2012/2013 Cohort

The ISS selected 12 social science faculty, nominated by their Deans, to participate in the 2012-2013 ISS Faculty Fellows’ Program. The Faculty Fellows conducted research, published manuscripts, developed software, and led other activities described in their research highlights. For more on their accomplishments to date, please see publications, subsequent funding, and press coverage. The primary purpose of this program is to nurture the careers of Cornell University’s most promising assistant and associate faculty members in the social sciences; it is also designed to promote an environment of intellectual exchange and an appreciation for interdisciplinary scholarship. For one primary semester (either Fall 2012 or Spring 2013), ISS Fellows were given time away from teaching and most departmental responsibilities in order to focus on their research. Fellows are provided with an ISS office and are awarded a research grant of $10,000. The ISS Faculty Fellows Program occurs every few years.

2012-2013 Faculty Fellows



Back Row (left to right): Tamar Kushnir, Kim Weeden, and Saida Hodzic.
Middle Row (left to right): Lee Humphreys, Karel Mertens, and Dan Cosley.
Front Row (left to right): Tom Pepinksy, Benjamin Cornwell, Brian Rubineau, and Raymond Craib.
Not Pictured: Daniel Benjamin and Antonio Bento

Daniel Benjamin, Economics [University of Southern California as of 2015] (Spring 2013)
Understanding and Developing Survey-Based Measures of Well-Being

Dan Benjamin and co-authors (Ori Heffetz, Miles Kimball, Alex Rees-Jones, and Nichole Szembrot) found people’s choices deviate systematically from what would maximize their self-reported happiness and life satisfaction. The researchers identified other factors — including family happiness, health, security, values, and freedoms — that people are willing to trade off against their own happiness. They proposed a methodology to create a “well-being index” of responses to a variety of subjective well-being survey questions governments could track.

Antonio Bento, Applied Economics and Management {University of Southern California as of 2015] (Fall 2012)
On the Costs of Climate Mitigation: A Federal Clean Energy Standard with State-Level Distributional Constraints

Antonio Bento developed a model to evaluate the efficiency and distributional impacts of clean energy standards and renewable technologies. His work shows that by taxing dirty inputs and subsidizing cleaner inputs in the production of electricity, clean energy standards can increase overall electricity consumption and may or may not reduce overall emissions. Bento discussed his research at a 2013 Congressional staff briefing in DC, and presented preliminary findings at the National Center for Environmental Economics of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Benjamin Cornwell, Sociology (Spring 2013)
Social Networks Dynamics and Health in Later Life
354 Uris Hall, 255-1697, btc49@cornell.edu

Benjamin Cornwell completed three studies of how people’s social networks change in later life. These studies analyze a new, nationally representative data set funded by the National Institutes of Health. Cornwell finds, contrary to popular belief, that most older adults expand their networks in later life. The addition of new network members is associated with significant improvements in older adults’ functioning and overall health, reflecting the increased access to social resources, boosts in self-esteem, and increased physical activity that new social relationships entail.

Dan Cosley, Information Science (Spring 2013)
Identifying, Modeling, and Visualizing Disclosure of Personal Information in Social Media
301 College Ave, drc44@cornell.edu

Dan Cosley produced two experiments and a revision of a major grant proposal in his Fellowship semester. The first experiment looks at how people at risk for mental illness change their disclosure behavior. The second, which will launch in summer of 2013, examines how people respond to disclosure from friends in social media. He spent much of the Fellowship semester developing the software to collect Facebook behavioral data and survey participants about their goals and decisions around self-disclosure. His team is resubmitting a $1.2 million grant proposal in 2013 with revisions encouraged by the prospective grantor.

Raymond Craib, History (Fall 2012)
The Cry of the Renegade: Poetry, Politics and Anarchism in Chile, 1920
rbc23@cornell.edu, 436 McGraw Hall, 255-6745

Raymond Craib made significant progress on his book manuscript, The Cry of the Renegade: Poetry, Politics and Anarchism in Chile, 1920. In the fall 2012, he completed one chapter, made significant headway on another, and created a series of maps that will illustrate his arguments. He also gave talks at the New School and the University of California at Davis.

Saida Hodzic, Anthropology (Fall 2012)
Of Rebels, Spirits, and Social Engineers: The Awkward Endings of Female Genital Cutting
sh888@cornell.edu, 213 McGraw Hall

Saida Hodžić revised her book manuscript, Of Rebels, Spirits, and Social Engineers: The Awkward Endings of Female Genital Cutting, and journal articles. Her book examines the logics and effects of surprisingly successful Ghanaian non-governmental organizations’ interventions against FGC. Her article, Ascertaining Deadly Harms: Aesthetics and Politics of Global Evidence, published in Cultural Anthropology, examines WHO research on the obstetric consequences of FGC as a case study of the politics of knowledge in global governance. She also presented her work at domestic and international conferences, gave invited lectures, conducted research in Bosnia, and founded two research groups.

Lee Humphreys, Communication (Fall 2012)
Privacy and Social Media: Dialects of Personal Information Sharing Online
lmh13@cornell.edu, 305 Kennedy Hall, 255-2599

Lee Humphrey published two articles, one in the inaugural issue of Mobile Media & Communication and one in Information, Communication, & Society. In her Fellowship semester, Humphreys presented three different research papers, two of which were coauthored with students, at three conferences in the US and Europe. After taking the ISS-sponsored media training for Faculty Fellows, she participated as a panelist on Huffington Post Live.  She also co-edited the Association of Internet Researchers’ annual journal issue of Information, Communication, & Society.

Tamar Kushnir, Human Development (Fall 2012)
Developing a Concept of Choice
tk397@cornell.edu, G62B Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, 255-8482

Tamar Kushnir spent her ISS semester examining children’s developing conceptions of choice. She found that preschoolers reason about their own and others’ choices in sophisticated ways, and children weigh their personal desires against moral and social obligations. Results of new experiments begun during the ISS fellowship year show the role social and personal experiences play in children’s developing beliefs about choice. Kushnir and her students published several papers and presented them at international conferences.

Karel Mertens, Economics (Fall 2012)
Escaping the Liquidity Trap 
km426@cornell.edu, 454 Uris Hall, 255-6287

Karel Mertens studied the effects of tax reforms on economic activity and fiscal policy in a liquidity trap. One paper off this work, with Morten Rayn, will be published in the American Economic Review and has been highlighted in the Washington Times. Another forthcoming paper in the Journal of Monetary Economics explains why recent estimates of tax multipliers are much larger than estimates shown for prior periods. Additional papers analyze the effects of fiscal interventions in liquidity traps caused by low consumer confidence and the impact of marginal tax rate changes on income distribution.

Tom Pepinsky, Government (Fall 2012)
Politics, Economics and Religion in Indonesia 
tp253@cornell.edu, 322 White Hall, 255-4915

Tom Pepinsky produced three working papers in the Fall of 2012, all on the political economy of Southeast Asia. The first is a comparative study of the politics of trade in US colonial history, comparing sugar industries in the Philippines with those in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The second addresses the long-term consequences of Chinese and Arab migration to Java under Dutch colonial rule. The third, which is part of a major collaborative project with scholars from around the world, is a thematic overview of pluralist approaches to material inequality and political power in democratic Indonesia. He presented these papers at seminars and workshops at ANU, Binghamton, University of Sydney, UCSD, UVA, Wisconsin, and Yale.

Brian Rubineau, ILR [McGill University as of 2014] (Fall 2012)
Gendered Peer Effects in Engineering

Brian Rubineau advanced four distinct field research projects, many in collaboration with a variety of institutional research partners.  He prepared three new research manuscripts, all of which were accepted for presentation at scholarly conferences. He completed several other working papers and submitted them for review, resulting in one acceptance (“Missing Links: Referrer Behavior and Job Segregation,” Management Science), one requested revision, and three awaiting decisions. Rubineau also presented his research at seven invited talks, workshops and conferences during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Kim Weeden, Sociology (Fall 2012)
Social Mobility and Immobility in an Age of Inequality
kw74@cornell.edu, 376 Uris Hall

Kim Weeden worked on three disparate, inequality-related questions: 1) How do students’ occupational plans affect their educational decisions? 2) Why has income inequality increased in advanced industrialized nations? 3) How do changing patterns of work hours affect the gender pay gap? Papers that were completed during her fellowship semester have been accepted for publication in the American Sociological Review, Social Science Research, American Behavioral Scientist; one other paper is under review. Some of this work was featured in the Cornell Chronicle and the Harvard Business School’s online magazine.