Fall 2009 Awards

Cohort Highlight: Small Grants Awarded to Social Scientists

2010 INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Conference
Chris Anderson, Hotel
Amr Farahat, JGSM
Sheryl Kimes, Hotel
Huseyin Topaloglu, Engineering

International Seminar for the Study of the Second Slavery
Ed Baptist, History
Rafael Marquese, Sao Paulo
Dale Tomich, Binghamton University

Team Diversity and Financial Decision Making
Vicki Bogan, AEM
David Just, AEM
Chekitan Dev, Hotel
Funded with generous support by the President’s Council of Cornell Women

Computing a Sustainable Future: Fabrication, Ecology and Simulation in the Age of Global Climate Change
Ann Forsyth, Architecture Art & Planning
Mark Morris, Architecture, Art & Planning
Mike Silver, Metropolis Magazine

An International Healthcare Reform Conference: From the Whitehouse to the Workplace
Rebecca Givan, ILR
Peter Lazes, ILR
William Sonnenstuhl, ILR

The Effects of Incentive Framing and Probabilistic Management Audits on Fraudulent Behavior 
James Hesford, Hotel

Employment Relations of Multinational Corporations
Sarosh Kuruvilla, ILR

Who Knows Best: Preschoolers’ Causal Learning from Experts in Light of Their Own Play Experience 
Tamar Kushnir, Human Development
Funded with generous support by the President’s Council of Cornell Women

Contrasting Language in Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and in Healthy Elderly: Stage Two of a Pilot Study
Barbara Lust, Human Development
Janet Sherman, Massachusetts General Hospital
Suzanne Flynn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alexander Immerman, Cornell Language Acquisition Lab

Rectification, Thought Reform, and Political Education in Khmer Rouge Liberated Zones (1970-1975) and Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979)
Andrew Mertha, Government

Bringing STS into Environmental History
Sara Pritchard, S&TS
Dolly Jørgensen, Norwegian University of Science & Technology
Finn Arne Jørgensen, Norwegian University of Science & Technology

Workshop on Grammar Induction
Mats Rooth, Linguistics
Draga Zec, Linguistics

Local Product (Techan) Specialization in China and Taiwan
Steven Sangren, Anthropology

A Mini-Conference on Gender Inequality in Science, Math, Engineering, and Behavioral Science Occupations
Sharon Sassler, Policy Analysis & Management

Perceptions of “Publicness” in NYC’s Privately Owned Public Spaces
Stephan Schmidt, City & Regional Planning
Jeremy Nemeth, University of Colorado

Health Insurance and Changes in Marital Status
Kosali Simon, PAM
Funded with generous support by the President’s Council of Cornell Women

“Citizenship Effects,”“Interest Convergence,” and Interest Group Litigants’ Strategy: Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York
Anna Marie Smith, Government
Funded with generous support by the PCCW

2010 INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Conference 
Chris Anderson, Hotel, Amr Farahat, JGSM, Sheryl Kimes, Hotel and Huseyin Topaloglu, Engineering

Revenue Management (RM) has been defined as selling the right space (whether a room, an airline seat or a tee-time) at the right time (day of week, time of day) at the right price to the right customer (Smith, Leimkuhler and Darrow 1992). It has been widely studied (for a review of the RM literature, please see Boyd and Bilegan 2003; McGill and van Ryzin 1999; or Weatherford and Bodily 1992) and has been applied to a number of industries including the airline industry (Smith, Leimkuhler and Darrow 1992), the hotel industry (Hanks, Noland and Cross 1992), the restaurant industry (Kimes et al. 1998), the golf industry (Kimes 2000), professional services (Siguaw, Kimes and Gassenheimer 2003), broadcast advertising (Bollapragada et al. 2002) and meeting space (Kimes and McGuire 2001). Companies using RM have shown a revenue increase of 2 – 5 percent (Hanks, Noland and Cross 1992; Kimes 2004; Smith, Leimkuhler and Darrow 1992). RM research falls into essentially three categories: (1) the underlying mathematical models, (2) the interplay with customer and employee behavior and satisfaction and (3) application to other industries. RM seems to work best in industries that have a relatively fixed capacity, perishable inventory, high fixed cost and low variable costs, varying customer price sensitivity, time-variable demand patterns and the ability to inventory demand through either reservations or through waiting lists (Cross 1997).

Update: The conference was extremely successful with over a 25% increase in attendance from the previous year and two full days of top quality research talks.  The conference produced a special issue by The Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, Volume 10, Issue 6 (November 2011) and served to cement Cornell’s position as one the leading schools in revenue management research.

International Seminar for the Study of the Second Slavery
Ed Baptist, History, Rafael Marquese, Sao Paulo, and Dale Tomich, Binghamton University

2009 Project Description: The study of slavery has traditionally seen the institution as not only unjust but as distinct from and antithetical to the processes of economic modernization and cultural modernity. But a new interdisciplinary interpretation that combines the skills and resources of multiple fields of scholarly inquiry is emerging. The scholars who are developing this interpretation remind us that the nineteenth century, the age of industrial revolution and the triumph of Western power over the rest of the world’s societies, was also a period of great expansion for slavery in the New World. They use a wide variety of evidence to argue that nineteenth-century demographic and geographic expansions of slavery, particularly in the U.S., Cuba, and Brazil were—along with technological and organizational transformations of slavery that radically increased the efficiency of slave production in ways that seem very “modern”—were essential components of the industrial and other transformations of the world economy that have shaped the modern world. These scholars, who are based at institutions in the U.S., Cuba, Brazil, Germany, and elsewhere, have been meeting on an ad hoc basis. Now they want to organize themselves more formally, specifically by establishing a regular schedule of meetings (1-2 times a year) and by creating a web-based journal, which this project will advance.

Update: A conference titled “Politics of the Second Slavery: Conflict and Crisis on the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Slave Frontier” was successfully held at Binghamton University on October 15-16, 2010. In addition, Prof. Baptist and colleagues are creating a web-journal to publish the conference presentations and related work. The website launched in 2012. In 2014 Baptist released a new book titled “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism”. Discussion of the book can be found here. After a controversial review of the book by The Economist, supporters turned to twitter to offer their defense for Baptist. Edward Baptist had an article on the topic published in the New York Times Magazine on September 13, 2015. Conference examines the histories of capitalism.

Team Diversity and Financial Decision Making
Vicki Bogan, AEM, David Just, AEM and Chekitan Dev, Hotel
Funded with generous support by the PCCW

Within the management literature, there is conflicting evidence as to whether gender and ethnic diversity in group composition leads to better outcomes. However, to our knowledge, an open question remains in the finance and economics literature as to whether team diversity leads to any measurably different outcomes. We will examine empirically the relationship between diversity and performance in the context of portfolio management. Specifically, we hypothesize that diverse fund management teams make different decisions than homogeneous teams. We will test this hypothesis using an experimental economics approach by focusing on investment performance, investment behavior, and investment team diversity.

Update: Vicki Bogan’s research team investigated whether the gender composition of a fund management team influences investment decision making behavior. Using an experimental economics approach, they examined the relationship between gender diversity and investment decisions. They found evidence that a male presence increases the probability of selecting a higher risk investment. However, the all-male teams are not the most risk seeking. Moreover, having a male presence increases loss aversion.  In the context of workforce composition, these results could have important implications for team investment decisions driven by the assessment of risk and return trade-offs.This grant has enabled Prof. Bogan and her co-authors to generate a working paper entitled “Team Diversity and Investment Decision Making Behavior” available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1638971. This paper was listed as one of SSRN’s Top Ten most downloaded papers during 2010 in the topic area of Experimental Finance, Experimental Individual Decision Making and Team Theory.  The working paper is currently under review at a journal.

Media Update: Study shows 6.3 percent occupancy increase in rebranded hotels

Computing a Sustainable Future: Fabrication, Ecology and Simulation in the Age of Global Climate Change
Ann Forsyth, Architecture Art & Planning, Mark Morris, Architecture, Art & Planning , and Mike Silver, Metropolis Magazine

This book project will explore the intersection of novel, computationally advanced modeling, fabrication and analysis technologies and how these new approaches impact the design of sustainable environments. The gathering is intended to probe the possibilities of new tools in an age of high throughput simulation, computer-aided manufacturing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). With these innovative techniques of digital mapping, simulation and production designers and policy makers are now in the position to create sophisticated proposals for complex architectural and urban interventions, shifting their focus from the manipulation of simple forms to the creation of dynamic social and physical systems. As new information technologies provide researchers in other fields with the ability to comprehend complex material processes and energetic interactions, at scales ranging from the planetary to the sub-molecular, how will the disciplines of architecture and urban design be transformed? What are the limits of computational analysis? What new ways of thinking and planning will emerge as a result of exponential increases in data processing speed? How will innovative materials and methods of production affect the way we construct a sustainable world? How can buildings and cities, the greatest contributors to global climate change, evolve through the application of new technologies? In order to address these concerns “Computing a Sustainable Future” will assemble a wide range of experts from fields as diverse as regional and urban planning, economics, ecology, computer science, and building design. By connecting architecture and technology more fully to the social sciences at Cornell our ISS supported book project will help facilitate a more humane design discourse, drawing comprehensive links to the scientific study of people, places and the complex systems of material development driven by new mode of information processing. In this way “Computing a Sustainable Future” will create a unique cross-disciplinary exchange that will support collective decision-making, ethical design practices and an enhanced understanding of architecture’s ecological connection to the lives of real people.

Update: ISS funds were used to develop a proposal for publication through Metropolis Books (this is a major technical press in the design area). We are currently waiting to find out if the project will be funded. The book will cover emerging work in the field of sustainable design that builds off the original proposal entitled “Deep Green: Computing a Sustainable Future”.

An International Healthcare Reform Conference: From the Whitehouse to the Workplace
Rebecca Givan, ILR, Peter Lazes, ILR and William Sonnenstuhl, ILR

While social scientists have long studied health care, only recently has it attracted the interest of experts in work, employment relations, workforce development, and leadership issues. The goal of this conference is to bring together healthcare researchers, practitioners, policy makers, regulatory governmental agencies, and union leaders to look at approaches being used to accelerate the implementation of change and to reduce costs, while improving the quality of patient care. This gathering will be an important international conference examining the experiences and impact of various healthcare delivery system changes and reform activities that have been established in the last few years in both the United States and Europe. This conference comes at a critical phase of President Obama’s healthcare reform initiatives that are being deliberated in Washington. Taking the time to assess these strategic activities will make sure healthcare reform is focused on the correct issues and allow the labor movement to make its appropriate contribution.

Update: In 2010, this conference was successfully held at Cornell’s ILR School, producing three grants totaling $80,000 and two additional conferences. Collaborations that have resulted from this conference include continued work with all healthcare unions, Dartmouth’s Center for Health Care Delivery Science, and the University of Southern California.  This interdisciplinary event also built closer ties among 6 Cornell units on several campuses that work on healthcare research and policy: ILR, Human Ecology, Cooperative Extension, the Department of Public Health of Weill/Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospitals, and Cornell’s Center for Translational Science Research.

The Effects of Incentive Framing and Probabilistic Management Audits on Fraudulent Behavior
James Hesford, Hotel

Agency theory assumes that principals and agents are self-interested, their goals are divergent, that agents prefer leisure to effort and agent effort is unobservable (Arrow 1985; Baiman 1982; Levinthal 1988). To overcome these problems, contingent pay contracts are written to align the interests of principals and agents. A number of studies have found that contingent pay plans result in superior job performance when compared to non-contingent pay plans (e.g., hourly wages and salaries). It is not surprising, therefore, that contingent pay has arisen as common practice throughout most organizations (e.g., Lambert 2001; Lawler and Cohen 1992; Richter 1999). Yet while contingent contracts overcome the problem of shirking, the frequency and significance of frauds at firms like Fannie Mae, Enron and HealthSouth have caused many to speculate on the role of incentives in inducing managers to engage in fraudulent behaviors. Others are more certain and point a finger directly at performance-contingent pay; well-known investor Warren Buffett and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan are two examples. Buffett (1999) asserted that a growing number of managers manipulate earnings to increase personal income. Greenspan (2002), in testimony to the U.S. Senate, said that managers had “incentives to artificially inflate reported earnings” in part because their personal income depended on doing so. Hesford and McLean Parks (2009) provide evidence that incentive compensation increases fraudulent behaviors mitigated, in part, through the priming of ethical concerns.

Update: An experiment was run, but due to unanticipated results, Prof. Hesford is in the process of re-designing the test for further experimentation. Pending results, applications for several grants from professional associations will be filed.

Employment Practices of Multinationals in Comparative Context
Sarosh Kuruvilla, ILR

The proposal seeks funding for a conference to be held by the ILR School at Cornell University in September 2010. The objective of the conference is to gain a greater understanding of the ways in which MNCs organize and manage their employees both within and across host country environments. Leading scholars from around the world will come to Ithaca to present papers from a series of collaboratively developed, nationally representative, parallel surveys of MNCs and their employment practices in four countries: Ireland, Canada, Spain and the UK. Together, the data from these surveys form an integrated dataset and allow for unprecedented cross-national comparative analysis on the role of MNCs in both integrating and differentiating, between and within, national systems of employment. The proposed conference will permit the dissemination of initial findings from this unique cross-national dataset, but more importantly, provides an opportunity for ILR faculty and graduate students to work together with these research teams in developing future research projects based on this unique data, and in particular, to explore the possibility of expanding this research to include a broader range of countries. The conference papers will be published as a special issue in the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, the leading journal in industrial relations that is based at the ILR school.

Update: A successful conference on international human resource management was successfully held in September 2010 at Cornell. All papers produced from the conference will appear in a special issue of the Industrial and Labor Relations review, the leading journal in the field of industrial relations and human resources.

Who knows Best: Preschoolers’ Causal Learning from Experts in Light of Their Own Play Experience 
Tamar Kushnir, Human Development
Funded with generous support by the PCCW

Young children are natural learners. Even before formal schooling begins they have already learned a great deal about the world. Increasingly, these very young children are being exposed to formal instruction, either at home or in academically-oriented preschool programs. More research is needed to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this trend. In particular, the notion that dominates theories of young children’s learning – that they learn best through play (i.e. active exploratory experiences) – suggests that that instruction may not benefit this age group. On the other hand, research on developing social cognition has shown that even preschoolers understand that some people know more than others, and this understanding guides who they choose to learn from. The aim of this proposal is to examine how 3- and 4-year-old children evaluate evidence from experts in light of their own experiences through play. These experiments involve causal learning, both because causal knowledge has been shown to be central to young children’s early concepts and because new research shows that play is critical to causal learning. Study 1 asks whether 3- and 4-year olds take into account another person’s level of expertise in the face of their own conflicting actions. Study 2 asks whether preschoolers know that some types of causal learning (e.g. learning functions of commonly used tools) benefit from instruction whereas others (e.g. learning about the functioning of individual toys) may benefit more from their own play. ISS funds would support data collection on these preliminary studies, leading to a better chance at securing additional funding for a large scale project on how children’s developing social cognition influences causal learning in both formal and informal settings.

Update: Prof. Kushnir’s research team collected pilot data critical to securing a three-year NSF grant totaling $300,000 to study the influence of developing social cognition on causal learning in the preschool years. The major findings of the pilot data regarding how children learn from and about people are that preschoolers appreciate the difference between ignorant and inaccurate informants, use the distinction between conventional knowledge and expert knowledge to guide their future requests, and selectively use others’ past accuracy in their causal learning. Prof. Kusnir has 3 forthcoming publications based on this research, including an invited article in a special issue of Developmental Psychology on children’s selective trust of social information. Kushnir has presented data from the original ISS project 10+ times thus far, at venues including the Cognitive Development Society (Fall 2009), the Society for Research on Child Development (Spring 2011), and the Max Plank Center in Leipzig, Germany (2011). Press Coverage includes: Tamar Kushnir, one of  ISS’ 2013 Fellows, Finds that Age Changes How Young Children Read Social Cues (2013) and Tamar Kushnir co-authors study on toddlers’ notice of social cues (2014).

Contrasting Language in Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease and in Healthy Elderly: Stage Two of a Pilot Study
Barbara Lust, Human Development , Janet Sherman, Massachusetts General Hospital, Suzanne Flynn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Alexander Immerman, Cornell Language Acquisition Lab

In this pilot study, we seek to discover and define changes in language function that occur in early and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in order to contrast these changes with those that may occur normally with human aging. The discovery of such changes that can inform and identify individuals who may go on to a diagnosis of dementia might facilitate the development of sensitive preclinical diagnostic tools that could aid in early detection of AD and, in doing so, aid in the development of appropriate clinical and social interventions. An interdisciplinary collaboration between Cornell University (CU), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has built an infrastructure and developed scientific methodologies for the systematic investigation of such changes. Currently, we are analyzing initial pilot data from the healthy elderly group and anticipating calibrated results from the other two sites. Results from a set of cognitive and linguistic tasks will be correlated to data from a detailed background questionnaire, designed to gather data about potential mediating social and personal factors. This will allow us to test a wealth of hypotheses regarding the development and impairment of language and thought both in normal aging and in clinical AD. At this crucial point in the development of this pilot project, we seek funds to: (1) complete processing and analyses of our initial pilot data; (2) report early results in a series of conferences and papers; (3) prepare larger future funding proposals for a necessarily expanding project; (4) complete our pilot data sample by including a set of bilingual subjects; (5) travel to Boston, MA to meet with collaborators. All data and materials from the project will ultimately be available digitally through the CU-centered Virtual Center for Language Acquisition in conjunction with Cornell Mann Library. This grant proposal to ISS thus serves as a critical bridge between a currently developing pilot study and our application for larger long-term funding required by the project.

Update: Prof. Lust’s research team has filled a gap in the literature with their research; their findings are described in the article: “Trouble Forming Sentences May Be Early Alzheimer’s Marker.”
Additional Media Coverage: Language-loss Study Reveals Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease (April 29, 2015)

Rectification, Thought Reform, and Political Education in Khmer Rouge Liberated Zones (1970-1975) and Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979)
Andrew Mertha, Government

In what ways and to what degree did rectification play a role in politics and society under Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia? Much of what we know about rectification, thought reform or political education under the Khmer Rouge is as a euphemism for almost certain death through execution, either before (people “taken away at night”) or after giving a torture-induced confession of alleged “crimes.” Western scholarship on this period focuses a great deal on the Tuol Sleng (S-21) execution site and, by implication, similar institutions scattered throughout the country. However, recent data suggests that such a picture is, at best, incomplete. There are all sorts of tantalizing references in the scholarly literature and in memoirs by survivors of the Khmer Rouge era that suggests that there was some degree of political indoctrination that took place. These accounts describe how some people who were taken away, sometimes for months at a time, for “political study” but who actually returned. They depict situations in which people, attended routine study sessions at during a typical workday. Finally, they aver that children in particular were subject to both formal and informal indoctrination, but rather than resulting in execution, such indoctrination seems to have been an integral part of Khmer Rouge cadre training. The accumulation of these and many other pieces of data suggest that the Tuol Sleng “model” – in which the very existence of Tuol Sleng was considered top secret, thus “requiring” the execution of all prisoners following completion of their “confessions” – was not the only mechanism employed by the Khmer Rouge to “purify” both cadres and constituents. Such findings would require us to revise substantially our understanding of the Khmer Rouge period as being significantly more complex (and complicated) than is the case today. Beyond this somewhat narrower focus, this project – which will eventually take the form of a structured comparison between Cambodia and China – will increase our understanding about the ways in which we conceptualize the relationship between torture and thought reform and their influence on the substance upon which policy is based. The larger questions that drive this research agenda are what are some of the variations in rectification over space and time and what is the impact on politics and policy?

Update: Prof. Mertha’s research was completed during 2012. This research will be used to compile a book manuscript titled, “Ambivalent Allies: Sino-Cambodia Relations in the 1970s and Today.”

Bringing STS into Environmental History
Sara Pritchard, S&TS, Dolly Jørgensen, Norwegian University of Science & Technology and Finn Arne Jørgensen, Norwegian University of Science & Technology

If awarded, this ISS Small Grant Program application would support an international workshop in August 2010 on the intersection of science and technology studies and environmental history. The conference co-conveners Sara Pritchard (Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell), Dolly Jørgensen, and Finn Arne Jørgensen (both from Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Norwegian University of Science & Technology) plan to bring together leading scholars working within and at the interface of these two fields to examine how insights from science and technology studies might help inform historical analyses of humanity’s interactions with nonhuman nature. Moreover, such historical analysis has important implications for current environmental issues and policy-making. The ISS Small Grant Program would: 1) cover the costs of Pritchard’s participation in the workshop as well as those of another Cornell participant; 2) provide a modest contribution to the overall funding of the conference; and 3) support Pritchard’s return to Norway to co-edit the collection of essays that emerged from the conference. The proposed workshop thus meets four of the specified objectives of the ISS Small Grant Program: research led by junior faculty; interdisciplinary social science research; interdisciplinary conference support; and projects that seek other external funding.

Update: The workshop was successfully held and led to an edited volume book contract and additional funding totaling $17,700. More information on the conference regarding this research can be found at the 2009 Conference Website. A detailed explanation of this project can also be seen in an Interview with Sara Pritchard. Press coverage includes: ISS’ Land Project Team Member and Small Grant Awardee, Sara Pritchard, Edits Book, “New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies” (2014).

Workshop on Grammar Induction
Mats Rooth, Linguistics and Draga Zec, Linguistics

We propose to organize a Workshop on Grammar Induction that would take place at Cornell in Spring 2010. The goal of the workshop is to bring together researchers from different disciplines, in particular, from linguistics, psychology and computer science, who work on issues such as language acquisition, statistical learning, artificial grammar design, or grammar induction, broadly construed to cover a variety of perspectives and a variety of methodologies. This includes experimental work in both psychology and linguistics on the acquisition and transmission of the knowledge of language, as well as
modeling of this knowledge in computationally minded research. Despite differences across disciplines, the common thread in all this research is developing a better understanding of how language is acquired and transmitted and, more generally, what constitutes the basis of shared linguistic knowledge within speech communities. In sum, this workshop will address an important line of inquiry that is cross-disciplinary in nature.

Update: This conference was held successfully on May 14-16, 2010. For more information, see the conference website at http://conf.ling.cornell.edu/CWGI/Home.html.

Local Product (Techan) Specialization in China and Taiwan
Steven Sangren, Anthropology

Local-product (techan) specialization is a long-standing and, arguably, distinguishing element in China’s economy that has received little academic scrutiny. The category techan includes a wide variety of commodities ranging from manufactured objects to agricultural products closely associated with particular localities. Intriguingly, these associations in many cases appear historically serendipitous or arbitrary – that is to say, independent of any self-evident material economic rationale. Moreover, the demand for local specialties is closely linked to the social organization of travel- for example, tourism, religious pilgrimages, and as a sideline of business travel. In its preliminary stages, my project aims to outline in broad, mainly descriptive terms, the nature and magnitude of the culture of local products; to seek relevant earlier research and potential collaborators, especially in Taiwan and China, but also at Cornell; and to undertake some exploratory ethnographic fieldwork. The topic is interesting theoretically insofar as it foregrounds linkages among market organization, culturally defined values, and local identities – i.e., even in the clearly “economic” province of commodities, the utilitarian logic of markets is insufficient to explain everything.

Update: Prof. Sangren conducted research mainly in Yunnan on local products, with consultations and additional research in Taiwan and Fujian. A draft paper resulted from this research, titled “Tourism Chinese Style: Tour Groups, Techan, and the Materialization of Experience.”

A Mini-Conference on Gender Inequality in Science, Math, Engineering, and Behavioral Science Occupations
Sharon Sassler, Policy Analysis & Management

Although increased attention has been devoted to attracting women into Science, Math, Engineering, and Behavioral Science (SMEB) occupations, women continue to be underrepresented in these professions. The goal of this project is to host a one-day mini-conference that brings together specialists studying barriers facing women’s entrance into, retention, and promotion in SMEB occupations. The proposed mini-conference will consist of panels that address work/family balance issues and the particular challenges facing women in science fields, as well as a ‘conversational panel’ on women in science that will include the previous and past Program Directors of the section on Science, Technology, and Society at the National Science Foundation. Discussions with other academics and specialists in SMEB fields will enable an established team of Cornell researchers to revise a proposal on the entrance into and retention of women in SMEB occupations for resubmission to NSF.

Update: The ISS funds were spent in 2010 to hold a mini-conference at the annual meetings of the Eastern Sociological Society on Gender, Family, Work & Technology.  A preliminary presentation of our research results was presented at that time and at the 2011 annual meeting of the Population Association of America. Media coverage includes, Vice (2016); Cornell Chronicle (2016) Council on Contemporary Families (2014), New York Times (2014), Huffington Post (2014),  Something About STEM Drives Women Out, Finds Sharon Sassler, ISS’ Small Grant Awardee (2013)  ISS’ Family Team Member and Small Grant Awardee, Sharon Sassler, Examines Signifance of Where Couples First Meet (2014) and Two Time ISS Small Grant Award Recipient Sharon Sassler Examines Cohabiting Couples and Contraception (2014).

Perceptions of “Publicness” in NYC’s Privately Owned Public Spaces
Stephan Schmidt, City & Regional Planning and Jeremy Nemeth, University of Colorado

In recent years, the provision of public space through the private sector has led
to a proliferation of privately owned public spaces in New York City. However, the lack of transparency, accountability and public input into the planning of such spaces raises concerns over exactly how public such spaces truly are. Nevertheless, the conceptualization of “publicness,” as a linear relationship from completely private to completely public is problematic, as there is no consensus as to what constitutes a “good” or “ideal” public space. This research will contribute to this debate by examining both the relationship between publicness and diversity of use, as well as the perceptions of, and preferences for, security by users of privately owned spaces. A better understanding of the relationship between user perceptions and preferences and the degree and amount of spatial security will allow us to answer to better understand how public spaces function. In order to undertake this research, we plan on using the ISS Small Grant to conduct field work of privately owned public spaces in Midtown Manhattan and pay for a user intercept survey.

Update: This research resulted in an 2011 article co-authored by both PIs titled, “The Privatization of Public Space: Modeling and Measuring Publicness,” published in Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design.

Health Insurance and Changes in Marital Status
Kosali Simon, PAMS

As of 2007, 45.7 million Americans were uninsured, including 8.1 million children (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). Uninsured Americans experience well known problems related to health, health care access and financial stability. It is important to note that there is a large degree of churning in health insurance status. Eligibility for certain kinds of coverage change due to changes in employment (employer based insurance), marital status (dependent coverage), income (Medicaid/SCHIP), or age (Medicaid/SCHIP and dependent coverage). About 2 million people lose health insurance every month, while a similar number gain insurance, and the risk of being uninsured anytime during a 2 year period is almost twice that of being uninsured during a year. Thus, to understand the ramifications of lack of coverage and to inform potential policy remedies, investigating health insurance dynamics is important. The objective of this project is to study the risk of losing or gaining health insurance due to change in marital status. While prior research has show that family structure is an important determinant of health insurance for children, that family change has causal effects on labor supply ( e.g. Johnson and Skinner, 1986) and that state social program policies have a causal impact on children’s health insurance, there is no prior work on the causal effect of family change on children’s health insurance, and how these effects may be mitigated by social policies.

Update: Kosali Simon’s project is the first study to look at how health insurance changes for adults and children, through the process of marital disruption. Her research team finds that there is a big change in the type of coverage held, but much smaller changes in whether someone is uninsured. This differs substantially based on gender and by educational level. During 2010, Simon’s group presented the work at the ASHEcon conference. During 2011, Simon presented work at Indiana University’s Sociology Department. The research she and her co-author Liz Peters conducts continues with the support of RA and co-author, Jamie Rubenstein Taber, who is a female Cornell Ph.D. candidate in economics. Simon is now at Indiana University. Simon’s research team plans to continue to pursue external funding (two NIH proposals were unfunded) and to revise the working papers for journal publication.

“Citizenship Effects,” “Interest Convergence,” and Interest Group Litigants’ Strategy: Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York
Anna Marie Smith, Government

This project deals with one section of my multi-year research project based upon Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York, a recent decision handed down by the highest court in New York ordering the state to increase its allocations to the city’s public education system by several billion dollars to lift the quality of its educational opportunities up to the state constitutional adequacy threshold. In this particular phase of the project, I intend to carry out qualitative research, especially open-ended interviews with parents who became involved with the case. I will be pursuing three specific questions in this phase. Did the Campaign’s strategy allow it to successfully head off potential opposition from wealthier parents and other possible opponents where the implementation of the decision was concerned? Did their strategy intensify the “citizenship effect” of the case, namely its impact on the civic orientation and political mobilization of the low-income parents who were included in the class action? Did their strategy amplify the “radiating effects” of the case — its impact on the wider political field in New York City and New York State where education reform and public education funding are concerned?

Update: As Prof. Smith stated in her original application, she was planning to do a Law and Society study on the plaintiffs in a New York state case pertaining to the right to education guaranteed under the state constitution. Smith began initial interviews with the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Michael Rebell, in May, 2010. Through their interviews, Prof. Smith became persuaded that she had to re-work the research framework substantially, as the litigation began in the early 1990s and the key witnesses who were ordinary citizens, namely low-income parents of pupils attending New York City public schools, lay too far in the past. She decided instead to give the legal, political theory, and intellectual history discussion of the case a much heavier emphasis. Smith’s argument includes that the Right to Education should be understood in the legal/normative terms specified by Justice Thurgood Marshall in his dissent in a major Supreme Court decision, San Antonio V. Rodriguez (1973); that Rodriguez was wrongly decided, and Marshall’s argument ought to prevail in the federal court; and that the spirit of Marshall’s political theory of fair education opportunity lives on, in a vibrant and material sense, in the current wave of state school finance lawsuits, such as the CFE case. Smith’s article, “Reading Thurgood Marshall as a Democratic Theorist: Race, School Finance, and the Courts,” is forthcoming in Education, Justice, and Democracy, ed. Danielle Allen and Rob Reich, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. She is currently working on two further works that are integral to the ISS research project: “The Right to Education and the Geography of Arbitrary Advantage and Disfranchisement: Revisiting Thurgood Marshall’s Dissent in San Antonio v. Rodriguez” (to be submitted to Contemporary Political Theory in spring, 2012) and “From Michelman to Campaign for Fiscal Equity: The Justiciability of the Right to an Adequate Education” (to be submitted to a law review journal, summer, 2012. Finally, Prof. Smith recognizes that the ISS-funded project allowed her to lay the groundwork for her next full length book manuscript project. Under the working title: “Charles Hamilton Houston and the Insurgent Campaign for Racial Equity in Public Education,” she proposes to recover the long neglected normative political philosophy of Houston, Thurgood Marshall’s mentor and the first legal counsel for the NAACP, and to pay especially close attention to Houston’s public education litigation and grassroots-oriented approach to human rights claiming during the 1930s. She has generated a fully elaborated proposal for a fellowship with the Society for the Humanities 2012-13 academic year based upon this book manuscript project.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(UA-85278795-1)