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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

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.

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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
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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

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.

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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
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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

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.

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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
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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

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.

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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
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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

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.

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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
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Trust and Public Support for Environmental Protection in Diverse National Contexts

Malcolm Fairbrother

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

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.

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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
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Integration Policies and Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes in Europe

Irena Kogan

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

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.

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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
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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

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
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