Sunday, May 5, 2019

Children in daycare experience fewer one-to-one interactions with adults, which is negative for IQ in families where such interactions are of higher quality; reduction in IQ increases with family income

Ichino, A., Fort, M., & Zanella, G. (2019). Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Costs of Daycare 0-2 for Children in Advantaged Families. Journal of Political Economy, May 2019. doi:10.1086/704075

Abstract: Exploiting admission thresholds to the Bologna daycare system, we show using RDD that one additional daycare month at age 0–2 reduces IQ by 0.5% (4.7% of a s.d.) at age8–14 in a relatively affluent population. The magnitude of this negative effect increases with family income. Similar negative impacts are found for personality traits. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis from psychology that children in daycare experience fewer one-to-one interactions with adults, with negative effects in families where such interactions are of higher quality. We embed this hypothesis in a model that lends structure to our RDD.

JEL-Code: J13, I20, I28, H75
Keywords: daycare, childcare, child development, cognitive skills, personality

Big Business Isn’t Big Politics. Essay by Tyler Cowen // Fears of crony capitalism in the U.S. are misplaced

Big Business Isn’t Big Politics. Tyler Cowen. Foreign Policy, May 3 2019.

Fears of crony capitalism in the United States are misplaced
he basic view that big business is pulling the strings in Washington is one of the major myths of our time. Most American political decisions are not in fact shaped by big business, even though business does control numerous pieces of specialist legislation. Even in 2019, big business is hardly dominating the agenda. U.S. corporate leaders often promote ideas of fiscal responsibility, free trade, robust trade agreements, predictable government, multilateral foreign policy, higher immigration, and a certain degree of political correctness in government—all ideas that are ailing rather badly right now.

To be sure, there is plenty of crony capitalism in the United States today. For instance, the Export-Import Bank subsidizes U.S. exports with guaranteed loans or low-interest loans. The biggest American beneficiary is Boeing, by far, and the biggest foreign beneficiaries are large and sometimes state-owned companies, such as Pemex, the national fossil fuel company of the Mexican government. The Small Business Administration subsidizes small business start-ups, the procurement cycle for defense caters to corporate interests, and the sugar and dairy lobbies still pull in outrageous subsidies and price protection programs, mostly at the expense of ordinary American consumers, including low-income consumers.

...overall, lobbyists are not running the show. The average big company has only 3.4 lobbyists in Washington, and for medium-size companies that number is only 1.42. For major companies, the average is 13.9, and the vast majority of companies spend less than $250,000 a year on lobbying. Furthermore, a systematic study shows that business lobbying does not increase the chance of favorable legislation being passed for that business, nor do those businesses receive more government contracts; contributions to political action committees are ineffective too.

Full text at the link above

Support for hate crime grows when men fear that refugees' influx makes it difficult to mate, even when controlling for anti-refugee views, perceived job competition, general frustration & aggressiveness

Dancygier, Rafaela M. and Egami, Naoki and Jamal, Amaney and Rischke, Ramona, Hating and Mating: Fears over Mate Competition and Violent Hate Crime against Refugees (March 23, 2019). SSRN:

Abstract: As the number of refugees rises across the world, anti-refugee violence has become a pressing concern. What explains the incidence and support of such hate crime? We argue that fears among native men that refugees pose a threat in the competition for female partners is a critical but understudied factor driving hate crime. Employing a comprehensive dataset on the incidence of hate crime across Germany, we first demonstrate that hate crime rises where men face disadvantages in local mating markets. Next, we deploy an original four-wave panel survey to confirm that support for hate crime increases when men fear that the inflow of refugees makes it more difficult to find female partners. Mate competition concerns remain a robust predictor even when controlling for anti-refugee views, perceived job competition, general frustration, and aggressiveness. We conclude that a more complete understanding of hate crime must incorporate mating markets and mate competition.

Keywords: hate crime, refugees, immigration, ethnocentrism, inter-group conflict, sex ratios, marriage markets
JEL Classification: D74, J11, J12, J15, N34