Fall 2016 Small Grant Awards

ISS jump-starts new research led by junior faculty

Projects

Consumer Understanding of Information on OTC Product and Rx Drug Advertisements: A Pilot Study
Rosemary Avery, Policy Analysis and Management
Jeff Niederdeppe, Communication
Sahara Byrne, Communication
Matthew Eisenberg, Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

Practice What You Preach: Gender (In)Equality in Labor Union Leadership
Rachel Aleks, Industrial and Labor Relations
Tina Saksida, School of Business, University of Prince Edward Island

Life Abroad: Spanish-Speaking Communities in Anglophone Cities in the Americas
Ernesto Bassi, History

The Politics of American State Constitution-Making
David Bateman, Government

Neighborhood Preferences and School Choice
Kendra Bischoff, Sociology

Agricultural Productivity Gaps: Feedbacks from Human Capital and Equipment Embodied Technology Adoption
Julieta Caunedo, Economics
Elisa Keller, Economics, University of Exeter Business School
David Jaume, Economics

Ordering Effects and Cognitive Bias in Law
Zachary D. Clopton, Law
Carmen Sanchez, Psychology

Childhood Poverty, Health, and Behavior: Biological and Psychosocial Pathways
Gary W. Evans, Design & Environmental Analysis and Human Development

Why Is There a Valuation Discount for Dual-Class Firms?
Hyunseob Kim, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Individuals’ Need to Feel “True” to Themselves during Life Transitions and How Charitable Organizations can be Positioned to Fulfill the Need
Soo Kim, Johnson Graduate School of Management

The Impact of the 2008-2009 Economic Recession on Service Intensity in Physician Offices
Jing Li, Healthcare Research and Policy
Alice Chen, University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy

The Starbucks Effect: How Consumer Identification Impacts Consumer Preferences
Stijn M. J. van Osselaer, Johnson Graduate School of Management
Sarah Lim, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Employee Incentives in Microfinance Institutions:Examining the Importance of Diversification and Profit Status
Sarah E. Wolfolds, Applied Economics & Management

The Cornell Criminal Records Panel Survey (CCRPS): Sample Expansion and Linkage to Administrative Records
Erin York Cornwell, Sociology
Martin Wells, Statistical Sciences
Lars Vilhuber, Economics
Esta R. Bigler, Industrial and Labor Relations
Linda Barrington, Institute for Compensation Studies (ILR)
Hassan Enayati, Institute for Compensation Studies (ILR)

Social Affiliation and Music-Induced Synchrony in Dance
Vivian Zayas, Psychology
Olivia Xin Wen, Psychology
Carol Lynne Krumhansl, Psychology


Consumer Understanding of Information on OTC Product and Rx Drug Advertisements: A Pilot Study
Rosemary Avery, Policy Analysis and Management
Jeff Niederdeppe, Communication
Sahara Byrne, Communication
Matthew Eisenberg, Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

In this study we undertake two pilot experimental label/ad comprehension studies. Study One focuses on non-prescription product advertisements (dietary supplements), and Study Two focuses on prescription drug advertisements (Rx drugs). Label/ad comprehension studies are designed to assesses the extent to which consumers understand the information derived from a label or ad, and to identify areas on the label/ad that would benefit from clearer or simpler presentation of important consumer information, especially for low literate individuals. Using FDA guidelines, we: (1) identify ad elements that could underlie miscommunications or ad ineffectiveness; (2) test these experiments using demographically diverse populations; (3) use rigorous experimental methods; (4) use appropriate sample sizes for analytic power; (5) design pre- and post-study questionnaires that target the communication objectives; and, (6) use experimental materials as close as possible to original ads appearing in print. ISS funding will be used to fund these two pilot study to strengthen and RO1 submission in the fall.

Practice What You Preach: Gender (In)Equality in Labor Union Leadership
Rachel Aleks, Industrial and Labor Relations
Tina Saksida, School of Business, University of Prince Edward Island

Inequality in the United States is an oft-discussed problem, with many stressing that the labor movement has the potential to be a much-needed counterweight to corporate interests. Yet unions’ scorecard of achieving equality internally seems less positive: Women are “significantly underrepresented” in leadership positions, according to the largest federation of unions, the AFL-CIO (2004). An important step in addressing the underrepresentation of women in leadership and women’s issues in the union agenda is to quantify this underrepresentation. Using 14 years of longitudinal data from Labor Organization Annual Reports, which all private-sector unions are required to file, this research will be the first quantitative analysis to explore nationally the question of gender (in)equality in union officer positions.

Life Abroad: Spanish-Speaking Communities in Anglophone Cities in the Americas
Ernesto Bassi, History

The aim of this project—my second book-length project—is to trace the process of configuration and evolution of communities of Spanish speakers in Anglophone cities in the Americas during the Age of Revolutions. The project can be described as a close-to-the-ground history of the Spanish-speaking communities that, between c.1750 and c.1850, emerged, grew, and faded in cities in the United States and the Caribbean, in particular in the urban centers of Philadelphia, New York, Washington, Boston, New Orleans, Kingston, and Port of Spain. Using a prosopographical method, the project will reconstruct public and private aspects of the everyday lives of the members of these Spanish-speaking communities who, largely due to the disruption and destruction brought about by the Age of Revolutions in the Americas, were forced to temporarily or permanently abandon their Spanish-speaking patrias to seek refuge in Anglophone cities in the United States and the Caribbean. The project seeks to uncover how these Spanish-speaking immigrants lived, worked, ate, drank, and played, how they made a living, what they thought about the cities they inhabited, and how they connected these experiences to their past and potential future in their Spanish American homelands. The project, in short, offers simultaneously a Hispanic view of Anglophone cities and an interpretation of how living abroad affected Spanish American exiles’ view of their homelands.

The Politics of American State Constitution-Making
David Bateman, Government

Constitutions and constitution-making are of central importance in defining the relationship between the state and the citizenry; in regulating political participation; and in establishing the institutional constraints that shape politics. This is true of constitution-making both at the national and subnational levels. In the United States especially, state-level constitution-making has produced important political innovation and generated tremendous contestation over the rules that govern public power. Despite the importance of subnational constitution-making, however, systematic data describing the development of state constitutions and the politics of constitutional drafting for the U.S. states has not yet been collected. This research project compiles and analytically codes all state constitutions and amendments, from 1776 to the present, supporting innovative scholarship on the puzzling relationships between rights and institutions in American state constitutions, in which the democratic expansion of the right to vote and other democratizing reforms have been accompanied by the growth of judicial power. The dataset will enable an empirical documentation and analysis of these two trends, testing the hypothesis that constitutional drafters turn to unelected courts to safeguard their interests in light of greater popular influence. The American State Constitutions Database will allow for an examination of these trends while providing an important resource for students of constitutions, democratic representation, law and politics, and American constitutional development.

Neighborhood Preferences and School Choice
Kendra Bischoff, Sociology

Until very recently, the racial and socioeconomic composition of schools and their surrounding neighborhoods have been highly correlated in the United States, in large part because most students attend school based on their residential location. However, the rise of a variety of school choice options have made it possible for many families to disconnect residential decisions from choices about schooling. Using experimental survey methods, the researcher will explore the relationship between preferences for school and neighborhood social diversity as it intersects with the availability of school choice options. More specifically, are individuals more likely to move into racially or socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods in the presence of school choice? Although there is a rich history in the social sciences of using surveys to understand the role of preferences in residential segregation, these methods have not been applied to the intersection of schools and neighborhoods. School choice policies present an important disruption in the formerly taken-for-granted bond between neighborhoods and schools that has motivated the majority of the literature on the role of schooling in residential segregation.\

Agricultural Productivity Gaps: Feedbacks from Human Capital and Equipment Embodied Technology Adoption
Julieta Caunedo, Economics
Elisa Keller, Economics, University of Exeter Business School
David Jaume, Economics

Cross country disparities in agricultural productivity are large, and much larger than in other sectors of the economy, Caselli (2005). Why don’t workers reallocate from low productivity sectors (agriculture) to high productivity ones (non-agriculture)? We shed light on this question by studying the mechanisms through which disparities in the human capital of the workforce shape the pattern of capital embodied technology adoption, and its feedbacks. These feedbacks have not been previously studied in the literature, in part due to the lack of evidence on the disparities in quality of the stock of physical capital across sectors and countries. We are able to build such evidence by using detailed micro data of equipment in the agricultural sector, as well as aggregate data on equipment prices for the nonagriculture sector. First, we argue that a) complementarities between human and physical capital quality and b) differences in the stock of human capital across countries can generate quantitatively relevant disparities in the rate of capital-embodied technology adoption across countries. Second, complementarities between skills and machine quality can explain the lack of labor reallocation across sectors even when labor productivity is substantially different across them. Hence, our study could provide first-hand evidence that the large share of workers that remain in low productivity sectors in developing countries is partly associated to capital-skill complementarities and the inability of workers with low human capital to be reallocated to activities with higher skill requirements.

Ordering Effects and Cognitive Bias in Law
Zachary D. Clopton, Law
Carmen Sanchez, Psychology

Psychologists have long recognized that various cognitive biases affect human decision making. Lawyers and legal scholars have applied these findings to the courtroom setting, noting that judges and juries may be subject to anchoring, framing, the endowment effect, hindsight bias, the representativeness heuristic, and egocentric biases, among others. One challenge in translating psychology research to the law is that the courtroom represents an unusual structure: a highly adversarial process in which both sides may take advantage of any potential decision-maker bias in order to further their clients’ interests. Thus, to understand how cognitive biases work in court, this research project asks how the adversarial process interacts with cognition. Or, to use the language of psychology, can an adversary de-bias (or even re-bias) a decision maker who has been subject to an initial bias. By understanding these temporal and iterative features of cognitive biases, this project raises questions about how the legal system presents information, e.g., is it really an advantage for a defendant to go last, after the judge or jury has heard from the other side? This project begins with a study of anchoring—a well-studied bias, but one for which research on de-biasing and re-biasing is surprisingly scant. It then extends its findings to different tools of de-biasing and re-biasing, and potentially to different cognitive biases as well.

The Cornell Criminal Records Panel Survey (CCRPS): Sample Expansion and Linkage to Administrative Records
Erin York Cornwell, Sociology
Martin Wells, Statistical Sciences
Lars Vilhuber, Economics
Esta R. Bigler, Industrial and Labor Relations
Linda Barrington, Institute for Compensation Studies (ILR)
Hassan Enayati, Institute for Compensation Studies (ILR)

More than 70 million Americans have a criminal record, which limits their access to employment opportunities, as well as eligibility for occupational licensure and public benefits. The use of criminal background checks has dramatically increased over the past decade, but it is estimated that more than half of criminal records are inaccurate. Prior research has not documented the extent of these errors, nor has it examined how correcting inaccuracies in criminal records shape individuals’ employment and earnings. The Cornell Criminal Records Panel Survey (CCRPS) aims to address these gaps. The CCRPS is a longitudinal survey of a sample of class members in the Gonzalez, et al. v. Pritzker class action suit alleging discriminatory hiring practices by the U.S. Census Bureau. Surveys conducted before and after an intervention to inform individuals about their criminal records will allow exploration of how understanding or correcting one’s criminal record affects job-seeking behaviors, employment opportunities, and well-being. This proposal seeks funding to augment the survey data collection by extending the sample to include a control group of class members who are not participating in the intervention and appending administrative data from the intervention (including individuals’ criminal records) to the survey data. Together, these data provide an unprecedented opportunity to examine the extent of inaccuracies in criminal records and the impact of interventions on individuals and families.

Childhood Poverty, Health, and Behavior: Biological and Psychosocial Pathways
Gary W. Evans, Design & Environmental Analysis and Human Development

In conjunction with the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, I am organizing an international conference at Cornell with the International Network of Research on Inequalities in Child Health (INRICH). INRICH is an international network of scholars and policy makers interested in the role of inequalities in children’s health and welfare. Its membership is interdisciplinary spanning research, practice, and policy. The aim of INRICH is to share and advance knowledge and research into inequalities in child health and well-being, social equity, and child policy. It does this by establishing a joint scientific and outreach community in which research priorities can be identified, collaborative projects established, and evidence-based knowledge translated into policy and practice. INRICH currently has ~150 members from 17 different nations and has held annual meetings since 2008. INRICH has only met once in the US at Stanford University in 2013.

Why Is There a Valuation Discount for Dual-Class Firms?
Hyunseob Kim, Johnson Graduate School of Management

In the proposed project, we will investigate the dynamic effects of “dual-class” corporate governance structures on firm value and performance over the firm’s life-cycle. Dual-class structures allow a significant wedge between control rights and cash-flow rights (often as high as ten times) for owners of “superior” equity class relative to the inferior class. The protection from external governance threats provided by a dual-class structure induces both costs and benefits. We argue that the costs outweigh the benefits as the firm ages. Our preliminary analysis shows that dual-class firms have significantly lower valuation (measured by Tobin’s q) and exhibit less efficient investment and employment policies compared to their single-class peers. More importantly, these effects are concentrated in old dual-class firms and insignificant in young dual-class firms. However, the current analysis is not able to provide direct evidence for the theoretical predictions relying on within-firm dynamics of costs and benefits of the dual-class structure because it largely relies on cross-sectional variation between young and old firms (due to the relatively short sample period from 1994-2009). In order to overcome this limitation, we will extend our database of dual-class firms by collecting information prior to 1994 (e.g., back to the 1980s) and estimate the dynamic effects using firm fixed effects. In addition, we will examine additional margins of adjusting firms’ capital and labor in relation to the dual-class structure by merging our database of dual-class firms with confidential micro datasets of manufacturing plants maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Individuals’ Need to Feel “True” to Themselves during Life Transitions and How Charitable Organizations can be Positioned to Fulfill the Need
Soo Kim, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Throughout life, people encounter various life transitions (e.g., entering college, starting/losing a job; becoming parents, etc.). Often times, such life transitions require individuals to adopt new identities they had not considered a part of who they believed they really were as a person (i.e., their “true self”). This research proposes that, as a result, individuals going through a life transition develop a need to affirm their “true self” (i.e., characteristics, roles, or attributes that define who you really are as a person; Schlegel and Hicks 2011). This research will test this idea in a charitable giving context. Specifically, multiple experiments will be conducted to demonstrate that individuals experiencing a major life transition (e.g., new parents, recent retirees, new undergraduate students) are more likely to support a charity when their charitable behavior or the charitable organization itself is viewed as a means to be true to themselves. Results will also demonstrate that that this message (i.e., charitable behavior being a means to affirm one’s true self) can be delivered easily and succinctly via slogans used by charitable organizations. Implications for charities on how to position themselves via slogans and mission statements to appeal to this particular demographic of individuals going through a life transition will also be discussed in this work.

The Impact of the 2008-2009 Economic Recession on Service Intensity in Physician Offices
Jing Li, Healthcare Research and Policy
Alice Chen, University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy

Supplier-induced demand (SID) exists when the physician influences a patient’s demand for care against the physician’s interpretation of the best interest of the patient (McGuire 2000). It is one of the most important topics in the economics of health care. Physician behavioral change in response to income shocks has been considered as important evidence for SID. Previous studies have documented a decline in overall medical care utilization among non-elderly U.S. population during the 2008-2009 economic recession, which constitutes a plausible negative income shock for physicians and a natural experiment for studying SID. This project examines the impact of the income shock—created by local unemployment changes during the 2008-2009 recession—on service intensity in a nationally representative sample of physician offices. In particular, it focuses in particular on service intensity towards Medicare patients, whose demand for health care is relatively shielded from the recession, so as to isolate the supply-side influence of physicians. Since excessive healthcare services are potentially wasteful even harmful to patients, the study will inform policies that target specific SID behavior among physicians, consistent with the cost control and value-based care initiatives introduced in the Affordable Care Act.

The Starbucks Effect: How Consumer Identification Impacts Consumer Preferences
Stijn M. J. van Osselaer, Johnson Graduate School of Management
Sarah Lim, Johnson Graduate School of Management

The present research aims to examine how identifying consumers by name to a producer or service provider influences consumer preference. Rising competition in the global market and increased customer churn rates have elevated the importance of cultivating more meaningful, personal relationships with consumers. We hypothesize that consumers believe that to provide their names would prompt producers to view them in a less objectifying way; this would translate into greater consumer preference for products made by those producers. We plan to test this hypothesis by conducting both lab and field experiments. Thus, this research will shed light on whether and how companies or service providers can benefit from processing orders by the use of customers’ name.

Employee Incentives in Microfinance Institutions:Examining the Importance of Diversification and Profit Status
Sarah E. Wolfolds, Applied Economics & Management

Non‐profits across the economy are being pressured to take on the human resource management practices of for‐profits, including the use of pay‐for‐performance. However, the use of pay‐for‐performance and competitive salaries is often thought to conflict with the non‐profit business model, due to multidimensional organizational objectives and the effect of monetary incentives on intrinsically motivated employees. In this project, I plan to examine whether performance‐based pay can actually be effective if non‐profit employees are driven by both the intrinsic value of the mission and a relational contract with the firm, wherein performance‐based pay serves as a signal of organizational mission, rather than an effort‐inducing financial incentive. I hope to analyze this issue using a detailed firm level survey, supplemented by interviews and a survey of individual employees at a subset of the organizations. The context of this paper is the microfinance industry, with additional, publicly available firm‐level data that includes observations on both for‐profit and non‐profit firms and variables that capture both financial and social goals. In preliminary analysis, I find that non‐profit organizations, on average, pay employees less and utilize a lower level of performance‐based pay. Further, non‐profit organizations that target lower income borrowers reward employees on more dimensions than other microfinance firms. Even controlling for the products and services that firms offer, some differences in employee compensation between for‐profit and non‐profit organizations remain. This preliminary result suggests that neither the explanation of intrinsic motivation of employees nor the distinct products and services offered completely explain the different salary structures in non‐profit organizations; rather different incentive dimensions may be used to signal the non‐profits’ goals. The survey of firms and their employees will allow me to supplement the proxy based on average salary that I currently use with detailed data on the structure of loan officers’ compensation, as well as add context through primary field data.

Social Affiliation and Music-Induced Synchony in Dance
Vivian Zayas, Psychology
Olivia Xin Wen, Psychology
Carol Lynne Krumhansl, Psychology

Over centuries and across cultures, people have used music and dance to foster feelings of connectedess. But, what are the mechanisms by which music and dance foster social bonding? A growing body of research suggests that behavioral synchrony (spontaneously coordinating movements in time) promotes social bonding, and that musical activities promote affiliation via behavioral synchrony. However, essential to the dynamic nature of synchrony, little attention has been directed to spontaneous movements and ecological settings. We propose to bridge this gap between social psychology and embodied music cognition (the role of human body movements in musical activities) methods by validating a novel experimental paradigm that combines the real-time motion capture technology,  the semi-naturalistic setting of tango dancing, and the traditional social psychology methodology, for studying evaluative judgments of self and other as a function of music-induced synchrony in dance. The proposed research will quantify complex behavioral patterns at the full-body scale, drawing underlying connections across the social, physical, and musical dimensions of cognition. This interdisciplinary endeavor will not only shed light on the mechanism linking synchrony and social relationships but also foster the ongoing transformation from STEM to Steam (STEM + Art) under the innovative climate in the 21st century, which is being pursued by the National Science Foundation.

 
 
 
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