Friday, October 1, 2021

Corrupt government hiring is common in developing countries; hires pay bribes averaging 17 months of salary

Weaver, Jeffrey. 2021. "Jobs for Sale: Corruption and Misallocation in Hiring." American Economic Review, 111 (10): 3093-3122. Oct 2021.

Abstract: Corrupt government hiring is common in developing countries. This paper uses original data to document the operation and consequences of corrupt hiring in a health bureaucracy. Hires pay bribes averaging 17 months of salary, but contrary to conventional wisdom, their observable quality is comparable to counterfactual merit-based hires. Exploiting variation across jobs, I show that the consequences of corrupt allocations depend on the correlation between wealth and quality among applicants: service delivery outcomes are good for jobs where this was positive and poor when negative. In this setting, the correlation was typically positive, leading to relatively good performance of hires. 

We need to apply more surveillance & control techniques: Some pledged to being meat-free, but, although "pledges can encourage meat consumers to reduce their intake, [...] additional mechanisms are needed to sustain commitments"

Monitoring a meat-free pledge with smartphones: An experimental study. Jared Piazza et al. Appetite, October 1 2021, 105726.

Abstract: Pledges are a popular strategy to encourage meat reduction, though experimental studies of their efficacy are lacking. Three-hundred and twenty-five participants from three different countries (UK, Germany, Australia) were randomly assigned to pledge 28 days meat-free or not, and their behavior was tracked via smartphones. Participants answered daily surveys regarding their eating behavior, meat cravings, and shared photos of their meals. Baseline data was collected prior to the pledge, after the 28 days, and one-month post-intervention. Participants assigned to the pledge condition ate less meat across the 28 days, compared to control participants. Meat reductions, observed at outtake, did not endure one-month post-intervention. Overall, German participants ate the least amount of meat, and showed the sharpest decrease in consumption when pledging. Meat cravings tended to increase among pledgers, relative to control participants. Pledgers who reported high starting intentions and conflict about meat tended to eat less meat and reported fewer cravings. All participants reported reduced meat-eating justifications one-month post-intervention. These findings provide experimental evidence that pledges can encourage meat consumers to reduce their intake, though additional mechanisms are needed to sustain commitments.

Keywords: Meat reductionPledgingConflicted omnivoresSmartphonesExperience sampling

LGBT Americans are clearly liberal compared to straight & cisgender respondents)—also, bisexual & transgender respondents are frequently less liberal than lesbians and gay men

Political Distinctiveness and Diversity Among LGBT Americans. Philip Edward Jones. Public Opinion Quarterly, nfab030, September 25 2021.

Abstract: At least partly due to data limitations, academic analyses of public opinion rarely acknowledge lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identities. Our models of political attitudes almost always overlook respondents’ sexual orientation and gender identities, and targeted research on the views of LGBT people is uncommon. This omission has obscured both the distinctiveness of LGBT Americans and the diversity within the group. Using recent large-N surveys, this article shows that LGBT Americans are distinctively liberal compared to otherwise similar straight and cisgender respondents—in their general political predispositions, electoral choices, and attitudes on a wide range of policy matters. At the same time, there is substantial diversity within the community—bisexual and transgender respondents are frequently less liberal than lesbians and gay men. Analysis of intersecting identities reveals substantial differences between bisexual men and bisexual women, but little evidence of diversity based on gender within lesbian/gay and transgender subgroups. Given these findings, public opinion scholars should routinely incorporate measures of LGBT identities in their analyses, alongside race, gender, class, and other politically salient respondent characteristics.