Archive for the ‘academia’ Category

Heated Battle for U.S. Senate Draws Deluge of Outside Group Ads, Most Are Dark Money

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Heated Battle for U.S. Senate Draws Deluge of Outside Group Ads, Most Are Dark Money
Source: Wesleyan Media Project

With prognosticators giving even odds that Republicans will take over the U.S. Senate after this November’s elections, outside groups are taking notice. Almost 52 percent of ads aired in favor of Republican candidates have been sponsored by interest groups, and that figure is 40 percent on the Democratic side. Groups have spent an estimated $97 million on advertising in Senate races this election cycle, which is up from the estimated $78 million spent to this point in the 2012 election cycle. Table 1 provides total ad counts by sponsor in Senate races in the current and the 2012 election cycles, including all ads aired through August 30 in each cycle.

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After Midnight: A Regression Discontinuity Design in Length of Postpartum Hospital Stays

September 17, 2014 Comments off

After Midnight: A Regression Discontinuity Design in Length of Postpartum Hospital Stays (PDF)
Source: Columbia University (Almond), MIT (Doyle)

Estimates of moral hazard in health insurance markets can be confounded by adverse selection. This paper considers a plausibly exogenous source of variation in insurance coverage for childbirth in California. We find that additional health insurance coverage induces substantial extensions in length of hospital stay for mother and newborn. However, remaining in the hospital longer has no effect on readmissions or mortality, and the estimates are precise. Our results suggest that for uncomplicated births, minimum insurance mandates incur substantial costs without detectable health benefits.

The Role of Contagion in the Housing Boom (and Bust)

September 16, 2014 Comments off

The Role of Contagion in the Housing Boom (and Bust)
Source: Knowledge@Wharton

A run-up in housing prices in one metropolitan area has the ability to cause a similar housing boom in a neighboring area — but recent Wharton research examining the housing surge, and subsequent bust, in the middle of the last decade finds that such a bump cannot be explained fully by fundamental economic factors such as the spread of higher incomes or new jobs sparking greater employment in a nearby city.

The research paper, “The Role of Contagion in the Last American Housing Cycle,” was written by Wharton real estate professors Joseph Gyourko and Fernando Ferreira, and doctoral students Anthony DeFusco and Wenjie Ding.

The paper examines the boom, which crested in the middle of the last decade, followed by a woeful tumble that caused many homeowners to owe more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. The authors use that sinister sounding word, “contagion,” to describe the phenomenon of a housing boom spreading from one area to a neighboring area.

They illustrate the phenomenon in a series of maps that show the housing boom spreading, year after year, from region to neighboring region. It started in 1997 in California and the area connecting New York and Boston, slowly spreading along either coast, and into Arizona, Nevada and Florida.

The researchers crunched the numbers and found that as one metropolitan statistical area, or MSA, experienced a boom, its neighboring MSA often also saw a bump in activity, and remained higher for several years.

Website linking: The growing problem of “link rot” and best practices for media and online publishers

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Note to FullTextReports followers: This is an excellent article from Journalist’s Resource, a project of Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center and the Carnegie-Knight Initiative. Food for thought and good advice for anyone who publishes anything online. Please share it widely. I’ll leave it here, at the top of FTR for a week or so and then move it off into the archive.

Website linking: The growing problem of “link rot” and best practices for media and online publishers
Source: Harvard Kennedy School of Government

The Internet is an endlessly rich world of sites, pages and posts — until it all ends with a click and a “404 not found” error message. While the hyperlink was conceived in the 1960s, it came into its own with the HTML protocol in 1991, and there’s no doubt that the first broken link soon followed.

On its surface, the problem is simple: A once-working URL is now a goner. The root cause can be any of a half-dozen things, however, and sometimes more: Content could have been renamed, moved or deleted, or an entire site could have evaporated. Across the Web, the content, design and infrastructure of millions of sites are constantly evolving, and while that’s generally good for users and the Web ecosystem as a whole, it’s bad for existing links.

In its own way, the Web is also a very literal-minded creature, and all it takes is a single-character change in a URL to break a link. For example, many sites have stopped using “www,” and even if their content remains the same, the original links may no longer work. The rise of CMS platforms such as WordPress have led to the fall of static HTML sites with their .htm and .html extensions, and with each relaunch, untold thousands of links die. And even if a core URL remains the same, many sites frequently append login information or search terms to URLs, and those are ephemeral. As the Web has grown, the problem has been complicated by search engines, which crawl the Web and archive — briefly — URLs and pages.

Chief Sustainability Officers: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Chief Sustainability Officers: Who Are They and What Do They Do? (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

While a number of studies document that organizations go through numerous stages as they increase their commitment to sustainability over time, we know little about the role of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) in this process. Using survey and interview data we analyze how a CSO’s authority and responsibilities differ across organizations that are in different stages of sustainability commitment. We document increasing organizational authority of the CSO as organizations increase their commitment to sustainability moving from the Compliance to the Efficiency and then to the Innovation stage. However, we also document a decentralization of decision rights from the CSO to different functions, largely driven by sustainability strategies becoming more idiosyncratic at the Innovation stage. The study concludes with a discussion of practices that CSOs argue to accelerate the commitment of organizations to sustainability.

Health Governance Near the End of Life: American law and policy on refusal of life – sustaining treatment and medical aid in dying

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Health Governance Near the End of Life: American law and policy on refusal of life – sustaining treatment and medical aid in dying
Source: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

This paper is a study of the development of American law and policy concerning medical decisionmaking about the use of life – sustaining medical treatment and medical aid in dying . It examines the dynamics of the judicial governance of health as a discursive process of normative framing. In this case, the discursive process in health governance focuses on the concepts of rights, individualistic personhood, pluralistic and subjective co nceptions of interests and the good. The paper considers the work of Ronald Dworkin and other philosophers who have addressed the right to refuse life – sustaining treatment and the legalization of physician aid in dying. It argues that conjoining the right to refuse life – sustaining medical treatment and the right to physician aid in dying is problematic both conceptually and practically. Conceptually it rests on an abstractly individualistic and privatized notion of autonomy. Practically it is insensitive to existential and phenomenological concerns in a delicate communicative process. Alternative conceptions are explored in the paper, including the notion of the “relational integrity ” of the person (including bodily integrity) and “moral trespass.”

Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students?

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Does Gifted Education Work? For Which Students? (PDF)
Source: UC Berkeley and University of Miami

Education policy makers have struggled for decades with the question of how to best serve high ability “gifted” students. A key issue of contention is whether eligibility for gifted programs should be based mainly on IQ, or on broader measures that take better account of both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Using data from a large urban school district, we study the impacts of an intensive gifted education program that provides the same treatment to three distinct groups of fourth grade students: non-disadvantaged students with IQ scores of 130 or more; subsidized lunch participants and English language learners with IQ scores of 116 or more; and high-achieving students who do not meet the above IQ cutoffs, but qualify through high scores on state achievement tests. Regression discontinuity (RD) estimates based on the IQ thresholds for the first two groups show no effects on reading or math achievement. In contrast, RD estimates based on test score ranks for the high-achieving group show significant gains in reading and math, with treatment-on-the treated effects of 0.2 to 0.3 standard deviation units. Our results suggest that programs for high-potential students may be more effective for students selected on the basis of achievement than for those selected on the basis of IQ alone.


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