Do pandemics boost public faith in science?

No, according to Barry Eichengreen, Cevat Giray Aksoy, and Orkun Saka: It is sometimes said that an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will be heightened appreciation of the importance of scientific research and expertise. We test this hypothesis by examining how exposure to previous epidemics affected trust in science and scientists. Building on the “impressionable […]

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The pandemic is indeed a big deal

In our estimation, and with standard preference parameters, the value of the ability to end the pandemic is worth 5-15% of total wealth. This value rises substantially when there is uncertainty about the frequency and duration of pandemics. Agents place almost as much value on the ability to resolve the uncertainty as they do on […]

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The political economy of Swine flu vaccine allocation

Previous research has isolated the effect of “congressional dominance” in explaining bureaucracy-related outcomes. This analysis extends the concept of congressional dominance to the allocation of H1N1, or swine flu, vaccine doses. States with Democratic United States Representatives on the relevant House oversight committee received roughly 60,000 additional doses per legislator during the initial allocation period, […]

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David Splinter responds to Saez and Zucman

When estimating income inequality with tax data, accounting for missing income presents many challenges. Researchers have adopted different approaches to address these challenges. Saez and Zucman (2020) discuss differences between the national income distributions of Piketty, Saez, and Zucman (PSZ, 2018) and Auten and Splinter (AS, 2019a). Saez and Zucman also make updates to their […]

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Sentences to ponder

How many will speak up for science today?: Our results show that the enormous expansions of parental leave and child care subsidies have had virtually no impact on gender convergence. That is from a new NBER working paper by Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais, Johanna Posch, Andreas Steinhauer, and Josef Zweimüller., based on decades of data […]

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Paige-Harden on Genetic Differences and the Left

Paige-Harden, the left-leaning behavioral geneticist, brings the fire in comments on an AEON article about her work: In this article, Erik Parens urges me and other scientists working in the field of social genomics to “curb [our] optimism” regarding how genetic discoveries could be used to advance progressive and egalitarian social goals. In my view, […]

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Secularization and the Tribulations of the American Working-Class

That is a work in progress by Brian Wheaton, job market candidate from Harvard University.  Here is the abstract: Over the past several decades, working-class America has been plagued by multiple adverse trends: a sharp increase in social isolation, an even sharper increase in single parenthood, a decline in male labor force participation rates, and […]

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Are body cameras effective for constraining police after all?

Controversial police use of force incidents have spurred protests across the nation and calls for reform. Body-worn cameras (BWCs) have received extensive attention as a potential key solution. I conduct the first nationwide study of the effects of BWCs in more than 1,000 agencies. I identify the causal effects by using idiosyncratic variation in adoption […]

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The local amenities effect of Prohibition

Comparing same-state early and late adopters of county dry laws in a difference-in-differences design, we find that early Prohibition adoption increased population and farm real estate values. Moreover, we find strong effects on farm productivity consistent with increased investment due to a land price channel. In equilibrium, the amenity change disproportionately attracted immigrants and African-Americans. […]

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