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SocArXiv papers

  • A century of economics and engineering at Stanford
    This paper attempts to elucidate how disciplinary exchanges between economics and engineers throughout the XXth century were mediated by the institutional structure of the University of Stanford. We show that engineers largely drew upon successive generations of decision and allocation theories developed by economists. They saw economists' models as a way to improve the efficiency of practical industrial management decisions. Reciprocally, economists found in the engineering environment the tools (from linear programming to optimal control theory) they needed to rethink production and growth theory, an epistemology of "application" that emphasized awareness to institutional details, trials and errors and experiments to improve the design of processes and machines, and all sorts of industrial settings to operationalize their theories of decision, strategic interaction and bargaining. By the 2000s, they had become economic engineers designing markets and other allocation mechanisms. These conceptual, tool and epistemological transfers were mediated by Stanford's peculiar interdisciplinary culture: the reliance upon joint appointments, the development of interdisciplinary "programs" for students, and the ability for this California haven to attract a host of visitors every year, and the whole profession in week-long workshops every summer.
  • A participatory community case study of periurban coastal flood vulnerability in southern Ecuador
    Background: Populations in coastal cities are exposed to increasing risk of flooding, resulting in rising damages to health and assets. Local adaptation measures, such as early warning systems for floods (EWSFs), are urgently needed to reduce the risk and impact of flood events. The aim of this study was to assess community perceptions and self-reported actions in response to flooding in a tropical coastal city to inform flood risk reduction policies and programs. Methods: This qualitative case study was conducted in flood-prone areas in Machala, Ecuador, a coastal city exposed to seasonal floods and extreme floods during El Nino events. Adult community members from three periurban sites were invited to participate. Focus groups discussions (11 focus groups in total) were held with community members (n=65 people) from September to November 2014 to assess perceptions of flood exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and current alert systems. Focus groups discussions were audio recorded, transcribed, and coded by topic; participatory maps were field validated, georeferenced, and digitized using GIS software. Results: Community members identified the presence of annual flooding during the rainy season, as well as greater than normal flood events (depths ranging from 0.5 to 3 meters), which recurred every 3-4 years in some communities. The deepest floods occurred during the 1982 and 1997/1998 El Nino events. Community members perceived that exposure to flooding depended on the rainfall coinciding with high ocean tides, and geographic proximity to blocked drainage areas, canals, and low local elevation. Participants reported that children were the most sensitive group due to increased susceptibility to skin infections and mosquito borne diseases (i.e., dengue fever). Other sensitive groups included the elderly, physically handicapped people, low-income families, and recent migrants. They identified persistent social-ecological vulnerabilities that increased flood risk and exposure in the urban periphery, such as inadequate access to garbage collection, homes settled in precarious low-lying geographies, economic barriers, lack of political access, and lack of social mobilization. In addition, communities expressed a lack of social capital (e.g. political voice), despite the existence of formalized community councils. Key neighborhood resources with respect to flooding included green areas, schools, nurseries, fire stations, health clinics, police stations, a retention wall (berm), and an emergency meeting place. Challenges for adaptive capacity existed primarily in actions related to the preparation and recovery stages of flooding. Despite the presence of an official flood warning system, community member relied on informal communication channels via social media. Conclusions: The flood vulnerability assessment framework and participatory research process utilized here can potentially inform studies in other flood-prone regions to guide the development of EWSFs and other climate change adaptation policies and actions.
  • Testing the Spatial Accuracy of Address Based Geocoding for Gun Shot Locations
    We assess the positional accuracy of address based geocoding of shooting incidents relative to the location recorded via acoustic gun-shot detection technology. This provides a test of the accuracy of typical address based geocoding methods used in crime analysis, as well as provides evidence for how much accuracy one gains when using sensors. Examining over 1,000 shooting incidents in Wilmington, North Carolina, we find that the majority of address-based incidents are quite accurate, on average within 60 feet of the actual location (using a street centerline geocoder), or within 90 feet (using Google rooftop geocoding). However, based on the incident narrative we identify a subset of transcription errors in over 10% of the cases that increases the distance between the true shooting location and that geocoded using address data. This suggests mechanisms to prevent human errors may be more frugal than those relying on sensors in geocoding shooting incidents. Data to replicate the analysis can be downloaded from
  • A confusing definition of disruption
    It is important to measure whether a work is disruptive or developing. In 2016, Funk and Owen-Smith proposed novel indexes to evaluate the degree of a patent consolidating or destabilizing the technology streams (doi:10.1287/mnsc.2015.2366). Based on their methods, Wu et al. studied the disruption of articles, patents and definition of disruption, and made a conclusion that small teams are more disruptive than large teams (doi:10.1287/mnsc.2015.2366). Our research finds that the effect of NR on the disruption equation is contradictory as the sign of the disruption changes, and this problem may cause more trouble in any further work based on their indexes. When using other suitable approaches to measure how disruptive a work would be to the field of science or technology, we predict that there is no significant difference between large and small teams.
  • Relations and Relationships: Clarifying the Terms of the `New' Relational Economic Sociology
    In economic sociology, relations and relationships have emerged as central yet poorly specified concepts. In this paper, I clarify these terms in a positive critique of the current state of the field. I then consider the ways in which the proposed framework can help analysts to bridge the divide between economics and sociology. Armed with techniques derived from formal network analysis, the new economic sociology offered the first sustained foray into economic territory, but sociological skeptics remain unsatisfied. Two broad rejoinders to this network-analytic approach emerged in the last two decades, but both correctives, nevertheless, leave the divide intact. In the last decade, however, a new paradigm is coalescing under the rubric of "relational economic sociology. While showing promise, it furthers the confusion surrounding the key concepts of "relations" and "relationships." The proposed framework provides a foundation for constructive dialogue among the different traditions which constitute this new paradigm.
  • Diversity Discourses: Moral Ethical And Pragmatic Reasoning in the Swedish Immigration and Integration Debate
    This article seeks to understand how values enter into political discourse via justification and how those values are negotiated over time. The article maps out the terrain of diversity discourses, both as a specific type of discourse and as an example of ethical, moral and pragmatic modes of argumentation. The author examines Swedish "diversity discourses" in the periods of 1968-1975 and 1991-1995 in an effort to tease out the pragmatic, moral and ethical aspects of these discourses. Diversity discourses are defined as discourses regarding how much and what kind of diversity is acceptable or desirable in a society, as well as how such diversity should be handled. I find that values, both contextually-dependent ethical values and universal moral values, rather than being "prior" to politics, arise out of the intersection of pragmatic, ethical and moral discourses. What is moral and ethical, then is colored by the particular nexus of moral, ethical and pragmatic concerns such that what is acceptable at one particular time and location, may be unacceptable in another, even coming from the same actors with the same ideological commitments. Shifts in the ethical/moral modes of justification, then, lead to shifts in who is included in a democratic community.
  • Rhetorics of Radicalism
    What rhetorics run throughout radical discourse, and why do some gain prominence over others? The schol- arship on radicalism has largely portrayed radical discourse as an expression of opposition against hegemonic, powerful ideas and enemies, but radicals often evince great interest in personal, intimate, and local concerns. To shed new light on radical discourse and its use by radicals, we analyze an original corpus of 23,000 pages produced by Afghan radical groups between 1979 and 2001 using a novel computational abductive approach. We first identify how radicalism not only attacks dominant ideas, actors, and institutions using a rhetoric of subversion, but also how it can employ a rhetoric of reversion to urge personal and community-level transformations in morals and behavior. Next, we find evidence that radicals networks of support affect the rhetorical mixture they adopt. This, we argue, is due to social ties drawing radicals into encounters with backers' social domains. Our study advances a relational approach to studying radical discourse, while also demonstrating how a combination of computational and abductive methods can help theorize and analyze discourses of contention.
  • Aid, Exclusion, and the Local Dynamics of Insurgency in Afghanistan
    Can developmental aid bring peace to war-torn communities? The current literature is divided on this issue. One line of reasoning suggests that aid is likely to decrease violence by improving employment and prosperity, thereby making participation in conflict more costly. Another view cites evidence showing an association between aid projects and increased insurgent activity. Addressing this contradiction, we argue that different types of aid projects lead to different outcomes, as some projects foster an unequal distribution of benefits within communities. Our reasoning draws on qualitative accounts from conflict zones, recent research on how grievances associated with exclusion can foster civil war onset, and experimental findings regarding perceived inequity and punishment. Building on this scholarship, we use a recently developed event-matching methodology to offer insight from contemporary Afghani- stan. Aid projects that tend to exclude portions of the community yield more insurgent activity in their wake than more inclusive projects. These results shed light on why some aid projects reduce violence while others do not, emphasizing that efforts to 'win hearts and minds' can be a source of both contentment and contestation.
  • Binding Significance to Form: Cultural Objects, Neural Binding, and Cultural Change
    In sociology, a cultural object is the "binding" of significance to a material form. But, how do people "bind" otherwise discrete elements as a single element? In cognitive neuroscience and the philosophy of mind, this is known as the "binding problem." Sociologists can learn from research on binding, as it deepens our understanding of cultural objects, learning, and social change. Binding is the process by which a material "token" is assimilated into (or expands the boundaries of) a cognitive "type," or resists such typification thereby leading to the formation of a new cognitive "type." Cultural objects are simultaneously types and tokens, and the interplay between them results in a fundamental cultural instability. "Binding" is an attempt to stabilize meaning in two ways: the first, innovating, is implicated in the emergence of a cultural object, and the second, indexicalizing, in its maintenance and extension. However, even the process of indexicalizing a well established type--i.e., the proliferation of tokens--provides the material fodder from which to innovate new types. Attention to binding processes in the production and reception of cultural objects reveals important insight into the dynamics of cultural change and stability.
  • Appetizer or Main Dish? Explaining the Use of Facebook News Posts as a Substitute for Other News Sources
    An increasing number of, especially younger, users use Facebook as their primary source for news about political and societal issues. At the same time, research suggests that Facebook use contributes to societal knowledge gaps. Against this background, we investigate the antecedents of using Facebook as a substitute for other news sources. We argue that exposure to news posts on Facebook increases the feeling of being well-informed, regardless of actual knowledge acquisition. This might lead users, especially those with a low need for cognition (NfC), to use Facebook as a substitute for other news sources. We test these assumptions with an online survey (n = 390) of German Internet users. Results show that the feeling of being well-informed through Facebook is reinforced by the quantity of exposure to news content on Facebook but not by the amount of actually read news posts. The feeling of being informed is an important predictor of using Facebook news as a substitute. High NfC interferes with this effect. It makes the substitution of other news sources less likely--but only for moderate to high levels of the feeling of being informed. We discuss these results in the light of their societal consequences.
  • Open data, crowdsourcing and citizen evidence for human rights investigations
    New digital technologies allow unprecedented access to information about crises and disasters. A small collection of organizations and individuals are taking advantage of these new flows and forms of information to seek out human rights violations. In this working paper, Angela Ambrose situates these organizations within the umbrella of human rights investigations labs. She explores some of the social and political shifts within which these new practices should be understood, arguing that the practices raise important new ethical, research, and technical questions.
  • Subjective and local sex ratios
    A growing body of evidence suggests that imbalanced local sex ratios are correlated with social consequences, including the pattern and timing of union formation, fertility and relationship stability. Scholars argue that these findings can be understood as a result of sex-specific bargaining power imbalances in male- or female-skewed regions, but they remain vague on the underlying mechanisms. Specifically, the literature implicitly considers individual partner market experiences to be a function of local sex ratios. However, empirical evidence on the correspondence between subjective partner availability and local sex ratios is lacking. We address this gap by linking individual-level German longitudinal survey data (pairfam) with local sex ratios from administrative population data for different entities (states, counties, and municipalities). Using multilevel regression models, we analyze the correlations between subjective sex ratios and a variety of local sex ratio measures. Moreover, we study how subjective and local sex ratios relate to relationship formation using an event history analysis. Our results reveal that subjective sex ratios do not correlate with any of our local sex ratio measures, including those for narrow age ranges and/or lower level administrative entities. Event history models yield significant correlations between subjective sex ratios and relationship formation for both genders such that more contacts with the opposite sex increase the probability of forming a relationship. For local sex ratios, we find an additional association between local sex ratios and female relationship formation when the sex ratios are adjusted for age hypergamy. Male relationship formation is uncorrelated with any local sex ratio measure. Both evolutionary and social scientific reasoning on the consequences of sex ratio imbalances rest on assumptions of subjective partner availability that may not be adequately represented by local sex ratios. Future research should be careful not to equate local and subjective sex ratios.
    Ability-to-pay determinations are essential when governments use money-based alternative sanctions, like fines, to enforce laws. One longstanding difficulty in the U.S. has been the extreme lack of guidance on how courts are to determine a litigant's ability to pay. The result has been a seat-of-the-pants approach that is inefficient and inaccurate, and, as a consequence, very socially costly. Fortunately, online platform technology presents a promising avenue for reform. In particular, platform technology offers the potential to increase litigant access, reduce costs, and ensure consistent and fair treatment--all of which should lead to more accurate sanctions. We use interviews, surveys, and case-level data to evaluate and discuss the experiences of six courts that recently adopted an online ability-to-pay assessment tool that streamlines and standardizes ability-to-pay determinations. Our findings suggest that the online tool improves accuracy and therefore the effectiveness of fines as punishments, and so it may make the use of fines as sanctions more socially attractive.
  • Perceived Discrimination against Black Americans and White Americans
    A widely-cited study reported evidence that White Americans perceive there to be more discrimination in the United States today against Whites than against Blacks. However, the opposite of this pattern was detected in preregistered analyses of data from the American National Election Studies 2016 Time Series Study and from a 2017 national nonprobability survey. The relatively small percentages of White Americans in these surveys who rated anti-White discrimination to be more extreme or more frequent than anti-Black discrimination in the United States today suggest that White Americans' political and social attitudes have more potential than previously estimated to become more conservative due to increased perceived discrimination against Whites.
  • Concurrent elections lead to coattails and electoral spill-overs: Quasi-experimental evidence from German municipalities
    Concurrency of elections is a widely used tool to increase turnout. However, this turnout increase is likely not outcome-neutral if some voters attribute more importance to one of the elections compared to the other. We theorize coattail effects and electoral system effects that should occur in this setting. Drawing on a unique case of quasi-random variation in the timing of local executive and legislative elections in Germany, we show that concurrent elections lead to an increase in turnout. Thereby, in line with our theoretical argument, concurrency of local executive elections increases council votes for the incumbent mayor's party and for centrist parties more generally. Additionally, concurrent elections consolidate party system and political power through more single-party majorities in councils, less fragmentation and greater alignment of executive leadership and legislative majority. Our theoretical argument and empirical results thus serve to explain divergent findings in the literature on turnout effects.
  • Do changes in material circumstances drive support for populist radical parties? Panel data evidence from The Netherlands during the Great Recession, 2007-2015
    Political developments since the 2008 financial crisis have sparked renewed interest in the electoral implications of economic downturns. Research describes a correlation between adverse economic conditions and support for radical parties campaigning on the populist promise to retake the country from a corrupt elite. But does the success of radical parties following economic crises rely on people who are directly affected? To answer this question, we examine whether individual-level changes in economic circumstances drive support for radical parties across the ideological divide. Analyzing eight waves of panel data collected in The Netherlands, before, during, and after the Great Recession (2007-2015), we demonstrate that people who experienced an income loss became more supportive of the radical left but not of the radical right. Looking at these parties' core concerns, we find that income loss increased support for income redistribution championed by the radical left, but less so for the anti-immigration policies championed by the radical right. Our study establishes more directly than extant research the micro-foundations of support for radical parties across the ideological divide.
  • Communication networks do not explain the growth or survival of early-stage peer production projects
    Communication enables coordination and social integration in collaborative groups. In the contexts of work groups and teams, prior research finds that more dense and integrated communication structures support better performance. We explore the relationship between communication structure and group performance in a population of early-stage peer production wiki communities engaged in the collaborative production of shared information resources. We theorize that there is an especially strong need for coordination and social integration in small, newly formed online communities, and that communities with relatively more integrative communication networks will be more successful. We test this theory by measuring communication network structure and group outcomes in a population of 1,002 nascent wikis. Contrary to prior literature and our expectations, we find a very weak relationship between communication structure and collaborative performance. We suggest a number of explanations, including the role of shared artifacts in coordinating work and integrating newcomers.
  • Nazionalita, migrazione e apprendimenti in Italia: una comparazione tra livelli scolastici
    Questo articolo analizza lo svantaggio scolastico dei figli di immigrati in Italia, un paese in cui solo di recente il numero di studenti stranieri e diventato consistente. Un divario di apprendimento di questi ultimi rispetto ai nativi e gia emerso in molteplici ricerche; gli studi finora condotti tuttavia hanno adottato un approccio prevalentemente sincronico, assumendo implicitamente che le differenze tra italiani e stranieri (nonche i fattori generativi di queste differenze) siano costanti nel corso della carriera scolastica. Questa ipotesi viene qui testata empiricamente grazie ai dati dell'indagine INVALSI-2013 e attraverso una serie di modelli di regressione lineare multilivello a quattro livelli (studente, classe, scuola e provincia) e intercetta random. I risultati mostrano come l'importanza delle dimensioni contestuali sia secondaria rispetto all'importanza delle caratteristiche individuali e che gli studenti stranieri risultano essere svantaggiati trasversalmente ai gradi scolastici. Tuttavia, analizzando le influenze distinte della nazionalita da un lato, e della migrazione dall'altro, emerge che mentre l'effetto di quest'ultima e piu forte nei gradi scolastici superiori, l'effetto della nazionalita cambia da negativo a positivo all'inizio della scuola secondaria superiore, ma solo per gli studenti europei comunitari. L'articolo discute i meccanismi alla base di questo complesso fenomeno e le possibili implicazioni in termini di politiche a sostegno dell'integrazione dei figli di immigrati.
  • Commuter Couples and Careers: Moving Together for Him and Apart for Her
    Research on the migration patterns of couples has found that men's human capital has a larger impact than women's on family location choices, but an emerging qualitative literature shows that some couples avoid location-related tradeoffs between their careers by living apart. I propose a new method of identifying couples who live apart in the American Community Survey and use the method to construct the first nationally representative sample of matched noncohabiting husbands and wives. Consistent with previous research, I find that husbands' education has a larger impact than wives' on the probability that couples migrate together. In contrast, wives' education has a larger impact on the probability that couples live apart. I argue that family location choices are analogous to marital naming choices: husbands rarely accommodate wives, whatever their circumstances, but wives accommodate husbands unless the cost of accommodation is unusually high.
  • Living Far Apart Together: Dual-Career Location Constraints and Marital Noncohabitation
    For dual-career couples, "two-body" or "co-location" problems may put their relationships and careers in conflict. This paper uses data from the 2000 United States census to estimate the probability of non-cohabitation among married, college-educated workers and to examine the association between non-cohabitation and three proxies for career-related location constraint: education beyond college, the geographic mobility of workers in a person's occupation, and the geographic clustering of workers in the occupation. I find that non-cohabitation is unusual but not unknown among highly educated workers; the prevalence of non-cohabitation among all college-educated workers was 1.9 percent, and the prevalence was as high as 2.8 percent for women and 4.2 percent for men under 30. Consistent with the idea that some couples live apart to solve a dual-career location problem, I also find that non-cohabitation is more common among workers with higher levels of education and workers in occupations with high degrees of geographic clustering. Contrary to my expectations, however, I find that non-cohabitation is less prevalent among workers in occupations with high rates of geographic mobility.
  • Topicos emergentes en la formacion de cuidadores de mayores
    El aumento de la longevidad supone el desarrollo de nuevas profesiones asi como la actualizacion de otras. Los cuidadores de personas mayores necesitan revisar los contenidos en que formarse. El proyecto EldiCare que se esta desarrollando actualmente, ha solicitado la identificacion de los topicos que estan emergiendo en la formacion de cuidadores. Con esta finalidad, se ha llevado a cabo un analisis cienciometrico, asi como una clasificacion mediante analisis jerarquico lineal, de los proyectos europeos centrados en el tema recogidos en la base CORDIS, asi como de las publicaciones registradas en SCOPUS. Los resultados muestran que el principal tema emergente en los ultimos anos es la tecnologia.
  • Standing out and Sorting in: Exploring the Role of Racial Composition in Racial Disparities in Special Education
    Schools differentially sort students into special education by race, though researchers debate the extent to which this is caused by racist school practices versus variation in student need due to other racial inequalities. I test the interaction between school-level racial composition and student-level race as a predictor of special education receipt. I find that as the proportion of White students increases, the risk of lower-status disabilities, such as intellectual disability, increases for Black, Latinx, and Native American students. As the proportion of White students decreases, White students' risk of higher status disabilities, such as speech/language impairment, increases relative to students of color. Thus, in the context of racial distinctiveness, student race becomes salient to sorting into special education.
  • Can personality traits explain compliance behaviour? - A study of compliance with water-protection rules in German agriculture
    Going beyond the rational choice approach used in conventional economics of crime, the question arises whether psychological personality traits analysis can contribute to a better understanding of non-compliance and, eventually, to the prevention of illicit behaviours. This study investigated how personality traits are related to compliance with environmental regulation in agriculture. The object of study was a water-protection rule that required farmers using fertilising to keep it a minimum distance away from nearby water bodies. Self-interested infringements can cause serious environmental damage to waters (negative externalities) through nitrogen runoff. In a survey among German farmers, we employed a 10-item version of the Big Five Inventory to measure the traits that are used as predictor variables in a regression analysis. The outcome variable was the farmers' compliance behaviour in a business management game where rule-breaking was more profitable than rule-abidance. Some noteworthy findings were observed in the surveyed sample. (i) Neuroticism was positively related to 'overall compliance', measured as a binary yes/no variable; that is, more anxious farmers were less prone to rule-breaking. Surprisingly, however, a positive relationship between neuroticism and compliance was not found when looking separately at the deviant subgroup; here, greater neuroticism was associated with more severe rule violations, in terms of illicitly fertilised acreage. (ii) In the deviant subgroup, as might have been expected, higher levels of conscientiousness were associated with less severe rule-violations. Contrary to expectations, again, higher levels of agreeableness were linked to more severe non-compliance. A substantial positive relationship was found between extraversion and the severity of non-compliance, in accordance with ex-ante expectation. For openness to experience, no noteworthy results were obtained. The results indicate that agents with heterogeneous personality traits might react differently to identical economic and institutional environments. Moreover, it is suggested that, other than traits, there is another quality in agents (e.g. social control) that may have a decisive influence on their belonging to the compliant or non-compliant subpopulation. Farmers' responses to changes brought forward by regulators who aim to prevent rule-breaking might therefore differ as well.
  • The Relationship Between Gender Discrimination versus Job Satisfaction and Mental Health of Vietnamese Workers
    The present study investigates gender discrimination and its relationship with job satisfaction and mental health outcomes of Vietnamese workers. A total of 542 employees in various occupations completed online and offline surveys, including measures on sexist attitudes, job satisfaction, stress in general, and demographic background. Results indicated that gender discrimination is evident among Vietnamese working men and women and it significantly predicts their job satisfaction and mental health outcomes. Theoretical and practice implications of the findings were discussed. This research was jointly funded by a grant from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) of Vietnam under the framework of the Labour Research Contest in 2018. This paper won the Best Proposal Award and Best Research Report Award (Second prize) of the contest. In press:
  • How the Rich Are Different: Hierarchical Power as the Basis of Income and Class
    What makes the rich different? Are they more productive, as mainstream economists claim? I offer another explanation. What makes the rich different, I propose, is hierarchical power. The rich command hierarchies. The poor do not. It is this greater control over subordinates, I hypothesize, that explains the income and class of the very rich. I test this idea using evidence from US CEOs. I find that the relative income of CEOs increases with their hierarchical power, as does the capitalist portion of their income. This suggests that among CEOs, both income size and income class relate to hierarchical power. I then use a numerical model to test if the CEO evidence extends to the US general public. The model suggest that this is plausible. Using this model, I infer the relation between income size, income class, and hierarchical power among the US public. The results suggests that behind the income and class of the very rich lies immense hierarchical power.
  • Europe's refugee crisis: local contact and out-group hostility
    Does a large influx of asylum seekers in the local community lead to an attitudinal backlash? We assess the medium-term effects of asylum seeker presence using original survey data from Austria combined with macro-level municipality data, exploiting quasi-random placement of asylum seekers in municipalities. Drawing on entropy balancing for causal identi?cation, we fi?nd clear evidence of increased hostility towards asylum seekers in areas that housed them. This may be because respondents only report super?ficial contact with asylum seekers. Moreover, general attitudes towards Muslims and immigrants became less favorable in contexts with local asylum seeker presence, while vote intention for the main anti-immigration party increased. These ?findings go beyond existing work by focusing on citizen attitudes and voting behaviour and by examining contact directly as a mechanism. Our results show the need for designing policy interventions to minimise citizen backlash against rapid migration inflows.
  • How to Define Games and Why
    This article discusses a recent article (Bergonse, 2017) attempting to define videogames, and shows how and why it failed. It presents guidelines on how to make good game definitions and discusses when that is a worthwhile undertaking.
  • The Effect of Parental Wealth on Children's Educational Decisions in Germany: Compensation or Demotivation?
    Our paper addresses the process of intergenerational mobility in terms of transfers of educational advantages and disadvantages trough parental wealth in Germany, where in contrast to the USA, education at any level is largely free of tuitions costs. Based on the unique features of wealth and following the logic of subjective expected utility theory, we propose and, as one of the very first studies, empirically test two causal mechanisms underlying the parental wealth-educational decisions relationship: "disadvantage compensation" and "educational demotivation". We apply a multinomial logit model for discrete-time event history analysis, allowing us to estimate the relative transition risk ratio of children with university entrance qualification to make the transition from upper secondary school to 1) higher education, 2) the labor market or vocational training or 3) to not transition at all. The relative transition risk ratio is measured as a function of the relative position of the parents in the distribution of net wealth. Our analyses, based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), reveal that children with wealthy parents are more likely to decide for higher education, even if they are faced with low cognitive abilities (i.e., disadvantage compensation).
  • Using a factorial survey approach to deal with the endogeneity of happiness beliefs
    Measuring beliefs in quality of life research requires researchers to deal with endogeneity and social desirability issues. The connectionist theory of cognition suggests that individuals have mental models composed of associations between concepts. Moreover, structuralist perspectives consider beliefs form an interrelated system. Therefore, the estimation of causal effects of beliefs is undermined by these interdependent relationships of beliefs. This article introduces factorial surveys (FS) as a useful method to solve these potential problems. To demonstrate the appropriateness of this method, this study presents a design and application of FS to a representative sample of Chileans and their beliefs about what determines happiness. The findings provide a folk theory (or a lay theory) of happiness determinants, where health is the most important determinant of happiness, followed by income and lifestyles. In addition, the reliability and cognitive bias of FSs are addressed, finding support for their applicability in developing countries. A potential reduction of social desirability bias in FSs is discussed in the conclusions.
  • Five models of science, illustrating how selection shapes methods
    Science involves both theory building and fact finding. This chapter focuses on the fact- finding aspect. In this sense, science can be viewed as a process of signal detection for facts. We wish to discover true associations between variables. However, our methods for measurement are imprecise. We sometimes mistake noise for signal, and vice versa. How we conceptualize the scientific enterprise shapes how we go about the business of conducting research as well as how we strive to improve scientific practices. In this chapter, I'll present several models of science. I'll begin by showing ways in which the classic "hypothesis testing" model of science is misleading, and leads to flawed inferences. As a remedy, I'll discuss models that treat science as a population process, with important dynamics at the group level that trickle down to the individual practitioners. Science that is robust and reproducible depends on understanding these dynamics so that institutional programs for improvement can specifically target them.
  • After the Crash - Oil Price Recovery and LNG Project Viability
    Crude oil prices fell below the 2009-2014 five-year average in early September 2014. The drastic fall in price was from a monthly peak of $112 per barrel (bbl) in June 2014, falling to $62/bbl in December. Since 2016 the oil and gas market has gone through a period of rebalancing, resulting in modest recovery in prices. Oil price recovery reached a peak of $85/bbl in October 2018. Gas prices have also achieved similar modest price recovery. The industry has now entered an expansion phase: the five largest international oil companies exceeded expectations for 2018. The outlook for gas is encouraging. It is projected that gas will supply the largest share of energy demand growth, supplying over 40% of additional demand by 2035. Also, the United Nations 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change has led to a re-emphasis on gas as a 'transition' 'cleaner' fuel. A window of opportunity exists for new LNG projects to commence production in anticipation of an undersupplied market (2025-2035). LNG projects provide long and stable dividends for shareholder companies, certain risks found in tight oil and upstream projects are absent.
  • A Computational Approach to Assessing Rhetorical Effectiveness: Agentic Framing of Climate Change in the Congressional Record, 1994--2016
    The goal of this paper is to consider rhetorical effects as the propagation of rhetorical expressions across large sets of texts, measured by the extent to which rhetorical expressions, structures, or practices become replicated in texts and sites of rhetorical in(ter)vention. The paper draws on lines of scholarship in the digital humanities and computational rhetoric - primarily, sequential structuring of semantic contexts, semantic parsing of unstructured text, and diachronic tracking of textual expressions - to extend their conceptual and methodological insights into a computational framework for assessing rhetorical effectiveness. It offers a test case for this concept through an analysis of how Congress has framed human agency toward addressing climate change.
  • How class identities shape highbrow consumption: A cross-national analysis of 30 European countries and regions
    Highbrow culture may not always be central to cultural capital and, in such circumstances, the distinctiveness of middle-class consumption of highbrow culture may diminish, becoming more similar to working-class consumption. Using data from 30 European countries, I explore this issue through examining three questions: 1) is class identity associated with highbrow consumption; 2) does this association vary across countries; and 3) is the relationship between class identity and highbrow consumption altered when the majority of people in a given society identify as either 'working-class' or 'middle-class'? After accounting for other socio-demographic controls, people who identify as middle-class are more active highbrow consumers than those who identify as working class. Yet, the distinctiveness of middle-class consumption of highbrow culture varies across countries and is negatively correlated with how many people identify as working-class in a society. As more people identify as working-class (rejecting middle-class identities) highbrow culture less clearly distinguishes middle-class and working-class identifiers. In the absence of any class-structured divisions in highbrow culture, whether and how cultural practices function as a form of cultural capital is likely quite different, reinforcing the claim that the centrality of highbrow culture to cultural capital varies geographically.
  • Power, Discourse, and Knowledge in Computer Science Education Advocacy: An Analysis of Popular Videos
    Universal computer science education (CS for All) policies have been gaining momentum in localities across the United States. The value of CS education is often presented to the public as non-partisan and non-controversial. To uncover the kinds of discourses about CS education that have become "discursive facts," and how they define and frame notions of "equity" within CS for All initiatives, I apply theories from poststructural, deconstructionist, and critical traditions to the analysis of two different versions of a popular CS education advocacy video created by the non-profit Arguments for computer science education offered in these texts merge historical and traditional views of "science" as apolitical and objective with neoliberal notions about competition, personal agency and individualism, constructions that view programming as tools to further an omniscient male gaze, and programmers themselves as "magic." By reifying neoliberal and gendered subject positions, such discursive moves in CS ed advocacy potentially hinder equity work in the long-run
  • Subgrouping the Timor-Alor-Pantar languages using systematic Bayesian inference
    This paper refines the subgroupings of the Timor-Alor-Pantar (TAP) family of Papuan languages, using a systematic Bayesian phylogenetics study. While recent work indicates that the TAP family comprises a Timor (T) branch and an Alor Pantar (AP) branch (Holton et al. 2012, Schapper et al. 2017) the internal structure of the AP branch has proven to be a challenging issue, and earlier studies leave large gaps in our understanding. Our Bayesian inference study is based on an extensive set of TAP lexical data from the online LexiRumah database (Kaiping & Klamer, 2019). Systematically testing different approaches to cognate coding, loan exclusion, and explicit modelling choices, we arrive at a subgrouping structure of the TAP family that is based on features of the phylogenies shared across the different analyses. Our TAP tree differs from all earlier proposals by inferring the East-Alor subgroup as an early split-off from all other AP languages, instead of the most deeply embedded subgroup inside that branch.
  • Understanding the Moral Attitudes Scale in International Surveys: an Exploratory Study
    Several large international surveys, including the World Values Survey and the European Values Study, have been using the moral attitudes scale (MAS) to measure individual and country differences for decades. However, the validity of the instrument has been barely assessed. The current study addressed the concurrent and content validity of four popular MAS items (justifiability of homosexuality, suicide, prostitution, and euthanasia). A sample of 493 Russians completed both MAS and the four validated multi-item scales. Results demonstrated that, except for the homosexuality item, the MAS items had low concurrent validity, explaining less than 50% of the variance of the corresponding multi-item scales. The MAS items underestimated the justifiability of homosexuality, prostitution, and suicide, and overestimated the justifiability of euthanasia. The MAS homosexuality item appeared to be a precise measure of attitude towards male (but not female) homosexuality, responses to the prostitution and suicide items overlooked the positive arguments, and the euthanasia item tapped more into attitudes towards euthanasia of a dying person. The four items showed strong dependence on the overall justifiability. We conclude that separate MAS items should be used with caution, given the detected content bias and the items' strong link to non-specific overall justifiability.
  • Why Bosnian Church did not belong to Bogomilism? "Kr'stjani" (mystics) vs "Bogomili" (dualists)
    This paper in a simple and transparent way critically examines the rejected belief in science that Bosnian Church and its followers doctrinally and organisationally belonged to the dualist sect of Bogomilism. The research was carried out by a comparative analysis of the basic dualistic postulates of Gnosticism, Manichaeism and Bogomilism on the one hand and the available domestic sources of the Bosnian Church on the other. The importance of the work is reflected in the concise and detailed scientific argumentation that undermines "Bogomil Bosnian Church" myth, while offering a new scientific thesis on the religious and doctrinological affiliation of the "Bosnian faith" and the Bosnian "krs'tjani". In the first part, the paper deals with the problem of extreme and moderate dualism, with a special emphasis on the Neognostic, Neomanichaean and Bogomil communities in medieval Balkans. In the second part, the basic premises of Christian mysticism are given, including the possibility of its philosophical and theological compatibility with the teachings of the Bosnian Church, where for the first time the phenomenon of the name "kr'stjani" is explained in relation to the mystical union ("unio mystica").
  • Positional, mobility and reference effects: How does social class affect life satisfaction in Europe?
    In this study, we analyse the effects of social class on life satisfaction and develop a theoretical framework that shows how social class affects life satisfaction through five pathways. Informed by this framework, we estimate the direct effects of class destination and class origin, the effect of own intergenerational class mobility as well as the effects of others' class position and mobility (so-called reference effects). To do so, we utilize European Social Survey (ESS) waves 1 to 5 (2002-2010). We obtain information on life satisfaction as well as destination and origin class for about 100,000 respondents in 32 European countries. Our mobility analyses are performed with diagonal reference models, which allow for the consistent estimation of mobility effects. We find: (1) Class destination consistently and strongly structures life satisfaction across Europe. (2) Own class mobility positively impacts life satisfaction, particularly in Eastern Europe. (3) Other's class mobility has a strong negative effect on life satisfaction. Especially the latter finding points to the hitherto neglected importance of reference effects when considering the impact of social class on life satisfaction.
  • Power of Persuasion: Regime Legitimation During Authoritarian Elections
    Legitimation, the ways governments seek to justify their rule, is becoming an essential component of our understanding of authoritarian regimes. This paper seeks to measure the changes in legitimation efforts around the time of elections in authoritarian regimes. It is well understood that authoritarian regimes can benefit from the process and image of elections, as long as they remain managed. But it is less clear how these governments justify the management of such elections, and whether they are accepted by the population. Relying on detailed events data measuring the frequency of certain legitimating government statements, this paper tests whether electoral authoritarian regimes increase their justifications for remaining in power or devote their efforts to undermining the legitimacy of opposition parties in order to reduce the uncertainty of electoral loss.
  • The Rhetoric of Recessions: How British Newspapers Talk about the Poor When Unemployment Rises, 1896-2000
    Recessions appear to coincide with an increasingly stigmatising presentation of poverty in parts of the media. Previous research on the connection between high unemployment and media discourse has often relied on case studies of periods when stigmatising rhetoric about the poor was increasing. We build on earlier work on how economic context affects media representations of poverty by creating a unique dataset that measures how often stigmatising descriptions of the poor are used in five centrist and right-wing British newspapers between 1896 and 2000. Our results suggest stigmatising rhetoric about the poor increases when unemployment rises, except at the peak of very deep recessions (e.g. the 1930s and 1980s). This pattern is consistent with the idea that newspapers deploy deeply embedded Malthusian explanations for poverty when those ideas resonate with the economic context, and so this stigmatising rhetoric of recessions is likely to recur during future economic crises.
  • Hydroclimate variability influenced social interaction in the prehistoric American Southwest
    In agricultural societies, farmers rely on their social networks to absorb the impacts of droughts and floods by facilitating resource flows to affected settlements and population flows away from them. These benefits depend on how well one's social network connects populations that experience different weather patterns. Here I use an empirical archaeological case study from the late pre-Hispanic period in the North American Southwest to examine the relationship between drought variability and human social networks over a 250 year period. I analyze 7.5 million artifacts collected from nearly 500 archaeological sites, and estimate how the flow of social information between sites varied as a function of distance and growing-season hydroclimate variability. Interaction between regions experiencing different oceanic and continental influences was often higher than would be expected by chance and distance alone, but the intensity of this influence changed over time. This work highlights the importance of distinguishing between different dynamic origins of hydroclimate variability when considering the social impacts of droughts and pluvials in the past and present.
  • The impact of IoT security labelling on consumer product choice and willingness to pay
    Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as security cameras and smart TVs vary considerably in the extent to which they provide security features to protect users from online threats, and it is currently difficult for consumers to differentiate between them. This creates a barrier to the adoption of purchasing behaviours that would help protect consumers from cybercrime. One proposal to address this is for IoT devices to carry a security label to help consumers navigate the market. Using a discrete choice experiment, we estimate the potential impact of such labels on participant's decision making, after controlling for the influence of device functionality and price. We estimate the impact of three different labelling schemes on consumer choice, and their willingness to pay for devices that carried each of them. With the exception of a Graded label that implied a device had weak security, participants were significantly more likely to select a device that carried a label than one that did not. Participants were also willing to pay more for devices with premium functionality and those that came with a security label. While they were generally willing to pay more for premium functionality than security, for two of the labels tested, they were prepared to pay the same amounts. Qualitative responses suggest that participants would use a label to inform purchasing decisions, and that the labels did not generate a false sense of security. Our findings suggest that the use of a security label represents a policy option that could influence behaviour and that should be seriously considered.
  • What security features and crime prevention advice is communicated in consumer IoT device manuals and support pages?
    Through the enhanced connectivity of physical devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) brings improved efficiency to the lives of consumers when on-the-go and in the home. However, it also introduces new potential security threats and risks. These include threats that range from the direct hacking of devices that could undermine the security, privacy and safety of its users, to the enslaving of IoT devices to commit cybercrime at scale, such as Denial of Service attacks. The IoT is recognised as being widely insecure, in large part, due to the lack of security features built into devices. Additionally, consumers do not always actively use security features when available. More disconcerting is that we lack market surveillance on whether manufacturers ship products with good security features or how the importance of user-controlled security features is explained to IoT users. Our study seeks to address this gap. To do this, we compiled a database of 270 consumer IoT devices produced by 220 different manufacturers on sale at the time of the study. The user manuals and associated support pages for these devices were then analysed to provide a "consumer eye" view of the security features they provide and the cyber hygiene advice that is communicated to users. The security features identified were then mapped to the UK Government's Secure by Design Code of Practice for IoT devices to examine the extent to which devices currently on the market appear to conform to it. Our findings suggest that manufacturers provide too little publicly-available information about the security features of their devices which makes market surveillance challenging and provides consumers with little information about the security of devices prior to their purchase. On average, there was discussion of around four security features, with account management and software updates being the most frequently mentioned. Advice to consumers on cyber hygiene was also rarely provided. Finally, we found a lack of standardisation in the communication of security-related information for IoT devices among our sample. We argue for government intervention in this space to provide assurances around device security, whether this provided in a centralised or decentralised manner.
  • Do Grants Improve the Outcomes of University Students in a Context with High Dropout Rates? Evidence from a Matching Approach.
    We investigate whether grants improve the academic outcomes of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged families and, by this way, contribute to reducing inequalities of educational opportunities. Differently from most previous studies, we focus on Italy, a context with high dropout rates and prolonged duration of higher education studies. To estimate the causal effect of the grant we followed a counterfactual approach relying on a three-step reweighting matching procedure, applied to survey data collected at national level by ISTAT on a sample of upper secondary school graduates in 2004 and 2007. We ?find that grants reduce drop-out and increase timely graduation, with larger effects among males and students in Central-Southern Italy, those who are more at risk of withdrawal from university.
  • feisr: An R Package for Estimating Fixed Effects Individual Slope Models
    Fixed effects (FE) panel models have been used extensively in the past, as those models control for all stable heterogeneity between units. Still, the conventional FE estimator relies on the assumption of parallel trends between treated and untreated groups. It returns biased results in the presence of heterogeneous slopes or growth curves that are related to the parameter of interest (e.g., selection into treatment is based on individual growth of the outcome). In this study, we derive the bias in conventional FE models, and introduce the R package feisr for estimating fixed effects individual slope (FEIS) models. This is a more general version of the conventional FE model which overcomes the problem of heterogeneous slopes. Two versions of the Hausman test are proposed that can be used to test for misspecification of FE models due to heterogeneous slopes. The performance of the FEIS estimator and the specification tests are evaluated in a series of Monte Carlo experiments. In conclusion, we propose to test for a bias of FE models in practical applications and apply FEIS if indicated by the specification tests.
  • Household Instability and Children's Educational Performance
    Previous research has linked children's family instability, as measured by mother's marital- cohabiting transitions, to increased risk of poverty, illness, and poorer developmental outcomes. Family theories hypothesize that disruption of household routines and reduction in household resources link family instability to poorer child well-being. Recent research reveals that maternal partnership transitions represent a small fraction of the household instability children experience. These other forms of household instability might also be consequential for child well-being. The goal of this study is to determine whether household instability involving non-parental household members in children's households is associated with changes in children's educational outcomes using longitudinal data available in the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Preliminary results suggest household instability by siblings and non-nuclear members, and residential instability predict higher likelihood of dropping out of high school, repeating grades and decreased interest in school.
  • The Value Students and Instructors Place on Multimodal Composition within Academic Life
    This mixed methods research-based study was conducted to investigate the advantages and possible disadvantages of using multimodal compositions (MMCs) in the English as a Second Language (ESL) writing classroom. The conveniently selected participants were thirteen ESL learners and a native speaker of English instructor. Two data collection instruments were employed to gather the primary data for this research study. The first instrument was a student survey to explore the perceptions and beliefs of the students about MMCs. The second measure involved a set of semi-structured interviews with four students and their instructor. The results of the statistical data analysis of the student survey indicated that the majority of the student participants expressed their preference for using MMCs because this writing approach enabled them to more completely and professionally explain their meanings to others. The findings from the analysis of the data gathered from the semi structured interviews demonstrated that the students believed that MMCs made writing easier than writing with words only. However, the perception of the teacher was that some students believe that MMCs add an extra burden to their writing assignments and do not constitute an integral part of an assignment itself. Suggestions and recommendations for the more effective use of MMCs in ESL writing classrooms in the USA context, based on this research study, are provided at the end of this study.
  • Sea Voyages to Paracel Islands in the South China Sea Under Emperor Minh Mang (1833-1838), the analyses of historical data - description
    The Official Documentation of the Nguyen dynasty is a type of administrative documentation of the House of Nguyen (1802-1945) on which reserved the king's handwritten feedback in red ink. The Official documentation about the implementation of Vietnam's sovereignty over Paracel Islands (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos includes 19 documents, 12 of that (from document no. 5 to no. 16) reflect mission sea voyages of the fleet heading to Paracel Islands archipelagos from late March to late June, from 1833 to 1838. The following are the main features of these activities include: (i) in each sea voyage, they had different tasks such as measuring and mapping; bringing materials to build the temple...; (ii) The activities during this period under King Minh Menh clearly showed the strict management and the responsibility of the national leader to the national territory in general and islands in particular; (iii) the territory acquire the nationality in Paracel Islands from 1833 to 1838, which was the continuity of a process established by the Nguyen Lords from hundreds of years ago.
  • Good Without God? Connecting Religiosity, Affiliation And Pro-sociality Using World Values Survey Data And Agent-based Simulation
    We investigate the relationships among individuals' religiosity (or secularity), affiliation with like-minded religious others, volunteerism, and trust and tolerance. Using data analysis of the World Values Survey, we pose and answer research questions about the types of individuals who are the most trusting, the most tolerant, and who volunteer the most. We show how distinguishing between different types of volunteer activities and using longitudinal data can provide more insight into these questions. We also use an established agent-based model to generate measures similar to those operationalized in the World Values Survey. We then reproduce the findings of the World Values Survey data analysis and extract the internal dynamics of simulation experiments (under a reasonable parameterization of the model) to provide an explanation for those findings.
  • Brazil's Missing Infants: Zika Risk Changes Reproductive Behavior
    Zika virus epidemics have potential large-scale population effects. Controlled studies of mice and non-human primates indicate Zika effects on fecundity, raising concerns about miscarriage in human populations. In regions of Brazil, Zika risk peaked months before residents learned about the epidemic. This spatio-temporal variation supports differentiation between the biological effects of Zika infection on fertility and the effects of learning about Zika risk on reproductive behavior. Causal inference techniques used with vital statistics indicate that the epidemic caused 20% reductions in birth cohort size 18 months after Zika infection risk peaked, but 10 months after public health messages advocated childbearing delay. The evidence is not consistent with biological reductions in fecundity; it indicates strategic changes in reproductive behavior to temporally align childbearing with reduced risk to infant health. The effects are larger for the more educated, older and wealthier women, which may reflect facilitated access to information and family planning services within high-risk/mosquito-infested urban locations.