit their preferred candidate.

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On the misplaced politics of behavioral policy interventions

David Tannenbaum, Craig Fox & Todd Rogers
University of Chicago Working Paper, March 2015

Abstract:
One common criticism of “nudges” — general-purpose interventions derived from behavioral science that can be applied to a range of policy objectives — is that such interventions are manipulative and coercive. In this article we show that this criticism sometimes reflects a partisan nudge bias, whereby attitudes toward policy goals or policymakers distort feelings about policy interventions. In particular, people find nudges more ethically problematic when applied to policy objectives they oppose (or when applied by policymakers they oppose), than when those same nudges are applied to policy objectives they support (or when applied by policymakers they support). Both political liberal and conservative respondents exhibit partisan nudge bias, as do practicing policymakers. Furthermore, partisan differences disappear when nudges are described without mention of a particular policy objective, suggesting that nudges are not inherently partisan. We argue that an honest debate about the appropriateness of behavioral policy interventions will likely require stripping away details about the policy objectives to which they are applied and the parties that endorse them.

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Cognitive ability and political beliefs in the United States

Noah Carl
Personality and Individual Differences, September 2015, Pages 245–248

Abstract:
Recent evidence indicates that cognitive ability has a monotonically positive relation to socially liberal beliefs and some measures of fiscally conservative beliefs, and that it has a non-monotonic relation to other measures of fiscally conservative beliefs. This study examines the relationship between cognitive ability and political beliefs in a recent, nationally representative sample of American adults. It finds that cognitive ability is positively associated with both socially liberal beliefs and fiscally conservative beliefs. The relationships with socially liberal beliefs are monotonically positive. In contrast, some of the relationships with fiscally conservative beliefs are non-monotonic: Americans of highest ability are less fiscally conservative than those of high ability. The association between cognitive ability and a dimension of fiscal conservatism is reduced substantially when controlling for socio-economic position.

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Verbal ability as a predictor of political preferences in the United States, 1974–2012

Gerhard Meisenberg
Intelligence, May–June 2015, Pages 135–143

Abstract:
The relationship between cognitive ability and stated political preferences in the United States is examined with data from the General Social Survey, which includes a brief vocabulary test (Wordsum) as a measure of verbal ability. Since the 1970s, liberal and conservative self-identification became increasingly identified with the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively. Liberal self-identification has increasingly been related to higher Wordsum scores since the 1970s, but liberal-conservative differences rarely exceed the equivalent of 3 IQ points. Among Whites, those identifying themselves as “moderate” or “independent” have lower average Wordsum scores than those with stated ideological or political party preferences, contrary to the hypothesis that higher intelligence is related to less extreme political positions. The relationship between Wordsum and Democratic Party affiliation has moved from negative to neutral since the 1970s. In presidential elections, the most consistent finding is that voters scored substantially higher than non-voters. Those voting for the Democratic candidate had higher average scores than those voting for his Republican opponent since 2000. In regression models that control for demographics, higher Wordsum scores are associated with liberal self-identification but not with political party preferences. In conclusion, higher vocabulary scores are associated with a greater likelihood that people place themselves on the ideological and political spectrum and that they vote in presidential elections, but have only small relationships with liberal-versus-conservative self-identification.

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How Much Disagreement is Good for Democratic Deliberation?

Kevin Esterling, Archon Fung & Taeku Lee
Political Communication, forthcoming

Abstract:
The ideal of deliberation requires that citizens engage in reasonable discussion despite disagreements. In practice, if their experience is to match this normative ideal, participants in an actual deliberation should prefer moderate disagreement to conflict-free discussion within homogeneous groups, and to conflict-driven discussion where differences are intractable. This article proposes a research design and methods for assessing the quality of a deliberative event based on the perceptions of the participants themselves. In a structured deliberative event, over 2,000 individuals were assigned to small groups composed of about 10 persons of varying levels of ideological difference to discuss health care reform in California. We find that participants experience higher satisfaction with deliberation under moderate ideological difference than when they are in homogeneous or in highly disparate groups. That moderate disagreement induces optimal deliberation is consistent with normative expectations and empirically demonstrates the deliberative quality of this event.

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Tea Leaves and Southern Politics: Explaining Tea Party Support in the Region

M.V. Hood, Quentin Kidd & Irwin Morris
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objectives: Our research assesses the distinctiveness of Tea Party adherents among mobilized Republicans in the South.

Methods: The data come from an interactive voice response (IVR) survey of households containing at least one Republican primary voter across nine southern states conducted approximately one month before the 2012 presidential election. We analyze the data using multivariate logistic regression.

Results: Unlike other scholarship, we find no evidence that racial animosity drives the movement, but we do find a strong relationship between evangelicalism and Tea Party support. We also find Tea Party adherents are older, more likely to be men, less wealthy, more ideologically conservative, and more partisan than their fellow Republicans.

Conclusions: Tea Party supporters in the South are likely to have a significant impact on the future of the Republican Party — both in the South, and nationally. The fact that our profile of southern Tea Party supporters does not include growing segments of the electorate does not bode well for the future development of the GOP.

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Fox News and Political Knowledge

Elizabeth Schroeder & Daniel Stone
Journal of Public Economics, June 2015, Pages 52–63

Abstract:
The effects of partisan media on political knowledge are theoretically ambiguous. Knowledge effects are important because of their close connection to welfare effects, but the existing empirical literature on knowledge is limited. We study the knowledge effects of the Fox News Channel. Following DellaVigna and Kaplan (2007), we exploit naturally random variation in Fox’s availability to identify causal effects. We use knowledge survey data from 2000, 2004 and 2008; our final sample has nearly one million question-level observations. We first confirm and expand on previous findings of Fox effects on voting. We then present an array of results from our knowledge analysis. While average effects (across issues), over the full time-frame are near-zero and most precise, we find evidence of positive effects both for issues that were more favorable to Republicans and for issues that Fox covered more often, and negative effects for issues Fox neglected. We also present evidence of Fox being associated with a decline in newspaper readership.

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The Politics of Affirmation Theory: When Group-Affirmation Leads to Greater Ingroup Bias

Gaven Ehrlich & Richard Gramzow
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
It has been well established in the literature that affirming the individual self reduces the tendency to exhibit group-favoring biases. The limited research examining group-affirmation and bias, however, is inconclusive. We argue that group-affirmation can exacerbate group-serving biases in certain contexts, and in the current set of studies, we document this phenomenon directly. Unlike self-affirmation, group-affirmation led to greater ingroup-favoring evaluative judgments among political partisans (Experiment 1). This increase in evaluative bias following group-affirmation was moderated by political party identification and was not found among those who affirmed a non-political ingroup (Experiment 2). In addition, the mechanism underlying these findings is explored and interpreted within the theoretical frameworks of self-categorization theory and the multiple self-aspects model (Experiments 2 and 3). The broader implications of our findings for the understanding of social identity and affirmation theory are discussed.

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The Knowledge Gap Versus the Belief Gap and Abstinence-Only Sex Education

Douglas Blanks Hindman & Changmin Yan
Journal of Health Communication, forthcoming

Abstract:
The knowledge gap hypothesis predicts widening disparities in knowledge of heavily publicized public affairs issues among socioeconomic status groups. The belief gap hypothesis extends the knowledge gap hypothesis to account for knowledge and beliefs about politically contested issues based on empirically verifiable information. This analysis of 3 national surveys shows belief gaps developed between liberals and conservatives regarding abstinence-only sex education; socioeconomic status–based knowledge gaps did not widen. The findings partially support both belief gap and knowledge gap hypotheses. In addition, the unique contributions of exposure to Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC in this process were investigated. Only exposure to Fox News was linked to beliefs about abstinence-only sex education directly and indirectly through the cultivation of conservative ideology.

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You are either for us or against us: When are ambivalent in-group members sanctioned?

David Somlo, William Crano & Michael Hogg
Social Influence, forthcoming

Abstract:
The subjective group dynamics model describes conditions for sanctioning deviant in-group members. A description of a new or established group member's (the target) attitude toward “Obamacare” was provided to 136 Republican participants. The target expressed a group-normative, ambivalent, or deviant opinion. Participants indicated the self-relevance of Obamacare, and evaluated the target. Neither target status nor attitude affected evaluations for non-vested participants; however, highly vested participants evaluated new ambivalent targets more favorably than established ambivalent targets (p < .05): derogation or sanctioning of ambivalent and deviant targets, that is, was moderated by evaluators’ vested interest and longevity of the target's group membership.

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Are conservatives overconfident?

Pietro Ortoleva & Erik Snowberg
European Journal of Political Economy, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent studies suggest psychological differences between conservatives and liberals, including that conservatives are more overconfident. We use a behavioral political economy model to show that while this is undoubtedly true for election years in the current era, there is no reason to believe that conservative ideologies are intrinsically linked to overconfidence. Indeed, it appears that in 1980 and before, conservatives and liberals were equally overconfident.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Not who you think

Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep

Xiaoqing Hu et al.
Science, 29 May 2015, Pages 1013-1015

Abstract:
Although people may endorse egalitarianism and tolerance, social biases can remain operative and drive harmful actions in an unconscious manner. Here, we investigated training to reduce implicit racial and gender bias. Forty participants processed counterstereotype information paired with one sound for each type of bias. Biases were reduced immediately after training. During subsequent slow-wave sleep, one sound was unobtrusively presented to each participant, repeatedly, to reactivate one type of training. Corresponding bias reductions were fortified in comparison with the social bias not externally reactivated during sleep. This advantage remained 1 week later, the magnitude of which was associated with time in slow-wave and rapid-eye-movement sleep after training. We conclude that memory reactivation during sleep enhances counterstereotype training and that maintaining a bias reduction is sleep-dependent.

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Benevolent racism? The impact of target race on ambivalent sexism

Jean McMahon & Kimberly Barsamian Kahn
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
Two studies investigated whether benevolent sexism is differentially applied based on a woman’s race. Study 1 demonstrated that participants expressed more benevolent sexism to White females than Black females when given no other information besides race. Study 2 introduced positive (chaste) and negative (promiscuous) sexually subtyped behaviors in addition to female race. Under these conditions, participants directed more benevolent sexism at chaste Black women rather than chaste White women, consistent with shifting standards theory. Despite receiving more benevolent sexism, chaste Black women did not receive more positive evaluations overall. Across both studies, expressions of hostile sexism did not differ by race. Results suggest that race may function as a subtype to elicit benevolent sexism contingent on behavior. Black women who follow traditional gender norms may be overcompensated for their conformity with benevolent sexism, but not receive more positive benefits.

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Arab American Housing Discrimination, Ethnic Competition, and the Contact Hypothesis

Michael Gaddis & Raj Ghoshal
ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July 2015, Pages 282-299

Abstract:
This study uses a field experiment to study bias against living with Arab American women, a group whose position in the U.S. race system remains uncertain. We developed fictitious female white and Arab American identities and used the audit method to respond to 560 roommate-wanted advertisements in four metro areas: Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, and Houston. To focus on social — rather than purely economic — biases, all responses identified the sender as college-educated and employed and were written in grammatically correct English. We compare the number of replies received, finding that Arab-origin names receive about 40 percent fewer replies. We then model variation in discrimination rates by proximity to mosques, geographic concentration of mosques, and the percentage of Arabs living in a census tract so as to test ethnic competition theory and the contact hypothesis. In Los Angeles and New York, greater discrimination occurred in neighborhoods with the highest concentration of mosques.

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Finding a Roommate on Craigslist: Racial Discrimination and Residential Segregation

Raj Ghoshal & Michael Gaddis
University of Michigan Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
This study uses experimental methods to investigate covert racial discrimination in “roommate wanted” ads on Craigslist. Roommate relationships include significant social dimensions, and are an important site through which segregation may be reproduced or broken down, but have received very little attention by researchers. We develop fictitious racially-coded female names and identities for white, black, Hispanic, Chinese, and Indian room-seekers, along with Hispanic, Chinese, and Indian room-seekers with “Americanized” first names. We implement a field experiment and respond to over 1,500 “roommate wanted” advertisements on Craigslist across three metropolitan areas. Our emails express interest in the roommate-wanted ad, and mention that the sender is college-educated and employed full-time. We monitor response rates in the aggregate and within Census tracts of varying racial and economic characteristics. We find severe discrimination against African Americans, Hispanics, and Chinese-origin individuals. Asians with Americanized first names are treated equally to whites, while traditional Indian names and Americanized Latina names face moderate levels of discrimination. Patterns of discrimination by neighborhood race and class characteristics yield better access to upward mobility for Asian Americans than for underrepresented minority group members. Our findings reveal an important social mechanism that constricts integration and opportunity, shed new light on Asians’ and Latinas’ place in the US race system, reveal important interactions of race and presumed nativity, and show the ongoing relevance of race.

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Breaking down a barrier: Increasing perceived out-group knowledge reduces negative expectancies about intergroup interaction

Adem Aydogan & Karen Gonsalkorale
European Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although intergroup contact is an effective way of reducing prejudice, negative expectancies about interacting with out-group members often create a barrier to intergroup contact. The current study investigated cognitive appraisals by which negative expectancies may arise. Specifically, we examined whether increasing Anglo Australians' appraisals of their knowledge about Muslims would reduce their negative expectancies about an (ostensible) upcoming interaction with a Muslim Australian. Participants (89 Anglo Australians) completed a test that provided positive feedback either on their knowledge about Muslims or on their general knowledge (control). As predicted, Anglo Australians who received positive feedback on their knowledge about Muslims had a lower threat appraisal and expected to feel less anxious during the intergroup interaction compared with those who were in the control condition. This provides support for the precursory role out-group knowledge may have as a resource that is appraised upon the prospect of an intergroup interaction.

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The role of appearance stigma in implicit racial ingroup bias

Laurie Rudman & Meghan McLean
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
Minority groups who show implicit outgroup preference (African Americans, the elderly, and the overweight) are also likely to suffer from appearance stigma (for deviating from cultural aesthetic norms; Goffman, 1963). Three studies showed that people who automatically preferred Whites using the attitude Implicit Association Test (IAT) also associated Whites more than Blacks with attractiveness using the aesthetic IAT. In Study 1, the aesthetic IAT covaried with Black American’s preference for Black women with chemically treated versus natural hair, and rating products that purchase “racial capital” (e.g., skin whiteners) as important and useful. In Study 2, Black American’s pro-White bias was only eliminated when the attitude IAT represented their group as more attractive than Whites (i.e., when appearance stigma was reversed). Further, the aesthetic IAT predicted the attitude IAT more uniquely than outgroup contact. In concert, the findings suggest that appearance stigma is an overlooked factor influencing racial asymmetries in automatic ingroup esteem.

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“It’s Dude Time!”: A Quarter Century of Excluding Women’s Sports in Televised News and Highlight Shows

Cheryl Cooky, Michael Messner & Michela Musto
Communication & Sport, forthcoming

Abstract:
The last quarter century has seen a dramatic movement of girls and women into sport, but this social change is reflected unevenly in sports media. This study, a 5-year update to a 25-year longitudinal study, indicates that the quantity of coverage of women’s sports in televised sports news and highlights shows remains dismally low. Even more so than in past iterations of this study, the lion’s share of coverage is given to the “big three” of men’s pro and college football, basketball, and baseball. The study reveals some qualitative changes over time, including a decline in the once-common tendency to present women as sexualized objects of humor replaced by a tendency to view women athletes in their roles as mothers. The analysis highlights a stark contrast between the exciting, amplified delivery of stories about men’s sports, and the often dull, matter-of-fact delivery of women’s sports stories. The article ends with suggestions for three policy changes that would move TV sports news and highlights shows toward greater gender equity and fairness.

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When do high and low status group members support confrontation? The role of perceived pervasiveness of prejudice

Kimberly Barsamian Kahn et al.
British Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper examines how perceived pervasiveness of prejudice differentially affects high and low status group members’ support for a low status group member who confronts. In Experiment 1 (N = 228), men and women read a text describing sexism as rare or as pervasive and subsequently indicated their support for a woman who confronted or did not confront a sexist remark. Experiment 2 (N = 324) specified the underlying process using a self-affirmation manipulation. Results show that men were more supportive of confrontation when sexism was perceived to be rare than when it was pervasive. By contrast, women tended to prefer confrontation when sexism was pervasive relative to when it was rare. Personal self-affirmation decreased men's and increased women's support for confrontation when prejudice was rare, suggesting that men's and women's support for confrontation when prejudice is rare is driven by personal impression management considerations. Implications for understanding how members of low and high status groups respond to prejudice are discussed.

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Property and prejudice: How racial attitudes and social-evaluative concerns shape property appraisals

Jason McIntyre, Merryn Constable & Fiona Kate Barlow
European Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Property evaluations rarely occur in the absence of social context. However, no research has investigated how intergroup processes related to prejudice extend to concepts of property. In the present research, we propose that factors such as group status, prejudice and pressure to mask prejudiced attitudes affect how people value the property of racial ingroup and outgroup members. In Study 1, White American and Asian American participants were asked to appraise a hand-painted mug that was ostensibly created by either a White or an Asian person. Asian participants demonstrated an ingroup bias. White participants showed an outgroup bias, but this effect was qualified. Specifically, among White participants, higher racism towards Asian Americans predicted higher valuations of mugs created by Asian people. Study 2 revealed that White Americans' prejudice towards Asian Americans predicted higher valuations of the mug created by an Asian person only when participants were highly concerned about conveying a non-prejudiced personal image. Our results suggest that, ironically, prejudiced majority group members evaluate the property of minority group members whom they dislike more favourably. The current findings provide a foundation for melding intergroup relations research with research on property and ownership.

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Expectations and speech intelligibility

Molly Babel & Jamie Russell
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, April 2015

Abstract:
Socio-indexical cues and paralinguistic information are often beneficial to speech processing as this information assists listeners in parsing the speech stream. Associations that particular populations speak in a certain speech style can, however, make it such that socio-indexical cues have a cost. In this study, native speakers of Canadian English who identify as Chinese Canadian and White Canadian read sentences that were presented to listeners in noise. Half of the sentences were presented with a visual-prime in the form of a photo of the speaker and half were presented in control trials with fixation crosses. Sentences produced by Chinese Canadians showed an intelligibility cost in the face-prime condition, whereas sentences produced by White Canadians did not. In an accentedness rating task, listeners rated White Canadians as less accented in the face-prime trials, but Chinese Canadians showed no such change in perceived accentedness. These results suggest a misalignment between an expected and an observed speech signal for the face-prime trials, which indicates that social information about a speaker can trigger linguistic associations that come with processing benefits and costs.

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Don’t bring me down: Divergent effects of being the target of empathy versus perspective-taking on minority group members’ perceptions of their group’s social standing

Jacquie Vorauer & Matthew Quesnel
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
This experiment examined how being the target of one of two commonly recommended strategies for improving intergroup relations — empathy or perspective-taking — affects minority group members’ sense of their group’s power and status in society. The main hypothesis was that the distinct status hierarchies implied by each of these mindsets would be communicated across face-to-face intergroup exchanges. Specifically, because empathy targets are typically in lower power positions whereas perspective-taking targets are typically in higher power positions, minority group members who were targets of a dominant group member’s empathy were expected to come away with a reduced sense of their group’s social standing relative to those who were targets of a dominant group member’s perspective-taking. Results were consistent with this prediction and further suggested that the mindset effect was partially mediated by a tendency for dominant group members’ efforts to empathize with minority targets to foster heightened imbalance in the levels of various power-relevant behaviors exhibited by each person.

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Black and white as valence cues: A large-scale replication effort of Meier, Robinson, and Clore (2004)

Brian Meier, Adam Fetterman & Michael Robinson
Social Psychology, Summer 2015, Pages 174-178

Abstract:
Replication efforts involving large samples are recommended in helping to determine the reliability of an effect. This approach was taken for a study from Meier, Robinson, and Clore (2004), one of the first papers in social cognition guided by conceptual metaphor theory, which reported that evaluations were faster when word valence metaphorically matched (e.g., a word with a negative meaning in black) rather than mismatched (e.g., a word with a negative meaning in white) font color. The present investigation was a direct large-scale replication attempt involving 980 participants who completed an experiment using web-based software and were diverse in terms of race, age, and geographical location. Words with a positive meaning were evaluated faster when font color was white rather than black and words with a negative meaning were evaluated faster when font color was black rather than white, replicating the main results of Meier et al. (2004).

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Effect of Wearing Eyeglasses on Judgment of Socioprofessional Group Membership

Nicolas Guéguen
Social Behavior and Personality, Spring 2015, Pages 661-665

Abstract:
Several researchers have reported that people photographed wearing eyeglasses were perceived as being more intelligent and honest than people who were not wearing them. In this study, conducted in France, I tried to replicate this effect using a forced-choice situation. Participants viewed a photograph of a male target wearing, or not wearing, eyeglasses and were instructed to estimate his socioprofessional group using a well-known French list. Results showed that, compared with the target without eyeglasses, the target wearing eyeglasses was more frequently associated with a higher status socioprofessional group and less often with midstatus or low-status socioprofessional groups. These results confirmed that a common cue of facial appearance is sufficient to activate a stereotype of social group membership.

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The interaction between aging and death anxieties predicts ageism

Ehud Bodner et al.
Personality and Individual Differences, November 2015, Pages 15–19

Abstract:
While aging anxiety is associated with the threat of deterioration that leads to death, death anxiety is related to the threat of non-existence and to fears from an unknown afterlife, and both anxieties can lead to ageism. The current study examined the unexplored relationship between these two existential anxieties and ageism. Measures of aging and death anxieties, ageism (in the form of ageist attitudes), and various measures of physical health were collected from 1073 older adults at the age range of 50–86. When death anxiety was low, aging anxiety was positively related to ageism, but when aging anxiety was low, death anxiety was positively related to ageism. The interaction between both anxieties and ageism remained significant after controlling for a myriad of background characteristics and physical health measures. These findings, which point at the distinctive and complementary roles that both anxieties have in connecting between one another and ageist attitudes, are discussed in light of theories on ageism.

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Self-expansion motivation improves cross-group interactions and enhances self-growth

Odilia Dys-Steenbergen, Stephen Wright & Arthur Aron
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
Rather than seeing outgroup members as targets of fear, conflict, or even tolerance, the self-expansion model proposes that outgroup members might be seen as attractive opportunities for self-growth. The current study utilizes an experimental manipulation to raise (or lower) self-expansion motivation prior to a positive interaction with a stranger from a different ethnic group. The results show that priming high self-expansion motivation leads to higher quality interactions, greater interpersonal closeness, greater feelings of self-growth, and higher feelings of self-efficacy. In addition, these outcomes show patterns of mediation consistent with the predictions of self-expansion theory. These findings point to a potentially valuable tool for improving the quality of cross-group contact experiences. More broadly, they focus attention on the genuinely positive functions that relationships with outgroup members can have for the self.

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Co-Viewing Effects of Ethnic-Oriented Programming: An Examination of In-Group Bias and Racial Comedy Exposure

Omotayo Banjo et al.
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Entertainment consumption is often shared with others, whether friends or strangers. Whereas most co-viewing scholarship has examined parent–child viewing, few have examined viewing among in-group and out-group members. The present study explores in-group and out-group responses to racial comedy featuring disparaging information about the in-group. Findings suggest that Blacks report a more positive attitude, greater perceived similarity, and identification when viewing racially charged comedy with Black in-group members than when viewing with White out-group members. White viewers display no differences in their responses to television comedy based on whether they were viewing with in-group members or out-group members. Implications are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Taking charge

Why Whine about Wining and Dining?

Benjamin Hermalin
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
Given potential abuse, conflicts of interest, and other issues, why do companies routinely pay for their managers to entertain the managers of other firms and allow their own managers to be so entertained? An answer that such practices facilitate interfirm cooperation is incomplete because it fails to address why companies cannot or do not induce such cooperation directly via their own incentive systems. This article addresses these issues. It shows, inter alia, that even when firms can induce cooperation via their own incentive systems, they will do better obtaining that cooperation via cross-firm entertaining and other favor granting. This remains true even if "entertainment" budgets are subject to corruption, including excessive use or potential embezzlement. Furthermore, the results are wholly independent of any favorable tax treatment such practices may receive.

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Expressive Effects of Ethics Codes

Maryam Kouchaki, Yuval Feldman & Francesca Gino
Northwestern University Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
We focus on understanding how employees perceive and interpret ethics codes. Research on ethics codes suggests that they may play an important role in the overall attempt to curb unethical behavior. Codes are viewed as an important form of organizational discourse, which is crafted, implemented, and interpreted within particular social and organizational systems. Given the mixed results in the existing business ethics literature on the effectiveness of ethics code, an important question is to examine whether an organizational code of conduct reduces unethical behaviors or not. Thus, the overall objective of this project is to identify and evaluate factors that will increase compliance with codes of conduct. In particular, the studies reported in this paper focus on the relationship between the language used in the codes of conduct and individuals' likelihood of compliance. We examine the differences in employees' compliance with codes of conduct and behaving in the interest of the company when the corporation uses a language that induces strong identification with the company as compared to a more formal language (i.e., refers to its employees as "we" as compared to "employees"). Our coding of the Fortune top 50 companies showed that 38% used an informal language while 62% used a formal language. We suggest that when a corporation uses a language that induces strong identification, the emphasis on identification will increase employees' likelihood to engage in unethical self-interested behaviors, because such emphasis suggests high trust in employees and thus a perception of leniency. In contrast, when the corporation refers to its employees as "employees" it signals to them a more formal approach, where the expectations from them to behave ethically are based on notions of rule. Three studies, a field experiment and two online studies, lend support to our predictions. We found that employees who were hired into an organization with a less formal and more family-like codes of conduct ("we") were more likely to choose their own self-interest over the interest of company and their perception of the group as being more forgiving for the violation of group's code of conduct and more trusting was responsible for this decreases in compliance with the code of conduct.

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Organizational Income Inequality and Precarious Employee Relations: The Role of Social Distance

Sreedhari Desai
University of North Carolina Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
At the societal level of analysis, researchers often have examined the potential dysfunctional consequences of income inequality. Wilkinson and Pickett (2005), for example, identified 155 papers reporting findings on the association between income distribution and population health and observed that a large majority of those studies suggest that health is worse in those cities where income differences are larger. A key setting in which societal income inequality is produced are organizations (e.g., Baron, 1984; Davis & Cobb, 2013). In this paper, we examine the size of the income gap between top managers and rank-and-file workers and the experienced job security of those workers. We focus, in this initial effort, on experienced job insecurity or what Kalleberg (2009) labels, "precarious employment relations" because while such employment is viewed by managers as a source of flexibility, it is seen by workers as uncertain, unpredictable, and risky, and thus, an undesirable aspect of a job (Kalleberg, 2011), one that is on the rise in the United States (e.g., Cappelli, 1999; Farber, 2008; Fullerton & Wallace, 2005; Hecker, 2006; Jacoby, 2001). Over the last several decades, income inequality in organizations, or what top managers make relative to average employees, has increased dramatically. Here, we suggest that an increase in organizational income inequality results in top executives perceiving increased social distance between themselves and ordinary employees in the organization. Social distance is a reflection of the ways in which individuals see each other as different from one another (Eveland, Nathanson, Detenber, & McLeod, 1999; Fiedler, 1953). Research suggests that the greater the social distance, the less positive individuals feel about the out-group, the less likely they are to think of them as individuals, the more likely they are to engage in uncooperative or even predatory behavior (Brescia, 2011). Moreover, construal level theory suggests that social distance predisposes people to construe information abstractly (Magee & Smith, 2013) and focus on the central aspects of situations such as profit maximization, disregarding secondary aspects such as moral concerns related to business decisions. Thus, we argue that increased social distance as a consequence of income inequality may cause executives to think of their relationship to ordinary employees in primarily short run economic terms and treat their employees in ways that maximize their short-term value to the firm by resorting to work practices such as summary dismissal and layoffs. In sum, we propose that as income inequality in an organization increases, its top managers are more likely to formulate policies that adversely affect employee relations. We present evidence from two archival studies as well as a lab experiment that support our conjecture.

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When 3 + 1 > 4: Gift Structure and Reciprocity in the Field

Duncan Gilchrist, Michael Luca & Deepak Malhotra
Harvard Working Paper, April 2015

Abstract:
Do higher wages elicit reciprocity and lead to increased productivity? In a field experiment with 266 employees, we find that paying higher wages, per se, does not have a discernible effect on productivity (in a context with no future employment opportunities). However, structuring a portion of the wage as a clear and unexpected gift - by offering a raise (with no additional conditions) after the employee has accepted the contract - does lead to higher productivity for the duration of the job. Gifts are roughly as efficient as hiring more workers.

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Does experience imply learning?

Jaideep Anand, Louis Mulotte & Charlotte Ren
Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research traditionally uses experiential learning arguments to explain the existence of a positive relationship between repetition of an activity and performance. We propose an additional interpretation of this relationship in the context of discrete corporate development activities. We argue that firms choose to repeat successful activities, thereby accumulating high experience with them. Data on 437 aircraft projects introduced through three governance modes show that the positive performance effect of the firm's experience with the focal mode becomes insignificant after accounting for experience endogeneity. We suggest that in a general case, experience with corporate development activities may be tinged with both learning as well as selection effects. Therefore, omitting to account for experience endogeneity may lead to incorrect conclusions from an "empirically observed" positive experience-performance relationship.

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Positional WAR in the National Football League

Andrew Hughes, Cory Koedel & Joshua Price
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We empirically estimate positional "wins above replacement" (WAR) in the National Football League (NFL). Positional WAR measures the value of players in the NFL, by position, in terms of generating wins. WAR is a commonly used metric to evaluate individual players in professional baseball and basketball in the United States, but to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to construct WAR measures for American football. A key challenge in constructing these measures is that individual statistics for many football players are not as well developed as in baseball and basketball. Related to this point, the productivity of individual football players, perhaps more than players in any other major sport, is highly dependent on context. We circumvent issues related to measuring productivity for individual players by constructing WAR measures at the position rather than individual level. The identifying variation that we leverage in our study is generated by arguably exogenous player injuries and suspensions. Using data from three seasons and all 32 NFL teams, we show that the most valuable positions in the NFL are quarterback, wide receiver, tight end/fullback, and offensive tackle. Perhaps our most surprising finding is that positional WAR for all positions on the defensive side of the football is zero.

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The Flaring of Intellectual Outliers: An Organizational Interpretation of the Generation of Novelty in the RAND Corporation

Mie Augier, James March & Andrew Marshall
Organization Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Much of intellectual history is punctuated by the flaring of intellectual outliers, small groups of thinkers who briefly, but decisively, influence the development of ideas, technologies, policies, or worldviews. To understand the flaring of intellectual outliers, we use archival and interview data from the RAND Corporation after the Second World War. We focus on five factors important to the RAND experience: (1) a belief in fundamental research as a source of practical ideas, (2) a culture of optimistic urgency, (3) the solicitation of renegade ambition, (4) the recruitment of intellectual cronies, and (5) the facilitation of the combinatorics of variety. To understand the subsequent decline of intellectual outliers at RAND, we note that success yields a sense of competence, endurance in a competitive world, and the opportunity and inclination to grow. Self-confidence, endurance, and growth produce numerous positive consequences for an organization; but for the most part, they undermine variety. Outliers and the conditions that produce them are not favored by their environments. Engineering solutions to this problem involve extending time and space horizons, providing false information about the likelihoods of positive returns from exploration, buffering exploratory activities from the pressures of efficiency, and protecting exploration from analysis by connecting it to dictates of identities.

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Does Experience Help or Hinder Top Managers? Working with Different Types of Resources in Hollywood

Michael Mannor, Jamal Shamsie & Donald Conlon
Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on the resource-based view has begun to place more emphasis on the ability of managers to extract better performance from the resources that are available to them. In this paper, we show that prior experience can both help and hinder their ability to generate performance from various categories of resources. Further, we argue that the fungibility of each resource influences the opportunities managers have to use their experience in order to find the best method to deploy them. We test our hypotheses by examining the ability of Hollywood film producers to generate results from financial, brand, and human resources. Our findings show that experienced producers can generate better performance from more fungible resources, but they actually achieve weaker results with less fungible resources.

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My Family Made Me Do It: A Cross-Domain, Self-Regulatory Perspective on Antecedents to Abusive Supervision

Stephen Courtright et al.
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Drawing on resource drain theory, we introduce self-regulatory resource (ego) depletion stemming from family-to-work conflict (FWC) as an alternative theoretical perspective on why supervisors behave abusively toward subordinates. Our two-study examination of a cross-domain antecedent of abusive supervision stands in contrast to prior research, which has focused primarily on work-related factors that influence abusive supervision. Further, our investigation shows how ego depletion is proximally related to abusive supervision. In the first study, conducted at a Fortune 500 company and designed as a lagged survey study, we found that after controlling for alternative theoretical mechanisms, supervisors who experience FWC display more abusive behaviors toward subordinates, and that this relationship was stronger for female supervisors and for supervisors who operate in environments with greater situation-control. These results were then replicated and expanded in an experience sampling study using a multi-organization sample of supervisors. This allowed us to study the FWC-abusive supervision relationship as it emerges on a day-to-day basis and to examine ego depletion as an explanatory mechanism. Consistent with our hypotheses, we found that FWC is associated with abusive supervision, ego depletion acts as a mediator of the FWC-abusive supervision relationship, and that gender and situation-control serve as moderators.

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The Contingent Effect of Management Practices

Steven Blader, Claudine Madras Gartenberg & Andrea Prat
NYU Working Paper, April 2015

Abstract:
This paper investigates how the success of a management practice depends on nature of the long-term relationship between the firm and its employees. A large US transportation company is in the process of fitting its trucks with an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR), which provide drivers with information on their driving performance. In this setting, a natural question is whether the optimal managerial practice consists of: (1) Letting each driver know his or her individual performance only; or (2) Also providing drivers with information about their ranking with respect to other drivers. The company is also in the first phase of a multi-year "lean-management journey". This phase focuses exclusively on changing employee values, mainly toward a greater emphasis on teamwork and empowerment. The main result of our randomized experiment is that (2) leads to better performance than (1) in a particular site if and only if the site has not yet received the values intervention, and worse performance if it has. The result is consistent with the presence of a conflict between competition-based managerial practices and a cooperation-based relational contract. More broadly, it highlights the role of intangible relational factors: the optimal set of managerial practices depends on the long-term relationship the company chooses to have with its workers.

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Employee rights and acquisitions

Kose John, Anzhela Knyazeva & Diana Knyazeva
Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper examines the outcomes and characteristics of corporate acquisitions from the perspective of stakeholder-shareholder agency conflicts. Using state variation in labor protections, we find that acquirers with strong labor rights experience lower announcement returns. Combined acquirer and target announcement returns are also lower in the presence of strong labor rights. Our findings remain statistically and economically significant after we control for a range of deal, firm, industry and state characteristics and explore various channels for the labor rights effect. Overall, the evidence indicates that employee-shareholder conflicts of interest reduce shareholder gains from acquisitions.

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Who Gets Credit for Input? Demographic and Structural Status Cues in Voice Recognition

Taeya Howell et al.
Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
The authors investigate the employee features that, alongside overall voice expression, affect supervisors' voice recognition. Drawing primarily from status characteristics and network position theories, the authors propose and find in a study of 693 employees from 89 different credit union units that supervisors are more likely to credit those reporting the same amount of voice if the employees have higher ascribed or assigned (by the organization) status ― cued by demographic variables such as majority ethnicity and full-time work hours. Further, supervisors are more likely to recognize voice from employees who have higher achieved status ― cued by their centrality in informal social structures. The authors also find that even when certain groups of lower status employees speak up more, they cannot compensate for the negative effect of their demographic membership on voice recognition by their boss. The authors underscore how recognition of employee voice by supervisors matters for employees. It carries (mediates) the effects of voice expression and status onto performance evaluations 1 year later, which means that demographic differences in the assignment of credit for voice can serve as an implicit pathway for discrimination.

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Equality under threat by the talented: Evidence from worker-managed firms

Gabriel Burdín
Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Does workplace democracy engender greater pay equality? Are high-ability individuals more likely to quit egalitarian organisational regimes? The paper revisits this long-standing issue by analyzing the interplay between compensation structure and quit behavior in the distinct yet underexplored institutional setting of worker-managed firms. The analysis is based on novel administrative data sources, which allow constructing a simple ordinal measure of the workers′ ability type. The paper's key findings are that (1) worker-managed firms have a more compressed compensation structure than conventional firms; and (2) high-ability members are more likely than other members to exit.

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Leaders' Use of Moral Justifications Increases Policy Support

Alex Van Zant & Don Moore
Psychological Science, June 2015, Pages 934-943

Abstract:
Leaders must choose how to justify their organization's actions to stakeholders. We differentiate moral frames, or justifications based on moral values, from pragmatic frames, or justifications based on practical costs and benefits. In Experiments 1a and 1b, we found that moral policy frames elicited more support than pragmatic frames across a variety of scenarios. This effect was mediated by the perception that leaders who offer moral justifications possess relatively greater moral character. In Experiment 2, we found that perceptions of a leader's private motives had a stronger influence on policy support than did the leader's public stance. Experiment 3 demonstrated that, irrespective of how a policy was framed, people were most supportive of a policy championed by a leader high in moral character. In Experiment 4, we documented an additional benefit of moral policy frames: They allow leaders to mitigate the moral outrage generated by reneging on a policy.

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Project Characteristics, Incentives, and Team Production

Richard Fu, Ajay Subramanian & Anand Venkateswaran
Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
We develop a model to show how agency conflicts, free-rider effects, and monitoring costs interact to affect optimal team size and workers' incentive contracts. Team size increases with project risk, decreases with profitability, and decreases with monitoring costs as a proportion of output. Our predictions are consistent with empirical evidence that firm-specific risk has increased over time, average corporate earnings have declined, and firms' organizational structures have also flattened. The predicted effects of monitoring costs on team size are supported by evidence that improvements in information technology likely to lower monitoring costs lead to larger teams. Further, firms with relatively more intangible assets, where monitoring costs are likely to be higher, are smaller. Optimal incentive intensities decrease with risk and increase with profitability. The endogenous determination of team size accentuates the positive effects of a decline in risk and an increase in profitability on incentives.

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Different Views of Hierarchy and Why They Matter: Hierarchy as Inequality or as Cascading Influence

Stuart Bunderson et al.
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Hierarchy is a reality of group life, for humans as well as for most other group-living species. And yet, there remains considerable debate about whether and when hierarchy can promote group performance and member satisfaction. We suggest that progress in this debate has been hampered by a lack of clarity about hierarchy and how to conceptualize it. Whereas prevailing conceptualizations of hierarchy in the group and organization literature focus on inequality in member power or status (i.e., centralization or steepness), we build on the ethological and social network traditions to advance a view of hierarchy as cascading relations of dyadic influence (i.e., acyclicity). We further suggest that hierarchy thus conceptualized is more likely to capture the functional benefits of hierarchy whereas hierarchy as inequality is more likely to be dysfunctional. In a study of 75 teams drawn from a wide range of industries, we show that whereas acyclicity in influence relations reduces conflict and thereby enhances both group performance and member satisfaction, centralization and steepness have negative effects on conflict, performance, and satisfaction, particularly in groups that perform complex tasks. The theory and results of this study can help to clarify and advance research on the functions and dysfunctions of hierarchy in task groups.

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Game Changer: The Topology of Creativity

Mathijs de Vaan, Balazs Vedres & David Stark
American Journal of Sociology, January 2015, Pages 1144-1194

Abstract:
This article examines the sociological factors that explain why some creative teams are able to produce game changers ― cultural products that stand out as distinctive while also being critically recognized as outstanding. The authors build on work pointing to structural folding ― the network property of a cohesive group whose membership overlaps with that of another cohesive group. They hypothesize that the effects of structural folding on game changing success are especially strong when overlapping groups are cognitively distant. Measuring social distance separately from cognitive distance and distinctiveness independently from critical acclaim, the authors test their hypothesis about structural folding and cognitive diversity by analyzing team reassembly for 12,422 video games and the career histories of 139,727 video game developers. When combined with cognitive distance, structural folding channels and mobilizes a productive tension of rules, roles, and codes that promotes successful innovation. In addition to serving as pipes and prisms, network ties are also the source of tools and tensions.

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What Influences Managers' Procedural Fairness towards Their Subordinates? The Role of Subordinates' Trustworthiness

Guozhen Zhao, Ya-Ru Chen & Joel Brockner
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2015, Pages 96-112

Abstract:
Four studies examined when and why the trustworthiness of subordinates influenced their managers' procedural fairness towards them. Subordinates seen as having more benevolence trustworthiness elicited greater procedural fairness from their managers, whereas subordinates seen as having less integrity trustworthiness elicited greater procedural fairness. Moreover, the positive (negative) relationship between subordinates' benevolence (integrity) trustworthiness and managers' procedural fairness was more pronounced when subordinates were perceived as higher in ability trustworthiness. Additional moderating and mediating findings suggest that managers' tendencies to show high procedural fairness towards their subordinates reflect two different underlying motivations: (1) to help managers maintain or cultivate good working relationships with their subordinates, and (2) to maintain control over their subordinates, that is, to make it less likely for subordinates to behave in ways that disrupt managers from attaining their goals. Implications for the organizational justice and trust literatures are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Opportunity knocks

Exploring the Racial Divide in Education and the Labor Market through Evidence from Interracial Families

Peter Arcidiacono et al.
Journal of Human Capital, Summer 2015, Pages 198-238

Abstract:
We examine gaps between minorities and whites in education and labor market outcomes, controlling for many covariates including maternal race. Identification comes from different reported races within the family. Estimates show two distinct patterns. First, there are no significant differences in outcomes between black and white males with white mothers. Second, large differences persist between these groups and black males with black mothers. The patterns are insensitive to alternative measures of own race and school fixed effects. Our results suggest that discrimination is not occurring on the basis of child skin color but through mother-child channels such as dialect or parenting practices.

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The Latin Americanization Thesis: An Expectation States Approach

David Biagas & Alison Bianchi
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
The Latin Americanization thesis posits that the racial hierarchy in the United States is now composed of Whites, Honorary Whites, and Collective Blacks, with skin tone being the primary determinant of one’s placement within this tripartite system of social status. Extant research mostly examines this approach at the macro level; relatively little is known about the thesis at the micro level. By examining goal-oriented task groups, our experiment tests whether Whites exhibit transitive levels of influence, a behavioral indicator of social status, in a manner consistent with this three-tier system. Furthermore, with applications of graph-theoretic models from status characteristics and status cue theories, we assess the social psychological mechanisms buttressing the proposed racial hierarchy by comparing propositions from four theories put forth by scholars of race/ethnicity (we translate their propositions into graphs and mathematical calculations). In so doing, we pose the question: In our experimental setting, which matters more, skin tone or ethnic background, or do both have equal effects on behavior? Our results support the purported racial hierarchy of the Latin Americanization thesis. On average, Whites were influenced the most by White confederates; Whites were influenced less by their light-skinned Latino/a confederates, and even less by dark-skinned Latino/a confederates. Model fit statistics for the propositions translated into graphs and values demonstrate that ethnic distinctions and skin tone are independent stratifiers in the form of status characteristics. This finding supports the notion that skin tone and ethnic background have the equivalent capacity to invoke processes to create the tripartite system of racial/ethnic inequality.

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A Theory of Dual Job Search and Sex-Based Occupational Clustering

Alan Benson
Industrial Relations, July 2015, Pages 367–400

Abstract:
This paper theorizes and provides evidence for the segregation of men into clustered occupations and women into dispersed occupations in advance of marriage and in anticipation of future colocation problems. Using the Decennial Census, and controlling for occupational characteristics, I find evidence of this general pattern of segregation, and also find that the minority of the highly educated men and women who depart from this equilibrium experience delayed marriage, higher divorce, and lower earnings. Results are consistent with the theory that marriage and mobility expectations foment a self-fulfilling pattern of occupational segregation with individual departures deterred by earnings and marriage penalties.

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Do women who succeed in male-dominated domains help other women? The moderating role of gender identification

Cheryl Kaiser & Kerry Spalding
European Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
It is often expected that the first women to advance in male-dominated fields will promote other women who follow them. Two studies test the hypothesis that some women show this expected pattern of promoting women but that others show the opposite pattern, favoring men over women. In two studies, women's gender identification moderated the extent to which they favored men over women when they advanced in a male-dominated field. Specifically, the weaker women's gender identification, the more favoritism they showed for a male relative to a female subordinate. Gender identification did not moderate women's behavior in a context in which women were not underrepresented, pointing to the power of the situation in eliciting this relationship. Implications for the advancement of women in male-dominated fields are discussed.

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Model Versus Military Pilot: A Mixed-Methods Study of Adolescents’ Attitudes Toward Women in Varied Occupations

Elizabeth Daniels & Aurora Sherman
Journal of Adolescent Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using an experimental methodology, the present study investigated adolescents’ attitudes toward media images of women in non-appearance-focused (CEO and military pilot) and appearance-focused occupations (model and actor). One hundred adolescent girls and 76 adolescent boys provided ratings of likability, competence, and similarity to self after viewing media images of women in non-appearance-focused and appearance-focused occupations. Both boys and girls reported that women in non-appearance-focused occupations were good role models at higher rates than women in appearance-focused occupations. Girls reported greater likability and similarity to the self for women in appearance-focused occupations compared with women in non-appearance-focused occupations, whereas boys showed the opposite pattern. Boys rated women in non-appearance-focused occupations as more competent than women in appearance-focused occupations, whereas girls showed the opposite pattern. The role of internalization of media standards for appearance in teens’ attitudes was also considered. Implications for career identity are discussed.

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On the gender–science stereotypes held by scientists: Explicit accord with gender-ratios, implicit accord with scientific identity

Frederick Smyth & Brian Nosek
Frontiers in Psychology, April 2015

Abstract:
Women's representation in science has changed substantially, but unevenly, over the past 40 years. In health and biological sciences, for example, women's representation among U.S. scientists is now on par with or greater than men's, while in physical sciences and engineering they remain a clear minority. We investigated whether variation in proportions of women in scientific disciplines is related to differing levels of male-favoring explicit or implicit stereotypes held by students and scientists in each discipline. We hypothesized that science-is-male stereotypes would be weaker in disciplines where women are better represented. This prediction was tested with a sample of 176,935 college-educated participants (70% female), including thousands of engineers, physicians, and scientists. The prediction was supported for the explicit stereotype, but not for the implicit stereotype. Implicit stereotype strength did not correspond with disciplines' gender ratios, but, rather, correlated with two indicators of disciplines' scientific intensity, positively for men and negatively for women. From age 18 on, women who majored or worked in disciplines perceived as more scientific had substantially weaker science-is-male stereotypes than did men in the same disciplines, with gender differences larger than 0.8 standard deviations in the most scientifically-perceived disciplines. Further, particularly for women, differences in the strength of implicit stereotypes across scientific disciplines corresponded with the strength of scientific values held by women in the disciplines. These results are discussed in the context of dual process theory of mental operation and balanced identity theory. The findings point to the need for longitudinal study of the factors' affecting development of adults' and, especially, children's implicit gender stereotypes and scientific identity.

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

Anthony Jerant et al.
Academic Medicine, forthcoming

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

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

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

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

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Gender Differences in Physicians’ Financial Ties to Industry: A Study of National Disclosure Data

Susannah Rose et al.
PLoS ONE, June 2015

Background: Academic literature extensively documents gender disparities in the medical profession with regard to salary, promotion, and government funded research. However, gender differences in the value of financial ties to industry have not been adequately studied despite industry’s increasing contribution to income and research funding to physicians in the U.S.

Methods & Findings: We analyzed publicly reported financial relationships among 747,603 physicians and 432 pharmaceutical, device and biomaterials companies. Demographic and payment information were analyzed using hierarchical regression models to determine if statistically significant gender differences exist in physician-industry interactions regarding financial ties, controlling for key covariates. In 2011, 432 biomedical companies made an excess of $17,991,000 in payments to 220,908 physicians. Of these physicians, 75.1% were male. Female physicians, on average, received fewer total dollars (-$3,598.63, p<0.001) per person than men. Additionally, female physicians received significantly lower amounts for meals (-$41.80, p<0.001), education (-$1,893.14, p<0.001), speaker fees (-$2,898.44, p<0.001), and sponsored research (-$15,049.62, p=0.05). For total dollars, an interaction between gender and institutional reputation was statistically significant, implying that the differences between women and men differed based on industry’s preference for an institution, with larger differences at higher reputation institutions.

Conclusions: Female physicians receive significantly lower compensation for similarly described activities than their male counterparts after controlling for key covariates. As regulations lead to increased transparency regarding these relationships, efforts to standardize compensation should be considered to promote equitable opportunities for all physicians.

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Preparing for Parenthood? Gender, Aspirations, and the Reproduction of Labor Market Inequality

Brooke Conroy Bass
Gender & Society, June 2015, Pages 362-385

Abstract:
This article explores how anticipations of parenthood differentially affect the career aspirations and choices of women and men who have not (yet) had children. Drawing from in-depth interviews conducted separately with 60 coupled young adults (30 heterosexual couples), I find that women in my sample were disproportionately likely to think and worry about future parenthood in their imagined work paths. Moreover, women were more likely than men to alter or downshift their present-day career goals in anticipation of the changes in preferences and responsibilities that accompany new parenthood. Because men were unlikely to engage in the mental work of anticipating parenthood, they were also free from its emotional and behavioral consequences. In this way, gendered anticipations of parenthood, which begin relatively early in an individual’s career path, are likely to play a key role in reproducing patterns of labor market inequality even before the real constraints of parenthood have set in.

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To Regulate Or Not To Regulate? Early Evidence on the Means Used Around the World to Promote Gender Diversity in the Boardroom

Réal Labelle, Claude Francoeur & Faten Lakhal
Gender, Work & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite the growing public concern in recent years about the place of women in business, gender diversity in corporate governance has made little progress. As a consequence, the issue has captured the worldwide attention of policymakers. Several countries are currently adopting or considering the adoption of laws or regulations to promote gender diversity on corporate boards. The purpose of this paper is to compare the effectiveness of using legislative or regulatory means to increase female representation instead of allowing firms to voluntarily fix their own non-legally binding targets. We find that the relation between gender diversity and performance is positive in countries using the voluntary approach while it is negative in countries using the regulatory approach. We conclude that public policy aimed at increasing the number of women on corporate boards should be introduced gradually and voluntarily rather than quickly and coercively to avoid sub-optimal board composition.

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Unequal on Top: Gender Profiling and the Income Gap among High Earner Male and Female Professionals

Jennifer Merluzzi & Stanislav Dobrev
Social Science Research, September 2015, Pages 45–58

Abstract:
We develop a comprehensive, multi-level model of income inequality between high earner men and women during the early career stages. We argue that young women are routinely subjected to “gender profiling” by employers — women’s potential contribution to the organization is interpreted through the lens of social stereotypes and cultural norms that attribute to them weaker labor market commitment than men. We investigate two specific mechanisms that arise from this profiling and lead to income inequality: First, women have diminished access to resources and advancement opportunities within the firm which results in lower returns to tenure for women than for men. Second, external mobility is greatly beneficial for men but much less so for women because it reinforces the image of weak commitment. Salary regressions of early career history data of young MBA alumni of a prestigious U.S. business school accord with our conjectures.

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Now you see it, now you don’t: The vanishing beauty premium

Tatyana Deryugina & Olga Shurchkov
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, August 2015, Pages 331–345

Abstract:
We design a laboratory experiment to test the extent to which the often-observed “beauty premium” – a positive relationship between attractiveness and wages – is context-specific. Using three realistic worker tasks, we find that the existence of the “beauty premium” indeed depends on the task: while relatively more attractive workers receive higher wage bids in a bargaining task, there is no such premium in either an analytical task or a data entry task. Our analysis shows that the premium in bargaining is driven by statistical discrimination based on biased beliefs about worker performance. We also find that there is substantial learning after worker-specific performance information is revealed, highlighting the importance of accounting for longer-run interactions in studies of discrimination.

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Lasting Effects? Hiring Through Referrals and the Post-Entry Career Outcomes of African Americans and Women

Jennifer Merluzzi & Adina Sterling
Tulane University Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
The authors examine the effects of referral-based hiring on the number of promotions employees receive after entering organizations and the differences in this effect across demographic groups using a two-study multi-method approach. The first study uses data collected from a single organization on approximately 16,000 employees hired over an eleven-year period, while a second study uses data collected from two experiments. The authors theorize that referral-based hiring will disproportionately increase African American’s and women’s number of promotions because it legitimates otherwise traditionally illegitimate employees within organizations. Consistent with this expectation, the authors find evidence that referral-based hiring has a positive effect on promotions for African Americans compared to Caucasians but no disparate effect on the promotions of women compared to men in the first study. In the second study, and in line with their theorizing, they find evidence that the positive benefits of referrals that accrue to African Americans stem from legitimation benefits that affect careers.

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Diversity Begets Diversity? The Effects of Board Composition on the Appointment and Success of Women CEOs

Alison Cook & Christy Glass
Social Science Research, September 2015, Pages 137–147

Abstract:
Previous research on the effects of leadership diversity on firm outcomes has produced inconsistent and inconclusive findings. While some scholars argue that diversity increases organizational equity and enhances performance, others argue that diversity increases conflict, reduces cooperation and harms performance. This study tests the impact of a variety of compositional factors on firm outcomes. Specifically, we analyze whether and how board composition affects the advancement and mobility of women CEOs and firm performance. Our analysis relies on a unique data set of all Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Board of Directors (BODs) in Fortune 500 companies over a ten-year period. We find a marginally significant positive relationship between board diversity and the likelihood of a woman being appointed CEO. We further find that board diversity significantly and positively influences the post-promotion success of women CEOs. Our findings suggest that board composition is critical for the appointment and success of women CEOs, and increasing board diversity should be central to any organizational diversity efforts.

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An Old Boys Club No More: Pluralism in Participation and Performance at the Olympic Games

Marcus Noland & Kevin Stahler
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article examines the growing diversity of participation and achievement in the Olympics. A wide set of socioeconomic variables are correlated with medaling, particularly with respect to the Summer Games and women’s events. Host advantage is particularly acute in judged contests such as gymnastics. However, there is evidence that the influence of correlates, such as country size, per capita income, and membership in the communist bloc is declining over time as competition becomes increasingly diverse. These effects are less evident in the Winter Games, events in which significant capital investments are required, and judged contests.

By KEVIN LEWIS

Monday, June 15, 2015

Playing by the rules

Disclosures About Disclosures: Can Conflict of Interest Warnings be Made More Effective?

Ahmed Taha & John Petrocelli
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, June 2015, Pages 236-251

Abstract:
People regularly rely on advisors who have conflicts of interest. The law often requires advisors to disclose these conflicts. Despite these disclosures, people generally insufficiently discount conflicted advice. This might be partly due to people interpreting the very fact that the advisor is disclosing a conflict of interest as a sign that the advisor is trustworthy, undermining the purpose and effectiveness of the disclosure. This article presents the results of an experiment indicating that requiring advisors to also disclose that they are legally required to disclose their conflict of interest makes people discount their advice more. This occurs, at least in part, because such advisors are viewed as less trustworthy than advisors who merely disclose their conflict of interest without also stating that the disclosure is legally required.

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Efficiencies brewed: Pricing and consolidation in the US beer industry

Orley Ashenfelter, Daniel Hosken & Matthew Weinberg
RAND Journal of Economics, Summer 2015, Pages 328-361

Abstract:
Merger efficiencies provide the primary justification for why mergers of competitors may benefit consumers. Surprisingly, there is little evidence that efficiencies can offset incentives to raise prices following mergers. We estimate the effects of increased concentration and efficiencies on pricing by using panel scanner data and geographic variation in how the merger of the brewers Miller and Coors was expected to increase concentration and reduce costs. All else equal, the average predicted increase in concentration led to price increases of 2%, but at the mean this was offset by a nearly equal and opposite efficiency effect.

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Does Google Leverage Market Power through Tying and Bundling?

Benjamin Edelman
Journal of Competition Law & Economics, June 2015, Pages 365-400

Abstract:
I examine Google's pattern and practice of tying to leverage its dominance into new sectors. In particular, I show how Google used these tactics to enter numerous markets, to compel usage of its services, and often to dominate competing offerings. I explore the technical and commercial implementations of these practices and identify their effects on competition. I conclude that Google's tying tactics are suspect under antitrust law.

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Does Vertical Integration Decrease Prices? Evidence from the Paramount Antitrust Case of 1948

Ricard Gil
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, May 2015, Pages 162-191

Abstract:
I empirically examine the impact of the 1948 Paramount antitrust case on ticket prices using a unique dataset collected from Variety magazine issues between 1945 and 1955. With information on prices, revenues, and theater ownership for an unbalanced panel of 393 theaters in 26 cities, I find that vertically integrated theaters charged lower prices and sold more admission tickets than nonintegrated theaters. I also find that the rate at which prices increased in theaters was slower while integrated than after vertical divestiture. These findings together with institutional details are consistent with the prediction that vertical integration lowers prices through the elimination of double marginalization.

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Do Fans Care About Compliance to Doping Regulations in Sports? The Impact of PED Suspension in Baseball

Jeffrey Cisyk & Pascal Courty
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
There is little evidence in support of the main economic rationale for regulating athletic doping that doping reduces fan interest. The introduction of random testing for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) by Major League Baseball (MLB) offers unique data to investigate the issue. The announcement of a PED violation (a) initially reduces home-game attendance by 8%, (b) has no impact on home-game attendance after 15 days, and (c) has a small negative impact on the game attendance for other MLB teams. This is the first systematic evidence that doping decreases consumer demand for sporting events.

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Price Coherence and Excessive Intermediation

Benjamin Edelman & Julian Wright
Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Suppose an intermediary provides a benefit to buyers when they purchase from sellers using the intermediary's technology. We develop a model to show that the intermediary would want to restrict sellers from charging buyers more for transactions it intermediates. With this restriction an intermediary can profitably raise demand for its services by eliminating any extra price buyers face for purchasing through the intermediary. We show that this leads to inflated retail prices, excessive adoption of the intermediaries' services, over-investment in benefits to buyers, and a reduction in consumer surplus and sometimes welfare. Competition among intermediaries intensifies these problems by increasing the magnitude of their effects and broadening the circumstances in which they arise. We discuss applications to payment card systems, travel reservation systems, rebate services, and various other intermediaries.

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Does the Endowment Effect Justify Legal Intervention? The Debiasing Effect of Institutions

Jennifer Arlen & Stephan Tontrup
Journal of Legal Studies, January 2015, Pages 143-182

Abstract:
We claim that the endowment effect rarely justifies legal intervention in private ordering. We present the first theory, to our knowledge, to explain how institutions inhibit the endowment effect without altering people's rights to their entitlements. The endowment effect is substantially caused by anticipated regret. We show that people experience regret only when they feel responsible for the decision and can mute regret by trading through institutions that let them share responsibility with others. As entitlement holders typically transact through institutions, we expect most people to make unbiased trading decisions in real markets. We test two common institutions - agency relationships and voting - that divide responsibility between multiple actors. Each caused most subjects to debias and trade in our study. We also show that people intentionally debias by employing institutions in order to share responsibility. Thus, when people can freely transact, private ordering generally overcomes the endowment effect.

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The Hidden Cost of Regulation: Emotional Responses to Command and Control

David Just & Andrew Hanks
American Journal of Agricultural Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
In economic models of behavior, consumers are assumed to value the goods and services they purchase based on stable preferences over externally identifiable attributes such as quality. These models predict that consumers will respond to changes in price in a way that is independent of the source of the price change. Yet research in the behavioral sciences indicates that consumers that are emotionally attached to a consumption good or other behavior might respond with resistance when policies threaten their consumption or behavior. Moreover, policies that in fact validate some emotional attachments can stir a stronger preference for the good or behavior. Reviewing both survey and experimental data from the literature, we demonstrate how such emotional responses can create hidden costs to policy implementation that could not be detected using standard welfare economic techniques. Building upon Rabin's work on fairness in games, we propose a partial equilibrium model of emotional response to policy whereby preferences are endogenous to policy choices. In accordance with evidence both from our own analysis and the field, we propose that confrontational policies (such as a sin tax) increase the marginal utility for a good, and that validating policies (such as a subsidy) also increases the marginal utility for a good. A social planner that ignores potential emotional responses to policy changes may unwittingly induce significant dead weight loss. Using our model, we propose a feasible method to determine if emotional deadweight costs exist, and to place a lower bound on the size of these costs.

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When Do People Prefer Carrots to Sticks? A Robust 'Matching Effect' in Policy Evaluation

Ellen Evers et al.
University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, June 2015

Abstract:
We find a "matching effect" in policy evaluations. For behaviors seen as positive but voluntary (such as organ donation) people prefer policies that are framed as advantaging those who act positively rather than disadvantaging those who fail to do so. Conversely, for behaviors seen as positive and obligatory, people prefer policies that are framed as disadvantaging those who fail to fulfill obligations rather than advantaging those who do so. We find that these differences in policy evaluations occur even when policy outcomes are identical, i.e., when the only difference between the policies is how they are framed. These differences emerge both for evaluations of hypothetical policies, as well as when implementation of the policy directly affects the evaluator. Furthermore, differences in evaluations are not the result of misunderstanding of - or lack of deliberation about - policy outcomes. Rather, the matching effect appears to follow from lay beliefs about when punishment is and is not appropriate.

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Productivity, Safety, and Regulation in Coal Mining: Evidence from Disasters and Fatalities

Gautam Gowrisankaran et al.
NBER Working Paper, April 2015

Abstract:
Coal mining is a dangerous occupation where safety is an important output. Fatalities and disasters may change future accident costs at or near a mine. We use this variation to understand the tradeoffs between mineral output and safety. We find that government inspections and penalties increase after fatalities and less-severe accident rates decrease by 10%. For mines in the state of a disaster, less-severe accident rates decrease by 23%, and fatalities by 68%, representing up to $2 per hour worked, with limited evidence that mineral productivity falls up to $14 per hour worked and that managers employed increases by 11%.

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Corporation Law and the Shift toward Open Access in the Antebellum United States

Eric Hilt
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
This paper analyses the general incorporation statutes for manufacturing firms adopted by the American states up to 1860. Prior to the enactment of a general law, a business could only incorporate by obtaining a special act of their state legislature; general statutes facilitated incorporation through a routine administrative procedure. A new chronology of the adoption of these statutes reveals that several states enacted them much earlier than previous scholarship has indicated. An analysis of the contents of these laws indicates that many imposed strict regulations on the corporations they created, whereas others granted entrepreneurs near-total freedom. Many Southern states enacted particularly liberal statutes, but sometimes also prohibited nonwhites from incorporating businesses or gave a government official discretion over access to the law. Finally, an analysis of the volume of incorporation through special charters reveals that the states that failed to adopt general incorporation laws tended to offer unusually generous access to incorporation through special legislative acts. Taken together, these results imply that the adoption of a general incorporation statute did not always represent a discrete transition to open access to the corporate form. Instead, general statutes sometimes included highly restrictive provisions governing access, and some states generously accommodated demands for incorporation in the absence of a general statute.

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Is No News (Perceived as) Bad News? An Experimental Investigation of Information Disclosure

Ginger Zhe Jin, Michael Luca & Daniel Martin
NBER Working Paper, April 2015

Abstract:
A central prediction of information economics is that market forces can lead businesses to voluntarily provide information about the quality of their products, yet little voluntary disclosure is observed in the field. In this paper, we demonstrate that the inconsistency between theory and reality is driven by a fundamental failure in consumer inferences when sellers withhold information. Using a series of laboratory experiments, we implement a simple disclosure game in which senders can verifiably report quality to receivers. We find that senders disclose less often than equilibrium would predict. Receivers are not sufficiently skeptical about undisclosed information - they underestimate the extent to which no news is bad news. Senders generally take advantage of receiver mistakes. We find that providing disclosure rates by quality score helps to improve receiver inferences.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fade to black

Three Decades Later: The Life Experiences and Mid-Life Functioning of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies, Musicians, and Fans

Tasha Howe et al.
Self and Identity, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research in the 1980s suggested that young “metalheads” were at risk for poor developmental outcomes. No other study has assessed this group as adults; thus, we examined 1980s heavy metal groupies, musicians, and fans at middle age, using snowball sampling from Facebook. Online surveys assessed adverse childhood experiences, personality, adult attachment, and past and current functioning in 377 participants. Results revealed that metal enthusiasts did often experience traumatic and risky “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll” lives. However, the “metalhead” identity also served as a protective factor against negative outcomes. They were significantly happier in their youth and better adjusted currently than either middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups. Thus, participation in fringe style cultures may enhance identity development in troubled youth.

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Seeing the World Through Rose-Colored Glasses: People Who Are Happy and Satisfied With Life Preferentially Attend to Positive Stimuli

Hannah Raila, Brian Scholl & June Gruber
Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Given the many benefits conferred by trait happiness and life satisfaction, a primary goal is to determine how these traits relate to underlying cognitive processes. For example, visual attention acts as a gateway to awareness, raising the question of whether happy and satisfied people attend to (and therefore see) the world differently. Previous work suggests that biases in selective attention are associated with both trait negativity and with positive affect states, but to our knowledge, no previous work has explored whether trait-happy individuals attend to the world differently. Here, we employed eye tracking as a continuous measure of sustained overt attention during passive viewing of displays containing positive and neutral photographs to determine whether selective attention to positive scenes is associated with measures of trait happiness and life satisfaction. Both trait measures were significantly correlated with selective attention for positive (vs. neutral) scene s, and this general pattern was robust across several types of positive stimuli (achievement, social, and primary reward), and not because of positive or negative state affect. Such effects were especially prominent during the later phases of sustained viewing. This suggests that people who are happy and satisfied with life may literally see the world in a more positive light, as if through rose-colored glasses. Future work should investigate the causal relationship between such attention biases and one’s happiness and life satisfaction.

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Estradiol Levels Modulate Brain Activity and Negative Responses to Psychosocial Stress across the Menstrual Cycle

Kimberly Albert, Jens Pruessner & Paul Newhouse
Psychoneuroendocrinology, September 2015, Pages 14-24

Abstract:
Although ovarian hormones are thought to have a potential role in the well-known sex difference in mood and anxiety disorders, the mechanisms through which ovarian hormone changes contribute to stress regulation are not well understood. One mechanism by which ovarian hormones might impact mood regulation is by mediating the effect of psychosocial stress, which often precedes depressive episodes and may have mood consequences that are particularly relevant in women. In the current study, brain activity and mood response to psychosocial stress was examined in healthy, normally cycling women at either the high or low estradiol phase of the menstrual cycle. Twenty eight women were exposed to the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST), with brain activity determined through functional magnetic resonance imaging, and behavioral response assessed with subjective mood and stress measures. Brain activity responses to psychosocial stress differed between women in the low versus high estro gen phase of the menstrual cycle: women with high estradiol levels showed significantly less deactivation in limbic regions during psychosocial stress compared to women with low estradiol levels. Additionally, women with higher estradiol levels also had less subjective distress in response to the MIST than women with lower estradiol levels. The results of this study suggest that, in normally cycling premenopausal women, high estradiol levels attenuate the brain activation changes and negative mood response to psychosocial stress. Normal ovarian hormone fluctuations may alter the impact of psychosocially stressful events by presenting periods of increased vulnerability to psychosocial stress during low estradiol phases of the menstrual cycle. This menstrual cycle-related fluctuation in stress vulnerability may be relevant to the greater risk for affective disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder in women.

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Short Alleles, Bigger Smiles? The Effect of 5-HTTLPR on Positive Emotional Expressions

Claudia Haase et al.
Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
The present research examined the effect of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene on objectively coded positive emotional expressions (i.e., laughing and smiling behavior objectively coded using the Facial Action Coding System). Three studies with independent samples of participants were conducted. Study 1 examined young adults watching still cartoons. Study 2 examined young, middle-aged, and older adults watching a thematically ambiguous yet subtly amusing film clip. Study 3 examined middle-aged and older spouses discussing an area of marital conflict (that typically produces both positive and negative emotion). Aggregating data across studies, results showed that the short allele of 5-HTTLPR predicted heightened positive emotional expressions. Results remained stable when controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, and depressive symptoms. These findings are consistent with the notion that the short allele of 5-HTTLPR functions as an emotion amplifier, whi ch may confer heightened susceptibility to environmental conditions.

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The Great Escape: The Role of Self-esteem and Self-related Cognition in Terror Management

Arnaud Wisman, Nathan Heflick & Jamie Goldenberg
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, September 2015, Pages 121-132

Abstract:
Integrating terror management theory and objective self-awareness theory, we propose the existential escape hypothesis, which states that people with low self-esteem should be especially prone to escaping self-awareness as a distal response to thoughts of death. This is because they lack the means to bolster the self as a defense, and the propensity to bolster the self reduces the motivation to escape from self-awareness. Five studies supported this hypothesis. Individuals low, but not high, in self-esteem scored lower on a measure of private self-awareness (Study 1), showed less implicit self-activation (Studies 2 & 3), were more likely to choose to write about others than themselves (Study 4), and consumed more alcohol in a field study at a nightclub (Study 5) in response to mortality reminders. Implications for terror management theory (highlighting an additional route to defend against mortality awareness), self-regulation, physical health and well-being are discussed.

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Suicide in the City: Do Characteristics of Place Really Influence Risk?

Justin Denney et al.
Social Science Quarterly, June 2015, Pages 313-329

Objective: This article investigates the role of social context on individual suicide mortality with attention paid to the possibility that contextual effects are simply the sum of individual characteristics associated with suicide.

Methods: We use restricted data from the 1986-2006 National Health Interview Survey-Linked Mortality Files, which include nearly 1 million records and 1,300 suicides, to examine the role of familial and socioeconomic context on adult suicide.

Results: Results show that adults living in cities with more socioeconomic disadvantage and fewer families living together have higher odds of suicidal death than adults living in less disadvantaged cities and cities with more families living together, respectively, after controlling for individual-level socioeconomic status, marital status, and family size.

Conclusion: The findings support classic sociological arguments that the risk of suicide is indeed influenced by the social milieu and cannot simply be explained by the aggregation of individual characteristics.

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The Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as an Anti-Depressive Treatment is Falling: A Meta-Analysis

Tom Johnsen & Oddgeir Friborg
Psychological Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
A meta-analysis examining temporal changes (time trends) in the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a treatment for unipolar depression was conducted. A comprehensive search of psychotherapy trials yielded 70 eligible studies from 1977 to 2014. Effect sizes (ES) were quantified as Hedge’s g based on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD). Rates of remission were also registered. The publication year of each study was examined as a linear metaregression predictor of ES, and as part of a 2-way interaction with other moderators (Year × Moderator). The average ES of the BDI was 1.58 (95% CI [1.43, 1.74]), and 1.69 for the HRSD (95% CI [1.48, 1.89]). Subgroup analyses revealed that women profited more from therapy than did men (p < .05). Experienced psychologists (g = 1.55) achieved better results (p < .01) than less experienced student therapists (g = 0.98). The metaregressions examining the temporal tren ds indicated that the effects of CBT have declined linearly and steadily since its introduction, as measured by patients’ self-reports (the BDI, p < .001), clinicians’ ratings (the HRSD, p < .01) and rates of remission (p < .01). Subgroup analyses confirmed that the declining trend was present in both within-group (pre/post) designs (p < .01) and controlled trial designs (p = .02). Thus, modern CBT clinical trials seemingly provided less relief from depressive symptoms as compared with the seminal trials. Potential causes and possible implications for future studies are discussed.

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Directed Abstraction: Encouraging Broad, Personal Generalizations Following a Success Experience

Peter Zunick, Russell Fazio & Michael Vasey
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
People with negative self-views may fail to generalize appropriately from success experiences (e.g., Wood, Heimpel, Newby-Clark, & Ross, 2005). We drew on theories regarding self-views (Swann, Griffin, Predmore, & Gaines, 1987) and abstraction (Semin & Fiedler, 1991), as well as past linguistic framing work (e.g., Marigold, Holmes, & Ross, 2007, 2010; Salancik, 1974), to create a new technique to encourage people with negative self-views to generalize broadly from a success experience to the self-concept. We call this technique directed abstraction. In Experiment 1, participants with negative self-views who completed a directed abstraction writing task following success feedback regarding a novel laboratory task generalized more from that success, reporting higher ability levels and greater expectations of future success in the relevant domain. In Experiment 2, directed abstraction produced similar results (including more positive self-related affect, e.g., pride) after parti cipants recalled a past public speaking success. In Experiment 3, participants high in fear of public speaking gave two speeches in a context designed to be challenging yet also to elicit successful performances. Directed abstraction helped these participants generalize from their success to beliefs about their abilities, expectations about the future, and confidence as a speaker. In Experiment 4, directed abstraction following success on a verbal task increased persistence in the face of failure on a subsequent verbal task. We discuss implications for understanding how and when people generalize from a success, compare directed abstraction to existing interventions, and suggest practical applications for this influence technique.

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Depression as sickness behavior? A test of the host defense hypothesis in a high pathogen population

Jonathan Stieglitz et al.
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, forthcoming

Abstract:
Sadness is an emotion universally recognized across cultures, suggesting it plays an important functional role in regulating human behavior. Numerous adaptive explanations of persistent sadness interfering with daily functioning (hereafter “depression”) have been proposed, but most do not explain frequent bidirectional associations between depression and greater immune activation. Here we test several predictions of the host defense hypothesis, which posits that depression is part of a broader coordinated evolved response to infection or tissue injury (i.e. “sickness behavior”) that promotes energy conservation and reallocation to facilitate immune activation. In a high pathogen population of lean and relatively egalitarian Bolivian forager-horticulturalists, we test whether depression and its symptoms are associated with greater baseline concentration of immune biomarkers reliably associated with depression in Western populations (i.e. tumor necro sis factor alpha [TNF-α], interleukin-1 beta [IL-1β], interleukin-6 [IL-6], and C-reactive protein [CRP]). We also test whether greater pro-inflammatory cytokine responses to ex vivo antigen stimulation are associated with depression and its symptoms, which is expected if depression facilitates immune activation. These predictions are largely supported in a sample of older adult Tsimane (mean ± SD age = 53.2 ± 11.0, range = 34-85, n = 649) after adjusting for potential confounders. Emotional, cognitive and somatic symptoms of depression are each associated with greater immune activation, both at baseline and in response to ex vivo stimulation. The association between depression and greater immune activation is therefore not unique to Western populations. While our findings are not predicted by other adaptive hypotheses of depression, they are not incompatible with those hypotheses and future research is necessary to isolate and test competing predi ctions.

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Anxiety, Not Anger, Induces Inflammatory Activity: An Avoidance/Approach Model of Immune System Activation

Wesley Moons & Grant Shields
Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Psychological stressors reliably trigger systemic inflammatory activity as indexed by levels of proinflammatory cytokines. This experiment demonstrates that one’s specific emotional reaction to a stressor may be a significant determinant of whether an inflammatory reaction occurs in response to that stressor. Based on extant correlational evidence and theory, a causal approach was used to determine whether an avoidant emotion (anxiety) triggers more inflammatory activity than an approach emotion (anger). In an experimental design (N = 40), a 3-way Emotion Condition × Time × Analyte interaction revealed that a writing-based anxiety induction, but not a writing-based anger induction, increased mean levels of interferon-γ (IFN- γ) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β), but not interleukin-6 (IL-6) in oral mucous, F(2, 54) = 4.64, p = .01, ηp2 = .15. Further, self-reported state anxiety predicted elevated levels of proinflammatory cyto kines, all ΔR2 >.06, ps <.04, but self-reported state anger did not. These results constitute the first evidence to our knowledge that specific negative emotions can differentially cause inflammatory activity and support a theoretical model explaining these effects based on the avoidance or approach motivations associated with emotions.

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The Health Consequences of Adverse Labor Market Events: Evidence from Panel Data

Johanna Catherine Maclean et al.
Industrial Relations, July 2015, Pages 478-498

Abstract:
This study investigates the associations between self-assessed adverse labor market events (experiencing problems with coworkers, employment changes, financial strain) and health. Longitudinal data are obtained from the National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions. Our findings suggest problems with coworkers, employment changes, and financial strain are associated, respectively, with a 3.1 percent (3.3 percent), 0.9 percent (0.2 percent), and 4.5 percent (5.1 percent) reduction in mental health among men (women). Associations are smaller in magnitude and less significant for physical health.

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Is it Helpful for Individuals with Minor Depression to Keep Smiling? An Event-Related Potentials Analysis

Wenyi Lin, Jing Hu & Yanfei Gong
Social Behavior and Personality, Spring 2015, Pages 383-396

Abstract:
We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to explore the influence of manipulating facial expression on error monitoring in individuals. The participants were 11 undergraduate students who had been diagnosed with minor depression (MinD). We recorded error-related negativity (ERN) as the participants performed a modified flanker task in 3 conditions: Duchenne smile, standard smile, and no smile. Behavioral data results showed that, in both the Duchenne smile and standard smile conditions, error rates were significantly lower than in the no-smile condition. The ERP analysis results indicated that, compared to the no-smile condition, both Duchenne and standard smiling facial expressions decreased ERN amplitude, and ERN amplitudes were smallest for those in the Duchenne smile condition. Our findings suggested that even brief smile manipulation may improve long-term negative mood states of people with MinD.

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Self-Esteem, Narcissism, and Stressful Life Events: Testing for Selection and Socialization

Ulrich Orth & Eva Luciano
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examined whether self-esteem and narcissism predict the occurrence of stressful life events (i.e., selection) and whether stressful life events predict change in self-esteem and narcissism (i.e., socialization). The analyses were based on longitudinal data from 2 studies, including samples of 328 young adults (Study 1) and 371 adults (Study 2). The effects of self-esteem and narcissism were mutually controlled for each other and, moreover, controlled for effects of depression. After conducting the study-level analyses, we meta-analytically aggregated the findings. Self-esteem had a selection effect, suggesting that low self-esteem led to the occurrence of stressful life events; however, this effect became nonsignificant when depression was controlled for. Regardless of whether depression was controlled for or not, narcissism had a selection effect, suggesting that high narcissism led to the occurrence of stressful life events. Moreover, stressful life events had a socializ ation effect on self-esteem, but not on narcissism, suggesting that the occurrence of stressful life events decreased self-esteem. Analyses of trait-state models indicated that narcissism consisted almost exclusively of perfectly stable trait variance, providing a possible explanation for the absence of socialization effects on narcissism. The findings have significant implications because they suggest that a person’s level of narcissism influences whether stressful life events occur, and that self-esteem is shaped by the occurrence of stressful life events. Moreover, we discuss the possibility that depression mediates the selection effect of low self-esteem on stressful life events.

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Hair cortisol concentrations and cortisol stress reactivity predict PTSD symptom increase after trauma exposure during military deployment

Susann Steudte-Schmiedgen et al.
Psychoneuroendocrinology, September 2015, Pages 123-133

Background: Previous evidence on endocrine risk markers for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been inconclusive. Here, we report results of the first prospective study to investigate whether long-term hair cortisol levels and experimentally-induced cortisol stress reactivity are predictive of the development of PTSD symptomatology in response to trauma during military deployment.

Methods: Male soldiers were examined before deployment to Afghanistan and at a 12-month post-deployment follow-up using dimensional measures for psychopathological symptoms. The predictive value of baseline (i) hair cortisol concentrations (HCC, N = 90) and (ii) salivary cortisol stress reactivity (measured by the Trier Social Stress Test, N = 80) for the development of PTSD symptomatology after being exposed to new-onset traumatic events was analyzed.

Results: Baseline cortisol activity significantly predicted PTSD symptom change from baseline to follow-up upon trauma exposure. Specifically, our results consistently revealed that lower HCC and lower cortisol stress reactivity were predictive of a greater increase in PTSD symptomatology in soldiers who had experienced new-onset traumatic events (explaining 5% and 10.3% of variance, respectively). Longitudinal analyses revealed an increase in HCC from baseline to follow-up and a trend for a negative relationship between HCC changes and the number of new-onset traumatic events. Additional pre-deployment analyses revealed that trauma history was reflected in lower HCC (at trend level) and that HCC were negatively related to stressful load.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that attenuated cortisol secretion is a risk marker for subsequent development of PTSD symptomatology upon trauma exposure. Future studies are needed to confirm our findings in other samples.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Two to tango

The Role of Selection Effects in the Contact Hypothesis: Results from a U.S. National Survey on Sexual Prejudice

Annalise Loehr, Long Doan & Lisa Miller
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Empirical research has documented that contact with lesbians and gays is associated with more positive feelings toward and greater support for legal rights for them, but we know less about whether these effects extend to informal aspects of same-sex relationships, such as reactions to public displays of affection. Furthermore, many studies have assumed that contact influences levels of sexual prejudice; however, the possibility of selection effects, in which less sexually prejudiced people have contact, and more sexually prejudiced people do not, raises some doubts about this assumption. We used original data from a nationally representative sample of heterosexuals to determine whether those reporting contact with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender friend or relative exhibited less sexual prejudice toward lesbian and gay couples than those without contact. This study examined the effect of contact on attitudes toward formal rights and a relatively unexplored dimension, informal privileges. We estimated the effect of having contact using traditional (ordinary least squares regression) methods before accounting for selection effects using propensity score matching. After accounting for selection effects, we found no significant differences between the attitudes of those who had contact and those who did not, for either formal or informal measures. Thus, selection effects appeared to play a pivotal role in confounding the link between contact and sexual prejudice, and future studies should exercise caution in interpreting results that do not account for such selection effects.

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Gay Pay for Straight Work: Mechanisms Generating Disadvantage

Sean Waite & Nicole Denier
Gender & Society, forthcoming

Abstract:
Drawing from the gender wage gap literature, we explore four possible causes of sexual minority earnings gaps: (1) variation in human capital and labor force participation, (2) occupational and industrial sorting, (3) differences in the institutional organization of the public and private sector, and (4) different returns to marriage and parenthood. Using the 2006 Census of Canada, we find that heterosexual men earn more than gay men, followed by lesbians and heterosexual women. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions show that industry of employment, rather than occupation, disadvantages gay men, lesbians, and heterosexual women. High levels of educational attainment lead to employment in lucrative occupations, but sexual minorities earn significantly less than heterosexual men within these occupations. Wage gaps are reduced in the public sector for heterosexual women, gay men, and lesbians. Finally, we find that heterosexual women experience a motherhood penalty, heterosexual men experience a fatherhood premium, and both receive a premium for marriage; however, the presence of children and marriage have no effect on the earnings of either gay men or lesbians in conjugal relationships.

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Sexual Orientation and Risk of Pregnancy Among New York City High-School Students

Lisa Lindley & Katrina Walsemann
American Journal of Public Health, July 2015, Pages 1379-1386

Objectives: We examined associations between sexual orientation and pregnancy risk among sexually experienced New York City high-school students.

Methods: We analyzed data from 2005, 2007, and 2009 New York City Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. We excluded students who had never engaged in sexual intercourse, only had same-gender sexual partners, or had missing data on variables of interest, resulting in a final sample of 4892 female and 4811 male students. We employed multivariable logistic regression to examine pregnancy risk by sexual orientation, measured as self-reported sexual identity and gender of sexual partners, with adjustment for demographics and sexual behaviors. We stratified analyses by gender.

Results: Overall, 14.3% of female and 10.8% of male students had experienced a pregnancy. Students who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual or reported both male and female sexual partners had higher odds of pregnancy than heterosexual students or students who only had opposite-gender sexual partners. Sexual behaviors accounted for higher odds of pregnancy among female, but only partially accounted for higher odds of pregnancy involvement among male, sexual-minority students.

Conclusions: Sexual orientation should be considered in future adolescent pregnancy-prevention efforts, including the design of pregnancy-prevention interventions.

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Intersecting Race and Gender Cues are Associated with Perceptions of Gay Men's Preferred Sexual Roles

David Lick & Kerri Johnson
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Preferences for anal sex roles (top/bottom) are an important aspect of gay male identity, but scholars have only recently begun to explore the factors that covary with these preferences. Here, we argue that the gendered nature of both racial stereotypes (i.e., Black men are masculine, Asian men are feminine) and sexual role stereotypes (i.e., tops are masculine, bottoms are feminine) link the categories Asian/bottom and the categories Black/top. We provide empirical evidence for these claims at three levels of analysis: At the cultural level based upon gay men's stereotypic beliefs about others (Study 1), at the interpersonal level based upon gay men's perceptions of others' sexual role preferences (Study 2), and at the intrapersonal level based upon racially diverse men's self-reported sexual roles on a public hookup website (Study 3). These studies offer the first systematic evidence of linkages between race categories and sexual roles in gay male communities.

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Scientific Consensus, the Law, and Same Sex Parenting Outcomes

Jimi Adams & Ryan Light
Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
While the US Supreme Court was considering two related cases involving the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, one major question informing that decision was whether scientific research had achieved consensus regarding how children of same-sex couples fare. Determining the extent of consensus has become a key aspect of how social science evidence and testimony is accepted by the courts. Here, we show how a method of analyzing temporal patterns in citation networks can be used to assess the state of social scientific literature as a means to inform just such a question. Patterns of clustering within these citation networks reveal whether and when consensus arises within a scientific field. We find that the literature on outcomes for children of same-sex parents is marked by scientific consensus that they experience "no differences" compared to children from other parental configurations.

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Meanings of Intimacy: A Comparison of Members of Heterosexual and Same-Sex Couples

David Frost & Kelly Gola
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
Arguments for restricting access to legal marriage for same-sex couples are commonly based in claims about differences between heterosexual and same-sex couples regarding the social and psychological meaning of marriage. This mixed methods study examined meanings of intimacy and relational experience in a purposive North American sample of members of long-term heterosexual and same-sex couples (N = 150) in order to examine the validity of meaning-based justifications for restricted access to legal marriage. Guided autobiographical techniques elicited narrative accounts of four significant events in participants' relationships. Directed Content Analyses revealed no detectable differences between members of heterosexual and same-sex couples in multiple qualitative and quantitative indicators of the meaning of intimacy. Members of same-sex couples, however, evidenced experiences of stigmatization more frequently than heterosexuals. By integrating theoretical and methodological approaches across psychological and sociological traditions within a mixed methods study, the present findings usefully inform ongoing policy debates regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage.

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God and Marriage: The Impact of Religious Identity Priming on Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage

Brian Harrison & Melissa Michelson
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objective: We hypothesize that priming a shared in-group identity can lead to openness to attitudinal change, even on highly polarized issues. Specifically, we test whether priming a shared identity as a religious person can generate willingness to voice support for same-sex marriage.

Methods: We conduct a randomized survey experiment using the SocialSci platform, exposing religious and secular respondents to religious and anonymous primes about same-sex marriage.

Results: Individuals who are religious and who are exposed to the treatment prime are more likely to say that they support marriage equality and would vote for a ballot initiative in their state that would allow same-sex marriage.

Conclusion: Despite widespread opposition to marriage equality among people of faith, having that religious identity primed through an elite religious cue has a significant and often dramatic effect on attitudes toward marriage equality.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, June 12, 2015

Care to choose

Do Individuals Make Sensible Health Insurance Decisions? Evidence from a Menu with Dominated Options

Saurabh Bhargava, George Loewenstein & Justin Sydnor
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
The recent expansion of health-plan choice has been touted as increasing competition and enabling people to choose plans that fit their needs. This study provides new evidence challenging these proposed benefits of expanded health-insurance choice. We examine health-insurance decisions of employees at a large U.S. firm where a new plan menu included a large share of financially dominated options. This menu offers a unique litmus test for evaluating choice quality since standard risk preferences and beliefs about one's health cannot rationalize enrollment into the dominated plans. We find that a majority of employees – and in particular, older workers, women, and low earners – chose dominated options, resulting in substantial excess spending. Most employees would have fared better had they instead been enrolled in the single actuarially-best plan. In follow-up hypothetical-choice experiments, we observe similar choices despite far simpler menus. We find these choices reflect a severe deficit in health insurance literacy and naïve considerations of health risk and price, rather than a sensible comparison of plan value. Our results challenge the standard practice of inferring risk attitudes and assessing welfare from insurance choices, and raise doubts whether recent health reforms will deliver their promised benefits.

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Eliminating Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage In California Led To Increased Dental Emergency Visits And Associated Costs

Astha Singhal et al.
Health Affairs, May 2015, Pages 749-756

Abstract:
Dental coverage for adults is an elective benefit under Medicaid. As a result of budget constraints, California Medicaid eliminated its comprehensive adult dental coverage in July 2009. We examined the impact of this policy change on emergency department (ED) visits by Medicaid-enrolled adults for dental problems in the period 2006–11. We found that the policy change led to a significant and immediate increase in dental ED use, amounting to more than 1,800 additional dental ED visits per year. Young adults, members of racial/ethnic minority groups, and urban residents were disproportionately affected by the policy change. Average yearly costs associated with dental ED visits increased by 68 percent. The California experience provides evidence that eliminating Medicaid adult dental benefits shifts dental care to costly EDs that do not provide definitive dental care. The population affected by the Medicaid adult dental coverage policy is increasing as many states expand their Medicaid programs under the ACA. Hence, such evidence is critical to inform decisions regarding adult dental coverage for existing Medicaid enrollees and expansion populations.

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Leverage and Bargaining Benefits: Evidence from U.S. Hospitals

Mitch Towner
University of Texas Working Paper, April 2015

Abstract:
I use the health care industry as a novel laboratory in which to study a firm's strategic use of debt to enhance their bargaining power during negotiations with non-financial stakeholders. I show that reimbursement rates negotiated between a hospital and insurers for a specific procedure are higher when the hospital has more debt. I also show that this effect is stronger when hospitals have less bargaining power relative to insurers ex ante, and that hospitals take on more debt when they have less bargaining power. I exploit differences in state laws generating plausibly exogenous variation in hospital bargaining power to further strengthen identification. This is the first paper to provide direct evidence that debt improves a firm's bargaining outcomes.

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Trends In Health Insurance Enrollment, 2013–15

Katherine Carman, Christine Eibner & Susan Paddock
Health Affairs, June 2015, Pages 1044-1048

Abstract:
We examined insurance transitions between September 2013 and February 2015, before and after the Affordable Care Act's coverage-related provisions took effect in 2014. We found that 22.8 million people gained coverage and that 5.9 million people lost coverage, for a net increase of 16.9 million people with insurance.

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Hospital Closures Had No Measurable Impact On Local Hospitalization Rates Or Mortality Rates, 2003–11

Karen Joynt et al.
Health Affairs, May 2015, Pages 765-772

Abstract:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) set in motion payment changes that could put pressure on hospital finances and lead some hospitals to close. Understanding the impact of closures on patient care and outcomes is critically important. We identified 195 hospital closures in the United States between 2003 and 2011. We found no significant difference between the change in annual mortality rates for patients living in hospital service areas (HSAs) that experienced one or more closures and the change in rates in matched HSAs without a closure (5.5 percent to 5.2 percent versus 5.4 percent to 5.4 percent, respectively). Nor was there a significant difference in the change in all-cause mortality rates following hospitalization (9.1 percent to 8.2 percent in HSAs with a closure versus 9.0 percent to 8.4 percent in those without a closure). HSAs with a closure had a drop in readmission rates compared to controls (19.4 percent to 18.2 percent versus 18.8 percent to 18.3 percent). Overall, we found no evidence that hospital closures were associated with worse outcomes for patients living in those communities. These findings may offer reassurance to policy makers and clinical leaders concerned about the potential acceleration of hospital closures as a result of health care reform.

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The Demand for Healthcare Regulation: The Effect of Political Pressure on Occupational Licensing Laws

Benjamin McMichael
Vanderbilt University Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
Occupational licensing laws ostensibly exist to protect consumers from harmful services supplied by unqualified healthcare providers. However, these laws may harm consumers by restricting access to and increasing the cost of healthcare. Using data on political spending in state elections and information on occupational licensing laws, this article considers the role of political contributions by healthcare industry and professional interest groups in states' decisions to enact occupational licensing laws. Increased political spending by physician interest groups increases the probability that a state maintains licensing laws restricting the practices of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) — two professions that compete with physicians in healthcare services markets. Conversely, increased spending by hospital interest groups increases the probability that a state allows NPs and PAs to practice with more autonomy. The results are consistent with a rent-seeking battle over occupational licensing laws between physician interest groups and hospital interest groups.

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Extreme Markup: The Fifty US Hospitals With The Highest Charge-To-Cost Ratios

Ge Bai & Gerard Anderson
Health Affairs, June 2015, Pages 922-928

Abstract:
Using Medicare cost reports, we examined the fifty US hospitals with the highest charge-to-cost ratios in 2012. These hospitals have markups (ratios of charges over Medicare-allowable costs) approximately ten times their Medicare-allowable costs compared to a national average of 3.4 and a mode of 2.4. Analysis of the fifty hospitals showed that forty-nine are for profit (98 percent), forty-six are owned by for-profit hospital systems (92 percent), and twenty (40 percent) operate in Florida. One for-profit hospital system owns half of these fifty hospitals. While most public and private health insurers do not use hospital charges to set their payment rates, uninsured patients are commonly asked to pay the full charges, and out-of-network patients and casualty and workers' compensation insurers are often expected to pay a large portion of the full charges. Because it is difficult for patients to compare prices, market forces fail to constrain hospital charges. Federal and state governments may want to consider limitations on the charge-to-cost ratio, some form of all-payer rate setting, or mandated price disclosure to regulate hospital markups.

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Upcoding: Evidence from Medicare on Squishy Risk Adjustment

Michael Geruso & Timothy Layton
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
Diagnosis-based subsidies, also known as risk adjustment, are widely used in US health insurance markets to deal with problems of adverse selection and cream-skimming. The widespread use of these subsidies has generated broad policy, research, and popular interest in the idea of upcoding — the notion that diagnosed medical conditions may reflect behaviors of health plans and providers to game the payment system, rather than solely characteristics of patients. We introduce a model showing that coding differences across health plans have important consequences for public finances and consumer choices, whether or not such differences arise from gaming. We then develop and implement a novel strategy for identifying coding differences across insurers in equilibrium in the presence of selection. Empirically, we examine how coding intensity in Medicare differs between the traditional fee-for-service option, in which coding incentives are weak, and Medicare Advantage, in which insurers receive diagnosis-based subsidies. Our estimates imply that enrollees in private Medicare Advantage plans generate 6% to 16% higher diagnosis-based risk scores than the same enrollees would generate under fee-for-service Medicare. Consistent with a principal-agent problem faced by insurers attempting to induce their providers to upcode, we find that coding intensity increases with the level of vertical integration between insurers and the physicians with whom they contract. Absent a coding inflation correction, our findings imply excess public payments to Medicare Advantage plans of around $10 billion annually. This differential subsidy also distorts consumers' choices toward private Medicare plans and away from fee-for-service Medicare.

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Primary Care Providers Ordered Fewer Preventive Services For Women With Medicaid Than For Women With Private Coverage

Stacey McMorrow, Sharon Long & Ariel Fogel
Health Affairs, June 2015, Pages 1001-1009

Abstract:
As the number of beneficiaries in the Medicaid program grows under the Affordable Care Act, with over half of the states opting to expand Medicaid eligibility, it is important to understand more about the care provided to Medicaid patients. Using visit-level data for 2006–10 from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, we examined the provision of recommended preventive services to women with Medicaid and those with private insurance at visits to primary care providers in private office-based practices. We found that after patient and provider characteristics were controlled for, Medicaid-insured visits were less likely than privately insured visits to include several preventive services, including clinical breast exams and Pap tests. The differences in provision of services by payer were generally driven by the differences in care at visits classified as preventive and at visits to obstetrician-gynecologists. Further investigation is required to determine what may be driving the differences in content of care across payers and their implications for quality of care.

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Measuring Consumer Valuation of Limited Provider Networks

Keith Marzilli Ericson & Amanda Starc
American Economic Review, May 2015, Pages 115-119

Abstract:
We measure the breadth of insurance networks in the Massachusetts health insurance exchange. Using our measures, we estimate consumer willingness-to-pay for broad and narrow networks. We find that consumers have a wide range of plans available with dramatically different networks. While consumers value broader networks, their willingness-to-pay is smaller than the brand premium, indicating an additional role for brand preferences. Consumers place additional value on star hospitals, which may affect upstream negotiations. Finally, we find significant geographic heterogeneity in the value of broad networks.

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Is the System Really the Solution? Operating Costs in Hospital Systems

Lawton Robert Burns et al.
Medical Care Research and Review, June 2015, Pages 247-272

Abstract:
Hospital system formation has recently accelerated. Executives emphasize scale economies that lower operating costs, a claim unsupported in academic research. Do systems achieve lower costs than freestanding facilities, and, if so, which system types? We test hypotheses about the relationship of cost with membership in systems, larger systems, and centralized and local hub-and-spoke systems. We also test whether these relationships have changed over time. Examining 4,000 U.S. hospitals during 1998 to 2010, we find no evidence that system members exhibit lower costs. However, members of smaller systems are lower cost than larger systems, and hospitals in centralized systems are lower cost than everyone else. There is no evidence that the system's spatial configuration is associated with cost, although national system hospitals exhibit higher costs. Finally, these results hold over time. We conclude that while systems in general may not be the solution to lower costs, some types of systems are.

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Medicare Managed Care Spillovers and Treatment Intensity

Kevin Callison
Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Evidence suggests that the share of Medicare managed care enrollees in a region affects the costs of treating traditional fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries; however, little is known about the mechanisms through which these 'spillover effects' operate. This paper examines the relationship between Medicare managed care penetration and treatment intensity for FFS enrollees hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of AMI. I find that increased Medicare managed care penetration is associated with a reduction in both the costs and the treatment intensity of FFS AMI patients. Specifically, as Medicare managed care penetration increases, FFS AMI patients are less likely to receive surgical reperfusion and mechanical ventilation and to experience an overall reduction in the number of inpatient procedures.

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Readmissions To New York Hospitals Fell For Three Target Conditions From 2008 To 2012, Consistent With Medicare Goals

Kathleen Carey & Meng-Yun Lin
Health Affairs, June 2015, Pages 978-985

Abstract:
The Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), an initiative of the Affordable Care Act, imposes considerable financial penalties on hospitals with excess thirty-day readmissions for patients with selected high-volume conditions. We investigated the intended impact of the program by examining changes in thirty-day readmissions among Medicare patients admitted for three conditions targeted by the program in New York State, compared to Medicare patients with other conditions and with privately insured patients, before and after the program's introduction. We also examined potential unintended strategic responses by hospitals that might allow them to continue to treat target-condition patients while avoiding the readmission penalty. We found that thirty-day readmissions fell for the three conditions targeted by the HRRP, consistent with the goals of the program. Second, there also was a substantial fall in readmissions for a comparison group although not as large as for the target group, which suggests modest spillover effects in Medicare for other conditions. We did not find strong evidence of unintended effects associated with the program. These early findings suggest that the HRRP is affecting hospitals in the direction intended by the Affordable Care Act.

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Narrow Networks on the Health Insurance Exchanges: What Do They Look Like and How Do They Affect Pricing? A Case Study of Texas

Leemore Dafny, Igal Hendel & Nathan Wilson
American Economic Review, May 2015, Pages 110-114

Abstract:
The Affordable Care Act has engendered significant changes in the design of health insurance products. We examine the "narrowness" of hospital networks affiliated with plans offered in the first year of the marketplaces. Using data from Texas, we find limited evidence of a tight link between pricing and a simple measure of network breadth, or a more complex measure of network value derived from a logit model of hospital choice. The state's largest insurer priced its narrow networks at a fairly constant discount relative to its broad networks, notwithstanding significant variation in its broad-narrow gap across geographic markets in Texas.

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Survival Rates in Trauma Patients Following Health Care Reform in Massachusetts

Turner Osler et al.
JAMA Surgery, forthcoming

Objective: To examine the effect of Massachusetts HCR on survival rates of injured patients.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective cohort study of 1 520 599 patients hospitalized following traumatic injury in Massachusetts or New York during the 10 years (2002-2011) surrounding Massachusetts HCR using data from the State Inpatient Databases. We assessed the effect of HCR on mortality rates using a difference-in-differences approach to control for temporal trends in mortality.

Results: During the 10-year study period, the rates of uninsured trauma patients in Massachusetts decreased steadily from 14.9% in 2002 to 5.0.% in 2011. In New York, the rates of uninsured trauma patients fell from 14.9% in 2002 to 10.5% in 2011. The risk-adjusted difference-in-difference assessment revealed a transient increase of 604 excess deaths (95% CI, 419-790) in Massachusetts in the 3 years following implementation of HCR.

Conclusions and Relevance: Health care reform did not affect health insurance coverage for patients hospitalized following injury but was associated with a transient increase in adjusted mortality rates. Reducing mortality rates for acutely injured patients may require more comprehensive interventions than simply promoting health insurance coverage through legislation.

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Medicare Payment Policy Creates Incentives For Long-Term Care Hospitals To Time Discharges For Maximum Reimbursement

Yan Kim et al.
Health Affairs, June 2015, Pages 907-915

Abstract:
Long-term care hospitals are postacute care facilities for patients requiring extended hospital-level care. These facilities are reimbursed by Medicare under a prospective payment system with a short-stay outlier policy, which results in substantially lower payments for patients discharged before a diagnosis-related group–specific short-stay threshold. Using Medicare data, we examined the impact of the short-stay policy on lengths-of-stay and Medicare reimbursement among patients in long-term care hospitals who require prolonged mechanical ventilation. After accounting for case-mix and facility-level differences, we found that discharges for reasons other than death in the period 2005–10 were most likely to occur on the day of or immediately after the short-stay threshold; this held true regardless of facility ownership. In contrast, live discharges in 2002 — the year before the prospective payment system started phasing out cost-based payment — were evenly distributed around the day that later became the short-stay threshold. Our findings confirm that the short-stay outlier payment policy created a strong financial incentive for long-term care hospitals to time patient discharges to maximize Medicare reimbursement. The results suggest that the new very-short-stay policy implemented in December 2012 could have a similar effect.

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Changes in Medicare Costs with the Growth of Hospice Care in Nursing Homes

Pedro Gozalo et al.
New England Journal of Medicine, 7 May 2015, Pages 1823-1831

Background: Nursing home residents' use of hospice has substantially increased. Whether this increase in hospice use reduces end-of-life expenditures is unknown.

Methods: The expansion of hospice between 2004 and 2009 created a natural experiment, allowing us to conduct a difference-in-differences matched analysis to examine changes in Medicare expenditures in the last year of life that were associated with this expansion. We also assessed intensive care unit (ICU) use in the last 30 days of life and, for patients with advanced dementia, feeding-tube use and hospital transfers within the last 90 days of life. We compared a subset of hospice users from 2009, whose use of hospice was attributed to hospice expansion, with a matched subset of non–hospice users from 2004, who were considered likely to have used hospice had they died in 2009.

Results: Of 786,328 nursing home decedents, 27.6% in 2004 and 39.8% in 2009 elected to use hospice. The 2004 and 2009 matched hospice and nonhospice cohorts were similar (mean age, 85 years; 35% male; 25% with cancer). The increase in hospice use was associated with significant decreases in the rates of hospital transfers (2.4 percentage-point reduction), feeding-tube use (1.2 percentage-point reduction), and ICU use (7.1 percentage-point reduction). The mean length of stay in hospice increased from 72.1 days in 2004 to 92.6 days in 2009. Between 2004 and 2009, the expansion of hospice was associated with a mean net increase in Medicare expenditures of $6,761 (95% confidence interval, 6,335 to 7,186), reflecting greater additional spending on hospice care ($10,191) than reduced spending on hospital and other care ($3,430).

Conclusions: The growth in hospice care for nursing home residents was associated with less aggressive care near death but at an overall increase in Medicare expenditures.

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Nursing Home 5-Star Rating System Exacerbates Disparities In Quality, By Payer Source

Tamara Konetzka et al.
Health Affairs, May 2015, Pages 819-827

Abstract:
Market-based reforms in health care, such as public reporting of quality, may inadvertently exacerbate disparities. We examined how the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services' five-star rating system for nursing homes has affected residents who are dually enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid ("dual eligibles"), a particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged population. Specifically, we assessed the extent to which dual eligibles and non–dual eligibles avoided the lowest-rated nursing homes and chose the highest-rated homes once the five-star rating system began, in late 2008. We found that both populations resided in better-quality homes over time but that by 2010 the increased likelihood of choosing the highest-rated homes was substantially smaller for dual eligibles than for non–dual eligibles. Thus, the gap in quality, as measured by a nursing home's star rating, grew over time. Furthermore, we found that the benefit of the five-star system to dual eligibles was largely due to providers' improving their ratings, not to consumers' choosing different providers. We present evidence suggesting that supply constraints play a role in limiting dual eligibles' responses to quality ratings, since high-quality providers tend to be located close to relatively affluent areas. Increases in Medicaid payment rates for nursing home services may be the only long-term solution.

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Health Information Technology Adoption in the Emergency Department

Frederic Selck & Sandra Decker
Health Services Research, forthcoming

Objective: To describe the trend in health information technology (IT) systems adoption in hospital emergency departments (EDs) and its effect on ED efficiency and resource use.

Data Sources: 2007–2010 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey – ED Component.

Principal Findings: The percent of ED visits that took place in an ED with at least a basic health IT or an advanced IT system increased from 25.2 and 3.1 percent in 2007 to 69.1 and 30.6 percent in 2010, respectively (p < .05). Controlling for ED fixed effects, waiting times were reduced by 6.0 minutes in advanced IT-equipped EDs (p < .05), and the number of tests ordered increased by 9 percent (p < .01). In models using a 1-year lag, advanced systems also showed an increase in the number of medications and images ordered per visit.

Conclusions: Almost a third of visits now occur in EDs with advanced IT capability. While advanced IT adoption may decrease wait times, resource use during ED visits may also increase depending on how long the system has been in place. We were not able to determine if these changes indicated more appropriate care.

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The Impact of Tort Reform and Quality Improvements on Medical Liability Claims: A Tale of 2 States

Kenneth Illingworth et al.
American Journal of Medical Quality, May/June 2015, Pages 263-270

Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of tort reform and quality improvement measures on medical liability claims in 2 groups of hospitals within the same multihospital organization: one in Texas, which implemented medical liability tort reform caps on noneconomic damages in 2003, and one in Louisiana, which did not undergo significant tort reform during the same time period. Significant reduction in medical liability claims per quarter in Texas was found after tort reform implementation (7.27 to 1.4; P < .05). A significant correlation was found between the increase in mean Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services performance score and the decrease in the frequency of claims observed in Louisiana (P < .05). Although tort reform caps on noneconomic damages in Texas caused the largest initial decrease, increasing quality improvement measures without increasing financial burden also decreased liability claims in Louisiana. Uniquely, this study showed that increasing patient quality resulted in decreased medical liability claims.

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Nurse Practitioners and Their Effects on Visits to Primary Care Physicians

Yuriy Pylypchuk & Eric Sarpong
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, April 2015, Pages 837–864

Abstract:
The demand for primary care services is expected to increase at a time of persistent shortages of primary care physicians (PCPs) in the United States. A proposed solution is to expand the role of other allied health professions. This study examines the causal effects of visits to nurse practitioners (NPs) on the demand for services from PCPs. We employ a system of simultaneous equations and dynamic panel estimators to control for endogeneity of visits to NPs. Results indicate that patients who visited an NP are significantly less likely to visit PCPs and to receive prescribed medication, medical check-up, and diagnosis from PCPs. Findings were robust to other specification and passed a falsification test. The results suggest that the use of NPs could serve as a potential option to address shortages in supply of primary care services.

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Use of provider-level dashboards and pay-for-performance in venous thromboembolism prophylaxis

Henry Michtalik et al.
Journal of Hospital Medicine, March 2015, Pages 172–178

Background: Despite safe and cost-effective venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention measures, VTE prophylaxis rates are often suboptimal. Healthcare reform efforts emphasize transparency through programs to report performance and payment incentives through pay-for-performance programs.

Interventions: A Web-based hospitalist dashboard provided VTE prophylaxis feedback. After 6 months of feedback only, a pay-for-performance program was incorporated, with graduated payouts for compliance rates of 80% to 100%.

Results: Monthly VTE prophylaxis compliance rates were 86% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 85–88), 90% (95% CI: 88–93), and 94% (95% CI: 93–96) during the baseline, dashboard, and combined dashboard/pay-for-performance periods, respectively. Compliance significantly improved with the use of the dashboard (P = 0.01) and addition of the pay-for-performance program (P = 0.01). The highest rate of improvement occurred with the dashboard (1.58%/month; P = 0.01). Annual individual physician performance payments ranged from $53 to $1244 (mean $633; standard deviation ±$350).

Conclusions: Direct feedback using dashboards was associated with significantly improved compliance, with further improvement after incorporating an individual physician pay-for-performance program. Real-time dashboards and physician-level incentives may assist hospitals in achieving higher safety and quality benchmarks.

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Accelerating Improvement and Narrowing Gaps: Trends in Patients' Experiences with Hospital Care Reflected in HCAHPS Public Reporting

Marc Elliott et al.
Health Services Research, forthcoming

Data: Surveys from 4,822,960 adult inpatients discharged July 2007–June 2008 or July 2010–June 2011 from 3,541 U.S. hospitals.

Study Design: Linear mixed-effect regression models with fixed effects for time, patient mix, and hospital characteristics (bedsize, ownership, Census division, teaching status, Critical Access status); random effects for hospitals and hospital-time interactions; fixed-effect interactions of hospital characteristics and patient characteristics (gender, health, education) with time predicted HCAHPS measures correcting for regression-to-the-mean biases.

Principal Findings: HCAHPS scores increased by 2.8 percentage points from 2008 to 2011 in the most positive response category. Among the middle 95 percent of hospitals, changes ranged from a 5.1 percent decrease to a 10.2 percent gain overall. The greatest improvement was in for-profit and larger (200 or more beds) hospitals.

Conclusions: Five years after HCAHPS public reporting began, meaningful improvement of patients' hospital care experiences continues, especially among initially low-scoring hospitals, reducing some gaps among hospitals.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Good, bad, and ugly

Philosophers' biased judgments persist despite training, expertise and reflection

Eric Schwitzgebel & Fiery Cushman
Cognition, August 2015, Pages 127–137

Abstract:
We examined the effects of framing and order of presentation on professional philosophers' judgments about a moral puzzle case (the "trolley problem") and a version of the Tversky & Kahneman "Asian disease" scenario. Professional philosophers exhibited substantial framing effects and order effects, and were no less subject to such effects than was a comparison group of non-philosopher academic participants. Framing and order effects were not reduced by a forced delay during which participants were encouraged to consider "different variants of the scenario or different ways of describing the case". Nor were framing and order effects lower among participants reporting familiarity with the trolley problem or with loss-aversion framing effects, nor among those reporting having had a stable opinion on the issues before participating in the experiment, nor among those reporting expertise on the very issues in question. Thus, for these scenario types, neither framing effects nor order effects appear to be reduced even by high levels of academic expertise.

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Power Heightens Sensitivity to Unfairness Against the Self

Takuya Sawaoka, Brent Hughes & Nalini Ambady
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Power is accompanied by a sense of entitlement, which shapes reactions to self-relevant injustices. We propose that powerful people more strongly expect to be treated fairly and are faster to perceive unjust treatment that violates these expectations. After preliminary data demonstrated that power leads people to expect fair outcomes for themselves, we conducted four experiments. Participants primed with high (vs. low) power were faster to identify violations of distributive justice in which they were victims (Study 1). This effect was specific to self-relevant injustices (Study 2) and generalized to violations of interpersonal justice (Study 3). Finally, participants primed with high power were more likely to take action against unfair treatment (Study 4). These findings suggest a process by which hierarchies may be maintained: Whereas the powerless are comparatively less sensitive to unfair treatment, the powerful may retain their social standing by quickly perceiving and responding to self-relevant injustices.

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Tortured beliefs: How and when prior support for torture skews the perceived value of coerced information

Daniel Ames & Alice Lee
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, September 2015, Pages 86–92

Abstract:
In the wake of recent revelations about US involvement in torture, and widespread and seemingly-growing support of torture in the US, we consider how people judge the value of information gained from informants under coercion. Drawing on past work on confirmation biases and moral judgments, we predicted, and found, that American torture supporters are more likely than opposers to see coerced information as relatively valuable and necessary in a scenario describing the foiling of an al-Qaeda terrorist attack. Judgments of coerced information value in the scenario also predicted endorsement of using the episode as a "success story" to justify torture in future cases. A second study shed light on an important boundary: Prior general support for torture predicted the perceived value of coerced information when the interrogated informant was an outgroup member (an al-Qaeda informant tortured by US operatives) but not when the informant was an ingroup member (an American soldier tortured by al-Qaeda). Overall, the results suggest that advocates for torture may readily interpret ambiguous evidence as implying the value and necessity of extreme interrogation techniques when used by the ingroup. Our findings also indicate that torture supporters often expect selective efficacy, whereby they see torture as more likely to yield valuable information when it is used by "us" compared to "them."

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The Impact of Power on Humanity: Self-Dehumanization in Powerlessness

Wenqi Yang et al.
PLoS ONE, May 2015

Abstract:
Power gives people the ability to control themselves and their environment, and this control is considered a fundamental human need. We investigated whether experiencing powerlessness induces the experience of self-dehumanization using three methods: priming, role-playing, and cueing. People in a position of low power viewed themselves (Experiments 1–3) as less human relative to people in a position of high power; furthermore, people with low power believed that they were viewed as less human by others as well (Experiments 2–3). In all of the experiments, human nature traits were most negatively affected by powerlessness in self-perception judgments, and uniquely human traits were most negatively affected by powerlessness in meta-perception judgments. Furthermore, the powerless believed they were viewed as less human not only by the powerful people but also the outside observers of the power dynamic. Self-dehumanization also appears to be a consequence of powerlessness rather than an incidental result of a change in mood or a negative self-view. Our findings are an important extension of previous work on the adverse effects of powerlessness and dehumanization.

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Historical group victimization entails moral obligations for descendants

Nyla Branscombe et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2015, Pages 118–129

Abstract:
When is greater morality expected of groups that have experienced intergroup victimization? Six experiments illustrate that meaning making for the victims, but not the perpetrators, can lead observers to perceive the victims' descendants as morally obligated to refrain from harming others. Focusing on the lessons of the past for the victim group increases observers' expectations that contemporary victim group members should know better than harm others. Deriving benefits from a group's past suffering, for both a well-known instance such as the Holocaust or a previously unknown group, elevates victim moral obligations (but not victim moral rights or perpetrator moral obligations). When the descendants of a historically victimized group violate the perceived lesson derived from having suffered — to be more moral — and instead does harm to others, then observers respond more negatively toward them than harm-doers who lack a victimization history.

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Why Leaders Punish: A Power Perspective

Marlon Mooijman et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We propose that power fundamentally changes why leaders punish and we develop a theoretical model that specifies how and why this occurs. Specifically, we argue that power increases the reliance on deterrence, but not just deserts, as a punishment motive and relate this to power fostering a distrustful mindset. We tested our model in 9 studies using different instantiations of power, different measurements and manipulations of distrust while measuring punishment motives and recommended punishments across a number of different situations. These 9 studies demonstrate that power fosters distrust and hereby increases both the reliance on deterrence as a punishment motive and the implementation of punishments aimed at deterrence (i.e., public punishments, public naming of rule breakers and punishments with a mandatory minimum). We discuss the practical implications for leaders, managers and policymakers and the theoretical implications for scholars interested in power, trust, and punishments.

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Markets and Morals: An Experimental Survey Study

Julio Elias, Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis
PLoS ONE, June 2015

Abstract:
Most societies prohibit some market transactions based on moral concerns, even when the exchanges would benefit the parties involved and would not create negative externalities. A prominent example is given by payments for human organs for transplantation, banned virtually everywhere despite long waiting lists and many deaths of patients who cannot find a donor. Recent research, however, has shown that individuals significantly increase their stated support for a regulated market for human organs when provided with information about the organ shortage and the potential beneficial effects a price mechanism. In this study we focused on payments for human organs and on another "repugnant" transaction, indoor prostitution, to address two questions: (A) Does providing general information on the welfare properties of prices and markets modify attitudes toward repugnant trades? (B) Does additional knowledge on the benefits of a price mechanism in a specific context affect attitudes toward price-based transactions in another context? By answering these questions, we can assess whether eliciting a market-oriented approach may lead to a relaxation of moral opposition to markets, and whether there is a cross-effect of information, in particular for morally controversial activities that, although different, share a reference to the "commercialization" of the human body. Relying on an online survey experiment with 5,324 U.S. residents, we found no effect of general information about market efficiency, consistent with morally controversial markets being accepted only when they are seen as a solution to a specific problem. We also found some cross-effects of information about a transaction on the acceptance of the other; however, the responses were mediated by the gender and (to a lesser extent) religiosity of the respondent — in particular, women exposed to information about legalizing prostitution reduced their stated support for regulated organ payments. We relate these findings to prior research and discuss implications for public policy.

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On why hypocrisy thrives: Reasonable doubt created by moral posturing can deter punishment

Jan-Erik Lönnqvist, Rainer Michael Rilke & Gari Walkowitz
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2015, Pages 139–145

Abstract:
In four bargaining games with an option to punish, participants could avoid punishment by shifting the blame for an unfair offer on a random coin flip. Punishments were not affected by whether the results of the coin flip could be verified, nor by beliefs about whether a coin had actually been flipped (Studies 1–3). Our results suggest that the rather blatant moral posturing of hypocrites was enough to create reasonable doubt about their guilt, and that such doubt deterred punishment. Alternative explanations of reluctance to punish hypocrites, such as free-riding from altruistic punishment (Study 2), or feelings of gratitude (Study 3) were not supported. Independent third parties were also less punitive toward those who blamed the coin (Study 4). Similar results were found in an online vignette study run with a more representative sample (Study 5). In sum, these findings suggest that hypocrisy thrives because it can deter punishment.

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The Moral Virtue of Authenticity: How Inauthenticity Produces Feelings of Immorality and Impurity

Francesca Gino, Maryam Kouchaki & Adam Galinsky
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
The five experiments reported here demonstrate that authenticity is directly linked to morality. We found that experiencing inauthenticity, compared with authenticity, consistently led participants to feel more immoral and impure. This link from inauthenticity to feeling immoral produced an increased desire among participants to cleanse themselves and to engage in moral compensation by behaving prosocially. We established the role that impurity played in these effects through mediation and moderation. We found that inauthenticity-induced cleansing and compensatory helping were driven by heightened feelings of impurity rather than by the psychological discomfort of dissonance. Similarly, physically cleansing oneself eliminated the relationship between inauthenticity and prosocial compensation. Finally, we obtained additional evidence for discriminant validity: The observed effects on desire for cleansing were not driven by general negative experiences (i.e., failing a test) but were unique to experiences of inauthenticity. Our results establish that authenticity is a moral state — that being true to thine own self is experienced as a form of virtue.

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Cheating at the End to Avoid Regret

Daniel Effron, Christopher Bryan & Keith Murnighan
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
How do people behave when they face a finite series of opportunities to cheat with little or no risk of detection? In 4 experiments and a small meta-analysis, we analyzed over 25,000 cheating opportunities faced by over 2,500 people. The results suggested that the odds of cheating are almost 3 times higher at the end of a series than earlier. Participants could cheat in 1 of 2 ways: They could lie about the outcome of a private coin flip to get a payoff that they would otherwise not receive (Studies 1–3) or they could overbill for their work (Study 4). We manipulated the number of cheating opportunities they expected but held the actual number of opportunities constant. The data showed that the likelihood of cheating and the extent of dishonesty were both greater when people believed that they were facing a last choice. Mediation analyses suggested that anticipatory regret about passing up a chance to enrich oneself drove this cheat-at-the-end effect. We found no support for alternative explanations based on the possibility that multiple cheating opportunities depleted people's self-control, eroded their moral standards, or made them feel that they had earned the right to cheat. The data also suggested that the cheat-at-the-end effect may be limited to relatively short series of cheating opportunities (i.e., n < 20). Our discussion addresses the psychological and behavioral dynamics of repeated ethical choices.

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Context-dependent cheating: Experimental evidence from 16 countries

David Pascual-Ezama et al.
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, August 2015, Pages 379–386

Abstract:
Policy makers use several international indices that characterize countries according to the quality of their institutions. However, no effort has been made to study how the honesty of citizens varies across countries. This paper explores the honesty among citizens across sixteen countries with 1440 participants. We employ a very simple task where participants face a trade-off between the joy of eating a fine chocolate and the disutility of having a threatened self-concept because of lying. Despite the incentives to cheat, we find that individuals are mostly honest. Further, international indices that are indicative of institutional honesty are completely uncorrelated with citizens' honesty for our sample countries.

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Public concerns about violent video games are moral concerns — How moral threat can make pacifists susceptible to scientific and political claims against violent video games

Tobias Rothmund et al.
European Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Public discussions about the harmfulness of violent media are often held in the aftermath of violent felony. At the same time, we know little about whether and how experiencing real-life violence impacts the way laypersons perceive and evaluate debates about virtual violence. In Study 1, we provided data indicating that both real-life violence and violent video games are perceived as morally threatening by people who regard nonviolence to be an important moral value (i.e., pacifists). In Study 2, we hypothesized and found that when pacifists perceive threat from the presence of real-life violence, they are especially susceptible to scientific and political claims indicating that violent video games are harmful. Our findings are in line with the value protection model and research on the psychological consequences of threat. Implications of the present findings are discussed with regard to a better understanding of the violent video games debate in the general public.

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Perpetrator groups can enhance their moral self-image by accepting their own intergroup apologies

Fiona Kate Barlow et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, September 2015, Pages 39–50

Abstract:
There is an implicit assumption that perpetrators' moral image restoration following an intergroup apology depends on absolution from victims. In this paper we examine whether perpetrators can in fact look to other ingroup members for moral pardon. In Studies 1 and 4, Australians read an apology to Indian people for a series of assaults on Indian nationals in Australia. In Studies 2 and 3, Non-Aboriginal Australians were provided with apologies offered on their behalf to Aboriginal Australians. In each study participants were told that other perpetrator group members had either accepted or rejected the apology. In line with predictions, when perpetrator group members heard that fellow perpetrators accepted an apology made to victims they felt morally restored, and consequently were more willing to reconcile. Effects were largely unqualified by apology quality (Studies 2-4), and held in the face of victim group apology rejection (Studies 3-4). We demonstrate that perpetrator group members can effectively gain moral redemption by accepting their own apologies, even qualified ones that have proved insufficient to victim groups.

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Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Shifts Preference of Moral Judgments

Maria Kuehne et al.
PLoS ONE, May 2015

Abstract:
Attitude to morality, reflecting cultural norms and values, is considered unique to human social behavior. Resulting moral behavior in a social environment is controlled by a widespread neural network including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which plays an important role in decision making. In the present study we investigate the influence of neurophysiological modulation of DLPFC reactivity by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on moral reasoning. For that purpose we administered anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation of the left DLPFC while subjects judged the appropriateness of hard moral personal dilemmas. In contrast to sham and cathodal stimulation, anodal stimulation induced a shift in judgment of personal moral dilemmas towards more non-utilitarian actions. Our results demonstrate that alterations of left DLPFC activity can change moral judgments and, in consequence, provide a causal link between left DLPFC activity and moral reasoning. Most important, the observed shift towards non-utilitarian actions suggests that moral decision making is not a permanent individual trait but can be manipulated; consequently individuals with boundless, uncontrollable, and maladaptive moral behavior, such as found in psychopathy, might benefit from neuromodulation-based approaches.

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Oxytocin influences intuitions about the relationship between belief in free will and moral responsibility

Kimberly Goodyear et al.
Social Neuroscience, forthcoming

Abstract:
Philosophers have proposed that laypeople can have deterministic or indeterministic intuitions about the relationship between free will and moral responsibility. However, the psychophysiological mechanisms that generate these extreme intuitions are still underexplored. Exogenous oxytocin offers a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of these underlying mechanisms, since this neuropeptide influences a wide range of outcomes related to social cognition and prosociality. This study investigated the effects of intranasal oxytocin on intuitions about the relationship between free will and moral responsibility by applying a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subject design. Healthy male participants rated the moral responsibility of a hypothetical offender, who committed crimes in either a primed deterministic or an indeterministic universe. Under placebo, participants held the offender more morally responsible when acting in an indeterministic compared to a deterministic universe, which could be accredited to recognition of the offender's freely chosen action to commit the crimes. Under oxytocin, participants rated the offender's actions with greater leniency and similarly assigned lower moral responsibility in both universes. These findings strengthen the assumption that a person can have different intuitions about the relationship between free will and moral responsibility, which can be presumably dependent on motivational states associated with affiliation.

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Errors in Moral Forecasting: Perceptions of Affect Shape the Gap Between Moral Behaviors and Moral Forecasts

Rimma Teper et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, July 2015, Pages 887-900

Abstract:
Research in moral decision making has shown that there may not be a one-to-one relationship between peoples' moral forecasts and behaviors. Although past work suggests that physiological arousal may account for part of the behavior-forecasting discrepancy, whether or not perceptions of affect play an important determinant remains unclear. Here, we investigate whether this discrepancy may arise because people fail to anticipate how they will feel in morally significant situations. In Study 1, forecasters predicted cheating significantly more on a test than participants in a behavior condition actually cheated. Importantly, forecasters who received false somatic feedback, indicative of high arousal, produced forecasts that aligned more closely with behaviors. In Study 2, forecasters who misattributed their arousal to an extraneous source forecasted cheating significantly more. In Study 3, higher dispositional emotional awareness was related to less forecasted cheating. These findings suggest that perceptions of affect play a key role in the behavior-forecasting dissociation.

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Choice architecture in conflicts of interest: Defaults as physical and psychological barriers to (dis)honesty

Nina Mazar & Scott Hawkins
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2015, Pages 113–117

Abstract:
Default options significantly influence individuals' tendencies to comply with public policy goals such as organ donation. We extend that notion and explore the role defaults can play in encouraging (im)moral conduct in two studies. Building on previous research into omission and commission we show that individuals cheat most when it requires passively accepting a default, incorrect answer (Omission). More importantly, despite equivalent physical effort, individuals cheat less when it requires overriding a default, correct answer (Super-commission) than when simply giving an incorrect answer (Commission) — because the former is psychologically harder. Furthermore, while people expect physical and psychological costs to influence cheating, they do not believe that it takes a fundamentally different moral character to overcome either cost. Our findings support a more nuanced perspective on the implication of the different types of costs associated with default options and offer practical insights for policy, such as taxation, to nudge honesty.

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Forgive them for I have sinned: The relationship between guilt and forgiveness of others' transgressions

Jennifer Jordan, Francis Flynn & Taya Cohen
European Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We propose that guilt leads to forgiveness of others' transgressions. In Study 1, people prone to experience guilt (but not shame) were also prone to forgive others for past misdeeds. In Study 2, we manipulated harm- and inequity-based guilt; both increased forgiveness of others' transgressions. Further, the effect of guilt on forgiveness was mediated by identification with the transgressor. In Study 3, we replicated the guilt–forgiveness relationship and examined three other plausible mediators: capability for similar wrongdoing, empathic understanding, and general identification; only identification with the transgressor satisfied the criteria for mediation. In Study 4, we induced guilt by asking participants to harm a friend or stranger. Guilt induced by harming a friend led to greater forgiveness of third-party transgressors, and again, identification with the transgressor mediated the effect. We discuss the implications of these results for understanding how the prosocial effects of guilt extend beyond the boundaries of a single interpersonal relationship.

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The threat of moral transgression: The impact of group membership and moral opportunity

Jojanneke van der Toorn, Naomi Ellemers & Bertjan Doosje
European Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
When other ingroup members behave immorally, people's motivation to maintain a moral group image may cause them to experience increased threat and act defensively in response. In the current research, we investigated people's reactions to others' misconduct and examined the effect of group membership and the possible threat-reducing function of moral opportunity — the prospect of being able to re-establish the group's moral image. In Study 1, students who were confronted with fellow students' plagiarism and who received an opportunity to improve their group's morality reported feeling less threatened than students who did not receive such opportunity. In Study 2, students reacted to a recent academic fraud case, which either implicated an ingroup (scholar in their own discipline) or an outgroup member (scholar in another discipline). Results indicated that participants experienced more threat when an ingroup (versus an outgroup) member had committed the moral transgression. However, as hypothesized, this was not the case when moral opportunity was provided. Hence, the threat-reducing effect of moral opportunity was replicated. Additionally, participants generally were more defensive in response to ingroup (versus outgroup) moral failure and less defensive when moral opportunity was present (versus absent). Together, these findings suggest that the reduction of threat due to moral opportunity may generally help individuals take constructive action when the behavior of fellow group members discredits the group's moral image.

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Anticipating and Resisting the Temptation to Behave Unethically

Oliver Sheldon & Ayelet Fishbach
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, July 2015, Pages 962-975

Abstract:
Ethical dilemmas pose a self-control conflict between pursuing immediate benefits through behaving dishonestly and pursuing long-term benefits through acts of honesty. Therefore, factors that facilitate self-control for other types of goals (e.g., health and financial) should also promote ethical behavior. Across four studies, we find support for this possibility. Specifically, we find that only under conditions that facilitate conflict identification — including the consideration of several decisions simultaneously (i.e., a broad decision frame) and perceived high connectedness to the future self — does anticipating a temptation to behave dishonestly in advance promote honesty. We demonstrate these interaction patterns between conflict identification and temptation anticipation in negotiation situations (Study 1), lab tasks (Study 2), and ethical dilemmas in the workplace (Studies 3-4). We conclude that identifying a self-control conflict and anticipating a temptation are two necessary preconditions for ethical decision making.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On the frontier

An Empirical Examination of Patent Hold-up

Alexander Galetovic, Stephen Haber & Ross Levine
NBER Working Paper, April 2015

Abstract:
A large literature asserts that standard essential patents (SEPs) allow their owners to "hold up" innovation by charging fees that exceed their incremental contribution to a final product. We evaluate two central, interrelated predictions of this SEP hold-up hypothesis: (1) SEP-reliant industries should experience more stagnant quality-adjusted prices than similar non-SEP-reliant industries; and (2) court decisions that reduce the excessive power of SEP holders should accelerate innovation in SEP-reliant industries. We find no empirical support for either prediction. Indeed, SEP-reliant industries have the fastest quality-adjusted price declines in the U.S. economy.

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Project Selection in NIH: A Natural Experiment from ARRA

Hyunwoo Park, Jeongsik Lee & Byung-Cheol Kim
Research Policy, July 2015, Pages 1145–1159

Abstract:
Using a natural experiment in research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) following the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, we study the NIH's revealed preference in project selection. We do so by comparing the characteristics of the projects additionally selected for funding due to an unexpected increase in resources under the ARRA with those supported through regular NIH budget. We find that the regular-funded projects are on average of higher quality, as measured by the number of publications per project and the impact of these publications, than ARRA-funded projects. Moreover, compared to ARRA projects, regular projects are more likely to produce highest-impact articles and exhibit greater variance in research output. The output from regular projects also seems more closely fitting the purpose of funding. The differences in project quality are largely explained by observable attributes of the projects and research teams, suggesting that the NIH may use these attributes as cues for discerning underlying project quality. In addition, ARRA projects are more likely than regular projects to involve investigators with past grant experience. Many of these inter-group differences are specific to R01 grants, the largest funding category in the NIH. Overall, these results suggest that the NIH's project selection appears generally in line with its purported mission. In particular, our results contrast starkly with the frequent criticism that the NIH is extremely risk-averse and unwarrantedly favors experienced investigators. We discuss the implications of our findings on the NIH's behavior in project selection.

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Advice Taking, Learning, and Technology Adoption: Results from an Economic Experiment with Farmers

Bradford Barham et al.
University of Wisconsin Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
This paper examines the complementarities between advice taking and individual learning in technology adoption. We run an economic experiment with US farmers measuring their individual learning ability and their propensity to take advice. We then compare the decisions they make in the experiments with their real-world adoption of genetically modified (GM) corn and soy seeds. The first adopters are those who are both quite able cognitively and disinclined to take advice. We find evidence that individual ability and advice taking from external sources of information are substitutes rather than complements in the agricultural technology decision-making process.

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China's "Great Leap Forward" in Science and Engineering

Richard Freeman & Wei Huang
NBER Working Paper, April 2015

Abstract:
In the past two decades China leaped from bit player in global science and engineering (S&E) to become the world's largest source of S&E graduates and the second largest spender on R&D and second largest producer of scientific papers. As a latecomer to modern science and engineering, China trailed the US and other advanced countries in the quality of its universities and research but was improving both through the mid-2010s. This paper presents evidence that China's leap benefited greatly from the country's positive response to global opportunities to educate many of its best and brightest overseas and from the deep educational and research links it developed with the US. The findings suggest that global mobility of people and ideas allowed China to reach the scientific and technological frontier much faster and more efficiently.

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Uncovering the influence of social venture creation on commercial venture creation: A population ecology perspective

Karla Mendoza-Abarca, Sergey Anokhin & César Zamudio
Journal of Business Venturing, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study takes a population ecology perspective to uncover the influence that social venture creation exerts on commercial venture creation. Data from 88 Ohio counties during 2003–2007 uncovered a negative relationship suggesting that social ventures compete for resources with commercial ventures at the time of founding. Additionally, we found that income levels in the county affected the inter-population dynamics between social and commercial ventures. Specifically, lower income levels exacerbated the competitive relationship between social and commercial ventures. Low levels of government spending on welfare were found to suppress commercial start-up rates.

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It's Good to be First: Order Bias in Reading and Citing NBER Working Papers

Daniel Feenberg et al.
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
Choices are frequently made from lists where there is by necessity some ordering of options. In such situations individuals can exhibit both primacy bias towards the first option and recency bias towards the last option. We examine this phenomenon in a particularly interesting context: consumer response to the ordering of economics papers in an email announcement issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Each Monday morning Eastern Standard Time (EST) the NBER issues a "New This Week" (NTW) email that lists all of the working papers that have been issued in the past week. This email goes to more than 23,000 subscribers, both inside and outside academia, and the placement order is based on random factors. We show that despite the randomized list placement, papers that are listed first each week are about 30% more likely to be viewed, downloaded, and cited over the next two years. Lower ranking on the list leads to fewer views and downloads, but not cites; however, there is also some recency bias, with the last paper listed receiving more views, downloads and cites. The results are robust to a wide variety of specification checks and are present for both all viewers/downloaders, and for academic institutions in particular. These results suggest that even among expert searchers, list-based searches can be manipulated by list placement.

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On the global supply of basic research

Hans Gersbach & Maik Schneider
Journal of Monetary Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
In a two-country Schumpeterian growth model, we study the incentives for basic research investments by governments in a globalized world. A country's basic research investments increase with the country's level of human capital and decline with its own market size. This may explain why some smaller countries invest so much in basic research. Compared with the optimal investments achievable when countries coordinate their basic research policies, a single country may over-invest in basic research. However, the total amount of decentralized basic research investments is always below the socially optimal investment level, which justifies policy coordination in this area.

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Necessity Is the Mother of Invention: Input Supplies and Directed Technical Change

Walker Hanlon
Econometrica, January 2015, Pages 67–100

Abstract:
This study provides causal evidence that a shock to the relative supply of inputs to production can (1) affect the direction of technological progress and (2) lead to a rebound in the relative price of the input that became relatively more abundant (the strong induced-bias hypothesis). I exploit the impact of the U.S. Civil War on the British cotton textile industry, which reduced supplies of cotton from the Southern United States, forcing British producers to shift to lower-quality Indian cotton. Using detailed new data, I show that this shift induced the development of new technologies that augmented Indian cotton. As these new technologies became available, I show that the relative price of Indian/U.S. cotton rebounded to its pre-war level, despite the increased relative supply of Indian cotton. This is the first paper to establish both of these patterns empirically, lending support to the two key predictions of leading directed technical change theories.

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The Academic Advantage: Gender Disparities in Patenting

Cassidy Sugimoto et al.
PLoS ONE, May 2015

Abstract:
We analyzed gender disparities in patenting by country, technological area, and type of assignee using the 4.6 million utility patents issued between 1976 and 2013 by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO). Our analyses of fractionalized inventorships demonstrate that women's rate of patenting has increased from 2.7% of total patenting activity to 10.8% over the nearly 40-year period. Our results show that, in every technological area, female patenting is proportionally more likely to occur in academic institutions than in corporate or government environments. However, women's patents have a lower technological impact than that of men, and that gap is wider in the case of academic patents. We also provide evidence that patents to which women — and in particular academic women — contributed are associated with a higher number of International Patent Classification (IPC) codes and co-inventors than men. The policy implications of these disparities and academic setting advantages are discussed.

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The Career Effects of Scandal: Evidence from Scientific Retractions

Pierre Azoulay, Alessandro Bonatti & Joshua Krieger
NBER Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
Scandals permeate social and economic life, but their consequences have received scant attention in the economics literature. To shed empirical light on this phenomenon, we investigate how the scientific community's perception of a scientist's prior work changes when one of his articles is retracted. Relative to non-retracted control authors, faculty members who experience a retraction see the citation rate to their articles drop by 10% on average, consistent with the Bayesian intuition that the market inferred their work was mediocre all along. We then investigate whether the eminence of the retracted author, and the publicity surrounding the retraction, shape the magnitude of the penalty. We find that eminent scientists are more harshly penalized than their less-distinguished peers in the wake of a retraction, but only in cases involving fraud or misconduct. When the retraction event had it source in "honest mistakes," we find no evidence of differential stigma between high- and low-status faculty members.

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A Powerful Nudge? Presenting Calculable Consequences of Underpowered Research Shifts Incentives Toward Adequately Powered Designs

Will Gervais et al.
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
If psychologists have recognized the pitfalls of underpowered research for decades, why does it persist? Incentives, perhaps: underpowered research benefits researchers individually (increased productivity), but harms science collectively (inflated Type I error rates and effect size estimates but low replication rates). Yet, researchers can selectively reward power at various scientific bottlenecks (e.g., peer review, hiring, funding, and promotion). We designed a stylized thought experiment to evaluate the degree to which researchers consider power and productivity in hiring decisions. Accomplished psychologists chose between a low sample size candidate and a high sample size candidate who were otherwise identical. We manipulated the degree to which participants received information about (1) productivity, (2) sample size, and (3) directly calculable Type I error and replication rates. Participants were intolerant of the negative consequences of low-power research, yet merely indifferent regarding the practices that logically produce those consequences, unless those consequences were made quite explicit.

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The Replication Paradox: Combining Studies can Decrease Accuracy of Effect Size Estimates

Michèle Nuijten et al.
Review of General Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Replication is often viewed as the demarcation between science and nonscience. However, contrary to the commonly held view, we show that in the current (selective) publication system replications may increase bias in effect size estimates. Specifically, we examine the effect of replication on bias in estimated population effect size as a function of publication bias and the studies' sample size or power. We analytically show that incorporating the results of published replication studies will in general not lead to less bias in the estimated population effect size. We therefore conclude that mere replication will not solve the problem of overestimation of effect sizes. We will discuss the implications of our findings for interpreting results of published and unpublished studies, and for conducting and interpreting results of meta-analyses. We also discuss solutions for the problem of overestimation of effect sizes, such as discarding and not publishing small studies with low power, and implementing practices that completely eliminate publication bias (e.g., study registration).

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Ahead of others in the authorship order: Names with middle initials appear earlier in author lists of academic articles in psychology

Eric Igou & Wijnand van Tilburg
Frontiers in Psychology, April 2015

Abstract:
Middle name initials are often used by people in contexts where intellectual performance matters. Given this association, middle initials in people's names indicate intellectual capacity and performance (Van Tilburg and Igou, 2014). In the current research, we examined whether middle initials are associated with a typical academic indicator of intellectual performance: authorship order of journal articles. In psychology, authorship early in the author list of an article should correspond with greater contribution to this intellectual endeavor compared to authorship appearing later in the author list. Given that middle initials indicate intellectual capacity and performance, we investigated whether there would be a positive relationship between middle initials in author names and early (vs. late) appearance of names in author lists of academic journal articles in psychology. In two studies, we examined the relationship between amount of authors' middle initials and authorship order. Study 1 used a sample of 678 articles from social psychology journals published in the years 2006 and 2007. Study 2 used a sample of 696 articles from journals of multiple sub-disciplines in psychology published in the years from 1970 to 2013. Middle initials in author names were overrepresented early (vs. late) in author lists. We discuss implications of our findings for academic decisions on authorship orders, potential avenues of further investigation, and applications.

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Status Spillovers

Brian Philip Reschke, Pierre Azoulay & Toby Stuart
University of California Working Paper, May 2015

Abstract:
When an actor experiences a sudden gain in status — for example, when a scientist wins a Nobel Prize, or a film director wins an Oscar — what does this jump in status do to the fates of the winner's many 'neighbors'? Do non-winners bask in the reflected glory of the winner, and therefore rise with her? Or conversely, does competition for attention ensue, attenuating the recognition neighbors otherwise would have received? We investigate this question in the scientific community. Using article keywords assigned by third-party experts, we identify articles highly related to publications by eventual appointees to the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). We find that, on average, these 'neighbor articles' experience a substantial decline in citation rates after HHMI appointments are announced, relative to controls. That is, neighbors receive substantially less attention when a focal actor receives a prestigious prize. While this negative spillover effect dominates our findings, it is not absolute. For instance, neighbors are shielded from the negative effect if they share a direct social connection with a prize winner. Also, in areas of science in which endorsements are particularly valuable, such as novel fields of research, the spillover effect of a neighbor's prize is instead positive.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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