Sunday, September 24, 2017

Perverse Consequences of Well Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India's Child Labor Ban

Perverse Consequences of Well Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India's Child Labor Ban. Prashant Bharadwaj, Leah K. Lakdawala, and Nicholas Li.

ABSTRACT: While bans against child labor are a common policy tool, there is very little empirical evidence validating their effectiveness.  In this paper, we examine the consequences of India’s landmark legislation against child labor, the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986. Using data from employment surveys conducted before and after the ban, and using age restrictions that determined who the ban applied to, we show that child wages decrease and child labor increases after the ban. These results are consistent with a theoretical model building on the seminal work of Basu and Van (1998) and Basu (2005),  where families use child labor to reach subsistence constraints and where child wages decrease in response to bans, leading poor families to utilize more child labor. The increase in child labor comes at the expense of reduced school enrollment. We also examine the effects of the ban at the household level.  Using linked consumption and expenditure vdata, we find that along various margins of household expenditure, consumption, calorie intake and asset holdings, households are worse off after the ban.

JEL Codes: I38, J22, J82, O12

Check also: A Fine is a Price. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini. The Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 29, Number 1, January 2000.
Abstract: The deterrence hypothesis predicts that the introduction of a penalty that leaves everything else unchanged will reduce the occurrence of the behavior subject to the fine. We present the result of a field study in a group of day‐care centers that contradicts this prediction. Parents used to arrive late to collect their children, forcing a teacher to stay after closing time. We introduced a monetary fine for late‐coming parents. As a result, the number of late‐coming parents increased significantly. After the fine was removed no reduction occurred. We argue that penalties are usually introduced into an incomplete contract, social or private. They may change the information that agents have, and therefore the effect on behavior may be opposite of that expected. If this is true, the deterrence hypothesis loses its predictive strength, since the clause “everything else is left unchanged” might be hard to satisfy.
In a day-care center for little children... The contract signed at the beginning of the year states that the day-care center operates between 0730 and 1600. There is no mention of what happens if parents come late to pick up their children. In particular, before the beginning of the study, there was no fine for coming late. When parents did not come on time, one of the teachers had to wait with the children concerned. Teachers would rotate in this task, which is considered part of the job of a teacher, a fact that is clearly explained when a teacher is hired. Parents rarely came after 1630. [...] At the beginning of the fifth week [of 20 weeks in the study], we introduced a fine [of little money for each child and 10 minutes delay] in six of the 10 day-care centers,7 which had been selected randomly. [...] At the beginning of the seventeenth week, the fine was removed with no explanation.

[...] Fact 1.—The effect of introducing the fine was a significant increase in the number of late-coming parents.
Fact 2.—Removing the fine did not affect the number of late-coming parents relative to the time of the fine. In particular, this number remained higher in the treatment group than in the control group.
Fact 3.—There is no significant difference in the behavior of the test group and the control group in the initial 4 weeks, and there is no significant trend in the test group.

Dark Personalities on Facebook: Harmful Online Behaviors and Language

Dark Personalities on Facebook: Harmful Online Behaviors and Language. Olga Bogolyubova et al. Computers in Human Behavior,

•    We explore the interplay of the Dark Triad, harmful online behaviors and language
•    Psychopathy and male gender predict engagement in harmful online behaviors
•    Facebook users with dark traits have identifiable language characteristics
•    Findings are consistent with previous research using non-linguistic criteria

Abstract: The goal of this paper was to assess the connection between dark personality traits and engagement in harmful online behaviors in a sample of Russian Facebook users, and to describe the language they use in online communication. A total of 6,724 individuals participated in the study (mean age = 44.96 years, age range: 18–85 years, 77.9% — female). Data was collected via a purpose-built application, which served two purposes: administer the survey and download consenting user’s public wall posts, gender and age from the Facebook profile. The survey included questions on engagement in harmful online behaviors and the Short Dark Triad scale; 15,281 wall posts from 1,972 users were included in the dataset. These posts were subjected to morphological, lexical and semantic analyses. More than 25% of the sample reported engaging in harmful online behaviors. Males were more likely to send insulting or threatening messages and post aggressive comments; no gender differences were found for disseminating other people’s private information. Psychopathy and male gender were the unique predictors of engagement in harmful online behaviors. A number of significant correlations were found between the dark traits and numeric, lexical, morphological and semantic characteristics of the participants’ posts.

Keywords: Dark Triad; Facebook; cyber aggression; Russian language; distributional semantics; word clustering

Individual differences in the effects of baby images on attitudes toward getting married

Individual differences in the effects of baby images on attitudes toward getting married. Charles G. Lord, , Christopher J. Holland, and Sarah E. Hill. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 121, 15 January 2018, Pages 106–110,

•    Women who had viewed images of smiling babies wanted to get married sooner.
•    This effect occurred for both 18- to 25-year-old and 18- to 45-year-old women.
•    Baby image priming increased accessibility of thoughts about having children.
•    Baby image priming increased positivity of thoughts about having children.
•    All of these effects occurred for women, but not for men.

Abstract: Previous research on determinants of marital and reproductive timing focused on factors prominent in evolutionary theories. We focused on complementary factors prominent in research on attitudes, social cognition, and personality. Attitude construal and situated inference theories hold that priming can increase the accessibility of specific concepts, and that valence of the primed concepts can affect subsequent judgments. In two studies, one with college students and the other with a larger, more diverse sample, women, but not men, wanted to get married sooner if they had than had not recently seen images of smiling babies. Primed women also listed a greater number of and more positive children-related thoughts about marriage. These results suggest that subtle contextual cues can alter accessibility of relevant concepts, affect attitudes even on important issues, and work differently for different individuals. The results also suggest closer links between evolutionary, social cognitive, and personality theories.

Keywords: Attitudes; Construal theories; Priming; Sex differences; Situated inference; Accessibility

European Paradox or Delusion—Are European Science and Economy Outdated?

European Paradox or Delusion—Are European Science and Economy Outdated? Alonso Rodríguez-Navarro Francis Narin. Science and Public Policy, scx021,

Abstract: The European Union (EU) seems to presume that the mass production of European research papers indicates that Europe is a leading scientific power, and the so-called European paradox of strong science but weak technology is due to inefficiencies in the utilization of this top level European science by European industry. We fundamentally disagree, and will show that Europe lags far behind the USA in the production of important, highly cited research. We will show that there is a consistent weakening of European science as one ascends the citation scale, with the EU almost twice as effective in the production of minimal impact papers, while the USA is at least twice as effective in the production of very highly cited scientific papers, and garnering Nobel prizes. Only in the highly multinational, collaborative fields of Physics and Clinical Medicine does the EU seem to approach the USA in top scale impact.

Keywords: European paradox, research performance, research assessment, citation analysis.

The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants Are Moderated by Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis

The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants Are Moderated by Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Maslej M.M. et al. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics,


Background: Antidepressants (ADs) are commonly prescribed medications, but their long-term health effects are debated. ADs disrupt multiple adaptive processes regulated by evolutionarily ancient biochemicals, potentially increasing mortality. However, many ADs also have anticlotting properties that can be efficacious in treating cardiovascular disease. We conducted a meta-analysis assessing the effects of ADs on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in general-population and cardiovascular-patient samples.

Methods: Two reviewers independently assessed articles from PubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar for AD-related mortality controlling for depression and other comorbidities. From these articles, we extracted information about cardiovascular events, cardiovascular risk status, and AD class. We conducted mixed-effect meta-analyses testing sample type and AD class as moderators of all-cause mortality and new cardiovascular events.

Results: Seventeen studies met our search criteria. Sample type consistently moderated health risks. In general-population samples, AD use increased the risks of mortality (HR = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.14-1.55) and new cardiovascular events (HR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.08-1.21). In cardiovascular patients, AD use did not significantly affect risks. AD class also moderated mortality, but the serotonin reuptake inhibitors were not significantly different from tricyclic ADs (TCAs) (HR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.93-1.31, p = 0.27). Only “other ADs” were differentiable from TCAs (HR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.08-1.69). Mortality risk estimates increased when we analyzed the subset of studies controlling for premedication depression, suggesting the absence of confounding by indication.

Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis that ADs are harmful in the general population but less harmful in cardiovascular patients.

‘Barbie Doll Syndrome’. A case report of body dysmorphic disorder

„Das Barbie Syndrom“. Ein Fallbericht über die Körperdysmorphe Störung (=‘Barbie Doll Syndrome’. A case report of body dysmorphic disorder). Gruber, M., Jahn, R., Stolba, K. et al. Neuropsychiatr (2017).


Background: This case report aims to present a 37-year-old women striving to shape her body like a Barbie doll of which she has been fascinated since childhood. She could hardly tolerate any deviation from this beauty ideal. She has been admitted to the psychosomatic ward due to an eating disorder.

Methods: The ICD-10 and DSM-5 criteria were established for axis I disorders and the German version of the SCID II interview (for DSM-4) was applied for axis II disorders. Additionally, the “modified Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale for body dysmorphic disorder” was carried out.

Results: The diagnosis of dysmorphophobia (ICD-10: F45.21) or body dysmorphic disorder (DSM-5: 300.7) and bulimia nervosa (ICD-10: F50.2; DSM-5: 307.51) was confirmed. The patient fulfilled criteria of an avoidant, depressive and histrionic personality disorder.

Psychopharmacological treatment with Fluoxetine was started and the patient participated in an intensive inpatient psychosomatic program. The body image, self-concept and the sense of shame were therapeutic key topics.

Conclusion: The present case report focuses on body dysmorphic disorder as a distinctive entity with high prevalence. Diagnostic criteria of different classification systems were contrasted and comorbidity with eating disorders was discussed. In clinical praxis, body dysmorphic disorder remains underdiagnosed, especially when cooccurring with an eating disorder. However, the correct diagnosis could be relevant for therapy planning.

approx translation: [The appearance of the patient is impressive. Her artificial style with toupled hair and artificial hair parts (Beehive hair style), a heavily painted face with a focus on the eyes, framed by the thick eyelid with the false eyelashes and the delicate, somewhat aged skin with the dark solarium-browned complexion. The physique is delicate except the large breasts.

The patient grew up with a stable twin-sister and an older sister in stable family circumstances. She describes the twin sister as her "mirror image", both had always placed great emphasis on their appearance, compared to each other and revised and criticized each other. At school, the sisters would sometimes have been teased because of their "mirror image". Furthermore she describes a great fascination for Barbie dolls, which would continue today. At the age of 17, she met her ex-husband, with whom she became engaged and had two children. After the birth of the second child had a postpartum depression with a resulting bonding disorder to the son. The patient did not seek professional help. Four years later, she describes a two-year "happy phase", which leads her back to the successful professional life (good merit as unskilled assistant). She would have received recognition and be able to face more self-respect.


The patient suffers from hard-to-correct beliefs about physical disfigurement, a disturbance of body perception ("the belly would be too fat," "the legs would be too straight," "the butt would be too shallow," "cellulite would be too strong, the skin too pale ") and forced thoughts through the constant comparison of one's own appearance with others. There are numerous body-related fears ("getting too fat," "hair could slip," the make-up could be blurred), as well as social-phobic fears ("fear of appearance and behavior affect others embarrassingly or embarrassingly" ). The patient is compulsive with food and the external appearance and invests up to three hours daily in the body care and cosmetics (camouflage) and two to three hours daily in the course of ritualized eating / vomiting. At the same time, there is also a strong reinsurance tendency with frequent glances in the mirror, selfies or queries. It shows an avoidance behavior (avoids strangers looking intently, to visit public baths, or to show herself naked).]

Fake news and post-truth pronouncements are increasingly common, also in the sciences, including the medical ones

Fake news and post-truth pronouncements in general and in early human development. Victor Grech. Early Human Development,

•    Fake news and post-truth pronouncements are increasingly common.
•    They are also being to science and to medicine.
•    This editorial reviews this unsavoury trend.
•    It also highlights recent debunking of fake truths in early human development.
•    We, as scientists, must continue to uphold science's integrity and probity.

Abstract: Fake news and post-truth pronouncements are increasingly common, and are unfortunately also progressively being applied to the sciences, including the medical sciences. This editorial briefly reviews this unsavoury trend and highlights recent debunking of fake truths in early human development. Science is arguably the last metanarrative with any significant cachet in the postmodern period. We, as scientists, must strive to ensure that our work is transparent and of the highest possible standard so as to continue to uphold science's integrity and probity.

Keywords: MeSH: Humans; Public opinion; Science; Social media

Check also: Polarized Mass or Polarized Few? Assessing the Parallel Rise of Survey Nonresponse and Measures of Polarization. Amnon Cavari and Guy Freedman. The Journal of Politics,

Captive gorilla apparently trying to engage zoo visitors in a joint task of retrieving food with a stick

Luef, E. M., & Heschl, A. (2017). Triadic interactions with tools in a gorilla. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 4(2), 136–145.

Abstract - Triadic interactions are an important developmental milestone for young human infants, ultimately enabling them to acquire language. When an infant and a caregiver share attention regarding an object, the label given to the object becomes linked with the object, hence referential communication is established through which infants learn to associate words with meanings. In fact, triadic interactions are considered so crucial to human language development that their phylogenetic origins have become the focus of investigation to study the evolutionary history of language. In this paper, we report a communicative instance of a captive zoo gorilla apparently trying to engage zoo visitors in a joint task of retrieving food. The gorilla seemed to initiate a series of combined triadic interactions with different tools used as pointing devices while attempting to recruit a human for help. Even though it is a single observation event, we argue that the gorilla possessed relevant knowledge about the various purposes for which a specific tool can be used and utilized sophisticated communicative means in her interaction with humans.

Keywords – Gorilla communication, Pointing gesture, Triadic reference, Shared attention, Social tool use, Flexible gesture-tool combinations