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Friday, September 30, 2016

In it to win it

What The Heck Are We Doing in Ottumwa, Anyway? Presidential Candidate Visits and Their Political Consequence

Thomas Wood

ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, September 2016, Pages 110-125

Abstract:
This article investigates the purpose and effects of presidential campaign visits. I recount common strategic rationales for rallies, town hall meetings, impromptu conversations, and the like, and then show how candidate visits are geographically assigned. I also investigate the impact of campaign visits, finding that while state-level political factors influence the location of visits, the visits themselves have little effect on local media markets. Finally, a bespoke survey is used to measure visits’ influence on visited and unvisited respondents in the closing stages of the 2012 presidential election: respondents are shown to have little knowledge about candidate visits, and the visits themselves have only a small and evanescent effect on voter intentions.

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The Broadcast of Shared Attention and Its Impact on Political Persuasion

Garriy Shteynberg et al.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
In democracies where multitudes yield political influence, so does broadcast media that reaches those multitudes. However, broadcast media may not be powerful simply because it reaches a certain audience, but because each of the recipients is aware of that fact. That is, watching broadcast media can evoke a state of shared attention, or the perception of simultaneous coattention with others. Whereas past research has investigated the effects of shared attention with a few socially close others (i.e., friends, acquaintances, minimal ingroup members), we examine the impact of shared attention with a multitude of unfamiliar others in the context of televised broadcasting. In this paper, we explore whether shared attention increases the psychological impact of televised political speeches, and whether fewer numbers of coattending others diminishes this effect. Five studies investigate whether the perception of simultaneous coattention, or shared attention, on a mass broadcasted political speech leads to more extreme judgments. The results indicate that the perception of synchronous coattention (as compared with coattending asynchronously and attending alone) renders persuasive speeches more persuasive, and unpersuasive speeches more unpersuasive. We also find that recall memory for the content of the speech mediates the effect of shared attention on political persuasion. The results are consistent with the notion that shared attention on mass broadcasted information results in deeper processing of the content, rendering judgments more extreme. In all, our findings imply that shared attention is a cognitive capacity that supports large-scale social coordination, where multitudes of people can cognitively prioritize simultaneously coattended information.

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How Outside Spending Shapes American Democracy

Nour Abdul-Razzak, Carlo Prato & Stephane Wolton

Columbia University Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
This paper examines how lifting a ban on contributions from corporations and unions to groups engaging in outside spending (independent political advertising) affects electoral outcomes, representatives' ideology, and targeted public good provision. Using a differences-in-differences design, we find that removing constraints on the funding of outside spending improves the electoral chances of Republican candidates and leads to more conservative state legislatures. We also provide moderate evidence that these regulatory changes have increased polarization and some types of targeted public good provision. Using a game-theoretic framework, we show that these empirical results are consistent with an increase in the salience of local Republican candidates and (at worst) a moderate decrease in the salience of local Democratic candidates relative to national factors such as partisan tides. Our theoretical and empirical findings provide a first step towards understanding the role outside spending and, more generally, a more complete view of special interest group influence in elections.

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A High Bar or a Double Standard? Gender, Competence, and Information in Political Campaigns

Tessa Ditonto

Political Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study seeks to determine whether subjects in two dynamic process tracing experiments react differently to information related to a candidate’s competence when that candidate is a woman, vs. when he is a man. I find that subjects evaluate a candidate whose competence is in doubt less favorably, and are less likely to vote for the candidate, when she is a woman. In general, evaluations of women seem to be influenced much more by information related to their competence than are evaluations of men. I also find that competence as portrayed by the composition of a candidate’s facial features does not alter this relationship. My findings suggest that gender-based stereotypes may have an indirect effect on candidate evaluations and vote choice by influencing how voters react to information about them.

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Explaining Nationalist Political Views: The Case of Donald Trump

Jonathan Rothwell

Gallup Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
The 2016 US presidential nominee Donald Trump has broken with the policies of previous Republican Party presidents on trade, immigration, and war, in favor of a more nationalist and populist platform. Using detailed Gallup survey data for a large number of American adults, I analyze the individual and geographic factors that predict a higher probability of viewing Trump favorably and contrast the results with those found for other candidates. The results show mixed evidence that economic distress has motivated Trump support. His supporters are less educated and more likely to work in blue collar occupations, but they earn relative high household incomes, and living in areas more exposed to trade or immigration does not increase Trump support. There is stronger evidence that racial isolation and less strictly economic measures of social status, namely health and intergenerational mobility, are robustly predictive of more favorable views toward Trump, and these factors predict support for him but not other Republican presidential candidates.

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Predicting and Interpolating State-Level Polls Using Twitter Textual Data

Nicholas Beauchamp

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Spatially or temporally dense polling remains both difficult and expensive using existing survey methods. In response, there have been increasing efforts to approximate various survey measures using social media, but most of these approaches remain methodologically flawed. To remedy these flaws, this article combines 1,200 state-level polls during the 2012 presidential campaign with over 100 million state-located political tweets; models the polls as a function of the Twitter text using a new linear regularization feature-selection method; and shows via out-of-sample testing that when properly modeled, the Twitter-based measures track and to some degree predict opinion polls, and can be extended to unpolled states and potentially substate regions and subday timescales. An examination of the most predictive textual features reveals the topics and events associated with opinion shifts, sheds light on more general theories of partisan difference in attention and information processing, and may be of use for real-time campaign strategy.

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Recruitment and Perceptions of Gender Bias in Party Leader Support

Daniel Butler & Jessica Robinson Preece

Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Gender differences in who gets recruited by political party elites contribute to women’s underrepresentation on the ballot, but recent evidence suggests that even when women are recruited to the same extent as men, they are still less likely to be interested in seeking office. Why do men and women respond differently to invitations to seek office? We hypothesize that women view party recruitment as a weaker signal of informal support than men do. We use a survey experiment on a sample of 3,640 elected municipal officeholders — themselves prospective recruits for higher office — to test this. We find that female respondents generally believe party leaders will provide female recruits less strategic and financial support than male recruits. In other words, even when elites recruit women, women are skeptical that party leaders will use their political and social capital on their behalf. This difference may account for many women’s lukewarm responses to recruitment.

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Ideologically Sophisticated Donors: Which Candidates Do Individual Contributors Finance?

Michael Barber, Brandice Canes-Wrone & Sharece Thrower

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Individuals are the single largest source of campaign contributions, yet we know little about their motivations. For instance, the existing literature questions whether individual contributors sophisticatedly differentiate among candidates according to policy positions, particularly among same-party candidates. We analyze this issue by combining data from a new survey of over 2,800 in- and out-of-state donors associated with the 2012 Senate elections, FEC data on contributors’ professions, and legislative records. Three major findings emerge. First, policy agreement between a donor's positions and a senator's roll calls significantly influences the likelihood of giving, even for same-party contributors. Second, there is a significant effect of committee membership corresponding to a donor's occupation; this holds even for donors who claim that other motivations dominate, but it does not appear to be motivated by an expectation of access. Third, conditional upon a donation occurring, its size is determined by factors outside a legislator's control.

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When Politics Is a Woman’s Game: Party and Gender Ownership in Woman-Versus-Woman Elections

Lindsey Meeks & David Domke

Communication Research, October 2016, Pages 895-921

Abstract:
Research on the interplay of gender and political party in voters’ candidate evaluations has long focused on all-male elections and more recently on mixed-gender elections. This study takes the next theoretical step and focuses on woman-versus-woman elections. Specifically, we examine political party- and gender-based “ownerships” of political issues and character traits in the context of female-only elections. With an experimental design, adult participants were randomly assigned to read news articles that presented either two Republican or two Democratic women competing for Governor. Candidates were presented as “owning” stereotypically masculine or feminine issues and traits. Findings show that self-identified Democrats and Republicans eschewed the so-called masculine candidate, and preferred instead a partisan woman who created a gender balance of masculinity and femininity.

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Gender, race, and political ambition: How intersectionality and frames influence interest in political office

Mirya Holman & Monica Schneider

Politics, Groups, and Identities, forthcoming

Abstract:
Political institutions in the U.S. continue to be dominated by men. Media and scholarly accounts often focus on how demand factors, such as political parties and elite networks, and supply factors, such as women’s self-confidence and political interest, combine to depress women’s representation. Yet, we know little about whether these narratives matter for women’s political ambition or how they might influence women of color. We demonstrate that blaming women’s underrepresentation on supply vs. demand causes clear changes in women’s political ambition. Attributing women’s lack of parity to demand factors allows white and Asian women to “discount” the possibility that failure rests on their own abilities, thus increasing women’s political ambition. Alternatively, framing women’s underrepresentation as due to supply factors depresses white and Asian women’s political ambition possibly because of stereotype threat. Black women respond in an opposite manner, with depressed political ambition in demand scenarios, while Latinas are unaffected by these narratives. Our findings contribute to understanding how frames intersect with racial and ethnic identity to influence political ambition.

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National Forces in State Legislative Elections

Steven Rogers

ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, September 2016, Pages 207-225

Abstract:
The race for the White House is at the top of the ticket, but voters will also choose more than 5,000 state legislators in November 2016. While voters elect and hold the president responsible for one job and state legislators for another, the outcomes of their elections are remarkably related. In analyses of elite and voter behavior in state legislative elections, I show that legislators affiliated with the president’s party — especially during unpopular presidencies — are the most likely to be challenged, and compared with individual assessments of the state legislature, changes in presidential approval have at least three times the impact on voters’ decision-making in state legislative elections. Thus, while state legislatures wield considerable policymaking power, legislators’ electoral fates appear to be largely out of their control.

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“So Many Open Doors?”: An Examination of Gender Stereotypes in State Judicial Campaign Advertisements

Mary Walsh et al.

Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
In the present study we examine gender stereotyping in the traits and images emphasized by candidates in state judicial campaigns. Content analyses were conducted on televised campaign advertisements from state supreme court contests in election years 2008–2010. Our analyses indicate that women referenced masculine traits and were shown with masculine images in their ads more than men. In addition, the gender makeup of the race made a difference; when running against a man, women stress intelligence and being hardworking more than men. Conversely, women mentioned experience to a high degree when running against other women.

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When Does a Presidential Candidate Seem Presidential and Trustworthy? Campaign Messages Through the Lens of Language Expectancy Theory

David Clementson, Paola Pascual-Ferrá & Michael Beatty

Presidential Studies Quarterly, September 2016, Pages 592–617

Abstract:
Presidential candidates use different language intensity in different situations. However, the literature is unclear as to when they should use low- or high-intensity language. We applied language expectancy theory and Edwards’ theory of presidential influence to situations varying in circumstances during a presidential campaign. Results indicated significant interactions between language intensity and economic conditions. In support of theories of persuasion applied to presidential campaign contexts, the effects of language intensity and circumstances each depend on the other. During exigent economic times, people consider a presidential candidate to have more presidentiality and trustworthiness when using high- instead of low-intensity language. And during stable economic times, people consider a presidential candidate to have more presidentiality and trustworthiness when using low- instead of high-intensity language.

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Talk “Like a Man”: The Linguistic Styles of Hillary Clinton, 1992–2013

Jennifer Jones

Perspectives on Politics, September 2016, Pages 625-642

Abstract:
Hillary Clinton is arguably the most prominent woman in American politics today. Past research suggests female politicians conform to masculine communication styles in an attempt to evade the “double bind.” Clinton’s long and varied career thus provides an important and useful case study for investigating how female politicians present themselves strategically. Drawing on research in political psychology, political communication, social psychology, and linguistics I examine whether Clinton talked “like a man” as she navigated a path toward political leadership by conducting a quantitative textual analysis of 567 interview transcripts and candidate debates between 1992–2013. Results on Clinton’s linguistic style suggest her language grew increasingly masculine over time, as her involvement and power in politics expanded. I also consider Clinton’s language in the context of her 2007–2008 presidential campaign. In 2007, Clinton’s linguistic style was consistently masculine, supporting widespread accounts of Clinton’s campaign strategy. Beginning in late 2007, however, Clinton’s language became more feminine, reflecting a shift in the self-presentational strategies advised by her campaign staff. Throughout the 2008 campaign period, Clinton’s language fluctuated dramatically from one interview to the next, reflecting a candidate — and campaign — in crisis. This study reveals hidden insight into the strategies Clinton used as she navigated through the labyrinth toward leadership. Changes in Clinton’s linguistic style reflect the performance of gendered roles, expectations of political leaders, and the masculine norms of behavior that permeate political institutions.

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The Efficacy of Political Advertising: A Voter Participation Field Experiment with Multiple Robo Calls and Controls for Selection Effects

Daniel Kling & Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
We document the effectiveness of robo calls for increasing voter participation despite most published research finding little or no effect of automated calls. We establish this finding in a large field experiment in a targeted, partisan get-out-the-vote campaign. Our experimental design includes a follow-up call, which allows us to control for selection effects. We identify subsets of subjects, for whom the treatment effects are substantially larger than those that are found in previous studies. Our findings show that robo calls can cause up to a one percentage point increase in voter turnout. Additionally, our experimental design allows for testing how the number of calls in a treatment, that is dosage, affects voter turnout. Here, results show that that a few extra calls increase the treatment effect, and that many additional calls decrease that effect.

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Convention effects: Examining the impact of national presidential nominating conventions on information, preferences, and behavioral intentions

Aaron Weinschenk & Costas Panagopoulos

Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, forthcoming

Abstract:
We ask whether and how US presidential nominating conventions matter in contemporary US elections. Using individual-level panel data, we find evidence that the conventions exert important effects on the electorate by influencing post-convention intentions to participate in electoral politics, knowledge about the candidates, and candidate favorability ratings, even after controlling for pre-convention intentions, knowledge, and candidate ratings. We conclude that conventions remain important campaign events that play a role in facilitating democratic processes in America.

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Turnout, Status, and Identity: Mobilizing Latinos to Vote with Group Appeals

Ali Valenzuela & Melissa Michelson

American Political Science Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
The rise of micro-targeting in American elections raises new questions about the effects of identity-based mobilization strategies. While prior research has found either weak or null effects of identity messages targeting minority groups, we bring together theories of expressive voting with literature on racial and ethnic identification to argue that prior studies have missed a crucial moderating variable — identity strength — that varies across both individuals and communities. Identity appeals can have powerful effects on turnout, but only when they target politicized identities to which individuals hold strong prior attachments. Using two innovative GOTV field experiments that rely on publicly available data to proxy for identity strength, we show that the effects of both ethnic and national identity appeals among Latinos in California and Texas are conditional on the strength of those identities in different communities and among different Latino subgroups.

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Learning and Coordination in the Presidential Primary System

George Deltas, Helios Herrera & Mattias Polborn

Review of Economic Studies, October 2016, Pages 1544-1578

Abstract:
In elections with three or more candidates, coordination among like-minded voters is an important problem. We analyse the trade-off between coordination and learning about candidate quality under different temporal election systems in the context of the U.S. presidential primary system. In our model, candidates with different policy positions and qualities compete for the nomination, and voters are uncertain about the candidates' valence. This setup generates two effects: vote splitting (i.e. several candidates in the same policy position compete for the same voter pool) and voter learning (as the results in earlier elections help voters to update their beliefs on candidate quality). Sequential voting minimizes vote splitting in late districts, but voters may coordinate on a low-quality candidate. Using the parameter estimates obtained from all the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries during 2000–12, we conduct policy experiments such as replacing the current system with a simultaneous system, adopting the reform proposal of the National Association of Secretaries of State, or imposing party rules that lead to candidate withdrawal when prespecified conditions are met.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, September 29, 2016

She could win

Do Women Prefer Female Bosses?

Benjamin Artz & Sarinda Taengnoi

Labour Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The participation of women in the labor force has grown significantly over the past 50 years, and with this, women are increasingly holding managerial and supervisory positions. Yet little is known about how female supervisors impact employee well-being. Using two distinct datasets of US workers, we provide previously undocumented evidence that women are less satisfied with their jobs when they have a female boss. Male job satisfaction, by contrast, is unaffected. Crucially our study is able to control for individual worker fixed effects and to identify the impact of a change in supervisor gender on worker well-being without other alterations in the worker's job.

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Do Women Ask?

Benjamin Artz, Amanda Goodall & Andrew Oswald

University of Wisconsin Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
Women typically earn less than men. The reasons are not fully understood. Previous studies argue that this may be because (i) women 'don't ask' and (ii) the reason they fail to ask is out of concern for the quality of their relationships at work. This account is difficult to assess with standard labor-economics data sets. Hence we examine direct survey evidence. Using matched employer-employee data from 2013-14, the paper finds that the women-don't-ask account is incorrect. Once an hours-of-work variable is included in 'asking' equations, hypotheses (i) and (ii) can be rejected. Women do ask. However, women do not get.

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Male Immorality: An Evolutionary Account of Sex Differences in Unethical Negotiation Behavior

Margaret Lee et al.

Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Past research finds that men negotiate more unethically than women, although many studies report comparable rates of unethical negotiation behaviors. Based on evolutionary psychology, we predict conditions under which sex differences in unethical negotiation behavior are more versus less pronounced. We theorize that greater levels of unethical behavior among men occur as a consequence of greater male intrasexual competition for mates. This suggests that more male unethical negotiation behavior should primarily emerge in situations associated with intrasexual competition. Using a two-wave survey design, Study 1 found a positive relationship between mating motivation and unethical negotiation behavior for male, but not female employees. Study 2 was a controlled experiment, replicating this effect and showing that the gender difference was most pronounced when negotiating with same-sex, attractive opponents. Study 3 used a similar experimental design and found support for another implication of evolutionary theory — that mating motivation would prompt unethical behavior in both men and women when the behavior constitutes a less severe norm violation. We discuss contributions to the literature on unethical behavior at work, negotiations, and the role of attractiveness in organizations.

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Facilitating Women’s Success in Business: Interrupting the Process of Stereotype Threat Through Affirmation of Personal Values

Zoe Kinias & Jessica Sim

Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Two field experiments examined if and how values affirmations can ameliorate stereotype threat-induced gender performance gaps in an international competitive business environment. Based on self-affirmation theory (Steele, 1988), we predicted that writing about personal values unrelated to the perceived threat would attenuate the gender performance gap. Study 1 found that an online assignment to write about one’s personal values (but not a similar writing assignment including organizational values) closed the gender gap in course grades by 89.0% among 423 Masters of Business Administration students (MBAs) at an international business school. Study 2 replicated this effect among 396 MBAs in a different cohort with random assignment and tested 3 related mediators (self-efficacy, self-doubt, and self-criticism). Personal values reflection (but not reflecting on values including those of the organization or writing about others’ values) reduced the gender gap by 66.5%, and there was a significant indirect effect through reduced self-doubt. These findings show that a brief personal values writing exercise can dramatically improve women’s performance in competitive environments where they are negatively stereotyped. The results also demonstrate that stereotype threat (Steele & Aronson, 1995) can occur within a largely non-American population with work experience and that affirming one’s core personal values (without organizational values) can ameliorate the threat.

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Gender Differences in Stereotypes of Risk Preferences: Experimental Evidence from a Matrilineal and a Patrilineal Society

Andreas Pondorfer, Toman Barsbai & Ulrich Schmidt

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use a controlled experiment to analyze gender differences in stereotypes about risk preferences of men and women across two distinct island societies in the Pacific: the patrilineal Palawan in the Philippines and the matrilineal Teop in Papua New Guinea. We find no gender differences in actual risk preferences, but we find evidence for culture-specific stereotypes. Like men in Western societies, Palawan men overestimate women’s actual risk aversion. By contrast, Teop men underestimate women’s actual risk aversion. We argue that the observed differences in stereotypes between the two societies are determined by the different social status of women.

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Are Organizational Justice Rules Gendered? Reactions to Men’s and Women’s Justice Violations

Suzette Caleo

Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research has shown that gender role prescriptions can bias reactions to men’s and women’s work behaviors. The current work draws upon this idea and extends it to consider violations of procedural and interactional justice rules. The results of four experimental studies demonstrate that men and women receive differential performance evaluation ratings and reward recommendations when they violate those organizational justice rules that coincide with the content of prescriptive gender stereotypes. Specifically, women were rated less favorably than men when they exhibited interactional injustice (Study 1 and Study 4), but not when they engaged in procedural injustice (Study 2). Findings also indicate that interactional justice violations (e.g., being impolite, not caring about the well-being of subordinates), but not procedural justice violations, are deemed less acceptable for female managers than male managers (Study 3). Overall, the findings suggest that reactions to injustice can be influenced by expectations of how men and women should behave.

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Evaluating Engagement Online: Penalties for Low-Participating Female Instructors in Gender-Balanced Academic Domains

Elizabeth Parks-Stamm & Chanda Grey

Social Psychology, September 2016, Pages 281–287

Abstract:
Past experimental research has shown that women are penalized with harsh evaluations when they violate gender prescriptions to be nurturing and helpful. Instructor participation in an asynchronous online discussion forum and end-of-class evaluation data from 360 courses was used to test the hypothesis that students would penalize female, but not male, online instructors based on their classroom engagement. Results showed a penalties effect in student ratings for low-participating female, but not male, instructors in gender-balanced courses. The results demonstrate the differential impact of instructor engagement on male and female evaluations, shedding light on when and why gender bias is found in student evaluations. Implications for the use of student evaluations of faculty are discussed.

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The Persistence of Extreme Gender Segregation in the Twenty-first Century

Asaf Levanon & David Grusky

American Journal of Sociology, September 2016, Pages 573-619

Abstract:
Why is there so much occupational sex segregation in the 21st century? The authors cast light on this question by using the O*NET archive of occupation traits to operationalize the concepts of essentialism and vertical inequality more exhaustively than in past research. When the new model is applied to recent U.S. Census data, the results show that much vertical segregation remains even after the physical, analytic, and interactional forms of essentialism are controlled; that essentialism nonetheless accounts for much more of total segregation than does vertical inequality; that the physical and interactional forms of segregation are especially strong; that the physical form of essentialism is one of the few examples of female-advantaging segregation; and that essentialism takes on a fractal structure that generates much finely detailed segregation at detailed occupational levels. The authors conclude by discussing how essentialist processes partly account for the intransigence of occupational sex segregation.

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A Tale of Two Types of Perspective Taking: Sex Differences in Spatial Ability

Margaret Tarampi, Nahal Heydari & Mary Hegarty

Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Sex differences in favor of males have been documented in measures of spatial perspective taking. In this research, we examined whether social factors (i.e., stereotype threat and the inclusion of human figures in tasks) account for these differences. In Experiment 1, we evaluated performance when perspective-taking tests were framed as measuring either spatial or social (empathetic) perspective-taking abilities. In the spatial condition, tasks were framed as measures of spatial ability on which males have an advantage. In the social condition, modified tasks contained human figures and were framed as measures of empathy on which females have an advantage. Results showed a sex difference in favor of males in the spatial condition but not the social condition. Experiments 2 and 3 indicated that both stereotype threat and including human figures contributed to these effects. Results suggest that females may underperform on spatial tests in part because of negative performance expectations and the character of the spatial tests rather than because of actual lack of abilities.

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Title IX and the Spatial Content of Female Employment--Out of the Lab and into the Labor Market

Michael Baker & Kirsten Cornelson

NBER Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
Sports participation is a leading environmental explanation of the male advantage in some spatial skills. We exploit the large increase in females’ high school sports participation due to Title IX to test this hypothesis. We relate Title IX induced increases in females’ sport participation to the spatial content of their occupational employment as captured by Dictionary of Occupational Titles codes, and a test of three dimensional spatial rotation. We find little evidence that this increase in sports participation had an impact on either of these measures.

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Do Men Matter to Female Competition Even When They Don't?

Erica Birk, Logan Lee & Glen Waddell

University of Oregon Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
A large literature attempts to identify factors that contribute to gender differences in performance and in the decision to compete. We exploit a highly competitive environment in which elite-female athletes are exposed to the presence of men without the element of direct competition, which allows for the identification of psychological effects of competition. Our results suggest that the presence of men affects the performance of female runners differentially across ability, with negative performance effects being concentrated among lower-ability runners.

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When men lean out: Subtle reminders of child-raising intentions and men and women's career interests

Jennifer Gutsell & Jessica Remedios

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, November 2016, Pages 28–33

Abstract:
Female-dominated occupations tend to be lower paying, but also less time-consuming and more flexible than male-dominated occupations. Women may pursue occupations with short, flexible workweeks because they expect to be primary caretakers of future children. In a pre-registered study we investigated how subtle reminders of child-raising intentions shape college students' occupational interests. We hypothesized that priming women with child-raising intentions reminds them of future caregiving responsibilities and decreases their interest in high-hour, low-flexibility (HH/LF) occupations. However, women reported less interest than men in HH/LF careers regardless of prime (intentions to raise kids versus have pets). Reminding men of child-raising intentions decreased their interest in family-unfriendly HH/LF occupations, particularly among men low in hostile sexism. The results suggest that, whereas women may link child-raising intentions to occupational pursuits regardless of whether such intentions are made salient, reminders of child-raising intentions raise the awareness of non-sexist men of their future family responsibilities.

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Executive gender, competitive pressures, and corporate performance

Mario Daniele Amore & Orsola Garofalo

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigate whether the gender of top executives influences a firm’s reaction to competitive pressures. Our empirical approach is based on policy changes that varied the exposure of US banks to competition during the late 1990s. Results suggest that while banks with female executives experience significantly higher financial performance under low competition, they tend to underperform when competition increases. At the same time, we find that the presence of female leaders improves the capital stability of banks subject to greater competition. Overall, our study highlights strong interactions between executive gender and market structures in the determination of business outcomes.

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Reading the Face of a Leader: Women with Low Facial Masculinity Are Perceived as Competitive

Raphael Silberzahn & Jochen Menges

Academy of Management Discoveries, September 2016, Pages 272-289

Abstract:
In competitive settings, people prefer leaders with masculine faces. But is facial masculinity a trait that is similarly desired in men and women leaders? Across three studies, we discovered that people indeed prefer men and women leaders who have faces with masculine traits. But surprisingly, we find that people also prefer women with low facial masculinity as leaders in competitive contexts (Study 1). Our findings indicate that low facial masculinity in women, but not in men is perceived to indicate competitiveness (Study 2). Thus, in contrast to men, women leaders who rate high in facial masculinity as well as those low in facial masculinity are both selected as leaders in competitive contexts. Indeed, among CEOs of S&P 500 companies, we find a greater range of facial masculinity among women CEOs than among men CEOs (Study 3). Our results suggest that traits of facial masculinity in men and women are interpreted differently. Low facial masculinity in women is linked to competitiveness and not only to cooperativeness as suggested by prior research.

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Persistence and change in age-specific gender gaps: Hollywood actors from the silent era onward

Robert Fleck & Andrew Hanssen

International Review of Law and Economics, October 2016, Pages 36–49

Abstract:
In this paper, we examine a set of workers for whom age-based and gender-based discrimination has been widely alleged: motion picture actors. We document, measure, and consider possible explanations for age-specific gender gaps among Hollywood actors, using nearly a century’s worth of data on films and film roles. Consistent with reports in the popular press, we find a large and very persistent gender gap: Of the nearly half-million different roles played in more than 50,000 feature films between 1920 and 2011, two-thirds have gone to males, and the average male actor is consistently older (by six to ten years) than the average female actor. Yet the age-based gender differences that we observe cannot be explained by a simple model of discrimination — while there are fewer roles for middle-aged women than for middle-aged men, there are more roles for young women than for young men. The fact that these patterns have held steady through major changes in the film industry – and in society as a whole – suggests that correspondingly stable aspects of moviegoer preferences contribute to the age-specific nature of gender gaps.

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The Effects of a Female Role Model on Academic Performance and Persistence of Women in STEM Courses

Sarah Herrmann et al.

Basic and Applied Social Psychology, September/October 2016, Pages 258-268

Abstract:
Women are more likely to leave science, technology, engineering, and mathematics compared to men, in part because they lack similar role models such as peers, teaching assistants, and instructors. We examined the effect of a brief, scalable online intervention that consisted of a letter from a female role model who normalized concerns about belonging, presented time spent on academics as an investment, and exemplified overcoming challenges on academic performance and persistence. The intervention was implemented in introductory psychology (Study 1, N = 258) and chemistry (Study 2, N = 68) courses. Relative to the control group, the intervention group had higher grades and lower failing and withdrawal rates.

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Gender Differences in Response to Big Stakes

Ghazala Azmat, Caterina Calsamiglia & Nagore Iriberri

Journal of the European Economic Association, forthcoming

Abstract:
It is commonly perceived that increasing incentives improves performance. However, the reaction to increased incentives might differ between men and women, leading to gender differences in performance. In a natural experiment, we study the gender difference in performance resulting from changes in stakes. We use detailed information on the performance of high-school students and exploit the variation in the stakes of tests, which range from 5% to 27% of the final grade. We find that female students outperform male students in all tests — but to a relatively larger degree when the stakes are low. The gender gap disappears in tests taken at the end of high school, which count for 50% of the university entry grade.

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Toward a Mechanistic Account of Gender Differences in Reward-Based Decision-Making

Kaileigh Byrne & Darrell Worthy

Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Gender differences in reward-based decision-making have been extensively researched, yet the mechanisms underlying these differences remain poorly understood. We sought to develop a mechanistic account of how men and women differ in their decision-making strategies. We examined gender differences in performance on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; Experiment 1) as well as the Soochow Gambling Task (SGT; Experiment 2). Expectancy valence and prospect valence learning computational models were fit to the data for both tasks to assess specific strategies that men and women utilized during the decision-making process. Our results replicated the behavioral gender difference finding on the IGT. Women selected the disadvantageous Deck B more than did men. We extended these findings to the SGT. Modeling results revealed that women’s data were best fit by higher recency, or learning rate, parameter values than were men’s data in the IGT and SGT. This suggests that women gave greater weight to recent events than did men and that they tended to ignore large, infrequent losses in both experiments. Overall, our results suggest that the mechanism accounting for how men and women differ in reward-based decision-making is that women tend to focus on the relative frequency of gains and losses and attend to recent reward outcomes, whereas men focus more on the extreme gains and losses associated with each alternative and attend to long-term decision outcomes. Implications for these gender differences in reward-based decision-making strategies are discussed.

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Pricing competition: A new laboratory measure of gender differences in the willingness to compete

John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee

Experimental Economics, September 2016, Pages 642-662

Abstract:
Experiments have demonstrated that men are more willing to compete than women. We develop a new instrument to “price” willingness to compete. We find that men value a $2.00 winner-take-all payment significantly more (about $0.28 more) than women; and that women require a premium (about 40 %) to compete. Our new instrument is more sensitive than the traditional binary-choice instrument, and thus, enables us to identify relationships that are not identifiable using the traditional binary-choice instrument. We find that subjects who are the most willing to compete have high ability, higher GPA’s (men), and take more STEM courses (women).

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sell, sell, sell

Turning Back the Clock in Baseball: The Increased Prominence of Extrinsic Rewards and Demand for Authenticity

Oliver Hahl

Organization Science, July-August 2016, Pages 929-953

Abstract:
This paper addresses why customers at times prefer traditional practices deemed more authentic to a domain, particularly where these practices had previously been discarded as inferior. I argue that customer demand for authenticity can be triggered when extrinsic rewards (i.e., fame or money) increase in prominence in a market, causing audiences to doubt the motives of the market's producers. I examine this dynamic in the context of Major League Baseball, where appreciation for traditional stadium features seemingly arose after the advent of free agency heightened awareness and coverage of the economic rewards in the sport. Experimental analysis validates the proposed mechanism, whereby increased fan exposure to extrinsic rewards increases concern about player inauthenticity, which increases preference for traditional stadium features. Quantitative analysis of attendance patterns provides external validation for these experimental findings by showing that authenticity was more highly preferred, in the form of higher relative attendance in traditional-style ballparks, by those fans more exposed to free agency. Conclusions are drawn about the role that perceptions about motives play in market perceptions of authenticity and valuation of authentic cultural objects.

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Brand Loyalty Is Influenced by the Activation of Political Orientations

Jennifer Hoewe & Peter Hatemi

Media Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using an experimental design that measures participants' actual behavior, this study tests the inclusion of a perceived outgroup in an advertisement for a well-established brand to determine if political orientations interact with an advertisement's content to predict consumption of that product. The results indicate that an advertisement's activation of one's political orientation can either change or reinforce brand loyalty. Specifically, more conservative individuals responded to the presence of Muslim and Arab individuals in a Coca-Cola advertisement by selecting Pepsi products despite their initial preference for Coca-Cola; whereas, more liberal individuals maintained their initial brand loyalty to Coca-Cola.

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Seeding the S-Curve? The Role of Early Adopters in Diffusion

Christian Catalini & Catherine Tucker

MIT Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
In October 2014, all 4,494 undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were given access to Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency. As a unique feature of the experiment, students who would generally adopt first were placed in a situation where many of their peers received access to the technology before them, and they then had to decide whether to continue to invest in this digital currency or exit. Our results suggest that when natural early adopters are delayed relative to their peers, they are more likely to reject the technology. We present further evidence that this appears to be driven by identity, in that the effect occurs in situations where natural early adopters' delay relative to others is most visible, and in settings where the natural early adopters would have been somewhat unique in their tech-savvy status. We then show not only that natural early adopters are more likely to reject the technology if they are delayed, but that this rejection generates spillovers on adoption by their peers who are not natural early adopters. This suggests that small changes in the initial availability of a technology have a lasting effect on its potential: Seeding a technology while ignoring early adopters' needs for distinctiveness is counterproductive.

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Something to Talk About: Social Spillovers in Movie Consumption

Duncan Sheppard Gilchrist & Emily Glassberg Sands

Journal of Political Economy, forthcoming

Abstract:
We exploit the randomness of weather and the relationship between weather and moviegoing to quantify social spillovers in movie consumption. Instrumenting for early viewership with plausibly exogenous weather shocks captured in LASSO-chosen instruments, we find that shocks to opening weekend viewership are doubled over the following five weekends. Our estimated momentum arises almost exclusively at the local level, and we find no evidence that it varies with either ex post movie quality or the precision of ex ante information about movie quality, suggesting that the observed momentum is driven in part by a preference for shared experience, and not only by social learning.

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Quality Predictability and the Welfare Benefits from New Products: Evidence from the Digitization of Recorded Music

Luis Aguiar & Joel Waldfogel

NBER Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
We explore the consequence of quality unpredictability for the welfare benefit of new products, using recent developments in recorded music as our context. Digitization has expanded consumption opportunities by giving consumers access to the "long tail" of existing products, rather than simply the popular products that a retailer might stock with limited shelf space. While this is clearly beneficial to consumers, the benefits are somewhat limited: given the substitutability among differentiated products, the incremental benefit of obscure products - even lots of them - can be small. But digitization has also reduced the cost of bringing new products to market, giving rise to a different sort of long tail, in production. If the appeal of new products is unpredictable at the time of investment, as is the case for cultural products as well as many others, then creating new products can have substantial welfare benefits. Technological change in the recorded music industry tripled the number of new products between 2000 and 2008. We quantify the effects of new music on welfare using a simple illustrative, but explicitly structural, model of demand and entry with potentially unpredictable product quality. Based on a range of plausible forecasting models of expected appeal, a tripling of the choice set according to expected quality adds substantially more to consumer surplus and overall welfare than the usual long-tail benefits from a tripling of the choice set according to realized quality, perhaps by more than an order of magnitude.

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The Value of Marketing Crowdsourced New Products as Such: Evidence from Two Randomized Field Experiments

Hidehiko Nishikawa et al.

Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
In order to complement their in-house, designer-driven efforts, companies are increasingly experimenting with crowdsourcing initiatives in which they invite their user communities to generate new product ideas. While innovation scholars have started to analyze the objective promise of crowdsourcing, the research presented here is unique in pointing out that merely marketing the source of design to customers might bring about an incremental increase in product sales. The findings from two randomized field experiments reveal that labeling crowdsourced new products as such, that is, marketing the product as "customer-ideated" at the point of purchase versus not mentioning the specific source of design, increased the product's actual market performance by up to 20 percent. Two controlled follow-up studies reveal that the effect observed in two distinct consumer goods domains (food, electronics) can be attributed to a quality inference: consumers perceive "customer-ideated" products to be based on ideas that address their needs more effectively, and the corresponding design mode is considered superior in generating promising new products.

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When Social Capital Hurts: The Role of Human Capital Experience and Fit

Timothy Gubler

University of California Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
While studies have argued for and found benefits from transacting with social affiliates, it remains unclear how and when they lead to inferior outcomes for professionals and consumers. Building on social and human capital theories, I argue that social affiliations in uncertain markets can lead to unanticipated downsides that reduce overall performance when human capital considerations are supplanted by an effort to avoid opportunism. I test my argument using a novel approach that pairs data from the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service in Utah with hand-collected data on geographically assigned LDS (Mormon) congregation boundaries. This setting allows me to identify listings for which real estate agents and home sellers share a common church congregation affiliation, and to both independently and jointly explore the impact of social affiliations and human capital on transaction outcomes. I find that on average agents sell comparable homes for 2% more and 3.5 days quicker, as well as exert more care and effort through marketing, when listing for affiliates. However, consistent with my theory, I find that sellers are much more likely to use inexperienced agents or agents with poor fit (i.e., specialize primarily in buying homes) when affiliations are present. Such cases result in lower sale prices and reduced agent performance, suggesting a downside to social ties from human capital deficiencies. These results indicate a more nuanced view of social capital is needed that incorporates the selection process and the potential for poor fit in transactions.

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The Space-to-Product Ratio Effect: How Interstitial Space Influences Product Aesthetic Appeal, Store Perceptions, and Product Preference

Julio Sevilla & Claudia Townsend

Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
The authors identify and examine the effect of space-to-product ratio on consumer response; very generally, consumers perceive products as more valuable when more space is devoted to their display. In both lab and field studies, the authors find that this phenomenon influences total sales, purchase likelihood, and even perceived product experience (taste perceptions). More interstitial space increases perceptions of individual products as more aesthetically pleasing and the store as more prestigious. The authors find these effects across a variety of product categories and rule out a number of competing alternative explanations that are based on perceptions of product popularity, scarcity, assortment search difficulty, and messiness.

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Boom and Gloom

Paul Povel et al.

Journal of Finance, October 2016, Pages 2287-2332

Abstract:
We study the performance of investments made at different points of an investment cycle. We use a large data set covering hotels in the United States, with rich details on their location, characteristics, and performance. We find that hotels built during hotel construction booms underperform their peers. For hotels built during local hotel construction booms, this underperformance persists for several decades. We examine possible explanations for this long-lasting underperformance. The evidence is consistent with information-based herding explanations.

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Standing out from the Crowd via Corporate Goodness: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Lei Gao, Jie He & Juan (Julie) Wu

University of Georgia Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
We study firms' incentives to engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities by using the natural experiment of Regulation SHO, which relaxes short sale constraints and increases short selling pressure for a group of randomly selected firms. We find that firms experiencing an exogenous increase in their exposure to short sales significantly raise their CSR relative to control firms. The results are more prominent for firms with stronger signaling abilities (higher profitability and fewer financial constraints), and those with stronger signaling needs (more non-fundamental-driven short selling, higher information uncertainty, and more product market competition). Further, firms that indeed increase their CSR after the regulatory shock experience a larger price reversal relative to those that do not. These findings support the argument that CSR is a device actively used by firms to signal their quality.

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Stock Returns on Customer Satisfaction Do Beat the Market: Gauging the Effect of a Marketing Intangible

Claes Fornell, Forrest Morgeson & Tomas Hult

Journal of Marketing, September 2016, Pages 92-107

Abstract:
A debate about whether firms with superior customer satisfaction earn superior stock returns has been persistent in the literature. Using 15 years of audited returns, the authors find convincing empirical evidence that stock returns on customer satisfaction do beat the market. The recorded cumulative returns were 518% over the years studied (2000-2014), compared with a 31% increase for the S&P 500. Similar results using back-tested instead of real returns were found in the United Kingdom. The effect of customer satisfaction on stock price is, at least in part, channeled through earnings surprises. Consistent with theory, customer satisfaction has an effect on earnings themselves. In addition, the authors examine the effect of stock returns from earnings on stock returns from customer satisfaction. If earnings returns are included among the risk factors in the asset pricing model, the earnings variable partially mitigates the returns on customer satisfaction. Because of the long time series, it is also possible to examine time periods when customer satisfaction returns were below market. The reversal of the general trend largely resulted from short-term market idiosyncrasies with little or no support from fundamentals. Such irregularities have been infrequent and eventually self-correcting. The authors provide reasons why irregularities may occur from time to time.

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Who's Driving This Conversation? Systematic Biases in the Content of Online Consumer Discussions

Rebecca Hamilton, Ann Schlosser & Yu-Jen Chen

Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
When consumers post questions online, who influences the content of the discussion more: the consumer posting the question or those who respond to the post? Our analyses of data from real online discussion forums and four experiments show that early responses to a post tend to drive the content of the discussion as much or more than the content of the initial query. Although advice seekers posting to online discussion forums often explicitly tell respondents which attributes are most important to them, we demonstrate that one common online posting goal, affiliation, makes respondents more likely to repeat attributes mentioned by previous respondents, even if the attributes are less important to the advice seeker or support a suboptimal choice given the advice seeker's decision criteria. Firms listening in on social media should account for this systematic bias when making decisions based on the discussion content.

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Data Privacy: Effects on Customer and Firm Performance

Kelly Martin, Abhishek Borah & Robert Palmatier

Journal of Marketing, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although marketers increasingly rely on customer data, firms have little insight into the ramifications of these uses or how to prevent negative effects. Data management efforts may heighten customers' vulnerability worries or create real vulnerability. Using a conceptual framework grounded in gossip theory, this research links customer vulnerability to negative performance effects. Three studies show transparency and control in firms' data management practices can suppress the negative effects of customer data vulnerability. Experimental manipulations reveal that mere access to personal data inflates feelings of violation and reduces trust. An event study of data security breaches affecting 414 public companies also confirms negative effects, as well as spillover vulnerabilities from rival firms' breaches, on firm performance. Severity of the breach hurts the focal firm but helps the rival firm, which provides some insight into mixed findings in prior research. Finally, a field study with actual customers of 15 companies across three industries demonstrates consistent effects across four types of customer data vulnerability and confirms that violation and trust mediate the effects of data vulnerabilities on outcomes.

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The Dynamics of Subcenter Formation: Midtown Manhattan, 1861-1906

Jason Barr & Troy Tassier

Journal of Regional Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Midtown Manhattan is the largest business district in the country. Yet only a few miles to the south is another district centered at Wall Street. This paper aims to investigate when and why midtown emerged as a separate business district. We have created a new data set from historical New York City directories that provide the employment location, residence, and job type for several thousand residents in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. We supplement this data with additional records from historical business directories. The evidence suggests that early midtown firms appeared there in order to be closer to local residential customers who had been moving north on the island throughout the 19th century. Once several industries appeared in midtown, it triggered a spatial equilibrium readjustment in the 1880s, which then promoted the rise of skyscrapers in midtown around the turn of the 20th century. This process occurred several years before the opening of Grand Central Station in 1913.

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Quantity discounts on a virtual good: The results of a massive pricing experiment at King Digital Entertainment

Steven Levitt et al.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 5 July 2016, Pages 7323-7328

Abstract:
We report on a natural field experiment on quantity discounts involving more than 14 million consumers. Implementing price reductions ranging from 9-70% for large purchases, we found remarkably little impact on revenue, either positively or negatively. There was virtually no increase in the quantity of customers making a purchase; all the observed changes occurred for customers who already were buyers. We found evidence that infrequent purchasers are more responsive to discounts than frequent purchasers. There was some evidence of habit formation when prices returned to pre-experiment levels. There also was some evidence that consumers contemplating small purchases are discouraged by the presence of extreme quantity discounts for large purchases.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

God help us all

Education, Social Mobility, and Religious Movements: The Islamic Revival in Egypt

Christine Binzel & Jean-Paul Carvalho

Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
Muslim societies have been reshaped in recent decades by an Islamic revival. We document a contemporaneous decline in social mobility among educated youth in Egypt, the epicentre of the movement in the Arab world. We then develop a model to show how an unexpected decline in social mobility combined with inequality can produce a religious revival led by the educated middle class. The principal idea is that religion helps individuals to cope with unfulfilled aspirations by adjusting their expectations-based reference point. By raising aspirations, economic development may make societies more prone to religious revivals.

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Does Religiosity Affect Support for Political Compromise?

Danny Cohen-Zada, Yotam Margalit & Oren Rigbi

International Economic Review, August 2016, Pages 1085–1106

Abstract:
Does religiosity affect adherents' attitude toward political compromise? To address this question and overcome the potential simultaneity of religious activity and political attitudes, we exploit exogenous variation in the start date of the Selichot (“Forgiveness”), a period in which many Jews, including nonadherents, take part in an intense prayer schedule. Using a two-wave survey, we find that an increase in the salience of religiosity leads to the adoption of more hard-line positions against a land-for-peace compromise. Examining several potential mechanisms for this attitudinal shift, our evidence points to the impact of the intensified prayer period on adherents' tolerance for risk.

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Rationality and Belief in Human Evolution

Dan Kahan & Keith Stanovich

Yale Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
This paper examines two opposing theories of disbelief in evolution. One, the “bounded rationality” account, attributes disbelief to the inability of individuals to suppress the strongly held intuition that all functional systems, including living beings, originate in intentional agency. The other, the “expressive rationality” account, holds that positions on evolution arise from individuals’ tendency to form beliefs that signal their membership in and loyalty to identity-defining cultural groups. To assess the relative plausibility of these theories, the paper analyzes data on the relationship between study subjects’ beliefs in evolution, their religiosity, and their scores on the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT), a measure of critical-reasoning proficiencies including the disposition to interrogate intuitions in light of available evidence. Far from uniformly inclining individuals to believe in evolution, higher CRT scores magnified the division between relatively religious and relatively nonreligious study subjects. This result was inconsistent with the bounded rationality theory, which predicts that belief in evolution should increase in tandem with CRT scores for all individuals, regardless of cultural identity. It was more consistent with the expressive rationality theory, under which individuals of opposing cultural identities can be expected to use all the cognitive resources at their disposal to form identity-congruent beliefs. The paper discusses the implications for both the study of public controversy over evolution and the study of rationality and conflicts over scientific knowledge generally.

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“I Was a Muslim, But Now I Am a Christian”: Preaching, Legitimation, and Identity Management in a Southern Evangelical Church

Gerardo Marti

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, June 2016, Pages 250–270

Abstract:
Established in 2005, “Life” is a suburban, nondenominational, evangelical church in Charlotte, North Carolina, with an almost entirely white membership, yet the lead pastor is an immigrant from the Middle East. As an ex-Muslim ethnic Pakistani who was born and raised in Kuwait, Pastor Sameer Khalid does not “fit” into southern culture, and he did not convert to Christianity until he was enrolled in college in the United States. Ethnographic data from 14 months of fieldwork reveal how Pastor Sameer uses weekly sermons to negotiate racialized stigmas, emphasize his common religious identity with the congregation, and make his immigrant background a distinctive religious resource for the church. More specifically, while all pastors require legitimation of their charismatic authority, this research focuses on the dynamics of performance through preaching within the Sunday morning services of this congregation, a performance that negotiates this lead pastor's ethnic and religious identities and accentuates his strategic use of institutionalized evangelical narratives to subvert Islamophobic threats and buttress legitimation of his pastoral identity.

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Economic Freedom and Religion: An Empirical Investigation

Arye Hillman & Niklas Potrafke

Public Finance Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
There has been much study of the consequences of economic freedom but, outside of the role of political institutions, there has been little study of the determinants of economic freedom. We investigate whether religion affects economic freedom. Our cross-sectional data set includes 137 countries averaged over the period 2001–2010. Simple correlations show that Protestantism is associated with economic freedom, Islam is not, with Catholicism in between. The Protestant ethic requires economic freedom. Our empirical estimates, which include religiosity, political institutions, and other explanatory variables, confirm that Protestantism is most conducive to economic freedom.

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An existential function of evil: The effects of religiosity and compromised meaning on belief in magical evil forces

Clay Routledge, Andrew Abeyta & Christina Roylance

Motivation and Emotion, October 2016, Pages 681–688

Abstract:
In three studies, we tested the assertion that the need for meaning motivates belief in magical evil forces. Believing that there are magical evil forces at work in the world, though unpleasant, may contribute to perceptions of meaning in life as the existence of such forces supports a broader meaning-providing religious worldview. We assessed religiosity, measured (Study 1) or manipulated (Study 2) perceptions of meaning, and assessed the extent to which participants attributed a murderer’s actions to magical evil causes (e.g., having a dark soul). Low levels of perceived meaning or experimentally threatened meaning were associated with a greater tendency to make magical evil attributions, but only among individuals reporting high levels of religiosity. In Study 3, we assessed religiosity, experimentally threatened perceptions of meaning, and measured general belief in magical evil forces. Meaning threat increased belief in magical evil, but only among those reporting high levels of religiosity.

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The Perception of Atheists as Narcissistic

Julianna Dubendorff & Andrew Luchner

Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research into prejudice toward atheists has generally focused on broad characteristics. Some of these characteristics (i.e., self-centeredness, elitism, individualism, and immorality) indicate a possible prejudice of narcissism. To investigate this specific prejudice, the present study used the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (Raskin & Terry, 1988), the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (Hendin & Cheek, 1997), and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1983), which were adjusted so that the items of each measure were changed from first-person statements to third-person statements to measure participants’ perceptions. Participants (N = 359) were given a description of a fictitious individual named Alex, portrayed to them as either male or female and atheist or religious, or male or female with no additional information (creating 6 experimental groups), and then asked to complete the measures as they thought the individual would. Participants consistently rated atheists higher on narcissism measures and lower on empathy measures, indicating a perception of greater narcissism and a lack of empathy compared with religious individuals and controls. Participants’ perceptions of Alex were affected by his or her gender in conjunction with his or her religion, and the 2 variables of gender and religion interacted to create different patterns of perception. In general, interactions indicated differences in the way religion and gender impacted the perception of individuals as narcissistic, affecting perceptions of males more than females. The results are consistent with research findings that perceptions of atheists tend to be negative and prejudicial. This study highlights the need to compare perceptions with actual personality differences between atheists and religious individuals.

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The Republicanization of evangelical Protestants in the United States: An examination of the sources of political realignment

Philip Schwadel

Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although the association between evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations is now a fundamental aspect of American politics, this was not the case as recently as the early 1980s. Following work on secular political realignment and the issue evolution model of partisan change, I use four decades of repeated cross-sectional survey data to examine the dynamic correlates of evangelical Protestant and Republican affiliations, and how these factors promote changes in partisanship. Results show that evangelical Protestants have become relatively more likely to attend religious services and to oppose homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending. Period-specific mediation models show that opposition to abortion, homosexuality, and welfare spending have become more robust predictors of Republican affiliation. By the twenty-first century, differences in Republican affiliation between evangelical Protestants and other religious affiliates are fully mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, and welfare spending; and differences in Republican affiliation between evangelicals and the religiously unaffiliated are substantially mediated by views of homosexuality, abortion, welfare spending, and military spending. These results further understanding of rapid changes in politico-religious alignments and the increasing importance of moral and cultural issues in American politics, which supports a culture wars depiction of the contemporary political landscape.

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Religion, Politics, and Americans’ Confidence in Science

Darren Sherkat

Politics and Religion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Americans’ perceptions of science are structured by overlapping cultural fields of politics and religion, and those cultural fields vary over time in how they influence opinion about science. This paper provides a historical narrative for understanding how religious and political factors influence public perceptions of science over the last four decades. Using data from the 1974–2012 General Social Survey, the impact of religious and political factors are examined and compared across decades using heterogeneous ordinal logistic regression models and ordinal structural equation models. Estimates show that the impact of sectarian Protestant identification and fundamentalist beliefs in the Bible are increasingly linked to lower levels of confidence in science, and that these religious factors also influence the impact of political conservatism and Republican Party identification. Political conservatism has become more oppositional towards science, and Republicans have become less enthusiastic compared to periods when science was primarily linked to militaristic endeavors.

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Work Ethic, Social Ethic, no Ethic: Measuring the Economic Values of Modern Christians

Christopher Colvin & Matthew McCracken

Journal of Applied Econometrics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Benito Arruñada finds evidence of a distinct Protestant social ethic in the ISSP's 1998 Religion II Survey (Economic Journal 2010; 120: 890–918). We replicate Arruñada's results using his broad definition of Protestantism and our new narrow definition, which includes only those ascetic denominations that Max Weber singled out for possessing a strong capitalist work ethic. We then extend this analysis to the ISSP's 2008 Religion III Survey, the most recent comparable international questionnaire on religious attitudes and religious change. We find no evidence of a Calvinist work ethic, and suggest that Arruñada's Protestant social ethic continues into the 21st century.

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Primed Analytic Thought and Religiosity: The Importance of Individual Characteristics

Julie Yonker et al.

Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, forthcoming

Abstract:
Analytic thought has been implicated in reduction of religious belief on the premise that intuitive cognitive systems facilitate religious belief and conscious inhibition encourages rejection of religious beliefs. Inherent in these studies are priming techniques to induce analytic thinking, resulting in reductions of religiosity and/or religious beliefs. The present study empirically reexamined the impact of priming analytic thought on intrinsic religiosity. In 2 randomized controlled experiments, we found little difference in intrinsic religiosity in control compared to analytic thinking prime conditions. When analytic thinking was primed, results were either unrelated to intrinsic religiosity or in opposite directions from those in previous research. Analytic thought primes led to higher intrinsic religiosity. All analyses statistically controlled for demographic characteristics. Our results suggest the relationship between analytic reasoning and intrinsic religiosity is more complex than previously suggested and establishes the importance of individual demographic characteristics for religiosity. Future research should engage measures that capture the nuances associated with religiosity.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, September 26, 2016

Smart power

In Aid We Trust: Hearts and Minds and the Pakistan Earthquake of 2005

Tahir Andrabi & Jishnu Das

Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

Abstract:
In 2005 an earthquake in Northern Pakistan led to a significant inflow of international relief groups. Four years later, trust in Europeans and Americans was markedly higher among those exposed to the earthquake and the relief that followed. These differences reflect the greater provision of foreign aid and foreigner presence in affected villages, rather than pre-existing population differences or a general impact of disasters on trust. We thus demonstrate large-scale, durable attitudinal change in a representative Muslim population. Trust in Westerners among Muslims is malleable and not a deep-rooted function of preferences or global (as opposed to local) policy and actions.

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Status Deficits and War

Jonathan Renshon

International Organization, July 2016, Pages 513-550

Abstract:
Despite widespread agreement that status matters, there is relatively little in the way of focused research on how and when it matters. Relying on the assumption that it “matters” has provided few extant theories of variation in states’ concern for status and little understanding of its specific implications for international conflict. I introduce a theory of status dissatisfaction (SD) that clarifies who forms the basis for status comparisons in world politics, when status concerns should be paramount, and how they are linked to international conflict. I demonstrate the viability of conflict as a strategy for status enhancement: both initiation and victory bring substantial status benefits over both five- and ten-year periods. Using a new, network-based measure of international status, I demonstrate that status deficits are significantly associated with an increased probability of war and militarized interstate dispute (MID) initiation. Even internationally, status is local: I use “community detection” algorithms to recover status communities and show that deficits within those communities are particularly salient for states and leaders.

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When Political Gridlock Reigns in Presidential Foreign Policy: Policy Availability and the Role of Congress

Bryan Marshall & Brandon Prins

Presidential Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
There is an inherent connection between the party cover and policy availability theories that has been largely overlooked by the presidential use of force literature. Party cover views the president's party strength in Congress as the prominent structural source shaping presidential incentives by diffusing responsibility in foreign policy. But policy availability adds to this view by explaining how such domestic conditions shape the variety of choices (or tools) presidents have for demonstrating political leadership. Policy availability anticipates that presidential incentives to use the Constitution's Article II authority across foreign policy operations will vary depending on the president's relationship with Congress. This analysis provides insight into claims made by policy availability arguments regarding the role of Congress in explaining presidential decisions to initiate military interventions. The findings point to important differences in the effects of Congress on presidential decisions for low-risk versus high-risk military missions. We find that the president's ability to legislate decreases the likelihood of humanitarian interventions. In addition, we find that as the president's relationship with Congress becomes more legislatively productive, presidents seem significantly more drawn toward high- risk military interventions. We infer from these findings that policy availability represents a powerful motivation in the president's calculation to engage in foreign policy interventions.

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Kill, Capture, or Defend? The Effectiveness of Specific and General Counterterrorism Tactics Against the Global Threats of the Post-9/11 Era

Jesse Paul Lehrke & Rahel Schomaker

Security Studies, Fall 2016, Pages 729-762

Abstract:
This article examines the effectiveness of contemporary counterterrorism strategy in the global fight against terrorism from 2001 to 2011. We seek to maximize the comparative approach more than most existing studies by examining three tactics (killing, capturing, and defending) applied at three scopes (leader, operational, and broad) on three levels (global, movement [jihadi], and organizational [al-Qaeda and Taliban]), while also measuring effectiveness along several quantitative, qualitative, and spatial dimensions. Drawing from resource theory (and its derived analytical approaches) and empirical terrorism studies, we formulate competing hypotheses that are quantitatively tested using a dataset with several original aspects. We find that both killing and capturing can have large effects but these effects vary based on both states' and terrorists' targeting strategies. The most interesting specific findings are that drone strikes seem counterproductive for counterterrorism while renditions seem effective. However, these effects were dwarfed by those of increased defenses, which reduce attacks in the West while redirecting them to other areas in the world. While we find the theory mostly sound, though in need of refocus, we believe current policy trends foretell an increase in terrorist activity in the coming years.

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Media coverage and the escalation of militarized interstate disputes, 1992–2001

Ross Miller & Scott Bokemper

Media, War & Conflict, August 2016, Pages 162-179

Abstract:
Some international crises – such as the Cuban Missile Crisis – receive widespread media coverage, while others are barely reported at all. Does this matter for the behavior of the dispute participants? Can widespread media coverage change the course of history? The authors’ goal is to assess how varying levels of coverage in elite news sources – The New York Times and The Times of London – influence the outcomes of international crises. Their analysis of over 300 dispute dyads indicates that, even after controlling for potential endogeneity and standard explanations of dispute outcomes, higher levels of media exposure make it more likely that targets of threats will escalate crises.

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Torture and the Commitment Problem

Sandeep Baliga & Jeffrey Ely

Review of Economic Studies, October 2016, Pages 1406-1439

Abstract:
We study torture as a mechanism for extracting information from a suspect who may or may not be informed. We show that a standard rationale for torture generates two commitment problems. First, the principal would benefit from a commitment to torture a suspect he knows to be innocent. Secondly, the principal would benefit from a commitment to limit the amount of torture faced by the guilty. We analyse a dynamic model of torture in which the credibility of these threats and promises is endogenous. We show that these commitment problems dramatically reduce the value of torture and can even render it completely ineffective. We use our model to address questions such as the effect of enhanced interrogation techniques, rights against indefinite detention, and delegation of torture to specialists.

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Future Warfare in the Western Pacific: Chinese Antiaccess/Area Denial, U.S. AirSea Battle, and Command of the Commons in East Asia

Stephen Biddle & Ivan Oelrich

International Security, Summer 2016, Pages 7-48

Abstract:
Many analysts worry that improvements in Chinese missile, sensor, guidance, and other technologies will enable China to deny the U.S. military access to parts of the Western Pacific that the United States has long controlled. Although these “antiaccess, area denial” (A2/AD) capabilities are real, they are a geographically limited long-term threat. As both the United States and China deploy A2/AD capabilities, a new era will emerge in which the U.S. military no longer enjoys today's command of the global commons, but is still able to deny China military hegemony in the Western Pacific. In this new era, the United States will possess a sphere of influence around allied landmasses; China will maintain a sphere of influence over its own mainland; and a contested battlespace will cover much of the South and East China Seas wherein neither power enjoys wartime freedom of surface or air movement. This in turn suggests that the Chinese A2/AD threat to U.S. allies is real but more limited than often supposed. With astute U.S. choices, most U.S. allies in this new system will be imperfectly, but substantially, secure.

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Transnational Repression, Diaspora Mobilization, and the Case of The Arab Spring

Dana Moss

Social Problems, forthcoming

Abstract:
Do authoritarian states deter dissent in the diaspora? Using data on Libyan and Syrian activism in the United States and Great Britain, this study demonstrates that they do through violence, exile, threats, surveillance, and by harming dissidents’ relatives at home. The analysis finds that the transnational repression of these diasporas deterred public anti-regime mobilization before the Arab Spring. I then identify the mechanisms by which Libyans and Syrians overcame these effects during the 2011 revolutions. Activists “came out” when (1) violence at home changed their relatives’ circumstances and upset repression’s relational effects; (2) the sacrifices of vanguard activists expanded their objects of obligation, leading them to embrace cost sharing; and (3) the regimes were perceived as incapable of making good on their threats. However, differences in the regimes’ perceived capacities to repress in 2011 produced significant variation in the pace of diaspora emergence over time and guarded advocacy. The study advances understanding of transnationalism by demonstrating how states exercise coercive power across borders and the conditions under which diasporas mobilize to publicly and collectively challenge home-country regimes.

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The Belligerent Origins of the Democratic Peace

Meredith Blank, Mark Dincecco & Yuri Zhukov

University of Michigan Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
Is the democratic peace a wholly modern phenomenon or a continuation of previous historical trends? This paper offers the first quantitative analysis of political regime type and conflict in late medieval and early modern Europe. We argue that the modern democratic peace is borne out of centuries of conflict between early parliamentary regimes, which enabled states to raise greater fiscal resources to put toward warfare. To test this argument, we construct a new dyadic panel database of all conflicts, belligerents, and political regime types for the full universe of sovereign polities in Europe between 1200 and 1800. Our database includes more than 900 conflicts and 80 polities. We find that parliamentary regimes fought significantly more than non-parliamentary regimes, both overall and against each other. Furthermore, we find that the causal relationship between parliaments and warfare was reciprocal, with war participation creating the demand for parliamentary institutions, and such institutions creating the capacity for more war. Our results suggest that the institutional predecessors of modern democracies were regimes with significant capacity to make war, but -- until recently -- not enough constraints to prevent it.

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Trading Fire: The Arms Trade Network and Civil War

Brett Benson & Kristopher Ramsay

Princeton Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
The last fifty years have seen two big changes in world politics. First, the most important violent conflicts now largely play out within states rather than between great powers. Second, the decrease in transportation cost has pulled even the smallest and remote countries in the the global exchange of goods and services. In this paper we study how these two fundamental elements of modern world politics interact by analyzing the effects of the trade in small arms on the severity of civil war measured in terms of battle deaths. Using an instrumental variables approach we provide credible evidence that the trade in small arms increases the deadliness for combatants in civil war. Our results also show that sanctions and arms embargoes decrease the loss of combatant life. In addition, our estimation strategy implies an effect of markets and the arms trade network on the transmission of violence to civil war locations. In essence the results show that the arms trade produces a law of conservation of violence. As one civil war ends, the resulting changes in the international market leads other war torn countries’ imports to increase, which in turn increases the number of casualties in ongoing civil wars.

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Perceptions of Recruitment Videos From Armed Forces

Kevin Carriere & Madeleine Blackman

Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Both the U.S. military and ISIS need a constant stream of new recruits. Although their goals and values are very different, both the U.S. military and ISIS display 2 main methods of advertising for recruits: communications focused on (1) glory and combat (action-oriented) and (2) community and benefits beyond the self (community-oriented). This study tests to see whether these 2 different types of messaging are perceived differently. Participants (N = 160) responded more positively to videos from both the U.S. military and ISIS featuring community-oriented content. Possible applied implications are discussed.

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Media effects: Do terrorist organizations launch foreign attacks in response to levels of press freedom or press attention?

Victor Asal & Aaron Hoffman

Conflict Management and Peace Science, September 2016, Pages 381-399

Abstract:
Terrorists are supposed to be influenced by opportunities for news coverage, but does this mean that groups initiate foreign attacks in response to the absence of press freedom in their country or inattention to that state by foreign media organizations? Using Asal and Rethmeyer’s BAAD1 data on terrorist organizations, we find that increasing levels of attention by the international press reduce the odds of groups launching cross-border attacks. The propensity of groups to launch foreign attacks appears unrelated to press freedom. These results suggest that the protections that states provide for the press motivate foreign terrorism less than the way the media determines newsworthiness.

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Dynamic Forecasting Conditional Probability of Bombing Attacks Based on Time-Series and Intervention Analysis

Shuying Li, Jun Zhuang & Shifei Shen

Risk Analysis, forthcoming

Abstract:
In recent years, various types of terrorist attacks occurred, causing worldwide catastrophes. According to the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), among all attack tactics, bombing attacks happened most frequently, followed by armed assaults. In this article, a model for analyzing and forecasting the conditional probability of bombing attacks (CPBAs) based on time-series methods is developed. In addition, intervention analysis is used to analyze the sudden increase in the time-series process. The results show that the CPBA increased dramatically at the end of 2011. During that time, the CPBA increased by 16.0% in a two-month period to reach the peak value, but still stays 9.0% greater than the predicted level after the temporary effect gradually decays. By contrast, no significant fluctuation can be found in the conditional probability process of armed assault. It can be inferred that some social unrest, such as America's troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, could have led to the increase of the CPBA in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. The integrated time-series and intervention model is used to forecast the monthly CPBA in 2014 and through 2064. The average relative error compared with the real data in 2014 is 3.5%. The model is also applied to the total number of attacks recorded by the GTD between 2004 and 2014.

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Settling of the maritime boundaries of the United States: Cost of settlement and the benefits of legal certainty

Áslaug Ásgeirsdóttir

Marine Policy, November 2016, Pages 187–195

Abstract:
The United States has the largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world by virtue of its long coastlines and multiple dependencies in the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans. As a result it shares 27 maritime boundaries with 20 different states and dependencies. This paper analyzes how the United States settled 10 contested maritime boundaries between 1977 and until 1997, but has since then left 17 unresolved maritime boundaries. It advances the argument that in this area of relatively low salience for the United States' foreign policy, political and economic transaction costs are key variables in explaining the pattern of settlement.

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Changing capabilities, uncertainty, and the risk of war in crisis bargaining

Brett Benson, Adam Meirowitz & Kristopher Ramsay

Research & Politics, August 2016

Abstract:
Understanding how changes to war-fighting technology influence the probability of war is central to security studies. Yet the effects of changes in the distribution of power are not obvious. All else equal, increasing a country’s power makes it more aggressive when making demands or more resistant to accepting offers, but all else is not equal. Changes in power influence the behavior of both countries and can generate countervailing incentives. In this note we characterize the conditions relating changes in war payoffs to changes in the probability of bargaining failure and war. For a variety of cases the strategic effects can be entirely offsetting and no change in the probability of war results from changes in the balance of power, a result sometimes called neutrality. When this neutralization does not occur, interesting and sometimes surprising effects can persist. For example, if countries are risk averse and neutrality fails, then supporting the weaker country can reduce the probability of war rather than make war more likely, even though the weaker side will now make higher demands and reject more proposals in favor of war.

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Old (Molotov) cocktails in new bottles? “Price-tag” and settler violence in Israel and the West Bank

Ehud Eiran & Peter Krause

Terrorism and Political Violence, forthcoming

Abstract:
In the early morning of July 31, 2015, masked attackers threw firebombs into two Palestinian homes in the West Bank village of Duma, south of Nablus, killing three Palestinian civilians. Contrary to claims by Israeli and Palestinian politicians, this attack was neither an isolated anomaly nor just another incident of settler violence. Instead, it was the latest attack in an important but largely unknown phenomenon called “price-tag,” in which a loosely connected group of young Israelis called “hilltop youth” burn Palestinian mosques and destroy property in hundreds of attacks accompanied by threatening graffiti that references Israeli settlers, outposts, and anti-Arab slogans. Using an original dataset of price-tag incidents and interviews with key actors, we demonstrate that the perpetrators, targets, and strategies of price-tag are different than previous patterns of settler violence. Whereas previous settlers saw the Israeli state as legitimate and largely decided to cooperate with it, the hilltop youth have decided to confront it by using price-tag attacks to deter settlement withdrawals and chain-gang the state into a conflict with the Palestinians. This analysis of the strategic logic of price-tag reveals its potential to shift the political landscape within and between Israelis and Palestinians.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Preoccupied

Increased Incidence Rate of Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders in Denmark After the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks in the United States

Bertel Hansen et al.

American Journal of Epidemiology, forthcoming

Abstract:
The terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 (hereafter referred to as 9/11) in the United States had a profound impact on the physical and mental health of Americans, but the effects beyond the United States are largely unknown. To understand the wider aftermath, we examined the consequences of the 9/11 attacks on mental disorders in the Kingdom of Denmark. Utilizing population data from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register from 1995 to 2012, we used a time-series intervention approach to estimate the change in the incidence rate of mental disorders after the 9/11 attacks. Based on analyses of 1,448,250 contacts with psychiatric services, we found that the attacks were followed by an immediate 16% increase in the incidence rate of trauma- and stressor-related disorders. This surge dissipated approximately a year after 9/11. In contrast, no similar increases were found for other disorders. This is consistent with the prominent role of external stressors in the etiology of trauma- and stressor-related disorders. The results indicate that the effects of 9/11 on mental disorders extended across the Atlantic Ocean to Denmark. Thus, the impact of terrorist attacks on mental health is likely not limited to inhabitants of the country under attack; it also extends to people far away and without immediate relation to it.

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Don't stop believing: Rituals improve performance by decreasing anxiety

Alison Wood Brooks et al.

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, November 2016, Pages 71-85

Abstract:
From public speaking to first dates, people frequently experience performance anxiety. And when experienced immediately before or during performance, anxiety harms performance. Across a series of experiments, we explore the efficacy of a common strategy that people employ to cope with performance-induced anxiety: rituals. We define a ritual as a predefined sequence of symbolic actions often characterized by formality and repetition that lacks direct instrumental purpose. Using different instantiations of rituals and measures of anxiety (both physiological and self-report), we find that enacting rituals improves performance in public and private performance domains by decreasing anxiety. Belief that a specific series of behaviors constitute a ritual is a critical ingredient to reduce anxiety and improve performance: engaging in behaviors described as a "ritual" improved performance more than engaging in the same behaviors described as "random behaviors."

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Don't Sleep on It: Less Sleep Reduces Risk for Depressive Symptoms in Cognitively Vulnerable Undergraduates

Gerald Haeffel

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
The current research tested a new theory of depression that integrates work on sleep and cognition. In general, good sleep is essential for physical and mental health. However, we theorize that sleep can actually increase risk for depressive symptoms in cognitively vulnerable individuals. This is because the negative cognitions generated by these individuals are strengthened and consolidated each night during sleep. Three studies were conducted to test this theory. Studies 1 (n = 134) and 2 (n = 47) used prospective designs and showed that undergraduates with high, but not low, levels of cognitive vulnerability were most likely to exhibit increases in depressive symptoms when sleeping well as operationalized by self-reported quality and objectively measured duration (via actigraphy). Study 3 (n = 40) used an experimental design and provides the first causal evidence that it may be possible to prevent future depressive symptoms in cognitively at-risk undergraduates by restricting their sleep during times of high perceived stress.

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The Impact of Outward Bound Programming on Psychosocial Functioning for Male Military Veterans

David Scheinfeld, Aaron Rochlen & Michael Russell

Psychology of Men & Masculinity, forthcoming

Abstract:
This pilot study examined male U.S. military veterans' change in overall mental health symptoms after attending an Outward Bound for Veterans (OB4V) course. Two hundred and forty two male veterans, primarily serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn were assigned to either a treatment group or a waitlist control group. Data were collected before and within 1 week after OB4V course attendance. Overall mental health symptoms (outcome) and level of conformity to masculine norms (moderator) were measured using the Outcomes Questionnaire-45 (OQ-45) total score and the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory. Results indicated participation in OB4V had a significant effect on veterans' overall mental health symptoms. Conformity to traditional masculine norms did not moderate change in OQ-45 scores, suggesting veterans attain similar mental health improvement following OB4V regardless of conformity level (i.e., low, medium, or high) to masculine norms. Findings indicate that OB4V provides male veterans a therapeutic intervention to improve overall mental health symptoms. OB4V and similar therapeutic adventure approaches may provide a culture-centered approach to meet the unique needs of men and veterans.

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Self-affirmation and affective forecasting: Affirmation reduces the anticipated impact of negative events

Janet Pauketat et al.

Motivation and Emotion, October 2016, Pages 750-759

Abstract:
When forecasting how they will feel in the future, people overestimate the impact that imagined negative events will have on their affective states, partly because they underestimate their own psychological resiliency. Because self-affirmation enhances resiliency, two studies examined whether self-affirmation prior to forecasting reduces the extremity of affective forecasts. Participants in self-affirmation conditions completed a values scale or wrote an essay asserting their most important value, whereas participants in the no-affirmation condition asserted a relatively unimportant value. Participants then predicted their affective reactions to a negative or positive imagined event. In both studies, self-affirmation reduced the unpleasant affect expected to result from a negative event, but had no impact on affective forecasts for a positive event. This pattern was mediated by participants' cognitive appraisals of the imagined event, but not by differential focus on that event. Results are consistent with self-affirmation activating or enhancing psychological resiliency to counteract immune neglect during affective forecasting of a negative event.

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Noticing nature: Individual and social benefits of a two-week intervention

Holli-Anne Passmore & Mark Holder

Journal of Positive Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We examined the effects of a two-week nature-based well-being intervention. Undergraduates (N = 395) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: nature, human-built or a business-as-usual control. Participants paid attention to how nature (or human-built objects, depending on assignment) in their everyday surroundings made them feel, photographed the objects/scenes that evoked emotion in them and provided a description of emotions evoked. Post-intervention levels of net positive affect, elevating experiences, a general sense of connectedness (to other people, to nature and to life as a whole) and prosocial orientation were significantly higher in the nature group compared to the human-built and control groups. Trait levels of nature connectedness and engagement with beauty did not moderate nature's beneficial impact on well-being. Qualitative findings revealed significant differences in the emotional themes evoked by nature vs. human-built objects/scenes. This research provides important empirical support for nature involvement as an effective positive psychology intervention.

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Beliefs about emotion's malleability influence state emotion regulation

Elizabeth Kneeland et al.

Motivation and Emotion, October 2016, Pages 740-749

Abstract:
The current study examined how manipulating information about whether emotions are fixed or malleable influences the extent to which individuals engage in different emotion regulation strategies. We hypothesized that fixed, compared to malleable, emotion beliefs would produce less effort invested in emotion regulation. Participants were randomly assigned to experimental conditions emphasizing that emotions are malleable or fixed, and then completed an autobiographical negative emotion induction. Participants reported seven different emotion regulation strategies they used during the recall task. Participants in the fixed emotion condition, compared to those in the malleable emotion condition, reported engaging significantly less in self-blame and perspective-taking. They engaged somewhat, but not significantly, less in all of the other strategies, except acceptance. These results suggest that emotion malleability beliefs can be experimentally manipulated and systematically influence subsequent emotion regulatory behavior. Implications for affective science and mental health are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Just that way

Subtle Perceptions of Male Sexual Orientation Influence Occupational Opportunities

Nicholas Rule et al.

Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Theories linking the literatures on stereotyping and human resource management have proposed that individuals may enjoy greater success obtaining jobs congruent with stereotypes about their social categories or traits. Here, we explored such effects for a detectable, but not obvious, social group distinction: male sexual orientation. Bridging previous work on prejudice and occupational success with that on social perception, we found that perceivers rated gay and straight men as more suited to professions consistent with stereotypes about their groups (nurses, pediatricians, and English teachers vs. engineers, managers, surgeons, and math teachers) from mere photos of their faces. Notably, distinct evaluations of the gay and straight men emerged based on perceptions of their faces with no explicit indication of sexual orientation. Neither perceivers' expertise with hiring decisions nor diagnostic information about the targets eliminated these biases, but encouraging fair decisions did contribute to partly ameliorating the differences. Mediation analysis further showed that perceptions of the targets' sexual orientations and facial affect accounted for these effects. Individuals may therefore infer characteristics about individuals' group memberships from their faces and use this information in a way that meaningfully influences evaluations of their suitability for particular jobs.

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Sexual Orientation, Income, and Stress at Work

Benjamin Cerf

Industrial Relations, October 2016, Pages 546-575

Abstract:
I present a model explaining recent findings that partnered gay men earn less than partnered straight men while partnered lesbian women earn more than partnered straight women. In an environment with compensating differentials and a gender gap in potential income, an income effect leads partnered gay men to choose jobs with lower income and higher amenities than partnered straight men. The same mechanism generates similarly reasoned predictions about income and amenities for women and single people. Canadian data on stressfulness of one's working environment support these predictions.

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Same-Sex and Different-Sex Cohabiting Couple Relationship Stability

Wendy Manning, Susan Brown & Bart Stykes

Demography, August 2016, Pages 937-953

Abstract:
Relationship stability is a key indicator of well-being, but most U.S.-based research has been limited to different-sex couples. The 2008 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) provides an untapped data resource to analyze relationship stability of same-sex cohabiting, different-sex cohabiting, and different-sex married couples (n = 5,701). The advantages of the SIPP data include the recent, nationally representative, and longitudinal data collection; a large sample of same-sex cohabitors; respondent and partner socioeconomic characteristics; and identification of a state-level indicator of a policy stating that marriage is between one man and one woman (i.e., DOMA). We tested competing hypotheses about the stability of same-sex versus different-sex cohabiting couples that were guided by incomplete institutionalization, minority stress, relationship investments, and couple homogamy perspectives (predicting that same-sex couples would be less stable) as well as economic resources (predicting that same-sex couples would be more stable). In fact, neither expectation was supported: results indicated that same-sex cohabiting couples typically experience levels of stability that are similar to those of different-sex cohabiting couples. We also found evidence of contextual effects: living in a state with a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage was significantly associated with higher levels of instability for same- and different-sex cohabiting couples. The level of stability in both same-sex and different-sex cohabiting couples is not on par with that of different-sex married couples. The findings contribute to a growing literature on health and well-being of same-sex couples and provide a broader understanding of family life.

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Does Candidate Sexual Orientation Matter at the Ballot Box? A Field Experiment

David Niven & Costas Panagopoulos

University of Cincinnati Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
Surveys and laboratory experiments suggest the existence of enduring hurdles that LGBTQ candidates must overcome to win. But to what extent do actual voters respond to candidate sexual orientation? To what extent is their response conditioned by the presence or absence of social issues in the campaign dialogue? To test these questions, a field experiment was embedded in a low salience 2016 Democratic Primary race for county recorder in Franklin County, Ohio. The incumbent candidate was openly gay - he mentioned his sexual orientation in his official biography - and had campaigned for gay rights. Nonetheless, given the obscurity of the office, very few voters would be expected to know either of these things. With precincts randomly assigned to receive mailings that vary the biographical information (sexual orientation mentioned or not) and the issue context (gay rights included or not), we test for a real world effect of candidate sexuality. We find that the mere fact of being gay had no discernable effect on voters, while being gay and expressing commitment to marriage equality actually increased support for the candidate. Ultimately, the results suggest scholars may have underestimated the capacity of gay candidates to run as themselves and succeed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, September 23, 2016

On the force

Does Minority Representation in Police Agencies Reduce Assaults on the Police?

Turgut Ozkan, John Worrall & Alex Piquero

American Journal of Criminal Justice, September 2016, Pages 402-423

Abstract:
Following recent high-profile deaths of unarmed African American suspects at the hands of police, a number of reforms have been proposed, among them improved minority representation in the ranks of law enforcement organizations. Previous research has explored the effects of minority representation on complaints against the police and other behaviors, but very few studies have examined violence toward the police. We merged several data sources together and tested the hypothesis that minority representation within police departments is inversely associated with assaults against the police. In an extension of prior research, we also conducted separate analyses for African American, Hispanic, and Asian officer representation. The results did not support the expectation that diversity within police organizations results in improved police-citizen interactions, as measured by assaults on police. This study is one of the few to examine how different measures of minority representation in police agencies relates to assaults on the police.

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Body-Worn Cameras and Citizen Interactions with Police Officers: Estimating Plausible Effects Given Varying Compliance Levels

Eric Hedberg, Charles Katz & David Choate

Justice Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent citizen deaths involving police use of force have increased discussion surrounding police accountability and community relations. One piece of this discussion is the use of body worn cameras (BWCs) by officers. Unfortunately, little rigorous research has been conducted to estimate the effectiveness of BWCs in reducing problematic police-citizen interactions. In this paper, we estimate two measures of effectiveness of BWCs by comparing incidents that occur in a squad assigned cameras to incidents that occur in a squad assigned control. First, we estimate the effect of being assigned a BWC (but not necessarily using the camera) on reducing complaints and resistance associated with incidents. Second, we employ data on BWC use to estimate the effect of cameras if they were used with full compliance. Together, these two estimates provide a plausible range of effectiveness that policymakers can expect from BWCs. We find that BWCs have no effect on the rate of arrest or resistance, but can substantially reduce complaints.

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Assessing the Impact of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Arresting, Prosecuting, and Convicting Suspects of Intimate Partner Violence

Weston Morrow, Charles Katz & David Choate

Police Quarterly, September 2016, Pages 303-325

Abstract:
The perceived benefits that generally accompany body-worn cameras (BWCs) include the ability to increase transparency and police legitimacy, improve behavior among both police officers and citizens, and reduce citizen complaints and police use of force. Less established in the literature, however, is the value of BWCs to aid in the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of intimate partner violence (IPV) offenders. We attempt to fill that void by examining the effect of pre- and post-camera deployment on a number of outcomes related to arrest, prosecution, and conviction. The findings provide initial evidence for the utility of BWCs in IPV cases. When compared with posttest non-camera cases, posttest camera cases were more likely to result in an arrest, have charges filed, have cases furthered, result in a guilty plea, and result in a guilty verdict at trial. These results have several implications for policing, prosecuting, and convicting IPV cases.

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Estimating the determinants of arrest-related deaths at the state level

Mark Gius

Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
The purpose of the present study is to ascertain the determinants of arrest-related deaths (ARDs) at the state level. ARDs are civilian deaths that occurred during or shortly after an arrest or detention by state or local law enforcement. These deaths may be attributed to a variety of factors, including use of force by police, injuries sustained when attempting to elude police, self-inflicted injuries and medical conditions. Using data compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics for the period 2003-2009 and employing a Poisson regression model, the results of the present study suggest that race is not statistically related to ARDs. Hence, the percentage of a state's population that is African-American has no effect on ARDs. The factors found to be most significantly related to ARDs include the gun-related murder rate, the percentage of the state population that is under the age of 35, population density and police per capita. All were found to be positively related to ARDs. This study is one of the first studies that examines the determinants of state-level ARDs, and this study is one of the few studies on ARDs that finds that race is not a factor in ARDs

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Did Drug Courts Lead to Increased Arrest and Punishment of Minor Drug Offenses?

David Lilley

Justice Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Drug courts were implemented nationwide during the 1990s to expand alternatives to incarceration for individuals with substance use disorders that were charged with nonviolent felonies or misdemeanors. Although these courts were publicized as a facilitator of treatment and alternative to incarceration, researchers and advocates have suggested that this approach may have unintentionally intensified law enforcement focus on casual drug users and individuals with minor substance dependency. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether there is evidence that drug courts systemically increased the arrest and punishment of misdemeanor drug use and possession by conducting a series of panel data analyses among more than 8,000 city and county jurisdictions while controlling for economic, demographic, and nationwide law enforcement trends. Analyses in this study provide evidence that local police increased their attention toward minor drug offenses in jurisdictions where drug courts were implemented across the nation.

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Identifying Classes of Explanations for Crime Drop: Period and Cohort Effects for New York State

Jaeok Kim, Shawn Bushway & Hui-Shien Tsao

Journal of Quantitative Criminology, September 2016, Pages 357-375

Objective: This paper advances current understanding of the contemporary crime drop by focusing on the changes in the age distribution of arrests from 1990 to 2010. Using the New York State Computerized Criminal History (CCH) file, which tracks every arrest in the state, we apply standard demographic methods to examine age-specific arrest rates over time. We test whether the 25 % drop in the felony arrest rate can be best explained by period or cohort effects with special attention to how the phenomenon varies across crime types and regions within the state.

Methods: Following the analytic approach of O'Brien and Stockard (J Quant Criminol 25(1):79-101, 2009), we fit the age-period-cohort (APC) model using the generalized inverse matrix, which creates an estimable model. We partition the model variation into each factor by subtracting the variation of the two-factor model from the variation of the three-factor model to provide a direct comparison of the two different classes of explanations for crime drop: period and cohort.

Results: Our analysis supports a cohort explanation over a period explanation. Controlling for the (substantial) variation due to age, the cohort effect accounts for twice as much of the remaining variation as the period effect. Specifically, the drop in arrest rates is concentrated in more recent birth cohorts across all ages. Although we found statistically significant age-period interaction effects for the younger age group (ages 16-20) in 1990 and 1995, the cohort effect was still a much stronger predictor of felony arrest rates than the period explanation, even with the age-period interaction.

Conclusions: The current study reports that the overall drop in felony arrest rates from 1990 to 2010 is mostly due to decreased arrests among those who were born after 1970 rather than a universal drop across different age groups. We discuss but do not test two potential explanations - the legalization of abortion and the ban on leaded gasoline - for the underlying factors associated with a different criminal propensity among birth cohorts.

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Counterterrorist Legislation and Subsequent Terrorism: Does it Work?

Eran Shor

Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
Over the past four decades, and especially in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, many countries around the world have passed various types of counterterrorist legislation. It remains unclear, however, whether such laws are effective in achieving their most important declared goal: reducing terrorist activities. Some scholars believe that counterterrorist legislation should indeed reduce terrorist activities through protecting people and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist plots, and deterring some potential terrorists. Others, however, remain doubtful, suggesting that such legislation often serves merely as lip service or, worse, actually contributes to increasing terrorist activities. Using a newly assembled database on national-level counterterrorist legislation, I conduct a cross-national time-series analysis of legislation and subsequent terrorism for the years 1981-2009. The analyses demonstrate a discrepancy between the short- and long-term effects of national-level counterterrorist legislation. In the short term, laws have no effect on the number of terrorist attacks and their severity. In the long term, however, the cumulative effects of most legislation are counterproductive and harmful, although some types of legislation do produce beneficial results and are associated with a reduction in future attacks.

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Good Jobs and Recidivism

Kevin Schnepel

Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
I estimate the impact of employment opportunities on recidivism among 1.7 million offenders released from a California prison between 1993 and 2008. The institutional structure of the California criminal justice system as well as location-, skill-, and industry-specific job accession data provide a unique framework for identifying a causal effect of job availability on criminal behaviour. I find that increases in construction and manufacturing opportunities at the time of release are associated with significant reductions in recidivism. Other types of opportunities, including those characterised by lower wages that are typically accessible to individuals with criminal records, do not influence recidivism.

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Increasing Cooperation With the Police Using Body Worn Cameras

Barak Ariel

Police Quarterly, September 2016, Pages 326-362

Abstract:
What can change the willingness of people to report crimes? A 6-month study in Denver investigated whether Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) can change crime-reporting behavior, with treatment-officers wearing BWCs patrolling targeted street segments, while control officers patrolled the no-treatment areas without BWCs. Stratified street segments crime densities were used as the units of analysis, in order to measure the effect on the number of emergency calls in target versus control street segments. Repeated measures ANOVAs and subgroup analyses suggest that BWCs lead to greater willingness to report crimes to the police in low crime density level residential street segments, but no discernable differences emerge in hotspot street segments. Variations in reporting are interpreted in terms of accountability, legitimacy, or perceived utility caused by the use of BWCs. Situational characteristics of the street segments explain why low-level street segments are affected by BWCs, while in hotspots no effect was detected.

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Must Work for Food: The Politics of Nutrition and Informal Economy in an American Prison

Michael Gibson-Light

University of Arizona Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
One of many negative consequences of the prison boom and so-called punitive turn in the US criminal justice system is an increase in "punitive frugality" inside the nation's prisons. Health, education, and food services (among others) have been greatly reduced as privatization increases. Often, the costs of programs and services are passed on to inmates-they pay fees for doctor visits, increased charges for GED test taking, and commissary costs for food beyond the minimum calories provided by the state. Yet, inmates are not unresponsive in the face of prison cost-cutting measures or perceived downturns in the quality of services; they react in many ways that can be empirically observed. In addition to overt demonstrations of dissatisfaction such as rioting, inmates also engage in covert displays. Drawing on ethnographic observations within a state prison and in-depth interviews with inmates, this paper outlines one such covert response: the adaptation of informal prison markets and currency to reflect inmate needs and counter a gradual reduction of food services. In my fieldsite (as in many state prisons), "luxury" goods like tobacco have been replaced by nutritional items, such as ramen noodles, as the de facto currency of the informal prison economy. This paper discusses this transition to ramen currency and outlines the prison ramen market. In doing so, it aims to connect trends in micro transactions (e.g., trading packets of ramen for other goods or services in prison) with the macro conditions of the US carceral field in the era of mass incarceration.

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The Effects of Criminal Propensity and Strain on Later Offending

Jessica Craig, Stephanie Cardwell & Alex Piquero

Crime & Delinquency, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recently, Agnew has narrowed the focus of General Strain Theory by arguing certain factors must converge for criminal coping to occur. Specifically, individuals must have certain crime-related traits, experience strains that are perceived as unjust and high in magnitude, and occur in situations that encourage criminal coping. A longitudinal sample of serious adolescent offenders was used to assess the impact of direct and vicarious victimization on later offending among those with higher and lower criminal propensity. Regardless of their criminal propensity, youth who experienced victimization were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior compared with those who were not victimized. The results are mixed regarding Agnew's thesis and suggest that victimization experiences may push justice-involved youth into further crime.

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Public Perceptions of the Justifiability of Police Shootings: The Role of Body Cameras in a Pre- and Post-Ferguson Experiment

Scott Culhane, John Boman & Kimberly Schweitzer

Police Quarterly, September 2016, Pages 251-274

Abstract:
We conducted two studies, wherein participants from across the United States watched, heard, or read the transcript of an actual police shooting event. The data for Study 1 were collected prior to media coverage of a widely publicized police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Results indicated that participants who could hear or see the event were significantly more likely to perceive the shooting was justified than they were when they read a transcript of the encounter. Shortly after the events in Ferguson, Missouri, we replicated the first study, finding quite different results. Although dissatisfaction with the shooting was seen in all forms of presentation, video evidence produced the highest citizen perceptions of an unjustified shooting and audio evidence produced the least. Citizens were nonetheless overwhelmingly favorable to requiring police to use body cameras. Body-mounted cameras with high-quality audio capabilities are recommended for police departments to consider.

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Short-Run Externalities of Civic Unrest: Evidence from Ferguson, Missouri

Seth Gershenson & Michael Hayes

American University Working Paper, July 2016

Abstract:
We document externalities of the civic unrest experienced in Ferguson, MO following the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Difference-in-differences and synthetic control method estimates compare Ferguson-area schools to neighboring schools in the greater St. Louis area and find that the unrest led to statistically significant, arguably causal declines in students' math and reading achievement. Attendance is one mechanism through which this effect operated, as chronic absence increased by five percent in Ferguson-area schools. Impacts were concentrated in elementary schools and at the bottom of the achievement distribution and spilled over into majority black schools throughout the area.

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Examining Prison Effects on Recidivism: A Regression Discontinuity Approach

Ojmarrh Mitchell et al.

Justice Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
The "get-tough" era of punishment led to exponential growth in the rate of incarceration in the United States. Recent reviews of the literature indicate, however, that limited rigorous research exists examining the effect of imprisonment on the likelihood of future offending. As a result, scholars have called for assessment of this relationship, while using methodologies that can better account for selection effects. This study addresses these calls directly by applying regression discontinuity, a methodology well suited to account for selection bias, on a cohort of felony offenders in Florida. Results suggest that prison, as compared to non-incarcerative sanctions, has no appreciable impact on recidivism. Although no differential effects surfaced across race/ethnicity, the analyses indicated that imprisonment exerts a differential effect by gender with the effect being more criminogenic among males than females.

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The efficacy of foot patrol in violent places

Kenneth Novak et al.

Journal of Experimental Criminology, September 2016, Pages 465-475

Objectives: This study examines the effectiveness of foot patrol in violent micro-places. A large urban police department deployed foot patrol in micro-places (hot spots) for a period of 90 days for two shifts each day. Our objective is to determine whether this activity impacted violent crime in these hot spots and whether spatial displacement of crime occurred.

Methods: Eight eligible foot beat locations were set by examining crime rates for previous years in order to identify micro-places of high criminal activity. We employed a quasi-experimental design comparing the four treatment to the four control areas, estimating panel-specific autoregressive models for 30 weeks prior to and 40 weeks after the treatment.

Results: Time series models revealed statistically significant reductions in violent crime in the micro-places receiving foot patrol treatment, while no such reductions were observed in the control areas. The deterrent effect, however, was short and dissipated quickly. Control areas did not experience any crime prevention benefit during this time period. No evidence of crime displacement to spatially contiguous areas was detected.

Conclusions: This contributes to the growing body of knowledge that focused police strategies within hot spots impact violent crime. Specifically, the implementation of foot patrol in high crime hot spots led to measurable reductions in aggravated assaults and robberies, without displacing crime to contiguous areas.

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Separating State Dependence, Experience, and Heterogeneity in a Model of Youth Crime and Education

Maria Antonella Mancino, Salvador Navarro & David Rivers

Economics of Education Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study the determinants of youth crime using a dynamic discrete choice model of crime and education. We allow past education and criminal activities to affect current crime and educational decisions. We take advantage of a rich panel dataset on serious juvenile offenders, the Pathways to Desistance. Using a series of psychometric tests, we estimate a model of cognitive and social/emotional skills which feed into the crime and education model. This allows us to separately identify the roles of state dependence, returns to experience, and heterogeneity in driving crime and enrollment decisions among youth. We find small effects of experience and stronger evidence of state dependence and heterogeneity for crime and schooling. We provide evidence that, as a consequence, policies that affect individual heterogeneity (e.g., social/emotional skills), and those that temporarily keep youth away from crime, can have important and lasting effects even if criminal experience has already accumulated.

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Racial Resentment and Attitudes Toward the Use of Force by Police: An Over-Time Trend Analysis

Scott Carter & Mamadi Corra

Sociological Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
On the heels of recent police shootings of an unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, and the death of Freddy Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, that stoked racial tensions, this article examines how beliefs about race and racial inequality influence whites' attitudes toward the use of force by the police since the mid-1980s. Our main dependent measure is a composite index ("Police Force Index") constructed from four survey items from the 1986-2012 National Opinion Research Center's General Social Survey (GSS). Results show that (1) beliefs about race do indeed significantly predict whites' attitudes toward police use of force, and more importantly, (2) this effect has remained constant since the mid-1980s. We discuss theoretical and practical implications of these findings and suggestions for future research.

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Police and Crime: Evidence from Cops 2.0

Steven Mello

Princeton University Working Paper, July 2016

Abstract:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increased funding for the Department of Justice's local police hiring (COPS) grant program from $20 million in 2008 to $1 billion in 2009 and over $150 million annually in 2010-2012. Among grant winners, program rules generate quasi-random variation in the timing of grant-induced police increases. I leverage this variation to overcome simultaneity bias and estimate the causal effect of police on crime. Event study and instrumental variables estimates suggest that police added by the program resulted in large and statistically significant declines in robberies, larcenies, and auto thefts. I find evidence that these crime reductions are achieved through deterrence rather than incapacitation. Under conservative assumptions, the program's costs outweigh its benefits, but the program is easily cost-effective under more generous assumptions about its crime effects or associated stimulus benefits. The results highlight that police hiring grants may offer higher benefit-cost ratios than other job creation programs.

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Neighborhood-Level Economic Activity and Crime

Christina Plerhoples Stacy, Helen Ho & Rolf Pendall

Journal of Urban Affairs, forthcoming

Abstract:
Theories of criminology suggest that neighborhood-level economic activity affects the conditions that make crime more likely. However, most studies on neighborhoods and crime focus solely on residential characteristics and ignore the commercial ones. In this article, we estimate the effect of neighborhood-level economic activity on crime holding residential characteristics constant. To do so, we use crime and census data combined with a detailed data set on establishments in Washington, DC from 2000 to 2010 to create a comprehensive measure of neighborhood-level economic activity. We exploit the panel nature of the data to identify the directionality of the results by removing unobserved heterogeneity and estimating lags and leads of economic activity. Results indicate that increases in economic activity are associated with reductions in property crime, but that the reduction in property crime occurs before the growth in economic activity and rises afterward. Violent crime declines the same year as growth in economic activity.

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Disproportionate Prevalence Rate of Prisoners With Disabilities: Evidence From a Nationally Representative Sample

Jennifer Reingle Gonzalez et al.

Journal of Disability Policy Studies, September 2016, Pages 106-115

Abstract:
Previous research suggests that prisoners have a higher rate of disability than non-institutionalized adults. This study used nationally representative data to update the prevalence rate, identify correlates of disability, and evaluate disability-related disparities in use of prison-based educational services, vocational programs, and work assignments. Data were obtained from 18,185 prisoners interviewed in the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities. Survey logistic regression procedures were conducted using Stata 13. Disability prevalence remained substantially higher among prisoners than among the non-institutionalized population. Prisoners were more likely to report specific learning, sensory, and speech-related disabilities than non-institutionalized adults. Prisoners with at least one type of disability had more criminogenic risk factors and come from a more disadvantaged background than prisoners without disability. Prisoners with disabilities were also less likely to utilize vocational programs and work assignments but were more likely to use educational programs than prisoners without disabilities. In summary, 41% of prisoners reported a disability, most commonly, learning disabilities. Prisoners with disabilities were identified as an at-risk group for recidivism, given their pre-incarceration experiences, and limited vocational and work-related training received in prison.

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Racial Discrimination and Pathways to Delinquency: Testing a Theory of African American Offending

James Unnever, Francis Cullen & J.C. Barnes

Race and Justice, forthcoming

Abstract:
The current study draws on two cohorts of African American youths from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, Longitudinal Cohort Study to examine whether perceived racial discrimination directly and indirectly affects juvenile delinquency. The analyses reveal that racial discrimination may foster offending by increasing (1) the likelihood that African American youths will drop out of school and (2) the degree to which they associate with delinquent peers. Evidence supporting the pathway between racial discrimination, associating with delinquent peers, and offending was found after introducing controls for demographic, social, and individual trait factors. In a society that remains racialized, it thus appears that a full explanation of African Americans' offending should take into account the ways in which racial subordination may place African American youths on pathways that lead toward criminal involvement.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The kids are all right

The increasing happiness of US parents

Chris Herbst & John Ifcher

Review of Economics of the Household, September 2016, Pages 529-551

Abstract:
Previous research suggests that parents may be less happy than non-parents. We critically assess the literature and examine parents’ and non-parents’ happiness-trends using the General Social Survey (N = 42,298) and DDB Lifestyle Survey (N = 75,237). We find that parents are becoming happier over time relative to non-parents, that non-parents’ happiness is declining absolutely, and that estimates of the parental happiness gap are sensitive to the time-period analyzed. These results are consistent across two datasets, most subgroups, and various specifications. Finally, we present evidence that suggests children appear to protect parents against social and economic forces that may be reducing happiness among non-parents.

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Father Absence and Adolescent Depression and Delinquency: A Comparison of Siblings Approach

Anna Markowitz & Rebecca Ryan

Journal of Marriage and Family, October 2016, Pages 1300–1314

Abstract:
Although associations between having a nonresident father and increased internalizing and externalizing behaviors in adolescence have been well documented, research has yet to establish the plausible causality of these links or identify underlying mechanisms. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 - Young Adult survey, this study addresses these questions by comparing the depressive symptoms and delinquent behavior of siblings discordant for age at father departure. Findings indicate that father departure later in childhood is associated with increased adolescent delinquency but not depressive symptoms, whereas early childhood father departure was not associated with adolescent outcomes. Both findings suggests that parental monitoring — rather than socialization or emotional distress — may account for links between father departure and adolescent delinquency.

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Shorter Work Hours and Work-to-Family Interference: Surprising Findings from 32 Countries

Leah Ruppanner & David Maume

Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
For many, work interferes with their home life. To mitigate this encroachment, many welfare states have legislated shorter workweeks. Yet, the effectiveness of this policy on work-to-family interference is mixed, thus requiring additional investigation. We address this gap by applying multilevel data pairing the 2005 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) for individuals in 32 nations (N = 20,937) with country-level measures of legislated weekly work hours, mean reported weekly work hours (aggregated and differentiated by gender), and individualistic/collectivist orientations. We find that legislated work hours have no impact on individuals’ reports of work-to-family interference. By contrast, shorter normative weekly work hours, aggregated and by gender, are associated with greater individual work-to-family interference. We find an equivalent pattern in individualistic countries. While we document individual-level gender and parental differences, we find no differential effects of long workweeks for these groups. We explain these associations through the heightened expectations perspective, arguing that increased resources heighten expectations of work–life balance and sensitivity to work-to-family interference.

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On the Production of Skills and the Birth-Order Effect

Ronni Pavan

Journal of Human Resources, August 2016, Pages 699-726

Abstract:
First-born children tend to outperform their younger siblings on measures such as cognitive exams, wages, educational attainment, and employment. Using a framework similar to Cunha and Heckman (2008) and Cunha, Heckman, and Schennach (2010), this paper finds that differences in parents’ investments across siblings can account for more than one-half of the gap in cognitive skills among siblings. The study’s framework accommodates for endogeneity in parents’ investments, measurement error, missing observations, and dynamic impacts of parental investments.

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Locus of control and its intergenerational implications for early childhood skill formation

Warn Lekfuangfu et al.

Economic Journal, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper builds upon Cunha's (2015) subjective rationality model in which parents have a subjective belief about the impact of their investment on their children's early skill formation. We propose that this subjective belief is determined partly by locus of control (LOC), i.e., the extent to which individuals believe that their actions can influence future outcomes. Consistent with the theory, we show that maternal LOC measured at the 12th week of gestation strongly predicts maternal attitudes towards parenting style and actual time investments. We also utilize maternal LOC to improve the specification typically used to estimate skill production function parameters.

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Breastfeeding duration and offspring conduct problems: The moderating role of genetic risk

Dylan Jackson

Social Science & Medicine, October 2016, Pages 128–136

Methods: A genetically informative design is employed to examine a subsample of twins from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), a nationally representative sample of American children.

Results: The findings suggest that a shorter duration of breastfeeding only enhances the risk of offspring conduct problems among children who possess high levels of genetic risk. Conversely, longer breastfeeding durations were found to protect against childhood behavioral problems when genetic risk was high.

Conclusions: Indicators of genetic risk may help to distinguish individuals whose behavioral development is most sensitive to the duration of breastfeeding. Future research should seek to replicate and extend these findings by considering genetic factors as potential markers of differential susceptibility to breastfeeding duration.

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Effects of Parental Divorce on Teenage Children’s Risk Behaviors: Incidence and Persistence

Geir Wæhler Gustavsen, Rodolfo Nayga & Ximing Wu

Journal of Family and Economic Issues, September 2016, Pages 474–487

Abstract:
It is generally difficult to separate the effects of divorce from selection when analyzing the effects of parental divorce on children’s risk behaviors. We used propensity score matching and longitudinal data methods to estimate the effects of parents’ divorce on their children’s binge drinking, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, marijuana use, and hard drug use. The children were between 12 and 18 years old in the first survey and between 18 and 24 years old in the second survey. Our results suggest that parental divorce significantly increased the probability of risk behaviors in their children. Moreover, many of these adverse impacts persisted over time, especially among teenage girls.

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Like Father Like Son: How Does Parents' Financial Behavior Affect Their Children's Financial Behavior?

Ning Tang

Journal of Consumer Affairs, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper investigates the intergenerational influence on financial behavior. Using two national longitudinal studies: the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey Children and Young Adults (NLSCYA) and the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey (NLSY79), we link the financial behavior of 2,520 young adults back to their general self-control skill and their parents' financial behavior conducted during children's adolescence. We find evidence of intergenerational consistency in financial behavior between parents and their children. Results from the generalized structural equation model indicate that parents' financial behavior affects that of their children both directly and indirectly through general self-control skill development. Furthermore, the influence of parents is moderated by parent–child relationship. These findings highlight the importance of parental financial socialization. Its implications are discussed.

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Still standing out: Children's names in the United States during the Great Recession and correlations with economic indicators

Jean Twenge, Lauren Dawson & Keith Campbell

Journal of Applied Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Continuing a long-standing trend in the U.S. Social Security Administration database of first names (N = 358 million), American parents were less likely to choose common names for their children between 2004 and 2015, including the years of the Great Recession (2008–2010). These trends were similar in California (severely affected by the recession) and Texas (less affected). Over a longer time period (1901–2015), cyclical economic indicators were either not correlated with common names (e.g., stock market performance) or worse economic times predicted fewer common names. The results are consistent with increasing individualism, with limited support for the idea that economic threat leads people to embrace uniqueness and no real support for the idea that economic deprivation leads to more communal name choices.

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Women's Enfranchisement and Children's Education: The Long-Run Impact of the U.S. Suffrage Movement

Esra Kose, Elira Kuka & Na'ama Shenhav

Dartmouth College Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
While a growing literature has shown that empowering women leads to increased short-term investments in children, little is known about its long-term effects. We investigate the effect of women's political empowerment on children's human capital accumulation by exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in U.S. state and federal suffrage laws. We estimate that exposure to women's suffrage during childhood leads to large increases in educational attainment for children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, in particular blacks and Southern whites. An investigation into the mechanisms behind these effects suggests that the educational gains are plausibly driven by the rise in public expenditures following suffrage.

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Industry Television Ratings for Violence, Sex, and Substance Use

Joy Gabrielli et al.

Pediatrics, September 2016

Methods: Seventeen TV shows (323 episodes and 9214 episode minutes) across several TV show rating categories (TVY7, TVPG, TV14, and TVMA) were evaluated. We content-coded the episodes, recording seconds of each risk behavior, and we rated the salience of violence in each one. Multilevel models were used to test for associations between TV rating categories and prevalence of risk behaviors across and within episodes or salience of violence.

Results: Every show had at least 1 risk behavior. Violence was pervasive, occurring in 70% of episodes overall and for 2.3 seconds per episode minute. Alcohol was also common (58% of shows, 2.3 seconds per minute), followed by sex (53% of episodes, 0.26 seconds per minute), and smoking (31% of shows, 0.54 seconds per minute). TV Parental Guidelines did not discriminate prevalence estimates of TV episode violence. Although TV-Y7 shows had significantly less substance use, other categories were poor at discriminating substance use, which was as common in TV-14 as TV-MA shows. Sex and gory violence were the only behaviors demonstrating a graded increase in prevalence and salience for older-child rating categories.

Conclusions: TV Parental Guidelines ratings were ineffective in discriminating shows for 3 out of 4 behaviors studied. Even in shows rated for children as young as 7 years, violence was prevalent, prominent, and salient. TV ratings were most effective for identification of sexual behavior and gory violence.

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Adolescent Functioning in Housing and Family Contexts: A Mixed Methods Study

Margaret Elliott, Elizabeth Shuey & Tama Leventhal

Journal of Family Psychology, September 2016, Pages 676-686

Abstract:
Although adolescents begin to seek autonomy and strive to be out of the home on their own, the housing context remains the primary setting of their daily lives. Using survey and ethnographic data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three City Study (e.g., Winston et al., 1999), this study explored quantitatively and qualitatively how two salient aspects of the housing context, physical housing problems and household size, were associated with low-income adolescents’ emotional and academic functioning, and how these associations were modified by mother–adolescent relationships (specifically, trust and communication) and gender. Results of cross-lagged hierarchical linear models suggest that adolescents living in homes with more housing problems had more mental health symptoms, whereas living in larger households was associated with higher achievement, but only in the context of lower quality mother–adolescent relationships. Qualitative analyses helped to interpret these results by illuminating potential pathways underlying associations observed in quantitative results.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Don't bank on it

Have Big Banks Gotten Safer?

Natasha Sarin & Lawrence Summers

Harvard Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
Since the financial crisis, there have been major changes in the regulation of large financial institutions directed at reducing their risk. Measures of regulatory capital have substantially increased; leverage ratios have been reduced; and stress testing has sought to further assure safety by raising levels of capital and reducing risk taking. Standard financial theories would predict that such changes would lead to substantial declines in financial market measures of risk. For major institutions in the United States and around the world and midsized institutions in the United States, we test this proposition using information on stock price volatility, option-based estimates of future volatility, beta, credit default swaps, earnings-price ratios, and preferred stock yields. To our surprise, we find that financial market information provides little support for the view that major institutions are significantly safer than they were before the crisis and some support for the notion that risks have actually increased. This does not make a case against the regulatory approaches that have been pursued, but does caution against complacency. We examine a number of possible explanations for our surprising findings. We conclude that financial markets may have underestimated risk prior to the crisis and that there may have been significant distortions in measures of regulatory capital. While we cannot rule out these explanations, we believe that our findings are most consistent with a dramatic decline in the franchise value of major financial institutions, caused at least in part by new regulations. This decline in franchise value makes financial institutions more vulnerable to adverse shocks. We highlight that the ratio of the market value of common equity to assets on both a risk-adjusted and risk-unadjusted basis has declined significantly for most major institutions. Our findings, if validated by others, may have important implications for regulatory policy.

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Systematic Mistakes in the Mortgage Market and Lack of Financial Sophistication

Sumit Agarwal, Itzhak Ben-David & Vincent Yao

Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Institutions often offer a menu of contracts to consumers in an attempt to create a separating equilibrium that reveals borrower types and provides better pricing. We test the effectiveness of a specific set of contracts in the mortgage market: mortgage points. Points allow borrowers to exchange an upfront amount for a decrease in the mortgage rate. We document that, on average, points takers lose about $700. Also, points takers are less financially savvy (less educated, older), and they make mistakes on other dimensions (e.g., inefficiently refinancing their mortgages). Overall, our results show that borrowers overestimate how long they will stay with the mortgage.

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Cat and Mouse: A Dynamic Analysis of Predatory Payday Lending

Daria Roithmayr, Justin Chin & Bruce Levin

University of Southern California Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
Legal actors and the regulators who pursue them often engage in a co-evolutionary game of cat and mouse, as each innovates to out-compete the other. Predatory payday lenders are a prime example of this co-evolutionary arms race. Lenders have discovered increasingly creative ways to escape state regulation, like partnering with Indian tribes to claim immunity from state jurisdiction. In turn, regulators continually adapt their regulation to retarget the latest innovation. A regulator trying to keep pace with legal actors faces a tradeoff: adapting more frequently reduces the prohibited behavior, but increases wasteful innovation for both regulator and lenders, as each innovates in response to the other. In this paper, we draw from dynamic mathematical models of drug resistance to map this process and to advise regulators on how to optimize their regulatory approach. We construct a simple mathematical model using coupled differential equations to describe the arms race of innovation between regulatory strategy and the strategy of the regulated, in the context of payday lending. We conduct numerical approximations, to analyze the evolutionary pathways of regulator and lender strategy over time, and to map the tradeoff between the benefit from reducing predatory lending and the harm from having to return again and again to the drawing board to generate new regulation. We show that, contrary to intuition, a regulator should delay responding to an innovative payday lender strategy: we calculate an optimal response time that balances the need to respond slowly in order to minimize triggering repeated innovation, and the need to respond quickly to minimize the number of predatory payday lenders. We also show that a regulator that is unable to adapt quickly should weaken the strength of its innovation, in order to minimize further innovation by predatory lenders.

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Ditching the Middle Class with Consumer Protection Regulation

Francesco D'Acunto & Alberto Rossi

University of Maryland Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
We analyze the effects of a recent piece of consumer protection regulation -- Dodd-Frank -- on mortgage originations. Dodd-Frank aimed at reducing mortgage fees and abuses against vulnerable borrowers, but increased the costs of originating mortgages. We find it triggered a substantial redistribution of credit from middle-class households to wealthy households. Lenders reduced credit to middle-class households by 15%, and increased it to wealthy households by 21%, after controlling for drivers of the demand for housing, local house prices, and foreclosures. Large lenders found it less costly to react to Dodd-Frank. We thus instrument households' exposure to Dodd-Frank with the pre-crisis share of mortgages originated by large lenders in each county. The redistribution of credit from the middle-class to the wealthy was higher in counties more exposed to large lenders, which are similar to other counties. Results hold at the individual-loan level and zip-code level, at the intensive margin (amount lent) and extensive margin (number of loans originated), and for accepted and rejected loans. Changes in the distribution of refinancing loans do not explain the results.

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Consumer Borrowing after Payday Loan Bans

Neil Bhutta, Jacob Goldin & Tatiana Homonoff

Journal of Law and Economics, February 2016, Pages 225-259

Abstract:
High-interest payday loans have proliferated in recent years; so too have efforts to regulate them. Yet how borrowers respond to such regulations remains largely unknown. Drawing on both administrative and survey data, we exploit variation in payday-lending laws to study the effect of payday loan restrictions on consumer borrowing. We find that although such policies are effective at reducing payday lending, consumers respond by shifting to other forms of high-interest credit (for example, pawnshop loans) rather than traditional credit instruments (for example, credit cards). Such shifting is present, but less pronounced, for the lowest-income payday loan users. Our results suggest that policies that target payday lending in isolation may be ineffective at reducing consumers’ reliance on high-interest credit.

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Managerial Myopia and the Mortgage Meltdown

Adam Kolasinski & Nan Yang

Texas A&M University Working Paper, July 2016

Abstract:
Prominent policy makers assert that managerial short-termism was at the root of the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-2009. Prior scholarly research, however, largely rejects this assertion. Using a more comprehensive measure of CEO incentives for short-termism, we uncover evidence that short-termism indeed played a role in the crisis. We find that shorter vesting schedules for CEO equity holdings are positively related to firm exposure to subprime mortgage assets, as well as a higher probability of financial distress and lower risk-adjusted stock returns during the crisis. Furthermore, shorter vesting schedules are positively associated with fines and settlements for subprime-related fraud.

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How Does Personal Bankruptcy Law Affect Startups?

Geraldo Cerqueiro & María Fabiana Penas

Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
We exploit state-level changes in the amount of personal wealth individuals can protect under Chapter 7 to analyze the effect of debtor protection on the financing structure and performance of a representative panel of U.S. startups. The effect of increasing debtor protection depends on the entrepreneur's level of wealth. Firms owned by mid-wealth entrepreneurs whose assets become fully protected suffer a reduction in credit availability, employment, operating efficiency, and survival rates. We find no such negative effects for low-wealth and high-wealth owners. Our results are consistent with theories that predict that asset protection in bankruptcy leads to a redistribution of credit.

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Debtor Rights, Credit Supply, and Innovation

Geraldo Cerqueiro et al.

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Firms’ innovative activities can be sensitive to public policies that affect the availability of capital. In this paper, we investigate the effects of regional and temporal variation in U.S. personal bankruptcy laws on firms’ innovative activities. We find that bankruptcy laws that provide stronger debtor protection decrease the number of patents produced by small firms. Stronger debtor protection also decreases the average quality, and variance in quality, of firms’ patents. We find evidence that the negative effect of stronger debtor protection on experimentation and innovation may be due to the decreased availability of external financing in response to stronger debtor rights, an effect amplified in industries with a high dependence on external financing. Hence, while it is typically assumed that stronger debtor protection encourages innovation by reducing the cost of failure for innovators, we show that it can instead dampen innovative activities by tightening the availability of external financing to innovative firms.

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International Banking and Cross-border Effects of Regulation: Lessons from the United States

Jose Berrospide et al.

NBER Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
Domestic prudential regulation can have unintended effects across borders and may be less effective in an environment where banks operate globally. Using U.S. micro-banking data for the first quarter of 2000 through the third quarter of 2013, this study shows that some regulatory changes indeed spill over. First, a foreign country’s tightening of limits on loan-to-value ratios and local currency reserve requirements increase lending growth in the United States through the U.S. branches and subsidiaries of foreign banks. Second, a foreign tightening of capital requirements shifts lending by U.S. global banks away from the country where the tightening occurs to the United States and to other countries. Third, tighter U.S. capital regulation reduces lending by large U.S. global banks to foreign residents.

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Illiquidity and its Discontents: Trading Delays and Foreclosures in the Housing Market

Aaron Hedlund

Journal of Monetary Economics, October 2016, Pages 1–13

Abstract:
The macroeconomic effects of housing illiquidity are analyzed using a novel directed search model of housing with long-term debt and default. Debt overhang emerges when highly leveraged sellers are forced to post high prices that produce long selling delays. These delays increase foreclosures, raise default premia, and curtail credit. Cheaper credit fuels temporarily higher house prices, faster sales, and fewer foreclosures, but the borrowing surge facilitates future debt overhang and default. More stringent foreclosure punishments also expand credit and, therefore, either generate higher foreclosures or more debt overhang. Leverage caps avoid this conundrum but reduce welfare by restricting borrowing.

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Designing Corporate Bailouts

Antonio Bernardo, Eric Talley & Ivo Welch

Journal of Law and Economics, February 2016, Pages 75-104

Abstract:
Although common economic wisdom suggests that government bailouts are inefficient because they reduce incentives to avoid failure and induce excessive entry by marginal firms, in practice bailouts are difficult to avoid for systemically significant enterprises. Recent experience suggests that bailouts also induce litigation from shareholders and managers complaining about expropriation and wrongful termination by the government. Our model shows how governments can design tax-financed corporate bailouts to reduce these distortions and points to the causes of inefficiencies in real-world implementations such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Bailouts with minimal distortion depend critically on the government’s ability to expropriate shareholders and terminate managers.

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Does Increased Access to Home Mortgage Money Decrease Local Crime Rates?: Evidence from San Diego County

William Bunting

U.S. Department of Justice Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
This study provides estimates of the impact of increased access to home mortgage credit on local crime rates, and uses national home mortgage loan origination volume as an instrument for local home mortgage loan origination volume. The focus of the study is San Diego County from 2007-Q1 to 2013-Q1. Our estimates indicate that increased access to home mortgage loans during this time period had a statistically significant negative impact on local crime rates. In particular, our baseline specification suggests that a one standard deviation increase in home mortgage loan originations per person decreases local crime rates by approximately three and one-half percent. This finding is robust to a number of model specifications.

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Does inequality lead to credit growth? Testing the Rajan hypothesis using state-level data

Steven Yamarik, Makram El-Shagi & Guy Yamashiro

Economics Letters, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper uses state-level data to test the Rajan hypothesis, from his book Fault Lines, that an increase in inequality can lead to a credit boom. Using dynamic heterogeneous panel estimation methods (i.e. MG, PMG, DFE), we find a significant positive long-run relationship between inequality and real estate lending across U.S. states.

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Mortgage Default Risk: New Evidence From Internet Search Queries

Marcelle Chauvet, Stuart Gabriel & Chandler Lutz

Journal of Urban Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use Google search query data to develop a broad-based and real-time index of mortgage default risk. Unlike established indicators, our Mortgage Default Risk Index (MDRI) directly reflects households’ concerns regarding their risk of mortgage default. The MDRI predicts housing returns, mortgage delinquency indicators, and subprime credit default swaps. These results persist both in- and out-of-sample and at multiple data frequencies. Together, research findings suggest internet search queries yield valuable new insights into household mortgage default risk.

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Mortgage companies and regulatory arbitrage

Yuliya Demyanyk & Elena Loutskina

Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Mortgage companies (MCs) do not fall under the strict regulatory regime of depository institutions. We empirically show that this gap resulted in regulatory arbitrage and allowed bank holding companies (BHCs) to circumvent consumer compliance regulations, mitigate capital requirements, and reduce exposure to loan-related losses. Compared to bank subsidiaries, MC subsidiaries of BHCs originated riskier mortgages to borrowers with lower credit scores, lower incomes, higher loan-to-income ratios, and higher default rates. Our results imply that precrisis regulations had the capacity to mitigate the deterioration of lending standards if consistently applied and enforced for all types of intermediaries.

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The effect of state bans of payday lending on consumer credit delinquencies

Chintal Desai & Gregory Elliehausen

Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, forthcoming

Abstract:
The debt trap hypothesis implicates payday loans as a factor exacerbating consumers’ financial distress. Accordingly, restricting access to payday loans would be expected to reduce delinquencies on mainstream credit products. We test this implication of the hypothesis by analyzing delinquencies on revolving, retail, and installment credit in Georgia, North Carolina, and Oregon. These states reduced availability of payday loans by either banning them outright or capping the fees charged by payday lenders at a low level. We find small, mostly positive, but often insignificant changes in delinquencies after the payday loan bans. In Georgia, however, we find mixed evidence: an increase in revolving credit delinquencies but a decrease in installment credit delinquencies. These findings suggest that payday loans may cause little harm while providing benefits, albeit small ones, to some consumers. With more states and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau considering payday regulations that may limit availability of a product that appears to benefit some consumers, further study and caution are warranted.

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Are Lemons Sold First? Dynamic Signaling in the Mortgage Market

Manuel Adelino, Kristopher Gerardi & Barney Hartman-Glaser

Federal Reserve Working Paper, July 2016

Abstract:
A central result in the theory of adverse selection in asset markets is that informed sellers can signal quality by delaying trade. This paper uses the residential mortgage market as a laboratory to test this mechanism. Using detailed, loan-level data on privately securitized mortgages, we find a strong relation between mortgage performance and time-to-sale. Importantly, this finding is conditional on all observable information about the loans. This effect is strongest in the "Alt-A" segment of the market, where loans are often originated with incomplete documentation. The results provide some of the first evidence of a signaling mechanism through delay of trade.

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How do financial institutions react to a tax increase?

Alexander Schandlbauer

Journal of Financial Intermediation, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper empirically highlights the role and significance of taxes for the capital structure decisions of banks. Using a difference-in-differences methodology, I show that an increase in the local U.S. state corporate tax rate affects the banks’ financing as well as their operating choices. Better-capitalized banks raise their long-term non-depository debt and thus benefit from an enlarged tax shield. Worse-capitalized banks instead reduce their lending because a higher tax rate increases the tax-adjusted cost of funding, which renders the marginal loan unprofitable.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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