Sociological Science: Recent Research

Stylized Facts in the Social Sciences

Daniel Hirschman

Sociological Science, July 19, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a26

Abstract

0

Stylized facts are empirical regularities in search of theoretical, causal explanations. Stylized facts are both positive claims (about what is in the world) and normative claims (about what merits scholarly attention). Much of canonical social science research can be usefully characterized as the production or contestation of stylized facts. Beyond their value as grist for the theoretical mill of social scientists, stylized facts also travel directly into the political arena. Drawing on three recent examples, I show how stylized facts can interact with existing folk causal theories to reconstitute political debates and how tensions in the operationalization of folk concepts drive contention around stylized fact claims.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Daniel Hirschman: Department of Sociology, Brown University
Email: daniel_hirschman@brown.edu

Acknowledgements: I thank Beth Berman, Jamie Budnick, Wendy Espeland, Isaac Reed, and audiences at the 2013 Junior Theorists Symposium and the Michigan Social Theory Workshop for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.

  • Citation:Hirschman, Daniel. 2016. “Stylized Facts in the Social Sciences.” Sociological Science 3: 604-626.
  • Received: April 22, 2016
  • Accepted: April 29, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a26
0

The Consequences of the National Math and Science Performance Environment for Gender Differences in STEM Aspiration

Allison Mann, Thomas A. DiPrete

Sociological Science, July 12, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a25

Abstract

0

Using the lens of expectation states theory, which we formalize in Bayesian terms, this article examines the influences of national performance and self-assessment contexts on gender differences in the rate of aspiring to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations. We demonstrate that girls hold themselves to a higher performance standard than do boys before forming STEM orientations, and this gender “standards gap” grows with the strength of a country’s performance environment. We also demonstrate that a repeatedly observed paradox in this literature—namely, that the STEM gender gap increases with a more strongly gender-egalitarian national culture—vanishes when the national performance culture is taken into account. Whereas other research has proposed theories to explain the apparent paradox as an empirical reality, we demonstrate that the empirical relationship is as expected; net of the performance environment, countries with a more gender-egalitarian culture have a smaller gender gap in STEM orientations. We also find, consistent with our theory, that the proportion of high-performing girls among STEM aspirants grows with the strength of the national performance environment even as the overall gender gap in STEM orientations grows because of offsetting behavior by students at the lower end of the performance distribution.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Allison Mann: Sociology Department, Columbia University
Email: alm2174@columbia.edu

Thomas A. DiPrete: Sociology Department, Columbia University
Email: tad61@columbia.edu

Acknowledgements: This project was supported by Award Number R01EB010584 from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering or the National Institutes of Health. We acknowledge helpful comments by Claudia Buchmann and Joscha Legewie.

  • Citation: Mann, Allison, and Thomas A. DiPrete. 2016. “The Consequences of the National Math and Science Performance Environment for Gender Differences in STEM Aspirations.” Sociological Science 3: 568-603.
  • Received: February 22, 2016
  • Accepted: March 31, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a25
0

American Exceptionalism Revisited: Tax Relief, Poverty Reduction, and the Politics of Child Tax Credits

Joshua T. McCabe, Elizabeth Popp Berman

Sociological Science, July 8, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a24

Abstract

0

In the 1990s, several liberal welfare regimes (LWRs) introduced child tax credits (CTCs) aimed at reducing child poverty. While in other countries these tax credits were refundable, the United States alone introduced a nonrefundable CTC. As a result, the United States was the only country in which poor and working-class families were paradoxically excluded from these new benefits. A comparative analysis of Canada and the United States shows that American exceptionalism resulted from the cultural legacy of distinct public policies. We argue that policy changes in the 1940s institutionalized different “logics of appropriateness” that later constrained policymakers in the 1990s. Specifically, the introduction of family allowances in Canada and other LWR countries naturalized a logic of income supplementation in which families could legitimately receive cash benefits without the stigma of “welfare.” Lacking this policy legacy, American attempts to introduce a refundable CTC were quickly derailed by policymakers who saw it as equivalent to welfare. Instead, they introduced a narrow, nonrefundable CTC under the alternative logic of “tax relief,” even though this meant excluding the lowest-income families. The cultural legacy of past policies can explain American exceptionalism not only with regard to CTCs but to other social policies as well.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Joshua T.McCabe: The Freedom Project, Wellesley College
Email: jmccabe@wellesley.edu

Elizabeth Popp Berman: Department of Sociology, University at Albany, SUNY
Email: epberman@albany.edu

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Nadya Hajj, Sarah Quinn, and audiences at the University of Toronto and Social Science History Association for comments on various versions of this article.

  • Citation: McCabe, Joshua T., and Elizabeth Popp Berman. 2016. “American Exceptionalism Revisited: Tax Relief, Poverty Reduction, and the Politics of Child Tax Credits.” Sociological Science 3: 540-567.
  • Received: March 16, 2016
  • Accepted: March 27, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a24
0

The Bell Curve Revisited: Testing Controversial Hypotheses with Molecular Genetic Data

Dalton Conley, Benjamin Domingue

Sociological Science, July 5, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a23

Abstract

3

In 1994, the publication of Herrnstein’s and Murray’s The Bell Curve resulted in a social science maelstrom of responses. In the present study, we argue that Herrnstein’s and Murray’s assertions were made prematurely, on their own terms, given the lack of data available to test the role of genotype in the dynamics of achievement and attainment in U.S. society. Today, however, the scientific community has access to at least one dataset that is nationally representative and has genome-wide molecular markers. We deploy those data from the Health and Retirement Study in order to test the core series of propositions offered by Herrnstein and Murray in 1994. First, we ask whether the effect of genotype is increasing in predictive power across birth cohorts in the middle twentieth century. Second, we ask whether assortative mating on relevant genotypes is increasing across the same time period. Finally, we ask whether educational genotypes are increasingly predictive of fertility (number ever born [NEB]) in tandem with the rising (negative) association of educational outcomes and NEB. The answers to these questions are mostly no; while molecular genetic markers can predict educational attainment, we find little evidence for the proposition that we are becoming increasingly genetically stratified.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Dalton Conley: Department of Sociology, Princeton University
Email: dconley@princeton.edu

Benjamin Domingue: Graduate School of Education, Stanford University
Email: bdomingue@stanford.edu

Acknowledgements: Funding for this study was provided by the Russell Sage Foundation, Grant 83-15-29. This research uses data from the HRS, which is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (Grants NIA U01AG009740, RC2AG036495, and RC4AG039029) and conducted by the University of Michigan.

  • Citation: Conley, Dalton, and Benjamin Domingue. 2016. “The Bell Curve Revisited: Testing Controversial Hypotheses with Molecular Genetic Data.” Sociological Science 3: 520-539.
  • Received: January 19, 2016
  • Accepted: February 22, 2016
  • Editors: Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a23
3

Financialization Is Marketization! A Study of the Respective Impacts of Various Dimensions of Financialization on the Increase in Global Inequality

Olivier Godechot

Sociological Science, June 29, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a22

Abstract

0

In this article, I study the impact of financialization on the rise in inequality in 18 OECD countries from 1970 to 2011 and measure the respective roles of various forms of financialization: the growth of the financial sector; the growth of one of its subcomponents, financial markets; the financialization of non-financial firms; and the financialization of households. I test these impacts using cross-country panel regressions in OECD countries. I show first that the share of the finance sector within the GDP is a substantial driver of world inequality, explaining between 20 and 40 percent of its increase from 1980 to 2007. When I decompose this financial sector effect, I find that this evolution was mainly driven by the increase in the volume of stocks traded in national stock exchanges and by the volume of shares held as assets in banks’ balance sheets. By contrast, the financialization of non-financial firms and of households does not play a substantial role. Based on this inequality test, I therefore interpret financialization as being mainly a phenomenon of marketization, redefined as the growing amount of social energy devoted to the trade of financial instruments on financial markets.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Olivier Godechot: Sciences Po / MaxPo and OSC-CNRS, Axa Chair Holder
Email: olivier.godechot@sciencespo.fr

Acknowledgements: I am very grateful to Moritz Schularick for sharing his precious data on debt (Jordà and al., 2014). I would like to thank Alex Barnard, Emanuele Ferragina, Neil Fligstein, Elsa Massoc, Cornelia Woll and Nicolas Woloszko for comments on this article.

  • Citation: Godechot, Olivier. 2016. “Financialization Is Marketization! A Study of the Respective Impacts of Various Dimensions of Financialization on the Increase in Global Inequality” Sociological Science 3: 495-519.
  • Received: November 23, 2015
  • Accepted: March 16, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a22
0

Vocational Education and Employment over the Life Cycle

Andrea G. Forster, Thijs Bol, Herman G. van de Werfhorst

Sociological Science, June 24, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a21

Abstract

0

Vocationally educated individuals often find employment sooner after school than those with a general educational qualification. A recent study has argued that the higher employment probability associated with a vocational qualification reverses in later life. The main explanation is that although having (occupation-)specific skills is an advantage when entering the labor market, specific skills also make the vocationally educated less flexible. This life cycle effect is hypothesized to be especially strong in countries where the vocational system provides highly occupation-specific skills. We test these two hypotheses on cross-national data from PIAAC 2012. Using logistic regressions with country fixed effects, we find that individuals with a vocational qualification have a higher employment probability than those with a general qualification at the start of their career, but this pattern reverses in later life. In contrast to earlier findings, we do not find that this effect varies systematically across countries with different vocational educational systems.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Andrea G. Forster: Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam
Email: a.g.forster@uva.nl

Thijs Bol: Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam
Email: t.bol@uva.nl

Herman G. van de Werfhorst: Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam
Email: h.g.vandewerfhorst@uva.nl

Acknowledgements: This research was supported by several grants awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO): A Vici grant (number 453-14-017), a NWO/NRO-PROO grant Educational Systems and Functions of Education (number 411-10-920), and a NWO/NRO-ProBo grant The Future of Craftsmanship (number 405-15-400).

  • Citation: Forster, Andrea G., Thijs Bol, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst. 2016. “Vocational Education and Employment over the Life Cycle” Sociological Science 3: 473-494.
  • Received: December 3, 2015
  • Accepted: February 15, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a21
0

A Theory of the Evolution of Social Power: Natural Trajectories of Interpersonal Influence Systems along Issue Sequences

Noah E. Friedkin, Peng Jia, Francesco Bullo

Sociological Science, June 21, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a20

Abstract

0

This article reports new advancements in the theory of influence system evolution in small deliberative groups, and a novel set of empirical findings on such evolution. The theory elaborates the specification of the single-issue opinion dynamics of such groups, which has been the focus of theory development in the field of opinion dynamics, to include group dynamics that occur along a sequence of issues. The theory predicts an evolution of influence centralities along issue sequences based on elementary reflected appraisal mechanisms that modify influence network structure and flows of influence in the group. The new empirical findings, which are also reported in this article, present a remarkable suite of issue-sequence effects on influence network structure consistent with theoretical predictions.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Noah E. Friedkin: Center for Control, Dynamical Systems and Computation, University of California, Santa Barbara
Email: friedkin@soc.ucsb.edu

Peng Jia: Center for Control, Dynamical Systems and Computation, University of California, Santa Barbara
Email: pjia@engineering.ucsb.edu

Francesco Bullo: Center for Control, Dynamical Systems and Computation, University of California, Santa Barbara
Email: bullo@engineering.ucsb.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank the Editor and Associate Editors of this journal for their cogent comments. This material is based upon work supported by, or in part by, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory and the U. S. Army Research Office under grant numbers W911NF-15-1-0577, W911NF-15-1-0274, and W911NF-09-0001. The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

  • Citation: Friedkin, Noah E., Peng Jia, and Francesco Bullo. 2016. “A Theory of the Evolution of Social Power: Natural Trajectories of Interpersonal Influence Systems along Issue Sequences.” Sociological Science 3: 444-472.
  • Received: November 7, 2015
  • Accepted: February 4, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a20
0

Political Structures and Political Mores: Varieties of Politics in Comparative Perspective

Marion Fourcade, Evan Schofer

Sociological Science, June 16, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a19

Abstract

0

We offer an integrated study of political participation, bridging the gap between the literatures on civic engagement and social movements. Historically evolved institutions and culture generate different configurations of the political domain, shaping the meaning and forms of political activity in different societies. The structuration of the polity along the dimensions of “stateness” and “corporateness” accounts for cross-national differences in the way individuals make sense of and engage in the political sphere. Forms of political participation that are usually treated as istinct are actually interlinked and co-vary across national configurations. In societies where interests are represented in a formalized manner through corporatist arrangements, political participation revolves primarily around membership in pre-established groups and concerted negotiation, rather than extra-institutional types of action. By contrast, in “statist” societies the centralization and concentration of sovereignty in the state makes it the focal point of claim-making, driving social actors to engage in “public” activities and marginalizing private and, especially, market-based political forms. We test these and other hypotheses using cross-national data on political participation from the World Values Survey.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Marion Fourcade: Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
Email: fourcade@berkeley.edu

Evan Schofer: Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine
Email: schofer@uci.edu

Acknowledgements: The authors contributed equally to this article. We thank Irene Bloemraad, Steven Brint, David Frank, Ann Hironaka, Ronald Jepperson, Howard Kimmeldorf, John Meyer, Francisco Ramirez, Sandra Smith, Sarah Soule; members of the Stanford Comparative Workshop and the Irvine Comparative Sociology Workshop. The usual disclaimer applies.

  • Citation: Fourcade, Marion and Evan Schofer. 2016. “Political Structures and Political Mores: Varieties of Politics in Comparative Perspective” Sociological Science 3: 413-443.
  • Received: May 8, 2015
  • Accepted: December 23, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a19
0

Twentieth Century Intercohort Trends in Verbal Ability in the United States

Shawn F. Dorius, Duane F. Alwin, Julianna Pacheco

Sociological Science, June 13, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a18

Abstract

0

Vocabulary test score trends from the General Social Survey contradict the widespread conclusion that scores on standardized intelligence tests have systematically increased over the past century. We use a vocabulary test included in 20 nationally representative surveys administered since 1974 to test three hypotheses proposed to account for these trends, including changes in the formal measurement properties of the test, over-time changes in the meaning of education, and intercohort differences in exposure to words on the test. We find no support for the idea that test scores have declined because of changes in the structure of the test. Instead, our results show that education selectivity accounts for some cohort differences among prewar cohorts and that cohort-specific differences in exposure to words on the test account for nearly all variation in vocabulary scores of respondents born after 1945, suggesting different causal processes have influenced cohort verbal ability during distinct historical eras.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Shawn F. Dorius: Department of Sociology, Iowa State University
Email: sdorius@iastate.edu

Duane F. Alwin: Department of Sociology and Criminology, Pennsylvania State University
Email: dfa2@psu.edu

Julianna Pacheco: Department of Political Science, University of Iowa
Email: julianna-pacheco@uiowa.edu

Acknowledgements: This research was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Training Grant from the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan (T32 HD007339). Duane Alwin was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Aging (R01AG021203), a grant from the National Science Foundation (SES-1331454), and the McCourtney endowment, College of the Liberal Arts, Pennsylvania State University, during the writing of this article. Please direct correspondence to Shawn F. Dorius (sdorius@iastate.edu).

  • Citation: Dorius, Shawn F., Duane F. Alwin and Julianna Pacheco. 2016. “Twentieth Century Intercohort Trends in Verbal Ability in the United States.” Sociological Science 3: 383-412.
  • Received: January 13, 2016
  • Accepted: January 28, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a18
0

Trust and Public Support for Environmental Protection in Diverse National Contexts

Malcolm Fairbrother

Sociological Science, June 8, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a17

Abstract

0

Worldwide, most people share scientists’ concerns about environmental problems, but reject the solution that policy experts most strongly recommend: putting a price on pollution. Why? I show that this puzzling gap between the public’s positive concerns and normative preferences is due substantially to a lack of trust, particularly political trust. In multilevel models fitted to two international survey datasets, trust strongly predicts support for environmental protection within countries and, by some measures, among countries also. An influential competing theory holds that environmental attitudes correlate mostly with left versus right political ideology; the results here, however, show that this correlation is weaker and varies substantially from country to country—unlike that with trust. Theoretically, these results reflect that environmental degradation is a collective action problem and environmental protection a public good. Methodologically, they derive from the more flexible application of multilevel modeling techniques than in previous studies using such models.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Malcolm Fairbrother: School of Geographical Sciences, Cabot Institute, Centre for Multilevel Modelling, University of Bristol
Email: ggmhf@bristol.ac.uk

Acknowledgements: The author thanks Diego Miralles, Laura De Vito, Jan Mewes, and Jonas Edlund for helpful comments on earlier versions of this article, and audiences at the Institute for Futures Studies (Stockholm), Umeå University, Örebro University, Gothenburg University, Stockholm University, and the Institute for Social and Economic Research (Essex) for many constructive suggestions and criticisms. The research on which the article is based was funded in part by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfonds (Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, project number NHS14-2035:1), and a Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol.

  • Citation: Fairbrother, Malcolm. 2016. “Trust and Public Support for Environmental Protection in Diverse National Contexts.” Sociological Science 3: 359-382.
  • Received: March 3, 2016
  • Accepted: March 13, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a17
0

Integration Policies and Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes in Europe

Irena Kogan

Sociological Science, June 3, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a16

Abstract

0

This article assesses whether two integration policy measures (labor market training and counseling) reach the immigrants who need them and whether these policies improve immigrants’ labor market situations. We first examine the comprehensiveness of integration policies by linking Migration Integration Policy Index scores of immigrants’ labor market mobility with levels of immigrant participation in labor market training and counseling in 15 European countries. We find that provision with labor market training does not entirely correspond to policy intentions, whereas labor market counseling more closely achieves policies’ proclaimed aims. Second, we carry out propensity score matching analysis to estimate the effectiveness of immigrants’ integration policies. We find that labor market training and counseling do not improve immigrants’ employability or job status in three of the four analyzed countries, which lends weak support to the productivity skills argument, emphasizing instead the validity of the signaling and selection perspectives.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Irena Kogan: University of Mannheim
Email: kogan@mail.uni-mannheim.de

Acknowledgements: Earlier versions of the article were presented at ECSR Spring School, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin, March 23–27, 2015; Nuffield College Sociology Seminar, University of Oxford, June 3, 2015; and Annual BAGGS Conference on Inequality, University of Bamberg, September 29–30, 2015. We thank the participants for their valuable comments and suggestions.

  • Citation: Kogan, Irena. 2016. “Integration Policies and Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes in Europe.” Sociological Science 3: 335-358.
  • Received: January 16, 2016
  • Accepted: February 19, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a16
0

Pulling the Trigger: How Threats to the Nation Increase Support for Military Action via the Generation of Hubris

Yuval Feinstein

Sociological Science, May 25, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a15

Abstract

0

Previous studies of public opinion in the United States have reported positive associations between national hubris and support for military actions. This article argues that in addition to its stable aspect, national hubris has a contextual aspect: under perceived symbolic threats to the nation, national hubris increases and boosts support for military action. To test this argument, which is grounded in a sociological and social psychological understanding of individuals as members of collectivities who pursue a symbolic politics of status achievement and maintenance, a survey-experiment was conducted with a nationally representative sample. In the experiment, participants who were exposed to rhetoric that highlighted symbolic threats to the nation to justify an impending military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities reported higher levels of national hubris and were more likely to support the military action than either participants who were exposed to internationalist rhetoric or those in the control group.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Yuval Feinstein: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa
Email: fyuval@soc.haifa.ac.il

Acknowledgements: The author is grateful to the National Science Foundation for providing the funding for this research. The author also thanks Terece Bell, Jeremy Broekman, Philippe Duhart, Jennifer Eggerling-Boeck, Vered Kraus, Robert D. Mare, Zeynep Ozgen, David O. Sears, Andreas Wimmer, and Meir Yaish for their help and advice regarding theory, research design, and manuscript preparation. Previous versions of the article were presented at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association (2012), the Association for the Study of Nationalities (2012), and the Israeli Political Science Association (2013). I thank conveners and audiences for stimulating comments and challenging criticisms

  • Citation: Feinstein, Yuval. 2016. “Pulling the Trigger: How Threats to the Nation Increase Support for Military Action via the Generation of Hubris.” Sociological Science 3: 317-334.
  • Received: January 4, 2016
  • Accepted: February 8, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a15
0

The Strength of Weak Ties in MBA Job Search: A Within–Person Test

Jason Greenberg, Roberto M. Fernandez

Sociological Science, May 18, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a14

Abstract

0
Whether and how social ties create value has inspired substantial research in organizational theory, sociology, and economics. Scholars generally believe that social ties impact labor market outcomes. Two explanatory mechanisms have been identified, emphasizing access to better job offers in pecuniary terms and the efficacy of non-redundant information. The evidence informing each theory, however, has been inconsistent and circumstantial. We test predictions from both models using a rich set of job search data collected from an MBA student population, including detailed information about search channels and characteristics of job offers. Importantly, we can compare offers made to the same student derived via different search channels while accounting for industry, function, and non-pecuniary characteristics. We find that contrary to conventional wisdom, search through social networks typically results in job offers with lower total compensation (-17 percent for referrals through strong ties and -16 percent for referrals via weak ties vs. formal search). However, our models also show that students are considerably more likely to accept offers derived via weak ties. They do so because they are perceived to have greater growth potential and other non-pecuniary value. On balance, our tests are consistent with Granovetter’s argument that networks provide value by facilitating access to information that is otherwise difficult to obtain, rather than providing greater pecuniary compensation.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Jason Greenberg: Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University
Email: jgreenbe@stern.nyu.edu

Roberto M. Fernandez: MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: robertof@mit.edu

Acknowledgements: This paper was presented in a symposium at the annual American Sociological Association meeting honoring the fortieth anniversary of Mark Granovetter’s classic Getting a Job.We thank the organizing members of that symposium (Nina Bandelj and Emilio Castilla), co-panelists, and audience members for useful feedback. Thanks are also due audiences at Michigan-ICOS and NYU, Gino Cattani, and Mark Granovetter. All the usual disclaimers apply. Please send questions or comments to Jason Greenberg (jgreenbe@stern.nyu.edu)

  • Citation: Jason Greenberg and Roberto M. Fernandez.  2016.“The Strength of Weak Ties in MBA Job Search:  A Within–Person Test.” Sociological Science 3: 296-316
  • Received: January 4, 2016
  • Accepted: January 27, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a14
0

‘Membership Has Its Privileges’: Status Incentives and Categorical Inequality in Education

Thurston Domina, Andrew M. Penner, Emily K. Penner

Sociological Science, May 6, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a13

Abstract

0
Prizes – formal systems that publicly allocate rewards for exemplary behavior – play an increasingly important role in a wide array of social settings, including education. In this paper, we evaluate a prize system designed to boost achievement at two high schools by assigning students color-coded ID cards based on a previously low stakes test. Average student achievement on this test increased in the ID card schools beyond what one would expect from contemporaneous changes in neighboring schools. However, regression discontinuity analyses indicate that the program created new inequalities between students who received low-status and high-status ID cards. These findings indicate that status-based incentives create categorical inequalities between prize winners and others even as they reorient behavior toward the goals they reward.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Thurston Domina: School of Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Email: tdomina@email.unc.edu

Andrew M. Penner: Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine.  Email: penner@uci.edu

Emily K. Penner: Center for Education Policy Analysis, Stanford University. Email: epenner@stanford.edu

Acknowledgements: Research reported in this article was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers P01HD065704 and K01HD073319, by the Institute for Education Sciences under Award Number R305B130017, and by the Spencer Foundation under Award Number 201400180. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health, the Institute for Education Sciences, or the Spencer Foundation. The authors are grateful to Marianne Bitler, Thomas S. Dee, Ken Dodge, Greg Duncan, David Frank, Eric Grodsky, Andrew McEachin, Evan Schofer, Jeff Smith, and participants in the colloquia at Brown University and University of Wisconsin for useful comments and discussions.

  • Citation: Thurston Domina, Andrew M. Penner, and Emily K. Penner. 2016. “‘Membership Has Its Privileges’: Status Incentives and Categorical Inequality in Education.” Sociological Science 3: 264-295.
  • Received: June 23, 2015.
  • Accepted: August 17, 2015.
  • Editors: Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a13
0

Why is the Pack Persuasive? The Effect of Choice Status on Perceptions of Quality

Freda B. Lynn, Brent Simpson, Mark H. Walker, Colin Peterson

Sociological Science, April 8, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a12

Abstract

0
The logic of social proof and related arguments posits that decision makers interpret an actor’s sociometric position (such as popularity) as a signal for quality, especially when quality itself is difficult to ascertain. Although prior work shows that market-level behavioral patterns are consistent with this micro-level account, we seek to explicitly examine the extent to which (and the conditions under which) sociometric status information actually triggers assumptions about an actor’s underlying quality. We introduce two new web-based experiments to investigate how popularity impacts the selection of teammates. We find that the presence of popularity information creates a surprisingly robust quality halo around candidates in some situations but has no effect at all in others. Namely, consistent with Strang and Macy’s (2001) theory of adaptive emulation, choice status appears to affect quality perceptions as part of the rationalization for making attachments, but the halo disappears post-adoption. The implications of these results are discussed in the conclusion.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Freda B. Lynn: Department of Sociology, University of Iowa  Email: freda-lynn@uiowa.edu

Brent Simpson: Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina Email: BTS@mailbox.sc.edu

Mark H. Walker: Department of Sociology, Louisiana State University E-mail: mwalk67@lsu.edu

Colin Peterson: Department of Sociology, Stanford University E-mail: cpeterson@stanford.edu.

Acknowledgements: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1058236. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. We wish to thank Sarah Harkness and Michael Sauder for their helpful comments on study 1. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual Group Processes conference in 2014.

  • Citation: Freda B. Lynn, Brent Simpson, Mark H. Walker, and Colin Peterson. 2016. “Why is the Pack Persuasive? The Effect of Choice Status on Perceptions of Quality.” Sociological Science 3: 239-263.
  • Received: July 16, 2015.
  • Accepted: July 23, 2015.
  • Editors: Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a12
0

Viral Altruism? Charitable Giving and Social Contagion in Online Networks

Nicola Lacetera, Mario Macis, Angelo Mele

Sociological Science, March 24, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a11

Abstract

0
How do social media affect the success of charitable campaigns? We show that, despite the promise of online platforms to generate social network effects in generosity through social contagion or peer effects, these platforms may instead stimulate costless (and less impactful) forms of involvement. Online social contagion might thus be limited when it comes to contributing real money to charities. This study relies on both individual-level longitudinal data and experimental evidence from a social media application that facilitates donations while broadcasting donors’ activities to their contacts. We find that broadcasting is positively associated with donations, although some individuals appear to opportunistically broadcast a pledge and then delete it. Furthermore, broadcasting a pledge is associated with more pledges by a user’s contacts, suggesting the presence of network effects or social contagion. However, results from a field experiment where broadcasting of the initial pledges was randomized suggest that the observational findings were likely due to homophily rather than genuine contagion effects. The experiment also shows that, although the campaigns reached approximately 6.4 million users and generated considerable attention in the form of clicks and “likes,” only 30 donations were made. Finally, an online survey experiment indicates that both the presence of an intermediary and a fee contributed to the low donation rate.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Nicola Lacetera: Institute for Management and Innovation, University of Toronto  Email: nicola.lacetera@utoronto.ca

Mario Macis: Johns Hopkins University Email: mmacis@jhu.edu

Angelo Mele: Johns Hopkins University  Email: angelo.mele@jhu.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank Ehren Foss and Vanessa Swesnik at HelpAttack! and Casey Neese at Heifer International for their help and collaboration. We also thank Michael Price and participants at the ASSA Meetings in Philadelphia for useful comments. Financial support from the NET Institute (http://www.NETinst.org) and the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Small Grants Program is acknowledged. The study was conducted with approvals from the Homewood Institutional Review Board at the Johns Hopkins University and from the Office for Research Ethics at the University of Toronto.

  • Citation: Lacetera, Nicola, Mario Macis and Angelo Mele. 2015. “Viral Altruism? Charitable Giving and Social Contagion in Online Networks.” Sociological Science 3: 202-238.
  • Received: September 10, 2015.
  • Accepted: October 8, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a11
0

Can Incarceration Really Strip People of Racial Privilege?

Lance Hannon, Robert Defina

Sociological Science, March 18, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a10

Abstract

4
We replicate and reexamine Saperstein and Penner’s prominent 2010 study which asks whether incarceration changes the probability that an individual will be seen as black or white (regardless of the individual’s phenotype). Our reexamination shows that only a small part of their empirical analysis is suitable for addressing this question (the fixed-effects estimates), and that these results are extremely fragile. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we find that being interviewed in jail/prison does not increase the survey respondent’s likelihood of being classified as black, and avoiding incarceration during the survey period does not increase a person’s chances of being seen as white. We conclude that the empirical component of Saperstein and Penner’s work needs to be reconsidered and new methods for testing their thesis should be investigated. The data are provided for other researchers to explore.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Lance Hannon: Department of Sociology, Villanova University. Email: lance.hannon@villanova.edu

Robert DeFina: Department of Sociology, Villanova University.  Email: robert.defina@villanova.edu

  • Citation: Lance Hannon and Robert DeFina. 2015. “Can Incarceration Really Strip People of Racial Privilege?” Sociological Science 3: 190-201.
  • Received: October 16, 2015.
  • Accepted: November 28, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a10
4

Disaster, Disruption to Family Life, and Intimate Partner Violence: The Case of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti

Abigail Weitzman, Julia Andrea Behrman

Sociological Science, March 7, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a9

Abstract

0
Natural disasters have inherently social dimensions because they exacerbate preexisting inequalities and disrupt social norms and institutions. Despite a growing interest in the sociological aspects of disasters, few studies have quantitatively explored how disasters alter intrahousehold family dynamics. In this article, we develop and test a conceptual framework that explicates how natural disasters affect an important component of family life: intimate partner violence (IPV). We combine two waves of geocoded Demographic and Health Surveys data, collected before and after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, with spatial data on variation in the earthquake’s destruction. Our findings indicate that exposure to earthquake devastation increased the probability of both physical and sexual IPV one to two years following the disaster. These increases were accompanied by substantial changes in family functioning, the household economy, and women’s access to their social networks. Select household-level experiences during and after the earthquake, such as displacement, were also positively associated with IPV. These findings provide new insights into the multidimensional effects of disasters on family life and have important theoretical and policy implications that extend beyond the particular case of Haiti.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Abigail Weitzman: Population Studies Center, University of Michigan  Email: aweitzma@umich.edu

Julia Andrea Behrman: New York University  Email: Jab965@nyu.edu

Acknowledgements: This research was made possible with the generous support of the National Science Foundation (grant 2011117755) and theWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundation/International Institute for Education (grant 2012-7263). Background support was also provided by the grant “Team 1000+ Saving Brain: Economic Impact of Poverty-Related Risk Factors for Cognitive Development and Human Capital” 0072-03 provided to the grantee, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, by Grand Challenges Canada. We are grateful to Paula England, Jere Behrman, and Dalton Conley for their invaluable feedback on this research. We are also grateful to Himanshu Mistry and New York University’s Data Service Studio for assisting us in our spatial analyses.

  • Citation: Weitzman, Abigail and Julia Andrea Behrman. 2016. “Disaster, Disruption to Family Life, and Intimate Partner Violence: The Case of the 2010 .” Sociological Science 3: 167-189.
  • Received: December 3, 2015.
  • Accepted: December 31, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a9

 

0