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SocArXiv papers

  • Exploring the Impact of Mandatory Remote Work during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people had to work from home. We examine the ways in which COVID-19 affect organizational communication by analyzing five months of calendar and messaging metadata from a technology company. We found that: (i) cross-level communication increased more than that of same-level, (ii) while within-team messaging increased considerably, meetings stayed the same, (iii) off-hours messaging became much more frequent, and that this effect was stronger for women; (iv) employees respond to non-managers faster than managers; finally, (v) the number of short meetings increased while long meetings decreased. These findings contribute to theories on organizational communication, remote work, management, and flexibility stigma. Besides, this study exemplifies a strategy to measure organizational health using an objective (not self-report based) method. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study using workplace communication metadata to examine the heterogeneous effects of mandatory remote work.
  • Police-involved deaths and the impact on homicide rates in the post-Ferguson era: a study of 45 US cities
    This study investigated whether in the post-Ferguson era, homicide rates increased in cities where there was a protested police-involved death. It also tests for evidence of two potential mechanisms. To test for evidence of legal cynicism, effects between homicide and aggravated assault rates are compared; a gap would suggest reduced reporting and community disengagement from police. The moderating influence of state or federal investigation was examined as a potential indicator of de-policing. Using an interrupted time series design, I analysed trends in 45 US cities with a protested police-involved death. Results were combined using a meta-analysis, and meta-regressions were used to test for moderating effects. A funnel plot and Egger's regression were used to test for bias in event selection. Averaged across all cities, there was an acute and largely sustained increase of 31.6% in the homicide rate, which was significantly larger than the effect in aggravated assaults. Effects were not significantly moderated by state or federal investigations. There was no evidence of bias in event selection. The findings suggest that police-involved deaths can have wider-reaching increases in violence in the communities they are meant to protect.
  • Does Higher Education Reduce Mortality? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Chile
    We exploit the sharp downward kink in college enrollment experienced by cohorts reaching college age after the 1973 military coup in Chile to study the causal effect of higher education on mortality. Using micro-data from the vital statistics for 1994-2017, we document an upward kink in the age-adjusted yearly mortality rate among the affected cohorts. Leveraging the kink in college enrollment, we estimate a negative effect of college on mortality, which is larger for men, but also sizable for women. Intermediate labor market outcomes (e.g., labor force participation) explain 30% of the reduction in mortality. A similar upward kink in mortality over multiple time horizons is also present among hospitalized patients in the affected cohorts, with observable characteristics (i.e. diagnostic, hospital, insurance) explaining over 40%. Survey responses reveal that college substantially improves access to private health care, but has mixed effects on health behaviors.
  • Police visibility, trust in police fairness, and collective efficacy: A multilevel Structural Equation Model
    Areas high in collective efficacy--where residents know and trust one another, and are willing to intervene to solve neighbourhood problems--tend to experience less crime. Policing is thought to be one antecedent to collective efficacy, but little empirical research has explored this question. Using three waves of survey data collected from London residents over three consecutive years, and multilevel Structural Equation Modelling, this study tested the impact of police visibility and police-community engagement on collective efficacy. We explored direct effects as well as indirect effects through trust in police. The findings showed both levels of police visibility and police-community engagement predicted trust in police. Trust in police fairness, in turn, predicted collective efficacy. There was a small indirect relationship between police visibility and collective efficacy, through trust in police fairness. In other words, police presence in neighbourhoods was associated with more positive views about officer behaviour, which in turn was associated with collective efficacy. The findings have important implications for policies designed to build stronger, more resilient communities.
  • Public opinion on coronavirus vaccination 1: A majority of Americans would take the existing Russian vaccine and believe that they ought to be allowed to buy it
    In the US new vaccines are banned until shown to be safe and effective. But the approval process is slow and cautious and no vaccine has yet been approved. The faster but perhaps riskier Russian system produced an approved coronavirus vaccine months more quickly, leaving Americans at risk of dying for months longer than Russians. Our data from two national surveys in September show that a majority of Americans would willingly take the existing Russian vaccine and that a two-to-one majority - rich and poor, young and old, Democrat and Republican alike - believe that they ought to be allowed to do so. We estimate that making the Russian vaccine immediately available would save approximately 40 to 100 American lives each day after the first month and many more subsequently, To put the matter bluntly, current US government policy will kill some 40 to 100 people each day for a considerable period later this year and early next. To put those deaths in context, all American murderers combined kill only 45 people each day - not a record the US government should wish to emulate. There are also implications for the 2020 election; Since feelings about the Russian coronavirus vaccine are strongly favorable, and the benefits of allowing it in the US are large, making it available should be attractive politically. The Republican government has the power to adopt that policy and gain the credit. Alternatively, the Democratic opposition has the opportunity to advocate that policy, and claim the credit.
  • U.S. Public Opinion about the Personal Development and Social Capital Benefits of Sport: An analysis of the Great Sport Myth
    Abstract Beliefs that sport participation inherently leads to personal development and social capital benefits have been termed the Great Sport Myth (Coakley, 2015). The purpose of this study was to examine the extent that U.S. adults embrace the Great Sport Myth and the potential influence that their primary groups, social stratification indicators, and sport experiences have had on their beliefs in the personal development and social capital benefits of sport. Data was collected through a large national U.S. survey, the National Sports and Society Survey, and analyzed with multiple regression analyses. Findings suggest that most Americans endorse the Great Sport Myth. Furthermore, primary groups, stratification indicators, and positive sport experiences appear to consistently shape beliefs in the Great Sport Myth.
  • Capitalist Systems and Income Inequality
    The paper investigates the relationship between capitalism systems and their levels of income and compositional inequality (how the composition of income between capital and labor varies along income distribution). Capitalism may be seen to range between Classical Capitalism, where the rich have only capital income, and the rest have only labor income, and Liberal Capitalism, where many people receive both capital and labor incomes. Using a new methodology and data from 47 countries over the past 25 years, we show that higher compositional inequality is associated with higher inter-personal inequality. Nordic countries are exceptional because they combine high compositional inequality with low inter-personal inequality. We speculate on the emergence of homoploutic societies where income composition may be the same for all, but Gini inequality nonetheless high, and introduce a new taxonomy of capitalist societies. (Stone Center Working Paper Series)
  • Quantitative biological data in Pliny's Naturalis Historia: a comparison of records of human strength, size and endurance in the classic Roman books, with modern Olympic records
    Roman author Pliny the Elder is mostly remembered for his book Natural History and for his death in AD 79, while observing the eruption of Vesuvius. For centuries, his book was read as fact, but problems detected in the 15th century damaged its credibility, to the point that in the 20th century it was seen as inspiration for fantastic fiction. However, in recent years, some experimental work has validated some previously rejected statements in Pliny's book. Here, I compare Pliny's claims about human strength, size and endurance and find that many of them are within the scope of modern Olympic records.
  • The role of school in shaping gender differences in adolescent life satisfaction: a cross-national study
    In childhood and adolescence, boys tend to report higher life satisfaction (LS) than girls but satisfaction in different life domains is higher among boys in some cases -self, time-use- and higher among girls in others -family and, especially, school, which is the domain where greater gender differences are observed. However, little research has been conducted on how schools and different factors in the school context shape gender differences in adolescents' LS and how this varies across countries. I investigate this question by conducting a series of statistical analyses using PISA 2015 data on 15-year-old students in 33 countries. Results indicate that girls report lower LS than boys on average in all the countries studied. Moreover, although school is a life domain where experiences which relate to LS tend to be more negative among boys than among girls (mainly via bullying and relationships with teachers), the opposite is observed for a few school-related factors (notably school anxiety). Furthermore, in some countries, the gender gap in LS varies across schools, which suggests that schools may play an important role in influencing students' LS in different ways for girls and boys. Finally, for all the above, differences across countries are significant.
  • A Community of Shared Values? Dimensions and Dynamics of Cultural Integration in the European Union
    Whether the EU is a community of shared values is increasingly contested in public debates and academic discourses alike. We analyse the level and change in the acceptance of the EU's officially promoted values in seven domains: personal freedom, individual autonomy, social solidarity, ethnic tolerance, civic honesty, gender equality and liberal democracy. We find that EU-member populations support the EU- values strongly and increasingly over time, especially in individual freedoms and gender equality. Regarding support for these values, EU-member populations are notably distinct from non-EU populations. Simultaneously, however, EU-member populations are internalizing the EU-values at different speeds--alongside traditional cultural fault lines that continue to differentiate Europe--in the following order from fastest to slowest internalization: (1) Protestant, (2) Catholic, (3) Ex-communist and lastly (4) Orthodox countries. In conclusion, the EU- population writ large evolves into a distinct value-sharing community at different speeds.
  • Factsheet: Parental awareness of children's experiences of online risks and harm. Evidence from Nga taiohi matihiko o Aotearoa - New Zealand Kids Online
    Research suggests that parents tend to largely underestimate their child's engagement in risky and/or hurtful behaviours as well as their experiences of harm online. While helpful, the available international evidence is not only limited but also does not reflect the New Zealand context. In addition, understanding parental knowledge of the online experiences of children is important as parents play a critical role in helping their child to prevent or deal with bothering experiences and risky behaviours as well as providing children with emotional support when things go wrong online. To help close the gap of New Zealand-based evidence on the topic, this factsheet presents findings from a quantitative study conducted with New Zealand parents and their children. The objectives of the study are to measure parental knowledge of children's experiences of risks and harm online, and to compare parents' level of awareness with their child's self-reported experiences. The study found a mismatch between parents', caregivers' and whanau awareness and their children's reports of bothering or upsetting experiences online.
  • The Peace Baby Boom: Evidence from Colombia's peace agreement with FARC
    Violent environments are known to affect household fertility choices, demand for health services and health outcomes of newborns. Using administrative data with a difference-in- differences, we study how the end of the 50 years old Colombian conflict with FARC modified such decisions and outcomes in traditionally affected areas of the country. Results indicate that generalised reductions in total fertility rate were slowed down for municipalities traditionally affected by conflict as a result of the permanent ceasefire declared by the FARC insurgency. Total fertility rate observed a relative increase of 2.6% in the formerly conflict-affected areas, in all age groups. However, no impact was found for demand of health care services, neonatal and infant mortality rates, or birth outcomes such as the incidence of low weight at birth or the percentage of preterm births. Our evidence shows that municipalities with mines victims and expelled population by forced displacement before the ceasefire have significantly higher total fertility rate in the four years following the ceasefire. We argue that the mechanism behind this result is the optimism to raise the children in a better environment due to the reduction in victimisation in areas that experience FARC violence.
  • Towards a model of urban evolution I: context
    This paper seeks to develop the core concepts of a model of urban evolution. It proceeds in four major sections. First we review prior adumbrations of an evolutionary model in urban theory, not-ing their potential and their limitations. Second, we turn to the general sociocultural evolution litera-ture to draw inspiration for a fresh and more complete application of evolutionary theory to the study of urban life. Third, building upon this background, we outline the main elements of our proposed model, with special attention to elaborating the value of its key conceptual innovation, the "formeme." Last, we conclude with a discussion of what types of research commitments the overall approach does or does not imply, and point toward the more formal elaboration of the model that we undertake in "Towards a Model of Urban Evolution II" and "Towards a Model of Urban Evo-lution III."
  • Envy of the rich is one reason that Americans favor reducing income inequality
    Research question: Why do some Americans evaluate income inequality as too high whereas others do not? Does envy of the rich (the desire to "chop the top"), matter to these evaluations, even above and beyond other well-known influences? We explore this issue by extending a standard model of social-structural and political influences on inequality aversion/ desire to reduce income inequality to include self-reported income envy (and including perceived self-interest as a control variable). Key findings: (1) Envy of the rich has a moderately strong relationship with seeing the current income distribution as too unequal: The total effect of envy on inequality aversion is positive and moderately strong. (2) This effect persists unchanged after taking family political and stratification background, demographics, and current social class/stratification position into account. (3) It persists when we also control perceived economic self-interest in inequality reduction. (4) Part of the effect is indirect through political party preference, but the direct effect of envy remains moderately important even when party is taken into account (5) The effect is strong among Republicans, but absent among Democrats. Data and methods: Data are from the International Social Science Survey Round 20, USA 2016-2017, a representative US national sample (N=1,778 in the main wave and 2496 in two developmental waves). Methods include descriptive statistics; CFA for scale construction; OLS and multilevel regression analysis; and SEM to check causal issues. Theoretical implications: Attitude towards income inequality, also called inequality aversion or norm on income inequality, is the offspring of many parents; envy is one of the generative influences, in addition to structural and political roots of public opinion and policy-relevant attitudes. Support for redistribution, therefore, encompasses not only a desire for social cohesion through mechanical solidarity based on equality of condition, not only a self-interested desire to reap some of the redistributed riches, not only a fixed political commitment to this goal, but also an envy component, specifically among people on the right of politics.
  • A Phased Logic Model Approach to Public Involvement Performance Measurement
    Performance measurement is a key method for evaluating and improving services in transportation, yet few agencies have systematically evaluated public participation in transportation planning. Review of previous studies reveals that measures of effectiveness and techniques for evaluation vary widely, and often provide cursory reporting of the immediate outputs of involvement efforts, rather than system outcomes related to public participation. Interviews and government documents from three detailed cases in the United States transportation planning suggest that complexity, perceived subjectivity and an extended period of project development creates challenges for performance measurement of public participation. To demonstrate use of the logic model approach for evaluation of public participation, the research team performed three case studies that separate broad phases of projects into context, implementation, and results. This phased approach supports the identification of performance measures that may address immediate outputs of a public participation processes, in addition to intermediate and later outcomes related to public participation. Results from the multiple case studies suggest that performance measures are more likely to be sustained and impactful when devised for simplicity, supported by an agency champion, and resources are in place for institutionalization of the process as part of agency operations. The logic model approach clarifies that performance targets should be tailored by an organization to address a particular phase of the project development process.
  • Do we measure or compute polygenic risk scores? Why language matters
    Here, we argue that polygenic risk scores (PRSs) are different epistemic objects as compared to other biomarkers such as blood pressure or sodium level. While the latter two may be subject to variation, measured inaccurately or interpreted in various ways, blood flow has a pressure and sodium is available in a concentration that can be quantified and visualised. In stark contrast, PRSs are calculated, compiled or constructed through the statistical assemblage of genetic variants. How researchers frame and name PRSs has consequences for how we interpret and value their results. We distinguish between the tangible and inferential understanding of PRS and the corresponding languages of measurement and computation, respectively. The conflation of these frames obscures important questions we need to ask: what PRS seeks to represent, whether current ways of 'doing PRS' are optimal and responsible, and upon what we base the credibility of PRS-based knowledge claims.
  • Lessons from Australian Water Reforms: Indigenous and Environmental Values in Market-Based Water Regulation
    The Australian model of water governance is considered one of the most effective, efficient and resilient approaches to designing and implementing water governance. In place since the early 1990s, the Australian approach is a hybrid governance system involving collaborative planning of water resources together with market mechanisms and statutory regulation. However, in implementing the model, successive reforms have yet to completely redress the historical exclusion of Aboriginal peoples from water law frameworks, and have struggled to account for the needs of a healthy and sustainable aquatic environment. In this chapter we examine the trajectory of water law and policy reform in Australia, including two of the most recent developments: the push to intensify water development in the northern Australian White Paper and the collaborative planning approach set in the Water for Victoria policy. Our study of the incremental and evolving Australian water law reforms highlights the difficulty of ensuring fairness in the operation of hybrid governance systems for water regulation, and reveals important lessons for international policy-makers embarking on and implementing water reforms in their own jurisdictions. From its inception, strategic planning for innovative water law reform must be supported by meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples, and embed Indigenous and environmental values and rights in water planning and governance. [This is an Accepted Manuscript Version. Full Version can be found online at: ]
  • Responding to the pandemic, can building homes rebuild Australia?
    With the construction industry long being held up as an ideal mechanism for delivering economic stimulus in periods of economic recession and stagnation, this research assesses how the housing industry can help rebuild the Australian economy both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Fundamentals-Based State-Level Forecasts of the 2020 US Presidential Election
    Forecasts of US presidential elections have gained considerable attention in recent years. However, as became evident in 2016 with the victory of Donald Trump, most of them consider presidential elections only at the national level, neglecting that these are ultimately decided by the Electoral College. In order to improve accuracy, we believe that forecasts should instead address outcomes at the state-level to determine the eventual Electoral College winner. We develop a political economy model of the incumbent vote share across states based on different short- and long-term predictors, referring up to the end of the second quarter of election years. Testing it against election outcomes since 1980, our model correctly predicts the eventual election winner in 9 out of 10 cases - including 2016 -, with the 2000 election being the exception. For the 2020 election, it expects Trump to lose the Electoral College, as only 6.2 percent of simulated outcomes cross the required threshold of 270 Electoral Votes, with a mean prediction of 106 Electoral Votes.
  • Agreeing to Disagree? Explaining Self-Other Disagreement on Leadership Behaviour
    Leadership research tends to treat differences among ratings of the same leaders as measurement error. Our study makes such varying perceptions of leadership behaviour its main phenomenon of investigation. We conceptualize divergent leadership ratings based on the difference between managers' self-ratings and team members' assessments of leadership behaviour. Using data from three Ger-man public organizations on 51 teams and 190 leader-follower dyads, we find that divergent leadership ratings are a function of managers' motivation, their use of managerial reflection routines, and team members' personality. The findings point to the importance of using multisource feedback and developing managers' self- and other-awareness.
  • L'enfer c'est les autres? The effects of COVID-19 virus on interpersonal trust
    Does the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic affect interpersonal trust? While most evidence shows that natural threats reinforce trust and cooperation, the COVID-19 virus differs from other calamities since it spreads through contact with people, thus potentially increasing mistrust and suspicion towards human beings. We in-vestigate the link between exposure to COVID-19 and trust in strangers by conducting a survey experiment with a representative sample of adults in Italy, one the countries that has been worst affected by the outbreak of the virus. Contrary to intuitive expectations, we find that those who report COVID-19 symptoms and those who live in the municipalities that have been worst affected by the virus trust strangers substantially more than their rela-tive counterparts. In addition, our experimental findings reveal that the risk that the COVID-19 pandemic poses to our health in the future leads to a substantial increase in trust in strangers. The risk that the pandemic poses to our livelihood, in terms of job loss and economic recession, also leads to a smaller increase in trust in strangers, while solidarity appeals and knowledge of people with COVID-19 symptoms within a close circle of relatives, friends and colleagues have no effects on trust. These findings, we suggest, could be explained by adapting the "emancipation theory of trust" to the context of natural disasters, conjecturing that when caught in catastrophes people become more dependent on other people's support.
  • Prosperity and prestige: Archaeological realities of unfree laborers under Inka imperialism
    Inka imperial policies reorganized the social and labor landscapes of their subjects on a grand scale and unprecedented degree in the Americas. The two most numerous categories of resettled laborers created by these imperial policies were the mitmaqkuna and yanakuna, who together represented at least a third of the total subject population. The Inkas resettled them, often far from their homelands. They were responsible for the daily provisioning of Inka settlements and keeping the peace among conquered populations. Despite their central role in Inka state consolidation and economy, we know little about these populations outside of ethnohistorical interpretations of their privileged status relative to normal tribute-paying communities. Because ethnohistoric documents were written with Inka and Spanish state interests in mind, archaeological evidence is crucial to evaluate their lived experiences. We compare the ethnohistoric and archaeological evidence of the lives of the mitmaqkuna and yanakuna in two regions: the mitmaqkuna site of Yanawilka in the Vilcas Huaman province and the yanakuna site of Cheqoq in the rural Inka heartland of Cuzco. Archaeological comparisons yield evidence contradicting the long-held assumption that prestige is synonymous with autonomy, power, or even wealth in imperial contexts.
  • Not all females outlive all males: A new perspective on lifespan inequalities between sexes
    Differences in lifespan between populations, e.g. between females and males, are often measured by differences in summary statistics, such as life expectancy, which generally show an advantage of females over males across the whole age span. However, such statistics ignore the fact that two lifespan distributions are generally not mutually exclusive and that not all females outlive all males. To overcome this shortcoming, we propose using a new measure of inequality in lifespans: the outsurvival probability, here interpreted as the probability of males to outlive females. The measure that we propose accounts for the similarities in lifespan between populations. This measure also considers the interaction between the mean and variance of two lifespan distributions and their combined effect on between-populations inequalities. Our results show that the probability of males outliving females varied between 25% and 50%, across 44 countries and regions since the middle of the 18th century. Thus, despite a lower life expectancy and higher death rates across the whole age span, a man has a substantial chance of outliving a woman. Our suggested approach is generalizable to any pair of populations.
  • Does preregistration improve the credibility of research findings?
    Preregistration entails researchers registering their planned research hypotheses, methods, and analyses in a time-stamped document before they undertake their data collection and analyses. This document is then made available with the published research report to allow readers to identify discrepancies between what the researchers originally planned to do and what they actually ended up doing. This historical transparency is supposed to facilitate judgments about the credibility of the research findings. The present article provides a critical review of 17 of the reasons behind this argument. The article covers issues such as HARKing, multiple testing, p-hacking, forking paths, optional stopping, researchers' biases, selective reporting, test severity, publication bias, and replication rates. It is concluded that preregistration's historical transparency does not facilitate judgments about the credibility of research findings when researchers provide contemporary transparency in the form of (a) clear rationales for current hypotheses and analytical approaches, (b) public access to research data, materials, and code, and (c) demonstrations of the robustness of research conclusions to alternative interpretations and analytical approaches.
  • Models, Parameterization, and Software: Epistemic Opacity in Computational Chemistry
    Computational chemistry grew in a new era of "desktop modeling," which coincided with a growing demand for modeling software, especially from the pharmaceutical industry. Parameterization of models in computational chemistry is an arduous enterprise, and we argue that this activity leads, in this specific context, to tensions among scientists regarding the epistemic opacity transparency of parameterized methods and the software implementing them. We relate one flame war from the Computational Chemistry mailing List in order to assess in detail the relationships between modeling methods, parameterization, software and the various forms of their enclosure or disclosure. Our claim is that parameterization issues are an important and often neglected source of epistemic opacity and that this opacity is entangled in methods and software alike. Models and software must be addressed together to understand the epistemological tensions at stake.
  • COVID and Crime: Analysis of crime dynamics amidst social distancing protocols
    In response to the pandemic in early 2020, cities implemented states of emergency and stay at home orders to reduce virus spread. Changes in social dynamics due to local restrictions impacted human behavior and led to a shift in crime dynamics. We analyze shifts in crime types by comparing crimes before the implementation of stay at home orders and the time period shortly after these orders were put in place across three cities. We find consistent changes across Chicago, Baltimore, and Baton Rouge with significant declines in total crimes during the time period immediately following stay at home orders. The starkest differences occurred in Chicago, but in all three cities the crime types contributing to these declines were related to property crime rather than interpersonal.
  • The Ideological and Religious Bases of Attitudes Toward Pope Francis in the United States
    Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has achieved influence as a religious leader while also impacting political discussions through his teachings on social justice and environmental matters. In the United States, his teachings on these topics have generated some controversy among right-leaning figures. In the present study, I look at whether this controversy is reflected in mass opinion about Pope Francis. Using data from three national surveys of Americans, I find that individuals who identify with the political right evaluate Francis more negatively. Qualifying this, Catholic religious affiliation weakens the tendency for right-wing identifiers to evaluate Francis more negatively, while strengthening the tendency for those high in religiosity to evaluate the pope positively. Finally, consistent with the idea that politically-aware individuals are more likely to make ideologically-informed judgments, the relationship between identification with the political right and negative evaluations of Pope Francis was stronger among the politically engaged.
  • COVID-19 Health Precautions: Examining Demographic and Socioeconomic Disparities
    The COVID-19 pandemic has required the adoption of new precautionary health behaviours to reduce the risk of infection. This study examines adherence to four key precautionary behaviours among Canadian adults: wearing face masks, increasing the frequency of hand washing, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large crowds. Data are drawn from the Canadian Perspective Survey Series 3: Resuming Economic and Social Activities During COVID-19, administered by Statistics Canada in June 2020. Weighted descriptives calculate overall adherence levels and logistic regressions models of each behaviour as a function of demographics and socioeconomic status identify vulnerable segments of the population. We find a nearly universal increase in hand washing (94%) and high adherence to social distancing and avoiding crowds (82% and 84% respectively). Adherence to the use of face masks is much lower (67% on average); moreover, there are significant disparities in their use. Women, older adults, immigrants, and urban residents are much more likely to adhere to mask wearing, and other precautionary behaviours, than men, younger adults, Canadian-born, and rural residents. Canadian adults with a university degree are also the most likely to wear face masks and avoid large crowds. The most significant disparities in the use of COVID-19 precautions are found across demographic characteristics. These estimates have substantial implications for policy and potential public health interventions.
  • Does price-cap regulation work for increasing access to contraceptives? Aggregate- and pharmacy-level evidence from Colombia
    Background: Price caps through international reference pricing are widely used around the World, but not so commonly in over-the-counter markets (OTC). We study this type of regulation for the case of oral contraceptives in Colombia, which is a de facto OTC market. Objectives: We aim to establish whether the regulation triggered a competitive response within and across product categories (active pharmaceutical ingredients). We also study whether regulated products targeted to customers from high socio-economic status are now distributed in pharmacies from low socio-economic neighborhoods. Methods: First, we use a fixed effects linear panel model to estimate the change in prices and quantities associated with the new regulation for regulated and non-regulated products using administrative data at the wholesale level, according to three price tiers. Second, we conducted an audit study with 213 community pharmacies in the city of Bogota, Colombia. We visited pharmacies twice, before and after the introduction of the price cap, collecting information on prices and availability of six selected brands. Findings: The wholesale-level analysis reveals a price reduction in regulated and non-regulated products with a regulated active ingredient. Traded quantities increase for the same product types, but only for those in the most expensive categories. Besides, the traded quantities of non-regulated products decrease. However, the traded quantities of non-regulated products in the Top, Intermediate, and Bottom price categories decreased. Although this price reduction is also transmitted to community pharmacies, the availability of the high-end and mid-range contraceptives included in our audit study decreases as well. We provide suggestive evidence that reduction in the availability of was larger in areas of low socio-economic status. Conclusions: Price cap regulations that might look as effective in lowering prices and expanding access at the aggregate level could conceal stocking patterns that negatively affect the product availability for the final consumer.
  • Transportation Equity
    Transportation equity is a way to frame distributive justice concerns in relation to how social, economic, and government institutions shape the distribution of transportation benefits and burdens in society. It focuses on the evaluative standards used to judge the differential impacts of policies and plans, asking who benefits from and is burdened by them and to what extent. Questions of transportation equity involve both sufficientarian and egalitarian concerns with both absolute levels of wellbeing, transport-related poverty and social exclusion as well as with relative levels of transport-related inequalities. Ultimately, the study of transport equity explores the multiple channels through which transport and land use policies can create conditions for more inclusive cities and transport systems that allow different people to flourish, to satisfy their basic needs and lead a meaningful life. Transportation equity issues broadly encompass how policy decisions shape societal levels of environmental externalities and what groups are more or less exposed to them, as well as how those decisions affect the lives of different groups in terms of their ability to access life-enhancing opportunities such as employment, healthcare and education. Equity is a crucial part of a broader concern with transport and mobility justice. The call for transport justice goes beyond distributive concerns, and yet justice cannot be achieved without equity.
  • The future of theory: should social protection board the big data train?
    Applications of big data have been surging as of late, and the field of public policy does not stand on the sideline while this dramatic wave of new technologies makes its way across the disciplines. However, theory-driven fields may experience radical change, as data fundamentalists claim the end of theory will come due to the nature and practicality of big data. In this paper, the position of social protection is examined with regard to the effects of the already observed shift towards such computational methods. I argue that such dramatic end of theory will not come for social protection policy, as the specialists and theorists take up the role of interpreter of data, performing the needed task of translating the vast collection of information into a useable collection or result. Vital in this position is the contact with the political economy, a task impossible to result in fruitful outcome without the interpreter. To strengthen this position in regard to social protection and big data, two examples are outlined: 'Citizen Based Analytics' in New-Zealand and the Big Data Quality Task Team of the UNECE.
  • The Cultivation of Social Work Knowledge: Towards a More Robust System of Peer Review
    In a recent issue of Families in Society, Caputo (2019) argues for the "centrality" of peer review in the cultivation of social work knowledge. Specifically, he favors the double-blind model of peer review. In this paper, I argue that social work should adopt a more dynamic set of reviewing practices. First, I define some terminology and discuss the limitations of the current double-blind model. Then, I describe recent trends in peer review, which I argue foster a more robust and open system. I frame this discussion within the context of the wider open science movement and urge social workers to engage with these scholarly practices. In line with these practices and values, a freely accessible preprint is available at: xxxxxxxx.
  • Eating for wellness: Development, analysis, comparison and discussion of meal plans based on the Mediterranean and vegetarian dietary patterns
    Obesity has become a world-wide epidemic with three billion people being overweight (World Health Organisation, 2014). The solution offered is dieting, with different experts advocating different diets. However, it has been observed over time that diets may work for losing some weight initially but not in the long term or, they might work for some individuals but not others. This points to the multifactorial influence (genetic, biological, epigenetic) on weight loss and management, and therefore the approach should be individualised - one size does not fit all (Smethers and Rolls, 2018). In this report, an individualised approach is taken for a hypothetical client, Claudia, who is a 38 years old female in good health who wants to lose weight. She will be offered diet plans based on the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the Vegetarian diet (VEG) according to Eat Well Guide (EWG) so she can choose which diet plan meets best her needs. The diet plans were put through the Nutritics software for further analysis of composition and comparison (see Appendix). It is important that there is a balanced intake of the main nutrients i.e. carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which the report further discusses alongside the two diet plans.
  • How to read stone tools - a new mode system for describing variation in the Eastern African lithic record?
    Book review of THE PREHISTORIC STONE TOOLS OF EASTERN AFRICA: A GUIDE J. J. Shea 2020 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9781108334969. PS85.
  • Outsurvival as a measure of the inequality of lifespans between two populations
    Background: Inequality in lifespans between two populations, e.g., males and females or people with low and high SES, is a focus of demographic, economic and sociological research and of public policy analysis. Inequality is usually measured by differences in life expectancy. Analysis of the overlap of lifespan distributions can also be informative. Objective: To devise a cogent measure of how much distributions of lifespans differ between two populations. Results: We propose an outsurvival statistic, ph, that measures the probability that an individual from a population with low life expectancy will live longer than an individual from a population with high life expectancy. Contribution: Our new measure complements life expectancy to provide a more nuanced view of the inequality of lifespans between two populations.
  • Memories as anchors: Novel analyses on the intrapersonal comparability of wellbeing reports
    Research on subjective wellbeing typically assumes that responses to survey questions are comparable across respondents and across time. However, if this assumption is violated, standard methods in empirical research may mislead. I address this concern with three contributions. First, I give a theoretical analysis of the extent and direction of bias that may result from violations of this assumption. Second, I propose to use respondents' stated memories of their past wellbeing to estimate and thereby to correct for differentials in scale use. Third, using the proposed approach, I test whether wellbeing reports are intrapersonally comparable across time. Using BHPS data, I find that the direction in which explanatory variables affect latent satisfaction is typically the same as the direction in which scale use is affected. Unemployment and bereavement appear to have particularly strong effects on scale use. Although discussed in the context of life satisfaction scales, the proposed approach for anchoring response scales is applicable to a wide range of other subjectively reported constructs.
  • Suburbanization of transport poverty
    Many cities have undergone spatial re-distributions of low-income populations from central to suburban neighborhoods over the past several decades. A potential negative impact of these trends is that low-income populations are concentrating in more automobile oriented areas and thus resulting in increased barriers to daily travel and activity participation, particularly for those who are unable to afford a private vehicle. Accordingly, the objective of this paper is to analyze the links between increasing socio-spatial inequalities, transport disadvantage, and adverse travel behaviour outcomes. This is examined first from a theoretical perspective, and second via a spatio-temporal analysis for the Toronto region from 1991 to 2016. Findings show that many suburban areas in Toronto are not only declining in socioeconomic status, but are also suffering from increased barriers to daily travel evidenced by longer commute times and decreasing activity participation rates, relative to central neighborhoods. Because of these adverse effects, this evidence further supports the need for progressive planning and policy aimed at curbing continuing trends of suburbanization of poverty while also improving levels of transport accessibility in the suburbs.
  • Burden of disease methods: a guide to calculate COVID-19 disability-adjusted life years
    Our paper provides a step-by-step guide to define COVID-19 as a cause of disease burden, which can be used to calculate DALYs. Additionally, we suggest pragmatic data inputs, reflecting the availability and quality of data inputs will vary by country. As our paper provides suggestions for different solutions, we recommend that users should be clear about their methodological choices to aid comparisons and knowledge translation.
  • Pain trends among American adults 2002-2018: Patterns, disparities, and correlates
    Determining long-term trends in chronic pain prevalence is critical for evaluating and shaping US health policies, but little research has examined such trends. This study (1) provides estimates of pain trends among US adults across major population groups; (2) tests whether sociodemographic disparities in pain have widened or narrowed over time; and (3) examines socioeconomic, behavioral, psychological, and medical correlates of pain trends. Regression and decomposition analyses of joint, low-back, neck, migraine, and jaw/facial pain using the 2002-2018 National Health Interview Survey for adults aged 25-84 (N=441,707) assess the trends and their correlates. We find extensive escalation of pain prevalence in all population subgroups: overall, reports of pain in at least one site increased by 10%, representing an additional 10.5 million adults experiencing pain. Socioeconomic disparities are widening over time, and psychological distress and health behaviors are among the salient correlates of the trends. This study thus comprehensively documents rising pain prevalence among Americans across the adult life span and highlights socioeconomic, behavioral, and psychological factors as important correlates of the trends. Chronic pain is an important dimension of population health and demographic research should include it when studying health and health disparities.
  • A Global Online Content Quality Check Solution
    A global online analytical quality check system (and method) for online content analysis is presented. Web-based information (articles, commentary etc.) is analysed then scored based on criteria designed to evaluate the quality of analytical content. Content is then categorised as 'analytical' or 'non-analytical'. Further labelling of the intrinsic nature of the content (e.g. 'satire' 'political' 'scientific') and users' (content consumers) ratings completes the process. Applied to Web browsers and online social media platforms: the rating produced by the quality check can help users discern quality content, avoid being misinformed and engage more analytically with other users. This system can also be viewed as a theory of information quality.
  • Differential privacy in the 2020 Census will distort COVID-19 rates
    Scientists and policy makers rely on accurate population and mortality data to inform efforts regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with age-specific mortality rates of high importance due to the concentration of COVID-19 deaths at older ages. Population counts - the principal denominators for calculating age-specific mortality rates - will be subject to noise infusion in the United States with the 2020 Census via a disclosure avoidance system based on differential privacy. Using COVID-19 mortality curves from the CDC, we show that differential privacy will introduce substantial distortion in COVID-19 mortality rates - sometimes causing mortality rates to exceed 100\% -- hindering our ability to understand the pandemic. This distortion is particularly large for population groupings with fewer than 1000 persons - 40\% of all county-level age-sex groupings and 60\% of race groupings. The US Census Bureau should consider a larger privacy budget and data users should consider pooling data to increase population sizes to minimize differential privacy's distortion.
  • A comparative study of factors explaining declining levels in adolescents' life satisfaction: the importance of school well-being
    Recent research has shown that adolescents' subjective well-being and positive mental health is declining in many countries. Many studies exploring factors potentially driving these trends have highlighted the increasing role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in young people's lives, and social media use in particular. However, some studies suggest that factors in the school domain may also be important. Using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study, we investigate a series of factors explaining declining life satisfaction (LS) in eight countries with the largest declines in LS among 15-year-old adolescents in the period 2015-2018 (Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the United States, Japan, Ireland and France), with a focus on gender differences. We conducted a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis of the cohort gap in LS in relation to three key domains: school well-being, material well-being and ICT use. We find that the decline in LS was largely due to students having more negative experiences at school. This explained approximately 20-65% of the cohort gap in LS, with the exception of Japan. Changes in material well-being and ICT use explained 5-10% and only in some countries. Results vary across nations and in Japan these differ significantly from those observed in the other countries. Some gender differences were evident, for example, increases in time spent playing video games had a negative impact on LS among girls but not boys. Implications for research and policy are discussed.
  • A global decline in adolescents' subjective well-being: a comparative study exploring patterns of change in the life satisfaction of 15-year-old students in 46 countries
    There is a growing body of research that demonstrates declines in subjective well-being and increases in mental health problems among children and young people in recent decades. However, there is little comparative research examining changes in adolescents' life satisfaction (LS) across a large number of countries, and critically, how this differs across sociodemographic groups. This study addresses this question by investigating changes in the LS of 15-year-old students between 2015 and 2018, with particular attention given to differences by gender, socio-economic status, immigrant background and urbanity. Data for this study come from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Due to the skewed nature of LS scale variables, the current study includes both mean levels of LS in a 0 to 10 scale, and the proportion of students reporting low LS (5 points or less). Linear regression models were used. Results demonstrate a global decline in mean levels of LS in 39 out of the 46 countries. In most countries, mean LS declined more among girls than among boys. Mean LS declined more, and the proportion of students reporting low LS increased more, among non-immigrant students and those of higher SES in the majority of countries. Findings regarding rural or urban communities were mixed. We advise that heterogeneity across all sociodemographic groups needs to be accounted for in public policy efforts to increase LS among young people.
  • The Two Growth Rates of the Economy
    Economic growth is measured as the rate of relative change in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Yet, when incomes follow random multiplicative growth, the ensemble-average (GDP per capita) growth rate is higher than the time-average growth rate achieved by each individual in the long run. This mathematical fact is the starting point of ergodicity economics. Using the atypically high ensemble-average growth rate as the principal growth measure creates an incomplete picture. Policymaking would be better informed by reporting both ensemble-average and time-average growth rates. We analyse rigorously these growth rates and describe their evolution in the United States and France over the last fifty years. The difference between the two growth rates gives rise to a natural measure of income inequality, equal to the mean logarithmic deviation. Despite being estimated as the average of individual income growth rates, the time-average growth rate is independent of income mobility. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)
  • Data science in economics: comprehensive review of advanced machine learning and deep learning methods
    This paper provides a state-of-the-art investigation of advances in data science in emerging economic applications. The analysis was performed on novel data science methods in four individual classes of deep learning models, hybrid deep learning models, hybrid machine learning, and ensemble models. Application domains include a wide and diverse range of economics research from the stock market, marketing, and e-commerce to corporate banking and cryptocurrency. Prisma method, a systematic literature review methodology, was used to ensure the quality of the survey. The findings reveal that the trends follow the advancement of hybrid models, which, based on the accuracy metric, outperform other learning algorithms. It is further expected that the trends will converge toward the advancements of sophisticated hybrid deep learning models.
  • Mental Health and Economic Concerns from March to May during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada
    Background The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the psychological wellbeing of populations worldwide. In this study, we assess changes in mental health during the early months of the pandemic in Canada and examine its relationship with another prominent problem during this time, economic concerns. Methods Analyses were based on two nationally representative cross-sectional surveys from the Canadian Perspectives Survey Series (N=4,627 in March and 4,600 in May). We described the changes in mental health and economic concerns between March and May, and assessed the relationship between the two characteristics. Results Mental health declined significantly during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic: the proportion of Canadian adults who reported only good/fair/poor mental health grew from 46% to 52% from March to May. Economic concerns including food insecurity were an important correlate of 'bad' mental health, as was younger age, female gender, and Canada-born status. Contrary to expectations, however, economic concerns lessened during this time frame. Conclusions These findings suggest that policies to mitigate economic stress, such as Canada's Emergency Response Benefit, may have eased mental health deterioration in early pandemic months through a reduction in financial hardship. Interventions to increase the economic security of the population will have far-reaching consequences in terms of improved mental health, and should be continued throughout the pandemic.
  • Survey sampling in the Global South using Facebook advertisements
    Survey research in the Global South traditionally requires large budgets and lengthy fieldwork, for which researchers hire local enumerators to conduct face-to-face surveys with respondents. However, much of the world's population is now digitally accessible, offering an opportunity for researchers with limited budgets and those seeking to study settings where in-person contact is impossible, such as natural disasters, violent conflicts, and pandemics. In this paper, we evaluate whether Facebook advertising can be used to cost-effectively generate representative survey samples in the Global South. We introduce a framework for evaluating quality in Facebook survey samples, highlighting key trade-offs for researchers considering the platform. We then quota-sample respondents in two countries: Mexico (n=5,168) and Kenya (n=1,452) to evaluate how well these samples perform on a diverse set of survey indicators related to both internal and external validity. We find that while the Facebook platform can quickly and cheaply recruit respondents, these samples tend to be more male, more educated, and more urban than the overall national populations. Applying post-stratification weighting after oversampling key demographic variables ameliorates, but does not fully overcome, these initial sample imbalances. Our analysis demonstrates the considerable potential of Facebook advertisements to cost-effectively conduct research in diverse global settings.
  • Renting in the time of COVID-19: understanding the impacts
    This research surveyed and analysed the circumstances for Australian renters during the initial phase of the COVID-19 lockdowns in July and August 2020 to identify challenges for the rental sector and to give insights into how the rental market is performing, the uptake of existing support measures and the demand for future assistance.
  • Making Platforms Work: Relationship Labor and the Management of Publics
    How do digital platforms govern their users? Existing studies, with their focus on impersonal and procedural modes of governance, have largely neglected to examine the human labor through which platform companies attempt to elicit the consent of their users. This study describes the relationship labor that is systematically excised from many platforms' accounts of what they do and missing from much of the scholarship on platform governance. Relationship labor is carried out by agents of platform companies who engage in interpersonal communications with a platform's users in an effort to align diverse users' activities and preferences with the company's interests. The authors draw on ethnographic research conducted at AllDone (a for-profit startup that built an online market for local services) and edX (a non-profit startup that partnered with institutions to offer Massive Open Online Courses). The findings leverage variation in organizational contexts to elaborate the common practices and divergent strategies of relationship labor deployed by each platform. Both platforms relied on relationship workers to engage in account management practices aimed at addressing the particular concerns of individual users through interpersonal communications. Relationship workers in each setting also engaged in community management practices that facilitated contact and collaboration among users in pursuit of shared goals. However, our findings show that the relative frequency of relationship workers' use of account management and community management practices varies with organizational conditions. This difference in strategies also corresponded to different ways of valuing relationship workers and incorporating them into organizational processes. The article demonstrates how variation in organizational context accounts for divergent strategies for governing user participation in digital platforms, and for the particular processes through which governance is accomplished and contested.
  • Police Performance Rankings Depend on the Functional Form of the Index: A Comment on Bearfield, Maranto and Wolf
    Bearfield, Maranto and Wolf (2020) advise policy-makers to measure policing outcomes using a metric that includes rates of homicide, police-related civilian deaths (PRCD) , and poverty. They present such an index, which they call the Police Performance Index (PPI). But alternative functional forms that are equally plausible can lead to different rankings of police departments, and therefore different policy conclusions.