Monday, September 24, 2018

Moderate intake of alcohol exhibited a beneficial effect on the risk of erectile disfunction, whereas regular and high consumption did not

Alcohol intake and risk of erectile dysfunction: a dose–response meta-analysis of observational studies. Xiao-Ming Wang, Yun-Jin Bai, Yu-Bo Yang, Jin-Hong Li, Yin Tang & Ping Han. International Journal of Impotence Research,

Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to conduct a meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies assessing the relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). To identify relevant studies, databases such as Pubmed, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched from the inception of the present study to March 2016. Finally, 24 studies (154,295 patients) were included. We combined a study-specific odds ratio (OR) estimated by using a random effects meta-analysis. The results of our meta-analysis indicated that light to moderate alcohol consumption ( < 21 drinks/week) was correlated with a decreased risk of erectile dysfunction (OR = 0.71; 95% CI: 0.59–0.86; P = 0.000). However, regular (ever vs. never) and high alcohol consumption ( > 21 drinks/week) had no significant influence on the prevalence of ED (regular: OR = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.75–1.07; P = 0.062; high: OR = 0.99; 95% CI: 0.80–1.22; P = 0.893). In a dose–response meta-analysis, a non-linear relationship was observed between alcohol consumption and risk of ED (P for non-linearity = 0.0000). In conclusion, moderate intake of alcohol exhibited a beneficial effect on the risk of ED, whereas regular and high consumption did not.

Krugman: Trump’s tariffs really are a big, bad deal. Their direct economic impact ***will be modest*** (?!), although hardly trivial

Now, to put Krugman's words in perspective, see the first results of Google search " trump tariffs will damage," the very constructive way to report and pour opinions that most journalists have:
Companies Warn More China Tariffs Will Cripple Them and Hurt ...
Aug 20, 2018 - The Trump administration, which will hold trade talks with the Chinese this week, began six days of hearings on its proposal to tax another $200 ...

Tariffs to Raise Cost of Rebuilding After Hurricane Florence - The New ...
3 days ago - The Trump administration imposed a 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood ... It will take months to repair the damage from the floods, he said.

Rebuffed by Trump on Tariffs, Businesses Mount Coordinated Pushback
Sep 12, 2018 - The Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign focuses heavily on the economic ... September for The New York Times by the online polling firm SurveyMonkey. ... have all publicly warned Mr. Trump that his tariffs will hurt the very ...

Opinion | How China Wins the Trade War - The New York Times
Aug 8, 2018 - President Trump exhorts his supporters that tariffs “mean jobs and great ... Reduced American demand for Chinese products does hurt China.

If the Trade War Starts to Damage the Economy, Here's How You'll Be ...
Jul 24, 2018 - “Still, tariffs hurt, and we're starting to see some precursors of an impact already.” ... By the time there would be solid evidence that the trade war was doing damage, the damage would already ....  
Opinion | Getting Hurt by Trump's Tariffs - The New York Times
Jul 15, 2018 - They will, we hope, understand that a man's conduct, knowledge, ... of the New York edition with the headline: Getting Hurt by Trump's Tariffs.

Opinion | Trump Has No Idea What His Tariffs Have Unleashed for ...
Jul 26, 2018 - His trade war will hurt business at a time when the rural population is aging, and it will probably hollow out farm communities.

But he, one the high priests of the anti-Trumpian church, the man who on election night 2016 "gave in temporarily to a temptation" he warns others about, to let his "political feelings distort" his "economic judgment," although "quickly retracted the claim," and "issued a mea culpa" (because being "an old-fashioned guy," he tries "to admit and learn from" his mistakes), says what you see above as title.

See his article:
Making Tariffs Corrupt Again. Paul Krugman. TNYT, Sept. 20, 2018

Syverson on productivity mismeasurement and slowdown, plus effect of AI on the slowdown

Interview with Chad Syverson. Aaron Steelman. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, June 2018,;postID=3293709683462798846

EF: Some have argued that the productivity slowdown since the mid-2000s is due to mismeasurement issues — that some productivity growth hasn't been or isn't being captured. What does your work tell us about that?

Syverson: It tells us that the mismeasurement story, while plausible on its face, falls apart when examined. If productivity growth had actually been 1.5 percent greater than it has been measured since the mid-2000s, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would be conservatively $4 trillion higher than it is, or about $12,000 more per capita. So if you go with the mismeasurement story, that's the sort of number you're talking about and there are several reasons to believe you can't account for it.

First, the productivity slowdown has happened all over world. When you look at the 30 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries we have data for, there's no relationship between the size of the measured slowdown and how important IT-related goods — which most people think are the primary source of mismeasurement — are to a country's economy.

Second, people have tried to measure the value of IT-related goods. The largest estimate is about $900 billion in the United States. That doesn't get you even a quarter of the way toward that $4 trillion.

Third, the value added of the IT-related sector has grown by about $750 billion, adjusting for inflation, since the mid-2000s. The mismeasure­ment hypothesis says that there are $4 trillion missing on top of that. So the question is: Do we think we're only getting $1 out of every $6 of activity there? That's a lot of mismeasurement.

Finally, there's the difference between gross domestic income (GDI) and GDP. GDI has been higher than GDP on average since the slowdown started, which would suggest that there's income, about $1 trillion cumulatively, that is not showing up in expenditures. But the problem is that was also true before the slowdown started. GDI was higher than GDP from 1998 through 2004, a period of relatively high-productivity growth. Moreover, the growth in income is coming from capital income, not wage income. That doesn't comport with the story some people are trying to tell, which is that companies are making stuff, they're paying their workers to produce it, but then they're effectively giving it away for free instead of selling it. But we know that they're actually making profits. We might not pay directly for a lot of IT services every time we use them, but we are paying for them indirectly.

As sensible as the mismeasurement hypothesis might sound on its face, when you add up everything, it just doesn't pass the stricter test you would want it to survive.

EF: Would you consider artificial intelligence (AI) a general-purpose technology? If so, how do you assess the view that the returns on investment in AI have been disappointing?

Syverson: It's way too early. There are two things creat­ing this lag for AI. First, aggregate AI capital right now is essentially zero. This stuff is really just starting to be used in production. A lot of it is simply experimental at this point. Second, a lot of it has to do with complementarity. People have to figure out what sorts of things AI can aug­ment, and we're not anywhere down that road yet.

Erik, Daniel, and I are going out on a limb a little bit by saying this, but we think AI checks the boxes for a general-purpose technology. And it seems that with some fairly modest applications of AI, the produc­tivity slowdown goes away. Two applications that we look at in our paper are autonomous vehicles and call centers.

About 3.5 million people in the United States make their living as motor vehicle operators. We think maybe 2 million of those could be replaced by autonomous vehi­cles. There are 122 million people in private employment now, so just a quick calculation says that's an additional boost of 1.7 percent in labor productivity. But that's not going to happen overnight. If it happens over a decade, that's 0.17 percent per year.

About 2 million people work in call centers. Plausibly, 60 percent of those jobs could be replaced by AI. So when you do the same kind of calculation, that's an additional 1 percent increase in labor productivity; spread out over a decade, it's 0.1 percent per year. So, from those two applica­tions alone, that's about a quarter of a percent annual accel­eration for a decade. So you only need maybe six to eight more applications of that size and the slowdown is gone.

The unprecedented socioeconomic rise of African Americans at mid-century is causally related to the labor shortages induced by WWII

World War II and African American Socioeconomic Progress. Andreas Ferrara. Warwick Univ, Sept 2018, Working Paper No. 387.

Abstract: This paper argues that the unprecedented socioeconomic rise of African Americans at mid-century is causally related to the labor shortages induced by WWII. Results from combining novel military and Census data in a difference-in-differences setting show that counties with an average casualty rate among semi-skilled whites experienced a 13 to 16% increase in the share of blacks in semi-skilled jobs. The casualty rate also has a significant reduced form effect on cross-state migration, wages, home ownership, house value, and education for blacks. Using survey data from 1961, IV regression results indicate that the economic upgrade, which is instrumented with the semi-skilled white casualty rate, is also associated with an increase in social status. Both black and white individuals living in treated counties are more likely to have an interracial friendship,  live in mixed-race neighborhoods, and to have reduced preferences for segregation.

JEL codes: J15, J24, N42
Keywords: African-Americans; Inequality; Race-Relations; World War II

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator placement has been found to lead to apprehension to engage in physical activity, chronic anxiety, decreased physical and social functioning, a nagging fear of being shocked by the device, and the development of “phantom shocks”

Treatment of phantom shocks: A case report. Danielle R Hairston et al. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine,

Abstract: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators have become standard preventive treatment for patients with ventricular arrhythmias and other life-threatening cardiac conditions. The advantages and efficiency of the device are supported by multiple clinical trials and outcome studies, leading to its popularity among cardiologists. Implantation of the device is not without adverse outcomes. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator placement has been found to lead to negative psychological and psychosocial sequelae such as apprehension to engage in physical activity, chronic anxiety, decreased physical and social functioning, a nagging fear of being shocked by the device, and the development of “phantom shocks.” Defined as patient-reported shocks in the absence of evidence that the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator device has discharged, phantom shocks could impact the mental health of those affected. This article reviews the case of Mr. L, a 47-year-old man with ischemic cardiomyopathy who was seen by the psychiatry consultation team while under cardiologic care because he reported that his implantable cardioverter-defibrillator device had been shocking him despite no objective evidence after interrogating the device. A literature review of phantom shocks, their associated symptomatology, and psychological consequences are outlined and discussed.

Keywords: implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, shock, phantom shocks, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder

Sexism, Rape Myths and Feminist Identification Explain Gender Differences in Attitudes Toward the #metoo Social Media Campaign in Two Countries

Kunst, Jonas R., April Bailey, Claire Prendergast, and Aleksander Gundersen. 2018. “Sexism, Rape Myths and Feminist Identification Explain Gender Differences in Attitudes Toward the #metoo Social Media Campaign in Two Countries.” PsyArXiv. September 24. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: On October 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano popularized the #metoo campaign, which sought to expose the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in public domains by encouraging victims to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag ‘metoo.’ The online campaign rapidly grew to a global phenomenon, which was generally well supported. However, some criticized the campaign online as a “battle of the sexes,” which pits men against women. The present cross-cultural research investigated whether gender differences in attitudes and feelings toward #metoo are due to underlying differences in ideologies and experiences that only partly overlap with gender. We surveyed respondents in the United States, where the campaign began, and in Norway, a highly gender-egalitarian country. In both countries, men expressed less positivity toward #metoo than women and perceived it as substantially more harmful and less beneficial. These gender differences were largely accounted for by men being higher than women in hostile sexism, higher in rape myth acceptance, and lower in feminist identification. The results, hence, suggest that gender differences in attitudes to social media campaigns such as #metoo might be best characterized as dimensional ideological differences rather than fundamental group differences.

Do People Have Reproductive Goals? Constructive Preferences and the Discovery of Desired Family Size: Desired family size may, we suggest, be a discovery rather than a goal

Do People Have Reproductive Goals? Constructive Preferences and the Discovery of Desired Family Size. Máire Ní Bhrolcháin, Éva Beaujouan. In: Schoen R. (eds) Analytical Family Demography. The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis, vol 47, pp 27-56


The frequency of uncertainty in response to survey questions on fertility expectations is relatively high. This is inconsistent with the classical rational choice model implicit in much demographic research. Whether for this or other reasons, the phenomenon is by and large overlooked. Uncertainty in relation to fertility is, we suggest, genuine rather than the result of faulty measurement or poorly motivated responses. Its relatively high frequency requires that it is accounted for in any theory of fertility decision making.

Adapting ideas from behavioral economics, psychology, and political science we propose an alternative theoretical approach in which fertility intentions and preferences are thought of as constructed. Preferences are constructed when they are not drawn from a stored memory but assembled on the spot from information accessible at the time; reports of such preferences can be very sensitive to context. In this approach, uncertainty is not anomalous and some enduring apparent contradictions in survey findings on fertility intentions, expectations and preferences are explicable. Ideas in political science have the potential to enhance our understanding of responses to survey questions on preferences and intentions. Preference construction theory could provide an avenue to a better understanding of fertility preferences. Desired family size may, we suggest, be a discovery rather than a goal. Establishing the nature, origin and operation of fertility preferences is essential to answering the question whether fertility differentials and trends reflect choice or constraint or some mixture of the two.

They played a task to be probabilistically rewarded based on the pattern of 3 cards that were revealed after a 5-s delay; during this, they could instead pay a cost to find out the next card’s identity immediately; and did

Cabrero, Jose A. M. R., Jian-Qiao Zhu, and Elliot A. Ludvig. 2018. “Costly Curiosity: People Pay a Price to Resolve an Uncertain Gamble Early.” PsyArXiv. September 24. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Humans are inherently curious creatures, continuously seeking out information about future outcomes. Such advance information is often valuable, potentially allowing people to select better courses of action. In non-human animals, this drive for information can be so strong that they forego food or water to find out a few seconds earlier whether an uncertain option will provide a reward. Here, we assess whether people will exhibit a similar sub-optimal preference for advance information. Participants played a card-flipping task where they were probabilistically rewarded based on the pattern of 3 cards that were revealed after a 5-s delay. During this delay, participants could instead pay a cost to find out the next card’s identity immediately. This choice to find out early did not influence the eventual outcome. Participants preferred to find out early about 80% of the time when the information was free; they were even willing to incur an expense to get advance information about the eventual outcome. The expected magnitude of the outcome, however, did not impact the likelihood of finding out early. These results suggest that humans, like animals, value non-instrumental information and will pay a price for such information, independent of its utility.

Intergenerational Mobility at the Top of the Educational Distribution: A doctoral degree largely detaches individuals from their social origins

Intergenerational Mobility at the Top of the Educational Distribution. Florencia Torche. Sociology of Education,

Abstract: Research has shown that intergenerational mobility is higher among individuals with a college degree than those with lower levels of schooling. However, mobility declines among graduate degree holders. This finding questions the meritocratic power of higher education. Prior research has been hampered, however, by the small samples of advanced degree holders in representative surveys. Drawing on a large longitudinal data set of PhD holders—the Survey of Doctorate Recipients—this study examines intergenerational mobility among the American educational elite, separately for men and women and different racial/ethnic groups. Results show substantial mobility among PhD holders. The association between parents’ education and adult children’s earnings is moderate among men and nonexistent among women with doctoral degrees. However, women’s earnings converge to an average level that is much lower than men’s, signaling ‘‘perverse openness’’ for women even at the top of the educational distribution. Among men, there is variation in mobility by race and ethnicity. The intergenerational socioeconomic association is null for Asian men, small for white and black men, and more pronounced for Hispanics. Educational and occupational mediators account for intergenerational association among blacks and whites but not Hispanic men. A doctoral degree largely detaches individuals from their social origins in the United States, but it does not eliminate all sources of inequality.

Keywords: class inequality, higher education, meritocracy, intergenerational mobility, graduate education