rvenkat + political_economy   73

Hall of Mirrors: Corporate Philanthropy and Strategic Advocacy
Politicians and regulators rely on feedback from the public when setting policies. For-profit corporations and non-pro t entities are active in this process and are arguably expected to provide independent viewpoints. Policymakers (and the public at large), however, may be unaware of the financial ties between some firms and non-profits - ties that are legal and tax-exempt, but difficult to trace. We identify these ties using IRS forms submitted by the charitable arms of large U.S. corporations, which list all grants awarded to non-pro fits. We document three patterns in a comprehensive sample of public commentary made by firms and non-profits within U.S. federal rulemaking between 2003 and 2015. First, we show that, shortly after a firm donates to a non-profit, the grantee is more likely to comment on rules for which the firm has also provided a comment. Second, when a firm comments on a rule, the comments by non-profits that recently received grants from the firm's foundation are systematically closer in content similarity to the firm's own comments than to those submitted by other non-profits commenting on that rule. This content similarity does not result from similarly-worded comments that express divergent sentiment. Third, when a firm comments on a new rule, the discussion of the final rule is more similar to the firm's comments when the firm's recent grantees also comment on that rule. These patterns, taken together, suggest that corporations strategically deploy charitable grants to induce non-pro fit grantees to make comments that favor their benefactors, and that this translates into regulatory discussion that is closer to the firm's own comments
lobbying_complex  corruption  governance  regulation  political_economy  natural_language_processing  via:nyhan 
5 weeks ago by rvenkat
The Violence Trap: A Political-Economic Approach to the Problems of Development by Gary W. Cox, Douglass C. North, Barry R. Weingast :: SSRN
Why do developing countries fail to adopt the institutions and policies that promote development? Our answer is the violence trap. Key political reforms — opening access and reducing rents — are typically feasible only when the domestic economy reaches a given level of complexity (for reasons we specify); yet complex economies typically can emerge only when key political reforms are already in place (for standard reasons). The interdependence of political reform and economic complexity entails violence because, as we show, unreformed polities lack adaptive efficiency. The literature sparked by Lipset’s modernization thesis has operationalized “economic development” as a higher GDP per capita. Building on Steuart, we view development as creating a more complex economy whose workings will be more seriously disrupted by political violence. Empirically, we show that economic complexity (as measured by the Hidalgo-Hausmann index) strongly deters coups, even controlling for GDP per capita and level of democracy.
book  political_economy  economic_history  institutions  social_structure  world_trends 
5 weeks ago by rvenkat
Violence and Social Orders
All societies must deal with the possibility of violence, and they do so in different ways. This book integrates the problem of violence into a larger social science and historical framework, showing how economic and political behavior are closely linked. Most societies, which we call natural states, limit violence by political manipulation of the economy to create privileged interests. These privileges limit the use of violence by powerful individuals, but doing so hinders both economic and political development. In contrast, modern societies create open access to economic and political organizations, fostering political and economic competition. The book provides a framework for understanding the two types of social orders, why open access societies are both politically and economically more developed, and how some 25 countries have made the transition between the two types.
book  political_economy  economic_history  institutions  social_structure  world_trends 
5 weeks ago by rvenkat
Economic losers and political winners: The rise of the radical right in Sweden | TSE

We study the rise of the Sweden Democrats, a radical-right party that rose from negligible size in 2002 to Swedenís third largest party in 2014. We use comprehensive data to study both its politicians (supply side) and voters (demand side). All political candidates for the party can be identiÖed in register data, which also lets us aggregate individual social and economic conditions in municipalities or voting districts and relate them to the partyís vote share. We take a starting point in two key economic events: (i) a series of policy reforms in 2006-2011 that signiÖcantly widened the disposable- income gap between ìinsidersîand ìoutsidersîin the labor market, and (ii) the Önancial-crisis recession that doubled the job-loss risk for ìvulnerableî vs ìsecureîinsiders. On the supply side, the Sweden Democrats over-represent both losing groups relative to the population, whereas all other parties under-represent them, results which also hold when we disaggregate across time, subgroups, and municipalities. On the demand side, the local increase in the insider-outsider income gap, as well as the share of vulnerable insiders, are systematically associated with larger electoral gains for the Sweden Democrats. These Öndings can be given a citizen-candidate interpretation: economic losers (as we demonstrate) decrease their trust in established parties and institutions. As a result, some economic losers became Sweden-Democrat candidates, and many more supported the party electorally to obtain greater descriptive representation. This way, Swedish politics became potentially more inclusive. But the politicians elected for the Sweden Democrats score lower on expertise, moral values, and social trust ñas do their voters which made local political selection less valence oriented.

--A more traditional racial resentment PoV

-- It is plausible that both resentment of out-groups and economic factors simultaneously contributed to third party success. I can see parallels with what happened in India in the 1990s with the emergence of anti-establishment parties, which in turn can be traced to J.P. Narayan's socialist movement back in th3 70s. All in all, a nice way to analyze emergence and eventual success of third-parties in democracies.
political_economy  right-wing_populism  european_politics  via:nyhan 
september 2018 by rvenkat
Social Mobilization | Annual Review of Psychology

This article reviews research from several behavioral disciplines to derive strategies for prompting people to perform behaviors that are individually costly and provide negligible individual or social benefits but are meaningful when performed by a large number of individuals. Whereas the term social influence encompasses all the ways in which people influence other people, social mobilization refers specifically to principles that can be used to influence a large number of individuals to participate in such activities. The motivational force of social mobilization is amplified by the fact that others benefit from the encouraged behaviors, and its overall impact is enhanced by the fact that people are embedded within social networks. This article may be useful to those interested in the provision of public goods, collective action, and prosocial behavior, and we give special attention to field experiments on election participation, environmentally sustainable behaviors, and charitable giving.

collective_action  political_economy  public_goods  social_behavior  intervention  review  social_networks  networks  dmce  teaching  via:nyhan 
february 2018 by rvenkat
Growing Outrage by Cass Sunstein :: SSRN
Why and when does outrage grow? This essay explores two potential answers. The first points to a revision or weakening of social norms, which leads people to express outrage that they had previously suppressed. The second points to a revision or weakening of social norms, which leads people to express outrage that they had not previously felt (and may or may not now feel). The intensity of outrage is often a product of what is most salient. It is also a product of “normalization”; people compare apparently outrageous behavior to behavior falling in the same category in which it is observed, and do not compare it to other cases, which leads to predictable incoherence in judgments. These points bear on the #MeToo movement of 2017 and 2018 and the rise and fall (and rise again, and fall again) of discrimination on the basis of sex and race (and also religion and ethnicity).
social_movements  norms  dynamics  moral_panic  virtue_signaling  political_economy  heuristics  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching 
january 2018 by rvenkat
Unity in Diversity: The Nascent Political Identity of Indian-Americans | Harvard Political Review
-- if you've ever lived in India among us, the observations are no-brainers; the article hits the nail on the head. It is interesting how the Indian-American immigrants have managed to retain their socio-economic identities as they re-rooted themselves in this continent but then again, it is not surprising.
political_economy  immigration  us_politics  civic_engagement  political_sociology  india  united_states_of_america  via:noahpinion 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Connecting the Candidates: Consultant Networks and the Diffusion of Campaign Strategy in American Congressional Elections - Nyhan - 2014 - American Journal of Political Science - Wiley Online Library
Modern American political campaigns are typically conceptualized as “candidate-centered” and treated as conditionally independent in quantitative analyses. In reality, however, these campaigns are linked by professional consulting firms, which are important agents of campaign strategy diffusion within the extended party networks of the contemporary era. To test our hypothesis that consultants disseminate campaign strategies among their clients, we analyze new data on U.S. House elections derived from Federal Election Commission records. Using spatial autoregressive models, we find that candidates who share consultants are more likely to use similar campaign strategies than we would otherwise expect, conditional on numerous explanatory variables. These results, which largely withstand an extensive series of robustness and falsification tests, suggest that consultants play a key role in diffusing strategies among congressional campaigns.
political_economy  social_networks  us_elections  diffusion  epidemiology  networks  teaching  brendan.nyhan 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Pax Technica | Yale University Press
A foremost digital expert looks at the most powerful political tool ever created—the internet of things. Will it be like the internet of surveillance and censorship we have now, or will it be something better?

Should we fear or welcome the internet’s evolution? The “internet of things” is the rapidly growing network of everyday objects—eyeglasses, cars, thermostats—made smart with sensors and internet addresses. Soon we will live in a pervasive yet invisible network of everyday objects that communicate with one another. In this original and provocative book, Philip N. Howard envisions a new world order emerging from this great transformation in the technologies around us.

Howard calls this new era a Pax Technica. He looks to a future of global stability built upon device networks with immense potential for empowering citizens, making government transparent, and broadening information access. Howard cautions, however, that privacy threats are enormous, as is the potential for social control and political manipulation. Drawing on evidence from around the world, he illustrates how the internet of things can be used to repress and control people. Yet he also demonstrates that if we actively engage with the governments and businesses building the internet of things, we have a chance to build a new kind of internet—and a more open society.

book  democracy  sociology_of_technology  world_trends  history  political_economy  global_politics  international_affairs 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Political Power, Public Employment, & Private Wage Convergence: The Labor Market Effects of the Voting Rights Act
A central concern for racial and ethnic minorities living in democratic societies is having access to opportunities for economic advancement equal to their majority counterparts. In this paper, we test whether minority political empowerment is linked to individual economic gains in the form of labor market progress. We use the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act to examine whether the re-enfranchisement of black Americans in the American South contributed to their improved economic status over the second half of the twentieth century. Using a border discontinuity design, we find that counties where political rights were protected by the federal government experienced larger reductions in the black-white wage gap between 1950 and 1990. In addition to showing that the VRA improved blacks Americans’ wages, we also provide evidence of a mechanism that has been less-often discussed in research examining racial disparities in the labor market: public sector employment. Finally, we also show that the wage gains of black Americans occur almost immediately after passage of the VRA. As such, our results suggest that wage gains are likely not caused (at least exclusively) by differential changes in human capital accumulation as schools attended by black children improved.

-- I am sure there are systematic critical reviews of causal inference in political science.
political_economy  economic_sociology  labor  discrimination  natural_experiment  causal_inference  via:nyhan  political_science 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Ethno-nationalist populism and the mobilization of collective resentment - Bonikowski - 2017 - The British Journal of Sociology - Wiley Online Library
Scholarly and journalistic accounts of the recent successes of radical-right politics in Europe and the United States, including the Brexit referendum and the Trump campaign, tend to conflate three phenomena: populism, ethno-nationalism and authoritarianism. While all three are important elements of the radical right, they are neither coterminous nor limited to the right. The resulting lack of analytical clarity has hindered accounts of the causes and consequences of ethno-nationalist populism. To address this problem, I bring together existing research on nationalism, populism and authoritarianism in contemporary democracies to precisely define these concepts and examine temporal patterns in their supply and demand, that is, politicians’ discursive strategies and the corresponding public attitudes. Based on the available evidence, I conclude that both the supply and demand sides of radical politics have been relatively stable over time, which suggests that in order to understand public support for radical politics, scholars should instead focus on the increased resonance between pre-existing attitudes and discursive frames. Drawing on recent research in cultural sociology, I argue that resonance is not only a function of the congruence between a frame and the beliefs of its audience, but also of shifting context. In the case of radical-right politics, a variety of social changes have engendered a sense of collective status threat among national ethnocultural majorities. Political and media discourse has channelled such threats into resentments toward elites, immigrants, and ethnic, racial and religious minorities, thereby activating previously latent attitudes and lending legitimacy to radical political campaigns that promise to return power and status to their aggrieved supporters. Not only does this form of politics threaten democratic institutions and inter-group relations, but it also has the potential to alter the contours of mainstream public discourse, thereby creating the conditions of possibility for future successes of populist, nationalist, and authoritarian politics.

--my summary: framing effects and latent preferences produce a mechanism for ethno-nationalism, authoritarianism and populism to interact. But I don't understand this *context* business as well. Feels like a _everything is obvious_ explanation...Not very convincing

-- see also the special issue
us_politics  european_politics  brexit  trumpism  political_psychology  framing_effects  political_economy  behavioral_economics  democracy  public_opinion  social_movements  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Congress's Constitution | Yale University Press
Congress is widely supposed to be the least effective branch of the federal government. But as Josh Chafetz shows in this boldly original analysis, Congress in fact has numerous powerful tools at its disposal in its conflicts with the other branches. These tools include the power of the purse, the contempt power, freedom of speech and debate, and more.

Drawing extensively on the historical development of Anglo-American legislatures from the seventeenth century to the present, Chafetz concludes that these tools are all means by which Congress and its members battle for public support. When Congress uses them to engage successfully with the public, it increases its power vis-à-vis the other branches; when it does not, it loses power. This groundbreaking take on the separation of powers will be of interest to both legal scholars and political scientists.
us_congress  constitutional_law  history  political_economy  book 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Feigenbaum: How High-Income Neighborhoods Receive More Service from Municipal Government: Evidence from City Administrative Data
Municipal governments oversee many of the most important political matters of daily life in the U.S., yet our understanding of municipal politics remains limited. We combine a large dataset of requests for local government services—such as snow plowing, traffic signal repairs, pothole repairs, and graffiti cleanup—in Boston, Massachusetts, 2011–2015, with fine-grained census data on localized incomes and income inequality. Employing a within-neighborhood design, we establish that, other things equal, higher-income census tracts make more requests for government services. Using data from open-ended text responses submitted by the city, we then connect these requests to the provision of services, showing how the underlying capacity of local communities for communicating requests—i.e., for participating in the process of local government—helps drive inequality in the receipt of services themselves. These results highlight how inequality in economic resources connects to inequality in the non-electoral components of participation in local government.

big_data  econometrics  administrative_state  governance  wealth  inequality  technology  cities  geography  spatial_statistics  political_economy  public_goods  public_administration  ? 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Yale Law Journal - Stuck! The Law and Economics of Residential Stagnation
America has become a nation of homebodies. Rates of interstate mobility, by most estimates, have been falling for decades. Interstate mobility rates are particularly low and stagnant among disadvantaged groups—despite a growing connection between mobility and economic opportunity. Perhaps most importantly, mobility is declining in regions where it is needed most. Americans are not leaving places hit by economic crises, resulting in unemployment rates and low wages that linger in these areas for decades. And people are not moving to rich regions where the highest wages are available.

This Article advances two central claims. First, declining interstate mobility rates create problems for federal macroeconomic policymaking. Low rates of interstate mobility make it harder for the Federal Reserve to meet both sides of its “dual mandate”: ensuring both stable prices and maximum employment. Low interstate mobility rates also impair the efficacy and affordability of federal safety net programs that rely on state and local participation, and reduce wealth and growth by inhibiting agglomeration economies. While determining an optimal rate of interstate mobility is difficult, policies that unnaturally inhibit interstate moves worsen national economic problems.

Second, the Article argues that governments, mostly at the state and local levels, have created a huge number of legal barriers to interstate mobility. Land-use laws and occupational licensing regimes limit entry into local and state labor markets. Different eligibility standards for public benefits, public employee pension policies, homeownership subsidies, state and local tax regimes, and even basic property law rules inhibit exit from low-opportunity states and cities. Furthermore, building codes, mobile home bans, federal location-based subsidies, legal constraints on knocking down houses, and the problematic structure of Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy all limit the capacity of failing cities to “shrink” gracefully, directly reducing exit among some populations and increasing the economic and social costs of entry limits elsewhere.

Combining these two insights, the Article shows that big questions of macroeconomic policy and performance turn on the content of state and local policies usually analyzed using microeconomic tools. Many of the legal barriers to interstate mobility emerged or became stricter during the period in which interstate mobility declined. While causation is difficult to determine, public policies developed by state and local governments more interested in guaranteeing local population stability than ensuring successful macroeconomic conditions either generated or failed to stymie falling mobility rates. The Article concludes by suggesting how the federal government could address stagnation in interstate mobility.
migration  cities  economic_geography  bureaucracy  law  regulation  labor  policy  critique  political_economy  via:noahpinion 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Culture, Ethnicity and Diversity
We investigate the empirical relationship between ethnicity and culture, defined as a vector of traits reflecting norms, values, and attitudes. Using survey data for 76 countries, we find that ethnic identity is a significant predictor of cultural values, yet that within-group variation in culture trumps between-group variation. Thus, in contrast to a commonly held view, ethnic and cultural diversity are unrelated. Although only a small portion of a country's overall cultural heterogeneity occurs between groups, we find that various political economy outcomes (such as civil conflict and public goods provision) worsen when there is greater overlap between ethnicity and culture.
culture  race  political_economy  world_trends  survey  data  econometrics  public_goods  via:nyhan 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Political Theory of the Firm
The revenues of large companies often rival those of national governments, and some companies have annual revenues higher than many national governments. Among the largest corporations in 2015, some had private security forces that rivaled the best secret services, public relations offices that dwarfed a US presidential campaign headquarters, more lawyers than the US Justice Department, and enough money to capture (through campaign donations, lobbying, and even explicit bribes) a majority of the elected representatives. The only powers these large corporations missed were the power to wage war and the legal power of detaining people, although their political influence was sufficiently large that many would argue that, at least in certain settings, large corporations can exercise those powers by proxy. Yet in economics, the commonly prevailing view of the firm ignores all these elements of politics and power. We must recognize that large firms have considerable power to influence the rules of the game. I call attention to the risk of a "Medici vicious circle," in which economic and political power reinforce each other. The possibility and extent of a "Medici vicious circle" depends upon several nonmarket factors. I discuss how they should be incorporated in a broader "Political Theory" of the firm.
political_economy  review  microeconomics  ?  via:noahpinion 
august 2017 by rvenkat
The Effects of Congressional Staff Networks in the US House of Representatives: The Journal of Politics: Vol 79, No 3
Standard accounts of legislative behavior typically neglect the activities of professional staff, who are treated as extensions of the elected officials they serve. However, staff appear to have substantial independent effects on observed levels of legislator productivity and policy preferences. In this article, we use a novel data set of comprehensive longitudinal employment records from the US House of Representatives to estimate the effects of congressional staff on legislative behavior. Specifically, results from a series of heteroskedastic Bayesian spatial autoregressive models indicate that members of Congress who exchange important staff members across congresses are more similar in their legislative effectiveness and voting patterns than we would otherwise expect. These findings suggest that scholars should reconsider the role of staff in the legislative process.
us_congress  us_politics  social_networks  teaching  networks  political_sociology  political_economy  brendan.nyhan 
july 2017 by rvenkat
How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument | GARY KING
The Chinese government has long been suspected of hiring as many as 2,000,000 people to surreptitiously insert huge numbers of pseudonymous and other deceptive writings into the stream of real social media posts, as if they were the genuine opinions of ordinary people. Many academics, and most journalists and activists, claim that these so-called ``50c party'' posts vociferously argue for the government's side in political and policy debates. As we show, this is also true of the vast majority of posts openly accused on social media of being 50c. Yet, almost no systematic empirical evidence exists for this claim, or, more importantly, for the Chinese regime's strategic objective in pursuing this activity. In the first large scale empirical analysis of this operation, we show how to identify the secretive authors of these posts, the posts written by them, and their content. We estimate that the government fabricates and posts about 448 million social media comments a year. In contrast to prior claims, we show that the Chinese regime's strategy is to avoid arguing with skeptics of the party and the government, and to not even discuss controversial issues. We show that the goal of this massive secretive operation is instead to distract the public and change the subject, as most of the these posts involve cheerleading for China, the revolutionary history of the Communist Party, or other symbols of the regime. We discuss how these results fit with what is known about the Chinese censorship program, and suggest how they may change our broader theoretical understanding of ``common knowledge'' and information control in authoritarian regimes.
china  media_studies  attention_economy  causal_inference  social_media  political_economy  gary.king 
june 2017 by rvenkat
SocArXiv Preprints | When Wealth Encourages Individuals to Fight: Evidence From the American Civil War
How does personal wealth shape an individual's decision to abandon the democratic process and participate in violent rebellion? Studying the American Civil War and the atrocity of human slavery, we offer competing theoretical accounts for how we should expect individual wealth, in the form of land and slaves, to affect white men's decisions to join the Confederate Army. To resolve these disagreements, we assemble a dataset on roughly 3.9 million white citizens in Confederate states, and we show that slaveowners were more likely to fight in the Confederate Army than non-slaveowners. To see if these links are causal, we exploit a randomized land lottery in 19th-century Georgia. Households of lottery winners owned more slaves in 1850 and were more likely to have sons who fought in the Confederate Army than were households who did not win the lottery. The findings add nuance to our understanding of the relationship between individual wealth, political institutions, and the propensity to engage in civil conflict. Although in general wealthier individuals are less likely to fight in such conflicts, when their wealth is tied to existing institutions that civil conflict threatens, they may in fact be more likely to fight.
political_economy  wealth  19th_century  united_states_of_america  economic_history  via:nyhan 
june 2017 by rvenkat
The Ideas Industry - Daniel Drezner - Oxford University Press
The public intellectual, as a person and ideal, has a long and storied history. Writing in venues like the New Republic and Commentary, such intellectuals were always expected to opine on a broad array of topics, from foreign policy to literature to economics. Yet in recent years a new kind of thinker has supplanted that archetype: the thought leader. Equipped with one big idea, thought leaders focus their energies on TED talks rather than highbrow periodicals.
How did this shift happen? In The Ideas Industry, Daniel W. Drezner points to the roles of political polarization, heightened inequality, and eroding trust in authority as ushering in the change. In contrast to public intellectuals, thought leaders gain fame as single-idea merchants. Their ideas are often laudable and highly ambitious: ending global poverty by 2025, for example. But instead of a class composed of university professors and freelance intellectuals debating in highbrow magazines, thought leaders often work through institutions that are closed to the public. They are more immune to criticism--and in this century, the criticism of public intellectuals also counts for less.

Three equally important factors that have reshaped the world of ideas have been waning trust in expertise, increasing political polarization and plutocracy. The erosion of trust has lowered the barriers to entry in the marketplace of ideas. Thought leaders don't need doctorates or fellowships to advance their arguments. Polarization is hardly a new phenomenon in the world of ideas, but in contrast to their predecessors, today's intellectuals are more likely to enjoy the support of ideologically friendly private funders and be housed in ideologically-driven think tanks. Increasing inequality as a key driver of this shift: more than ever before, contemporary plutocrats fund intellectuals and idea factories that generate arguments that align with their own. But, while there are certainly some downsides to the contemporary ideas industry, Drezner argues that it is very good at broadcasting ideas widely and reaching large audiences of people hungry for new thinking. Both fair-minded and trenchant, The Ideas Industry will reshape our understanding of contemporary public intellectual life in America and the West.
book  intellectualism  market_failures  political_economy  public_opinion  critique  economy_of_ideas  politics  policy  policy_as_a_social_process 
june 2017 by rvenkat
Who Defects? Unpacking a Defection Cascade from Russia's Dominant Party 2008–12 | American Political Science Review | Cambridge Core
Under what conditions do individuals withdraw support from dominant parties in nondemocratic regimes? Employing an original panel survey, we measure the same individuals’ support for Russia's dominant party first at the peak of its dominance in 2008 and again shortly after it suffered a cascading defection of regime supporters in 2011–12. This allows us uniquely to explore the microfoundations of theories of regime defection cascades, generally supporting the argument that they involve complex “informational” as well as “reputational” processes. Accordingly, we find that early and eager movers in such a cascade tend to come from less socially vulnerable segments of the population, to have greater need to rely on other people for interpreting events, to believe the regime has lower levels of popular support, and to come from more heterogeneous communities. We find little role for mass media (including social media) or democratizing zeal in driving Russia's regime defection cascade.
political_science  political_economy  collective_action  democracy  autocracy  common_knowledge  social_networks  ?  russia  via:sunstein 
may 2017 by rvenkat
From Extreme to Mainstream: How Social Norms Unravel
Social norms are typically thought to be persistent and long-lasting, sometimes surviving through growth, recessions, and regime changes. In some cases, however, they can quickly change. This paper examines the unraveling of social norms in communication when new information becomes available, e.g., aggregated through elections. We build a model of strategic communication between citizens who can hold one of two mutually exclusive opinions. In our model, agents communicate their opinions to each other, and senders care about receivers' approval. As a result, senders are more likely to express the more popular opinion, while receivers make less inference about senders who stated the popular view. We test these predictions using two experiments. In the main experiment, we identify the causal effect of Donald Trump's rise in political popularity on individuals' willingness to publicly express xenophobic views. Participants in the experiment are offered a bonus reward if they authorize researchers to make a donation to an anti-immigration organization on their behalf. Participants who expect their decision to be observed by the surveyor are significantly less likely to accept the offer than those expecting an anonymous choice. Increases in participants' perceptions of Trump's popularity (either through experimental variation or through the “natural experiment” of his victory) eliminate the wedge between private and public behavior. A second experiment uses dictator games to show that participants judge a person less negatively for publicly expressing (but not for privately holding) a political view they disagree with if that person's social environment is one where the majority of people holds that view.
extremism  norms  institutions  rational_choice  polarization  collective_cognition  common_knowledge  political_economy  political_psychology  dmce  teaching 
may 2017 by rvenkat
Peer Effects on the United States Supreme Court by Richard Holden, Michael Keane, Matthew Lilley :: SSRN
Using data on essentially every US Supreme Court decision since 1946, we estimate a model of peer effects on the Court. We consider both the impact of justice ideology and justice votes on the votes of their peers. To identify these peer effects we use two instruments. The first is based on the composition of the Court, determined by which justices sit on which cases due to recusals or health reasons for not sitting. The second utilizes the fact that many justices previously sat on Federal Circuit Courts and are empirically much more likely to affirm decisions from their “home” court. We find large peer effects. Replacing a single justice with one who votes in a conservative direction 10 percentage points more frequently increases the probability that each other justice votes conservative by 1.63 percentage points. In terms of votes, a 10 percentage point increase in the probability that a single justice votes conservative leads to a 1.1 percentage increase in the probability that each other justice votes conservative. Finally, a single justice becoming 10% more likely to vote conservative increases the share of cases with a conservative outcome by 3.6 percentage points – excluding the direct effect of that justice – and reduces the share with a liberal outcome by 3.2 percentage points. In general, the indirect effect of a justice’s vote on the outcome through the votes of their peers is typically several times larger than the direct mechanical effect of the justice’s own vote.

-- a dilute version here

-- a related paper here
empirical_legal_studies  us_supreme_court  influence  homophily  groups  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching  political_science  political_economy  collective_cognition  causal_inference  via:wolfers 
april 2017 by rvenkat
The Tech Resistance Awakens
-- a typically misleading grandoise sounding title but our very own Maciej Ceglowski is mentioned often.
hactivism  social_movements  us_politics  political_economy  sociology 
february 2017 by rvenkat
Media Scandals Are Political Events - Jan 10, 2017
When political scandals erupt in the press, we usually blame misconduct by public officials, but these episodes are political events whose occurrence and severity also depend in part on the political and media context. Using data on U.S. governors, I show that several key factors affect the likelihood and intensity that alleged misconduct will be politicized by the opposition and publicized by the press. First, lower approval ratings, which decrease the cost of politicizing and publicizing an allegation, are generally associated with more frequent and intense media scandals. By contrast, competing news events can crowd potential scandals off the news agenda. However, no evidence is found that opposition control of state political institutions leads to more media scandal. These results suggest that the occurrence of media scandal depends more on circumstance than we typically assume.
brendan.nyhan  political_science  political_economy  public_opinion  media_studies  dmce  teaching 
january 2017 by rvenkat
Washington Monthly | Privatization as State Transformation
-- wonder if privatization of governance can always be thought of as a fundamentally de-democratization process?

--pdf available here
democracy  governance  political_economy  political_science 
december 2016 by rvenkat
The Political Economy of Hatred - Glaeser
What determines the intensity and objects of hatred? Hatred forms when people believe that out-groups are responsible for past and future crimes, but the reality of past crimes has little to do with
the level of hatred. Instead, hatred is the result of an equilibrium where politicians supply stories of past atrocities in order to discredit the opposition and consumers listen to them. The supply of hatred is a function of the degree to which minorities gain or lose from particular party platforms, and as
such, groups that are particularly poor or rich are likely to be hated. Strong constitutions that limit the policy space and ban specific anti-minority policies will limit hate. The demand for hatred falls if consumers interact regularly with the hated group, unless their interactions are primarily abusive.The power of hatred is so strong that opponents of hatred motivate their supporters by hating the haters.

-- one could write a Foxworthian joke "... If all your papers have a demand-supply curve, then you must be an economist". Becker's ghost still looms large over economics.
political_economy  political_science  extremism  funny  for_friends 
december 2016 by rvenkat

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