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Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Denmark and the United States

Stefan B. Andrade, Jens-Peter Thomsen

Sociological Science, February 14, 2018
DOI 10.15195/v5.a5

An overall finding in comparative mobility studies is that intergenerational mobility is greater in Scandinavia than in liberal welfare-state countries like the United States and United Kingdom. However, in a recent study, Landersø and Heckman (L & H) (2017) argue that intergenerational educational mobility in Denmark and the United States is remarkably similar. L & H’s findings run contrary to widespread beliefs and have been echoed in academia and mass media on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In this article, we reanalyze educational mobility in Denmark and the United States using the same data sources as L & H. We apply several different methodological approaches from economics and sociology, and we consistently find that educational mobility is higher in Denmark than in the United States.

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Stefan B. Andrade: Department of Social Policy and Welfare, The Danish Center for Social Science Research
Email: sba@vive.dk

Jens-Peter Thomsen: Department of Social Policy and Welfare, The Danish Center for Social Science Research
Email: jpt@vive.dk

  • Citation: Andrade, Stefan B., and Jens-Peter Thomsen. 2018. “Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Denmark and the United States.” Sociological Science 5: 93-113.
  • Received: December 7, 2017
  • Accepted: January 9, 2018
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v5.a5
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Pathways to Carbon Pollution: The Interactive Effects of Global, Political, and Organizational Factors on Power Plants’ CO2 Emissions

Don Grant, Andrew K. Jorgenson, Wesley Longhofer

Sociological Science, January 25, 2018
DOI 10.15195/v5.a4

Climate change is arguably the greatest threat to society as power plants, the single largest human source of heat-trapping pollution, continue to emit massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Sociologists have identified several possible structural determinants of electricity-based CO2 emissions, including international trade and global normative regimes, national political–legal systems, and organizational size and age. But because they treat these factors as competing predictors, scholars have yet to examine how they might work together to explain why some power plants emit vastly more pollutants than others. Using a worldwide data set of utility facilities and fuzzy-set methods, we analyze the conjoint effects of global, political, and organizational conditions on fossil-fueled plants’ CO2 emissions. Findings reveal that hyperpolluters’ emission rates are a function of four distinct causal recipes, which we label coercive, quiescent, expropriative, and inertial configurations, and these same sets of conditions also increase plants’ emission levels.

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Don Grant: Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder
Email: Don.GrantII@colorado.edu

Andrew K. Jorgenson: Department of Sociology and Environmental Studies, Boston College
Email: jorgenan@bc.edu

Wesley Longhofer: Department of Organization and Management, Emory University
Email: wesley.longhofer@emory.edu

Acknowledgements: Direct all correspondence to Don Grant, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder CO 80309. This research was supported with a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation (#1357483, 1357495, 1357497). We thank Jamie Vickery and Urooj Raja for their excellent research assistance. We also thank Jason Boardman and Ryan Masters for their technical comments and assistance. Liam Downey, Giacomo Negro, David Frank, Elizabeth Boyle, Sarah Babb, Juliet Schor, and audiences at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, 2016 Future of World Society Theory Conference, Boston College’s Environmental Sociology Workshop, and Emory Law School provided helpful comments on earlier drafts.

  • Citation: Grant, Don, Andrew K. Jorgenson, and Wesley Longhofer. 2018. “Pathways to Carbon Pollution: The Interactive Effects of Global, Political, and Organizational Factors on Power Plants’ CO2 Emissions.” Sociological Science 5: 58-92.
  • Received: November 15, 2017
  • Accepted: December 8, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Sarah Soule
  • DOI: 10.15195/v5.a4
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Social Influence on Observed Race

Zsófia Boda

Sociological Science, January 18, 2018
DOI 10.15195/v5.a3

This article introduces a novel theoretical approach for understanding racial fluidity, emphasizing the social embeddedness of racial classifications. We propose that social ties affect racial perceptions through within-group micromechanisms, resulting in discrepancies between racial self-identifications and race as classified by others. We demonstrate this empirically on data from 12 Hungarian high school classes with one minority group (the Roma) using stochastic actor-oriented models for the analysis of social network panel data. We find strong evidence for social influence: individuals tend to accept their peers’ judgement about another student’s racial category; opinions of friends have a larger effect than those of nonfriends. Perceived social position also matters: those well-accepted among majority-race peers are likely to be classified as majority students themselves. We argue that similar analyses in other social contexts shall lead to a better understanding of race and interracial processes.

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Zsófia Boda: Chair of Social Networks, ETH Zürich; Nuffield College, University of Oxford; MTA TK “Lendület” Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Email: zsofia.boda@gess.ethz.ch

Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA; grant K 881336) and the Economic and Social Research Council (grant ES/J500112/1). The data were collected in the scope of the MTA TK “Lendület” Research Center for Educational and Network Studies. I would like to thank Tom Snijders, Janne Jonsson, Károly Takács, Bálint Néray, András Vörös, Christoph Stadtfeld, Per Block, Brooks Paige, James Moody, John Ermisch, and many other colleagues for helpful comments on different versions of this article.

  • Citation: Boda, Zsófia. 2018. “Social Influence on Observed Race.” Sociological Science 5: 29-57.
  • Received: November 4, 2017
  • Accepted: December 4, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Mario Small
  • DOI: 10.15195/v5.a3
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Last Name Selection in Audit Studies

Charles Crabtree, Volha Chykina

Sociological Science, January 11, 2018
DOI 10.15195/v5.a2

In this article, we build on Gaddis (2017a) by illuminating a key variable plausibly related to racial perceptions of last names—geography. We show that the probability that any individual belongs to a race is conditional not only on their last name but also on surrounding racial demographics. Specifically, we demonstrate that the probability of a name denoting a race varies considerably across contexts, and this is more of a problem for some names than others. This result has two important implications for audit study research: it suggests important limitations for (1) the generalizability of audit study findings and (2) for the interpretation of geography-based conditional effects. This means that researchers should be careful to select names that consistently signal racial groups regardless of local demographics. We provide a slim R package that can help researchers do this.

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Charles Crabtree: Department of Political Science, University of Michigan
Email: ccrabtr@umich.edu

Volha Chykina: Department of Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University
Email: vuc125@psu.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank Holger L. Kern for his extremely helpful comments. All data and computer code necessary to replicate the results in this analysis are available at
http://github.com/cdcrabtree/auditr

  • Citation: Crabtree, Charles, and Volha Chykina. 2018. “Last Name Selection in Audit Studies.” Sociological Science 5: 21-28.
  • Received: November 2, 2017
  • Accepted: November 11, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v5.a2
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Status Characteristics and the Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence

Andreas Tutić, Sascha Grehl

Sociological Science, January 4, 2018
DOI 10.15195/v5.a1

We present experimental evidence on the effects of status characteristics in problems involving the provision of public goods. According to Status Characteristics Theory (SCT), status differentials affect performance expectations, which in turn affect the power and prestige order in group tasks. Applied to problems of collective action, SCT suggests several intriguing hypotheses (cf. Simpson, Willer, and Ridgeway 2012). Most importantly, the theory proposes that high-status actors show a greater initiative in and also overall contribute more to the provision of public goods than low-status actors. We put this theoretical claim to a strict experimental test, in addition to other hypotheses and conjectures. In our experimental setup, the volunteer’s timing dilemma is used as the group task. Three experimental conditions are implemented, which differ with respect to the way status groups are formed on basis of the type of status characteristic. Our results validate the central hypothesis cited above and also lend support to a conjecture regarding the beneficial effects of heterogeneity in status.

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Andreas Tutić: Institute of Sociology, Leipzig University
Email: andreas.tutic@sozio.uni-leipzig.de

Sascha Grehl: Institute of Sociology, Leipzig University
Email: sascha.grehl@uni-leipzig.de

Acknowledgements: Financial support by the German Research Foundation (DFG TU 409/1) and research assistance by Maximilian Lutz are gratefully acknowledged.

  • Citation: Tutić, Andreas, and Sascha Grehl. 2018. “Status Characteristics and the Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence” Sociological Science 5: 1-20.
  • Received: October 30, 2017
  • Accepted: November 24, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v5.a1
0

Household Complexity and Change among Children in the United States, 1984 to 2010

Kristin L. Perkins

Sociological Science, December 6, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a29

Research on family instability typically measures changes in coresident parents, but children also experience changes among other household members. The likelihood of experiencing these changes differs by race and ethnicity, family structure, and cohort. Analyses of the Survey of Income and Program Participation show that the cumulative proportion of children who gain or lose a household member is much higher than the proportion of children whose father or mother leaves the household. The share of children who experience a change in household composition involving a nonparent, nonsibling relative is greater among blacks and Hispanics than among whites and greater among children in single-parent families than in two-parent families. Overall, fewer children in the 1990s and 2000s experienced changes in household composition than in the 1980s. This study advances a broader definition of family instability by including others present in children’s households, better incorporating the changes in developmental environments children experience.

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Kristin L. Perkins: Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University
Email: kristin_perkins@harvard.edu

Acknowledgements: I gratefully acknowledge Kathryn Edin, Paula Fomby, Alexandra Killewald, Robert J. Sampson, H. Luke Shaefer, Laura Tach, Bruce Western, and Alix S. Winter for their helpful comments and feedback. J. Bart Stykes generously shared Stata code at the outset of this project and Matthew Arck helped with formatting. Any errors are my own. This research has been supported by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University and a Harvard University grant from the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy. I also benefited from attending a workshop on the use of the SIPP at the University of Michigan as part of the NSF-Census Research Network (NCRN, NSF SES-1131500).

  • Citation: Perkins, Kristin L. 2017. “Household Complexity and Change among Children in the United States, 1984 to 2010.” Sociological Science 4: 701-724.
  • Received: September 21, 2017
  • Accepted: October 26, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen L. Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a29
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The Persistent and Exceptional Intensity of American Religion: A Response to Recent Research

Landon Schnabel, Sean Bock

Sociological Science, November 27, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a28

Recent research argues that the United States is secularizing, that this religious change is consistent with the secularization thesis, and that American religion is not exceptional. But we show that rather than religion fading into irrelevance as the secularization thesis would suggest, intense religion—strong affiliation, very frequent practice, literalism, and evangelicalism—is persistent and, in fact, only moderate religion is on the decline in the United States. We also show that in comparable countries, intense religion is on the decline or already at very low levels. Therefore, the intensity of American religion is actually becoming more exceptional over time. We conclude that intense religion in the United States is persistent and exceptional in ways that do not fit the secularization thesis.

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Landon Schnabel: Department of Sociology, Indiana University Bloomington
Email: lpschnab@indiana.edu

Sean Bock: Department of Sociology, Harvard University
Email: seanbock@g.harvard.edu

Acknowledgements: The authors are grateful to Brian Powell and Clem Brooks for exceptional feedback. Direct correspondence to Landon Schnabel, Department of Sociology, Indiana University Bloomington, 744 Ballantine Hall, 1020 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405.

  • Citation: Schnabel, Landon, and Sean Bock. 2017. “The Persistent and Exceptional Intensity of American Religion: A Response to Recent Research.” Sociological Science 4: 686-700.
  • Received: October 19, 2017
  • Accepted: October 31, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Olav Sorenson
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a28
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The White Working Class and Voter Turnout in U.S. Presidential Elections, 2004 to 2016

Stephen L. Morgan, Jiwon Lee

Sociological Science, November 20, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a27

Through an analysis of the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Current Population Surveys as well as the 2004 through 2016 General Social Surveys, this article investigates class differences and patterns of voter turnout for the last four U.S. presidential elections. After developing some support for the claim that a surge of white, working-class voters emerged in competitive states in 2016, a portrait of class differences on political matters among white, non-Hispanic, eligible voters between 2004 and 2016 is offered to assess the electoral consequences of this surge. These latter results are consistent with the claim that racial prejudice, anti-immigrant sentiment, concerns about economic security, and frustration with government responsiveness may have led many white, working-class voters to support an outsider candidate who campaigned on these themes. However, these same results give no support to the related claim that the white working class changed its positions on these matters in response to the 2016 primary election campaign or in the months just before the general election.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Stephen L. Morgan: Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Email: stephen.morgan@jhu.edu

Jiwon Lee: Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Email: jiwonlee@jhu.edu

Acknowledgements: We thank the editors for their incisive suggestions for revisions.

  • Citation: Morgan, Stephen L., and Jiwon Lee. 2017. “The White Working Class and Voter Turnout in U.S. Presidential Elections, 2004 to 2016.” Sociological Science 4: 656-685.
  • Received: October 2, 2017
  • Accepted: October 12, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a27
0

Better Estimates from Binned Income Data: Interpolated CDFs and Mean-Matching

Paul T. von Hippel, David J. Hunter, McKalie Drown

Sociological Science, November 15, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a26

Researchers often estimate income statistics from summaries that report the number of incomes in bins such as $0 to 10,000, $10,001 to 20,000, …, $200,000+. Some analysts assign incomes to bin midpoints, but this treats income as discrete. Other analysts fit a continuous parametric distribution, but the distribution may not fit well. We fit nonparametric continuous distributions that reproduce the bin counts perfectly by interpolating the cumulative distribution function (CDF). We also show how both midpoints and interpolated CDFs can be constrained to reproduce the mean of income when it is known. We evaluate the methods in estimating the Gini coefficients of all 3,221 U.S. counties. Fitting parametric distributions is very slow. Fitting interpolated CDFs is much faster and slightly more accurate. Both interpolated CDFs and midpoints give dramatically better estimates if constrained to match a known mean. We have implemented interpolated CDFs in the “binsmooth” package for R. We have implemented the midpoint method in the “rpme” command for Stata. Both implementations can be constrained to match a known mean.

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Paul T. von Hippel: Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Email: paulvonhippel.utaustin@gmail.com

David J. Hunter: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Westmont College
Email: dhunter@westmont.edu

McKalie Drown: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Westmont College
Email: mdrown@westmont.edu

Acknowledgements: Drown is grateful for support from a Tensor Grant of the Mathematical Association of America.

  • Citation: von Hippel, Paul T., David J. Hunter, and McKalie Drown. 2017. “Better Estimates from Binned Income Data: Interpolated CDFs and Mean-Matching.” Sociological Science 4: 641-655.
  • Received: September 23, 2017
  • Accepted: October 8, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a26
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Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs: The Role of Network Clustering and Resistance to Belief Change

André Grow, Andreas Flache, Rafael P. M. Wittek

Sociological Science, November 6, 2017
DOI 10.15195/v4.a25

Formal models of status construction theory suggest that beliefs about the relative social worth and competence of members of different social groups can emerge from face-to-face interactions in task-focused groups and eventually become consensual in large populations. We propose two extensions of earlier models. First, we incorporate the microlevel behavioral assumption of status construction theory that people can become resistant to belief change when a belief appears consensual in their local social environment. Second, we integrate the insight that the macro-level social structure of face-to-face interactions in large populations often is a clustered network structure. Computational experiments identify an outcome that was not anticipated by earlier formalizations. The combination of network clustering at the macrolevel and resistance to belief change at the microlevel can constrain the diffusion of status beliefs and generate regional variation in status beliefs. Further experiments identify conditions under which this outcome obtains.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
André Grow: Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven
Email: andre.grow@kuleuven.be

Andreas Flache: Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology, University of Groningen
Email: a.flache@rug.nl

Rafael P. M. Wittek: Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology, University of Groningen
Email: r.p.m.wittek@rug.nl

Acknowledgements: The first author conducted most of his research for this article as a PhD student at the Department of Sociology/Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology of the University of Groningen. We thank the members of the department, in particular the members of the research group Norms and Networks, for their helpful feedback. Earlier versions of this article have been presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association and the 2013 Conference of the International Network of Analytical Sociologists.

  • Citation: Grow, André, Andreas Flache, and Rafael P. M. Wittek. 2017. “Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs: The Role of Network Clustering and Resistance to Belief Change.” Sociological Science 4: 611-640.
  • Received: July 30, 2017
  • Accepted: September 23, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v4.a25
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