Sunday, September 22, 2019

More than 40% of our participants experienced difficulties in starting or keeping an intimate relationship; poor flirting skills, poor mate signal-detection ability, and high shyness were associated with poor performance in mating

Mating Performance: Assessing Flirting Skills, Mate Signal-Detection Ability, and Shyness Effects. Menelaos Apostolou et al. Evolutionary Psychology, September 22, 2019.

Abstract: Several people today experience poor mating performance, that is, they face difficulties in starting and/or keeping an intimate relationship. On the basis of an evolutionary theoretical framework, it was hypothesized that poor mating performance would be predicted by poor flirting skills, poor mate signal-detection ability, and high shyness. By employing a sample of 587 Greek-speaking men and women, we found that more than 40% of our participants experienced difficulties in starting and/or keeping an intimate relationship. We also found that poor flirting skills, poor mate signal-detection ability, and high shyness were associated with poor performance in mating, especially with respect to starting an intimate relationship. The effect sizes and the odds ratios indicated that flirting skills had the largest effect on mating performance, followed by the mate signal-detection ability and shyness.

Keywords: mating performance, mating, mismatch, flirting, shyness

Is There a Relationship Between Cyber-Dependent Crime, Autistic-Like Traits and Autism?

Is There a Relationship Between Cyber-Dependent Crime, Autistic-Like Traits and Autism? Katy-Louise Payne et al. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, October 2019, Volume 49, Issue 10, pp 4159–4169.

Abstract; International law enforcement agencies have reported an apparent preponderance of autistic individuals amongst perpetrators of cyber-dependent crimes, such as hacking or spreading malware (Ledingham and Mills in Adv Autism 1:1–10, 2015). However, no empirical evidence exists to support such a relationship. This is the first study to empirically explore potential relationships between cyber-dependent crime and autism, autistic-like traits, explicit social cognition and perceived interpersonal support. Participants were 290 internet users, 23 of whom self-reported being autistic, who completed an anonymous online survey. Increased risk of committing cyber-dependent crime was associated with higher autistic-like traits. A diagnosis of autism was associated with a decreased risk of committing cyber-dependent crime. Around 40% of the association between autistic-like traits and cyber-dependent crime was mediated by advanced digital skills.

Keywords: Cyber-dependent crime Digital skills Autism Autistic-like traits Explicit social cognition Interpersonal support

Ledingham and Mills (2015) define cybercrime as “The illegal use of computers and the internet, or crime committed by means of computers and the internet.” Within the legal context (e.g. in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark; Ledingham and Mills 2015), there are two distinct types of cybercrime: (1) cyber-dependent crime, which can only be committed using computers, computer networks or other forms of information communication technology (ICT). These include the creation and spread of malware for financial gain, hacking to steal important personal or industry data and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to cause reputational damage; and (2) cyber-enabled crime such as fraud, which can be conducted online or offline, but online may take place at unprecedented scale and speed (McGuire and Dowling 2013; The National Crime Agency: NCA 2016). In England and Wales, all forms of cybercrime were included in the Office for National Statistics crime estimates for the first time in 2016, which resulted in a near doubling of the crime rate. Cyber-dependent crime specifically represented 20% of UK crime (Office for National Statistics 2017) and in England and Wales in 2018, 976,000 cyber-dependent computer misuse incidents were reported (computer viruses and unauthorised access, including hacking: Office for National Statistics 2019). Furnell et al. (2015) propose that it is more important to understand the factors leading to cyber-dependent incidents and how to prevent them, than to focus on metrics such as specific costs to the global economy. Having interviewed cyber-dependent criminals, the NCA’s intelligence assessment (2017) identified that perpetrators are likely to be teenage males who are unlikely to be involved in traditional crime and also that autism spectrum disorder (ASD, hereafter autism) appears to be more prevalent amongst cyber-dependent criminals than the general populace—though this remains unproven. No socio-demographic bias has yet been identified amongst cyber-dependent offenders or those on the periphery of criminality.

This apparent relationship between cyber-dependent crime and autism is echoed in a survey of six international law enforcement agencies’ (UK; USA; Australia; New Zealand; Germany; the Netherlands; Denmark) experiences and contact with autistic1 cybercriminals (Ledingham and Mills 2015), which indicated that some autistic individuals commit cyber-dependent offences. Offences committed included: hacking; creating coding to enable a crime to be committed; creating, deploying or managing a bot or bot-net; and malware (Ledingham and Mills 2015). This was a small-scale study, limiting the generalisability of findings, but it does indicate a presence of autistic offenders within cyber-dependent crime populations, although the link between autism and cyber-dependent crime remains largely speculative as cyber-dependent criminality may be evidenced within a wide range of populations. Further clarification of any relationship between autism and cyber-dependent crime is required before any conclusions can be inferred.

Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified an average prevalence of autism of between 1% and 2% (CDC 2018). Autism is a long-term condition predominately diagnosed in males, characterised by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction coupled with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities (American Psychiatric Association 2013; CDC 2018). One possibility is that the anecdotal evidence of apparent autism-like behaviour in cyber-dependent criminals may actually be reflecting people with high levels of autistic-like traits who do not have a diagnosis of autism (Brosnan in press). Autistic-like traits refer to behavioural traits such as social imperviousness, directness in conversation, lack of imagination, affinity for solitude, and difficulty displaying emotions (Gernsbacher et al. 2017). Autistic-like traits are argued to vary continuously across the general population, with studies reporting that autistic groups typically have higher levels of autistic-like traits than non-autistic comparison groups (Baron-Cohen et al. 2001, 2006; Constantino and Todd 2003; Kanne et al. 2012; Plomin et al. 2009; Posserud et al. 2006; Skuse et al. 2009; see also Bölte et al. 2011; Gernsbacher et al. 2017; Ronald and Hoekstra 2011; Ruzich et al. 2015a for meta-analysis). Autistic-like traits are typically assessed through self-report measures such as the 50-item Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ: Baron-Cohen et al. 2001; see also Baghdadli et al. 2017). Ruzich et al.’s (2015a) meta-analysis of responses to the AQ from almost 7000 non-autistic and 2000 autistic respondents identified that non-autistic males had significantly higher levels of autistic-like traits than non-autistic females, and that autistic people had significantly higher levels of autistic-like traits compared to the non-autistic males (with no sex difference within the autistic sample). A clinical cut-off of a score of 26 on the AQ has been proposed to be suggestive of autism (Woodbury-Smith et al. 2005b), and whilst there are similarities between those with and without a diagnosis of autism who score above the cut-off the AQ, the AQ is not diagnostic. Importantly, there are also differences between those with and without a diagnosis of autism who scored above the cut-off (Ashwood et al. 2016; Bralton et al. 2018; Focquaert and Vanneste 2015; Lundqvist and Lindner 2017; see also Frith 2014).

With respect to cyber-dependent crime, some members of both autistic and high autistic-like trait groups will have developed advanced digital skills that are likely to be required to commit cyber-dependent crime. Indeed a specific relationship between ‘autism and the technical mind’ has been previously speculated by Baron-Cohen (2012; see also Wei et al. 2013). Moreover, computer science students and those employed in technology are two of the groups who typically possess higher levels of autistic-like traits (Baron-Cohen et al. 2001; Billington et al. 2007; Ruzich et al. 2015b). These relationships are potentially significant, as cyber-dependent criminal activity requires an advanced level of cyber-related skills (such as proficiency in programming in Java, C/C++, disassemblers, and assembly language and programming knowledge of scripting languages [PHP, Python, Perl, or Shell]; Insights 2018). Thus, there may be an association between autistic-like traits and the potential to develop the advanced digital skills required for cyber-dependent crime.

Assessing the relationship between autistic-like traits and cyber deviancy in a sample of college students, Seigfried-Spellar et al. (2015) found that of 296 university students, 179 (60%) engaged in some form of cyber-deviant behaviour (such as hacking, cyberbullying, identity theft, and virus writing) and the AQ distinguished between those who did and those who did not self-report cyber-deviant behaviour, with higher AQ scores among those reporting cyber-deviant behaviours. The authors also reported that if they used a cut-off score on the AQ of 26 to indicate high levels of autistic-like traits associated with autism, then 7% of the computer non-deviants and 6% of the computer deviants scored in this range. The authors concluded that ‘based on these findings alone, there is no evidence of a significant link between clinical levels of [autism] and computer deviance in the current sample. Nevertheless, the current study did find evidence for computer deviants reporting more autistic-like traits, according to the AQ, compared to computer non-deviants’. However, ‘cyber-deviant’ behaviour in Seigfried-Spellar et al.’s study included both cyber-enabled crimes such as cyberbullying and identity theft, as well as cyber-dependent crimes such as hacking and virus writing. This requires a more nuanced examination as there may be important differences in the relationship between autistic-like traits and cyber-dependent crime compared with cyber-enabled crime.

Cyber-enabled crime is an online variant of traditional crimes (such as fraud) and shares common motivations such as financial gain, whereas the motivations for cyber-dependent crime can be based around a sense of challenge in hacking into a system or enhanced reputation and credibility within hacker communities (NCA 2017). This may be pertinent for the relationship between cyber-dependent crime specifically and autism or autistic-like traits, since cyber-dependent criminals typically have not engaged in traditional crime (NCA 2017) and autism has been associated with generally being law abiding and low rates of criminality (Blackmore et al. 2017; Ghaziuddin et al. 1991; Heeramun et al. 2017; Howlin 2007; Murrie et al. 2002; Wing 1981; Woodbury-Smith et al. 2005a, 2006). In addition, several studies have suggested that autistic internet-users can demonstrate a preference for mediating social processes online, such as preferring to use social media over face-to-face interaction to share interests (Brosnan and Gavin 2015; Gillespie-Lynch et al. 2014; van der Aa et al. 2016). This may be significant, as it has been suggested that social relationships developed online are key to progressing into cyber-dependent crime, with forum interaction and reputation development being key drivers of cyber-dependent criminality (NCA 2017).

Finally, failing to appreciate the impact of crime upon others may be a relevant factor, as autism has been argued to reflect a diminished social cognition (e.g., theory of mind, Baron-Cohen et al. 1985). It has been suggested that there are two levels of social cognition; namely, a quicker and less conscious implicit social cognition, and a more conscious, slower and controlled explicit social cognition (Frith and Frith 2008; see also Heyes 2014). Autistic individuals are often not impaired in explicit social cognition, but are reportedly impaired on implicit social cognition (Callenmark et al. 2014; see also Dewey 1991; Frith and Happé 1999). This profile is also reflected in non-social cognition such as reasoning (Brosnan et al. 2016, 2017; Lewton et al. 2018) which may be better characterised as impaired processing of automatic, cognitively efficient heuristics (Brosnan and Ashwin 2018; Happé et al. 2017). Explicit social cognition is therefore a more pertinent measure of the potential to consider the impact of crime upon others.

The aim of the present study was to explore the apparent relationship identified by international law enforcement agencies between autistic-like traits and cyber-dependent crime. To do this, we conducted an online survey exploring autistic-like traits, cyber-related activities (legal and illegal) as well as perceived interpersonal support and explicit theory of mind. Our research question addressed whether higher autistic-like traits, lower explicit theory of mind and lower perceived interpersonal support would increase the risk of committing cyber-dependent crime. We also addressed whether autistic-like traits would be associated with cyber-dependent crime and whether this relationship would be mediated by advanced digital skills. Given the findings associating higher levels of law-abiding behaviour with autism, we also speculated that autism may represent a group of individuals with higher levels of autistic-like traits, but without a higher risk of committing cyber-dependent crime.



International law enforcement agencies report an apparent relationship between autism and cyber-dependent crime, although any such link remains unproven (Ledingham and Mills ; NCA ). This was the first study to empirically explore whether autism, autistic-like traits, explicit social cognition, interpersonal support and digital skills were predictors of cyber-dependent criminality. Whilst higher levels of autistic-like traits were associated with a greater risk of committing cyber-dependent crime, a self-reported diagnosis of autism was associated with a decreased risk of committing cyber-dependent crime. Around 40% of the association between autistic-like traits and cyber-dependent crime was attributable to greater levels of advanced digital skills. Basic digital skills were also found to be a mediator between autistic-like traits and cyber-dependent crime, although they accounted for a smaller proportion of the association than advanced digital skills.
These findings are consistent with the proposal that the apparent association between autism and cyber-dependent crime identified by law enforcement agencies may be reflecting higher levels of autistic-like traits amongst cybercriminals but that this does not necessarily equate to autism being a risk factor for cybercrime. This confusion may well arise because typically, autistic people do report higher levels of autistic-like traits than the general population (Ruzich et al. ). Cyber-dependent crime may therefore represent an area that distinguishes high autistic-trait non-autistic groups from autistic groups, consistent with proposal that people with autism differ qualitatively from non-autistic people who are nevertheless high in autistic-like traits (see Ashwood et al. ; Frith ). The finding that autistic respondents were less likely to commit cyber-dependent crime is also consistent with literature suggesting that autistic people are generally as law abiding, if not more so, than the general population. Lower levels of criminality are shown, at least for certain types of crime (Blackmore et al. ; Cheely et al. ; Ghaziuddin et al. ; Heeramun et al. ; Howlin ; King and Murphy ; Murrie et al. ; Wing ; Woodbury-Smith et al. , ; but see, Rava et al. ; Tint et al. ).
Thus, there is evidence that higher AQ scores are associated with higher levels of cyber-dependent crime regardless of an autism diagnosis. As this association was independent from the autism diagnosis, there may be something about autistic-like traits beyond the diagnostic criteria for autism that relates to cyber-dependent criminal activity. The mediation analysis suggests that an association between autistic-like traits and advanced digital skills may represent a key factor. We cautiously state above that those reporting an autism diagnosis were less likely to report cyber-dependent crime. Cautiously, as this could be for various reasons beyond high AQ and autism being different things, including a diagnosis of autism leading to some protection (e.g., more support leading to less potential criminal behaviour; see Heeramun et al. ). Importantly, however, there are potential selection issues in relation to individuals who respond to an invitation to complete an online survey on this topic, thus the possibility of selection bias cannot be ruled out. We do not know how many did not respond to the invitations (and therefore could not identify a response rate, for example) and the apparent protective effect could be a chance finding due to small numbers. Future research using larger samples can address such concerns and until that time the suggestion that autism may be protective should be considered speculative, especially as the data is self-reported and diagnostic status could not be independently verified in the present study.
Previous research has identified higher levels of autistic-like traits being present within scientific disciplines in which computer science students and employees are included (Baron-Cohen et al. ; Billington et al. ; Ruzich et al. ). This study is the first to specify a direct relationship between higher levels of autistic-like traits and advanced digital skills. In addition to being a pre-requisite for committing cyber-dependent crimes, these skills are essential for the cyber security industry which will have an estimated 3.5 million unfulfilled jobs by 2021 (Morgan ). This study suggests that targeting groups high in autistic-like traits would be a beneficial strategy to meet this employment need. Given the employment difficulties that can be faced by members of the autistic community (Buescher et al. ; Knapp et al. ; see also Gotham et al. ; Hendricks ; Howlin ; Levy and Perry ; National Autistic Society ; Taylor et al. ; Shattuck et al. ) and that around 46% of autistic adults who are employed are either over-educated or exceed the skill level needed for the roles they are in Baldwin et al. (), targeting the autistic community for cyber security employment may be particularly beneficial.
Notwithstanding the limitations described above, this may be particularly pertinent as this study found that a diagnosis of autism was associated with reduced cyber-dependent criminality. This would be consistent with perceptions of autistic strengths of honesty and loyalty (de Schipper et al. )—ideal attributes within employment settings. Importantly, this is not to suggest that all autistic people are good with technology, or that all autistic people should seek employment within cyber security industries (see Milton ). Rather, this study highlights that in a particularly challenging employment context, some members of the autistic community may be ideally suited to such employment opportunities and emphasises the need for employers to ensure that their recruitment methods and working environments are autism-friendly and inclusive (see Hedley et al. for review).
The direct link between autistic-like traits and cyber-dependent crime is also consistent with previous research (Seigfried-Spellar et al. ) and may extend to a relationship with cyber-enabled crime (such as online fraud). Seigfried-Spellar et al. () explored relationships between autistic-like traits and cyber-deviancy more broadly defined than cyber-dependent crime. Future research could explore whether the level of autistic-like traits, mediated by advanced digital skills, also relates to cyber-enabled crime, and whether there are any direct effects that are specific to cyber-dependent crime. Seigfried-Spellar et al. () and the present study were both cross-sectional studies. The mediation of advanced digital skills between autistic-like traits and cyber-dependent crime has been assumed in the present study, but this could be best established in longitudinal research. Exploring prison populations to identify if ‘traditional’ crime was related to autistic-like traits found no differences between prisoners and the general population (Underwood et al. ), which may suggest that autistic-like traits are associated with cybercrime specifically (that is, cyber-dependent crime and potentially cyber-enabled crime).
Sex, age, non-verbal IQ, explicit social cognition and perceived interpersonal support did not significantly relate to cyber-dependent criminal activity, which serves to highlight the salience of autistic-like traits. A potential limitation is that explicit social cognition was assessed, but not implicit social cognition. Based on the autism literature (Callenmark et al. ; Dewey ; Frith and Happé ), we would not necessarily expect difficulties with explicit social cognition in groups with high autistic-like traits. Implicit social cognition was also assessed by Callenmark et al. using interviews after the IToSK. Such interviews, however, do not readily extend to the online context and future research could explore any role of implicit social cognition in cyber-dependent crime. However, recent accounts of implicit social cognition have questioned whether such a system exists and findings from such measures can better be attributed to general attentional processes (Conway et al. ; Heyes ; Santiesteban et al. , , ).
Future research should also focus on autistic communities as well as those convicted of cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crimes to further develop our understanding of this area, an important aspect of which is the potential strengths some members of the autistic community can bring to cyber security employment.

Generalizable and Robust TV Advertising Effects: Substantially smaller advertising elasticities compared to the results documented in the literature

Shapiro, Bradley and Hitsch, Guenter J. and Tuchman, Anna, Generalizable and Robust TV Advertising Effects (September 17, 2019). SSRN:

Abstract: We provide generalizable and robust results on the causal sales effect of TV advertising for a large number of products in many categories. Such generalizable results provide a prior distribution that can improve the advertising decisions made by firms and the analysis and recommendations of policy makers. A single case study cannot provide generalizable results, and hence the literature provides several meta-analyses based on published case studies of advertising effects. However, publication bias results if the research or review process systematically rejects estimates of small, statistically insignificant, or “unexpected” advertising elasticities. Consequently, if there is publication bias, the results of a meta-analysis will not reflect the true population distribution of advertising effects. To provide generalizable results, we base our analysis on a large number of products and clearly lay out the research protocol used to select the products. We characterize the distribution of all estimates, irrespective of sign, size, or statistical significance. To ensure generalizability, we document the robustness of the estimates. First, we examine the sensitivity of the results to the assumptions made when constructing the data used in estimation. Second, we document whether the estimated effects are sensitive to the identification strategies that we use to claim causality based on observational data. Our results reveal substantially smaller advertising elasticities compared to the results documented in the extant literature, as well as a sizable percentage of statistically insignificant or negative estimates. If we only select products with statistically significant and positive estimates, the mean and median of the advertising effect distribution increase by a factor of about five. The results are robust to various identifying assumptions, and are consistent with both publication bias and bias due to non-robust identification strategies to obtain causal estimates in the literature.

Keywords: Advertising, Publication Bias, Generalizability
JEL Classification: L00, L15, L81, M31, M37, B41, C55, C52, C81, C18

To prevent the bysiness-cycle instabilities and ethical issues of laissez-faire, the mandarins in developing economies try to skip the laissez-faire stage, starting at a greater regulation level

Premature Imitation and India’s Flailing State. Shruti Rajagopalan and Alexander Tabarrok. The Independent Review, v. 24, n. 2, Fall 2019, pp. 165–186.

There is the same contrast even between people; between the few highly westernized, trousered, natives educated in western universities, speaking western languages, and glorifying in Beethoven, Mill, Marx or Einstein, and the great mass of their countrymen who live in quite other worlds. —W. Arthur Lewis, “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour”

Lant Pritchett(2009) has called India a flailing state. A flailing state is what happens when the principal cannot control its agents. The flailing state cannot implement its own plans and may have its plans actively subverted when its agents work at cross purposes. The Indian state flails because it is simultaneously too large and too small: too large because the Indian government attempts to legislate and regulate every aspect of citizens’ lives and too small because it lacks the resources and personnel to rule according to its ambitions. To explain the mismatch between the Indian state’s ambitions and its abilities, we point to the premature demands by Indian elite for policies more appropriate to a developed country. We illustrate with four case studies on maternity leave, housing policy, open defecation, and education policy. We then conclude by discussing how the problem of limited state capacity points to presumptive laissez-faire as a preferred governing and learning environment for developing countries. Matt Andrews, Lant Pritchett, and Michael Woolcock (2017) point to one explanation for India’s flailing state. In order to satisfy external actors, the Indian state and other recipients of foreign funding often take on tasks that overwhelm state capacity, leading to premature load bearing. As these authors put it, “By starting off with unrealistic expectations of the range, complexity, scale, and speed with which organizational capability can be built, external actors set both themselves and (more importantly) the governments they are attempting to assist to fail” (62). The expectations of external actors are only one source of imitation, however. Who people read, listen to, admire, learn from, and wish to emulate is also key. We argue that another factor driving inappropriate imitation is that the Indian intelligentsia—the top people involved in politics, the bureaucracy, universities, think tanks, foundations, and so forth—are closely connected with Anglo-American elites, sometimes even more closely than they are to the Indian populace. As a result, the Indian elite initiates and supports policies that appear to it to be normal even though such policies may have little relevance to the Indian population as a whole and may be wildly at odds with Indian state capacity. This kind of mimicry of what appear to be the best Western policies and practices is not necessarily ill intentioned. It might not be pursued to pacify external or internal actors, and it is not a deliberate attempt to exclude the majority of citizens from the democratic policy-making process. It is simply one by-product of the background within which the Indian intellectual class operates. The Indian elites are more likely, because of their background, to engage with global experts in policy dialogues that have little relevance to the commoner in India.

In the next sections, we discuss the flailing state and the demographics of the Indian elite. We then illustrate with case studies on maternity leave, housing policy, open defecation, and right-to-education policy how India passes laws and policies that make sense to the elite but are neither relevant nor beneficial to the vast majority of Indians. We conclude with a discussion of the optimal governing and learning environment when state capacity is limited.

Conclusion: Limited State Capacity Calls for Presumptive Laissez-Faire

The Indian state does not have enough capacity to implement all the rules and regulations that elites, trying to imitate the policies of developed economies, desire. The result is premature load bearing and a further breakdown in state capacity. It doesn’t follow that rule by non elites would be better. It could be worse. Nevertheless, there are some lessons about what kinds of things can and cannot be done with limited state capacity. States with limited capacity have great difficulty implementing tasks with performance goals that are difficult to measure and contested. In any bureaucracy, the agents involved ask themselves whether to perform according to the bureaucracy’s goals  or to their own. Incentives can ideally be structured so that goals align. But when states have limited capacity and performance goals are difficult to state or measure, it becomes easier for agents to act in their own interests.

At the broadest level, this suggests that states with limited capacity should rely more on markets even when markets are imperfect—presumptive laissez-faire. The market test isn’t perfect, but it is a test. Markets are the most salient alternative to state action, so when the cost of state action increases, markets should be used more often. Imagine, for example, that U.S. government spending had to be cut by a factor of ten. Would it make sense to cut all programs by 90 percent? Unlikely. Some programs and policies are of great value, but others should be undertaken only when state capacity and GDP per capita are higher. As Edward Glaeser quips, “A country that cannot provide clean water for its citizens should not be in the business of regulating film dialogue” (2011). A U.S. government funded at one-tenth the current level would optimally do many fewer things. So why doesn’t the Indian government do many fewer things? Indeed, when we look across time, we see governments providing more programs as average incomes rise. Over the past two hundred years, for example, the U.S. government has grown larger and taken on more tasks as U.S. average incomes have increased. But when we look across countries today, we do not see this pattern. Poor countries do not have notably smaller governments than rich countries. Indeed, poor countries often regulate more than rich countries (Djankov et al. 2002).

The differing patterns make sense from the perspective of the folk wisdom of much development economics. From this perspective, the fact that the developed economies might have started out more laissez-faire is an irrelevant historical observation. In fact, according to this view, because the developed economies have already evidently learned that laissez-faire led to inefficiencies, business-cycle instabilities, and environmental, distributional, and other ethical problems, it makes sense for the less-developed economies to skip the laissez-faire stage. Thus, the folk wisdom of development economics holds that what a developing economy learns from the history of developed economies is to avoid the mistakes of relative laissez-faire and begin with greater regulation.

In the alternative view put forward here, relative laissez-faire is a step to development, perhaps even a necessary step, even if the ultimate desired end point of development is a regulated, mixed economy. Presumptive laissez-faire is the optimal form of government for states with limited capacity and also the optimal learning environment for states to grow capacity. Under laissez-faire, wealth, education, trade, and trust can grow, which in turn will allow for greater regulation.

Moral exemplars are often held up as objects to be admired, which is thought to induce to emulate virtuous conduct; but admiration induces passivity rather than an incentive to self-improvement

From 2018... The Vice of Admiration. Jan-Willem van der Rijt. Philosophy, Volume 93, Issue 1, January 2018 , pp. 69-90.

Abstract: Moral exemplars are often held up as objects to be admired. Such admiration is thought beneficial to the admirer, inducing him or her to emulate virtuous conduct, and deemed flattering to the admired. This paper offers a critical examination of admiration from a broadly Kantian perspective, arguing that admiration – even of genuine moral exemplars – violates the duty of self-respect. It also provides an explanation for the fact that moral exemplars themselves typically shun admiration. Lastly, it questions the assumption that admiration leads to emulation on the basis of scientific findings that indicate that admiration induces passivity in the admirer rather than an incentive to self-improvement.

Australian banknotes: 15–35 per cent are used to facilitate legitimate transactions, 4–7 per cent are used for transactions in the shadow economy, 5–10 per cent are lost; the others are hoarded

Where's the Money An Investigation into the Whereabouts and Uses of Australian Banknotes. Richard Finlay  Andrew Staib  Max Wakefield. The Australian Economic Review, September 20 2019.

Abstract: The Reserve Bank of Australia is the sole issuer and redeemer of Australian banknotes, but between issuance and destruction there is little information about where banknotes go or what they are used for. We estimate the whereabouts and uses of Australian banknotes, and find that 15–35 per cent are used to facilitate legitimate transactions, 4–7 per cent are used for transactions in the shadow economy, while the remainder are non‐transactional. The vast majority of non‐transactional banknotes are likely to be hoarded, and we estimate that 5–10 per cent of outstanding banknotes are lost or collected.

The Association Between Repeated Romantic Rejection and Change in Ideal Standards (which are lowered, & more flexibility is introduced), & Lower Self-Perceived Mate Value

The Association Between Romantic Rejection and Change in Ideal Standards, Ideal Flexibility, and Self-Perceived Mate Value. Nicolyn H. Charlot, Rhonda N. Balzarini, and Lorne J. Campbell. Social Psychology, September 20, 2019.

Abstract. Research has shown that ideal romantic standards predict future partner characteristics and influence existing relationships, but how standards develop and change among single individuals has yet to be explored. Guided by the Ideal Standards Model (ISM), the present study sought to determine whether repeated experiences of romantic rejection and acceptance over time were associated with change in ideal standards, ideal flexibility, and self-perceived mate value (N = 208). Results suggest repeated experiences of rejection correspond to decreases in ideal standards and self-perceived mate value and increases in ideal flexibility, though no effects emerged for acceptance. Given the predictive nature of ideal standards and the link rejection has with such, findings from this study contribute to a greater understanding of relationship formation processes.

Keywords: romantic relationships, ideal standards, ideal flexibility, self-perceived mate value, rejection, acceptance

Long-term, stable marriages of midlife Americans were characterized by a linear increase in relationship satisfaction over 20 years & a linear decline in sexual satisfaction in the same time frame

Relationship and sexual satisfaction: A developmental perspective on bidirectionality. Christopher Quinn-Nilas. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, September 19, 2019.

Abstract: Researchers have investigated the directionality between relationship and sexual satisfaction; however, there remains no definitive conclusion. Previous longitudinal studies have not conceptualized relationship and sexual satisfaction as systematic developmental processes and have focused on predicting scores at later time points. Instead, researchers should be concerned with understanding how relationship and sexual satisfaction change together over time. The objective of this study was to use longitudinal data from midlife American marriages to test the directionality of the association between relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction. Multivariate latent growth curve modeling of 1,456 midlife Americans married for 20 years from the Midlife in the United States study was used to compare directionality models. Findings support that long-term, stable marriages of midlife Americans at the sample level were characterized by a linear increase in relationship satisfaction over 20 years and a linear decline in sexual satisfaction during the same time frame. A co-change model, wherein relationship and sexual satisfaction changed together over time, fit the data best. Trajectory correlations showed that changes in relationship and sexual satisfaction were strongly interconnected. High initial levels of sexual satisfaction protected against declines in relationship satisfaction over 20 years. Results support that relationship and sexual satisfaction change together over time and highlight that the longitudinal association between these outcomes is dynamic rather than static.

Keywords: Marriage, midlife Americans, MIDUS, multivariate growth curve, relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction

The MLGCM methodology is a key strength of this study because it allowed the examination of bidirectional associations between sexual and relationship satisfaction growth factors and allowed each outcome to be estimated as its own developmental process. Furthermore, this study is novel because it approached the question of directionality between relationship and sexual satisfaction by systematically testing competing unidirectional and bidirectional models using characteristics of change trajectories rather than static scores. This is partly buttressed by the large sample drawn from a nationally representative study that meets standards for statistical power (Hertzog et al., 2006). The 20-year longtime horizon underlying the MIDUS study has made possible inferences covering a substantial amount of time.

Despite the noted strengths, several limitations of the study are noteworthy. This study used single indicator measurement to assess relationship and sexual satisfaction. Additionally, several limitations are introduced by having only three time points. Having three time points does not allow for the thorough testing of nonlinear or more complex trends which could be assessed using a daily diary format (e.g., Day et al., 2015).Even though the duration of the MIDUS study was long, which allowed for long-term inferences, this structure neglects the more idiosyncratic microdevelopments and microchanges that may occur ona smallertime scale (i.e.,day to day,weektoweek, month to month, yeartoyear).
The original MIDUS data were from a nationally representative sample obtained with random-digit dialing, but it should be noted that there may be a selection effect inherent to the current study’s inclusion criteria (participants who stayed married to the same person for the entire duration). In the current study, the regressive bidirectional model (Model 8) was discarded because the design of the MIDUS study did not contain a meaningful intercept point. Although this is true in the present analyses, in other study designs that contain substantive intercepts (i.e., studies that begin at the start of a marriage), the regressive model need not be discarded. In such a case, a more thorough assessment can be made between the correlated model and the regressive model. Another limitation concerns the wording of the sexual satisfaction question, which asked about sexual satisfaction broadly rather than specifically about the marital relationship.

Heritability of alcohol consumption in adulthood, Finland twins: The youngest show greater non‐shared environmental & additive genetic influences than the old ones

Birth cohort effects on the quantity and heritability of alcohol consumption in adulthood: a Finnish longitudinal twin study. Suvi Virtanen  Jaakko Kaprio  Richard Viken  Richard J. Rose  Antti Latvala. Addiction, December 19 2018.

Aims: To estimate birth cohort effects on alcohol consumption and abstinence in Finland and to test differences between birth cohorts in genetic and environmental sources of variation in Finnish adult alcohol use.

Design: The Older Finnish Twin Cohort longitudinal survey study 1975–2011.

Setting: Finland.

Participants: A total of 26 121 same‐sex twins aged 18–95 years (full twin pairs at baseline n = 11 608).

Measurements: Outcome variables were the quantity of alcohol consumption (g/month) and abstinence (drinking zero g/month). Predictor variables were 10‐year birth cohort categories and socio‐demographic covariates. In quantitative genetic models, two larger cohorts (born 1901–20 and 1945–57) were compared.

Findings: Multi‐level models in both sexes indicated higher levels of alcohol consumption in more recent birth cohorts and lower levels in earlier cohorts, compared with twins born 1921–30 (all P < 0.003). Similarly, compared with twins born 1921–30, abstaining was more common in earlier and less common in more recent cohorts (all P < 0.05), with the exception of men born 1911–20. Birth cohort differences in the genetic and environmental variance components in alcohol consumption were found: heritability was 21% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0–56%] in the earlier‐born cohort of women [mean age 62.8, standard deviation (SD) = 5.3] and 51% (95% CI = 36–56%) in a more recent cohort (mean age 60.2, SD = 3.7) at the age of 54–74. For men, heritability was 39% (95% CI = 27–45%) in both cohorts. In alcohol abstinence, environmental influences shared between co‐twins explained a large proportion of variation in the earlier‐born cohort (43%, 95% CI = 23–63%), whereas non‐shared environmental (54%, 95% CI = 39–72%) and additive genetic influences (40%, 95% CI = 13–61%) were more important among more recent cohorts of men and women.

Conclusion: The contribution of genetic and environmental variability to variability in alcohol consumption in the Finnish population appears to vary by birth cohort.