Top 10 Socarxiv Papers Today


2.284 Mikeys
#1. Explaining the Rise of Moralizing Religions: A test of competing hypotheses using the Seshat Databank
Peter Turchin, Harvey Whitehouse, Pieter François, Daniel Hoyer, Selin Nugent, Jennifer Larson, Alan Covey, Mark Altaweel, Peter Peregrine, David Carballo
The causes, consequences, and timing of the rise of moralizing religions in world history have been the focus of intense debate. Progress has been limited by the availability of quantitative data to test competing theories, by divergent ideas regarding both predictor and outcomes variables, and by differences of opinion over methodology. To address all these problems, we utilize Seshat: Global History Databank, a vast storehouse of information designed to test theories concerning the drivers of social complexity in world history. In addition to the Big Gods hypothesis, which proposes that moralizing religion contributed to the success of increasingly large-scale complex societies, we consider the role of warfare, animal husbandry, and affluence in the rise of moralizing religions. Using a broad range of nuanced measures of moralizing religion, we find strong support for previous research showing that institutions endorsing beliefs in supernatural enforcement arise after, not before, the sharpest rises in social complexity in world...
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2.284 Mikeys
#2. Steering capital: the growing private authority of index providers in the age of passive asset management
Johannes Petry, Jan Fichtner, Eelke Heemskerk
Since the global financial crisis, there is a massive shift of assets towards index funds. Rather than picking stocks, index funds replicate stock indices such as the S&P 500. But where do these indices actually come from? This paper analyzes the politico-economic role of index providers, a small group of highly profitable firms including MSCI, S&P DJI, and FTSE Russell, and develops a research agenda from an IPE perspective. We argue that these index providers have become actors that exercise growing private authority as they steer investments through the indices they create and maintain. While technical expertise is a precondition, their brand is the primary source of index provider authority, which is entrenched through network externalities. Rather than a purely technical exercise, constructing indices is inherently political. Which companies or countries are included into an index or excluded (i.e. receive investment in- or outflows) is based on criteria defined by index providers, thereby setting standards for...
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2.284 Mikeys
#3. Can the EU Buy Public Support?
Julian Schuessler
The European Union targets up to a quarter of its budget towards underdeveloped regions. Do these investments have an impact on citizens' attitudes towards the EU? The previous literature on this question is scarce and inconclusive. I use a regression- discontinuity design to tackle this question. The analysis is based on a large dataset of geocoded individual-level survey responses from every member state that spans more than twenty years. Point estimates for the effect of the funds on public opinion are relatively small and statistically insignificant. Large effects can be ruled out. At the same time, I show that pre-existing attitudes towards European integration correlate with the EU's allocation decisions. Finally, I show that the funds do not have an impact on EU-related attitudes due to informational problems and explore whether the EU's activities may be misattributed to national political actors.
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2.284 Mikeys
#4. Complex Contagions in Charitable Donations
Jie Gao, Golnaz Ghasemi, Jason J. Jones, Grant Schoenebeck
Cascades over social networks can spread information, beliefs, diseases, technologies, and behaviors. Simple cascades spread from mere contact and produce submodular influence curves. Complex cascades assume agents with thresholding behavior and may produce non-submodular influence curves. In this study, we run three experiments that request charitable donations from human participants and experimentally manipulate whether and where their peers donate. We find evidence that we can (1) direct donations to an otherwise unpopular charity and (2) elicit complex contagion as evidenced by a non-submodular influence curve. The findings represent the most straightforward evidence to date of treatment-induced complex contagion - explicitly and formally defined - in human decision-making.
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2.284 Mikeys
#5. Ad Astra Academy: Using Space Exploration to Promote Student Learning and Motivation in the City of God, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Wladimir Lyra, Melissa Rice, Dhyan Adler-Belendez, Neil Jacobson, Ana Pantelic, Karolina Garcia, Carolyn Crow, Paul Hayne, Jeffrey Marlow
Motivation is a primary determinant of a student’s academic success, but in many under-resourced educational contexts around the world, opportunities to develop motivation are lacking. In the City of God neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we (a group of scientists and science educators) enacted brief, interactive interventions targeting teenage students at risk of dropping out of school. Students participated in an immersive 5-day program, followed by a six-month break, before completing the second, 3-day program. Participants learned how to use the scientific method in real-world settings to generate new knowledge. In order to consolidate these knowledge gains and bolster the program’s inspirational power, capstone projects empowered participants to speak with NASA mission managers and, in some cases, acquire never-before-seen images of Mars. While longitudinal study and a more robust sample size are required to bolster conclusions about the efficacy of our approach, initial results suggest that Ad Astra programs...
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2.284 Mikeys
#6. Consequences of infant adoption in Taiwan, 1906-1945: The impact of regional context and household composition on child mortality
Tim Riswick
Little is known about health outcomes after adoption in historical non-Western settings and previous studies have found contradictory results of the influence of adoption on mortality risks. This study investigates if, and how, adoption of infants increased child mortality risks compared to non-adopted children. Moreover, it goes further than existing studies by investigating if, and how, after adoption, household composition and regional context influenced child mortality risks of these adopted children in Taiwan during the period 1906-1945. It uses the Taiwan Historical Household Register Database to answer these questions, estimating univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models. The study demonstrates that child mortality risks of both male and female adopted children were much higher compared to non-adopted children. After adoption, household composition was especially important for adopted girls. In particular, similarly aged siblings increased child mortality risks of girls, indicating that the adoptees...
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socarxivpapers: #SocArXiv: Consequences of infant adoption in Taiwan, 1906-1945: The impact of regional context and household composition on child mortality https://t.co/AYmgmCF3Hh
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2.284 Mikeys
#7. Research note: Infant mortality in Denmark from 1835 to 1854 using the Human Mortality Database
Catalina Torres
This short research note explains a specific issue concerning historical data for Denmark in the Human Mortality Database: for the period 1835-1854, Danish infant mortality is considerably over-estimated in the HMD, as the stillbirths are mistakenly included among the deaths at age 0. The impact of this issue on other general measures of mortality (such as life expectancy at birth) is demonstrated, and a solution is proposed (including the necessary data in Appendix).
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socarxivpapers: #SocArXiv: Research note: Infant mortality in Denmark from 1835 to 1854 using the Human Mortality Database https://t.co/YlIvg69xTR
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2.007 Mikeys
#8. MANAGING THE STUDENT PEER-REVIEW PROCESS USING TRELLO: COMMENTS AND PROTOCOL
Anna Kalizhanova, Taissiya Maryshkina, Margarita Ishmuratova, Raissa Ilisheva, Dana Akhmetova
A new approach to the peer-review process that involves students to cooperate on Trello Board is proposed. Developing a peer-review culture among 1-grade students contribute to preparing highly professional specialists by graduation.
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1.997 Mikeys
#9. Investment Capacity and the Electoral Marketplace: Evidence from Brazil
Victor Araújo, Maurício Izumi, Fernando Limongi, Umberto Mignozzetti
The importance of money in elections is a hallmark of contemporary democracies. In this paper, we study how investment capacity, defined as the resources remaining after the municipality perform the mandatory expenditures, influences elections in Brazil. We theorize that when a politician wins the election, this generates commitment problems in low investment capacity municipalities, as new mayors are unable to reward the firms that contributed to their campaigns. We test these claims by considering a close-elections regression discontinuity design coupled with heterogeneous quantile effects for Brazilian municipalities between 2000 and 2012. We find that incumbent mayors in towns with low investment capacity receive less campaign donation afterward and are more disadvantaged in their reelection contests. The results are robust to design variations and changes in party labels or mayoral characteristics. Our findings have implications for the influence of money on politics in democratic countries.
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1.997 Mikeys
#10. Electoral Systems, Competition, and Incentives for Corruption
Umberto Mignozzetti
What is the effect of electoral rules on political corruption? While the influence of electoral systems on accountability and representation has been widely studied, the link between electoral systems and corruption remains sparse. This paper develops a model for the interplay between corruption and electoral rules, considering the incentives for challengers to expose the corruption undertaken by the incumbents. I identify two major components: first, rules that increase competition create incentives for freeriding, as challengers would prefer that other challengers pay the cost of exposure. Second, larger district sizes create coordination problems, as the same incumbent may be overexposed, while others were not exposed at all. These characteristics make a mix of high competitiveness and PR the worst system regarding incentives for corruption. I show that these predictions hold empirically using quasi-experimental data from Brazilian municipalities. This study has implications for the design of electoral institutions.
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