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Publication Bias in the Social Sciences: Unlocking the File Drawer

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Publication Bias in the Social Sciences: Unlocking the File Drawer (PDF)
Source: Stanford University

We study publication bias in the social sciences by analyzing a known population of conducted studies–221 in total–where there is a full accounting of what is published and unpublished. We leverage TESS, an NSF-sponsored program where researchers propose survey-based experiments to be run on representative samples of American adults. Because TESS proposals undergo rigorous peer review, the studies in the sample all exceed a substantial quality threshold. Strong results are 40 percentage points more likely to be published than null results, and 60 percentage points more likely to be written up. We provide not only direct evidence of publication bias, but also identify the stage of research production at which publication bias occurs—authors do not write up and submit null findings.

See: Why No News Is Still Important News in Research (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

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Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates – Fall 2008 Cohort

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates – Fall 2008 Cohort
Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

This third annual report on national college completion rates offers the first look at the six-year outcomes for students who began postsecondary education in fall 2008, the cohort that entered college during the Great Recession. It looks at the various pathways students took toward degree completion, as well as the completion rates through May 2014 for the different student types who followed each pathway. The report also provides discussion comparing the fall 2008 cohort’s outcomes to those of the fall 2007 cohort (analyzed in our second annual completions report, Signature Report 6).

Understanding Social Effects in the In-Flight Marketplace: Characterization and Managerial Implications

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Understanding Social Effects in the In-Flight Marketplace: Characterization and Managerial Implications
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

This paper investigates the in-flight marketplace. It uses detailed data of in-flight purchases to characterize the factors underlying purchasing behavior, including pre- and in-flight factors and in particular social effects. We find that the number of passengers and the flight duration increase in-flight sales. Delays also increase in-flight purchases but they suffer cannibalization from compensations offered to passengers. At the individual level we show that the classical social influence theories do not suffice to explain all patterns in the data. Omission neglect, product contagion and goal balancing are proposed as complementary theories. The analysis shows social effects play a significant role: On average a passenger is approximately 30% more likely to buy after being exposed to a lateral purchase. Importantly, we find that willingness to buy is positively correlated with responsiveness to social influence. Because of this homophily and social feedback effects, otherwise nuisance factors, can provide targeting value for the firm: Behavioral-based targeting can up to double the relative social spillovers of marketing actions.

New College Board Trends in Higher Education Reports: College Prices Increase at a Slower Pace While Student Borrowing Declines for the Third Consecutive Year

November 14, 2014 Comments off

New College Board Trends in Higher Education Reports: College Prices Increase at a Slower Pace While Student Borrowing Declines for the Third Consecutive Year
Source: College Board

While published tuition and fees at colleges and universities continue to rise more rapidly than the rate of inflation, the rate of increase has slowed. Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, the percentage increases in published tuition and fees (in all sectors) were smaller than the average annual increases over the previous five, 10, and 30 years, according to the College Board’s 2014 Trends in Higher Education reports — Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing — released today. Total education borrowing fell by 8% between 2012-13 and 2013-14, and by 13% over three years. Borrowing per student declined by 6% in one year and by 9% between 2010-11 and 2013-14.

College pricing and financial aid look very different in 2013 and 2014 than they did in 2010. As the economy has begun to recover from the recent recession, published price increases have slowed, making it clear that prices are not on an accelerating path. However, price increases continue to accumulate, totaling 17% between 2007-08 and 2014-15 at private nonprofit four-year colleges, and almost 30% at public two-year and four-year institutions, after adjusting for inflation.

Variation in the Care of Surgical Conditions: Obesity (Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care Series)

November 13, 2014 Comments off

Variation in the Care of Surgical Conditions: Obesity (PDF)
Source: The Dartmouth Institute

The new Dartmouth Atlas series on variation in the care of surgical conditions, starting with this report on the surgical treatment of obesity, raises new questions regarding surgical management of both common and less frequently occurring medical conditions. This report carefully details the scope of the ever-increasing problem of obesity and, as in previous Atlas analyses, emphasizes geographic practice variation in surgical treatment rates. However, the report also takes a more longitudinal view. The changes over time in which bariatric procedure is favored are particularly fascinating, driven as they appear to be by a mix of clinical evidence— including emerging long-term results—and reimbursement policy.

U.S. Workers’ Diverging Locations: Policy and Inequality Implications

November 7, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Workers’ Diverging Locations: Policy and Inequality Implications (PDF)
Source: Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Over the past three decades, the earnings of workers with a college education have substantially increased relative to those with less education. In 1980, the average college graduate earned 38% more than the average high school graduate. By 2000, the college-high school graduate wage gap increased to 57%, and by 2011 it rose to 73%.1 At the same time, workers have become increasingly spatially segregated by education. Cities that initially had a large share of college graduates in 1980 increasingly attracted larger shares of college educated workers from 1980 to 2000, while cities with relatively less educated populations in 1980 gained few college grads over the following 20 years. The increasingly “highly educated cities” also experienced higher wage growth for both low- and high-skill workers and substantially larger increases in housing costs. The economic trajectories of these increasing high skill cities are diverging from those with fewer college graduates (Moretti, 2013).

Children’s Coverage at a Crossroads: Progress Slows

November 6, 2014 Comments off

Children’s Coverage at a Crossroads: Progress Slows
Source: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute

In 2013, for the first time in recent history, the uninsured rate for children did not significantly decline from the previous year, remaining just above seven percent. Yet in the past five years, the number of uninsured children declined substantially from just under 6.9 million to just over 5.2 million in large part due to the success of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in covering children. Whether this promising five-year trend in children’s coverage continues, stalls, or reverses itself will be influenced by numerous factors and forthcoming policy decisions–including, most notably, whether or not Congress extends funding for CHIP in 2015.

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