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Friday, May 9, 2014

Boots on the ground

U.S. War Costs: Two Parts Temporary, One Part Permanent

Ryan Edwards
Journal of Public Economics, May 2014, Pages 54–66

Abstract:
Military spending, fatalities, and the destruction of capital, all of which are immediately felt and are often large, are the most overt costs of war. They are also relatively short-lived. But the costs of war borne by combatants and their caretakers, which includes families, communities, and the modern welfare state, tend instead to be lifelong. In this paper I show that a significant component of the budgetary costs associated with U.S. wars is long-lived. One third to one half of the total present value of historical war costs are benefits distributed over the remaining life spans of veterans and their dependents. Even thirty years after the end of hostilities, typically half of all benefits remain to be paid. Estimates of the costs of injuries and deaths suggest that the private burden of war borne by survivors, namely the uncompensated costs of service-related injuries, are also large and long-lived.

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Democratic Peace and Electoral Accountability

Paola Conconi, Nicolas Sahuguet & Maurizio Zanardi
Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming

Abstract:
Democracies rarely engage in conflicts with one another, though they are not averse to fighting autocracies. We exploit the existence in many countries of executive term limits to show that electoral accountability is the key reason behind this “democratic peace” phenomenon. We construct a new dataset of term limits for a sample of 177 countries over the 1816–2001 period, and combine this information with a large dataset of interstate conflicts. Our empirical analysis shows that, although democracies are significantly less likely to fight each other, democracies with leaders who face binding term limits are as conflict prone as autocracies. The study of electoral calendars confirms the importance of re-election incentives: in democracies with two-term limits, conflicts are less likely to occur during the executive's first mandate than in the last one. Our findings support the Kantian idea that elections act as a discipline device, deterring leaders from engaging in costly conflicts.

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Handling and Mishandling Estimative Probability: Likelihood, Confidence, and the Search for Bin Laden

Jeffrey Friedman & Richard Zeckhauser
Intelligence and National Security, forthcoming

Abstract:
In a series of reports and meetings in Spring 2011, intelligence analysts and officials debated the chances that Osama bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Estimates ranged from a low of 30 or 40 per cent to a high of 95 per cent. President Obama stated that he found this discussion confusing, even misleading. Motivated by that experience, and by broader debates about intelligence analysis, this article examines the conceptual foundations of expressing and interpreting estimative probability. It explains why a range of probabilities can always be condensed into a single point estimate that is clearer (but logically no different) than standard intelligence reporting, and why assessments of confidence are most useful when they indicate the extent to which estimative probabilities might shift in response to newly gathered information.

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Politics by Number: Indicators as Social Pressure in International Relations

Judith Kelley & Beth Simmons
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
The ability to monitor state behavior has become a critical tool of international governance. Systematic monitoring allows for the creation of numerical indicators that can be used to rank, compare, and essentially censure states. This article argues that the ability to disseminate such numerical indicators widely and instantly constitutes an exercise of social power, with the potential to change important policy outputs. It explores this argument in the context of the United States’ efforts to combat trafficking in persons and find evidence that monitoring has important effects: Countries are more likely to criminalize human trafficking when they are included in the U.S. annual Trafficking in Persons Report, and countries that are placed on a “watch list” are also more likely to criminalize. These findings have broad implications for international governance and the exercise of soft power in the global information age.

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Taking the cue: The response to US human rights sanctions against third parties

Timothy Peterson
Conflict Management and Peace Science, April 2014, Pages 145-167

Abstract:
Although scholars have suggested that sanctions could have an international symbolic effect in which they inform third parties of sender preferences and resolve, studies have not examined whether and when sanctions against one state lead other states to change similar proscribed behavior. In this paper, I examine whether abusive regimes change their respect for physical integrity rights when they witness US human rights sanctions against third parties. Synthesizing contributions from the literatures on sanction effectiveness, reputation and human rights promotion, I develop a new theory asserting that human rights sanctions can motivate leaders in non-sanctioned states to improve their human rights practices proactively — or at least to prevent worsened abuse — when they perceive themselves as sufficiently similar to the sanction target. I find support for my expectations in stratified Cox proportional hazards models using data spanning 1976–2000.

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Economic Sanctions, International Institutions, and Sanctions Busters: When Does Institutionalized Cooperation Help Sanctioning Efforts?

Bryan Early & Robert Spice
Foreign Policy Analysis, forthcoming

Abstract:
When international institutions obligate their members to impose economic sanctions against a target state, how much do those sanctions obligations actually impact their members' behavior? To date, the consensus view has treated all international institutions as if they are equally capable of making multilateral sanctioning efforts more effective. Building upon the enforcement theory of sanctions cooperation, we instead theorize that the ability of international institutions to constrain their members from engaging in spoiler behaviors degrades the larger they are. We hypothesize that sanctions obligations imposed by smaller-sized institutions are more effective at preventing their members from becoming extensive trade-based sanctions busters than those imposed by larger ones. We test our hypothesis via a quantitative analysis of how the involvement of five different international institutions in sanctioning efforts influenced their members' likelihoods of sanctions-busting. We find that only the smaller-sized institutions we examine appear capable of constraining their members from undercutting sanctioning efforts. Notably, we find no evidence that the United Nations' sanctions actually prevent its members from sanctions-busting.

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The Intelligence Requirement of International Mediation

Laurie Nathan
Intelligence and National Security, March/April 2014, Pages 208-226

Abstract:
This article explores the intelligence requirement of international mediation, a topic that is ignored in both the literature on conflict resolution and the literature on intelligence. A mediator's strategies and tactics ought to be informed by a deep understanding of the parties' internal calculations about the conflict and its resolution. Intelligence is needed to gain this understanding because the parties typically do not reveal their sensitive deliberations to outsiders. United Nations mediation teams should have a monitoring and analysis unit that endeavours to meet this need and reduce the ignorance that commonly afflicts international mediation.

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Fight and Flight: Evidence of Aggressive Capitulation in the Face of Fear Messages from Terrorists

Aarti Iyer et al.
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
In an era of digital technology and the Internet, terrorists can communicate their threats directly to citizens of Western countries. Yet no research has examined whether these messages change individuals' attitudes and behavior or the psychological processes underlying these effects. Two studies (conducted in 2008 and 2010) examined how American, Australian, and British participants responded to messages from Osama bin Laden that threatened violence if troops were not withdrawn from Afghanistan. Heightened fear in response to the message resulted in what we call “aggressive capitulation,” characterized by two different group-protection responses: (1) submission to terrorist demands in the face of threats made against one's country and (2) support for increased efforts to combat the source of the threat but expressed in abstract terms that do not leave one's country vulnerable. Fear predicted influence over and above other variables relevant to persuasion. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Obama's Authorization Paradox: Syria and Congress's Continued Relevance in Military Affairs

Douglas Kriner
Presidential Studies Quarterly, June 2014, Pages 309–327

Abstract:
President Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization for a military strike against Syria caught many political observers by surprise. However, I argue that the decision was more a gambit for political gain than a sincere reevaluation of the scope of presidential war powers. Moreover, Obama's ploy reveals a larger truth about American politics: that Congress often retains considerable influence over military affairs through informal means. An original survey experiment shows that seeking authorization can bolster support for the president and his foreign policies, particularly if the decision is backed by congressional leaders. More importantly, authorization votes may pay political dividends years later by muting congressional criticism of presidential policies. A wealth of data from previous interventions in Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Lebanon suggests that members of both parties who voted to authorize the use of force are much less willing in the future to vote to curtail it or criticize it publicly than are their co-partisan peers who did not vote for an authorization.

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Toward an Increasingly Heterogeneous Threat: A Chronology of Jihadist Terrorism in Europe 2008–2013

Petter Nesser
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, May 2014, Pages 440-456

Abstract:
The 2012 Toulouse and Montauban shootings and the grisly murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013 are stark reminders of a continued terrorist threat posed by jihadist terrorists in Europe. Whereas the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden and the advent of the “Arab Spring” fed expectations that international jihadism was a spent force, attack activity in Europe does not only seem to persist, but as will be shown here, the region has actually faced an increase in terrorist plots over the past few years.

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The International Community's Reaction to Coups

Megan Shannon et al.
Foreign Policy Analysis, forthcoming

Abstract:
With ten attempts since 2010, coups d'état are surprisingly common events with vital implications for a state's political development. Aside from being disruptive internally, coups influence interstate relationships. Though coups have important consequences, we know little about how the international community responds to these upheavals. This paper explores what drives global actors to react to coups. Our theory differentiates between normative concerns (for example, protection of democracy) and material interests (for example, protection of oil exports) as potential determinants of international responses to coups. We argue that coups against democracies, coups after the Cold War, and coups in states heavily integrated into the international community are all more likely to elicit global reaction. Using newly collected data, we explore the number of signals that states and IOs send to coup states from 1950 to 2011. The analyses reveal that coups against democracies and wealthy states draw more attention. States react when democracies are challenged by coups, while IOs react to coups in Africa and coups during the post-Cold War period. We surprisingly find that heavy traders and oil-rich states do not necessarily receive more reaction, suggesting that international actors are more driven by normative concerns than material interests when reacting to coups.

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COINing a Country: Reconstruction and Relief Amid Insurgency, Afghanistan 2004–2009

Jeremy Wells
Texas State University Working Paper, July 2013

Abstract:
The reprisal of the Taliban in Afghanistan beginning in 2003 forced the occupying military forces into counterinsurgency. The release of the Afghan War Diary allowed scholars and the public to analyze trends of violence in the prosecution of the war against the insurgency; however, the effects of the more than $90 billion in U.S. aid to Afghanistan have gone untested. A substantial portion of that aid has come from the Department of Defense via the Commanders Emergency Relief Program. Including data on CERP projects provides an expanded understanding of how development and relief aid have affected counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan and others a rare glimpse of how aid affects the course of a violent conflict. The number of economic development and humanitarian relief projects fosters collaboration of Afghan civilians with Western forces; interestingly however, the actual amount of money spent has a negligible effect.

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Why the Saudi Arabian Defence Binge?

David Sorenson
Contemporary Security Policy, Spring 2014, Pages 116-137

Abstract:
Saudi Arabia is one of the most proliferate military spenders in the world, and this article assesses the multiple reasons for Saudi Arabian defence spending. Possible motives include arming against external threats, buying internal loyalty, gaining national prestige, and soliciting support from important external patrons, especially the United States. The article argues that while Saudi Arabia does seek to improve its military capability through increased defence spending, and gain prestige and internal support, the most significant reason for the increased investment for arms sales is to gain political support in the United States, as Saudi military money preserves some defence sector jobs in the American defence industry, potentially replacing American employment that would otherwise drop because of expected US defence budget reductions. By contributing in a small but targeted way to the American economy, Saudi Arabia can try to leverage American support for its security and foreign policy requirements.

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Imposing Democracy to Ensure the Peace: The Role of Coercive Socialization

Paul Fritz
Foreign Policy Analysis, forthcoming

Abstract:
Democratic victors hoping to protect war gains by forcing the vanquished to be free must not only overcome the problems associated with imposed democracy but also ensure continued influence over and interests in the newly democratic state. To secure this dual imperative, I argue victors must coercively socialize the vanquished state. I create a framework of coercive socialization and conduct a plausibility probe of the theory by detailing the imposition strategies the United States utilized to transform the Federal Republic of Germany into a reliable democratic partner after World War II. The findings suggest imposing democracy to ensure peace and secure interests is likely to succeed only under even more limited conditions than recent scholarship on imposed democracy allows and also lend insight into why the US effort to impose democracy on Iraq is unlikely to provide the benefits policymakers sought.

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My Country, My Self: Honor, Identity, and Defensive Responses to National Threats

Collin Barnes et al.
Self and Identity, forthcoming

Abstract:
Honor endorsement might predict an intertwining of personal and national identities that facilitates taking country-level threats personally. If true, this could help explain why honor endorsement predicts support for defensive reactions to national provocations. In a sample of US college students (Study 1) and adults (Study 2), a latent honor variable predicted (1) personalizing national threats, and (2) defensive responses to illegal immigration and terrorism. The first of these associations was mediated by respondents' identification with the nation, and the second was mediated sequentially by national identification and the resultant tendency to personalize national threats. Together, these results highlight a mechanism by which the honor–national-defensiveness association emerges and opens the door for further research on honor and group-level processes.

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Doing Well by Doing Good: The Impact of Foreign Aid on Foreign Public Opinion

Benjamin Goldsmith, Yusaku Horiuchi & Terence Wood
Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Winter 2014, Pages 87-114

Abstract:
Does foreign aid extended by one country improve that country's image among populations of recipient countries? Using a multinational survey, we show that a United States aid program targeted to address HIV and AIDS substantially improves perceptions of the U.S. Our identification strategy for causal inference is to use instrumental variables measuring the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS problem in aid recipient countries. Our finding implies that in addition to its potential humanitarian benefits, foreign aid that is targeted, sustained, effective, and visible can serve as an important strategic goal for those countries that give it: fostering positive perceptions among foreign publics. By doing good, a country can do well.

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Donor–recipient ideological differences and economic aid

Vahe Lskavyan
Economics Letters, June 2014, Pages 345–347

Abstract:
We explore the impact of donor–recipient ideological differences on US economic aid decisions. We find that the odds and the amount of aid to left-wing recipients are higher under left-wing US administrations. The opposite result is found for center-right recipients.

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Opening Yourself Up: The Role of External and Internal Transparency in Terrorism Attacks

Sam Bell et al.
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Information transparency is frequently heralded as a positive regime feature. However, does information transparency produce negative side effects such as increased terrorist activity? We theorize that freer transmission of information creates opportunities for radical dissidents to employ political violence to draw attention to their agendas. We build a theoretical argument connecting external (international) transparency to increases in transnational terrorism, and internal (domestic) transparency to increases in domestic terrorism. We find empirical support for our theory by analyzing the effects of measures of transparency on counts of terrorist attacks in as many as 144 countries for time periods as long as 1970 to 2006.

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The (in)effectiveness of torture for combating insurgency

Christopher Michael Sullivan
Journal of Peace Research, May 2014, Pages 388-404

Abstract:
It is commonly believed that torture is an effective tool for combating an insurgent threat. Yet while torture is practiced in nearly all counterinsurgency campaigns, the evidence documenting torture’s effects remains severely limited. This study provides the first micro-level statistical analysis of torture’s relation to subsequent killings committed by insurgent and counterinsurgent forces. The theoretical arguments contend that torture is ineffective for reducing killings perpetrated by insurgents both because it fails to reduce insurgent capacities for violence and because it can increase the incentives for insurgents to commit future killings. The theory also links torture to other forms of state violence. Specifically, engaging in torture is expected to be associated with increased killings perpetrated by counterinsurgents. Monthly municipal-level data on political violence are used to analyze torture committed by counterinsurgents during the Guatemalan civil war (1977–94). Using a matched-sample, difference-in-difference identification strategy and data compiled from 22 different press and NGO sources as well as thousands of interviews, the study estimates how torture is related to short-term changes in killings perpetrated by both insurgents and counterinsurgents. Killings by counterinsurgents are shown to increase significantly following torture. However, torture appears to have no robust correlation with subsequent killings by insurgents. Based on this evidence the study concludes that torture is ineffective for reducing insurgent perpetrated killings.

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Caveat Emptor: Social Science and U.S. National Security Strategy

Janeen Klinger
Comparative Strategy, Spring 2014, Pages 167-176

Abstract:
Although intuitively social science has much to contribute to strategy, this article examines the difficulty for strategists doing so. To illustrate the difficulty, the article draws on two social science theories that provided conceptual frameworks for U.S. strategy in the 1960s: deterrence/coercion theory and modernization theory. The article also draws on the cases of Project Camelot in the 1960s and the recent use of human terrain teams to illustrate the difficulty encountered by the military when it tries to use social scientists operationally.

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Workplace goals and output quality: Evidence from time-constrained recruiting goals in the US Navy

Jeremy Arkes & Jesse Cunha
Defence and Peace Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper examines how workplace goals affect the quality of worker output, using data from the recruiting command of the US Navy. Recruiting stations and recruiters are assigned monthly goals for the quantity of new recruits that may create an unintended incentive to sacrifice quality, especially towards the end of the month. Using data on the universe of Navy recruits from FY1998 to 2010, we find significant reductions in the quality of recruits towards the end of the contracting month, both in terms of pre-existing quality of recruits and in medium-term outcomes that reflect the quality of the job match.

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United Nations Bias and Force Commitments in Civil Conflicts

Michelle Benson & Jacob Kathman
Journal of Politics, April 2014, Pages 350-363

Abstract:
A sizeable literature has been devoted to determining the effectiveness of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping in ending civil wars. Much less work has attempted to improve our understanding of the force-level commitments made by the UN to ongoing conflicts. We systematically address the issue of UN force commitments to civil conflicts and their relation to conflict hostility. Specifically, we posit that UN force deployments are a product of UN Security Council (UNSC) bias in favor of or against individual conflict factions and the battlefield performance of those combatants. To test our arguments, we employ newly collected data on UNSC resolution bias, monthly peacekeeping personnel commitments, and dynamic monthly-conflict conditions for African civil conflicts over the 1991–2008 period. We find that bias in UNSC resolutions is an important determinant of UN troop-deployment levels when its preferred side is sustaining higher casualties. These findings have important implications for peacekeeping effectiveness.

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The Global Arms Trade Network 1950-2007

Anders Akerman & Anna Larsson Seim
Journal of Comparative Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using SIPRI data on all international transfers of major conventional weapons 1950-2007, we study the relationship between differences in polity and arms trade. To study whether states tend to trade arms within their political vicinity we estimate gravity models of the likelihood of trade at the bilateral level and study the evolution of the global network over time. We find a stable negative relationship between differences in polity and the likelihood of arms trade for the duration of the Cold War, but not in recent years. In line with these results, the global arms trade network changes drastically over the sample period in several respects: it grows more dense, clustered and decentralized over time. The differences between the NATO and Warsaw Pact sub-networks that we find corroborate the common perception that the Warsaw Pact was more strongly centralized around the USSR than NATO around the UK, the US and France.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sterling reputation

Racial Stereotypes and Perceptions of Representatives' Ideologies in U.S. House Elections

Matthew Jacobsmeier
Legislative Studies Quarterly, May 2014, Pages 261–291

Abstract:
I examine the hypothesis that race affects citizens' perceptions of candidates' ideologies. In the past, systematic tests of this hypothesis have relied almost entirely on data drawn from experiments. While experimental research designs have contributed much to the analysis of political stereotypes and heuristics, the extent to which experimental research on this hypothesis is externally valid is open to question. Moreover, experimental approaches are not well-suited to estimating the magnitude of the effects of stereotypes in real-world situations, especially in the context of complex political phenomena such as election campaigns. In this article, I develop a statistical model of the effects of race on perceptions of candidates' ideologies and estimate the model using data on incumbent candidates from the American National Election Studies. The results suggest that, ceteris paribus, white citizens will tend to perceive black candidates to be more liberal than ideologically similar white candidates. In contrast, the perceptions of black respondents are not affected by the race of candidates, although black respondents' perceptions are more strongly correlated with candidates' positions on issues of particular interest to minorities than the perceptions of white respondents. I discuss the implications of these findings with respect to descriptive representation in the United States, the accountability of office holders, and the study of voting behavior.

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More Diverse Yet Less Tolerant? How the Increasingly Diverse Racial Landscape Affects White Americans’ Racial Attitudes

Maureen Craig & Jennifer Richeson
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent Census Bureau projections indicate that racial/ethnic minorities will comprise over 50% of the U.S. population by 2042, effectively creating a so-called “majority–minority” nation. Across four experiments, we explore how presenting information about these changing racial demographics influences White Americans’ racial attitudes. Results reveal that exposure to the changing demographics evokes the expression of greater explicit and implicit racial bias. Specifically, Whites exposed to the racial demographic shift information preferred interactions/settings with their own ethnic group over minority ethnic groups; expressed more negative attitudes toward Latinos, Blacks, and Asian Americans; and expressed more automatic pro-White/anti-minority bias. Perceived threat to Whites’ societal status mediated the effects of the racial shift information on explicit racial attitudes. These results suggest that rather than ushering in a more tolerant future, the increasing diversity of the nation may instead yield intergroup hostility. Implications for intergroup relations and media framing of the racial shift are discussed.

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Biases in the Perception of Barack Obama's Skin Tone

Markus Kemmelmeier & Lyssette Chavez
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
White Americans higher in prejudice were less likely to vote for Barack Obama than other Americans. Recent research also demonstrated that supporters and opponents of Mr. Obama engaged in skin tone biases, i.e., they perceive Mr. Obama's skin tone as lighter or darker in line with more positive or negative views of him. Across two studies we hypothesized that skin tone biases occur as a function of two independent sources: racial prejudice, which is always related to skin tone bias, and political partisanship, which is related to skin tone bias primarily during elections. Study 1 assessed perceptions of Mr. Obama's skin tone shortly before and after the 2008 Presidential election, and shortly after the first inauguration. Study 2 assessed perceptions in the middle of his first term, immediately prior to the 2012 Presidential election, and 1 year into his second term in office. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that partisan skin tone bias was limited to the election period, whereas prejudice-based skin tone biases occurred independent from any election.

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Seeking Help from the Low Status Group: Effects of Status Stability, Type of Help and Social Categorization

Samer Halabi, John Dovidio & Arie Nadler
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2014, Pages 139–144

Abstract:
This research extended previous work on the relationship between intergroup status and helping exchanges by investigating the conditions that moderate the willingness of members of a high status group (psychology students) to seek help from a low status group (social work students). In Study 1, when participants believed that there was a threat to the stability of status relations, participants from the high status group were more willing to seek autonomy-oriented assistance, which is empowering, than dependency-oriented help, which could undermine their group’s advantaged status. Study 2 considered how reframing the nature of intergroup relations by emphasizing common superordinate group membership can influence help-seeking among members of high status groups. When separate group identities were emphasized, the results replicated. However, as predicted, when common identity as mental health professional was made salient, psychology students were as willing to seek autonomy- and dependency-oriented help across both the unstable- and stable-relations conditions. Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.

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The Minority Spotlight Effect

Jennifer Randall Crosby, Madeline King & Kenneth Savitsky
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Across three studies, members of underrepresented groups felt that they were the center of others’ attention when topics related to their group were discussed, and this experience was accompanied by negative emotions. Black participants reported that they would feel most “in the spotlight” when they were the only Black individual in a class in which the professor drew attention to their group with a provocative comment (Study 1). Black and Latino/Latina (Study 2) and female (Study 3) participants likewise reported that two confederates looked at them more when they heard (and believed the confederates had also heard) a recording that pertained to their group than when they heard a recording on a neutral topic — despite the fact that the confederates’ gaze did not differ across conditions. We discuss these results in light of research on solo status and targeted social referencing.

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‘Be prepared’: An implemental mindset for alleviating social-identity threat

Tara Dennehy, Avi Ben-Zeev & Noriko Tanigawa
British Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Stereotype threat occurs when people who belong to socially devalued groups experience a fear of negative evaluation, which interferes with the goal of staying task focused. The current study was designed to examine whether priming socially devalued individuals with an implemental (vs. a deliberative) mindset, characterized by forming a priori goal-directed plans, would help these individuals to overcome threat-induced distracting states. Participants from low and high socioeconomic status backgrounds (measured by maternal education; SESm) completed a speeded mental arithmetic test, an intellectually threatening task. Low-SESm individuals performed comparably and exhibited similar confidence levels to high-SESm counterparts only when induced with an implemental mindset, suggesting that implemental mindset priming may help to create equity in the face of stereotype threat.

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Lost in the categorical shuffle: Evidence for the social non-prototypicality of black women

Erin Thomas, John Dovidio & Tessa West
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
The white male norm hypothesis (Zárate & Smith, 1990) posits that White men’s race and gender go overlooked as a result of their prototypical social statuses. In contrast, the intersectional invisibility hypothesis (Purdie-Vaughns & Eibach, 2008) posits that people with membership in multiple subordinate social groups experience social invisibility as a result of their non-prototypical social statuses. The present research reconciles these contradictory theories and provides empirical support for the core assumption of the intersectional invisibility hypothesis — that intersectional targets are non-prototypical within their race and gender ingroups. In a speeded categorization task, participants were slower to associate Black women versus Black men with the category “Black” and slower to associate Black women versus White women with the category “woman.” We discuss the implications of this work for social categorical theory development and future intersectionality research.

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Close contact with racial outgroup members moderates attentional allocation towards outgroup versus ingroup faces

Cheryl Dickter et al.
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, forthcoming

Abstract:
Some research has demonstrated that White perceivers direct more initial attention to Black relative to White target faces, while other work has failed to show this relationship. Several variables have been identified that moderate early attention to racial outgroup versus racial ingroup faces. In the current paper, two studies sought to extend this work by testing whether close contact with racial outgroup members moderates the amount of initial attention directed towards racial outgroup members relative to ingroup members using a dot-probe task. In Study 1, Whites’ attentional allocation to Black versus White faces was moderated by the amount of close and meaningful contact with Blacks. Study 2 extended these findings by demonstrating that Whites’ attentional allocation to Asian relative to White faces was moderated by close contact with Asians. These findings identify close outgroup contact as an additional moderating variable in the attentional capture of racial outgroup versus ingroup faces, for groups both associated and not associated with threat.

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Making Sense of Misfortune: Cultural Schemas, Victim Redefinition, and the Perpetuation of Stereotypes

M.B. Fallin Hunzaker
Social Psychology Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
One of the most striking features of stereotypes is their extreme durability. This study focuses on the role played by cultural schemas and perceptions of low-status others’ adversities in stereotype perpetuation. Social psychological theories of legitimacy and justice point to the role of stereotypes as one means through which individuals make sense of others’ undeserved misfortunes by redefining the victim. This study connects this work with insights from cognitive cultural sociology to propose that stereotypes act as cultural schemas used to justify others’ experiences of adversity. Consistent with this hypothesis, findings from a cultural transmission experiment show that participants include more negative stereotype-consistent content when retelling narratives with undeserved negative outcomes than with positive outcomes. Cognitive cultural sociology and the cultural transmission methodology offer tools for understanding victim redefinition processes, with important implications for the reproduction of stereotype bias and social inequalities.

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Contact and Compromise: Explaining Support for Conciliatory Measures in the Context of Violent Intergroup Conflict

Justin Pickett et al.
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, forthcoming

Objectives: Informed by intergroup contact theory, this study explores the relationships between intergroup contact, perceived out-group threat, and support for conciliatory solutions to the violent conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinians in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Methods: Regression and structural equation models analyze public opinion data collected in Israel in 2011 and 2012. The analyses assess whether quantity and quality of Israeli Jews’ contact with Israeli Arabs in day-to-day encounters are associated with their support for conciliatory policies.

Results: The quality, but not the quantity, of contact is associated with lower levels of perceived Palestinian threat and, in turn, with increased support for compromise.

Conclusion: The current study provides initial evidence that everyday interactions with Israeli Arabs, when they occur under optimal conditions, may have the potential to reduce Israeli Jews’ perceptions of Palestinian threat and, in turn, increase their support for compromise.

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Equality for all? White Americans’ willingness to address inequality with Asian and African Americans

Nida Bikmen & Kristine Durkin
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
White Americans’ willingness to engage in dialogues about intergroup commonalities and power inequalities with Asian and African Americans were examined in two experiments. Because Whites perceive that African Americans experience greater discrimination than do Asian Americans, we predicted that they would be more willing to engage in dialogues that would interrogate injustice and inequality with them. We also explored the role of common ingroup identity (as Americans) on willingness for dialogue about inequality. In both studies, Whites were less interested in engaging in power talk with Asian Americans than with African Americans, but the difference in willingness for commonality talk was smaller. Asian Americans were perceived as experiencing lower levels of discrimination (Studies 1 and 2) and identify less with America (Study 2) both of which predicted lower willingness for power talk with them. Common ingroup identity manipulations had marginal effects on willingness for power talk with African Americans and no effect on power talk with Asian Americans. Implications for improving social disparities between various groups were discussed.

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How Diversity Training Can Change Attitudes: Increasing Perceived Complexity of Superordinate Groups to Improve Intergroup Relations

Franziska Ehrke, Anne Berthold & Melanie Steffens
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2014, Pages 193–206

Abstract:
When conceiving diversity training – a popular strategy to manage prejudice within organizations and educational settings – there is little reliance on social-psychological theorizing and a lack of research on training effectiveness. In line with the ingroup projection model (Mummendey & Wenzel, 1999), we postulate diversity training to improve intergroup attitudes by increasing perceived superordinate-group diversity. We tested this in two experiments with control-group designs and repeated measurement. In Experiment 1 (N = 62), a 2-hour diversity intervention (covered as get-to-know activities) increased perceived diversity of the superordinate group students and improved feelings towards the gender-outgroup. In Experiment 2 (N = 51), a 1-day diversity training increased perceived diversity of the superordinate groups adults and Germans and improved subgroup attitudes regarding gender, age, and nationality. Moreover, the training had positive long-term effects and reductions of ambivalent sexism were mediated by increased perceived diversity of the respective superordinate group adults. Our findings demonstrate that the ingroup-projection model provides a suitable theoretical foundation for real-world anti-prejudice interventions such as diversity training.

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Seeing White Men: Bias in Gender Categorization

Joshua Simpkins
Gender Issues, March 2014, Pages 21-33

Abstract:
The gender system operates to place members of US society into categories, and then allocate labor and resources to those members on the basis of their category membership. In order to better understand the gender system, this study examines the methods by which members of US society use the gender system to place other members into a gender category, and how other social systems such as age and race affect gender categorization. Full and partial facial images were shown to participants, who were asked to identify the sex and/or gender of the individual in the image, indicate how confident they were in this identification, and then write a brief explanation for why they identified the individual in the image as they did. The results of this study point towards an “assumed male” bias in gender categorization. Results suggest that while age has little effect on gender categorization, race and gender do, with respondents being the most confident and “accurate” when viewing self-categorized white males.

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Sex role stereotyping is hard to kill: A field experiment measuring social responses to user characteristics and behavior in an online multiplayer first-person shooter game

Adrienne Holz Ivory et al.
Computers in Human Behavior, June 2014, Pages 148–156

Abstract:
Sex role stereotyping by players in first-person shooter games and other online gaming environments may encourage a social environment that marginalizes and alienates female players. Consistent with the social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE), the anonymity of online games may engender endorsement of group-consistent attitudes and amplification of social stereotyping, such as the adherence to gender norms predicted by expectations states theory. A 2 × 3 × 2 virtual field experiment (N = 520) in an online first-person shooter video game examined effects of a confederate players’ sex, communication style, and skill on players’ compliance with subsequent online friend requests. We found support for the hypothesis that, in general, women would gain more compliance with friend requests than men. We also found support for the hypothesis that women making positive utterances would gain more compliance with friend requests than women making negative utterances, whereas men making negative utterances would gain more compliance with friend requests than men making positive utterances. The hypothesis that player skill (i.e., game scores) would predict compliance with friend requests was not supported. Implications for male and female game players and computer-mediated communication in online gaming environments are discussed.

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The Influence of Target Group Status on the Perception of the Offensiveness of Group-Based Slurs

P.J. Henry, Sarah Butler & Mark Brandt
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2014, Pages 185–192

Abstract:
Two studies investigate the effects of target group status on perceptions of the offensiveness of group-based slurs. Using real-world groups as targets, Study 1 showed that the perception that a group is of lower status in society is associated with the perceived offensiveness of insults targeting that group. Experimental methods in Study 2 showed that people perceive slurs against a low status group as especially offensive, a pattern that was mediated by the expectation that low-status targets would be emotionally reactive to the insult. The results suggest that cultural taboos emerge surrounding insults against low-status groups that may be due in part to how those target groups are expected to respond emotionally to those insults.

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Reducing Implicit Racial Preferences: A Comparative Investigation of 17 Interventions

Calvin Lai et al.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming

Abstract:
Many methods for reducing implicit prejudice have been identified, but little is known about their relative effectiveness. We held a research contest to experimentally compare interventions for reducing the expression of implicit racial prejudice. Teams submitted 17 interventions that were tested an average of 3.70 times each in 4 studies (total N = 17,021), with rules for revising interventions between studies. Eight of 17 interventions were effective at reducing implicit preferences for Whites compared with Blacks, particularly ones that provided experience with counterstereotypical exemplars, used evaluative conditioning methods, and provided strategies to override biases. The other 9 interventions were ineffective, particularly ones that engaged participants with others’ perspectives, asked participants to consider egalitarian values, or induced a positive emotion. The most potent interventions were ones that invoked high self-involvement or linked Black people with positivity and White people with negativity. No intervention consistently reduced explicit racial preferences. Furthermore, intervention effectiveness only weakly extended to implicit preferences for Asians and Hispanics.

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Racial Identity and Intergroup Attitudes: A Multiracial Youth Analysis

Jas Sullivan & Alexandra Ghara
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objective: This article examines the racial identity attitudes of white, black, and Hispanic youth and explores how these identities shape their feelings toward various racial and ethnic groups (whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Arabs, and biracial individuals).

Methods: Using the 2005 Youth Culture Survey data set, we test our theoretical expectations using descriptive statistics and multiple regression models.

Results: The relationship between racial identification and out-group attitudes varies among racial groups; specifically, racial identity variables do not have a significant impact on whites’ out-group attitudes, but they do matter for blacks and Hispanics.

Conclusion: While American society has changed in many ways (i.e., increased number of minorities and more tolerance, or at least more discussion of acceptance, for racial groups), our research finds that race still plays a consequential role in the lives of young racial minorities.

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Boundaries of American Identity: Relations Between Ethnic Group Prototypicality and Policy Attitudes

Que-Lam Huynh, Thierry Devos & Hannah Altman
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We sought to document that the extent to which different ethnic groups are perceived as embodying the American identity is more strongly linked to antiminority policy attitudes and acculturation ideologies among majority-group members (European Americans) than among minority-group members (Asian Americans or Latino/as). Participants rated 13 attributes of the American identity as they pertain to different ethnic groups and reported their endorsement of policy attitudes and acculturation ideologies. We found a relative consensus across ethnic groups regarding defining components of the American identity. However, European Americans were perceived as more prototypical of this American identity than ethnic minorities, especially by European American raters. Moreover, for European Americans but not for ethnic minorities, relative ingroup prototypicality was related to antiminority policy attitudes and acculturation ideologies. These findings suggest that for European Americans, perceptions of ethnic group prototypicality fulfill an instrumental function linked to preserving their group interests and limiting the rights afforded to ethnic minorities.

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Seeing similarity or distance? Racial identification moderates intergroup perception after biracial exposure

Leigh Wilton, Diana Sanchez & Lisa Giamo
Social Psychology, Spring 2014, Pages 127-134

Abstract:
Biracial individuals threaten the distinctiveness of racial groups because they have mixed-race ancestry, but recent findings suggest that exposure to biracial-labeled, racially ambiguous faces may positively influence intergroup perception by reducing essentialist thinking among Whites (Young, Sanchez, & Wilton, 2013). However, biracial exposure may not lead to positive intergroup perceptions for Whites who are highly racially identified and thus motivated to preserve the social distance between racial groups. We exposed Whites to racially ambiguous Asian/White biracial faces and measured the perceived similarity between Asians and Whites. We found that exposure to racially ambiguous, biracial-labeled targets may improve perceptions of intergroup similarity, but only for Whites who are less racially identified. Results are discussed in terms of motivated intergroup perception.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The wild frontier

Does the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Grant Too Many Bad Patents?: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment

Michael Frakes & Melissa Wasserman
Stanford Law Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Many believe the root cause of the patent system’s dysfunction is that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO or Agency) is issuing too many invalid patents that unnecessarily drain consumer welfare. Concerns regarding the Agency’s over-granting tendencies have recently spurred the Supreme Court to take a renewed interest in substantive patent law and have driven Congress to enact the first major patent reform act in over sixty years. Policymakers, however, have been modifying the system in an effort to increase patent quality in the dark. As there exists little to no compelling empirical evidence the PTO is actually over-granting patents, lawmakers are left trying to fix the patent system without even understanding the root causes of the system’s shortcomings. This Article begins to rectify this deficiency, advancing the conversation along two dimensions. First, it provides a novel theoretical source for a granting bias on the part of the Agency, positing that the inability of the PTO to finally reject a patent application may create an incentive for a resource-constrained Agency to allow additional patents. Second, this Article attempts to explore, through a sophisticated natural-experiment framework, whether the Agency is in fact acting on this incentive and over-granting patents. Our findings suggest that the PTO is biased towards allowing patents. Moreover, our results suggest the PTO is targeting its over-granting tendencies towards those patents from which it stands to benefit the most through allowing. Our findings not only provide policymakers with much needed evidence that the PTO is indeed granting too many invalid patents but also provide policymakers with the first empirical evidence that the Agency’s workload woes are biasing the PTO towards allowing patents. Our results also suggest that the literature has overlooked a substantial source of Agency bias and hence recent fixes to improve patent quality will not achieve their desired outcome of extinguishing the PTO’s over-granting proclivities.

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P-Curve and Effect Size: Correcting for Publication Bias Using Only Significant Results

Leif Nelson, Uri Simonsohn & Joseph Simmons
University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, April 2014

Abstract:
Journals tend to publish only statistically significant evidence, creating a scientific record that markedly overstates the size of effects. We provide a new tool that corrects for this bias without requiring access to nonsignificant results. It capitalizes on the fact that the distribution of significant p-values, p-curve, is a function of the true underlying effect. Researchers armed only with sample sizes and test results of the published findings can correct for publication bias. We validate the technique with simulations and by re-analyzing data from the Many-Labs Replication project. We demonstrate p-curve can arrive at inferences opposite that of existing tools by re-analyzing the meta-analysis of the “choice overload” literature.

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The Political Development of Scientific Capacity in the United States

Andrew Kelly
Studies in American Political Development, April 2014, Pages 1-25

Abstract:
When well directed, science is the greatest agency for the welfare of mankind. John Wesley Powell, the director of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), delivered this message to Congress in 1884. The purpose of Powell's testimony to Congress was not to argue for the erection of an organizational framework for American science, but to defend the one that had been put in place decades earlier. At the time of Powell's testimony, the United States had already begun to assume the mantle of the greatest scientific nation on the planet. “I have studied the question closely,” declared W. H. Smyth, the president of the Royal Geographical Society of London, “and do not hesitate to pronounce the conviction that though the Americans were last in the field, they have, per saltum, leaped into the very front of the rank.” The organizational structure at the heart of America's rapid scientific rise was initially constructed by scientists serving in the nineteenth-century American bureaucracy — by men like John W. Powell. Often seen as a source of state incapacity, in this instance, the federal bureaucracy was the most important force in American scientific development.

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The (Changing) Knowledge Production Function: Evidence from the MIT Department of Biology for 1970-2000

Annamaria Conti & Christopher Liu
NBER Working Paper, April 2014

Abstract:
Considerable attention has been focused, in recent years, on the role that graduate and postdoc students play in the production of academic knowledge. Using data from the MIT Department of Biology for the period 1970-2000, we analyze the evolution over time of four fundamental aspects of their productivity: i) training duration; ii) time to a first publication; iii) productivity over the training period; and iv) collaboration with other scientists. We identified four main trends that are common to graduate students and postdocs. First, training periods have increased for later cohorts of graduate and postdoc students. Second, later cohorts tend to publish their initial first-author article later than the earlier cohorts. Third, they produce fewer first-author publications. Finally, collaborations with other scientists, as measured by the number of coauthors on a paper, have increased. This increase is driven by collaborations with scientists external to a trainee’s laboratory. We interpret these results in light of the following two paradigms: the increased burden of knowledge that later generations of scientists face and the limited availability of permanent academic positions.

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The “Nasty Effect:” Online Incivility and Risk Perceptions of Emerging Technologies

Ashley Anderson et al.
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, April 2014, Pages 373–387

Abstract:
Uncivil discourse is a growing concern in American rhetoric, and this trend has expanded beyond traditional media to online sources, such as audience comments. Using an experiment given to a sample representative of the U.S. population, we examine the effects of online incivility on perceptions toward a particular issue — namely, an emerging technology, nanotechnology. We found that exposure to uncivil blog comments can polarize risk perceptions of nanotechnology along the lines of religiosity and issue support.

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Narratives of Science Outreach in Elite Contexts of Academic Science

David Johnson, Elaine Howard Ecklund & Anne Lincoln
Science Communication, February 2014, Pages 81-105

Abstract:
Using data from interviews with 133 physicists and biologists working at elite research universities in the United States, we analyze narratives of outreach. We identify discipline-specific barriers to outreach and gender-specific rationales for commitment. Physicists view outreach as outside of the scientific role and a possible threat to reputation. Biologists assign greater value to outreach, but their perceptions of the public inhibit commitment. Finally, women are more likely than men to participate in outreach, a commitment that often results in peer-based informal sanctions. The study reveals how the cultural properties of disciplines, including the status of women, shape the meaning and experience of science outreach.

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Does Online Search Crowd Out Traditional Search and Improve Matching Efficiency? Evidence from Craigslist

Kory Kroft & Devin Pope
Journal of Labor Economics, April 2014, Pages 259-303

Abstract:
Since the seminal work of Stigler in 1962, economists have recognized that information is costly to acquire and leads to “search frictions.” Growth in online search has lowered the cost of information acquisition. We analyze the expansion of the website Craigslist, which allows users to post job and housing ads. Exploiting the sharp geographic and temporal variation in the availability of online search induced by Craigslist, we produce three key findings: Craigslist significantly lowered classified job advertisements in newspapers, caused a significant reduction in the apartment and house rental vacancy rate, and had no effect on the unemployment rate.

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Learning from (Failed) Replications: Cognitive Load Manipulations and Charitable Giving

Judd Kessler & Stephan Meier
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, June 2014, Pages 10–13

Abstract:
Replication of empirical studies is much more than a tool to police the field. Failed replications force us to recognize that seemingly arbitrary design features may impact results in important ways. We describe a study that used a cognitive load manipulation to investigate the role of the deliberative system in charitable giving and a set of failed replications of that study. While the original study showed large and statistically significant results, we failed to replicate using the same protocol and the same subject pool. After the first failed replication, we hypothesized that the order our study was taken in a set of unrelated studies in a laboratory session generated the differences in effects. Three more replication attempts supported this hypothesis. The study demonstrates the importance of replication in advancing our understanding of the mechanisms driving a particular result and it questions the robustness of results established by cognitive load tests.

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Entrepreneurial innovations and taxation

Andreas Haufler, Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Lars Persson
Journal of Public Economics, May 2014, Pages 13–31

Abstract:
Stimulating entrepreneurship is high on the policy agenda of many countries. We study the effects of tax policies on entrepreneurs’ choice of riskiness (or quality) of an innovation project, and on their mode of commercializing the innovation (market entry versus sale). Limited loss offset provisions in the tax system induce entrepreneurs innovating for entry to choose projects with inefficiently little risk. The same distortion does not arise when entrepreneurs sell their innovation in a competitive bidding process to an incumbent before the uncertainty is revealed. Tax systems which systematically favor market entry of entrepreneurs can thus lead to welfare losses due to inefficient quality choices, despite leading to more competition in the product market.

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Intellectual Property Rights, the Pool of Knowledge, and Innovation

Joseph Stiglitz
NBER Working Paper, March 2014

Abstract:
The pace of innovation is related both to the level of investment in innovation and the pool of knowledge from which innovators can draw. Both of these are endogenous: Investments in innovations are affected by the pool of knowledge and the ability of firms to appropriate the returns to their innovative activity, itself affected by the intellectual property rights (IPR) regime. But as each firm engages in research, it both contributes to the pool, and takes out from it. The strength and design of IPR affects the extent to which any innovation adds to or subtracts from the pool of ideas that are available to be commercially exploited, i.e. to the technological opportunities. We construct the simplest possible general model to explore the resulting dynamics, showing that, under plausible conditions, stronger intellectual property rights may lead to a lower pace of innovation, and more generally, that long run effects may be the opposite of the short run effects.

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Software Obviousness: The Disconnect between Engineers and the Patent System

Robert Purvy
Google Working Paper, February 2014

Abstract:
Software engineers overwhelmingly dislike software patents and consider nearly all of them obvious. Are they correct, or do they simply not understand the law? To answer this, we look at obviousness law in an industry whose practitioners generally accept and value patents: pharmaceuticals, and ask if there are legal principles there which should be applied to software more frequently. The author, a software engineer, argues that "obvious to try," a principle well understood in the context of pharmaceutical patents, is ripe for appropriation in the software patent context. Several cases are explored to illustrate how the concept of "obvious to try" could be applied to fit the reality of how computer science actually works.

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What is the Probability of Receiving a US Patent?

Michael Carley, Deepak Hegde & Alan Marco
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Working Paper, December 2013

Abstract:
We follow the prosecution histories of the 2.15 million new patent applications filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office between 1996 and 2005 to calculate patent allowance rates. 55.8% of the applications emerged as patents without using continuation procedures to spawn related applications. The success rate of applications decreased substantially from 1996 to 2005, particularly for applications in the “Drugs and Medical Instruments” and “Computers and Communications” fields. We discuss the policy implications of our findings.

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The Quest For Expansive Intellectual Property Rights And The Failure To Disclose Known Relevant Prior Art

Kevin Steensma, Mukund Chari & Ralph Heidl
Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Expansive patent portfolios may be used by firms to fence off technological space for commercialization, impede the commercialization efforts of competitors, and enhance bargaining power in cross-licensing negotiations. Low quality patents with claims that overlap those of other patents contribute to these portfolios and patent strategies. By failing to disclose known relevant prior art during the patenting process, inventors and their firms may be granted low quality patents with intellectual property claims which would not otherwise have been granted. We find that the failure of inventors to disclose known relevant prior art increases as they gain experience with the patenting process. Such failure is also greater among inventors employed by relatively small, poorly performing firms that rely on outsourced legal counsel during the application process.

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Digital dark matter and the economic contribution of Apache

Shane Greenstein & Frank Nagle
Research Policy, May 2014, Pages 623–631

Abstract:
Researchers have long hypothesized that research outputs from government, university, and private company R&D contribute to economic growth, but these contributions may be difficult to measure when they take a non-pecuniary form. The growth of networking devices and the Internet in the 1990s and 2000s magnified these challenges, as illustrated by the deployment of the descendent of the NCSA HTTPd server, otherwise known as Apache. This study asks whether this experience could produce measurement issues in standard productivity analysis, specifically, omission and attribution issues, and, if so, whether the magnitude is large enough to matter. The study develops and analyzes a novel data set consisting of a 1% sample of all outward-facing web servers used in the United States. We find that use of Apache potentially accounts for a mismeasurement of somewhere between $2 billion and $12 billion, which equates to between 1.3% and 8.7% of the stock of prepackaged software in private fixed investment in the United States and a very high rate of return to the original federal investment in the Internet. We argue that these findings point to a large potential undercounting of the rate of return from IT spillovers from the invention of the Internet. The findings also suggest a large potential undercounting of “digital dark matter” in general.

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Information Technology and the Distribution of Inventive Activity

Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb & Shane Greenstein
NBER Working Paper, April 2014

Abstract:
We examine the relationship between the diffusion of advanced internet technology and the geographic concentration of invention, as measured by patents. First, we show that patenting became more concentrated from the early 1990s to the early 2000s and, similarly, that counties that were leaders in patenting in the early 1990s produced relatively more patents by the early 2000s. Second, we compare the extent of invention in counties that were leaders in internet adoption to those that were not. We see little difference in the growth rate of patenting between leaders and laggards in internet adoption, on average. However, we find that the rate of patent growth was faster among counties who were not leaders in patenting in the early 1990s but were leaders in internet adoption by 2000, suggesting that the internet helped stem the trend towards more geographic concentration. We show that these results are largely driven by patents filed by distant collaborators rather than non-collaborative patents or patents by non-distant collaborators, suggesting low cost long-distance digital communication as a potential mechanism.

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Identifying the Effect of Open Access on Citations Using a Panel of Science Journals

Mark McCabe & Christopher Snyder
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
An open-access journal allows free online access to its articles, obtaining revenue from fees charged to submitting authors or from institutional support. Using panel data on science journals, we are able to circumvent problems plaguing previous studies of the impact of open access on citations. In contrast to the huge effects found in these previous studies, we find a more modest effect: moving from paid to open access increases cites by 8% on average in our sample. The benefit is concentrated among top-ranked journals. In fact, open access causes a statistically significant reduction in cites to the bottom-ranked journals in our sample, leading us to conjecture that open access may intensify competition among articles for readers' attention, generating losers as well as winners.

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Quantifying Some of the Impacts of Economics Blogs

David McKenzie & Berk Özler
Economic Development and Cultural Change, April 2014, Pages 567-597

Abstract:
Economics blogs represent a significant change in the way research on development economics is discussed and disseminated, yet little is known about the impact of this new medium. Using surveys of development researchers and practitioners, along with experimental and nonexperimental techniques, we try to quantify some of the blogs’ effects. We find that links from blogs cause a striking increase in the number of abstract views and downloads of economics papers. Furthermore, blogging raises the profile of the blogger and changes readers’ perceptions about his or her institution. Finally, we find some suggestive evidence that a blog can increase knowledge of the topics it covers for the average, but not the marginal, reader.

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Proximity effects on the dynamics and outcomes of scientific collaborations

Felichism Kabo et al.
Research Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper uses path overlap, an innovative measure of functional proximity, to examine how physical space shaped the formation and success of scientific collaborations among the occupants of two academic research buildings. We use research administration data on human subject protection, animal use management, and grant funding applications to construct new measures of collaboration formation and success. The “functional zones” investigators occupy in their buildings are defined by the shortest walking paths among assigned laboratory and office spaces, and the nearest elevators, stairs, and restrooms. When two investigators traverse paths with greater overlap, both their propensity to form new collaborations and to win grant funding for their joint work increase. This effect is robust across two very differently configured buildings. Implications for scientific collaboration and the design and allocation of research space are considered.

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Technological dynamics and social capability: US states and European nations

Jan Fagerberg, Maryann Feldman & Martin Srholec
Journal of Economic Geography, March 2014, Pages 313-337

Abstract:
This article analyzes factors shaping technological capabilities in USA and European countries, and shows that the differences between the two continents in this respect are much smaller than commonly assumed. The analysis demonstrates a tendency toward convergence in technological capabilities for the sample as a whole between 1998 and 2008. The results indicate that social capabilities, such as well-developed public knowledge infrastructure, an egalitarian distribution of income, a participatory democracy and prevalence of public safety condition the growth of technological capabilities. Possible effects of other factors, such as agglomeration, urbanization, industrial specialization, migration and knowledge spillovers are also considered.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Passed up

Discrimination and the Effects of Drug Testing on Black Employment

Abigail Wozniak
NBER Working Paper, May 2014

Abstract:
Nearly half of U.S. employers test job applicants and workers for drugs. A common assumption is that the rise of drug testing must have had negative consequences for black employment. However, the rise of employer drug testing may have benefited African-Americans by enabling non-using blacks to prove their status to employers. I use variation in the timing and nature of drug testing regulation to identify the impacts of testing on black hiring. Black employment in the testing sector is suppressed in the absence of testing, a finding which is consistent with ex ante discrimination on the basis of drug use perceptions. Adoption of pro-testing legislation increases black employment in the testing sector by 7-30% and relative wages by 1.4-13.0%, with the largest shifts among low skilled black men. Results further suggest that employers substitute white women for blacks in the absence of testing.

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The Effect of Banning Affirmative Action on College Admissions Policies and Student Quality

Kate Antonovics & Ben Backes
Journal of Human Resources, Spring 2014, Pages 295-322

Abstract:
Using administrative data from the University of California (UC), we present evidence that UC campuses changed the weight given to SAT scores, high school GPA, and family background in response to California’s ban on race-based affirmative action, and that these changes were able to substantially (though far from completely) offset the fall in minority admissions rates. For both minorities and nonminorities, these changes to the estimated admissions rule hurt students with relatively strong academic credentials and whose parents were relatively affluent and educated. Despite these compositional shifts, however, average student quality (as measured by expected first-year college GPA) remained stable.

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Gender Differences in Intellectual Performance Persist at the Limits of Individual Capabilities

Robert Howard
Journal of Biosocial Science, May 2014, Pages 386-404

Abstract:
Males predominate at the top in chess, and chess is a useful domain to investigate possible causes of gender differences in high achievement. Opportunity, interest and extent of practice can be controlled for. Organized chess has objective performance measures, extensive longitudinal population-level data and little gatekeeper influence. Previous studies of gender differences in chess performance have not controlled adequately for females on average playing fewer rated games and dropping out at higher rates. The present study did so by examining performance of international chess players at asymptote and over equal numbers of rated games. Males still were very disproportionately represented at the top. Top female players showed signs of having less natural talent for chess than top males, such as taking more rated games to gain the grandmaster title. The hypothesis that males predominate because many more males play chess was tested by comparing gender performance differences in nations with varying percentages of female players. In well-practised participants, gender performance differences stayed constant even when the average national percentage of female international players increased from 4.2% to 32.3%. In Georgia, where women are encouraged strongly to play chess and females constitute nearly 32% of international players, gender performance differences are still sizeable. Males on average may have some innate advantages in developing and exercising chess skill.

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Do Male-Female Wage Differentials Reflect Differences in the Return to Skill? Cross-City Evidence from 1980-2000

Paul Beaudry & Ethan Lewis
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, April 2014, Pages 178-194

Abstract:
Male-female wage gaps declined significantly over the 1980s and 1990s, while returns to education increased. In this paper, we use cross-city data to explore whether, like the return to education, the change in the gender wage gap may reflect changes in skill prices induced by the diffusion of information technology. We show that male-female and education-wage differentials moved in opposite directions in response to the adoption of PCs. Our most credible estimates simply that changes in skill prices driven by PC adoption can explain most of the decline in the US male-female wage gap since 1980.

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When Work Disappears: Racial Prejudice and Recession Labour Market Penalties

David Johnston & Grace Lordan
London School of Economics Working Paper, February 2014

Abstract:
This paper assesses whether racial prejudice and labour market discrimination is counter-cyclical. This may occur if prejudice and discrimination are partly driven by competition over scarce resources, which intensifies during periods of economic downturn. Using British Attitudes Data spanning three decades, we find that prejudice does increase with unemployment rates. We find greater counter-cyclical effects for highly-educated, middle-aged, full-time employed men. For this group, a 1%-point increase in unemployment raises self-reported racial prejudice by 4.1%-points. This result suggests that non-White workers are more likely to encounter racially prejudiced employers and managers in times of higher unemployment. Consistent with the estimated attitude changes, we find using the British Labour Force Survey that racial employment and wage gaps increase with unemployment. The effects for both employment and wages are largest for high-skill Black workers. For example, a 1%-point increase in unemployment increases Black-White employment and wage gaps for the highly educated by 1.3%-points and 2.5%. Together, the attitude and labour market results imply that non-Whites disproportionately suffer during recessions. It follows that recessions exacerbate existing racial inequalities.

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Overwork and the Slow Convergence in the Gender Gap in Wages

Youngjoo Cha & Kim Weeden
American Sociological Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite rapid changes in women’s educational attainment and continuous labor force experience, convergence in the gender gap in wages slowed in the 1990s and stalled in the 2000s. Using CPS data from 1979 to 2009, we show that convergence in the gender gap in hourly pay over these three decades was attenuated by the increasing prevalence of “overwork” (defined as working 50 or more hours per week) and the rising hourly wage returns to overwork. Because a greater proportion of men engage in overwork, these changes raised men’s wages relative to women’s and exacerbated the gender wage gap by an estimated 10 percent of the total wage gap. This overwork effect was sufficiently large to offset the wage-equalizing effects of the narrowing gender gap in educational attainment and other forms of human capital. The overwork effect on trends in the gender gap in wages was most pronounced in professional and managerial occupations, where long work hours are especially common and the norm of overwork is deeply embedded in organizational practices and occupational cultures. These results illustrate how new ways of organizing work can perpetuate old forms of gender inequality.

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Gender Ratios at Top PhD Programs in Economics

Galina Hale & Tali Regev
Economics of Education Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Analyzing university faculty and graduate students data for ten of the top U.S. economics departments between 1987 and 2007, we find persistent differences in the gender compositions of both faculty and graduate students across departments. There is a positive correlation between the share of female faculty and the share of women in the PhD class graduating six years later. Using instrumental variable analysis, we find robust evidence that this relation is causal. These results contribute to our understanding of the persistent under-representation of women in economics, as well as for the persistent segregation of women in the labor force.

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Female and Ethnically Diverse Executives Endure Inequity in the CEO Position or Do They Benefit from Their Minority Status? An Empirical Examination

Aaron Hill, Arun Upadhyay & Rafik Beekun
Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
We present competing hypotheses regarding whether gender and ethnic minority CEOs endure inequities resulting in lower compensation and higher likelihood of job exit or benefit from their valuable, rare, and inimitable minority status, resulting in higher compensation and lower likelihood of job exit. Using a longitudinal sample, we find support for the resource-based hypothesis regarding compensation that suggests CEOs benefit from their minority status to receive higher compensation than white male CEOs receive. However, we also find mixed support for our hypotheses relating CEO minority status to the likelihood of exit. We find that the effects of minority status on likelihood of exit are significantly different for female and ethnic minority CEOs such that the former relationship is negative while the latter is positive.

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Beneath the Surface: The Decline in Gender Injury Gap

Tiziano Razzolini et al.
Labour Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Gender differences in the labor market are typically measured by the wage gap. In this paper, we investigate how extending the analysis to an additional job amenity, namely workplace safety, may shed new light on the evolution of gender differences. Our results show that focusing on one unique measure of the gender gap may provide a biased view of the actual progress of women in the labor market. In our data, a significant reduction in the wage gap has been accompanied by a relative increase in injury risk for some groups of workers, e.g. low skill female workers. The decreased gender wage gap for these workers does not necessarily imply an overall improvement in their labor market outcomes.

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The motherhood wage gap in the UK over the life cycle

Tarja Viitanen
Review of Economics of the Household, June 2014, Pages 259-276

Abstract:
This paper examines the impact of children on female wages in the UK using the National Child Development Study. The use of a longitudinal cohort study enables to estimate of the effect of children on wages for the same sample of women throughout their life-cycle until completed fertility. This study confirms some of the negative effects of motherhood on wages as found in the previous literature. The effect of a first child is on average 8.1 % at age 23, 22 % at age 33, 4.8 % at age 42 and 0 % at age 51. The effect of a second child is 16 % on average at age 33 only. Longitudinal nature of the data also allows the estimation of long run effects and the results indicate that the negative wage gap of motherhood persists even 30 years after first entering motherhood.

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Is There a Political Bias? A Computational Analysis of Female Subjects' Coverage in Liberal and Conservative Newspapers

Eran Shor et al.
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objectives: One possible source for the gap in media coverage between female and male subjects is the political affiliation of the media source. The objective of this present study was to test whether there is a difference between more liberal and more conservative newspapers in coverage rates of female subjects.

Methods: We used computational methods to analyze a unique large-scale data set (complied by the Lydia Text Analysis System) and compared the 2010 female coverage rates in 168 newspapers.

Results: Contrary to our expectations, we found that conservative media tend to cover female subjects no less (and even slightly more) than liberal media. However, the difference was no longer significant once we controlled for newspaper distribution.

Conclusion: The common view that liberal newspapers are more likely to cover female subjects was not supported by this study. Both conservative and liberal newspapers are much more likely to cover males.

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The Self-Expressive Edge of Occupational Sex Segregation

Erin Cech
American Journal of Sociology, November 2013, Pages 747-789

Abstract:
Recent gender scholarship speculates that occupational sex segregation is reproduced in large part through the gendered, self-expressive career decisions of men and women. This article examines the effects of college students’ expression of their self-conceptions on their likelihood of entering occupations with a high or low proportion of women and theorizes the consequences of this mechanism for gender inequality. The author uses unique longitudinal data on students from four U.S. colleges to examine how the gender composition of students’ field at career launch is influenced by their earlier self-conceptions. Students with emotional, unsystematic, or people-oriented self-conceptions enter fields that are more “female,” even net of their cultural gender beliefs. Results suggest that cultural ideals of self-expression reinforce occupational sex segregation by converting gender-stereotypical self-conceptions into self-expressive career choices. The discussion section broadens this theoretical framework for understanding the role of self-expression in occupational sex segregation and notes the difficulty of addressing this mechanism through social or policy actions.

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Can Descriptive Representation Change Beliefs about a Stigmatized Group? Evidence from Rural India

Simon Chauchard
American Political Science Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Can descriptive representation for a stigmatized group change the beliefs and intentions of members of dominant groups? To address this question, I focus on quotas (reservations) that allow members of the scheduled castes to access key executive positions in India's village institutions. To measure the psychological effect of reservations, I combine a natural experiment with an innovative MP3-player-based self-administered survey that measures various beliefs and behavioral intentions. Results provide credible causal evidence that reservations affect the psychology of members of dominant castes. Even though villagers living in reserved villages continue to think poorly of members of the scheduled castes (stereotypes do not improve), reservation affects two other types of beliefs: perceived social norms of interactions and perceived legal norms of interactions. These changes in beliefs in turn appear to have far-reaching consequences for intercaste relations, as villagers’ discriminatory intentions also decrease under reservation.

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Recategorization into the In-group: The Appointment of Demographically Different New Directors and Their Subsequent Positions on Corporate Boards

David Zhu, Wei Shen & Amy Hillman
Administrative Science Quarterly, June 2014, Pages 240-270

Abstract:
This study advances a recategorization perspective to explain how an increasing number of directors have successfully obtained major board appointments and played important roles on boards despite their demographic differences from incumbent directors. We theorize and show that existing directors tend to select a demographically different new director who can be recategorized as an in-group member based on his or her similarities to them on other shared demographic characteristics. We further explain how a new director’s prior social ties to existing directors strengthen this recategorization process and posit that recategorization increases demographically different directors’ tenures and likelihood of becoming board committee members and chairs. Results from analyses of Fortune 500 boards from 1994 to 2006 provide strong support for our theory. This study suggests that increased board diversity on some demographic characteristics is associated with reduced diversity on others. It also suggests that some demographic characteristics, such as gender and ethnicity, would be more salient during the recategorization process than other characteristics. As a result, female and ethnic minority directors would need to be more similar to incumbents along shared dimensions than other demographically different directors (such as a young director) for them to be recategorized into the in-group.

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Small Screens and Big Streets: A Comparison of Women Police Officers on Primetime Crime Shows and in U.S. Police Departments, 1950 to 2008

Lorraine Evans & Kim Davies
Women & Criminal Justice, Spring 2014, Pages 106-125

Abstract:
This article utilizes a longitudinal approach to assess the visibility of women as police officers in primetime crime shows from 1950 to 2008 and compares these numbers for television to actual data on women who work as police officers in the United States. We find that as expected, annual labor force data and crime show data both indicate increases in the number of minorities and women working in the criminal justice system over time. Given the robust literature on the general underrepresentation of women on television, however, we did not expect to uncover that both White and minority women are overrepresented as police officers on television every year compared to the occupational reality. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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Effects of Attractiveness, Gender, and Athlete–Reporter Congruence on Perceived Credibility of Sport Reporters

Dustin Hahn & Glenn Cummins
International Journal of Sport Communications, March 2014, Pages 34–47

Abstract:
Studies examining factors that influence credibility perceptions have demonstrated the importance of a source’s gender and attractiveness. However, scholars have only begun to extend these findings to credibility in the context of mediated sports. This experiment tested the relationship that gender and attractiveness have with credibility and whether this varies as a function of the gender of the athlete in a given story. Results indicate that reporters’ gender and attractiveness and athlete gender affect perceptions of credibility such that when reporters are of the opposite gender of an athlete, they are perceived as most credible when they are less attractive. Results also reveal a gender bias such that reporters are perceived as most credible when covering male athletes, regardless of reporter gender. Explanations are offered for these findings, in addition to a discussion of the implications for news practitioners.

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Smart girls, dumb boys!? How the discourse on “failing boys” impacts performances and motivational goal orientation in German school students

Martin Latsch & Bettina Hannover
Social Psychology, Spring 2014, Pages 112-126

Abstract:
We investigated effects of the media’s portrayal of boys as “scholastic failures” on secondary school students. The negative portrayal induced stereotype threat (boys underperformed in reading), stereotype reactance (boys displayed stronger learning goals towards mathematics but not reading), and stereotype lift (girls performed better in reading but not in mathematics). Apparently, boys were motivated to disconfirm their group’s negative depiction, however, while they could successfully apply compensatory strategies when describing their learning goals, this motivation did not enable them to perform better. Overall the media portrayal thus contributes to the maintenance of gender stereotypes, by impairing boys’ and strengthening girls’ performance in female connoted domains and by prompting boys to align their learning goals to the gender connotation of the domain.

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Who Takes the Parliamentary Floor? The Role of Gender in Speech-making in the Swedish Riksdag

Hanna Bäck, Marc Debus & Jochen Müller
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Legislative speeches are an important instrument for parties and members of parliament (MPs) to signal their positions and priorities. This raises the question of who speaks when. We evaluate whether a MP’s presence on the floor depends on his or her gender. We hypothesize that female MPs give in general less speeches in parliament and that this pattern results from debates dealing with “harder” policy issues. Our expectations are supported when analyzing a new data set containing information on the number and content of speeches given in the Swedish Riksdag between 2002 and 2010.

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What makes affirmative action-based hiring decisions seem (un)fair? A test of an ideological explanation for fairness judgments

Jun Gu et al.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Studies show that Whites tend to show the lowest level of support for affirmative action (AA) policies. Opponents of AA often argue that this is because it violates principles of meritocracy. However, self-interest (based on social identification with those adversely affected) could also explain their opposition. In three studies, we varied whether an Asian or White male is adversely affected by AA to test another explanation; namely, that Whites' fairness judgments are based on both the adversely affected person's race and the fairness evaluator's ideological beliefs. Although we found some support for the meritocratic explanation, this was not sufficient to explain why Whites view AA as (un)fair. Instead, we found strong support for our prediction that Whites who are opposed to equality perceive more unfairness when a White (vs. Asian) was harmed by AA, whereas Whites who endorse egalitarian ideologies perceive the opposite. This finding suggests that neither self-interest nor meritocratic explanations can fully account for Whites' opposition to AA.

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Parvenus and Conflict in Elite Cohorts

Michael Lindsay et al.
Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous studies find that greater workplace diversity leads to higher degrees of conflict in low and medium-status workgroups. This paper examines whether similar dynamics operate in elite cohorts. We use data from a survey of White House Fellows (N=475) to look at how the presence of parvenus — individuals from underrepresented groups in elite environments — change the rate at which fellows reported conflict with each other and with the director of the program. We find that there is no unified “parvenu experience.” Analysis of the interaction between race and cohort diversity reveals inflection points consistent with Kanter’s (1977) theory of tokenism, but the effects of increasing diversity diverge: for Hispanics, conflict with the director increases with diversity, while for Asians, conflict falls with diversity. While other groups’ level of conflict with their peers stays roughly constant, Asians’ reported level of conflict with their peers increases with diversity.

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Ethnic variations between Asian and European Americans in interpersonal sources of socially prescribed perfectionism: It’s not just about parents!

Marisa Perera & Edward Chang
Asian American Journal of Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
To understand whether interpersonal sources other than parents are involved in socially prescribed perfectionism, a set of interpersonal sources that may represent the unrealistically high expectations of socially prescribed perfectionism (viz., parents, teachers, friends, peers, siblings, romantic partner, and culture) was tested as a predictor of socially prescribed perfectionism in a sample of Asian American and European American university students. Results indicated there are several sources involved in the expectations associated with socially prescribed perfectionism in both Asian American and European American university students. Noteworthy, beyond variance accounted for expectations prescribed by parents, expectations prescribed by peers were found to account for a large amount of variance in socially prescribed perfectionism in Asian Americans and expectations prescribed by teachers were found to account for a large amount of variance in European Americans. Implications for future research involving ethnic variations in the interpersonal sources that represent the unrealistically high expectations of socially prescribed perfectionism are discussed.

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Gender-specific differences – first results from a survey on dental surgery

Margrit-Ann Geibel & Miriam Mayer
Journal of Gender Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study focuses on dental surgery from the perspective of practicing dentists through a nationwide survey among practicing dentists in Germany. Subjects were surveyed with respect to patient care and their training in dental surgery. With respect to surgical activity, this survey confirms male dominance in the field and that female dentists may be inclined grade surgical interventions as ‘complicated and risky’. Male dentists appear to be willing to take the same risks with greater self-confidence, whereas female dentists appear to overrate their personal uncertainty by underestimating their real technical capabilities. Though dental treatment in general is increasingly dominated by women, surgery is still dominated by male dentists. This can be viewed through observed gender differences with respect to risk perception and we advocate additional professional training of risk competence as mandatory for the future.

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Guys and Gals Going for Gold: The Role of Women’s Empowerment in Olympic Success

Aaron Lowen, Robert Deaner & Erika Schmitt
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We test the hypothesis that women’s empowerment correlates with women’s international athletic success. Greater gender equality (measured using the Gender Inequality Index) is associated with higher participation and medal counts in the Summer Olympic Games from 1996 through 2012. This relationship persists even after controlling for previously identified nation-level predictors of Olympic success and across alternative measures of success (such as shares of the total, percentage within each country, and medals per athlete). These results provide direct evidence for the long-standing claim that girls’ and women’s international athletic achievement is linked to women’s empowerment.

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Caregivers, firm policies and gender discrimination claims

Scott Adams, John Heywood & Laurie Miller
Review of Economics of the Household, June 2014, Pages 359-377

Abstract:
This paper explores a relatively new class of lawsuits claiming “caregiver discrimination.” Using the National Study of the Changing Workforce, it shows that claims of gender discrimination in general and caregiver discrimination in particular are more likely among women facing greater work-family conflict. Critically, firm policies that allow work from home or the use of personal time off to care for family needs are associated with reduced claims of caregiver discrimination holding all else constant. Importantly, these reduced claims are uniquely among women with greater family responsibilities.

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Gender Differences in Publication Productivity, Academic Position, Career Duration, and Funding Among U.S. Academic Radiation Oncology Faculty

Emma Holliday et al.
Academic Medicine, May 2014, Pages 767-773.

Purpose: This study aimed to analyze gender differences in rank, career duration, publication productivity, and research funding among radiation oncologists at U.S. academic institutions.

Method: For 82 domestic academic radiation oncology departments, the authors identified current faculty and recorded their academic rank, degree, and gender. The authors recorded bibliographic metrics for physician faculty from a commercially available database (Scopus, Elsevier BV), including numbers of publications from 1996 to 2012 and h-indices. The authors then concatenated these data with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding per Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. The authors performed descriptive and correlative analyses, stratifying by gender and rank.

Results: Of 1,031 faculty, 293 (28%) women and 738 (72%) men, men had a higher median m-index, 0.58 (range 0-3.23) versus 0.47 (0-2.5) (P < .05); h-index, 8 (0-59) versus 5 (0-39) (P < .05); and publication number, 26 (0-591) versus 13 (0-306) (P < .05). Men were more likely to be senior faculty and receive NIH funding. After stratifying for rank, these differences were largely nonsignificant. On multivariate analysis, there were correlations between gender, career duration and academic position, and h-index (P < .01).

Conclusions: Determinants of a successful career in academic medicine are multifactorial. Data from radiation oncologists show a systematic gender association, with fewer women achieving senior faculty rank. However, women achieving seniority have productivity metrics comparable to those of male counterparts. This suggests that early career development and mentorship of female faculty may narrow productivity disparities.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, May 5, 2014

Means test

Welfare Reform and Children's Early Cognitive Development

Hau Chyi, Orgul Demet Ozturk & Weilong Zhang
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
In this paper, we use a dynamic structural model to measure the effects of (1) single mothers' work and welfare use decisions and (2) welfare reform initiatives on the early cognitive development of the children of the NLSY79 mothers. We use PIAT-Math scores as a measure of attainment and show that both the mothers' work and welfare use benefit children on average. Our simulation of a policy that combines a time limit with work requirement reduces the use of welfare and increases employment significantly. These changes in turn significantly increase children's cognitive attainment. This implies that the welfare reform was not only successful in achieving its stated goals, but was also beneficial to welfare children's outcomes. In another policy simulation, we show that increasing work incentives for welfare population by exempting labor income from welfare tax can be a very successful policy with some additional benefits for children's outcomes. Finally, a counterfactual with an extended maternal leave policy significantly reduces employment and has negative, though economically insignificant, impact on cognitive outcomes.

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Associations of Housing Mobility Interventions for Children in High-Poverty Neighborhoods With Subsequent Mental Disorders During Adolescence

Ronald Kessler et al.
Journal of the American Medical Association, 5 March 2014, Pages 937-948

Objective: To perform an exploratory analysis of associations between housing mobility interventions for children in high-poverty neighborhoods and subsequent mental disorders during adolescence.

Design, Setting, and Participants: The Moving to Opportunity Demonstration from 1994 to 1998 randomized 4604 volunteer public housing families with 3689 children in high-poverty neighborhoods into 1 of 2 housing mobility intervention groups (a low-poverty voucher group vs a traditional voucher group) or a control group. The low-poverty voucher group (n=1430) received vouchers to move to low-poverty neighborhoods with enhanced mobility counseling. The traditional voucher group (n=1081) received geographically unrestricted vouchers. Controls (n=1178) received no intervention. Follow-up evaluation was performed 10 to 15 years later (June 2008-April 2010) with participants aged 13 to 19 years (0-8 years at randomization). Response rates were 86.9% to 92.9%.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Presence of mental disorders from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) within the past 12 months, including major depressive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), oppositional-defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, and conduct disorder, as assessed post hoc with a validated diagnostic interview.

Results: Of the 3689 adolescents randomized, 2872 were interviewed (1407 boys and 1465 girls). Compared with the control group, boys in the low-poverty voucher group had significantly increased rates of major depression (7.1% vs 3.5%; odds ratio (OR), 2.2 [95% CI, 1.2-3.9]), PTSD (6.2% vs 1.9%; OR, 3.4 [95% CI, 1.6-7.4]), and conduct disorder (6.4% vs 2.1%; OR, 3.1 [95% CI, 1.7-5.8]). Boys in the traditional voucher group had increased rates of PTSD compared with the control group (4.9% vs 1.9%, OR, 2.7 [95% CI, 1.2-5.8]). However, compared with the control group, girls in the traditional voucher group had decreased rates of major depression (6.5% vs 10.9%; OR, 0.6 [95% CI, 0.3-0.9]) and conduct disorder (0.3% vs 2.9%; OR, 0.1 [95% CI, 0.0-0.4]).

Conclusions and Relevance: Interventions to encourage moving out of high-poverty neighborhoods were associated with increased rates of depression, PTSD, and conduct disorder among boys and reduced rates of depression and conduct disorder among girls. Better understanding of interactions among individual, family, and neighborhood risk factors is needed to guide future public housing policy changes.

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Social disadvantage, genetic sensitivity, and children's telomere length

Colter Mitchell et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 22 April 2014, Pages 5944-5949

Abstract:
Disadvantaged social environments are associated with adverse health outcomes. This has been attributed, in part, to chronic stress. Telomere length (TL) has been used as a biomarker of chronic stress: TL is shorter in adults in a variety of contexts, including disadvantaged social standing and depression. We use data from 40, 9-y-old boys participating in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to extend this observation to African American children. We report that exposure to disadvantaged environments is associated with reduced TL by age 9 y. We document significant associations between low income, low maternal education, unstable family structure, and harsh parenting and TL. These effects were moderated by genetic variants in serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways. Consistent with the differential susceptibility hypothesis, subjects with the highest genetic sensitivity scores had the shortest TL when exposed to disadvantaged social environments and the longest TL when exposed to advantaged environments.

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Job Displacement among Single Mothers: Effects on Children's Outcomes in Young Adulthood

Jennie Brand & Juli Simon Thomas
American Journal of Sociology, January 2014, Pages 955-1001

Abstract:
Given the recent era of economic upheaval, studying the effects of job displacement has seldom been so timely and consequential. Despite a large literature associating displacement with worker well-being, relatively few studies focus on the effects of parental displacement on child well-being, and fewer still focus on implications for children of single-parent households. Moreover, notwithstanding a large literature on the relationship between single motherhood and children's outcomes, research on intergenerational effects of involuntary employment separations among single mothers is limited. Using 30 years of nationally representative panel data and propensity score matching methods, the authors find significant negative effects of job displacement among single mothers on children's educational attainment and social-psychological well-being in young adulthood. Effects are concentrated among older children and children whose mothers had a low likelihood of displacement, suggesting an important role for social stigma and relative deprivation in the effects of socioeconomic shocks on child well-being.

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Impact of Welfare Reform on Mortality: An Evaluation of the Connecticut Jobs First Program, A Randomized Controlled Trial

Elizabeth Wilde et al.
American Journal of Public Health, March 2014, Pages 534-538

Objectives: We examined whether Jobs First, a multicenter randomized trial of a welfare reform program conducted in Connecticut, demonstrated increases in employment, income, and health insurance relative to traditional welfare (Aid to Families with Dependent Children). We also investigated if higher earnings and employment improved mortality of the participants.

Methods: We revisited the Jobs First randomized trial, successfully linking 4612 participant identifiers to 15 years of prospective mortality follow-up data through 2010, producing 240 deaths. The analysis was powered to detect a 20% change in mortality hazards.

Results: Significant employment and income benefits were realized among Jobs First recipients relative to traditional welfare recipients, particularly for the most disadvantaged groups. However, although none of these reached statistical significance, all participants in Jobs First (overall, across centers, and all subgroups) experienced higher mortality hazards than traditional welfare recipients.

Conclusions: Increases in income and employment produced by Jobs First relative to traditional welfare improved socioeconomic status but did not improve survival.

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How Johnson Fought the War on Poverty: The Economics and Politics of Funding at the Office of Economic Opportunity

Martha Bailey & Nicolas Duquette
NBER Working Paper, January 2014

Abstract:
This paper presents a quantitative analysis of the geographic distribution of spending through the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act (EOA). Using newly assembled state and county-level data, the results show that the Johnson administration systematically directed funding toward poorer and more nonwhite areas. In contrast to the distribution of New Deal spending, short-term political considerations appear to have played a minor role in distributing EOA funds. Choosing to fight poverty and discrimination rather than playing politics may help explain some of the immediate backlash against the War on Poverty programs. It also suggests that the implementation of the War on Poverty may play an important role in explaining why it is remembered as a failure.

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Jezebel at the Welfare Office: How Racialized Stereotypes of Poor Women's Reproductive Decisions and Relationships Shape Policy Implementation

Tatiana Masters, Taryn Lindhorst & Marcia Meyers
Journal of Poverty, Spring 2014, Pages 109-129

Abstract:
Current welfare scholarship lacks an analysis of how caseworkers discuss sexuality-related issues with clients. Seventy-two of 232 transcribed welfare interviews in three states included discussion of reproductive decisions and relationships. Overall, caseworkers' language reflected negative myths regarding African American women's sexuality and motherhood. By virtue of their status as welfare recipients, regardless of their individual races, clients were placed into racialized myths through workers' talk. This analysis demonstrates that though not present in every welfare interview and often veiled in bureaucratic language, negative ideas about poor women's sexuality persist in welfare policy and are deeply embedded in its day-to-day implementation.

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Deserving Poor and the Desirability of Minimum Wage Rules

Tomer Blumkin & Leif Danziger
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Working Paper, March 2014

Abstract:
In this paper we provide a novel justification for the use of minimum wage rules to supplement the optimal tax-and-transfer system. We demonstrate that if labor supply decisions are concentrated along the intensive margin and employment is efficiently rationed, a minimum wage rule can be socially beneficial by serving as a tagging device that targets benefits to the deserving poor, defined as low-skilled workers exhibiting a weak taste for leisure.

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Sex and the City: Female Leaders and Spending on Social Welfare Programs in U.S. Municipalities

Mirya Holman
Journal of Urban Affairs, forthcoming

Abstract:
Scholars of urban politics often argue that cities will shy away from extensive funding of social welfare programs, as fiscal realities make developmental policies far more attractive. Despite these arguments, cities continue to fund social welfare programs. One possible explanation is that some local officials prefer funding welfare programs. This research demonstrates that the presence of a female mayor has a large, positive influence on the likelihood a city participates in funding social welfare programs and the amount of monetary resources a city dedicates to these programs. High levels of female representation on city councils and a mayor-council form of government both interact with the presence of a female mayor to increase the provision and size of social welfare programs in cities.

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Scraping by: Income and Program Participation after the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits

Jesse Rothstein & Robert Valletta
University of California Working Paper, February 2014

Abstract:
Despite unprecedented extensions of available unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the "Great Recession" of 2007-09 and its aftermath, large numbers of recipients exhausted their maximum available UI benefits prior to finding new jobs. Using SIPP panel data and an event-study regression framework, we examine the household income patterns of individuals whose jobless spells outlast their UI benefits, comparing the periods following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Job loss reduces household income roughly by half on average, and for UI recipients benefits replace just under half of this loss. Accordingly, when benefits end the household loses UI income equal to roughly one-quarter of total pre-separation household income (and about one-third of pre-exhaustion household income). Only a small portion of this loss is offset by increased income from food stamps and other safety net programs. The share of families with income below the poverty line nearly doubles. These patterns were generally similar following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions and do not vary dramatically by household age or income prior to job loss.

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How Income Changes During Unemployment: Evidence from Tax Return Data

Laura Kawano & Sara LaLumia
U.S. Department of the Treasury Working Paper, April 2014

Abstract:
We use a panel of tax returns spanning 1999 to 2010 to provide new evidence on household experiences during unemployment. Unemployment is associated with a 27% reduction in household wage earnings. Unemployment insurance compensates for one-third of these wage losses. Households also partially compensate using a variety of income sources: capital gains, self-employment, and distributions from retirement savings accounts. More generous UI benefits crowd out household wage income and are also associated with increased distributions from retirement accounts. This combination of responses is consistent with UI benefits lengthening unemployment spells, leading to an increased reliance on retirement savings.

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What does SNAP benefit usage tell us about food access in low-income neighborhoods?

Jerry Shannon
Social Science & Medicine, April 2014, Pages 89-99

Abstract:
Current GIS based research on food access has focused primarily on the proximity of food sources to places of residence in low-income communities, with relatively little attention given to actual practices of food procurement. This project addresses this issue by using dasymetric mapping techniques to develop fine scale estimates of benefit usage for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, drawing from existing zip code level data on benefit distribution and redemptions. Based on this data, this research shows that while supermarkets receive almost all SNAP benefits in suburban areas, these stores have a smaller share of all SNAP redemptions in low-income core neighborhoods. In these latter areas, both convenience stores and mid-sized grocers (e.g., discount grocers, food cooperatives, ethnic markets) play a much larger role in residents' food shopping, even when supermarkets are also present. In addition, these core neighborhoods have a net "outflow" of SNAP dollars, meaning that residents of these areas receive more in benefits than is spent at neighborhood food retailers. This finding confirms existing research showing that low-income residents often travel outside their neighborhoods to get food, regardless of the presence or absence of supermarkets. Rather than simply increasing the number of large food outlets in low-access areas, this research suggests that efforts to improve food access and community health must take into account the geographically complex ways residents interact with the food system.

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Housing costs and child functioning: Processes through investments and financial strains

Melissa Kull & Rebekah Levine Coley
Children and Youth Services Review, April 2014, Pages 25-38

Abstract:
This study used family investment and family stress theories to illuminate mechanisms through which housing costs may affect low-income children's psychosocial and cognitive functioning. Using longitudinal data from the Three City Study (N = 1,898), path analyses found support for the investment perspective, with housing and neighborhood contexts mediating associations between higher housing costs and greater behavioral functioning and academic skills. These benefits of higher housing costs were somewhat offset by negative direct associations with children's functioning, although these were not explained by financial strain. Results revealed that receipt of government housing assistance disrupted these pathways. Few differences in patterns emerged between young children and adolescents. Policy implications and future research directions are discussed.

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The Impact of Rehabilitation and Counseling Services on the Labor Market Activity of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Beneficiaries

Robert Weathers & Michelle Stegman Bailey
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use data from a social experiment to estimate the impact of a rehabilitation and counseling program on the labor market activity of newly entitled Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. Our results indicate that the program led to a 4.6 percentage point increase in the receipt of employment services within the first year following random assignment and a 5.1 percentage point increase in participation in the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work program within the first three years following random assignment. The program led to a 5.3 percentage point increase, or almost 50 percent increase, in employment, and an $831 increase in annual earnings in the second calendar year after the calendar year of random assignment. The employment and earnings impacts are smaller and not statistically significant in the third calendar year following random assignment, and we describe SSDI rules that are consistent with this finding. Our findings indicate that disability reform proposals focusing on restoring the work capacity of people with disabilities can increase the disability employment rate.

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Educational Sorting and Residential Aspirations Among Rural High School Students: What Are the Contributions of Schools and Educators to Rural Brain Drain?

Robert Petrin, Kai Schafft & Judith Meece
American Educational Research Journal, April 2014, Pages 294-326

Abstract:
An extended body of research has documented the outmigration of the "best and brightest" youth from rural areas. Some of this scholarship has suggested that rural schools and educators may be complicit in this process as they devote extra attention and resources to the highest achieving students - those most likely to leave their rural communities after high school. Using data from a national multimethod study, we find mixed support for this hypothesis. To the contrary, our data suggest that the highest-achieving rural students are among those with the greatest community attachment, and that student perceptions of local economic conditions are far more influential in shaping postsecondary residential aspirations than the advice of educators, or the poverty level of the school.

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Treat or Eat: Food insecurity, cost-related medication underuse and unmet needs

Seth Berkowitz, Hilary Seligman & Niteesh Choudhry
American Journal of Medicine, April 2014, Pages 303-310

Background: Adults with chronic disease are often unable to meet medication and/or food needs, but no study has examined the relationship between cost-related medication underuse and food insecurity in a nationally representative sample. We examined which groups most commonly face unmet food and medication needs.

Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of data from chronically ill participants (self report of arthritis, diabetes mellitus, cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, hypertension, coronary heart disease, or presence of a "psychiatric problem"), age ?20 years, of the 2011 National Health Interview Survey. We fit logistic regression models to identify factors associated with food insecurity, cost-related medication underuse, or both.

Results: 9,696 adult NHIS participants reported chronic illness; 23.4% reported cost-related medication underuse; 18.8% reported food insecurity; and 11% reported both. Adults who reported food insecurity were significantly more likely to report cost-related medication underuse (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.03). Participants with both cost-related medication underuse and food insecurity were more likely to be Hispanic (aOR 1.58) non-Hispanic Black (aOR 1.58), and have more chronic conditions (aOR per additional chronic condition 1.56) than patients reporting neither. They were also less likely to have Public, non-Medicare insurance (aOR 0.70) and report to WIC participation (aOR 0.39).

Conclusions: Approximately 1 in 3 chronically-ill NHIS participants are unable to afford food, medications, or both. WIC and public health insurance participation are associated with less food insecurity and cost-related medication underuse.

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The Impact of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Participation on Household Energy Insecurity

Anthony Murray & Bradford Mills
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
The impact of the low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP), the single largest energy assistance program available to poor households in the United States has received little rigorous attention. If LIHEAP participation significantly improves low-income household energy security, funding cuts or eliminating the program could negatively impact the poor. This article empirically estimates the impact of LIHEAP on household energy security. The results indicate participation in LIHEAP significantly increases energy security in low-income households. Simulations suggest that elimination of the current household energy-assistance safety net will decrease the number of low-income energy secure households by over 17%.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, May 4, 2014

To the rescue

Getting the Most out of Giving: Concretely Framing a Prosocial Goal Maximizes Happiness

Melanie Rudd, Jennifer Aaker & Michael Norton
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Across six field and laboratory experiments, participants assigned a more concretely-framed prosocial goal (e.g., making someone smile or increasing recycling) felt happier and reported creating greater personal happiness after performing a goal-directed act of kindness than did those who were assigned a functionally similar, but more abstractly-framed, prosocial goal (e.g., making someone happy or saving the environment). Moreover, mediation analyses revealed that this effect was driven by differences in the size of the gap between participants’ expectations and reality. Compared to those who pursued an abstractly-framed prosocial goal, those who pursued a concretely-framed goal perceived that the actual outcome of their goal-directed efforts more accurately matched their expectations, causing them to experience a greater boost in happiness. Evidence that participants are unable to predict this effect, believing that pursuing abstractly-framed prosocial goals would have either an equal or greater positive impact on their own happiness, is also presented.

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“Helping” Versus “Being a Helper”: Invoking the Self to Increase Helping in Young Children

Christopher Bryan, Allison Master & Gregory Walton
Child Development, forthcoming

Abstract:
Can a subtle linguistic cue that invokes the self motivate children to help? In two experiments, 3- to 6-year-old children (N = 149) were exposed to the idea of “being a helper” (noun condition) or “helping” (verb condition). Noun wording fosters the perception that a behavior reflects an identity — the kind of person one is. Both when children interacted with an adult who referenced “being a helper” or “helping” (Experiment 1) and with a new adult (Experiment 2), children in the noun condition helped significantly more across four tasks than children in the verb condition or a baseline control condition. The results demonstrate that children are motivated to pursue a positive identity. Moreover, this motivation can be leveraged to encourage prosocial behavior.

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What drives charitable donations of time and money? The roles of political ideology, religiosity, and involvement

Steven Yen & Ernest Zampelli
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, June 2014, Pages 58–67

Abstract:
We use data from the first wave of the Panel Study on American Religion and Ethnicity to estimate a multivariate sample selection model of charitable giving of time and money highlighting the roles of political ideology, religiosity, political and social involvement, and diversity in personal relationships while controlling for other factors commonly identified in the scholarly work on philanthropic behavior. Our findings provide no evidence that political conservatives are more charitable than political liberals as advanced by Brooks (2006). To the contrary, our results suggest that at least in terms of volunteering, political conservatives are less charitable than political liberals. We also find evidence that the adverse impacts of political conservatism on charitable behavior are exacerbated by the increasing importance of religion/religious faith in one's life. These results, together with robust findings of significant and positive independent effects of other participation, involvement, and diversity variables, imply that charitable actions are both practice-driven and ideology-driven and somewhat at odds with the findings of Vaidyanathan et al. (2011).

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An Egalitarian System Breeds Generosity: The Impact of Redistribution Procedures on Pro-Social Behavior

Yohanes Riyanto & Jianlin Zhang
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
In a meritocratic system, people are compensated on the basis of their individual ability, whereas in an egalitarian system people are equally compensated. Essentially, in the latter system high performers are taxed and subsidize underperformers. Would differences in income redistribution procedures affect people's pro-social behavior? In experiments, we found that people are more generous toward strangers in an egalitarian treatment than in a meritocratic treatment. Interestingly, being taxed does not reduce the generosity of high performers, whereas being subsidized significantly increases the generosity of low performers.

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When do victim group members feel a moral obligation to help suffering others?

Ruth Warner, Michael Wohl & Nyla Branscombe
European Journal of Social Psychology, April 2014, Pages 231–241

Abstract:
In four experiments, we assessed when the salience of ingroup historical victimization will encourage a sense of moral obligation to reduce the suffering of others. Historically victimized groups (Jews and women; Experiments 1 and 3) who considered the lessons of the past for their ingroup felt heightened moral obligation to help other non-adversary victimized groups. However, when the suffering outgroup was an adversary, Jews (Experiment 2) and women (Experiment 4) who focused on the lesson of historical victimization for their ingroup reported lower moral obligation to reduce others' suffering. The lesson focus effect on moral obligation was mediated by benefit finding as well as perceived similarity to the outgroup. Means to facilitate moral obligation, as well as limiting factors, among victimized group members are discussed.

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Religious involvement, helping others, and psychological well-being

Neal Krause & David Hayward
Mental Health, Religion & Culture, Summer 2014, Pages 629-640

Abstract:
This study has two goals. The first goal is to see if involvement in religion is associated with providing tangible support to family members and strangers. The second goal is to see if providing tangible support to family members and strangers is associated with well-being. A conceptual model, which was developed to address these issues, contains the following core relationships: (1) individuals who go to church more often will receive more spiritual support from coreligionists; (2) those who receive more spiritual support will provide more tangible assistance to family members and strangers; and (3) people who help family members and strangers will report greater life satisfaction and higher self-esteem. Findings from a nationwide survey support all but one of these relationships. More specifically, the results suggest that providing tangible support to family members is associated with greater well-being, but providing tangible support to strangers is not associated with well-being.

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Increasing Fundraising Success by Decreasing Donor Choice

Stefano Barbieri & David Malueg
Journal of Public Economic Theory, June 2014, Pages 372–400

Abstract:
Suggested contributions, membership categories, and discrete, incremental thank you gifts are devices often used by benevolent associations that provide public goods. Such devices focus donations at discrete levels, thereby effectively limiting the donors' freedom to give. We study the effects on overall donations of the trade-off between rigid schemes that severely restrict the choices of contribution on the one hand, and flexible membership contracts on the other, taking into account the strategic response of contributors whose values for the public good are private information. We show flexibility dominates when (i) the dispersion of donors' taste for the public good increases, (ii) the number of potential donors increases, and (iii) there is greater funding by an external authority. Our theoretical results are consistent with three basic patterns we discover in the membership schemes of National Public Radio stations: stations offer a larger number of suggested contribution levels — a proxy for flexibility — as (i) the incomes of the population served become more diverse, (ii) the population of the coverage area increases, and (iii) there is greater external support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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The Effect of Effectiveness: Donor Response to Aid Effectiveness in a Direct Mail Fundraising Experiment

Dean Karlan & Daniel Wood
NBER Working Paper, April 2014

Abstract:
We test how donors respond to new information about a charity’s effectiveness. Freedom from Hunger implemented a test of its direct marketing solicitations, varying letters by whether they include a discussion of their program’s impact as measured by scientific research. The base script, used for both treatment and control, included a standard qualitative story about an individual beneficiary. Adding scientific impact information has no effect on whether someone donates, or how much, in the full sample. However, we find that amongst recent prior donors (those we posit more likely to open the mail and thus notice the treatment), large prior donors increase the likelihood of giving in response to information on aid effectiveness, whereas small prior donors decrease their giving. We motivate the analysis and experiment with a theoretical model that highlights two predictions. First, larger gift amounts, holding education and income constant, is a proxy for altruism giving (as it is associated with giving more to fewer charities) versus warm glow giving (giving less to more charities). Second, those motivated by altruism will respond positively to appeals based on evidence, whereas those motivated by warm glow may respond negatively to appeals based on evidence as it turns off the emotional trigger for giving, or highlights uncertainty in aid effectiveness.

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Contingent Match Incentives Increase Donations

Lalin Anik, Michael Norton & Dan Ariely
Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
We propose a new means by which non-profits can induce donors to give today and commit to giving in the future: contingent match incentives, in which matching is made contingent on the percentage of others who give (e.g., “if X% of others give, we will match all donations”). A field experiment shows that a 75% contingent match (where matches “kick in” only if 75% of others donate) is most effective in increasing commitment to recurring donations. An online experiment reveals that the 75% contingent match drives commitment to recurring donations because it simultaneously provides social proof yet offers a low enough target that it remains plausible that the match will occur. A final online experiment demonstrates that the effectiveness of the 75% contingent match extends to one-time donations. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications of contingent matches for managers and academics.

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Crowdfunding in a Prosocial Microlending Environment: Examining the Role of Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Cues

Thomas Allison et al.
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, forthcoming

Abstract:
Microloans garnered from crowdfunding provide an important source of financial capital for nascent entrepreneurs. Drawing on cognitive evaluation theory, we assess how linguistic cues known to affect underlying motivation can frame entrepreneurial narratives either as a business opportunity or as an opportunity to help others. We examine how this framing affects fundraising outcomes in the context of prosocial lending and conduct our analysis on a sample of microloans made to over 36,000 entrepreneurs in 51 countries via an online crowdfunding platform. We find that lenders respond positively to narratives highlighting the venture as an opportunity to help others, and less positively when the narrative is framed as a business opportunity.

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Effect of Hair Ornamentation on Helping

Jordy Stefan & Nicolas Guéguen
Psychological Reports, April 2014, Pages 491-495

Abstract:
Previous research has found that restaurant waitresses wearing flowers in their hair received higher tips. Here, the effect of hair ornamentation on responses to an explicit request for help was assessed. Two female confederates wearing a barrette with or without a flower asked 240 passersby (120 men, 120 women; apparently 30 to 40 years of age) in the street for bus fare change. The success rate was 76.7% when they wore the ornamentation and only 50.8% without the ornamentation. Both men and women more readily helped those with the hair ornamentation.

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Intranasal administration of oxytocin increases compassion toward women

Sharon Palgi, Ehud Klein & Simone Shamay-Tsoory
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, forthcoming

Abstract:
It has been suggested that the degree of compassion — the feeling of warmth, understanding and kindness that motivates the desire to help others, is modulated by observers’ views regarding the target’s vulnerability and suffering. This study tested the hypothesis that as compassion developed to protect vulnerable kinships, hormones such as oxytocin, which have been suggested as playing a key role in ‘tend-and-befriend’ behaviors among women, will enhance compassion toward women but not toward men. Thirty subjects participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject study. Following administration of oxytocin/placebo, participants listened to recordings of different female/male protagonists describing distressful emotional conflicts and were then asked to provide compassionate advice to the protagonist. The participants’ responses were coded according to various components of compassion by two clinical psychologists who were blind to the treatment. The results showed that in women and men participants oxytocin enhanced compassion toward women, but did not affect compassion toward men. These findings indicate that the oxytocinergic system differentially mediates compassion toward women and toward men, emphasizing an evolutionary perspective that views compassion as a caregiving behavior designed to help vulnerable individuals.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Don't be too hasty

Methylphenidate Blocks Effort-Induced Depletion of Regulatory Control in Healthy Volunteers

Chandra Sripada, Daniel Kessler & John Jonides
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
A recent wave of studies — more than 100 conducted over the last decade — has shown that exerting effort at controlling impulses or behavioral tendencies leaves a person depleted and less able to engage in subsequent rounds of regulation. Regulatory depletion is thought to play an important role in everyday problems (e.g., excessive spending, overeating) as well as psychiatric conditions, but its neurophysiological basis is poorly understood. Using a placebo-controlled, double-blind design, we demonstrated that the psychostimulant methylphenidate (commonly known as Ritalin), a catecholamine reuptake blocker that increases dopamine and norepinephrine at the synaptic cleft, fully blocks effort-induced depletion of regulatory control. Spectral analysis of trial-by-trial reaction times revealed specificity of methylphenidate effects on regulatory depletion in the slow-4 frequency band. This band is associated with the operation of resting-state brain networks that produce mind wandering, which raises potential connections between our results and recent brain-network-based models of control over attention.

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Gender Differences in Optimism and Asset Allocation

Ben Jacobsen et al.
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigate two alternative explanations why men may hold more stocks than women do. Apart from the traditional explanation of a gender difference in risk aversion, gender differences in either optimism or in perceived risk of financial markets might cause men to hold riskier assets. Our results show that men tend to be significantly more optimistic than women regarding a broad range of issues, including the economy and financial markets. After we take differences in optimism into account, systematic gender differences in asset allocations disappear.

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The evolution of self-control

Evan MacLean et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Cognition presents evolutionary research with one of its greatest challenges. Cognitive evolution has been explained at the proximate level by shifts in absolute and relative brain volume and at the ultimate level by differences in social and dietary complexity. However, no study has integrated the experimental and phylogenetic approach at the scale required to rigorously test these explanations. Instead, previous research has largely relied on various measures of brain size as proxies for cognitive abilities. We experimentally evaluated these major evolutionary explanations by quantitatively comparing the cognitive performance of 567 individuals representing 36 species on two problem-solving tasks measuring self-control. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that absolute brain volume best predicted performance across species and accounted for considerably more variance than brain volume controlling for body mass. This result corroborates recent advances in evolutionary neurobiology and illustrates the cognitive consequences of cortical reorganization through increases in brain volume. Within primates, dietary breadth but not social group size was a strong predictor of species differences in self-control. Our results implicate robust evolutionary relationships between dietary breadth, absolute brain volume, and self-control. These findings provide a significant first step toward quantifying the primate cognitive phenome and explaining the process of cognitive evolution.

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Happiness as a Driver of Risk-avoiding Behaviour: Theory and an Empirical Study of Seatbelt Wearing and Automobile Accidents

Robert Goudie et al.
Economica, forthcoming

Abstract:
Governments try to discourage risky health behaviours, yet such behaviours are bewilderingly persistent. We suggest a new conceptual approach to this puzzle. We show that expected utility theory predicts that unhappy people will be attracted to risk-taking. Using US seatbelt data, we document evidence strongly consistent with that prediction. We exploit various methodological approaches, including Bayesian model selection and instrumental variable estimation. Using road accident data, we find strongly corroborative longitudinal evidence. Government policy may thus have to change. It may need to improve the underlying happiness of individuals instead of, or in addition to, its traditional concern with society's risk-taking symptoms.

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The Effect of Friendly Touch on Delay-of-Gratification in Preschool Children

Julia Leonard, Talia Berkowitz & Anna Shusterman
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Physical touch has many documented benefits, but past research has paid little attention to the effects of touch on children's development. Here, we tested the effect of touch on children's compliance behavior in a modified delay-of-gratification task. Forty children (M = 59 months) were randomly assigned to a Touch or No Touch group. Children in the intervention condition received a friendly touch on the back while being told that they should wait for permission to eat a candy. Results showed that children in the Touch condition waited an average of two minutes longer to eat the candy than children in the No Touch condition. This finding has implications for the potential of using touch to promote positive behaviors in children.

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Gratitude: A Tool for Reducing Economic Impatience

David DeSteno et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
The human mind tends to excessively discount the value of delayed rewards relative to immediate ones, with “hot” affective processes believed to drive desires for short-term gratification. Supporting this view, recent findings demonstrate that sadness exacerbates financial impatience even when the sadness is unrelated to the economic decision at hand (Lerner, Li, & Weber, 2012). Such findings might reinforce the view that emotions must always be suppressed to combat impatience. But if emotions serve adaptive functions, then certain emotions might be capable of reducing excessive impatience for delayed rewards. We find evidence supporting this alternative view. Specifically, we find that (1) the emotion gratitude reduces impatience even with real money at stake, and (2) the effects of gratitude are differentiable from those of the more general positive state of happiness. These findings challenge the view that individuals must tamp down affective responses through effortful self-regulation to reach more patient and adaptive economic decisions.

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Credit Card Borrowing and the Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) Gene

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & James Fowler
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using a discovery and replication sample from a U.S. representative data set, we show that a functional polymorphism on the MAOA gene is associated with credit card borrowing behavior. For the combined sample of approximately 12,000 individuals we find that having one or both MAOA alleles of the less transcriptionally efficient type raises the average likelihood of reporting credit card debt by about 4%. These results suggest that behavioral models benefit from integrating genetic variation and that economists should consider the welfare consequences of possible discrimination by lenders on the basis of genotype.

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Staying ahead and getting even: Risk attitudes of experienced poker players

David Eil & Jaimie Lien
Games and Economic Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Frequent online poker players with extensive experience calculating probabilities and expected values might be expected to behave as Expected Utility maximizers, in that small shocks to their wealth would not affect risk preferences (Rabin, 2000). By contrast, reference-dependent loss aversion (as in Prospect Theory) (Koszegi and Rabin, 2006; Kahneman and Tversky, 1979) predicts that risk aversion decreases as wealth moves away from the reference point in either direction. In terms of continuing to play, as well as a more aggressive playing style, we find strong evidence for the break-even effect, the increased pursuit of risk as a player is losing within a session. Players' behavior also appears consistent with existing evidence on reference-dependent labor supply, in their tendency to reduce effort and risk-taking in response to being ahead. Our findings provide evidence for reference-dependent behavior in a flexible, high-skilled setting, under conditions of well-understood monetary risk.

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Fear, excitement, and financial risk-taking

Chan Jean Lee & Eduardo Andrade
Cognition & Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Can fear trigger risk-taking? In this paper, we assess whether fear can be reinterpreted as a state of excitement as a result of contextual cues and promote, rather than discourage, risk-taking. In a laboratory experiment, the participants' emotional states were induced (fear vs. control), followed by a purportedly unrelated financial task. The task was framed as either a stock market investment or an exciting casino game. Our results showed that incidental fear (vs. control) induced risk-averse behaviour when the task was framed as a stock investment decision. However, fear encouraged risk-taking when the very same task was framed as an exciting casino game. The impact of fear on risk-taking was partially mediated by the excitement felt during the financial task.

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Higher Crash and Near-Crash Rates in Teenaged Drivers With Lower Cortisol Response: An 18-Month Longitudinal, Naturalistic Study

Marie Claude Ouimet et al.
JAMA Pediatrics, forthcoming

Objective: To examine the relationship between cortisol, a neurobiological marker of stress regulation linked to risky behavior, and driving risk.

Design, Setting, and Participants: The Naturalistic Teenage Driving Study was designed to continuously monitor the driving behavior of teenagers by instrumenting vehicles with kinematic sensors, cameras, and a global positioning system. During 2006-2008, a community sample of 42 newly licensed 16-year-old volunteer participants in the United States was recruited and driving behavior monitored. It was hypothesized in teenagers that higher cortisol response to stress is associated with (1) lower crash and near-crash (CNC) rates during their first 18 months of licensure and (2) faster reduction in CNC rates over time.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Participants’ cortisol response during a stress-inducing task was assessed at baseline, followed by measurement of their involvement in CNCs and driving exposure during their first 18 months of licensure. Mixed-effect Poisson longitudinal regression models were used to examine the association between baseline cortisol response and CNC rates during the follow-up period.

Results: Participants with a higher baseline cortisol response had lower CNC rates during the follow-up period (exponential of the regression coefficient, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.88-0.98) and faster decrease in CNC rates over time (exponential of the regression coefficient, 0.98; 95%, CI, 0.96-0.99).

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Theoretically motivated interventions for reducing sexual risk taking in adolescence: A randomized controlled experiment applying fuzzy-trace theory

Valerie Reyna & Britain Mills
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming

Abstract:
Fuzzy-trace theory is a theory of memory, judgment, and decision making, and their development. We applied advances in this theory to increase the efficacy and durability of a multicomponent intervention to promote risk reduction and avoidance of premature pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Seven hundred and thirty-four adolescents from high schools and youth programs in 3 states (Arizona, Texas, and New York) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 curriculum groups: RTR (Reducing the Risk), RTR+ (a modified version of RTR using fuzzy-trace theory), and a control group. We report effects of curriculum on self-reported behaviors and behavioral intentions plus psychosocial mediators of those effects: namely, attitudes and norms, motives to have sex or get pregnant, self-efficacy and behavioral control, and gist/verbatim constructs. Among 26 outcomes, 19 showed an effect of at least 1 curriculum relative to the control group: RTR+ produced improvements for 17 outcomes and RTR produced improvements for 12 outcomes. For RTR+, 2 differences (for perceived parental norms and global benefit perception) were confined to age, gender, or racial/ethnic subgroups. Effects of RTR+ on sexual initiation emerged 6 months after the intervention, when many adolescents became sexually active. Effects of RTR+ were greater than RTR for 9 outcomes, and remained significantly greater than controls at 1-year follow-up for 12 outcomes. Consistent with fuzzy-trace theory, results suggest that by emphasizing gist representations, which are preserved over long periods and are key memories used in decision making, the enhanced intervention produced larger and more sustained effects on behavioral outcomes and psychosocial mediators of adolescent risk taking.

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Night owl women are similar to men in their relationship orientation, risk-taking propensities, and cortisol levels: Implications for the adaptive significance and evolution of eveningness

Dario Maestripieri
Evolutionary Psychology, Winter 2014, Pages 130-147

Abstract:
Individual differences in morningness/eveningness are relatively stable over time and, in part, genetically based. The night-owl pattern is more prevalent in men than in women, particularly after puberty and before women reach menopause. It has been suggested that eveningness evolved relatively recently in human evolutionary history and that this trait may be advantageous to individuals pursuing short-term mating strategies. Consistent with this hypothesis, eveningness is associated with extraversion, novelty-seeking, and in males, with a higher number of sexual partners. In this study, I investigated whether eveningness is associated with short-term relationship orientation, higher risk-taking, and higher testosterone or cortisol. Both female and male night-owls were more likely to be single than in long-term relationships than early morning individuals. Eveningness was associated with higher risk-taking in women but not in men; this association was not testosterone-dependent but mediated by cortisol. Female night-owls had average cortisol profiles and risk-taking tendencies more similar to those of males than to those of early-morning females. Taken together, these findings provide some support to the hypothesis that eveningness is associated with psychological and behavioral traits that are instrumental in short-term mating strategies, with the evidence being stronger for women than for men.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, May 2, 2014

You be the judge

The Semiconstrained Court: Public Opinion, the Separation of Powers, and the U.S. Supreme Court's Fear of Nonimplementation

Matthew Hall
American Journal of Political Science, April 2014, Pages 352–366

Abstract:
Numerous studies have found that elite and popular preferences influence decision making on the U.S. Supreme Court; yet, uncertainty remains about when, how, and why the Court is constrained by external pressure. I argue the justices are constrained, at least in part, because they fear nonimplementation of their decisions. I test this theory by utilizing a recent study of judicial power, which finds the Court enjoys greater implementation power in “vertical” cases (those involving criminal and civil liability) than in “lateral” cases (all others; e.g., those involving schools or government agencies). I find that Court constraint is strongest in important lateral cases — those cases in which implementation depends on support from nonjudicial actors. My findings suggest that Supreme Court constraint is driven by the justices' fear of nonimplementation and is, therefore, dependent on institutional context.

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Murder or Not? Cold Temperature Makes Criminals Appear to Be Cold-Blooded and Warm Temperature to Be Hot-Headed

Christine Gockel, Peter Kolb & Lioba Werth
PLoS ONE, April 2014

Abstract:
Temperature-related words such as cold-blooded and hot-headed can be used to describe criminal behavior. Words associated with coldness describe premeditated behavior and words associated with heat describe impulsive behavior. Building on recent research about the close interplay between physical and interpersonal coldness and warmth, we examined in a lab experiment how ambient temperature within a comfort zone influences judgments of criminals. Participants in rooms with low temperature regarded criminals to be more cold-blooded than participants in rooms with high temperature. Specifically, they were more likely to attribute premeditated crimes, ascribed crimes resulting in higher degrees of penalty, and attributed more murders to criminals. Likewise, participants in rooms with high temperature regarded criminals to be more hot-headed than participants in rooms with low temperature: They were more likely to attribute impulsive crimes. Results imply that cognitive representations of temperature are closely related to representations of criminal behavior and attributions of intent.

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Explaining the (Non)Occurrence of Equal Divisions on the U.S. Supreme Court

Ryan Black & Amanda Bryan
American Politics Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
When the U.S. Supreme Court sits with an even number of justices participating, there is a risk that the Court will be deadlocked in a tied vote. While this outcome awards the individual respondent with a victory, it also preserves circuit splits and other ambiguities in the law. In this article, we examine the conditions under which an even-membered Supreme Court actually results in a tie vote. We argue that the Court recognizes the potentially damaging consequences of 4-4 rulings and seeks to avoid them when those consequences would be most severe. Consistent with that conjecture, we find that ties are less likely when a decision is necessary to resolve a dispute in the lower courts and when cases are important to the executive branch.

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Unwarranted Disparity in Federal Sentencing: Noncitizen Crime as a Social/Group Threat

Jawjeong Wu & Jill D’Angelo
Criminal Justice Review, March 2014, Pages 58-80

Abstract:
Research has recently shown a renewed interest in the effect of citizenship status on sentencing outcomes. This line of investigation, however, is limited to the individual-level analysis. In addition, research on the threat hypothesis has overwhelmingly focused on racial and ethnic threat. This study extends prior research by testing the social/group threat hypothesis in terms of citizenship and examines two primary variables of interest — the size of the noncitizen population and offender citizenship status. This study seeks to find how the size of the noncitizen population as a macro-level factor and offender citizenship status as a micro-level factor independently and jointly affect federal sentencing. The independent effects of other macro-level factors in the context of courts and areas on sentencing decisions, as well as their interactions with offender citizenship status, are also examined. With all offenses considered together, the cross-level finding provides support for social threat posed by noncitizen offenders, revealing that judges in districts with a large noncitizen population impose longer sentences on noncitizen offenders than those in districts with a small noncitizen population.

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Testing the Packer Theorem: The Efficiency of Florida’s Criminal Circuit Courts

Joseph Ferrandino
American Journal of Criminal Justice, June 2014, Pages 375-393

Abstract:
Herbert Packer’s models of the criminal process are criminal justice theorems, often the foundation of student introduction to the field in introductory textbooks. To date, there is little empirical analysis of the conceptual foundations of the process-based models, namely that courts are more efficient through the utilization of plea bargains, while an increase in trials necessarily decreases efficiency. The present results reveal wide variability in Florida circuit criminal court efficiency within and between circuits from 2004/05 to 2010/11. Regression analysis revealed that the year over year difference in both plea bargain (β = .14) and trial percentage (β = .13) significantly predicted (p < .05) year over year changes in efficiency, but explained a small amount of the variance (R 2 = .026) controlling for other factors (total model R 2 = .58–.62). These results show there is more capacity for trials within the Florida courts, and an increase in trials does not negatively impact court efficiency as expected but that other factors are far more relevant in explaining changes in efficiency outcomes. Furthermore, the Packer “assembly line” analogy, a basic tenet of the criminal process, is not found: plea bargains do not strongly predict or explain court efficiency, with structures playing a greater role in court outcomes than the processes conceptualized by Packer. The application to courts and impact on criminal justice education are discussed.

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Terrorist Suspect Religious Identity and Public Support for Harsh Interrogation and Detention Practices

James Piazza
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Does the U.S. public's support for the use of harsh interrogation and detention practices against terrorism suspects depend upon the religious identity of the alleged perpetrators? Some scholarly research indicates greater public acceptance for abridging the rights of Muslims after 9/11. This is consistent with literature suggesting that heightened perception of threat decreases popular tolerance for racial, ethnic, and religious outgroups. This study executes a survey experiment and finds respondents to be more permissive of the use of extraordinary detention practices, such as indefinite detention and denying suspects access to legal counsel and civilian criminal courts, against terror suspects identified as Muslims. Furthermore, the study reveals that respondents are significantly less likely to treat domestic, right-wing terrorist suspects with extraordinary detention, suggesting ingroup leniency.

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Out of Place: Racial Stereotypes and the Ecology of Frisks and Searches Following Traffic Stops

Leo Carroll & Lilliana Gonzalez
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, forthcoming

Objectives: Test hypotheses drawn from Smith and Alpert’s social conditioning theory that explains biased policing as the result of implicit racial stereotypes. Distinguishing between frisks and searches, we hypothesize that (1) Black drivers are more likely than White drivers to be frisked and searched; (2) racial disparity is greater in frisks than searches; (3) racial disparity in frisks, but not searches, is conditional upon the racial composition of the community; and (4) that drivers’ race is not related to the productivity of searches.

Methods: Data are all traffic stops made by the Rhode Island State Police in 2006, exclusive of those in which a search was mandatory. Multinomial and binary logistic regressions are employed to estimate models of frisks, searches, search productivity, and to test the conditional effect of community context.

Results: Each of the four hypotheses is supported.

Conclusion: Biased policing is largely the product of implicit stereotypes that are activated in contexts in which Black drivers appear out of place and in police actions that require quick decisions providing little time to monitor cognitions. This insight has important implications for police training. Because of limitations in this study, additional research that distinguishes frisks and searches is needed.

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Innocent until Primed: Mock Jurors' Racially Biased Response to the Presumption of Innocence

Danielle Young, Justin Levinson & Scott Sinnett
PLoS ONE, March 2014

Background: Research has shown that crime concepts can activate attentional bias to Black faces. This study investigates the possibility that some legal concepts hold similar implicit racial cues. Presumption of innocence instructions, a core legal principle specifically designed to eliminate bias, may instead serve as an implicit racial cue resulting in attentional bias.

Methodology/Principal findings: The experiment was conducted in a courtroom with participants seated in the jury box. Participants first watched a video of a federal judge reading jury instructions that contained presumption of innocence instructions, or matched length alternative instructions. Immediately following this video a dot-probe task was administered to assess the priming effect of the jury instructions. Presumption of innocence instructions, but not the alternative instructions, led to significantly faster response times to Black faces when compared with White faces.

Conclusions/Significance: These findings suggest that the core principle designed to ensure fairness in the legal system actually primes attention for Black faces, indicating that this supposedly fundamental protection could trigger racial stereotypes.

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A signal detection theory analysis of racial and ethnic disproportionality in the referral and substantiation processes of the U.S. child welfare services system

Jeryl Mumpower & Gary McClelland
Judgment and Decision Making, March 2014, Pages 114–128

Abstract:
Signal detection theory (SDT) was developed to analyze the behavior of a single judge but also can be used to analyze decisions made by organizations or other social systems. SDT quantifies the ability to distinguish between signal and noise by separating accuracy of the detection system from response bias — the propensity to over-warn (too many false positives) or under-warn (too many misses). We apply SDT techniques to national and state-level data sets to analyze the ability of the child welfare services systems to detect instances of child maltreatment. Blacks have higher rates of referral and the system is less accurate for them than for Whites or Hispanics. The incidence of false positives — referrals leading to unsubstantiated findings — is higher for Blacks than for other groups, as is the incidence of false negatives — children for whom no referral was made but who are in fact neglected or abused. The rate of true positives — children for whom a referral was made and for whom the allegation was substantiated — is higher for Blacks. Values of d′ (signal strength) are roughly the same for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics but there are pronounced group differences in C (a measure of the location of the decision threshold). Analyses show that the child welfare services system treats Blacks differently from Hispanics and Whites in ways that cannot be justified readily in terms of objective measures of group differences. This study illustrates the potential for JDM techniques such as SDT to contribute to understanding of system-level decision making processes.

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Effect of criminal defendant's history of childhood sexual abuse and personality disorder diagnosis on juror decision making

Ebony Butler & Kristine Jacquin
Personality and Mental Health, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study investigated whether a defendant's history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and/or personality disorder (PD) diagnosis affected juror decision making in a child sexual abuse trial. The PDs in the study were borderline PD and antisocial PD. Participants were 385 college students, 121 men and 264 women, who read a summary of a mock criminal trial and then made various juror decisions. Trial summaries were prepared by the principal investigator and were all uniform in content, length and detail. For the trial, both the defendant's gender and victim's gender were specified. The defendant was male, and the alleged victim was female. When the verdict was assessed, the results yielded that when the defendant's CSA history was presented, juror guilt ratings were higher than when there was no history of CSA. Similarly, when the defendant had a PD diagnosis, there were higher guilt ratings than when there was no PD diagnosis. CSA history and PD diagnosis were significant predictors of guilt ratings, suggesting that jurors perceive defendants more negatively if they have either been sexually abused as a child or have borderline or antisocial PD.

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Is the U.S. Supreme Court's Legitimacy Grounded in Performance Satisfaction and Ideology?

James Gibson & Michael Nelson
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Bartels and Johnston have recently presented evidence suggesting that the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court is grounded in the ideological preferences and perceptions of the American people. In addition, they offer experimental data purporting to show that dissatisfaction with a single Court decision substantially diminishes the institution's legitimacy. These findings strongly break with earlier research on the Court's institutional support, as the authors recognize. The theoretical implications of their findings are profound. If the authors are correct that legitimacy is strongly dependent upon satisfying the policy preferences and ideological predilections of the American people, the essence of legitimacy is fundamentally transformed. Consequently, we reinvestigate the relationships among ideology, performance satisfaction, and Court legitimacy, unearthing empirical findings that diverge markedly from theirs. We conclude with some thoughts about how the Court's “countermajoritarian dilemma” can be reconceptualized and recalculated, once more drawing conclusions sharply at odds with those of Bartels and Johnston.

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A Model of Cause Lawyering

Scott Baker & Gary Biglaiser
Journal of Legal Studies, January 2014, Pages 37-63

Abstract:
This paper is an economic analysis of cause lawyering, in which lawyers seek social change through the courts. The lawyer’s litigation strategy consists of deciding how many steps in the law to ask the court to move at a single moment. We find that more intense advocates prefer to ask for a series of small steps to move the law. We also investigate how the Supreme Court’s doctrine responds to advocacy in lower courts. We find that when facing intense advocates, a Supreme Court is more likely to issue constraining doctrine. We link the findings from the model to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s litigation strategy for eradicating the doctrine of separate but equal.

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The truth-justice tradeoff: Perceptions of decisional accuracy and procedural justice in adversarial and inquisitorial legal systems

Justin Sevier
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, May 2014, Pages 212-224

Abstract:
Two studies provide empirical support for Thibaut and Walker’s (1978) theory that inquisitorial and adversarial dispute resolution systems are associated with different psychological values: the pursuit of truth and the pursuit of justice. Study 1 suggests that, in civil and criminal disputes, the adversarial system is perceived to produce less truth than it does justice, and less truth than does the inquisitorial system. Conversely, the inquisitorial system is perceived to produce less justice than it does truth, and less justice than does the adversarial system. Study 2 examines how legal outcomes moderate litigants’ perceptions of the truth and justice produced by these dispute resolution systems. Study 2 suggests that perceptions of the truth and justice provided by the adversarial system are highly sensitive to the outcome of the dispute, whereas perceptions of the truth and justice provided by the inquisitorial system are not affected by dispute outcomes. Implications for Thibaut and Walker’s theory are discussed.

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Skilled Observation and Change Blindness: A Comparison of Law Enforcement and Student Samples

Shannon Smart, Melissa Berry & Dario Rodriguez
Applied Cognitive Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Some evidence suggests that expertise and observational skills training can reduce attentional errors, such as change blindness. Laypeople typically assume that law enforcement officers possess acute observational skills, but no research to date has compared law enforcement and lay samples on their susceptibility to change blindness. In the present study, student and law enforcement samples completed a change blindness task and attempted to identify the target(s) from four line-ups. Law enforcement officers and students were equally susceptible to change blindness regarding the switch in the target's identity, but students were more likely than officers to detect changes in the target's clothing. Students also performed better on the line-up task, overall, than officers. Additionally, whereas students' confidence was positively correlated with identification accuracy under some circumstances, officers' confidence was either uncorrelated or negatively correlated with accuracy. We discuss the implications of these findings and suggest some factors accounting for law enforcement officers' relatively poor performance on these tasks.

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Judicial Deference and Executive Control Over Administrative Agencies

Gbemende Johnson
State Politics & Policy Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Do judges defer to executives with increased institutional control over the executive branch? Administrative agencies play a key role in the policy implementation process. Executives could view aggressive judicial review of executive branch activity as a threat to executive power and negatively respond to perceived judicial intrusions. Governors across the country possess varying amounts of institutional authority over the agencies that comprise their states’ executive branches. For example, in many states, executive branch officials are elected by the public or appointed by someone other than the governor. Increased fragmentation increases the difficulty of centralized management and decreases gubernatorial influence over the executive branch. I examine whether state supreme courts defer more to agencies in states where governors have more formal control over the executive branch. I find that state supreme courts are more likely to rule in favor of state administrative agencies in states where the governor has increased appointment power and increased power to review agency rulemaking.

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Prison Inmates’ Right to Hunger Strike: Its Use and Its Limits Under the U.S. Constitution

Naoki Kanaboshi
Criminal Justice Review, June 2014, Pages 121-139

Abstract:
Hunger strikes have long been used as a means of protest, as a last resort, especially by those in prison. Recently, government officials have responded to hunger strikes with force-feeding, an approach that has generated considerable international attention. The purpose of this article is to analyze the nature and the scope of the right to hunger strike in prisons in the United States under both the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause, and to provide a policy recommendation for prison administrators based on a review of case law. This article stresses the nature of hunger strikes as symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment, an analysis that has yet to be extensively discussed by either criminal justice or law scholars. This article argues that retaliatory force-feeding or punishment of hunger strikers generally violates the First Amendment, regardless of the prison officials’ professed justification. This article further argues that, given the inherently peaceful nature of hunger strikes, force-feeding for the supposed purpose of prison safety may lack a reasonable basis and therefore may well violate the inmates’ right to refuse medical treatment. Hunger strike policy recommendations are also provided.

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The relationship between mock jurors’ religious characteristics and their verdicts and sentencing decisions

Monica Miller et al.
Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, forthcoming

Abstract:
Two mock jury studies investigated whether jurors’ religious characteristics relate to verdicts and sentencing decisions. In Study 1, adding religious characteristics to a model with only demographics and authoritarianism increased the model’s explanatory power. Scoring high on devotionalism was significantly related to not guilty verdicts; scoring high on fundamentalism was significantly related to guilty verdicts. In both studies, being on a religious quest was significantly related to prodefendant legal decisions. Lawyers can use this information in jury selection. Further, authoritarianism was a mediator of the relationship between some religious variables and legal decisions, helping explain the underlying reasons for such relationships.

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How Awareness of Possible Evidence Induces Forthcoming Counter-Interrogation Strategies

Timothy Luke et al.
Applied Cognitive Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We propose that suspects' counter-interrogation strategies vary as a function of their perception of the interrogator's knowledge about the events in question. The present study investigates the verbal behavior of guilty and innocent suspects when they are aware that there may be incriminating evidence against them. Participants (N = 143) took part in either a simulated act of terrorism or a benign task. They were then interviewed about their activities. Participants were randomly assigned to receive no additional information or to be informed that an investigative team may have collected evidence from surveillance cameras. Results suggest that when alerted to possible evidence against them, guilty suspects adopt either extremely withholding or extremely forthcoming verbal strategies. Theoretical implications of these results are discussed.

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Why Federal Prosecutors Charge: A Comparison of Federal and New York State Arson and Robbery Filings, 2006-2010

Susan Klein et al.
University of Texas Working Paper, February 2014

Abstract:
Academic, judges, lobbyists, special interest groups, and the defense bar all love to complain about the undue discretion held by federal prosecutors. Criticism has intensified over the last few decades, as the federal criminal code has grown to more than 4,500 prohibitions, a fair number of which replicate nearly identical state offenses. Little empirical evidence, however, attempts to discern what, if anything, is distinctive about the cases charged in federal rather than state court, and what might be motivating federal prosecutors to make their charging decisions. Our study aims to shed some light on this subject. In Part II, we describe our efforts to collect data on the characteristics of cases prosecuted under arson and robbery statutes from three sources: (1) the United States Sentencing Commission (“USSC”); (2) the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (“DCJS”); and (3) Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports. In Part III, we explain how we combined the USSC and New York State DCJS data before proceeding to our empirical analysis. First, we conduct a simple, bivariate analysis comparing the frequency with which our independent variables are observed in federal versus state arson and robbery cases. We note where we believe the observed, bivariate relationship is likely explained by confounding variables. Second, we proceed to utilize a more sophisticated logistic regression model to simultaneously examine the effect of our independent variables on the choice between federal versus state prosecution for arson and robbery. We find statistically significant evidence that cases prosecuted under federal arson and robbery statutes are more likely to include circumstances such as a conspiracy, a minor victim, use of a weapon, and serious recidivism. In Part IV, we conclude by discussing the higher plea rates and longer sentences imposed under federal as opposed to state criminal justice systems. We argue that where crimes involve the above-noted more egregious circumstances, federal prosecutors are more likely motived to prosecute the crime in expectation of a likely guilty plea and longer sentence. Our study provides much needed empirical evidence to support this rational view of federal prosecutorial discretion.

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Should Law Keep Pace with Society?

Daria Roithmayr, Alexander Isakov & David Rand
Yale Working Paper, March 2014

Abstract:
Most modern societies have adopted centralized rules of legal punishment to promote collaborative behavior. Among other advantages, a centralized institutional punisher can unilaterally decide the rate at which legal rules evolve relative to the social behavior being regulated. Legal and political theorists disagree over whether or not law should evolve more slowly than social behavior. Some scholars argue that slower evolution promotes the stability of tradition. Others argue that more frequent adaptation permits law to remain relevant to contemporary decision-making. We investigate this question by modeling the co-evolution of law and social norms in a public goods game with centralized punishment. We vary the relative update rate of legal rules -- the rate at which the State updates the legal punishment strategy relative to citizens' updating of their contribution strategy -- to observe the effect of such variance on citizen cooperation. We find that when States have unlimited resources, legal rules that evolve more slowly will maximize citizen cooperation: slower relative updating forces citizens to adapt to the State's legal punishment rules. When States depend on citizens to finance their punishment activities, however, we find a Goldilocks effect. Citizen cooperation is maximized when legal rules evolve at a critical evolutionary rate that is slow enough to allow citizens to adapt, but fast enough to enable States to quickly respond to outbreaks of citizen lawlessness.

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Language style matching and police interrogation outcomes

Beth Richardson et al.
Law and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
This research examined the coordination of interrogator and suspects’ verbal behavior in interrogations. Sixty-four police interrogations were examined at the aggregate and utterance level using a measure of verbal mimicry known as Language Style Matching. Analyses revealed an interaction between confession and the direction of language matching. Interrogations containing a confession were characterized by higher rates of the suspect matching the interrogators’ language style than interrogations without a confession. A sequence analysis of utterance-level Language Style Matching revealed a divergence in the type of matching that occurred across outcome. There was a linear increase in interrogator-led matching for interrogations containing a confession and an increase in suspect-led matching for nonconfession interrogations. These findings suggest that police interrogations play out, in part, at the basic level of language coordination.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Relationship status

Social network sites, marriage well-being and divorce: Survey and state-level evidence from the United States

Sebastián Valenzuela, Daniel Halpern & James Katz
Computers in Human Behavior, July 2014, Pages 94–101

Abstract:
This study explores the relationship between using social networks sites (SNS), marriage satisfaction and divorce rates using survey data of married individuals and state-level data from the United States. Results show that using SNS is negatively correlated with marriage quality and happiness, and positively correlated with experiencing a troubled relationship and thinking about divorce. These correlations hold after a variety of economic, demographic, and psychological variables related to marriage well-being are taken into account. Further, the findings of this individual-level analysis are consistent with a state-level analysis of the most popular SNS to date: across the U.S., the diffusion of Facebook between 2008 and 2010 is positively correlated with increasing divorce rates during the same time period after controlling for all time-invariant factors of each state (fixed effects), and continues to hold when time-varying economic and socio-demographic factors that might affect divorce rates are also controlled. Possible explanations for these associations are discussed, particularly in the context of pro- and anti-social perspectives towards SNS and Facebook in particular.

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More than a dalliance? Pornography consumption and extramarital sex attitudes among married U.S. adults

Paul Wright, Robert Tokunaga & Soyoung Bae
Psychology of Popular Media Culture, April 2014, Pages 97-109

Abstract:
Extramarital sex is one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce. U.S. adults who have more positive extramarital sex attitudes are more likely to engage in extramarital sex. Given pornography’s positive portrayal of extramarital sex, several recent studies have explored whether people who consume pornography have a more positive attitude toward extramarital sex. Consistent correlations have been found, but limitations to inference are posed by the sampling of adolescents and college students and the cross-sectional designs used. This brief report used national panel data gathered from two separate samples of married U.S. adults. Data were gathered from the first sample in 2006 and in 2008 (N = 282). Data were gathered from the second sample in 2008 and in 2010 (N = 269). Consistent with a social learning perspective on media, prior pornography consumption was correlated with more positive subsequent extramarital sex attitudes in both samples, even after controlling for earlier extramarital sex attitudes and nine additional potential confounds. Contrary to a selective exposure perspective on media, prior extramarital sex attitudes were unrelated to subsequent pornography consumption in both samples.

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Marriage or Carriage? Trends in Union Context and Birth Type by Education

Christina Gibson-Davis & Heather Rackin
Journal of Marriage and Family, June 2014, Pages 506–519

Abstract:
Using data from 8,951 first-time mothers in the National Survey of Family Growth, the authors analyzed trends in union contexts during the transition to motherhood by social class (proxied by maternal education). Conventional classifications of union contexts as married or cohabiting were extended by classifying births relative to union status at conception. The most conventional married birth type, in which the mother was married at conception and at birth, declined sharply, but only among low- and moderately educated women. Women with lower levels of education were instead more likely to have a birth in the context of a cohabiting union formed prior to conception. In 2005–2010, the adjusted probability of a low-educated mother having a conventional married birth was 11.5%, versus 78.4% for highly educated mothers. The growing disparity in union type at first birth by social class may have implications for social and economic inequality.

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The costs of being put on a pedestal: Effects of feeling over-idealized

Jennifer Tomlinson et al.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, May 2014, Pages 384-409

Abstract:
This research explored the possibility of feeling over-idealized, or “put on a pedestal” by a partner, examining whether there is an optimal level of perceived idealization, such that too little or too much is detrimental. Perceived over-idealization was manipulated experimentally with 99 dating couples (Study 1), and in surveys of 89 married (Study 2) and 156 dating couples (Study 3). Study 1 found that participants physically distanced themselves from their partners following a perceived over-idealization manipulation. Study 2 found curvilinear associations (i.e., positive up to a point, then negative) of satisfaction with perceived idealization of traits and abilities. Study 3 found a similar curvilinear association of perceived idealization of abilities with satisfaction, which appeared to be mediated by reduced accommodation and possibly also by threat to self, as suggested by theory.

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A Reconsideration of Sex Differences in Response to Sexual and Emotional Infidelity

Tsukasa Kato
Archives of Sexual Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous studies have found that males are more upset over sexual infidelity than females whereas females are more upset over emotional infidelity than males. We hypothesized that such sex differences are explained by explicit sexual imagery by males. The hypothesis was tested in a laboratory using vivid infidelity scenarios and photographs to induce detailed and sexually oriented imagery of a partner’s infidelity. In the main experiment, participants included 64 males and 64 females who were currently in committed relationships. The results showed that participants became more upset when they imagined sexual infidelity vividly and realistically than when they did not and there were no significant sex differences in jealousy found when sexual infidelity was imagined in this matter. Overall, our findings suggested that the sex differences in jealousy resulted from males’ tendency to imagine sexual infidelity more vividly than females.

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Changes in Sleep Time and Sleep Quality across the Ovulatory Cycle as a Function of Fertility and Partner Attractiveness

Brooke Gentle, Elizabeth Pillsworth & Aaron Goetz
PLoS ONE, April 2014

Abstract:
Research suggests that near ovulation women tend to consume fewer calories and engage in more physical activity; they are judged to be more attractive, express greater preferences for masculine and symmetrical men, and experience increases in sexual desire for men other than their primary partners. Some of these cycle phase shifts are moderated by partner attractiveness and interpreted as strategic responses to women's current reproductive context. The present study investigated changes in sleep across the ovulatory cycle, based on the hypothesis that changes in sleep may reflect ancestral strategic shifts of time and energy toward reproductive activities. Participants completed a 32-day daily diary in which they recorded their sleep time and quality for each day, yielding over 1,000 observations of sleep time and quality. Results indicated that, when the probability of conception was high, women partnered with less attractive men slept more, while women with more attractive partners slept less.

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Framing love: When it hurts to think we were made for each other

Spike Lee & Norbert Schwarz
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Love can be metaphorically framed as perfect unity between two halves made for each other or as a journey with ups and downs. Given their differential interpretations of romantic relationship, these frames have the power to change the evaluative impact of relational conflicts. We find that thinking about conflicts with one’s partner hurts more with the unity (vs. journey) frame in mind, whether the frames are activated within the relational context using linguistic expressions (Study 1) or in an unrelated context using physical cues (Studies 2a & 2b). The frames only influence relationship evaluation after thinking about conflicts (but not celebrations) and require applicability to the target. These patterns support the logic of metaphorical framing as distinct from metaphorical transfer. They shed new light on how to think about love, how it matters for relationship evaluation, and fundamentally, how frames influence judgments.

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Cohabitation, Post-Conception Unions, and the Rise in Nonmarital Fertility

Daniel Lichter, Sharon Sassler & Richard Turner
Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
The majority of U.S. nonmarital births today are to cohabiting couples. This study focuses on transitions to cohabitation or marriage among pregnant unmarried women during the period between conception and birth. Results using the newly-released 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth show that nonmarital pregnancy is a significant precursor to cohabitation before childbirth (18 percent), exceeding transitions to marriage (5 percent) by factor of over three. For pregnant women, the boundaries between singlehood, cohabitation, and marriage are highly fluid. The results also reveal substantial variation in post-conception cohabiting and marital unions; e.g., disproportionately low percentages of black single and cohabiting women transitioned into marriage, even when conventional social and economic risk factors are controlled. The multivariate analyses also point to persistent class differences in patterns of family formation, including patterns of cohabitation and marriage following conception. Poorly educated women, in particular, are much more likely to become pregnant as singles living alone or as partners in cohabiting unions. But compared with college-educated women, pregnancies are less likely to lead to either cohabitation or marriage. This paper highlights the conceptual and technical challenges involved in making unambiguous interpretations of nonmarital fertility during a period of rising nonmarital cohabitation.

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Gender, added-worker effects, and the 2007–2009 recession: Looking within the household

Martha Starr
Review of Economics of the Household, June 2014, Pages 209-235

Abstract:
The U.S. recession of 2007–2009 saw unemployment rates for men rise by significantly more than those for women, resulting in the downturn’s characterization as a ‘mancession’. This paper uses data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reexamine gender-related dimensions of the 2007–2009 recession. Unlike most previous work, we analyze data that connects men’s and women’s employment status to that of their spouses. A difference-in-difference framework is used to characterize how labor-market outcomes for one spouse varied according to outcomes for the other. Results show that that employment rates of women whose husbands were non-employed rose significantly in the recession, while those for people in other situations held steady or fell — consistent with the view that women took on additional bread-winning responsibilities to make up for lost income. However, probabilities of non-participation did not rise by more for men with working wives than they did for other men, casting doubt on ideas that men in this situation made weaker efforts to return to work because they could count on their wives’ paychecks to support the household.

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Exposure to Perceived Male Rivals Raises Men’s Testosterone on Fertile relative to Nonfertile Days of their Partner’s Ovulatory Cycle

Melissa Fales, Kelly Gildersleeve & Martie Haselton
Hormones and Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
The challenge hypothesis posits that male testosterone levels increase in the presence of fertile females to facilitate mating and increase further in the presence of male rivals to facilitate male-male competition. This hypothesis has been supported in a number of nonhuman animal species. We conducted an experiment to test the challenge hypothesis in men. Thirty-four men were randomly assigned to view high-competitive or low-competitive male rivals at high and low fertility within their partner’s ovulatory cycle (confirmed by luteinizing hormone tests). Testosterone was measured upon arrival to the lab and before and after the manipulation. Based on the challenge hypothesis, we predicted that a) men’s baseline testosterone would be higher at high relative to low fertility within their partner’s cycle, and b) men’s testosterone would be higher in response to high-competitive rivals, but not in response to low-competitive rivals, at high relative to low fertility within their partner’s cycle. Contrary to the first prediction, men’s baseline testosterone levels did not differ across high and low fertility. However, consistent with the second prediction, men exposed to high-competitive rivals showed significantly higher post-test testosterone levels at high relative to low fertility, controlling for pre-test testosterone levels. Men exposed to low-competitive rivals showed no such pattern (though the fertility by competition condition interaction fell short of statistical significance). This preliminary support for the challenge hypothesis in men builds on a growing empirical literature suggesting that men possess mating adaptations sensitive to fertility cues emitted by their female partners.

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Effects of Administered Alcohol on Intimate Partner Interactions in a Conflict Resolution Paradigm

Maria Testa et al.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, March 2014, Pages 249-258

Objective: Although couples' alcohol use has been associated with intimate partner aggression and poorer marital functioning, few studies have examined the proximal effects of alcohol on couple interactions. The current experimental study examined the effects of alcohol, administered independently to male and female intimate partners, on positive and negative interaction behaviors within a naturalistic conflict resolution paradigm.

Method: Married and cohabiting couples (n = 152) were recruited from the community and each partner randomly assigned to receive either alcohol (target dose: .08 mg/kg) or no alcohol. They engaged in two 15-minute interactions regarding current disagreements in their relationship, one before and one after beverage administration. Videotaped interactions were coded by trained observers using the Rapid Marital Interaction Coding System, and positive and negative interaction behaviors were analyzed using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model.

Results: Participants displayed decreased negativity and increased positivity following alcohol consumption when their partners were sober but no differences in negativity or positivity when their partners also consumed alcohol. There were no gender differences. Although participants with a history of perpetrating intimate partner aggression displayed more negativity, prior aggression did not interact with beverage condition.

Conclusions: The immediate effects of alcohol consumption on couple interaction behaviors appeared more positive than negative. Contrary to hypotheses, congruent partner drinking had neither particularly positive nor particularly negative effects. These unique findings represent a rare glimpse into the immediate consequences of alcohol consumption on couple interaction and stand in contrast to its delayed or long-term effects.

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Partnership Transitions and Antisocial Behavior in Young Adulthood: A Within-person, Multi-Cohort Analysis

Sonja Siennick et al.
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, forthcoming

Objectives: This study examines the effects of young adult transitions into marriage and cohabitation on criminal offending and substance use, and whether those effects changed since the 1970s, as marriage rates declined and cohabitation rates rose dramatically. It also examines whether any beneficial effects of cohabitation depend on marriage intentions.

Methods: Using multi-cohort national panel data from the Monitoring the Future (N = 15,875) study, the authors estimated fixed effects models relating within-person changes in marriage and cohabitation to changes in criminal offending and substance use.

Results: Marriage predicts lower levels of criminal offending and substance use, but the effects of cohabitation are limited to substance use outcomes and to engaged cohabiters. There are no cohort differences in the associations of marriage and cohabitation with criminal offending, and no consistent cohort differences in their associations with substance use. There is little evidence of differences in effects by gender or parenthood.

Conclusions: Young adults are increasingly likely to enter romantic partnership statuses that do not appear as effective in reducing antisocial behavior. Although cohabitation itself does not reduce antisocial behavior, engagement might. Future research should examine the mechanisms behind these effects, and why nonmarital partnerships reduce substance use and not crime.

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Older opposite-sex romantic partners, sexual risk, and victimization in adolescence

Barbara Oudekerk, Lucy Guarnera & Dickon Reppucci
Child Abuse & Neglect, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study examined how age gaps among opposite-sex romantic partners related to sexual risk-taking and victimization by partners among 201 at-risk adolescents (60.2% female). We examined three questions: (a) is younger partner age, age gap between partners, or a combination of these two factors most strongly related to negative outcomes; (b) do age gaps relate to negative outcomes differently for male versus female adolescents; and (c) why do age gaps relate to negative outcomes? Results revealed that the wider the age gap between partners, the more likely adolescents were to engage in sex and the less likely they were to use protection against pregnancy and STIs. Wider age gaps were also associated with more frequent emotional and physical victimization and higher odds of unwanted sexual behavior. Findings did not differ significantly by gender or younger partner age. Analyses revealed that the wider the age gap, the more likely both partners were to engage in risky lifestyles (i.e., substance use and delinquency), and risky lifestyles – rather than poor negotiation or decision-making equality – helped to explain associations between age gaps and engagement in sexual intercourse and victimization experiences. Results suggest that relationships with age gaps tend to involve two partners who are engaging in deviant lifestyles overall, further corroborating the need to identify and provide services to these youth. Results also support movements toward considering partner age gaps rather than relying on a set age of consent when determining adolescents’ legal competency to consent to sex.

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Generous or Greedy Marriage? A Longitudinal Study of Volunteering and Charitable Giving

Christopher Einolf & Deborah Philbrick
Journal of Marriage and Family, June 2014, Pages 573–586

Abstract:
Recent scholarship has explored whether marriage encourages individuals to contribute to or withdraw from society. The authors examined how marriage affects volunteering and charitable giving, using longitudinal data from the 2001 to 2009 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Newly married men, but not women, were significantly more likely to give money to charity in the first survey wave after marriage and gave larger amounts of money. Newly married women, but not men, were significantly less likely to volunteer after marriage and volunteered fewer hours. Marriage had a stronger effect on religious giving than overall giving among men and had a significant and positive effect on religious giving among women. Marriage had a stronger positive effect on men's giving in the second wave after marriage than after the first.

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The Effect of Relationship Status on Health with Dynamic Health and Persistent Relationships

Jennifer Kohn & Susan Averett
Journal of Health Economics, July 2014, Pages 69–83

Abstract:
The dynamic evolution of health and persistent relationship status pose econometric challenges to disentangling the causal effect of relationships on health from the selection effect of health on relationship choice. Using a new econometric strategy we find that marriage is not universally better for health. Rather, cohabitation benefits the health of men and women over 45, being never married is no worse for health, and only divorce marginally harms the health of younger men. We find strong evidence that unobservable health-related factors can confound estimates. Our method can be applied to other research questions with dynamic dependent and multivariate endogenous variables.

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Fluctuation in Relationship Quality Over Time and Individual Well-Being: Main, Mediated, and Moderated Effects

Sarah Whitton, Galena Rhoades & Mark Whisman
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study examined how the degree of within-person variation (or temporal fluctuation) in relationship quality over time was associated with well-being (psychological distress and life satisfaction). A national sample of 18- to 34-year-old men and women in unmarried, opposite-sex relationships completed six waves of surveys every 4 months (N = 748). Controlling for initial levels of and linear changes in relationship quality, greater temporal fluctuation in relationship quality over time was associated with increasing psychological distress and decreasing life satisfaction over time. Decreased confidence in one’s relationship partially mediated these associations. Moderation analyses revealed that the association between fluctuations in relationship quality and change in life satisfaction was stronger for women, participants cohabiting with their partners, and those with greater anxious attachment, whereas the association between fluctuations in relationship quality and change in psychological distress was stronger for people with greater avoidant attachment.

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Dyadic Associations Between Testosterone and Relationship Quality in Couples

Robin Edelstein et al.
Hormones and Behavior, April 2014, Pages 401–407

Abstract:
Testosterone is thought to be positively associated with “mating effort”, or the initiation and establishment of sexual relationships (Wingfield et al., 1990). Yet, because testosterone is negatively associated with nurturance (van Anders et al., 2011), high levels of testosterone may be incompatible with relationship maintenance. For instance, partnered men with high testosterone report lower relationship quality compared to partnered men with low testosterone (e.g., Booth and Dabbs, 1993). Findings for women are inconsistent, however, and even less is known about potential dyadic associations between testosterone and relationship quality in couples. In the current report, we assessed relationship satisfaction, commitment, and investment in heterosexual couples and tested the hypothesis that these aspects of relationship quality would be negatively associated with an individual’s own and his/her partner’s testosterone levels. We found that testosterone was in fact negatively associated with relationship satisfaction and commitment in both men and women. There was also evidence for dyadic associations: Participants’ satisfaction and commitment were negatively related to their partners’ levels of testosterone, and these associations were larger for women’s than men’s testosterone. Our findings are consistent with the idea that high testosterone may be incompatible with the maintenance of nurturant relationships. The current findings also provide some of the first evidence for dyadic associations between testosterone and relationship quality in couples, highlighting the interdependent nature of close relationship processes and the importance of considering this interdependence in social neuroendocrine research.

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Genetic Associations With Intimate Partner Violence in a Sample of Hazardous Drinking Men in Batterer Intervention Programs

Gregory Stuart et al.
Violence Against Women, April 2014, Pages 385-400

Abstract:
The etiology of intimate partner violence (IPV) is multifactorial. However, etiological theories of IPV have rarely included potential genetic factors. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether a cumulative genetic score (CGS) containing the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and the human serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) was associated with IPV perpetration after accounting for the effects of alcohol problems, drug problems, age, and length of relationship. We obtained DNA from 97 men in batterer intervention programs in the state of Rhode Island. In the full sample, the CGS was significantly associated with physical and psychological aggression and injuries caused to one’s partner, even after controlling for the effects of alcohol problems, drug problems, age, and length of relationship. Two of the men in the sample likely had Klinefelter’s syndrome, and analyses were repeated excluding these two individuals, leading to similar results. The implications of the genetic findings for the etiology and treatment of IPV among men in batterer intervention programs are briefly discussed.

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Marriage Duration and Divorce: The Seven-Year Itch or a Lifelong Itch?

Hill Kulu
Demography, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous studies have shown that the risk of divorce is low during the first months of marriage; it then increases, reaches a maximum, and thereafter begins to decline. Some researchers consider this pattern consistent with the notion of a “seven-year itch,” while others argue that the rising-falling pattern of divorce risk is a consequence of misspecification of longitudinal models because of omitted covariates or unobserved heterogeneity. The aim of this study is to investigate the causes of the rising-falling pattern of divorce risk. Using register data from Finland and applying multilevel hazard models, the analysis supports the rising-falling pattern of divorce by marriage duration: the risk of marital dissolution increases, reaches its peak, and then gradually declines. This pattern persists when I control for the sociodemographic characteristics of women and their partners. The inclusion of unobserved heterogeneity in the model leads to some changes in the shape of the baseline risk; however, the rising-falling pattern of the divorce risk persists.

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Are People Healthier If Their Partners Are More Optimistic? The Dyadic Effect of Optimism On Health Among Older Adults

Eric Kim, William Chopik & Jacqui Smith
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, forthcoming

Objective: Optimism has been linked with an array of positive health outcomes at the individual level. However, researchers have not examined how a spouse’s optimism might impact an individual’s health. We hypothesized that being optimistic (and having an optimistic spouse) would both be associated with better health.

Methods: Participants were 3,940 adults (1,970 couples) from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel study of American adults over the age of 50. Participants were tracked for four years and outcomes included: physical functioning, self-rated health, and number of chronic illnesses. We analyzed the dyadic data using the actor partner interdependence model.

Results: After controlling for several psychological and demographic factors, a person’s own optimism and their spouse’s optimism predicted better self-rated health and physical functioning (b’s = .08-.25, p’s < .01). More optimistic people also reported better physical functioning (b = -.11, p < .01) and fewer chronic illnesses (b = -.01, p < .05) over time. Further, having an optimistic spouse uniquely predicted better physical functioning (b = -.09, p < .01) and fewer chronic illnesses (b = -.01, p < .05) over time. The strength of the relationship between optimism and health did not diminish over time.

Conclusions: Being optimistic and having an optimistic spouse were both associated with better health. Examining partner effects is important because such analyses reveal the unique role that spouses play in promoting health. These findings may have important implications for future health interventions.

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Touch increases autonomic coupling between romantic partners

Jonas Chatel-Goldman et al.
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, March 2014

Abstract:
Interpersonal touch is of paramount importance in human social bonding and close relationships, allowing a unique channel for affect communication. So far the effect of touch on human physiology has been studied at an individual level. The present study aims at extending the study of affective touch from isolated individuals to truly interacting dyads. We have designed an ecological paradigm where romantic partners interact only via touch and we manipulate their empathic states. Simultaneously, we collected their autonomic activity (skin conductance, pulse, respiration). Fourteen couples participated to the experiment. We found that interpersonal touch increased coupling of electrodermal activity between the interacting partners, regardless of the intensity and valence of the emotion felt. In addition, physical touch induced strong and reliable changes in physiological states within individuals. These results support an instrumental role of interpersonal touch for affective support in close relationships. Furthermore, they suggest that touch alone allows the emergence of a somatovisceral resonance between interacting individuals, which in turn is likely to form the prerequisites for emotional contagion and empathy.

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Coregulation of respiratory sinus arrhythmia in adult romantic partners

Jonathan Helm, David Sbarra & Emilio Ferrer
Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Questions surrounding physiological interdependence in romantic relationships are gaining increased attention in the research literature. One specific form of interdependence, coregulation, can be defined as the bidirectional linkage of oscillating signals within optimal bounds. Conceptual and theoretical work suggests that physiological coregulation should be instantiated in romantic couples. Although these ideas are appealing, the central tenets of most coregulatory models await empirical evaluation. In the current study, we evaluate the covariation of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) in 32 romantic couples during a series of laboratory tasks using a cross-lagged panel model. During the tasks, men’s and women’s RSA were associated with their partners’ previous RSA responses, and this pattern was stronger for those couples with higher relationship satisfaction. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for attachment theory, as well as the association between relationships and health.

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Interactions of Sexual Activity, Gender, and Depression with Immunity

Tierney Lorenz & Sari van Anders
Journal of Sexual Medicine, April 2014, Pages 966–979

Introduction: Depression can suppress immune function, leading to lower resistance against infection and longer healing times in depressed individuals. Sexuality may also influence immune function, with evidence that sexual activity is associated with lowered immune function in women and mixed results in men. Immune mediators like immunoglobulin A (IgA) are immediately relevant to sexual health, since they are the first line of defense against pathogens at mucous membranes like the vagina.

Aim: This study aims to determine if and how depression, sexual activity, and their interaction impact salivary IgA (SIgA) in men and women.

Methods: In Study 1, a community-based sample of 84 women and 88 men provided saliva samples and completed questionnaires on their demographic background, level of depression, and frequency of partnered and solitary sexual activity. Study 2, conducted separately in an undergraduate student sample of 54 women and 52 men, had similar methods.

Results: Across studies, higher levels of partnered sexual activity were associated with lower SIgA for women with high depression scores, but not for women with low depression scores. In contrast, higher levels of partnered sexual activity were associated with higher SIgA for men with high depression scores, but not for men with low depression scores.

Conclusion: Our results show that partnered sexual activity is a risk factor for lowered immunity in women with depressive symptoms but a possible resilience factor for men with depressive symptoms. This suggests a role for sexual activity in determining the impact of depression on physical health parameters.

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Social benefits of humility: Initiating and maintaining romantic relationships

Daryl Van Tongeren, Don Davis & Joshua Hook
Journal of Positive Psychology, July/August 2014, Pages 313-321

Abstract:
Previous research has highlighted the social nature of humility. In three studies, we provide evidence that humility facilitates the initiation and maintenance of romantic relationships. In Study 1, very humble potential dating partners, relative to less humble partners, were rated more favorably and were more likely to elicit intentions to initiate a romantic relationship. Study 2 was a conceptual replication of Study 1 that provided evidence that participants find humble potential dating partners more attractive than arrogant dating partners. In Study 3, we examined perceptions of humility in participants in proximal or long-distance relationships. We found that humility buffers against unforgiveness in long-distant relationships. Although long-distance relationships were associated with greater unforgiveness, this effect was only present when partners were viewed as having low humility. Together, these findings highlight the social benefits of humility in initiating and maintaining romantic relationships.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Light the way

Behavioral Responses to Daylight Savings Time

Alison Sexton & Timothy Beatty
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
Daylight Savings Time (DST) is promoted as a tool to conserve energy. However, ex post reduced form estimates of the effects of DST find no evidence of energy savings and find some evidence of a small increase in energy use. This paper investigates this disconnect using detailed individual time use data to look at the behavioral effects of DST. We study how individuals change their time use in response to the abrupt shift in daylight associated with DST. We leverage two natural experiments to identify the effect of DST on behavior. First, we study periods around the annual shift in daylight induced by moving into and out of DST. Second, we compare activities by time interval before and after the change in DST start dates that occurred in 2007. We find cautious evidence that individuals are shifting potentially energy intensive activities earlier in the day, which is consistent with earlier findings of increased energy usage.

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Particulate Pollution and the Productivity of Pear Packers

Tom Chang et al.
NBER Working Paper, February 2014

Abstract:
We study the effect of outdoor air pollution on the productivity of indoor workers at a pear-packing factory. We focus on fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a harmful pollutant that easily penetrates indoor settings. We find that an increase in PM2.5 outdoors leads to a statistically and economically significant decrease in packing speeds inside the factory, with effects arising at levels well below current air quality standards. In contrast, we find little effect of PM2.5 on hours worked or the decision to work, and little effect of pollutants that do not travel indoors, such as ozone. This effect of outdoor pollution on the productivity of indoor workers suggests a thus far overlooked consequence of pollution. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that nationwide reductions in PM2.5 from 1999 to 2008 generated $19.5 billion in labor cost savings, which is roughly one-third of the total welfare benefits associated with this change.

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The Federalism of Fracking: How the Locus of Policy-Making Authority Affects Civic Engagement

Gwen Arnold & Robert Holahan
Publius, Spring 2014, Pages 344-368

Abstract:
In 1961, V. Ostrom, Tiebout, and Warren (OTW) argued that small political jurisdictions foster more civic engagement than large jurisdictions. Empirical tests of this claim have produced mixed results. Drawing on E. Ostrom's theorizing, we contend that these mixed findings may result from scholars ignoring differences in the policy-making capacity of seemingly comparable jurisdictions. We nuance OTW's hypothesis by examining how the size of the jurisdiction with authority to shape policy affects civic engagement surrounding hydraulic fracturing in New York and Pennsylvania. Empirical analysis supports the nuanced OTW hypothesis: Citizens in New York, where meaningful fracking policy-making authority rests with small local jurisdictions, evidence more civic engagement than citizens in Pennsylvania, where the locus for fracking policy-making authority is a large, commonwealth-wide jurisdiction.

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Environmental Sustainability and National Personality

Jacob Hirsh
Journal of Environmental Psychology, June 2014, Pages 233-240

Abstract:
Previous research has linked higher levels of the personality traits Agreeableness and Openness with greater concern about environmental issues. While these traits are important predictors of environmental attitudes among individuals, a growing literature has begun examining the broader consequences of population differences in personality characteristics. The present study examines whether nationally-aggregated personality traits can be significant predictors of a country's environmental sustainability. National personality scores were derived from an existing database of 12,156 respondents across 51 countries and examined in relation to each country's scores on the Environmental Performance Index, a benchmark of the sustainability of a country's environmental policies. Just as Agreeableness and Openness predict environmental concern at the individual level, countries with higher population levels of Agreeableness and Openness had significantly better performance on the sustainability index. These results remained when controlling for national differences in wealth, education, and population size and were unique to these two traits.

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Focusing Events and Public Opinion: Evidence from the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Bradford Bishop
Political Behavior, March 2014, Pages 1-22

Abstract:
Scholarly research has found a weak and inconsistent role for self-interest in public opinion, and mixed evidence for a relationship between local pollution risks and support for environmental protection. In this study, I argue that focusing events can induce self-interested responses from people living in communities whose economies are implicated by the event. I leverage a unique 12-wave panel survey administered between 2008 and 2010 to analyze public opinion toward offshore oil drilling before and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. I find that residence in counties highly dependent upon the offshore drilling industry was predictive of pro-drilling attitudes following the spill, though not prior to the spill. In addition, there is no significant evidence that residence in a county afflicted by the spill influenced opinion. This study concludes that local support for drilling often arises only after focusing events make the issue salient.

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Speculation in the Oil Market

Luciana Juvenal & Ivan Petrella
Journal of Applied Econometrics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The run-up in oil prices since 2004 coincided with growing investment in commodity markets and increased price co-movement among different commodities. We assess whether speculation in the oil market played a role in driving this salient empirical pattern. We identify oil shocks from a large dataset using a dynamic factor model. This method is motivated by the fact that a small-scale vector autoregression is not informationally sufficient to identify the shocks. The main results are as follows. (i) While global demand shocks account for the largest share of oil price fluctuations, speculative shocks are the second most important driver. (ii) The increase in oil prices over the last decade is mainly driven by the strength of global demand. However, speculation played a significant role in the oil price increase between 2004 and 2008 and its subsequent collapse. (iii) The co-movement between oil prices and the prices of other commodities is mainly explained by global demand shocks. Our results support the view that the recent oil price increase is mainly driven by the strength of global demand but that the financialization process of commodity markets also played a role.

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How Frames Can Undermine Support for Scientific Adaptations: Politicization and the Status-Quo Bias

Toby Bolsen, James Druckman & Fay Lomax Cook
Public Opinion Quarterly, Spring 2014, Pages 1-26

Abstract:
The politicization of science is a phenomenon that has sparked a great deal of attention in recent years. Nonetheless, few studies directly explore how frames that highlight politicization affect public support for scientific adaptations. We study how frames that highlight politicization affect support for using nuclear power, and test our hypotheses with two experiments. We find, in one study, that politicizing science reduces support for nuclear power and renders arguments about the environmental benefits of nuclear energy invalid, regardless of whether there is a reference to consensus scientific evidence. We find, in a second study, that reference to the potential health risks associated with using nuclear power also decreases support in the presence of additional frames that highlight either science's progress or its politicization. In the end, our findings suggest that a status-quo bias prevails that, under some circumstances, can serve as a significant impediment to generating public support for scientific innovations.

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Stories that Count: Influence of News Narratives on Issue Attitudes

Fuyuan Shen, Lee Ahern & Michelle Baker
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, March 2014, Pages 98-117

Abstract:
This paper examines the impact of using narratives to frame a political issue on individuals' attitudes. In an experiment, we asked participants to read either narrative or informational news articles that emphasized the potential economic benefits or environmental consequences associated with shale gas drilling. Results indicated both news formats (narrative vs. informational) and frames (environmental vs. economic) had significant immediate effects on issue attitudes and other responses; narrative environmental news had a significantly greater impact than informational environmental news. Cognitive responses and empathy were significant partial mediators of narrative impact. Environmental narratives also had a more significant impact on individuals' delayed issue attitudes.

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Radiation dose rates now and in the future for residents neighboring restricted areas of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Kouji Harada et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 March 2014, Pages E914-E923

Abstract:
Radiation dose rates were evaluated in three areas neighboring a restricted area within a 20- to 50-km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in August-September 2012 and projected to 2022 and 2062. Study participants wore personal dosimeters measuring external dose equivalents, almost entirely from deposited radionuclides (groundshine). External dose rate equivalents owing to the accident averaged 1.03, 2.75, and 1.66 mSv/y in the village of Kawauchi, the Tamano area of Soma, and the Haramachi area of Minamisoma, respectively. Internal dose rates estimated from dietary intake of radiocesium averaged 0.0058, 0.019, and 0.0088 mSv/y in Kawauchi, Tamano, and Haramachi, respectively. Dose rates from inhalation of resuspended radiocesium were lower than 0.001 mSv/y. In 2012, the average annual doses from radiocesium were close to the average background radiation exposure (2 mSv/y) in Japan. Accounting only for the physical decay of radiocesium, mean annual dose rates in 2022 were estimated as 0.31, 0.87, and 0.53 mSv/y in Kawauchi, Tamano, and Haramachi, respectively. The simple and conservative estimates are comparable with variations in the background dose, and unlikely to exceed the ordinary permissible dose rate (1 mSv/y) for the majority of the Fukushima population. Health risk assessment indicates that post-2012 doses will increase lifetime solid cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer incidences by 1.06%, 0.03% and 0.28% respectively, in Tamano. This assessment was derived from short-term observation with uncertainties and did not evaluate the first-year dose and radioiodine exposure. Nevertheless, this estimate provides perspective on the long-term radiation exposure levels in the three regions.

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Should we build more large dams? The actual costs of hydropower megaproject development

Atif Ansar et al.
Energy Policy, June 2014, Pages 43-56

Abstract:
A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. We investigate this question with the "outside view" or "reference class forecasting" based on literature on decision-making under uncertainty in psychology. We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased below actual costs of large hydropower dams - excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing, environmental, and social costs. Using the largest and most reliable reference data of its kind and multilevel statistical techniques applied to large dams for the first time, we were successful in fitting parsimonious models to predict cost and schedule overruns. The outside view suggests that in most countries large hydropower dams will be too costly in absolute terms and take too long to build to deliver a positive risk-adjusted return unless suitable risk management measures outlined in this paper can be affordably provided. Policymakers, particularly in developing countries, are advised to prefer agile energy alternatives that can be built over shorter time horizons to energy megaprojects.

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Energy Policy with Externalities and Internalities

Hunt Allcott, Sendhil Mullainathan & Dmitry Taubinsky
Journal of Public Economics, April 2014, Pages 72-88

Abstract:
We analyze optimal policy when consumers of energy-using durables undervalue energy costs relative to their private optima. First, there is an Internality Dividend from Externality Taxes: aside from reducing externalities, they also offset distortions from underinvestment in energy efficiency. Discrete choice simulations of the auto market suggest that the Internality Dividend could more than double the social welfare gains from a carbon tax at marginal damages. Second, we develop the Internality Targeting Principle: the optimal combination of multiple instruments depends on the average internality of the consumers marginal to each instrument. Because consumers who undervalue energy costs are mechanically less responsive to energy taxes, the optimal policy will tend to involve an energy tax below marginal damages coupled with a larger subsidy for energy efficient products. Third, although the exact optimal policy depends on joint distributions of unobservables which would be difficult to estimate, we develop formulas to closely approximate optimal policy and welfare effects based on reduced form "sufficient statistics" that can be estimated using field experiments or quasi-experimental variation in product prices and energy costs.

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Towards Understanding the Role of Price in Residential Electricity Choices: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Katrina Jessoe, David Rapson & Jeremy Smith
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examine a choice setting in which residential electricity consumers may respond to non-financial incentives in addition to prices. Using data from a natural field experiment that exposed some households to a change in their electricity rates, we find that households reduced electricity usage in response to a contemporaneous decrease in electricity prices. This provides clear evidence that other factors - potentially encompassing non-monetary and dynamic considerations - can influence consumer choice, and even dominate the static price response in some cases. A comprehensive understanding of household behavior in energy markets is essential for the effective implementation of market-based energy and environmental policies. The documentation of our result and others like it is a necessary step in achieving such an understanding.

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Distribution of income and toxic emissions in Maine, United States: Inequality in two dimensions

Rachel Bouvier
Ecological Economics, June 2014, Pages 39-47

Abstract:
Ecological distribution refers to inequalities in the use of environmental sinks and sources. This article explores one such dimension of ecological distribution - that of toxic air emissions. Using data from the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators model and the United States Census Bureau, I analyze the distribution of both environmental risk and income at the block-group level in the state of Maine. The state of Maine was chosen for its historical dependence upon natural resources as well as its economic and spatial heterogeneity. Results clearly indicate that the toxic air emissions are distributed much more unequally than is income, and that those inequalities are reinforcing. While not in itself an indication of environmental injustice, such analyses may help us to rethink the assumption that there is a tradeoff between income and pollution.

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Are State Renewable Portfolio Standards Contagious?

Oguzhan Dincer, James Payne & Kristi Simkins
American Journal of Economics and Sociology, April 2014, Pages 325-340

Abstract:
This study examines whether the target levels of a state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) are influenced by target levels in neighboring states, controlling for state-specific characteristics. Contrary to previous studies, target levels in neighboring states have a positive and statistically significant impact. In addition, the renewable energy potential and transmission capacity within a state, as well as in neighboring states, all have a positive and statistically significant impact. Both a state's unemployment rate and its educational attainment have a positive impact. Furthermore, states with Democratic governors have higher RPS target levels. The results also indicate significant regional variation in RPS target levels.

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An Ethanol Blend Wall Shift is Prone to Increase Petroleum Gasoline Demand

Cheng Qiu, Gregory Colson & Michael Wetzstein
Energy Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a waiver allowing an increase in the fuel-ethanol blend limit (the "blend wall") from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15). Justifications for the waiver are reduced vehicle-fuel prices and less consumption of petroleum gasoline, leading to greater energy security. Empirical investigations of this waiver using Monte Carlo simulations reveal an anomaly where a relaxation of this blend wall elicits a demand response. Under a wide range of elasticities, this demand response can actually increase the consumption of petroleum gasoline and thus lead to greater energy insecurity. The economics supporting this result and associated policy implications are developed and discussed.

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The social symbolism of water-conserving landscaping

Rebecca Neel et al.
Journal of Environmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Three studies examined the symbolic and self-presentational meaning of low-water-use residential landscaping in a desert city in the southwestern United States. We hypothesized that owners' water-intensive or water-conserving landscape choices would be seen to convey very different characteristics. Data indicated that these two types of residential landscapes led to substantially different attributions about homeowners and also that potential homeowners could use landscapes to convey an array of characteristics to a social audience. In general, water-intensive landscapes led to more positive attributions than did water-conserving landscapes. The results support the idea that landscaping choice may be guided by self-presentational considerations, and that such considerations might influence the adoption of high- or low-water-use landscapes.

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To shut down or to shift: Multinationals and environmental regulation

Helen Naughton
Ecological Economics, June 2014, Pages 113-117

Abstract:
According to the pollution haven effect mobile capital responds to environmental regulation by moving from countries with high regulation to countries with low regulation. Previous tests of the pollution haven effect focus on host country regulation effect. This study also examines the effect of home country regulation on foreign direct investment (FDI). Using a panel of 28 OECD countries for 1990-2000 to estimate host and home country environmental regulations' effect on FDI, this study finds that host regulation decreases FDI. In contrast, home environmental regulation increases FDI at low levels of home regulation and decreases FDI at high levels of home regulation.

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Global Benefits of Marine Protected Areas

James Rising & Geoffrey Heal
NBER Working Paper, March 2014

Abstract:
Case studies suggest that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) can be effective tools for fishery management. This study uses global datasets of MPAs and stock assessments to estimate the strength and robustness of their benefits. We apply multiple models, including a treatment-control pairing, a logistic model estimated with fixed-effects, and a regression tree to identify key characteristics. We find that regions with significant MPA designations increased their yearly yield by 17e3 MT/yr while those without experienced a loss of 20e3 MT/yr. On average, a 1% increase in protected area results in an increase in the growth rate of fish populations by about 1%. Considering only IUCN classified protected areas, and only marine portions of MPAs, growth rates increase 2% per percent area protected. MPA size is a key parameter which determines their per-area effectiveness. Using these results, we produce an estimate of the economic benefits of protected areas, relative to their costs. About 60% of country regions currently have insufficient protected areas to generate economic benefits, where the average break-even point for economic benefits of MPAs is at 8.5% of marine area.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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