Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Decline of Drudgery and the Paradox of Hard Work

The Decline of Drudgery and the Paradox of Hard Work. Brendan Epstein & Miles S. Kimball. NBER Working Paper, 29041, July 2021. DOI 10.3386/w29041

Abstract: We develop a theory that focuses on the general equilibrium and long-run macroeconomic consequences of trends in job utility—the process benefits and costs of work. Given secular increases in job utility, work hours per population can remain approximately constant over time even if the income effect of higher wages on labor supply exceeds the substitution effect. In addition, secular improvements in job utility can be substantial relative to welfare gains from ordinary technological progress. These two implications are connected by an equation flowing from optimal hours choices: improvements in job utility that have a significant effect on labor supply tend to have large welfare effects.

Persuading Investors: We show persuasion delivery works mainly through leading investors to form inaccurate beliefs

Persuading Investors: A Video-Based Study. Allen Hu & Song Ma. NBER Working Paper 29048, July 2021. DOI 10.3386/w29048

Abstract: Persuasive communication functions not only through content but also delivery, e.g., facial expression, tone of voice, and diction. This paper examines the persuasiveness of delivery in start-up pitches. Using machine learning (ML) algorithms to process full pitch videos, we quantify persuasion in visual, vocal, and verbal dimensions. Positive (i.e., passionate, warm) pitches increase funding probability. Yet conditional on funding, high-positivity startups underperform. Women are more heavily judged on delivery when evaluating single-gender teams, but they are neglected when co-pitching with men in mixed-gender teams. Using an experiment, we show persuasion delivery works mainly through leading investors to form inaccurate beliefs.

Origins of Values Differences: A Two-Level Analysis of Economic, Climatic and Parasite Stress Explanations

Origins of Values Differences: A Two-Level Analysis of Economic, Climatic and Parasite Stress Explanations in the Value Domain. Ronald Fischer. Cross-Cultural Research, July 12, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/10693971211031476

Abstract: What variables are associated with cross-cultural differences in values at the individual level? In this study, the statistical effect of variables associated with ecological demands and available economic and cognitive resources on self-reported values are investigated in two independent samples to test the replicability of effects. Values are operationalized using a 10-item version inspired by Schwartz’ value theory. The effects of national wealth, climatic demands, availability of cool water, and parasite stress at the national level are used to predict value scores of individuals within nations using nationally representative data from all inhabited continents (k = 49 and k = 58; Ns = 64,491 and 81,991). Using mixed-effect models, new insights into individual- and nation-level dynamics in value scores are provided. First, the paper extends previous cultural theories to the individual level by investigating the effects of education and personal income as individual-level resources. Both personal income and education have strong direct effects on value scores. Second, higher education acts as a cognitive resource which turns climatic demands into challenges, effectively unpackaging nation-level theorizing with individual level dynamics. Third, contrary to previous nation-level research, parasite stress was not a significant predictor of individual-level values. Forth, supporting recent theorizing, individuals located in cool water regions reported significantly higher self-transcendence values. Fifth, the effects of wealth on openness values were convergent and reinforcing across levels (higher wealth is associated with more openness values), but operated in opposing directions for self-transcendence values (national wealth is associated with self-transcendent values, individual wealth is associated with self-enhancing values). The current patterns suggest that cultural research needs to pay more attention to individual versus nation-level dynamics and increase replication efforts with independent samples.

Keywords: values, culture, climate-economic theory, parasite stress, wealth, multi-level, cross-cultural differences

Having disposal income in a wealthy environment potentiates and unleashes an even faster drive toward greater emancipation of individual desires and actions

Across cultures, there are positive emotions that are more permissible to show, like gratitude, interest, and amusement, and other we not as permissible to display (sensory pleasure, feeling moved, and to some degree triumph)

Manokara, Kunalan, Agneta Fischer, and Disa Sauter. 2020. “Display Rules Differ Between Positive Emotions: Not All That Feels Good, Looks Good.” OSF Preprints. April 25. doi:10.31219/osf.io/4uaym

Abstract: People do not always show how they feel; norms often dictate when to display emotions and to whom. Norms about emotional expressions – known as display rules – are weaker for happiness than for negative emotions, suggesting that expressing positive emotions is generally seen as acceptable. But does it follow that all positive emotions can always be shown to everyone? To answer this question, we mapped out context-specific display rules for eight positive emotions: gratitude, admiration, interest, relief, amusement, feeling moved, sensory pleasure, and triumph. In four studies with participants from five countries (n = 1,181), two consistent findings emerged. First, display rules differed between positive emotions. Weaker display rules were found for gratitude, interest, and amusement, while stronger display rules were found for sensory pleasure, feeling moved, and to some degree triumph. Second, contextual features – such as expresser location and perceiver relationship – both substantially influenced display rules for positive emotions, with perceiver relationship having a greater impact on display rules than expresser location. Our findings demonstrate that not all positive emotions are equally acceptable to express, and highlight the central role of context in influencing display rules even for emotions that feel good. In so doing, we provide the first map of expression norms for specific positive emotions.

Does Transportation Mean Transplantation? Impact of New Airline Routes on Sharing of Cadaveric Kidneys

Does Transportation Mean Transplantation? Impact of New Airline Routes on Sharing of Cadaveric Kidneys. Guihua Wang , Ronghuo Zheng , Tinglong Dai. Management Science, Jul 9 2021. https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2021.4103

Abstract: Every year, nearly 5,000 patients die while waiting for kidney transplants, and yet an estimated 3,500 procured kidneys are discarded. Such a polarized coexistence of dire scarcity and massive wastefulness has been mainly driven by insufficient pooling of cadaveric kidneys across geographic regions. Although numerous policy initiatives are aimed at broadening organ pooling, they rarely account for a key friction—efficient airline transportation, ideally direct flights, is necessary for long-distance sharing, because of the time-sensitive nature of kidney transplantation. Conceivably, transplant centers may be reluctant to accept kidney offers from far-off locations without direct flights. In this paper, we estimate the effect of the introduction of new airline routes on broader kidney sharing. By merging the U.S. airline transportation and kidney transplantation data sets, we create a unique sample tracking (1) the evolution of airline routes connecting all the U.S. airports and (2) kidney transplants between donors and recipients connected by these airports. We estimate the introduction of a new airline route increases the number of shared kidneys by 7.3%. We also find a net increase in the total number of kidney transplants and a decrease in the organ discard rate with the introduction of new routes. Notably, the posttransplant survival rate remains largely unchanged, although average travel distance increases after the introduction of new airline routes. Our results are robust to alternative empirical specifications and have important implications for improving access to the U.S. organ transplantation system.