Spring 2005 Awards

Consumer Response to the Withdrawal of Prescription Drugs
John Cawley, Department of Policy Analysis and Management

Building a Sociology of Displacement
Shelley Feldman, Department of Development Sociology
Charles Geisler, Department of Development Sociology

Lying Online: The Effects of Communication Technology on Deception
Jeffrey Hancock, Department of Communication and Computing & Information Science

Media Effects and Political Knowledge in Africa
Devra Moehler, Department of Government

Adolescent Health and Community Service: Building Bridges and Planting Seeds
Tracy Nichols, Public Health, Weill Medical Center

Consumer Response to the Withdrawal of Prescription Drugs
John Cawley, Department of Policy Analysis and Management

This project is the first direct study of how consumers respond when drugs are withdrawn from the market. This study will answer the following questions: After the withdrawal of a drug, do those taking non-withdrawn drugs in the same therapeutic class continue to comply with their treatment regimens or are there negative spillover effects that lead them to reduce compliance or quit? Do initiations of the non-withdrawn drugs fall after the withdrawal of a different drug in the same class? These questions will be answered using patient-level longitudinal data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey for 1996-2002.

Understanding whether there exist negative spillovers from drug withdrawals is important because such spillovers would represent an unintended consequence of drug withdrawals. When the Food and Drug Administration asks a manufacturer to withdraw a drug, it does so with the intent of protecting public health. If consumers perceive a withdrawal as a warning that all drugs in that class are dangerous when they are in fact not, it could lead to many people quitting beneficial treatments. The recent withdrawal of prescription drugs taken by millions of Americans, and the warning that there may be additional withdrawals in the near future, make it imperative to understand how consumers respond to these events.

Update: Using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, this project tested for competitive effects following prescription drug withdrawals in six therapeutic classes between 1997 and 2001.  Although the results varied, stronger evidence of negative spillovers were found rather than competitive benefits. The research concluded with a discussion of the characteristics of drugs and classes that may influence how remaining drugs are affected by a withdrawal in the class that was presented at many universities and conferences and also led to the development of working paper authored by John Cawley and John A. Rizzo entitled “The Competitive Effects of Drug Withdrawals.” Here is a 2014 update, ISS’ Spring 2005 and Spring 2010 Small Grant Awardee, John Cawley, to Study Obesity Economics with National Award.

Back to 2005 March Awards

Building a Sociology of Displacement
Shelley Feldman & Charles Geisler, Department of Development Sociology

Human displacement, whether in response to civil and ethnic war, disaster, economic opportunity, or the building of infrastructure within countries, is a central trope in contemporary discussions of population movements. These movements include political and economic refugees, migrants, and exiles who move across and within national boundaries, as well as those forced to migrate in response to infrastructural development such as dam construction or conservation projects. Analyses of these movements are important in identifying the strategies people employ in migration decision-making, the conditions that attend to their relocation, and the ways in which such movements transform, individual lives, household, communities, and the nation-state system under globalization. We also are interested in creative thinking about what we call in-situ displacement or social processes that do not depend on spatial relocation but rather on the loss of identity, security, and community as aspects of social dislocation and exclusion.

This ISS’ initiative is intended to outline key analytic contributions to dislocation and exclusion research and identify key areas for further research. Our intention is to build collaboration among social scientists – sociologists, anthropologists, planners, economists, and demographers – with theoretical and applied interests in population movements who are willing to integrate various levels of analysis in conceptualizing displacement, social exclusion, and poverty in the context of the reorganization of the nation-state system. We also seek to include those with interests in cross border and internal migration policies and their implications for recasting state relations within the global economy.

During the grant year we anticipate a series of bi-monthly lunches to identify and discuss key research that could lead to a Theme Project, future institute or workshops.

Update: This project supported a series of lunches with faculty for whom displacement might be a research hook.  As our differences were quite broad, this initiative did not turn out to have a synergy of interests to be self-sustaining.  However, members of this initial group contributed to discussions among our invited speakers, including Neil Brenner, NYU, a critical social geographer whose work also contributed to the interests of a number of graduate students; Ranabir Samaddar, a Calcutta based political theorist, research on refugees, state formation, and technologies of rule helped students working on these themes to benefit from his critical reflections on their research; as well as Rashida Manju is a South Africa advocate and member of the committee to bring religious and civil law together in ways that sustain equality under the South African constitution whose discussions focused on questions of religious marginality and the character of religious and gender relations. This speaker series lead to many publications and helped to develop a graduate seminar on the Sociology of Displacement that drew students from Development Sociology, Government, City and Regional Planning, and Anthropology.

Lying Online: The Effects of Communication Technology on Deception
Jeffrey Hancock, Department of Communication and Computing & Information Science

Deception is one of the most significant and pervasive social phenomena of our age. On average, people tell one to two lies a day, and these lies range from the trivial to the more serious, including deception between friends and family, in the workplace, and in power and politics. At the same time, information and communication technologies have pervaded almost all aspects of human communication and interaction, from everyday technologies that support interpersonal interactions, such as email and instant messaging, to more sophisticated systems that support organizational interactions. The proposed research will examine how information and communication technologies affect 1) how we produce deception in our everyday lies, and 2) our ability to detect lies in online communication.

Update: This research received an additional grant by the National Science Foundation in 2006. More on this award can be found in the article Small Grant Research Receives $680,000 NSF Award.

Media coverage includes: News feed: ‘Emotional contagion’ sweeps Facebook (2014); ISS’ Small Grant Awardee and 2008 Faculty Fellow, Jeff Hancock, Examines Facebook and “Self-Presentation” (2014); Texting Friends or Strangers During Surgery Reduces Pain (2015).

Media Effects and Political Knowledge in Africa
Devra Moehler, Department of Government

This project examines how African citizens use independent newspapers and magazines, private FM radio stations, foreign television programs, internet connections and cell phones when making political choices. It seeks to determine the conditions under which new media will enlighten, deceive, or be ignored by citizens in formerly information scarce settings. The incomplete media penetration in Africa provides for a natural experiment whereby communities with access to new media can be compared with similar communities without access. Initial research for the project will take place in Ghana, a country with relatively robust media and democratic politics.

Update: This research was recognized by the Institute for the Social Sciences in the piece ISS Funds Reseach into Politics & the Media in Africa in 2007.

Adolescent Health and Community Service: Building Bridges and Planting Seeds
Tracy Nichols, Public Health, Weill Medical Center

The focus of the current project is to develop an interdisciplinary research agenda among faculty from Weill Cornell Medical College’s Department of Public Health, Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology, the Cornell Urban Semester Program, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension @ NYC, geared towards promoting healthy development among adolescents through the use of community service. This will be accomplished through three primary aims: 1) bringing together geographically-dispersed faculty engaging in applied and theoretical social science research with adolescents in a series of face-to-face meetings to identify common and complementary interests; 2) convening two symposia on Healthy Adolescents and Healthy Communities – one in New York City and one in Ithaca – featuring presentations by core faculty and discussions with colleagues and students; and 3) developing a specific and fundable research agenda to obtain extramural funding to support ongoing collaborations.

Update: Although the grant was originally conceptualized as focusing on adolescent health and community service, the mutual interests of the group emerged primarily around adults (parents, program leaders, teachers) and environments (families, community organizations, schools) that guide adolescent engagement in healthy behaviors. Successful pilot projects generated from this collaborative effort include: (1) a community-based mentorship project between Cornell Urban Semester students and a group of urban adolescent boys on healthy environments; (2) a qualitative study on mother-daughter perceptions of family health issues and healthy relationships [subsequently funded by the Bronfenbrenner Lifecourse Innovation Award]; (3) the development and feasibility testing of a research protocol for assessing mothers’ daily health practices and experiences; and (4) a grant proposal to study dissemination and implementation issues of evidence-based drug prevention programs for adolescents. Members of the group have also participated in and/or planned interdisciplinary seminars across campus, including a poster presentation at the College of Human Ecology’s Obesity Conference, hosting the New York City outreach site for the Obesity Conference, and hosting the NYC outreach site for Ross Greene’s presentation on the Explosive Child (March 2006).

All questions should be directed to socialsciences@cornell.edu.