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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Leveled playing field

Getting a Sporting Chance: Title IX and the Intergenerational Transmission of Health

Lisa Schulkind

Health Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We know that healthier mothers tend to have healthier infants, but we do not know how much of that relationship reflects the intergenerational transmission of genetic attributes versus environmental influences. From a policy perspective, it is crucial to understand which environmental influences are important and whether investments in one generation affect outcomes for the next. I use variation in the implementation of Title IX to measure the effects of increased athletic opportunities on the health of infants. Babies born to women with greater athletic opportunities as teenagers have babies that are healthier at birth. They are less likely to be born of low or very low birthweight and have higher Apgar scores.

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Estimating the Effect of State Zero Tolerance Laws on Exclusionary Discipline, Racial Discipline Gaps, and Student Behavior

Chris Curran

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, December 2016, Pages 647-668

Abstract:
Zero tolerance discipline policies have come under criticism as contributors to racial discipline gaps; however, few studies have explicitly examined such policies. This study utilizes data from two nationally representative data sources to examine the effect of state zero tolerance laws on suspension rates and principal perceptions of problem behaviors. Utilizing state and year fixed effects models, this study finds that state zero tolerance laws are predictive of a 0.5 percentage point increase in district suspension rates and no consistent decreases in principals' perceptions of problem behaviors. Furthermore, the results indicate that the laws are predictive of larger increases in suspension rates for Blacks than Whites, potentially contributing to the Black-White suspension gap. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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Is All Classroom Conduct Equal?: Teacher Contact With Parents of Racial/Ethnic Minority and Immigrant Adolescents

Hua-Yu Cherng

Teachers College Record, 2016

Population/Participants/Subjects: I utilize a nationally representative sample of U.S. high school sophomores, the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002).

Findings/Results: Even after considering measures of student behavior and other factors, I find that mathematics teachers are more likely to contact parents of third-generation Black and Latino youth about disruptive behavior than parents of third-generation White youth. Mathematics and English teachers are less likely to contact immigrant Asian parents about academic and behavioral concerns, even when students are struggling. Teachers are also less likely to contact minority parents with news of accomplishments.

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Do Highly Paid, Highly Skilled Women Experience the Largest Motherhood Penalty?

Paula England et al.

American Sociological Review, December 2016, Pages 1161-1189

Abstract:
Motherhood reduces women's wages. But does the size of this penalty differ between more and less advantaged women? To answer this, we use unconditional quantile regression models with person-fixed effects, and panel data from the 1979 to 2010 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). We find that among white women, the most privileged - women with high skills and high wages - experience the highest total penalties, estimated to include effects mediated through lost experience. Although highly skilled, highly paid women have fairly continuous experience, their high returns to experience make even the small amounts of time some of them take out of employment for childrearing costly. By contrast, penalties net of experience, which may represent employer discrimination or effects of motherhood on job performance, are not distinctive for highly skilled women with high wages.

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Divergent Paths: Structural Change, Economic Rank, and the Evolution of Black-White Earnings Differences, 1940-2014

Patrick Bayer & Kerwin Kofi Charles

NBER Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Studying working and non-working men, we find that, after closing substantially from 1940 to the mid-1970s, the median black-white earnings gap has since returned to its 1950 level, while the positional rank the median black man would hold in the white distribution has remained little changed since 1940. By contrast, higher quantile black men have experienced substantial gains in both relative earnings levels and their positional rank in the white earnings distribution. Using a new decomposition method that extends existing approaches to account for non-participation, we show that the gains of black men at higher quantiles have been driven primarily by positional gains within education level due to forces like improved access to quality schools and declining occupational exclusion. At the median and below, strong racial convergence in educational attainment has been counteracted by the rising returns to education in the labor market, which have disproportionately disadvantaged the shrinking but still substantial share of blacks with lower education.

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The Effects of School Integration: Evidence from a Randomized Desegregation Program

Peter Bergman

Columbia University Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
This paper studies the impact of a desegregation ruling on several medium-run outcomes. This ruling mandates that seven school districts, which serve higher-income, predominantly-white families, accept a group of minority elementary school students who apply to transfer from a nearby, predominantly-minority school district. Slots are allocated via lottery. The offer to transfer raises college enrollment by 10 percentage points. This is due to greater attendance at two-year colleges and particularly for male students. There is evidence male students are also more likely to vote. In contrast, transferring increases the likelihood of arrest. This is driven by increases in non-violent offenses.

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Sex differences in the right tail of cognitive abilities: An update and cross cultural extension

Matthew Makel et al.

Intelligence, November-December 2016, Pages 8-15

Abstract:
Male-female ability differences in the right tail (at or above the 95th percentile) have been widely discussed for their potential role in achievement and occupational differences in adults. The present study provides updated male-female ability ratios from 320,000 7th grade students in the United States in the right tail (top 5%) through the extreme right tail (top 0.01%) from 2011 to 2015 using measures of math, verbal, and science reasoning. Additionally, the present study establishes male-female ability ratios in a sample of over 7000 7th grade students in the right tail from 2011 to 2015 in India. Results indicate that ratios in the extreme right tail of math ability in the U.S. have shrunk in the last 20 years (still favoring males) and remained relatively stable in the verbal domain (still favoring females). Similar patterns of male-female ratios in the extreme right tail were found in the Indian sample.

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Sexual Violence, Title IX and Women's College Enrollment

Dave Marcotte & Jane Palmer

American University Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Sexual violence has long been a problem on college campuses, yet federal policies to protect students have largely been ineffectual. Spurred by student grievances, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights recently began investigating how sexual assault cases were handled at a number of institutions under the Title IX provisions of the Education Amendments of 1972.These investigations focus attention on specific colleges' responses to cases of sexual violence and raise the specter that these institutions may fail to properly investigate allegations or punish perpetrators. In this paper, we examine the implications of these investigations on college enrollment, particularly for women. We combine institution-level panel data on enrollment by age and gender, with information on Title IX investigations to study changes in women's college enrollment. We estimate that enrollment of women at colleges under Title IX investigation declined by 16 to 22 percent. The declines are consistent with both declining matriculation and retention of female students.

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College Advising and Gender

Shane Thompson

Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper uses a field experiment to identify college advising gender biases. Five hundred and thirty surveys are randomized over a national sample of practicing advisors such that student gender is the "treatment" of the experiment. I find that advisors discount the ability of female students relative to males by statistically significant magnitudes in both mathematics and English. Additionally, male advisors recommend mathematics with much greater likelihood than do female advisors.

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Brain Drain? An Examination of Stereotype Threat Effects During Training on Knowledge Acquisition and Organizational Effectiveness

James Grand

Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Stereotype threat describes a situation in which individuals are faced with the risk of upholding a negative stereotype about their subgroup based on their actions. Empirical work in this area has primarily examined the impact of negative stereotypes on performance for threatened individuals. However, this body of research seldom acknowledges that performance is a function of learning - which may also be impaired by pervasive group stereotypes. This study presents evidence from a 3-day self-guided training program demonstrating that stereotype threat impairs acquisition of cognitive learning outcomes for females facing a negative group stereotype. Using hierarchical Bayesian modeling, results revealed that stereotyped females demonstrated poorer declarative knowledge acquisition, spent less time reflecting on learning activities, and developed less efficiently organized knowledge structures compared with females in a control condition. Findings from a Bayesian mediation model also suggested that despite stereotyped individuals "working harder" to perform well, their underachievement was largely attributable to failures in learning to "work smarter." Building upon these empirical results, a computational model and computer simulation is also presented to demonstrate the practical significance of stereotype-induced impairments to learning on the development of an organization's human capital resources and capabilities. The simulation results show that even the presence of small effects of stereotype threat during learning/training have the potential to exert a significant negative impact on an organization's performance potential. Implications for future research and practice examining stereotype threat during learning are discussed.

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The Influence of Height on Academic Outcomes

Devon Gorry

Economics of Education Review, February 2017, Pages 1-8

Abstract:
This paper examines whether the height premium for academic outcomes is driven by unequal opportunities for tall individuals. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, this paper shows that taller individuals typically earn higher grades and attain more schooling, but the associations are not uniform across school size. Height is only associated with better outcomes for students attending large schools and these improvements are concentrated among males. Data suggest that height contributes more to sports participation and school satisfaction in large schools where resources are more scarce. Thus, differential opportunities or treatment across height in large schools may drive the performance differences.

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Decomposing the Racial Gap in STEM Major Attrition: A Course-Level Investigation

Matthew Baird, Moshe Buchinsky & Veronica Sovero

RAND Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
This paper examines differences in STEM retention between minority and non-minority undergraduate students. To do so, we use detailed student records of a student's courses, grades, and current major for every term the student was enrolled in a large public university. To examine the role of ability in the switching decision and timing, we estimate STEM and non-STEM ability, and then compare the joint distribution of students who switch out of STEM versus STEM stayers. Students with relatively greater non-STEM ability are more likely to switch out of STEM, but ability cannot completely account for the differences in switching patterns for Hispanic and Black students. In fact, Black and Hispanic students are more likely to persist in STEM after ability is taken into account. We also find evidence of switching behavior that appears motivated by a preference for graduation within four years.

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Does a Self-Affirmation Intervention Reduce Stereotype Threat in Black and Hispanic High Schools?

Jenifer Bratter, Kristie Rowley & Irina Chukhray

Race and Social Problems, December 2016, Pages 340-356

Abstract:
The risk of confirming negative stereotypes about one's social group, known as stereotype threat, depresses academic achievement among students of color and contributes to racial gaps in achievement. Some work finds that stereotype threat may be alleviated through self-affirmation exercises, translating into improved performance among students vulnerable to threat. However, this work has been conducted primarily in settings where students of color represent a relatively small segment of the student population. The current study explores whether this intervention is efficacious in schools where students of color are the majority. Through a randomized controlled trial of 886 students in three high schools (one predominantly black, one predominantly Hispanic, and one mixed race school), we administered self-affirmation exercises over the course of an academic year. We find no clear evidence that self-affirmation promoted higher standardized test scores or higher grades within the sample. The null findings highlight the complex nature of academic challenges in segregated contexts and raise important questions about the nature of stereotype thereat in such contexts. Importantly, this suggests that solely enhancing self-integrity may not be sufficient to close academic race-based gaps.

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Increasing Gender Diversity in Corporate Boards: Are Firms Catering to Investor Preferences?

Chinmoy Ghosh et al.

University of Connecticut Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
We examine the drivers of increasing women's representation on boards in American firms. During 1998-2014, the proportion of firms with female directors on their boards almost doubled to approximately 78%, while the percentage of female directors increased almost five-fold to a share of 15%. Our analysis shows that the documented increase in female representation on corporate boards is driven by the increasing propensity of firms to add more female directors, rather than changing firms' characteristics. We use the catering theory to explain firms' propensity to increase (or decrease) their board gender diversity, and show that when the premium to have women on board is positive (negative), firms are more likely to add (replace) female directors. We further find that firms with more women on their boards are historically associated with higher valuation premium. Finally, we observe that the magnitude of board gender diversity changes is positively related to the change in the lagged gender diversity premium. Our results indicate that board gender diversity can increase value in firms, catering to the demand of investors for gender-diversified boards.

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The Gender Gap in Charter School Enrollment

Sean Corcoran & Jennifer Jennings

Educational Policy, forthcoming

Abstract:
Many studies have investigated whether students in charter schools differ systematically from those in traditional public schools with respect to prior achievement, special education, or English Language Learner status. None, however, has examined gender differences in charter school enrollment. Using data for all U.S. public schools over 11 years, we find charters enroll a higher fraction of girls, a gap that has grown steadily over time and is larger in secondary grades and KIPP schools. We then analyze longitudinal student-level data from North Carolina to examine whether differential rates of attrition explain this gap. We find boys are more likely than girls to exit charters once enrolled, and gender differences in attrition are larger than in traditional schools. However, the difference is not large enough to explain the full enrollment gap between charter and traditional schools in North Carolina, suggesting gaps exist from initial matriculation.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Combative

Don't Tread on Me: Constraint-Challenging Presidents and Strategic Conflict Avoidance

Jonathan Keller & Dennis Foster

Presidential Studies Quarterly, December 2016, Pages 808–827

Abstract:
Recent research demonstrates that U.S. presidents’ psychological predispositions influence the frequency with which they choose diversionary foreign policy strategies. The purpose of this article is to extend the expectations of this “first-image” theory of diversion to the strategic behavior of potential diversionary targets. We posit that U.S. presidents whose spontaneous public rhetoric indicates a willingness to challenge pacifying constraints should be viewed by potential enemies as more likely to engage in diversionary conflict. Building upon the “strategic conflict avoidance” perspective, we expect that when such presidents encounter diversionary incentives, other states will increase cooperation toward and avoid initiation of military disputes against the United States. Time-series analyses of behavior toward the United States for the period 1953–2000 largely bear out this expectation, as interstate rivals increase cooperation toward, and all states decrease militarized incident initiation against, the United States when economic misery is high and presidents whose rhetoric has revealed a proclivity for challenging constraints are in office.

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Inside Irredentism: A Global Empirical Analysis

David Siroky & Christopher Hale

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Although many countries have ethnic kin on the “wrong side” of their borders, few seek to annex foreign territories on the basis of ethnicity. This article examines why some states pursue irredentism, whereas others exhibit restraint. It focuses on the triadic structure of the kin group in the irredentist state, its coethnic enclave, and the host state, and provides new data on all actual and potential irredentist cases from 1946 to 2014. The results indicate that irredentism is more likely when the kin group is near economic parity with other groups in its own state, which results in status inconsistency and engenders grievances. It is also more likely in more ethnically homogeneous countries with winner-take-all majoritarian systems where the kin group does not need to moderate its policy to win elections by attracting other groups. These conditions generate both the grievance and opportunity for kin groups to pursue irredentism.

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The Role of Perceived Deservingness in the Toleration of Human Rights Violations

Caroline Drolet, Carolyn Hafer & Larry Heuer

Social Justice Research, December 2016, Pages 429–455

Abstract:
Based on evidence that people have a strong need to see that individuals get what they deserve, we reasoned that people will tolerate a human rights violation to the extent that they believe the target of the violation deserves severe treatment. Thus, we expected that variables that influence the perceived deservingness of a target (i.e., “contextual cues” to deservingness) should influence toleration of a violation of the target’s rights, mediated by perceptions of the target’s deservingness. We also expected that the effect of a contextual cue to targets’ deservingness on toleration should occur even for people who support the violated right in the abstract. Across two studies, using student versus community samples, we measured participants’ abstract support for the right to humane treatment. We then presented participants with scenarios about a target who was tortured (a violation of the right to humane treatment), and manipulated a contextual cue to the targets’ deservingness for severe treatment — the moral reprehensibility of the targets’ past behavior. Participants tolerated a target’s torture more if he had engaged in highly morally reprehensible (vs. less reprehensible) behavior and, thus, was perceived to deserve more severe treatment. Participants’ abstract support for the right to humane treatment did not moderate the effect of moral reprehensibility on toleration. Our findings highlight the importance of perceived deservingness in the toleration of human rights violations and have implications for reducing such toleration. Our research also extends literature on deservingness to an important global issue.

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The Impact of War on Happiness: the Case of Ukraine

Tom Coupe & Maksym Obrizan

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, December 2016, Pages 228–242

Abstract:
In this paper, we study how war affects happiness using data from the on-going conflict in Ukraine. Using a difference-in-difference design, we find that the average level of happiness declined substantially in areas that experience war directly, with the drop in happiness being roughly comparable to the loss of happiness a relatively well-off person would experience if he/she were to become a poor person. At the same time, despite the fact that the war in the East dominates the local media in Ukraine, respondents in other regions of Ukraine are about as happy as they were before the war.

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A Modern Peace? Schumpeter, the Decline of Conflict, and the Investment–War Trade-Off

Tyson Chatagnier & Emanuele Castelli

Political Research Quarterly, December 2016, Pages 852-864

Abstract:
Drawing on the writings of Joseph Schumpeter, we develop and explore a new theory of international conflict. We outline a simple mechanism whereby industrialization fosters peace, suggesting that industrialized states are more peaceful because they can gain more by investing at home than by pursuing foreign military conquest. We borrow from Schumpeter to argue that our mechanism is distinct from traditional measures of liberalism. Empirically, we propose a measure of industrial development, based on a state’s economic structure. Using World Bank sector-specific economic data, our exploratory analysis shows that a more industrialized economy significantly reduces the likelihood that a state will be involved in a fatal military conflict. We show that this result is robust across a number of model specifications and independent of both democracy and capitalism. We propose this as an interesting first step toward a broader research program on modernization and conflict.

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Do Western Educated Leaders Matter for War Involvement?

Joan Barceló

Washington University in Saint Louis Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
Recent theories on the causes of war focus on how institutional and structural factors shape leaders' decisions in foreign policy. However, citizens, policy-makers, and a growing number scholars argue that leaders' background experiences may matter for both domestic and foreign policy choices. This paper contributes to an emerging body of scholarship on leaders in international relations by showing how personal attributes influence war involvement. Based on the soft power theory of international experiences and the impressionable-years hypothesis of socialization, I theorize that leaders with the experience of attending a university in a Western democracy should be less likely than non-Western educated leaders to engage in militarized international disputes. I test this proposition by employing a new data set, building on Archigos and LEAD, that includes background attributes of more than 900 leaders from 147 non-Western and non-democratic countries between 1947-2001. The results strongly support the hypothesis, even when accounting for leader selection, time-variant country and leader-level controls, other leaders' background characteristics, and country and year fixed effects. This finding lends credence to the soft power thesis of academic institutions on international sojourners, and highlights the value of considering leaders' experiences in analyses about international relations.

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The Effects of 9/11 on Attitudes toward Immigration and the Moderating Role of Education

Simone Schüller

Kyklos, November 2016, Pages 604–632

Abstract:
The 9/11 terror attacks are likely to have induced an increase in anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner sentiments, not only among US residents but also beyond US borders. Using unique longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and exploiting exogenous variation in interview timing throughout 2001, I find that the 9/11 events caused an immediate shift of around 40 percent of one within-standard deviation to more negative attitudes toward immigration and resulted in a considerable decrease in concerns over xenophobic hostility among the German population. The quasi-experiment 9/11 provides evidence on the relevance of non-economic factors in attitude formation and the role of education in moderating the negative terrorism shock. Additional descriptive analysis suggests that the effects have also been persistent in the years after the attacks.

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The Chicken or the Egg?: A Coevolutionary Approach to Disputed Issues and Militarized Conflict

Shawna Metzger

International Interactions, forthcoming

Abstract:
Is state behavior influenced by the context in which it occurs, or does context arise because of the way in which states behave? I investigate these questions in the context of international disputes over issues and states’ militarized behavior. The prevalent assumption in interstate conflict research is that disputed issues are exogenous to militarization patterns. I question the validity of this assumption, arguing that there are reasons to suspect that certain states self-select into disputes. I use a coevolution modeling strategy to allow the existence of disputes and states’ behavior to mutually affect one another. I find that disputes are not exogenous to states’ militarized behavior. States that resort to militarized behavior are more likely to dispute an issue than peaceful states. I also find evidence of behavioral contagion among states engaged in disputes: militarized behavior begets militarized behavior.

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Terrorism’s effects on social capital in European countries

Paschalis Arvanitidis, Athina Economou & Christos Kollias

Public Choice, December 2016, Pages 231–250

Abstract:
Studies have shown that major terrorist events have the potential to exert significant influence on citizens’ risk-perceptions, (in) security sentiments, values and behavioral attitudes towards state institutions and their fellow citizens. Within this growing strand of literature, this paper, allowing for a cohort of demographic and socioeconomic traits, examines the extent to which major terrorist events in four European countries affected two key aspects of social capital, namely institutional and social trust. The data used are drawn from European Social Surveys for the years 2004, 2012 and 2014. Results reported indicate that terrorist incidents can trigger social dynamics that affect trust attitudes; however, these effects are short-lived and dissipate rapidly.

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Climate effects of a hypothetical regional nuclear war: Sensitivity to emission duration and particle composition

Francesco Pausata et al.

Earth's Future, forthcoming

Abstract:
Here we use a coupled atmospheric-ocean-aerosol model to investigate the plume development and climate effects of the smoke generated by fires following a regional nuclear war between emerging third-world nuclear powers. We simulate a standard scenario where 5 Tg of black carbon (BC) is emitted over 1 day in the upper troposphere-lower stratosphere. However, it is likely that the emissions from the fires ignited by bomb detonations include a substantial amount of particulate organic matter (POM) and that they last more than 1 day. We therefore test the sensitivity of the aerosol plume and climate system to the BC/ POM ratio (1:3, 1:9) and to the emission length (1 day, 1 week, 1 month). We find that in general, an emission length of 1 month substantially reduces the cooling compared to the 1-day case, whereas taking into account POM emissions notably increases the cooling and the reduction of precipitation associated with the nuclear war during the first year following the detonation. Accounting for POM emissions increases the particle size in the short-emission-length scenarios (1 day/1 week), reducing the residence time of the injected particle. While the initial cooling is more intense when including POM emission, the long-lasting effects, while still large, may be less extreme compared to the BC-only case. Our study highlights that the emission altitude reached by the plume is sensitive to both the particle type emitted by the fires and the emission duration. Consequently, the climate effects of a nuclear war are strongly dependent on these parameters.

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Covert Operations, Wars, Detainee Destinations, and the Psychology of Democratic Peace

Christian Crandall et al.

Journal of Conflict Resolution, forthcoming

Abstract:
We explore US covert forcible actions against democratic governments and their citizens and show that interdemocratic use of covert force is common and can be accommodated within the theory of democratic peace. Grounded in the Perceptual Theory of Legitimacy, we argue that democracies are constrained by public perceptions of their legitimacy from overtly aggressing against other democratic states. When democracies desire to aggress against their democratic counterparts, they will do so covertly. We test the assumptions of the theory and its implication with (1) laboratory studies of the conflation of democracy with ally status and (2) historical analyses of covert militarized actions and prisoner detention, which show that US forcible actions, when carried out against democracies and their citizens, are carried out clandestinely.

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Foreign aid allocation from a network perspective: The effect of global ties

Liam Swiss

Social Science Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article examines competing explanations for foreign aid allocation on the global level and argues for a new approach to understanding aid from an institutionalist perspective. Using network data on all official bilateral aid relationships between countries in the period from 1975 through 2006 and data on recipient country ties to world society, the article offers an alternative explanation for the allocation of global foreign aid. Fixed effects negative binomial regression models on a panel sample of 117 developing countries reveal that global ties to world society in the form of non-governmental memberships and treaty ratifications are strong determinants of the network centrality of recipient countries in the global foreign aid network. Countries with a higher level of adherence and connection to world society norms and organizations are shown to be the beneficiaries of an increased number of aid relationships with wealthy donor countries. The findings also suggest that prior explanations of aid allocation grounded in altruist or realist motivations are insufficient to account for the patterns of aid allocation seen globally in recent years.

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Representing All Women: An Analysis of Congress, Foreign Policy, and the Boundaries of Women’s Surrogate Representation

Sara Angevine

Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Is sisterhood global? This study investigates if women in Congress are representing women worldwide by extending their surrogate representation of American women to women in foreign countries. Congressional research shows that race affects surrogate representation across borders via transnationalism. I test whether this also applies to gender when no shared “mother country” unites women, there are divisions over how to represent women, and American foreign policy is considered a stereotypically masculine policy domain. With an original dataset of three Congresses (2005–2010), I test if female House Representatives are more likely to introduce foreign policy legislation that targets foreign women and girls by applying regression analysis. Controlling for likely individual, electoral, and institutional incentives, I find that gender matters and that women in Congress are more likely to introduce legislation on behalf of women worldwide, acting as global surrogates. These findings offer new insights into the boundaries of surrogate representation, congressional foreign policy decision making, the influence of gender on international relations, and the impact of women in Congress.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

For the children

Income and child maltreatment in unmarried families: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit

Lawrence Berger et al.

Review of Economics of the Household, forthcoming

Abstract:
This study estimates the associations of income with both (self-reported) child protective services involvement and parenting behaviors that proxy for child abuse and neglect risk among unmarried families. Our primary strategy follows the instrumental variables approach employed by Dahl and Lochner (2012), which leverages variation between states and over time in the generosity of the total state and federal earned income tax credit for which a family is eligible to identify exogenous variation in family income. As a robustness check, we also estimate standard OLS regressions (linear probability models), reduced form OLS regressions, and OLS regressions with the inclusion of a control function (each with and without family-specific fixed effects). Our micro-level data are drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal birth-cohort of relatively disadvantaged urban children who have been followed from birth to age nine. Results suggest that an exogenous increase in income is associated with reductions in behaviorally approximated child neglect and CPS involvement, particularly among low-income single-mother families.

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Housing Affordability And Children’s Cognitive Achievement

Sandra Newman & Scott Holupka

Health Affairs, November 2016, Pages 2092-2099

Abstract:
Housing cost burden — the fraction of income spent on housing — is the most prevalent housing problem affecting the healthy development of millions of low- and moderate-income children. By affecting disposable income, a high burden affects parents’ expenditures on both necessities for and enrichment of their children, as well as investments in their children. Reducing those expenditures and investments, in turn, can affect children’s development, including their cognitive skills and physical, social, and emotional health. This article summarizes the first empirical evidence of the effects of housing affordability on children’s cognitive achievement and on one factor that appears to contribute to these effects: the larger expenditures on child enrichment by families in affordable housing. We found that housing cost burden has the same relationship to both children’s cognitive achievement and enrichment spending on children, exhibiting an inverted U shape in both cases. The maximum benefit occurs when housing cost burden is near 30 percent of income — the long-standing rule-of-thumb definition of affordable housing. The effect of the burden is stronger on children’s math ability than on their reading comprehension and is more pronounced with burdens above the 30 percent standard. For enrichment spending, the curve is “shallower” (meaning the effect of optimal affordability is less pronounced) but still significant.

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Father–Adolescent Engagement in Shared Activities: Effects on Cortisol Stress Response in Young Adulthood

Mariam Hanna Ibrahim et al.

Journal of Family Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Parent–child relationships can critically affect youth physiological development. Most studies have focused on the influence of maternal behaviors, with little attention to paternal influences. The current study investigated father engagement with their adolescents in household (shopping, cooking) and discretionary leisure activities as a predictor of youth cortisol response to a challenging interpersonal task in young adulthood. The sample (N = 213) was roughly divided between Mexican American (MA; n = 101) and European American (EA; n = 112) families, and included resident biological-father (n = 131) and resident stepfather families (n = 82). Salivary cortisol was collected before, immediately after, and at 20 and 40 min after an interpersonal challenge task; area under the curve (AUCg) was calculated to capture total cortisol output. Results suggested that more frequent father engagement in shared activities with adolescents (ages 11–16), but not mother engagement, predicted lower AUCg cortisol response in young adulthood (ages 19–22). The relation remained significant after adjusting for current mother and father engagement and current mental health. Further, the relation did not differ given family ethnicity, father type (step or biological), or adolescent sex. Future research should consider unique influences of fathers when investigating the effects of parent–child relationships on youth physiological development and health.

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Mother still knows best: Maternal influence uniquely modulates adolescent reward sensitivity during risk taking

João Guassi Moreira & Eva Telzer

Developmental Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Adolescent decision-making is highly sensitive to input from the social environment. In particular, adult and maternal presence influence adolescents to make safer decisions when encountered with risky scenarios. However, it is currently unknown whether maternal presence confers a greater advantage than mere adult presence in buffering adolescent risk taking. In the current study, 23 adolescents completed a risk-taking task during an fMRI scan in the presence of their mother and an unknown adult. Results reveal that maternal presence elicits greater activation in reward-related neural circuits when making safe decisions but decreased activation following risky choices. Moreover, adolescents evidenced a more immature neural phenotype when making risky choices in the presence of an adult compared to mother, as evidenced by positive functional coupling between the ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. Our results underscore the importance of maternal stimuli in bolstering adolescent decision-making in risky scenarios.

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Childhood Sexual Abuse and Early Timing of Puberty

Jennie Noll et al.

Journal of Adolescent Health, forthcoming

Methods: A cohort of sexually abused females and matched comparisons was followed longitudinally at mean ages 11 through 20 years. Sexually abused participants (N = 84) were referred by protective services. Comparison participants (N = 89) were recruited to be comparable in terms of age, ethnicity, income level, family constellation, zip codes, and nonsexual trauma histories. Stage of puberty was indexed at each assessment by nurse and participant ratings of breast and pubic hair development using Tanner staging — the gold standard for assessing pubertal onset and development. Cumulative logit mixed models were used to estimate the association between sexual abuse status and the likelihood of transitioning from earlier to later Tanner stage categories controlling for covariates and potential confounds.

Results: Sexual abuse was associated with earlier pubertal onset: 8 months earlier for breasts (odds ratio: 3.06, 95% CI: 1.11–8.49) and 12 months earlier for pubic hair (odds ratio: 3.49, 95% CI: 1.34–9.12). Alternative explanations including ethnicity, obesity, and biological father absence did not eradicate these findings.

Conclusions: This study confirms an association between exposure to childhood sexual abuse and earlier pubertal onset. Results highlight the possibility that, due to this early onset, sexual abuse survivors may be at increased risk for psychosocial difficulties, menstrual and fertility problems, and even reproductive cancers due to prolonged exposure to sex hormones.

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The Spread of Substance Use and Delinquency Between Adolescent Twins

Brett Laursen et al.

Developmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
This investigation examines the spread of problem behaviors (substance use and delinquency) between twin siblings. A sample of 628 twins (151 male twin pairs and 163 female twin pairs) drawn from the Quebec Newborn Twin Study completed inventories describing delinquency and substance use at ages 13, 14, and 15. A 3-wave longitudinal actor–partner interdependence model (APIM) identified avenues whereby problem behaviors spread from one twin to another. Problems did not spread directly between twins across domains. Instead, 2 indirect pathways were identified: (a) Problems first spread interindividually (between twins) within a behavioral domain, then spread intraindividually (within twins) across behavioral domains (e.g., Twin A delinquency → Twin B delinquency → Twin B substance use); and (b) problems first spread intraindividually (within twins) across behavioral domains, then spread interindividually (between twins) within a behavioral domain (e.g., Twin A delinquency → Twin A substance use → Twin B substance use). Controls for genetic effects, gene–environment correlations, friend substance use and delinquency, and parenting behaviors increase confidence in the conclusion that twin siblings uniquely contribute to the spread of problem behaviors during adolescence. Twin sibling influence is a risk factor for illicit substance use, both because substance use by one twin predicts substance use by the other twin, but also because delinquency in one twin predicts delinquency in the other twin, which then gives rise to greater substance use.

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The Effect of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 on Rewarded and Unrewarded Performance Goals

Ed Gerrish

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, forthcoming

Abstract:
This paper examines the impact of the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act (CSPIA) of 1998 on child support performance measures that are rewarded financially as well as outcomes that are not rewarded. Three of the five performance measures explicitly rewarded by CSPIA are reconstructed in this analysis, as are two child support outcomes that were considered for financial rewards but were ultimately rejected. Using a panel interrupted time series model with state fixed effects and state-specific trends, this analysis finds that CSPIA had a statistically positive impact on just one rewarded performance goal, cost-effectiveness, and negatively impacted an unrewarded child support outcome — collections sent to other states. Effect sizes suggest that CSPIA had little impact on child support performance, on balance. These results provide more evidence to the ongoing debate about the ability of performance incentives to improve public sector performance. It also suggests that reforming performance systems in response to perceived problems may create new gaming responses.

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Do women tend while men fight or flee? Differential emotive reactions of stressed men and women while viewing newborn infants

Fabian Probst et al.

Psychoneuroendocrinology, January 2017, Pages 213–221

Abstract:
Infant care often is carried out under stressful circumstances. Little is known about differences in caretaking motivation between men and women under stress. In the present study, stress was induced in 40 participants (21 women, 19 men) by means of the cold pressor stress test, 40 (22 women, 18 men) serving as controls. Participants then rated their urge to care for newborn infants shown on 20 short video clips. The infants in the videos were either crying (N = 10) or were showing typical neonatal facial movements (N = 10). Skin conductance was obtained while participants viewed the videos and salivary cortisol was measured to capture stress responses. We found sex differences in caretaking motivation, such that stress led to decreased caretaking motivation in men but not in women. Furthermore, stressed men elicited a stronger skin conductance change while viewing infant videos than stressed women. These findings provide further evidence for differential stress reactions in men and women and may have crucial implications for parental care.

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Should Infants and Toddlers Have Frequent Overnight Parenting Time With Fathers? The Policy Debate and New Data

William Fabricius & Go Woon Suh

Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, forthcoming

Abstract:
Whether children of separated parents 2 years of age and younger should have frequent overnight parenting time with noncustodial fathers has been the subject of much debate but little data. Contrary to some previous findings, the current study found benefits to both parent-child relationships associated with overnights (a) up to and including equal numbers of overnights at both parents’ homes, (b) for both the long-term mother-child and father-child relationships, and (c) both when children were 2 years old, as well as when they were under 1 year of age. These benefits held after controlling for subsequent parenting time with fathers in childhood and adolescence, parent education and conflict up to 5 years after the separation, and children’s sex and age at separation. While the findings do not establish causality they provide strong support for policies to encourage frequent overnight parenting time for infants and toddlers, because the benefits associated with overnights also held for parents who initially agreed about overnights as well as for those who disagreed and had the overnight parenting plan imposed over 1 parent’s objections. The observed benefits for the long-term father-child relationship are consistent with findings from intervention studies showing that fathers who are more involved with infants and toddlers develop better parenting skills and relationships with their children.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Monday, December 5, 2016

Incorporated

Is the American Public Corporation in Trouble?

Kathleen Kahle & René Stulz

NBER Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
We examine the current state of the American public corporation and how it has evolved over the last forty years. There are fewer public corporations now than forty years ago, but they are much older and larger. They invest differently, as the importance of R&D investments has grown relative to capital expenditures. On average, public firms have record high cash holdings and in most recent years they have more cash than long-term debt. They are less profitable than they used to be and profits are more concentrated, as the top 100 firms now account for most of the net income of American public firms. Accounting statements are less informative about the performance and the value of firms because firms increasingly invest in intangible assets that do not appear on their balance sheets. Firms’ total payouts to shareholders as a percent of net income are at record levels, suggesting that firms either lack opportunities to invest or have poor incentives to invest. The credit crisis appears to leave few traces on the course of American public corporations.

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Executive compensation and political sensitivity: Evidence from government contractors

Brandy Hadley

Journal of Corporate Finance, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using federal contractor data, this paper examines the political costs hypothesis through the impact of government scrutiny and political sensitivity on executive compensation. The political cost hypothesis proffers that firms subject to government scrutiny take actions to deflect potential negative government reactions which can result in increased political costs for the firm. Results suggest that government contractor firms with the most political sensitivity (i.e., firms with government contracts that are most visible and comprise significant portions of their revenue) are associated with lower total (and excess) compensation to their CEOs, but with larger portions of cash, leading to lower long-term CEO wealth performance sensitivity. However, politically sensitive contractors with significant bargaining power (due to concentration, competition, or political contributions), are actually associated with greater excess compensation than other politically sensitive firms. These findings provide insight into the effects and limitations of additional government monitoring of executive compensation.

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Shareholder Litigation and Ownership Structure: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Alan Crane & Andrew Koch

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
We use a natural experiment to identify a causal effect of the threat of shareholder litigation on ownership structure, governance, and firm performance. We find that when it becomes harder for small shareholders to litigate, ownership becomes more concentrated and shifts from individuals to institutions. Director and officer governance protections drop among these firms, and operating performance drops among firms whose ownership structure does not change. These results suggest that the ability of shareholders to coordinate and litigate against management is important for governance.

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Do Delaware CEOs get fired?

Murali Jagannathan & A.C. Pritchard

Journal of Banking & Finance, January 2017, Pages 85–101

Abstract:
Critics have charged that state competition in corporate law, which Delaware dominates, leads to a “race to the bottom” making management unaccountable. We argue that Delaware corporate law attracts firms with particular financial and governance characteristics. We find that Delaware attracts growth firms in industries with more takeover activity. Delaware firms have smaller boards, and their directors are paid more and serve on more boards. In addition, Delaware firms attract greater institutional ownership. We also provide a bottom-line test of the race-to-the-bottom hypothesis by examining forced CEO turnover. After controlling for differences in firm characteristics, we find that firms incorporated in Delaware are more likely to terminate CEOs. We also find that that termination decision is less sensitive to poor performance. Overall, we see no clear pattern supporting the “race to the bottom” hypothesis.

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Knighthoods, Damehoods, and CEO Behaviour

Konrad Raff & Linus Siming

Journal of Corporate Finance, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study whether and how politicians can influence the behaviour of CEOs and firm performance with prestigious government awards. We present a simple model to develop the hypothesis that government awards have a negative effect on firm performance. The empirical analysis uses two legal reforms in New Zealand for identification: knighthoods and damehoods were abolished in April 2000 and reinstated in March 2009. The findings are consistent with the predictions of the model. The results suggest that government awards serve as an incentive tool through which politicians influence firms in favour of employees to the detriment of shareholders.

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Information Disclosure, Firm Growth, and the Cost of Capital

Sunil Dutta & Alexander Nezlobin

Journal of Financial Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We study how information disclosure affects the cost of equity capital and investor welfare in a dynamic setting. We show that a firm’s cost of capital decreases (increases) in the precision of public disclosure if the firm’s growth rate is below (above) a certain threshold. The threshold growth rate is higher when the firm’s cash flows are more persistent, or when other firms in the economy are growing at low rates. While current shareholders always prefer maximum public disclosure, future shareholders’ welfare decreases (increases) in the precision of public disclosure if the firm’s growth rate is below (above) the threshold.

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The effects of the 2006 SEC executive compensation disclosure rules on managerial incentives

Reza Espahbodi, Nan Liu & Amy Westbrook

Journal of Contemporary Accounting & Economics, December 2016, Pages 241–256

Abstract:
In 2006, the SEC amended the disclosure requirements for executive compensation and stock ownership. This paper examines the effects of these amendments on (1) the association between equity-based executive incentives and firm payout choice, and (2) the association between executive compensation and earnings management. We find that after the effective date of the SEC rules, the positive associations between executive stock option holdings and firm open-market repurchases, and between executive shareholdings and firm dividend payouts, have weakened. In addition, the positive associations between bonus and discretionary accruals, between bonus and real earnings management, and between equity compensation and real earnings management, have decreased. In general, these findings are consistent with the notion that the 2006 SEC disclosure rules lowered management's self-interested actions by mitigating the information asymmetry between investors and managers.

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Corporate Governance and Costs of Equity: Theory and Evidence

Di Li & Erica Li

Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
We propose and test an alternative explanation for the existence of the positive governance–return relation in the 1990s and its disappearance in the 2000s: The governance–return relation is positive under good states of the economy and negative under bad states. Corporate governance mitigates investment distortions so that firms with strong governance have more valuable investment options during booms and more valuable divestiture options during busts than the ones with weak governance. Because investment options are riskier and divestiture options are less risky than assets in place, the expected returns of strongly governed firms are higher during booms but lower during busts than the weakly governed ones. Empirical evidence is consistent with our hypothesis.

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Agency Problem and Ownership Structure: Outside Blockholder As a Signal

Sergey Stepanov & Anton Suvorov

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, January 2017, Pages 87–107

Abstract:
We model the decision of an entrepreneur, seeking outside financing, on whether to sell a large equity share to a blockholder. A conventional theoretical rationale for the presence of an outside blockholder is mitigation of the agency problem via monitoring. Our model provides a novel insight: outside blockholders may be attracted by entrepreneurs with low, rather than high, agency problems in order to signal their low propensity to extract private benefits. Our result yields a new interpretation of an often documented positive relationship between outside ownership concentration in a firm and its market valuation: it may be driven by ”sorting” rather than by the direct effect of monitoring. We show that the positive correlation may arise even if the blockholder derives private benefits and has no positive impact on the value of small shares. Our analysis also helps to explain why the market reacts more favorably to private placements of equity as opposed to public issues.

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The Effect of Voluntary Clawback Adoptions on Corporate Tax Policy

Thomas Kubick, Thomas Omer & Zac Wiebe

University of Kansas Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
Firms are adopting executive compensation recoupment (“clawback”) policies to discourage aggressive financial reporting choices. Recent research suggests clawbacks might encourage other, less aggressive, forms of earnings management. We suggest that managing effective tax rates (ETRs), through greater discretion or tax planning, is an alternative for meeting earnings expectations and examine whether ETR management is affected by clawback adoptions. Using a matched sample, we find that effective tax rates are lower after clawback adoption, suggesting that firms use ETR management to increase earnings following clawback adoption. We also find that increased ETR management after clawback adoption does not increase tax outcome volatility or reduce tax disclosure quality. In further tests, we find lower ETRs among clawback firms that barely beat earnings estimates. We also find some evidence of a tradeoff between accruals, or real, earnings management and ETR management.

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Valuing talent: Do CEOs' ability and discretion unambiguously increase firm performance

Kwok Tong Samuel Cheung et al.

Journal of Corporate Finance, February 2017, Pages 15–35

Abstract:
This study investigates how the association between more able managers and firm performance, documented in prior research, is affected by the joint effect of managerial discretion and monitoring quality. We find that higher levels of managerial discretion afford more able managers to further improve firm outcomes only when such discretion is monitored closely to curb more able managers' rent seeking incentives. Our results are robust to a battery of additional and sensitivity analyses that we perform.

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Spillovers Inside Conglomerates: Incentives and Capital

Ran Duchin, Amir Goldberg & Denis Sosyura

Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using hand-collected data on divisional managers at conglomerates, we find that a change in industry pay in one division generates spillovers on managerial pay in other divisions of the same firm. These spillovers arise only within the boundaries of a conglomerate. The intra-firm spillovers increase when conglomerates have excess cash and when managers have more influence over its distribution, but decline in the presence of strong governance. These spillovers are associated with weaker performance and lower firm value. Our evidence is consistent with simultaneous cross-subsidization via managerial compensation and capital budgets and suggests that these practices arise in similar firms.

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Do the FASB's Standards add Shareholder Value?

Urooj Khan et al.

Columbia University Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
We examine the cost effectiveness, from the shareholders’ perspective, of the accounting standards issued by the FASB during 1973-2009. In particular, we evaluate (i) the stock market reactions of firms affected by the standards surrounding the events that changed the probability of issuance of these standards; and (ii) whether the market reactions are related, in the cross-section, to affected firms’ agency problems, information asymmetry, proprietary costs, contracting costs, and estimation risk changes. The average standard is a non-event from the investors’ perspective. We find that 104 of the 138 standards we examine are associated with no change in shareholder value. Thirty-four standards are associated with significant abnormal returns. Of these 19 (15) are shareholder value decreasing (increasing). Thus, a mere 11% of the standards improve shareholder value. The fair value pronouncements (SFAS 105, 107, 115) and the R&D expensing standard (SFAS 2) cause the highest negative stock price reaction whereas standards related to the securitization of mortgage backed securities (SFAS 134) and the disclosure of derivative instruments (SFAS 119) are associated with the highest positive returns. Surprisingly, 25 standards are associated with an increase in estimation risk. Stock returns associated with standards are higher for affected firms that experience a decrease in estimation risk. Principles-based standards are associated with more positive stock price reactions relative to rules-based standards. However, standards that involve more managerial estimates are associated with negative stock price reactions.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Sunday, December 4, 2016

They're nice

The Interrelations Between Social Class, Personal Relative Deprivation, and Prosociality

Mitchell Callan et al.

Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
We propose that personal relative deprivation (PRD) — the belief that one is worse off than similar others — plays a key role in the link between social class and prosociality. Across multiple samples and measures (total N = 2,233), people higher in PRD were less inclined to help others. When considered in isolation, neither objective nor subjective socioeconomic status (SES) was meaningfully associated with prosociality. However, because people who believe themselves to be at the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy are typically low in PRD, these variables act as mutual suppressors — the predictive validity of both is enhanced when they are considered simultaneously, revealing that both higher subjective SES and higher PRD are associated with lower prosociality. These results cast new light on the complex connections between relative social status and people’s willingness to act for the benefit of others.

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It's Not the Thought that Counts: A Field Experiment on Gift Exchange and Giving at a Public University

Catherine Eckel, David Herberich & Jonathan Meer

NBER Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
One of the most important outstanding questions in fundraising is whether donor premiums, or gifts to prospective donors, are effective in increasing donations. Donors may be motivated by reciprocity, making premium recipients more likely to donate and give larger donations. Or donors may dislike premiums, preferring instead to maximize the value of their donations to the charity; in this case donor premiums would be ineffective. We conduct a field experiment in conjunction with the fundraising campaign of a major university to examine these questions. Treatments include a control, an unconditional premium with two gift quality levels, and a set of conditional premium treatments. The conditional treatments include opt-out and opt-in conditions to test whether donors prefer to forego premiums. Compared with the control, donors are twice as likely to give when they receive an unconditional, high-quality gift. The low-quality unconditional and all conditional premiums have little impact on the likelihood or level of giving. Donors do not respond negatively to premiums: rates of giving do not suffer when premiums are offered. In addition, few opt out given the opportunity to do so, indicating that they like gifts, and suggesting that reciprocity rather than altruism determines the impact of premiums on giving.

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Moral traps: When self-serving attributions backfire in prosocial behavior

Stephanie Lin, Julian Zlatev & Dale Miller Journal of

Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Two assumptions guide the current research. First, people's desire to see themselves as moral disposes them to make attributions that enhance or protect their moral self-image: When approached with a prosocial request, people are inclined to attribute their own noncompliance to external factors, while attributing their own compliance to internal factors. Second, these attributions can backfire when put to a material test. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that people who attribute their refusal of a prosocial request to an external factor (e.g., having an appointment), but then have that excuse removed, are more likely to engage in prosocial behavior than those who were never given an excuse to begin with. Study 3 shows that people view it as more morally reprehensible to no longer honor the acceptance of a prosocial request if an accompanying external incentive is removed than to refuse a request unaccompanied by an external incentive. Study 4 extends this finding and suggests that people who attribute the decision to behave prosocially to an internal factor despite the presence of an external incentive are more likely to continue to behave prosocially once the external incentive is removed than are those for whom no external incentive was ever offered. This research contributes to an understanding of the dynamics underlying the perpetuation of moral self-regard and suggests interventions to increase prosocial behavior.

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Warm-Glow Giving: Earned Money and the Option to Take

Andrew Luccasen & Philip Grossman

Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
Giving in dictator games has been shown to vary with the nature of the endowment (earned vs. house money) and the action space (give only vs. the option to give or take). This article is the first to test if these factors similarly affect warm-glow giving alone. There is no reason that one would expect the same outcomes given that the motivations for warm-glow giving are different from the motivations for total (warm-glow plus purely altruistic) giving. We find that warm-glow giving to charity or philanthropic institutions in a real-donation experiment increases when the endowment is earned. The option to take does reduce warm-glow giving to charity, but significant giving remains. Our results suggest that donating earned income creates greater utility than donating an equal amount from a windfall gain, and that warm glow comes not merely from the act of giving, but also from the characteristics of the recipient.

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Hey Buddy, Can You Give Me 37 s of Your Time? Extension of the Pique Technique to a Non-monetary Solicitation and Test of Justification for Compliance

Nicolas Guéguen et al.

Current Psychology, December 2016, Pages 583–586

Abstract:
We examined the pique technique with a new form of solicitation. Passersby in the street were asked to participate in a short survey. Participants were asked if they had a little time to spare to answer a survey (control) or asked if they had 37 s to participate (pique). Results showed that the pique increased compliance. Participants who accepted were asked the reason for their compliance. It was found that the number of no reason explanations (i.e., “I don’t know”) increased in the pique condition, supporting the assumption that the pique disrupts the script of refusal.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Likes

Strangers With Benefits: Attraction to Outgroup Men Increases as Fertility Increases Across the Menstrual Cycle

Joseph Salvatore et al.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research typically reveals that outgroups are regarded with disinterest at best and hatred and enmity at worst. Working from an evolutionary framework, we identify a unique pattern of outgroup attraction. The small-group lifestyle of pre-human ancestors plausibly limited access to genetically diverse mates. Ancestral females may have solved the inbreeding dilemma while balancing parental investment pressures by mating with outgroup males either via converting to an outgroup or cuckolding the ingroup. A vestige of those mating strategies might manifest in human women as a cyclic pattern of attraction across the menstrual cycle, such that attraction to outgroup men increases as fertility increases across the cycle. Two studies, one using a longitudinal method and the other an experimental method, evidenced the hypothesized linear relationship between attraction to outgroup men and fertility in naturally cycling women.

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Age-Varying Associations Between Nonmarital Sexual Behavior and Depressive Symptoms Across Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Sara Vasilenko

Developmental Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research has demonstrated associations between adolescent sexual behavior and depressive symptoms, but no single study has examined individuals at different ages throughout adolescence and young adulthood in order to determine at what ages sexual behavior may be associated with higher or lower levels of depressive symptoms. Using nationally representative longitudinal data and an innovative method, the time-varying effect model (TVEM), which examines how the strength of an association changes over time, this study examines how nonmarital sexual intercourse is associated with depressive symptoms at different ages, which behaviors and contexts may contribute to these associations, and whether associations differ for male and female participants. Findings indicate that sexual behavior in adolescence is associated with a higher level of depressive symptoms, particularly for female adolescents, and this association is relatively consistent across different partner types and adolescent contexts. Associations between sexual behavior and depressive symptoms in young adulthood are more dependent on partner factors and adolescent contexts; sexual behavior in young adulthood is associated with fewer depressive symptoms for women who have sex with a single partner and for men whose parents did not strongly disapprove of adolescent sexual behavior. Findings suggest that delaying sexual behavior into young adulthood may have some benefits for mental health, although contextual and relationship factors also play a role.

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Are there vocal cues to human developmental stability? Relationships between facial fluctuating asymmetry and voice attractiveness

Alexander Hill et al.

Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), deviation from perfect bilateral symmetry, is thought to reflect an organism's relative inability to maintain stable morphological development in the face of environmental and genetic stressors. Previous research has documented negative relationships between FA and attractiveness judgments in humans, but scant research has explored relationships between the human voice and this putative marker of genetic quality in either sex. Only one study (and in women only) has explored relationships between vocal attractiveness and asymmetry of the face, a feature-rich trait space central in prior work on human genetic quality and mate choice. We therefore examined this relationship in three studies comprising 231 men and 240 women from two Western samples as well as Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania. Voice recordings were collected and rated for attractiveness, and FA was computed from two-dimensional facial images as well as, for a subset of men, three-dimensional facial scans. Through meta-analysis of our results and those of prior studies, we found a negative association between FA and vocal attractiveness that was highly robust and statistically significant whether we included effect sizes from previously published work, or only those from the present research, and regardless of the inclusion of any individual sample or method of assessing FA (e.g., facial or limb FA). Weighted mean correlations between FA and vocal attractiveness across studies were −.23 for men and −.29 for women. This research thus offers strong support for the hypothesis that voices provide cues to genetic quality in humans.

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The Effects of Gender and Cost on Suspicion in Initial Courtship Communications

Mandy Walsh, Murray Millar & Shane Westfall

Evolutionary Psychological Science, December 2016, Pages 262–267

Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of gender on suspicion towards claims made during courtship communications. It was hypothesized that participants would be more suspicious of claims made about reproductive relevant traits. To test the hypothesis, participants read a total of eight scenarios describing traits relevant to female reproduction (wealth, commitment, and child interest), traits relevant to male reproduction (physical beauty, youth, and sexual availability), and traits neutral to both genders (stargazing and game playing). After each scenario, participants indicated their suspiciousness about the veracity of the communication on five scales. As predicted, both men and women believed the neutral claim scenarios more than claims about reproductively significant traits. Women compared to men were more suspicious of claims related to wealth, commitment, and child interest, while men compared to women were more suspicious of claims related to physical beauty, youth, and sexual availability.

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Is He a Hero or a Weirdo? How Norm Violations Influence the Halo Effect

Jeremy Gibson & Jonathan Gore

Gender Issues, December 2016, Pages 299–310

Abstract:
First impressions are often influenced by the context in which we experience them. Many factors, such as behavior, appearance, and our own personal attitudes can affect the way that these perceptions are constructed. The present experiment sought to examine the effect of positive norm violation on females’ perceptions of male facial attractiveness. Two male faces (attractive and unattractive) with similar features were partnered with two scenarios of positive norm violation (low intensity and high intensity) while being rated on personality characteristics. Two separate halo effects were hypothesized in the experiment: attractiveness and high violation. An interaction effect in the form of a magnified halo was also predicted. Participants were 178 female college students. Results showed favorable ratings for the attractive male face and the low violation condition, with the attractive, low violation condition receiving the most positive results. Data supported a significant effect for positive norm violation, but not for male facial attractiveness. A significant interaction effect between the two variables was also observed.

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Are physiological and behavioral immune responses negatively correlated? Evidence from hormone-linked differences in men's face preferences

Michal Kandrik et al.

Hormones and Behavior, January 2017, Pages 57–61

Abstract:
Behaviors that minimize exposure to sources of pathogens can carry opportunity costs. Consequently, how individuals resolve the trade off between the benefits and costs of behavioral immune responses should be sensitive to the extent to which they are vulnerable to infectious diseases. However, although it is a strong prediction of this functional flexibility principle, there is little compelling evidence that individuals with stronger physiological immune responses show weaker behavioral immune responses. Here we show that men with the combination of high testosterone and low cortisol levels, a hormonal profile recently found to be associated with particularly strong physiological immune responses, show weaker preferences for color cues associated with carotenoid pigmentation. Since carotenoid cues are thought to index vulnerability to infectious illnesses, our results are consistent with the functional flexibility principle's prediction that individuals with stronger physiological immune responses show weaker behavioral immune responses.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Friday, December 2, 2016

The stand

Utopian Hopes or Dystopian Fears? Exploring the Motivational Underpinnings of Moralized Political Engagement

Linda Skitka, Brittany Hanson & Daniel Wisneski

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
People are more likely to become politically engaged (e.g., vote, engage in activism) when issues are associated with strong moral convictions. The goal of this research was to understand the underlying motivations that lead to this well-replicated effect. Specifically, to what extent is moralized political engagement motivated by proscriptive concerns (e.g., perceived harms, anticipated regret), prescriptive concerns (e.g., perceived benefits, anticipated pride), or some combination of these processes? And are the motivational pathways between moral conviction and political engagement the same or different for liberals and conservatives? Two studies (combined N = 2,069) found that regardless of political orientation, the association between moral conviction and political engagement was mediated by the perceived benefits of preferred but not the perceived harms of non-preferred policy outcomes, and by both anticipated pride and regret, findings that replicated in two contexts: legalizing same-sex marriage and allowing concealed weapons on college campuses.

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Informed Preferences? The Impact of Unions on Workers' Policy Views

Sung Eun Kim & Yotam Margalit

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite declining memberships, labor unions still represent large shares of electorates worldwide. Yet their political clout remains contested. To what extent, and in what way, do unions shape workers' political preferences? We address these questions by combining unique survey data of American workers and a set of inferential strategies that exploit two sources of variation: the legal choice that workers face in joining or opting out of unions and the over-time reversal of a union's policy position. Focusing on the issue of trade, we offer evidence that unions influence their members' policy preferences in a significant and theoretically predictable manner. In contrast, we find that self-selection into membership accounts at most for a quarter of the observed "union effect." The study illuminates the impact of unions in cohering workers' voice and provides insight on the role of information provision in shaping how citizens form policy preferences.

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The Ideological Nationalization of Mass Partisanship: Policy Preferences and Partisan Identification in State Publics, 1946-2014

Devin Caughey, James Dunham & Chris Warshaw

MIT Working Paper, August 2016

Abstract:
Since the mid-20th century, elite political behavior has increasingly nationalized. In Congress, for example, within-party geographic cleavages have declined, roll-call voting has become increasingly one-dimensional, and Democrats and Republicans have diverged along this main dimension of national partisan conflict. The existing literature finds that citizens have displayed only a delayed and attenuated echo of elite trends. We show, however, that a very different picture emerges if we focus not on individual citizens but on the aggregate characteristics of geographic constituencies. Using estimates of the economic, racial, and social policy liberalism of the average Democrat, Independent, and Republican in each state-year 1946-2014, we demonstrate a surprisingly close correspondence between mass and elite trends. Specifically, we find that: (1) ideological divergence between Democrats and Republicans has increased dramatically within each domain, just as it has in Congress; (2) economic, racial, and social liberalism have become highly correlated across state-party publics, just as they have across members of Congress; (3) ideological variation across state-party publics is now almost completely explained by party rather than state, closely tracking trends in the Senate; and (4) senators' liberalism is strongly predicted by the liberalism of their state-party subconstituency, even controlling for their party affiliation and their state public's overall liberalism. Taken together, this correspondence between elite and mass patterns suggests that members of Congress are actually quite in synch with their constituencies, if not with individual citizens.

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The Political Domain Appears Simpler to the Politically Extreme Than to Political Moderates

Joris Lammers et al.

Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
How does political preference affect categorization in the political domain? Eight studies demonstrate that people on both ends of the political spectrum - strong Republicans and strong Democrats - form simpler and more clustered categories of political stimuli than do moderates and neutrals. This pattern was obtained regardless of whether stimuli were politicians (Study 1), social groups (Study 2), or newspapers (Study 3). Furthermore, both strong Republicans and strong Democrats were more likely to make inferences about the world based on their clustered categorization. This was found for estimating the likelihood that geographical location determines voting (Study 4), that political preference determines personal taste (Study 5), and that social relationships determine political preference (Study 6). The effect is amplified if political ideology is salient (Study 7) and remains after controlling for differences in political sophistication (Study 8). The political domain appears simpler to the politically extreme than to political moderates.

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Individual Differences in Group Loyalty Predict Partisan Strength

Scott Clifford

Political Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
The strength of an individual's identification with their political party is a powerful predictor of their engagement with politics, voting behavior, and polarization. Partisanship is often characterized as primarily a social identity, rather than an expression of instrumental goals. Yet, it is unclear why some people develop strong partisan attachments while others do not. I argue that the moral foundation of Loyalty, which represents an individual difference in the tendency to hold strong group attachments, facilitates stronger partisan identification. Across two samples, including a national panel and a convenience sample, as well as multiple measures of the moral foundations, I demonstrate that the Loyalty foundation is a robust predictor of partisan strength. Moreover, I show that these effects cannot be explained by patriotism, ideological extremity, or directional effects on partisanship. Overall, the results provide further evidence for partisanship as a social identity, as well as insight into the sources of partisan strength.

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A House Divided? Roll Calls, Polarization, and Policy Differences in the U.S. House, 1877-2011

David Bateman, Joshua Clinton & John Lapinski

American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
The study of political conflict in legislatures is fundamental to understanding the nature of governance, but also difficult because of changes in membership and the issues addressed over time. Focusing on the enduring issue of civil rights in the United States since Reconstruction, we show that using current methods and measures to characterize elite ideological disagreements makes it hard to interpret or reconcile the conflicts with historical understandings because of their failure to adequately account for the policies being voted upon and the consequences of the iterative lawmaking process. Incorporating information about the policies being voted upon provides a starkly different portrait of elite conflict - not only are contemporary parties relatively less divided than is commonly thought, but the conflict occurs in a smaller, and more liberal, portion of the policy space. These findings have important implications for a broad range of work that uses elite actions to compare political conflict/polarization across time.

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American Party Women: A Look at the Gender Gap within Parties

Tiffany Barnes & Erin Cassese

Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research on the gender gap in American politics has focused on average differences between male and female voters. This has led to an underdeveloped understanding of sources of heterogeneity among women and, in particular, a poor understanding of the political preferences of Republican women. We argue that although theories of ideological sorting suggest gender gaps should exist primarily between political parties, gender socialization theories contend that critical differences lie at the intersection of gender and party such that gender differences likely persist within political parties. Using survey data from the 2012 American National Election Study, we evaluate how party and gender intersect to shape policy attitudes. We find that gender differences in policy attitudes are more pronounced in the Republican Party than in the Democratic Party, with Republican women reporting significantly more moderate views than their male counterparts. Mediation analysis reveals that the gender gaps within the Republican Party are largely attributable to gender differences in beliefs about the appropriate scope of government and attitudes toward gender-based inequality. These results afford new insight into the joint influence of gender and partisanship on policy preferences and raise important questions about the quality of representation Republican women receive from their own party.

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The Curvilinear Relationship Between Attitude Certainty and Attitudinal Advocacy

Lauren Cheatham & Zakary Tormala

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Do people advocate more on behalf of their own attitudes and opinions when they feel certain or uncertain? Although considerable past research suggests that people are more likely to advocate when they feel highly certain, there also is evidence for the opposite effect - that people sometimes advocate more when they experience a loss of certainty. The current research seeks to merge these insights. Specifically, we explore the possibility that the relationship between attitude certainty and attitudinal advocacy is curvilinear. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find evidence for a J-shaped curve: Advocacy intentions (and behavior) peak under high certainty, bottom out under moderate certainty, and show an uptick under low (relative to moderate) certainty. We document this relationship and investigate its potential mechanisms in three studies by examining advocacy intentions and the actual advocacy messages participants write when they feel high, moderate, or low certainty.

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Assessing the Breadth of Framing Effects

Daniel Hopkins & Jonathan Mummolo

University of Pennsylvania Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Issue frames are a central concept in studying public opinion, and are thought to operate by foregrounding related considerations in citizens' minds. But scholarship has yet to consider the breadth of framing effects by testing whether frames influence attitudes beyond the specific issue they highlight. For example, does a discussion of terrorism affect opinions on proximate issues like crime or even more remote issues like poverty? By measuring the breadth of framing effects, we can assess the extent to which citizens' political considerations are cognitively organized by issues. We undertake a population-based survey experiment with 3,318 respondents which includes frames related to terrorism, crime, health care, and government spending. The results demonstrate that framing effects are narrow, with limited but discernible spillover on proximate, structurally similar issues. Discrete issues not only organize elite politics but also exist in voters' minds, a finding with implications for studying ideology as well as framing.

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Ideological Segregation among Online Collaborators: Evidence from Wikipedians

Shane Greenstein, Yuan Gu & Feng Zhu

NBER Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
Do online communities segregate into separate conversations when contributing to contestable knowledge involving controversial, subjective, and unverifiable topics? We analyze the contributors of biased and slanted content in Wikipedia articles about U.S. politics, and focus on two research questions: (1) Do contributors display tendencies to contribute to sites with similar or opposing biases and slants? (2) Do contributors learn from experience with extreme or neutral content, and does that experience change the slant and bias of their contributions over time? The findings show enormous heterogeneity in contributors and their contributions, and, importantly, an overall trend towards less segregated conversations. A higher percentage of contributors have a tendency to edit articles with the opposite slant than articles with similar slant. We also observe the slant of contributions becoming more neutral over time, not more extreme, and, remarkably, the largest such declines are found with contributors who interact with articles that have greater biases. We also find some significant differences between Republicans and Democrats.

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Interpreting and Tolerating Speech: The Effects of Message, Messenger, and Framing

David Doherty & James Stancliffe

American Politics Research, forthcoming

Abstract:
We report findings from an experiment where participants read a story about a speech that sharply criticized U.S. foreign policy. The story varied how elites framed the speech, the speaker's apparent ethnicity, and the content of the speech. We assess how each of these factors affected not only tolerance judgments but also inferences about the speaker's motives and the likely consequences of the speech - considerations that play a central role in free speech jurisprudence. Troublingly, we find that the effects of elite framing and the speaker's apparent ethnicity are often comparable with the effect of the speech explicitly calling for violence. Our design also allows us to assess the extent to which the effectiveness of elite framing is constrained by "facts on the ground." However, we find little evidence that the framing effects we identify depend on the content of the speech or the speaker's ethnicity.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Thursday, December 1, 2016

No offense

The Illusion of Moral Superiority

Ben Tappin & Ryan McKay

Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Most people strongly believe they are just, virtuous, and moral; yet regard the average person as distinctly less so. This invites accusations of irrationality in moral judgment and perception — but direct evidence of irrationality is absent. Here, we quantify this irrationality and compare it against the irrationality in other domains of positive self-evaluation. Participants (N = 270) judged themselves and the average person on traits reflecting the core dimensions of social perception: morality, agency, and sociability. Adapting new methods, we reveal that virtually all individuals irrationally inflated their moral qualities, and the absolute and relative magnitude of this irrationality was greater than that in the other domains of positive self-evaluation. Inconsistent with prevailing theories of overly positive self-belief, irrational moral superiority was not associated with self-esteem. Taken together, these findings suggest that moral superiority is a uniquely strong and prevalent form of “positive illusion,” but the underlying function remains unknown.

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Facial-width-to-height ratio predicts perceptions of integrity in males

Margaret Ormiston, Elaine Wong & Michael Haselhuhn

Personality and Individual Differences, 15 January 2017, Pages 40–42

Abstract:
People rapidly make attributions of others' personality, cognitive abilities, and intentions based on facial appearance alone, which in turn, can have consequential outcomes. One objective measure of facial structure, the facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR), has been linked to perceptions of trustworthiness such that wider-faced men are perceived as less trustworthy than narrower-faced men. In the current study we aimed to extend our understanding of this finding by exploring how fWHR relates to three key components of perceived trustworthiness: perceived ability, perceived benevolence, and perceived integrity. We found that narrower-faced individuals were more often perceived as possessing greater integrity than wider-faced individuals, whereas neither narrower nor wider-faced individuals were perceived as possessing greater ability or benevolence. These findings have implications for research on perceived trustworthiness, facial appearance and impression management.

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Does Repeated Exposure to Popular Media Strengthen Moral Intuitions?: Exploratory Evidence Regarding Consistent and Conflicted Moral Content

Matthew Grizzard et al.

Media Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Previous studies have indicated that media consumption may influence moral intuition sensitivity. The present exploratory studies sought to expand on these findings by employing a three-phase, longitudinal experiment conducted over nine weeks, where participants were exposed to two genres of films (romance, action) mixed in various ratios (high = 100% romance, medium = 60% romance, low = 20% romance, none = 0% romance). Findings from the initial study indicate that repeated exposure to romantic films led to increases in sensitivity for four of the five moral intuitions (i.e., care, fairness, authority, purity); at the same time, any exposure to action films seemed to erode these changes. A follow-up post-hoc content analysis sought to confirm these findings and test an operationalization of “moral conditioning.” We discuss the results in regards to media entertainment theory and research, and the societal implications of the role of media entertainment to reinforce standards of moral judgment.

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Political ideology predicts involvement in crime

John Paul Wright et al.

Personality and Individual Differences, forthcoming

Abstract:
Political ideology represents an imperfect yet important indicator of a host of personality traits and cognitive preferences. These preferences, in turn, seemingly propel liberals and conservatives towards divergent life-course experiences. Criminal behavior represents one particular domain of conduct where differences rooted in political ideology may exist. Using a national dataset, we test whether and to what extent political ideology is predictive of self-reported criminal behavior. Our results show that self-identified political ideology is monotonically related to criminal conduct cross-sectionally and prospectively and that liberals self-report more criminal conduct than do conservatives. We discuss potential causal mechanisms relating political ideology to individual conduct.

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Moralization Through Moral Shock: Exploring Emotional Antecedents to Moral Conviction

Daniel Wisneski & Linda Skitka

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
The current research tested whether exposure to disgusting images increases moral conviction and whether this happens in the presence of incidental disgust cues versus disgust cues relevant to the target of moralization. Across two studies, we exposed participants to one of the four sets of disgusting versus control images to test the moralization of abortion attitudes: pictures of aborted fetuses, animal abuse, non-harm related disgusting images, harm related disgusting images, or neutral pictures, at either sub- or supraliminal levels of awareness. Moral conviction about abortion increased (compared with control) only for participants exposed to abortion-related images at speeds slow enough to allow conscious awareness. Study 2 replicated this finding, and found that the relationship between attitudinally relevant disgust and moral conviction was mediated by disgust, and not anger or harm appraisals. Findings are discussed in terms of their relevance for intuitionist theories of morality and moral theories that emphasize harm.

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Sex differences in attention to disgust facial expressions

Morganne Kraines, Lucas Kelberer & Tony Wells

Cognition and Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research demonstrates that women experience disgust more readily and with more intensity than men. The experience of disgust is associated with increased attention to disgust-related stimuli, but no prior study has examined sex differences in attention to disgust facial expressions. We hypothesised that women, compared to men, would demonstrate increased attention to disgust facial expressions. Participants (n = 172) completed an eye tracking task to measure visual attention to emotional facial expressions. Results indicated that women spent more time attending to disgust facial expressions compared to men. Unexpectedly, we found that men spent significantly more time attending to neutral faces compared to women. The findings indicate that women’s increased experience of emotional disgust also extends to attention to disgust facial stimuli. These findings may help to explain sex differences in the experience of disgust and in diagnoses of anxiety disorders in which disgust plays an important role.

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The spark that ignites: Mere exposure to rivals increases Machiavellianism and unethical behavior

Gavin Kilduff & Adam Galinsky

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Rivalry is prevalent across many competitive environments and differs in important ways from non-rival competition. Here, we draw upon research on significant relationships, relational schemas, and automatic goals to explore whether mere exposure to or recall of a rival can be sufficient to increase individuals' Machiavellianism and unethical behavior, even in contexts where their rivals are not present. Across four experiments, we found that activation of the rivalry relational schema led to increased Machiavellianism (Experiments 1 and 2), false inflation of performance (Experiment 3), and deception of an online counterpart for self-gain (Experiment 4). In Experiment 4 we also observed an interaction between rivalry and moral identity such that when the rivalry relational schema was activated, moral identity no longer safeguarded against unethical behavior. This finding suggests that a rivalry mindset crowds out moral identity as a guide to behavior. Overall, the current research depicts rivalry as an important relationship that activates a unique mindset and has a more widespread influence on behavior than prior research has suggested.

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Cheating to get ahead or to avoid falling behind? The effect of potential negative versus positive status change on unethical behavior

Nathan Pettit et al.

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, November 2016, Pages 172–183

Abstract:
This research examines how being faced with a potential negative versus positive status change influences peoples’ willingness to ethically transgress to avoid or achieve these respective outcomes. Across four studies people were consistently more likely to cheat to prevent a negative status change than to realize a positive change. We argue that what accounts for these results is the enhanced value placed on retaining one’s status in the face of a potential negative change. Taken together, these findings offer a dynamic perspective to the study of status and ethics and contribute to knowledge of the situational factors that promote unethical behavior.

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The brain adapts to dishonesty

Neil Garrett et al.

Nature Neuroscience, December 2016, Pages 1727–1732

Abstract:
Dishonesty is an integral part of our social world, influencing domains ranging from finance and politics to personal relationships. Anecdotally, digressions from a moral code are often described as a series of small breaches that grow over time. Here we provide empirical evidence for a gradual escalation of self-serving dishonesty and reveal a neural mechanism supporting it. Behaviorally, we show that the extent to which participants engage in self-serving dishonesty increases with repetition. Using functional MRI, we show that signal reduction in the amygdala is sensitive to the history of dishonest behavior, consistent with adaptation. Critically, the extent of reduced amygdala sensitivity to dishonesty on a present decision relative to the previous one predicts the magnitude of escalation of self-serving dishonesty on the next decision. The findings uncover a biological mechanism that supports a 'slippery slope': what begins as small acts of dishonesty can escalate into larger transgressions.

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Lying About Luck versus Lying About Performance

Agne Kajackaite

University of Southern California Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
I compare lying behavior in a real-effort task in which participants have control over outcomes and a task in which outcomes are determined by pure luck. Participants lie significantly more in the random-draw task than in the real-effort task, leading to the conclusion lying about luck is intrinsically less costly than lying about performance.

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Two- Rather Than One-Way Streets: Agents As Causal Forces In Principals’ Unethical Decisions

Long Wang & Keith Murnighan

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, December 2016, Pages 217–227

Abstract:
Models of diffusion of responsibility suggest that principals will avoid direct moral responsibility by hiring agents to act unethically on their behalf. The current research goes beyond the research on the diffusion of responsibility by investigating the influence of agents’ character on principals’ moral choices. Study 1 allowed principals to choose an honest or dishonest agent. The results indicated that having the opportunity to choose dishonest agents, regardless of the agents’ ultimate intentions for their previous lies, increased the likelihood that principals would subsequently hire the agents to lie on their behalf to harm others. Study 2 was designed to avoid potential self-selection effects by randomly pairing principals and agents; it found that observing agents telling harmful black lies or seemingly harmless white lies led to increased immoral actions by their principals. Our results contribute to the literatures on moral diffusion and principal-agent relationships by revealing some of the inherent dynamics in the principal-agent moral interactions.

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Do beliefs about psychologists’ political biases matter? Perceived political ideology moderates how laypeople construe research on wrongdoing

Ying Tang & Leonard Newman

Social Influence, forthcoming

Abstract:
Two studies examine a possible consequence – namely, unwanted reactions to psychological research on wrongdoing – if laypeople perceive psychologists to have liberal tendencies. Study 1 replicated previous research by showing that when psychologists presented findings demonstrating situational (compared to dispositional or interactionist) influences on wrongdoing, they were perceived as assigning less responsibility to perpetrators. Further, this effect was stronger among participants who perceived psychologists to be politically liberal. Study 2 revealed that when psychologists were explicitly identified as liberals, participants believed they would downplay perpetrator responsibility across the board, but particularly when the responsibility attributional account was situational. Psychologists should be aware that laypeople’s perception of their political leanings could lead to discrepant construal of psychologists’ actual perspectives on human behavior.

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Blame the shepherd not the sheep: Imitating higher-ranking transgressors mitigates punishment for unethical behavior

Christopher Bauman, Leigh Plunkett Tost & Madeline Ong

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, November 2016, Pages 123–141

Abstract:
Do bad role models exonerate others’ unethical behavior? Based on social learning theory and psychological theories of blame, we predicted that unethical behavior by higher-ranking individuals changes how people respond to lower-ranking individuals who subsequently commit the same transgression. Five studies explored when and why this rank-dependent imitation effect occurs. Across all five studies, we found that people were less punitive when low-ranking transgressors imitated high-ranking members of their organization. However, imitation only reduced punishment when the two transgressors were from the same organization (Study 2), when the transgressions were highly similar (Study 3), and when it was unclear whether the initial transgressor was punished (Study 5). Results also indicated that imitation affects punishment because it influences whom people blame for the transgression. These findings reveal actor-observer differences in social learning and identify a way that unethical behavior spreads through organizations.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fiscally conservative

The Macroeconomic Effects of Public Investment: Evidence from Advanced Economies

Abdul Abiad, Davide Furceri & Petia Topalova

Journal of Macroeconomics, December 2016, Pages 224-240

Abstract:
This paper provides new evidence of the macroeconomic effects of public investment in advanced economies. Using public investment forecast errors to identify the causal effect of government investment as well as model simulations, the paper finds that increased public investment raises output, both in the short term and in the long term, crowds in private investment, and reduces unemployment. Several factors shape the macroeconomic effects of public investment. When there is economic slack and monetary accommodation, demand effects are stronger, and the public-debt-to-GDP ratio may actually decline. Public investment is also more effective in boosting output in countries with higher public investment efficiency and when it is financed by issuing debt.

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Uncertainty and the geography of the great recession

Daniel Shoag & Stan Veuger

Journal of Monetary Economics, December 2016, Pages 84-93

Abstract:
The variation in a state-level measure of local economic-policy uncertainty during the 2007-2009 recession matches the cross-sectional distribution of unemployment outcomes in this period. This relationship is robust to numerous controls for other determinants of labor market outcomes. Using preexisting state institutions that amplified uncertainty, we find evidence that this type of local uncertainty played a causal role in increasing unemployment. Together, these results suggest that increased uncertainty contributed to the severity of the Great Recession.

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The Welfare Impact of Corporate Tax Privacy

Daniel Schaffa

University of Michigan Working Paper, September 2016

Abstract:
Under Internal Revenue Code, Section 6103, most of the information contained in corporate tax returns is not publicly available. This paper investigates what corporations would do if they had access to other corporations' returns and what investors would do if they had access to corporate returns - the ultimate concern is how these behavioral responses would affect welfare. The analysis suggests that corporate tax preparation and sheltering technology would become more widely available as firms learned from each other's returns. This would shift investment away from firms that have relatively good tax preparation and sheltering technology and toward firms that are relatively more productive. Socially wasteful expenditure aimed at lowering effective tax rates would also fall. Tax rates would likely need to rise in order to maintain government revenue, but the increase in productivity and decrease in socially wasteful expenditures would be welfare improving. The additional information that investors would gain would improve investors' estimates of the returns and risks of investing in each corporation, which would also be welfare-improving.

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Is it the "How" or the "When" that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments?

Alberto Alesina et al.

NBER Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Using data from 16 OECD countries from 1981 to 2014 we find that the composition of fiscal adjustments is much more important than the state of the cycle in determining their effects on output. Adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly than those based upon tax increases regardless of whether they start in a recession or not. Our results appear not to be systematically explained by different reactions of monetary policy. However, when the domestic central bank can set interest rates -- that is outside of a currency union -- it appears to be able to dampen the recessionary effects of tax-based consolidations implemented during a recession. This finding could help understand the recessionary effects of European "austerity, which was mostly tax based and implemented within a currency union.

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IRS and corporate taxpayer effects of geographic proximity

Thomas Kubick et al.

Journal of Accounting and Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
We investigate whether geographic proximity between corporate headquarters and IRS regional offices affects corporate tax avoidance and the likelihood and productivity of IRS examinations. Using geographic distance to represent information asymmetry, we find that corporations avoid more tax when located closer to the IRS unless they are close to an IRS industry specialist. This finding is consistent with taxpayers believing proximity provides them with an information advantage over the IRS. From the perspective of the IRS, we find that the Service is more likely to audit nearby companies and to assess more tax per hour from nearby taxpayers, except during constrained budget years. IRS audit likelihood and productivity are unaffected by the presence of nearby industry specialists, consistent with industry specialist proximity already constraining avoidance. Our tax compliance setting provides dual-party evidence on the proximity-information asymmetry hypothesis.

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Is Uncle Sam Inducing the Elderly to Retire?

Alan Auerbach et al.

NBER Working Paper, October 2016

Abstract:
Many, if not most, Baby Boomers appear at risk of suffering a major decline in their living standard in retirement. With federal and state government finances far too encumbered to significantly raise Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits, Boomers must look to their own devices to rescue their retirements, namely working harder and longer. However, the incentive of Boomers to earn more is significantly limited by a plethora of explicit federal and state taxes and implicit taxes arising from the loss of federal and state benefits as one earns more. Of particular concern is Medicaid and Social Security's complex Earnings Test and clawback of disability benefits. This study measures the work disincentives confronting those age 50 to 79 from the entire array of explicit and implicit fiscal work disincentives. Specifically, the paper runs older respondents in the Federal Reserve's 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances through The Fiscal Analyzer -- a software tool designed, in part, to calculate remaining lifetime marginal net tax rates. We find that working longer, say an extra five years, can raise older workers' sustainable living standards. But the impact is far smaller than suggested in the literature in large part because of high net taxation of labor earnings. We also find that many Baby Boomers now face or will face high and, in very many cases, extremely high work disincentives arising from the hodgepodge design of our fiscal system. A third finding is that the marginal net tax rate associated with a significant increase in earnings, say $20,000 per year, arising from taking a full-time or part-time job (which could be a second job), can, for many elderly, be dramatically higher than that associated with earning a relatively small, say $1,000 per year, extra amount of money. This is due to the various income thresholds in our fiscal system. We also examine the elimination of all transfer program asset and income testing. This dramatically lowers marginal net tax rates facing the poor. Another key finding is the enormous dispersion in effective marginal remaining lifetime net tax rates facing seemingly identical households, i.e., households with the same age and resource level. Finally, we find that traditional, current-year (i.e., static) marginal tax calculations relating this year's extra taxes to this year's extra income are woefully off target when it comes to properly measuring the elderly's disincentives to work. Our findings suggest that Uncle Sam is, indeed, inducing the elderly to retire.

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Leaving Big Money on the Table: Arbitrage Opportunities in Delaying Social Security

Gila Bronshtein et al.

NBER Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
Recent research has documented that delaying the commencement of Social Security benefits increases the expected present value of retirement income for most people. Despite this research, the vast majority of individuals claim Social Security at or before full retirement age. Claiming Social Security early is not necessarily a mistake, as delaying Social Security commencement requires forgoing current income in exchange for future income. The decision to claim early could therefore rationally be driven by liquidity constraints, mortality concerns, bequest motives, a high time discount rate, or a variety of other preference related factors. However, for some individuals, delaying Social Security offers a significant arbitrage opportunity because they can defer Social Security and have higher income in all future years. Arbitrage exists for most primary earners who either purchase a retail-priced annuity or opt for a defined benefit annuity when a lump sum payout is offered, while forgoing the opportunity to defer Social Security. These individuals are essentially buying an expensive annuity when a cheaper one is available, and their decision to claim Social Security early is almost certainly a mistake. The magnitude of the mistake can reach up to approximately $250,000.

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Further Empirical Evidence on Residential Property Taxation and the Occurrence of Urban Sprawl

Robert Wassmer

Regional Science and Urban Economics, November 2016, Pages 73-85

Abstract:
Economic theory indicates that as the effective rate of taxation on residential property rises, a negative influence on capital intensity could occur through less multi-story structures built (an Improvement Effect). Alternatively, a positive influence on capital intensity could occur through housing consumers switching to smaller houses built on smaller lots (a Dwelling Size Effect). An empirical assessment of this issue is therefore necessary; however, methodological concerns in earlier empirical analyses cast doubt on the reliability of findings. Panel data, fixed effects, regression results indicate that a higher rate of effective residential property taxation increases the amount of land used for a given population (greater sprawl).

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Social benefit expenditures and stagflation: Evidence from the United States

J.F. Li & Z.X. Lin

Applied Economics, Fall 2016, Pages 5340-5347

Abstract:
Stagflation refers to the terrible economic malaise associated with declining growth, hyperinflation and high unemployment. Unlike previous cost-push explanations such as an overheated labour market and oil prices, this article suggests that social benefit expenditures are a potential cause of stagflation. We investigate the impact of social benefit expenditures on stagflation in the U.S. over the 1950-2014 period by employing an autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach to cointegration, which was developed by Pesaran, Shin, and Smith. The influence of social benefit expenditures on economic growth and inflation and unemployment rates is estimated. The empirical results from the U.S. suggest that economic growth responds negatively to social benefit expenditures, while inflation and unemployment rates are both positively associated with social benefit expenditures. Thus, government-led rigid welfare could contribute to stagflation in the U.S. Instead of increasing people's happiness, the over-burdened welfare system could push people into economic malaise. This stagflation risk shouldn't be ignored. These results are important for U.S. policymakers and can inform other governments characterized by high levels of well-being.

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Reducing Property Taxes on Homeowners: An Analysis Using Computable General Equilibrium and Microsimulation Models

Andrew Feltenstein et al.

Public Finance Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
We consider a proposal that reduces by half the taxes on homesteaded properties and replaces the lost revenue by increasing the base and rate of the state sales tax. We develop a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model and a microsimulation model (MSM) to analyze the economic and welfare effects of such a proposal if adopted in Georgia. The results from the CGE model suggest that the proposed reforms have a substantial negative effect in percentage terms on Georgia's economy. The MSM suggests that such a policy has no effect on the distribution of consumption by income class but increases the percentage of owner-occupied housing relative to rental housing by 20 percent in the aggregate.

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Gentrification, Property Tax Limitation, and Displacement

Isaac William Martin & Kevin Beck

Urban Affairs Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Scholars have long argued that gentrification may displace long-term homeowners by causing their property taxes to increase, and policy makers, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have cited this argument as a justification for state laws that limit the increase of residential property taxes. We test the hypotheses that gentrification directly displaces homeowners by increasing their property taxes, and that property tax limitation protects residents of gentrifying neighborhoods from displacement, by merging the Panel Study of Income Dynamics with a decennial Census-tract-level measure of gentrification and a new data set on state-level property tax policy covering the period 1987 to 2009. We find some evidence that property tax pressure can trigger involuntary moves by homeowners, but no evidence that such displacement is more common in gentrifying neighborhoods than elsewhere, nor that property tax limitation protects long-term homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. We do find evidence that gentrification directly displaces renters.

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Personal Income Tax Revenue Growth and Volatility: Lessons and Insights from Utah Tax Reform

Gary Cornia, Bruce Johnson & Ray Nelson

Public Finance Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
In order to reduce the volatility of the personal income tax in Utah, review and reform efforts recommended a simple flat tax that disallowed all deductions or exemptions. Among the reasons for the recommended flat tax was the argument that it would result in a more stable year-over-year tax revenue stream. This was especially important for education financing. The tax system that was finally adopted retained exemptions and deductions through a tax credit. Using a series of simulations based on twenty-one years of tax returns, we establish that by retaining exemptions and deductions, tax reform efforts failed to appreciably reduce the volatility of personal income tax revenues. These simulations also show that the initially proposed flat income tax with no exemptions or deductions would have decreased volatility at the cost of reducing the growth rate. This study contributes insights, caveats, methodology, and potential alternatives for future individual income tax reforms by focusing on the growth and volatility of three different tax systems.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The one and only

Midpregnancy Marriage and Divorce: Why the Death of Shotgun Marriage Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Christina Gibson-Davis, Elizabeth Ananat & Anna Gassman-Pines

Demography, forthcoming

Abstract:
Conventional wisdom holds that births following the colloquially termed “shotgun marriage” — that is, births to parents who married between conception and the birth — are nearing obsolescence. To investigate trends in shotgun marriage, we matched North Carolina administrative data on nearly 800,000 first births among white and black mothers to marriage and divorce records. We found that among married births, midpregnancy-married births (our preferred term for shotgun-married births) have been relatively stable at about 10 % over the past quarter-century while increasing substantially for vulnerable population subgroups. In 2012, among black and white less-educated and younger women, midpregnancy-married births accounted for approximately 20 % to 25 % of married first births. The increasing representation of midpregnancy-married births among married births raises concerns about well-being among at-risk families because midpregnancy marriages may be quite fragile. Our analysis revealed, however, that midpregnancy marriages were more likely to dissolve only among more advantaged groups. Of those groups considered to be most at risk of divorce — namely, black women with lower levels of education and who were younger — midpregnancy marriages had the same or lower likelihood of divorce as preconception marriages. Our results suggest an overlooked resiliency in a type of marriage that has only increased in salience.

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Prenups

Peter Leeson & Joshua Pierson

Journal of Legal Studies, June 2016, Pages 367-400

Abstract:
Before the mid-1980s, prenuptial agreements had tenuous legal standing in US state courts, which often refused to enforce them. In 1983 the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws promulgated legislation called the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) that was designed to strengthen these agreements’ legal enforcement. Since then, 26 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the UPAA, rendering prenuptial contracts reliably enforceable in their courts. This paper uses data on UPAA adoption to investigate the effect that making prenuptial contracts legally enforceable has had on divorce rates. We find that rendering prenuptial agreements legally enforceable reduced divorce rates in America. We also present the first data on persons who use prenuptial agreements and the substance of those agreements in the United States.

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Does exposure to erotica reduce attraction and love for romantic partners in men? Independent replications of Kenrick, Gutierres, and Goldberg (1989) study 2

Rhonda Balzarini et al.

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Kenrick, Gutierres, and Goldberg (1989; Study 2) demonstrated that men, but not women, in committed relationships exposed to erotic images of opposite-sex others reported lower ratings for their partner's sexual attractiveness (d = 0.91) and less love for their partner (d = 0.69) than men exposed to images of abstract art. This research has implications for understanding the possible effects of erotica on men in relationships, but has not been replicated. We conducted three preregistered, high-powered close replications, and meta-analyzed the effects of the original and replication studies. We did not find support for the original finding that exposure to attractive images of opposite-sex others affects males' ratings of their partners' sexual attractiveness or love for their partner.

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The Earned Income Tax Credit and union formation: The impact of expected spouse earnings

Katherine Michelmore

Review of Economics of the Household, forthcoming

Abstract:
Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation from 2001, 2004, and 2008 and federal and state variation in earned income tax credit generosity over time, I investigate how changes in expected household earned income tax credit benefits associated with marriage affect cohabitation and marriage behavior among low-income single mothers. I simulate a marriage market to predict potential spouse earnings for a sample of single mothers in order to estimate the potential losses or gains in earned income tax credit benefits upon marriage. Using multinomial logistic regressions, I then analyze how the anticipated loss in earned income tax credit benefits upon marriage affects the likelihood of marrying or cohabiting. Results suggest that the average earned income tax credit-eligible woman can expect to lose approximately US$1,300 in earned income tax credit benefits in the year following marriage, or about half of pre-marriage benefits. Single mothers who expect to lose earned income tax credit benefits upon marriage are 2.5 percentage points less likely to marry their partners and 2.5 percentage points more likely to cohabit compared to single mothers who expect no change or to gain earned income tax credit benefits upon marriage. Despite recent policy efforts to reduce the size of the marriage penalty embedded in the earned income tax credit structure, these results suggest that the earned income tax credit still creates distortions in marriage and cohabitation decisions among low-income single mothers.

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Trends in Spouses’ Shared Time in the United States, 1965–2012

Katie Genadek, Sarah Flood & Joan Garcia Roman

Demography, forthcoming

Abstract:
Despite major demographic changes over the past 50 years and strong evidence that time spent with a spouse is important for marriages, we know very little about how time with a spouse has changed — or not — in the United States. Using time diary data from 1965–2012, we examine trends in couples’ shared time in the United States during a period of major changes in American marriages and families. We find that couples without children spent more total time together and time alone together in 2012 than they did in 1965, with total time and time alone together both peaking in 1975. For parents, time spent together increased between 1965 and 2012, most dramatically for time spent with a spouse and children. Decomposition analyses show that changes in behavior rather than changing demographics explain these trends, and we find that the increases in couples’ shared time are primarily concentrated in leisure activities.

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The Family Formation Response to a Localized Economic Shock: Evidence from the Fracking Boom

Melissa Kearney & Riley Wilson

University of Maryland Working Paper, November 2016

Abstract:
There has been a well-documented “retreat from marriage” among less educated individuals in the U.S. and non-marital childbearing has become the norm among young mothers and mothers with low levels of education. One hypothesis is that the declining economic position of men in these populations is at least partially responsible for these trends. That leads to the reverse hypothesis that an increase in potential earnings of less-educated men would correspondingly lead to an increase in marriage and a reduction in non-marital births. To investigate this possibility, we empirically exploit the positive economic shock associated with localized “fracking booms” throughout the U.S. in recent decades. We confirm that these localized fracking booms led to increased wages for non-college-educated men. A reduced form analysis reveals that in response to local-area fracking shocks, the non-marital share of births falls. But, both marital and non-marital births increase and there is no evidence of an increase in marriage rates. The pattern of results is consistent with positive income effects on births, but no associated increase in marriage. We compare our findings to the response to the Appalachian coal boom experience of the 1980s, when it appears that marital births and marriage rates increased, but non-marital births did not. This contrast potentially suggests important interactions between economic forces and social context.

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How Implicit Theories of Sexuality Shape Sexual and Relationship Well-Being

Jessica Maxwell et al.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
How do people believe they can best maintain sexual satisfaction in their romantic relationships? In the current research, we draw upon the literature on implicit theories of relationships to develop and validate a scale examining 2 types of lay beliefs about how sexual satisfaction can be maintained over time. Individuals high in sexual growth beliefs think that sexual satisfaction is attained from hard work and effort, whereas individuals high in sexual destiny beliefs think that sexual satisfaction is attained through finding a compatible sexual partner. Across 6 studies (2 cross-sectional online studies, a 21-day daily experience study, 2 dyadic studies, and an experimental manipulation; N = 1,896), we find evidence that those higher in sexual growth beliefs experience higher relationship and sexual satisfaction, and have partners who are more satisfied. Conversely, the effects of sexual destiny beliefs on satisfaction are contingent upon signs of partner compatibility: When individuals high in sexual destiny beliefs experience greater sexual disagreements in their relationship, they experience lower relationship quality. These results are independent of general relationship implicit beliefs, providing evidence for the uniqueness of these 2 constructs and the importance of examining implicit beliefs in the domain of sexuality. Overall, these results provide novel evidence that individuals’ lay beliefs about maintaining sexual satisfaction are important for understanding the quality of their sex lives and relationships.

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Sperm competition in marriage: Semen displacement, male rivals, and spousal discrepancy in sexual interest

Michael Pham, Tara DeLecce & Todd Shackelford

Personality and Individual Differences, 15 January 2017, Pages 229–232

Abstract:
Non-human males attend to the presence of potential sexual rivals in the local environment to assess sperm competition risk, and adjust accordingly the deployment of sperm competition tactics (e.g., performing semen-displacing copulatory behaviors). We extend this research to humans using data from 45 married couples who completed questionnaires in a laboratory. We found that husbands whose wife spent more time with her male coworkers and male friends (i.e., potential sexual rivals) performed more semen-displacing copulatory behaviors at the couple's most recent copulation. We also found that performance of semen-displacing copulatory behaviors correlated with a novel cue to sperm competition risk: the discrepancy between the husband's sexual interest in his wife and her sexual interest in him. We also tested and refuted an alternative hypothesis that men adjust their copulatory thrusting to facilitate their partner's orgasm. Discussion highlights the novel contributions of the current research and notes limitations that can be addressed by future research.

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Women’s Fertility Status Alters Other Women’s Jealousy and Mate Guarding

Ashalee Hurst, Jessica Alquist & David Puts

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
Across three studies, we tested the hypothesis that women exhibit greater jealousy and mate guarding toward women who are in the high (vs. low) fertility phase of their cycle. Women who imagined their partner with a woman pictured at high fertility reported more jealousy than women who imagined their partner with a woman pictured at low fertility (Studies 1 and 2). A meta-analysis across studies manipulating fertility status of the pictured woman found a significant effect of fertility status on both jealousy and mate guarding. Women with attractive partners viewed fertile-phase women as less trustworthy, which led to increased mate guarding (Study 2). In Study 3, the closer women were to peak fertility, the more instances they reported of other women acting jealously and mate guarding toward them. These studies provide evidence that women selectively exhibit jealousy and mate guarding toward women who are near peak fertility.

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Estrogenic and Progestogenic Effects of Hormonal Contraceptives in Relation to Sexual Behavior: Insights into Extended Sexuality

Trond Viggo Grøntvedt et al.

Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Women's mating adaptations may vary between fertile and luteal phases, given different costs and benefits of sexual activity during each phase. Women's non-conceptive (“extended”) sexuality might function in the context of pair-bonding. The current studies examined associations between women's loyalty and faithfulness to their relationships and frequency of sexual intercourse in women using hormonal contraception. As predicted, in Study 1 estimated levels (adjusted for potency) of both synthetic estrogen and progestin delivered to women moderated the association between women's loyalty/faithfulness to their partner and frequency of intercourse: as estradiol levels diminished, and progestin levels increased, women's loyalty/faithfulness became more positively associated with frequency of intercourse. Study 2 replicated these findings in a sample of women studied over a 12 week period. Results further support claims for a possible function of extended sexuality, and speak to hormonal mechanisms affecting it. They also have important methodological and applied implications.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM


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