This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]

Social, Behavioral, and Economic SciencesSocial and  Economic SciencesNational Science Foundation


.......................Additional SES Nuggets

Economics, Decision, and Management Sciences

Social and Polical Sciences

Methods, Cross-Directorate and Sciences and Society

Reconciliation or Retribution?: The Effect of Truth Processes on Perceived
Fairness and the Legitimacy of Law

James L. Gibson
Washington University
Law and Social Science Program

This research examines the connection between the desire for retributive justice and the legitimacy of South African legal institutions. Based on a survey of the mass public, the principal investigator assessed the implications of the truth and reconciliation process for mass perceptions of justice, for support for key legal and political institutions, for attitudes toward the rule of law, and ultimately for lawful behavior and willingness to acquiesce to outputs of policy-making institutions.

The principal investigator found that truth, that is, knowledge of the apartheid history in South Africa, does contribute to reconciliation in South Africa. The process is not always simple or direct, but in general those who accept the truth about the country's apartheid past, those who participate in the country's collective memory, are more likely to hold reconciled racial attitudes. Investigation of alternative explanations led to important discoveries, the most significant of which has to do with the role of racial interactions in contributing to reconciliation. South Africans who interact with those of other races tend to understand and trust them more, and to reject racial stereotypes as well.

Although the levels of racial reconciliation discovered in this research are remarkable, racial reconciliation among the black majority in South Africa poses some unique challenges. Most obviously, blacks bore the brunt of the repression under the apartheid system created by the whites, so it is not at all surprising that black South Africans do not feel very charitably toward their white fellow citizens. But several other factors seem to contribute as well to negative racial attitudes among blacks. Perhaps most important is that blacks rarely have any meaningful interaction with whites, making inter-racial understanding difficult at best. Also significant is the fact that greater education does not contribute to greater reconciliation among blacks; nor are young blacks any more likely to be reconciled than older blacks. Perhaps the most hopeful finding is that reconciliation is more likely within the black community as memories of experiences under apartheid fade, but several of the findings are not so encouraging about the future.

The Internal Legal Culture of Organizations

Sally Riggs Fuller
University of Washington
Law and Social Science Program

Contemporary laws impose substantial responsibilities upon employers to adhere to and enforce government policies designed to protect civil rights and other aspects of the employer-employee relation. Despite this, the laws regulating the employment relation tend to be broad and ambiguous, leaving organizations wide latitude to interpret and decide how to comply with them. Drawing on organization theory, this study is a broad investigation of the creation and characteristics of internal legal cultures within organizations and the extent to which laws designed to protect employees actually change organizational culture and affect the work lives of employees.

The principal investigator conducted a telephone survey of 150 organizations with 200 or more employees, which was designed to determine organizations' structural responses to civil rights and disabilities law. The research revealed a managerialization of law, a process by which legal ideas are refigured by managerial ways of thinking as they flow across the boundaries of legal fields and into managerial and organizational fields. The research demonstrates that manageerialization of law has both costs and benefits for legal ideals. The costs come from the potential of the managerial vision to undermine law's moral commitment to redressing historical wrongs. The benefits lie in the potential of the managerialized form of law to institutionalize legal values within organizations.

Collaborative Research on the Intermediation Process and Political Decision Making Currently in American Political Science Review Vol. 96. No. 1 March 2002

Paul Beck, Russell Dalton, Robert Huckfeldt
Ohio State University
Political Science Program

Voting choices are a product of both personal attitudes and social contexts, of a personal and a social calculus. Research has illuminated the personal calculus of voting, but the social calculus has received little attention since the 1940s. This project expands our understanding of the social influences on individual choice by examining the relationship of partisan biases in media, organizational and interpersonal intermediaries to the voting choices of Americans. Its results show that the traditional sources of social influence still dominate: Interpersonal discussion outweighs the media in affecting the vote. Media effects appear to be the product of newspaper editorial pages rather than television or newspaper reporting, which contain so little perceptible bias that they often are misperceived as hostile. Parties and secondary organizations also are influential, but only for less interested voters-who are more affected by social contexts in general. Overall, this study demonstrates that democratic citizens are embedded in social contexts that join with personal traits in shaping their voting decisions.

War and Nature: Science and Technology in the History of Chemical Weapons and Insecticides

SES 9511726
Edmund P. Russell
University of Virginia
Science and Technology Studies

Edmund Russell has been examining the interaction between World War II and the emergence of chemical technologies for insect control. Most historical work examining the emergence of pesticides has not focused on the linkage between the development of chemical weapons and insect control capabilities. But Russell revises our understanding of these developments, demonstrating that significant ideological, technological/ scientific, and institutional links existed between these endeavors in civilian and military arenas. Thus this project revises our understanding of the development of chemical weapons and pesticides by showing how often and closely they shaped each other. This finding in turn provides new insight into the development of total war (and the backlash against it), as well as into the origins of environmentalism after 1945. It also overturns the widely-accepted belief that DDT is an example of unforeseen consequences; this study reveals that, before DDT was released for civilian use, federal scientists knew or suspected nearly all the effects of DDT that later led to its ban. By grounding this last finding in theories of state development, this study demonstrates the importance of political history for understanding technology and environmental change. Among other things, it overturns the widely accepted belief that federal environmental regulation resulted only from citizen pressure after World War II.

Russell's research is a cutting edge example of the scholarship at the intersection of several sub-fields of history -- the history of technology, history of science, environmental history, and military history -- all within the general framework of American history. By combining these areas, the result is a set of new insights into the emergence of post-war technologies that played a pivotal role in defining American attitudes toward the environment after 1945.

Edmund Russell, War and Nature: Fighting Humans and Insects from World War I to Silent Spring, (Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Edmund Russell, "The Strange Career of DDT: Experts, Federal Capacity, and "Environmentalism" in World War II", Technology and Culture 40, (1999): 770-796.

Edmund Russell, ""Lost among the Parts per Billion": Ecological Protection at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1970-1993." Environmental History, vol. 2, (1997).

Edmund Russell, ""Speaking of Annihilation": Mobilizing for War against Human and Insect Enemies, 1914-1945", Journal of American History, 82 (1996): 1505-29.

Edmund Russell, "L.O. Howard Promoted War Metaphors as a Rallying Cry for Economic Entomology", American Entomologist, 4, (1999): 74-78.

Edmund Russell and Julie M. Stocker, "Hands-On Ethics: Experiences with Cases in the Classroom", ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, p. sess.1661, (1996).

Edmund Russell, "The Committee on the History of Technology and Environment at the University of Virginia", ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, p. sess.2461, (1998).

Images are from the cover of the book and the cover of the Journal of American History.


The Political Psychology of Crisis Negotiations: An Experimental Design

Jonathan Wilkenfeld
University of Maryland
Political Science Program

Comparative politics and international relations scholars systematically have studied conflicts in the Middle East. They are particularly interested in assessing the mediation process in dispute resolution. There have been few systematic scholarly studies of mediation. Those that exist generally have focused on relatively static contextual factors such as the conflict attributes and the prior relationship between the mediator and protagonists rather than on dynamic factors. The extensive qualitative literature provides numerous hypotheses about dynamic aspects of mediation. These studies primarily have been case studies, often by mediation practitioners, that exhibit little cumulation and, when taken as a whole, are rife with contradictory assertions.

At present, the Political Science Program is supporting several studies that provide an extensive empirical analysis of hypotheses about the dynamics of the mediation process. Those empirical generalizations can inform the efforts of individuals engaged in actual mediation.

This project notes the paradoxical finding that as the level of mediation increased from passive to more active, there is a slight decrease in the proportion of disputes ending in agreements. The researchers found that as the level of mediation increased, the gap in utility that the two parties derived from the outcome gradually increased, leading to dissatisfaction on the part of the losers.

In all cases where mediators tested for higher cognitive complexity than the negotiators, and in the majority of cases where the levels were roughly equal, negotiations ended with the achievement of agreements. When mediators exhibited lower levels of cognitive complexity than the negotiators, the majority of cases ended in violence. These interesting findings have significant importance of current international problems and negotiations.


Analyzing the Dynamics of International Mediation Processes

Deborah J. Gerner
University of Kansas
Political Science Program

This project reports on the dynamics of third-party international mediation using statistical time-series analyses of political event data. Third-party mediation is one of the most common international responses to political conflict. Studies show that the use of mediation has increased considerably following the end of the Cold War.

The event data analysis shows significant differences between the success of mediators in the Balkans and the Levant. The effect of mediation on reducing conflict appears to occur after a lag of about four months; unsurprisingly, there is a positive contemporaneous relationship between conflict and mediation (i.e. mediators respond to increases in conflict. An initial test of the "sticks-or-carrots' hypothesis found that in the Balkans, mediation is more likely to reduce conflict when combined with conflict directed to the strongest antagonist and cooperation directed to the weaker. This effect is less apparent in the Levant.


Small Grant for Exploratory Research: Islam and the West: Clash of Civilizations
or Traumas of Modernization?

Ronald Inglehart
University of Michigan
Political Science Program

This investigation is part of the World Values Surveys in Pakistan and Bangladesh and adds supplementary questions to measure approval or disapproval of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, and whether such attacks are seen as compatible with Islamic teachings.

The investigators have just completed the survey in Pakistan. The survey was delayed because interviewing the Northwest Frontier region was too dangerous until recently, but they now have a representative national sample of the Pakistani public. Fieldwork in Algeria will be completed later this month. Since the main body of data isn't yet on hand, the researchers do not have conclusive findings to report but they do have some interesting findings from pilot surveys. For one, support for democracy is widespread. Although large shares of these publics consider Western cultural influences dangerous and decadent, they like the idea of democracy. The investigators are confident that they will find solid majorities giving at least lip service to democracy. But their analyses of the WVS data as a whole indicate that other attitudes are even more important to the long-term survival of democracy: across the 74 societies for which they have data, tolerance of out-groups, interpersonal trust, participatory attitudes, giving high priority to freedom of expression, and a sense of well-being show extremely strong linkages with actual societal-level democracy (as measured by the Freedom House scores). The empirical correlations between overt support for democracy and actual democracy are about .40-- but the correlations between democracy and the syndrome of tolerance, trust, etc. are amazingly strong (over .80). And the Islamic societies rank relatively low on these measures. They are not uniquely low, however: some of the ex-communist societies rank even lower.

Small Grant For Exploratory Research: Crisis And Confidence

Paul Brewer
George Washington University
Political Science Program

This project examines the effect of the recent terrorist events and subsequent American actions on the nature and structure of trust in political and social institutions in the United States. A two-wave national panel survey was designed to capture the effects of new information on the levels of various forms of trust and the relationships among these forms of trust. In the first wave, completed in October 2001, 1235 respondents were interviewed; in the second wave, completed in March 2002, 758 of these respondents were re-interviewed.

The first wave showed an across-the-board surge in trust in the federal government and confidence in specific government institutions (as compared to levels found in pre-September 11, 2001 studies). By the second wave, this surge had subsided somewhat. The initial surge in confidence did not carry over to the media. Generalized trust in other people, however, did increase after September 11. New measures of trust in financial institutions showed a decline in confidence from the first wave to the second. New measures of trust in other nations indicated low trust in the first wave and even lower trust in the second, although internationalism increased from pre-September 11 levels in the first wave and increased again in the second wave. Measures of knowledge showed gains from the first wave to the second, while measures of emotions showed decreases in anxiety and anger. Subsequent analysis examines the relationships among various forms of trust as well as the processes underlying within individual changes from the first wave to the second.

SGER: The Dynamic, Multi-Faceted Effects of Threat on U.S. Domestic and Foreign Policy Attitudes

Leonie Huddy
State University of New York At Stony Brook
Political Science Program

The investigators interviewed a national random sample of 1552 adults by telephone beginning on October 15, 2001 and ending on March 2, 2001. The study focused on the nature of the threat to their personal security experienced by Americans in the aftermath of September 11 and the consequences of that threat for their political attitudes. Preliminary analyses of these data uncover an important distinction between perceptions of threat to the nation (estimates of the likelihood of future terrorist attacks) and feelings of personal threat (the likelihood of being personally victimized by terrorism).

Although the survey registered substantially higher levels of perceived national than personal threat, the latter is more strongly related to feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, and self-reported somatic symptoms such as insomnia and a lack of concentration. Feelings of threat, especially highly emotive personal threat, produce support for a wide range of actions designed to reduce the likelihood of terrorism. Compared to those who experienced little threat from terrorism those perceiving high levels of threat are more supportive of a strong federal government, a willingness to forego civil liberties in order to combat terrorism, and military action designed to combat terrorist threats to the country. The investigators also found that people who experienced higher levels of personal threat paid more attention to the news (especially television news) but learned significantly less about Afghanistan, Islam, and Osama Bin Laden than did those who felt less threatened by the events of September 11. High levels of personal threat were especially pronounced among women, less well educated Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, and individuals who knew someone who had died in the attacks. Taken together, the findings underscore the powerful political effects of threat and fear.

Terror, Immigration, and Civil Liberties in the United States: Small Grant for Exploratory Research

Kathleen Moore
University of Connecticut
Law and Social Science Program

This project examines public attitudes toward immigration and civil liberties following the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In particular, this project examines public attitudes regarding the freedoms of Muslims in the United States, as well as public attitudes about the arrival of new immigrants from Muslim countries. Using a panel survey of 1,000 adult respondents, the principal investigator probes attitudes toward security and freedom. A split sample design is employed to determine differences in attitudes toward restrictions on freedom broadly in contrast to those applied to Muslims. The principal investigator also tests hypotheses about attitudes on immigration. In addition to economic and social explanations of these attitudes, the survey allows the study of feelings of personal safety.

Small Grant for Exploratory Research: Understanding Political Intolerance: A Test of Deonance Theory

Linda J. Skitka
University of Illinois, Chicago
SES- 0210053
Law and Social Science Program

This project examines public attitudes and behavior following the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In particular, this study explores alternative accounts for why people become increasingly politically intolerant during periods of real or perceived threats to national security. Although fear is often suggested as an explanation for the link between threats to national security and increased political intolerance, the fear hypothesis does not seem to capture the full complexity of the citizens' reactions to perceived threat. The researcher tests the theory of deonance, which maintains that a motivated state of aversive arousal creates a psychological pressure for the individual citizen to engage in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are designed to restore a sense of moral balance. Among other things, deonance theory predicts that people who do engage in pro-social behavior following the terrorist attack may have successfully restored a perception of moral order, and therefore are more politically tolerant than those who did not.

People who directed either their moral outrage or their feelings of threat toward efforts to morally cleanse increased their support for civil liberties, and were the only people who arrived at some sense of closure about September 11th. Those who did not channel their arousal into efforts to morally cleanse, on the other hand, became more politically intolerant. Moral outrage (i.e., higher needs for vengeance) was as strong a predictor of political intolerance as perceived threat. Therefore, consistent with deonance theory predictions, the drive to restore the belief that human relationships are governed by a normative and moral order was a primary force that shaped people's thoughts, feelings, and behavior following September 11th, not only fear or perceived threat to personal or national security.

Tracking Individual Differences in Decision Making

SES- 0001316
Irwin Levin
University of Iowa
Decision, Risk and Management Sciences

A main finding in psychological research on decision making is that people's decisions are influenced by minor changes in how decisions are described or "framed." While most of this research has been done using between-subjects designs, the current project uses a within-subjects design to address a variety of new questions about framing effects. In particular, the research focuses on the question of whether there are individual difference variables related to susceptibility to framing effects.

Subjects were asked to complete the Big Five personality inventory and to respond to a variety of framing effect tasks. The results showed that subjects who scored high on the Neuroticism factor showed the largest framing effects. Several null results were surprising. While previous research suggested that women are more likely to show framing effects than men, this study found no gender effects.

The results of this award were recently published (Levin, I. P., Gaeth, G. J. and Schreiber, J. (2002). A new look at framing effects: Distribution of effect sizes, individual differences, and independence of types of effects. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 88, 411-429.)

The Glass Ceiling Effect

David A. Cotter, Joan M. Hermsen, Seth Ovadia, and Reeve Vanneman
Union College, University of Missouri - Columbia, University of Maryland, and University of Maryland.
SES collaborative awards SES 9870949, 9870980, and 9871204 using data collected under SES 0094942.
Sociology Program

The public talks about glass ceilings, but scientific investigation of their existence has been rather thin. This paper finds evidence for glass ceilings for women's earnings, but not for African American men's. Glass ceilings are defined as job inequalities that grow over a career and are larger at higher earnings or promotion levels than at lower levels. Using data from the NSF-supported Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the authors show that white women's chances of earning high incomes (defined as white men's 75th percentile) fall further below white men's chances the longer they are employed (see the figure). However, at more moderate earnings levels (defined as white men's 25th percentile), women's chances actually catch up with men's over the course of their work lives. African American women show the same pattern of divergence over the career at high earnings levels and convergence at lower levels (not shown). In contrast, African American men's earnings chances, while always below white men's, have roughly parallel career trajectories (not shown). The results suggest that different mechanisms underlie gender and racial discrimination.

Engineering a Revolution: Technology and the Transformation to Sound Film in the Motion Picture Industry, 1920-1933

SES 9729706
Emily Thompson
University of Pennsylvania
Science and Technology Studies Program

Emily Thompson investigated the interrelationships among technology, art and business through a study of the development of sound motion picture technology in the 1920s and early 1930s. The successful application of amplified sound to motion pictures circa 1926 did not simply give voice to previously silent films: the new technology fundamentally and dramatically changed how movies were made, who made them, what they were about, what they looked like, and how audiences received them. Thompson finds, as do other historians of technology studying technological change, that altering parts of technical systems not only requires adjustments large and small throughout the system, but in fact creates a new system.

Dr. Thompson has authored a much-needed history of the technological transformation of motion pictures during the `sound revolution, while exploring themes of general interest to historians and other scholars of technology. Among these themes were the relationship between corporate structure and technological development, the nature of engineering work and the collaboration of engineers with others, and the permeability of the boundary between `technical` work and `aesthetic` work. Corporate and studio archives, technical papers, personal memoirs, the films themselves and the machines that made them provided Dr. Thompson with a rich variety of resources for this work. The resulting book, The Soundscape of Modernity : Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933 (MIT Press 2002) is fully accessible to a non-scholarly readership as well as to a diverse array of scholars.

ADVANCE Fellow / Preservation and Change: The Social Context of Spatial Patterns in a Southern City, 1900-2000

SES 0137949
Regina Bures
Cross-Directorate Activities Program

While researchers agree that the influx of southern blacks to northern cities in the early 20th century played a significant role in segregation patterns there, few studies have considered the social and historical factors that contributed to urban redevelopment and residential segregation in southern cities during the same period. The extent to which urban redevelopment and gentrification contribute to racial and economic segregation in US cities is an ongoing source of debate.

This ADVANCE Fellow project involves a case study of 20th century urban change in Charleston, SC, a southern city with a legacy of historic preservation efforts. Using US Census manuscripts and City Directories, this project will link census respondents and their neighborhood characteristics over the 1900 to 1960 period. The PI will examine the relationship between residential mobility, historic preservation, and multiple dimensions of segregation. To visualize the geographic spread of the historic preservation and segregation trends over for the 1900-2000 period, aggregate data from the US Census and GIS techniques will be used. The results generated by this three-year career development project will provide important insights into the relationship between historic preservation and segregation patterns, as well as the impact of migration on the social and spatial characteristics of a southern city.

Modeling Repeated Categorical Responses

Alan Agresti
University of Florida
Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Program

Alan Agresti of the University of Florida is developing statistical methods for analyzing categorical data that result from repeated measurement of subjects. This research is extending ordinary logistic regression and log-linear models to handle clustered data such as occur with repeated measurement. Recent aspects of this research have dealt with models for association between categorical response variables that allow heterogeneity of odds ratios, modeling multivariate responses that have both discrete and continuous components, and developing small-sample confidence intervals for parameters that summarize repeated measurement data. In particular, Agresti recently developed improved ways of forming confidence intervals to compare proportions with matched pairs data. These could be used, for instance, to compare at two points in time the population proportions of people who have a particular opinion, when the subjects sampled gave their opinions at both times.

In journal publications, the methods from this research have been illustrated with applications such as modeling subjects' responses to a set of similar items on a survey (e.g., opinions about legalized abortion under various circumstances), modeling survey data with categorical-scale questions in which respondents can select more than one outcome category (e.g., picking which of various categories apply to them), and summarizing how an association varies among levels of a variable that can only be sampled (e.g., schools, hospitals). Researchers increasingly need methods of the type being developed in this research, since it is becoming more common to obtain data from longitudinal studies or other types of studies in which data have some related type of clustering.

Agresti's work is heavily cited, with typically about 300 citations a year in the Science and Social Science Citation Index. De Montfort University in the UK recently recognized the impact of his work in categorical data analysis by granting him an honorary doctorate.

Photo of PI:


Sources for a Scientific Biography of Dr. Francis Crick

SES 0137247
Robert Olby
Independent Scholar
Science and Technology Studies

The discovery of DNA helical structure is one of the most recognized events in science during the 20th century, and its co-discoverer, Dr. Francis Crick is most recognized for that accomplishment. But he also made other significant, if less well-known, contributions to science. Robert Olby, Emeritus Research Scientist at the University of Pittsburgh, is conducting archival research and oral interviews to provide the basis for Dr. Crick's comprehensive biography. The project reaches from. Crick's applied research for the United States Navy in the 1950s and 60s, to his Nobel Prize-winning studies in molecular biology and more recent investigations in neurobiology. The book that will emerge from this research will inform the reader about this central figure in the molecular revolution and about the birth, subsequent transformation, and impact of the molecular biology of the fifties with which Crick's name is so closely associated. Extending the study back in time to the war years will demonstrate how his involvement in military research - his 'first career' -- shaped his style of research. Reaching forward to his 'third' career in neuroscience illuminates the subject of post-Nobel career changes. Dr. Olby seeks to show how the diverse topics addressed by Dr. Crick are related, as well as the motivation underlying their choice. This full-length portrait will fill a gap in the biographies of twentieth century scientists, throw fresh light on the molecular revolution, inform the general reader about the remarkable evolution and transformation undergone by the molecular biology of the fifties and sixties, and underscore Dr. Crick's contributions to biology.

Tissue Engineering: the Morphogenesis of Values and Knowledge in a New Scientific Field

Linda F. Hogle
Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics
Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science, and Technology

A majority of newly emerging engineering and biological sciences is interdisciplinary, blurring boundaries of disciplinary training and traditions, problem definition, research management, and knowledge bases in complex ways. Tissue engineering, the development of biological substitutes for the repair, regeneration and possible enhancement of organs and tissues, is one such emerging field. Tissue engineering combines principles from mechanical and chemical engineering, molecular biology, developmental biology, immunology, materials science, and genetics among other fields. This project examines the conceptual shifts, problem-solving approaches, and challenges of translating and reformulating knowledge across distinct sets of skills and expertise by conducting ethnographic research in academic and commercial tissue engineering laboratories.

Transformations in basic science concepts and translation into useable technologies can be seen from such interdisciplinary collaborations. One place where they can be seen most vividly is in the development of standard protocols and methods for measuring and evaluating function, efficacy and benefit. There are changing notions of what constitutes and how to control risk. Tissue engineered products are combinations of biological entities (cells, growth factors, genes or vectors, etc), devices (synthetic scaffolds and matrices) and in some cases, drugs or drug delivery devices (the biohybrid material may deliver genes, hormones or other biochemical entities to a site to stimulate reactions in situ). This complicates existing classifications and definitions of engineered or biological devices, as well as the way societies understand "natural" and "cultural" (human-made) innovations. Preliminary findings also show evidence of fundamental shifts in the way biological processes are being understood and controlled.

At the same time, because the work involves the use of human materials, whether adult or embryonic, donated (allogeneic) or replicated from the host (autologous), there are major contemporary social and ethical issues affecting science policy and funding. The recent debates about stem cells and somatic cell nuclear transfer or cloning techniques have been added to ongoing concerns about tissue donation and commercialization. These broad social concerns, among others, affect the way TE researchers approach, think about and strategize for future developments of the technologies. Another project aim is to examine empirically how these concerns are being incorporated into interdisciplinary knowledge in the early stages of a new field.

Linda Hogle, PI, observing Eric Sabelman, PhD of Stanford in a neural tissue engineering laboratory:

Bank Bailouts and Aggregate Liquidity

Douglas W. Diamond and Raghuram G. Rajan
University of Chicago
Economics Program

Diamond and Rajan, two professors of Finance at the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business, have studied the economics of banking, and in particular the problem of bank bailouts. Governments sometimes bail out banks by recapitalizing them, or by offering to insure their liabilities. The reason for such intervention is to protect borrowers, bankers, or depositors, and economists have developed rationales why each of these constituencies merits protection. These potential benefits have to be weighed against the costs of a bailout, which are typically thought to be the damage to long-run incentives. Diamond and Rajan offer also a new way of looking at this problem: bank bailouts may alter the availability of aggregate liquidity in the economy. While a well-targeted bailout policy can help rescue an otherwise collapsing banking system, a poorly targeted bailout policy can tip the banking system into a more severe crisis. The critical point made by Diamond and Rajan is that, while it is well understood that aggregate liquidity conditions can affect bank solvency, it is less well understood but equally important that bank solvency can affect aggregate liquidity. Depending on the characteristics of the banks that are in danger of failing, their failure can either subtract from the aggregate pool of liquidity or add to it. Governments regulating the banking system should consider the fact that bailout decisions that increase the excess demand for liquidity can cause further insolvencies, and indeed, a meltdown of the entire system. An improper bailout of some banks can in fact cause a system that would otherwise stabilize (with a few bank failures) to collapse completely.

Exchange Rates and Prices

SES- 0109286
Engel, Charles
U of Wisconsin Madison
Economics Program

This project investigates the behavior of foreign exchange rates and goods prices. It provides a new time?series analysis of aggregate consumer prices and exchange rates. It offers a framework for extending "new open?economy macroeconomic" models. The structure proposed incorporates a local sector for distribution of imported goods. The project pursues how the volatility of the exchange rate depends on the amount of "exchange?rate pass?through" to importers and to consumers, and the elasticity of demand for imported goods by consumers and the derived elasticity of demand by importer/distributors. There is further study of the pass?through question, taking into account the separate roles of consumers and importer/ distributors. Finally, empirical measures of pass?through to consumers and importers, along with other parameters are derived and used to simulate these new models.

The first phase of the project proposes a new way of looking at the "purchasing power parity" puzzle. Real exchange rates among advanced countries have been very volatile and extremely persistent since the collapse of Bretton Woods. The extreme volatility of the real rates seems to point to a monetary or financial force driving the exchange rate, as opposed to real productivity or taste shocks. But the standard monetary model requires that real exchange rate persistence be determined by the persistence of nominal price adjustment. This project breaks the link between the speed of adjustment of nominal exchange rates and the speed of adjustment of nominal prices implicit in such models. A new approach is developed that allows measurement of the speed of adjustment of prices and exchange rates to the equilibrium levels, using an unobserved components model. The key identifying assumption of the equilibrium levels is the long?run purchasing power parity assumption. The approach does not require that the equilibrium levels follow random walks, nor is it necessary to restrict the correlation of innovations to the equilibrium component and the transitory components.

The next part of the proposal advances a framework for extending recent dynamic stochastic general?equilibrium optimizing models of open economies with sticky nominal prices. It seeks to extend the analysis, and build models that reconcile the very low levels of exchange?rate pass?through to consumers with the greater degree of pass?through to import prices. Under this framework, it should be possible to understand the implications of empirical results that find expenditure-switching effects of exchange rates at the producer level, but little expenditure switching in final goods prices. One disappointment of the new open economy macro literature is its lack of progress on understanding nominal exchange rate determination. This project pursues potential avenues for understanding the high degree of nominal exchange rate volatility.

The framework for generalizing open?economy models takes pass?through parameters and elasticities of demand as given. The next part of the project develops some ideas for extending the theoretical literature on pass?through and menu?cost pricing in the context of models with importer/distributors that are distinct from final buyers. Finally, the project proposes uses disaggregated data on consumer prices in conjunction with industry?level price and import data to produce estimates of pass?through and elasticities that will help calibrate the general equilibrium models

Collaborative Research: Understanding Large Movements in Stock Market Activity

SES- 0215823
Stanley, H. E. (Boston University) & Xavier Gabaix (Harvard University)
Economics Program

The proposed research aims to bring together expertise from physics and economics to shed light on one of the most tantalizing problems in finance: the origin of large price movements (especially large negative ones: crashes) and means to avoid these unpleasant events. Both participating researchers, Eugene Stanley and Xavier Gabaix, have made significant and influential contributions to research fields closely related to the proposed project. Stanley's group has pioneered the application of tools from statistical physics to economic data and has gained a number of important insights. Although some of their early results on scaling properties of stock market prices had been forestalled in the economics literature (albeit with a somewhat different language), their more recent work on the relationship between frequency of trades, number of transactions and volatility provide totally new empirical insights. The same applies to some of their work on industrial dynamics. This strand of research can be seen as the origin of the newly established field of 'Econophysics' whose recognized leader Professor Stanley is. It has paved the way towards an acknowledgement of the significance of purely statistical properties of various time series. Although some of these properties have been well known in the empirical literature, economists did not even think of attempting explanations for them. The reason was simply that the typical manner of economic reasoning and modeling was to look for the impact of changes of one economic variable on another rather than for explanations of statistical properties of economic quantities (like stock prices). Xavier Gabaix seemed to have been one of the first economists to become interested in the view of statistical physics. His influential paper on 'Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation' was published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics (one of the top five journals in economics). He has also collaborated with Stanley's group in a number of projects and some co-authored papers appeared in prominent physics journals. The present proposal continues this line of research and complements it with ingredients from the microstructure literature of financial markets. The merger of these two strands of literature should lead to a host of new empirical findings and theoretical insights on the behavior of financial data.

Analyzing Developmental Trajectories with Mixture Models: A Second Generation of Models and Software

Daniel S. Nagin
Carnegie Mellon University
Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Program

A developmental trajectory describes the course of a behavior of an individual or a group over age or time. For nearly a decade, NSF has supported the research of Daniel Nagin at Carnegie Mellon University on the development of a group-based method for identifying distinctive groups of individual trajectories within the population and for profiling characteristics of group members. Figure 1 illustrates the application of the method to data on physical aggression from a sample of 1024 Montreal males. Four distinctive trajectory groups were identified. Of particular interest was the small group of boys, constituting less than 5% of the sampled population, who followed a trajectory of chronic physical aggression from age 6 to 15. These individuals had extraordinarily high levels of contact with the juvenile justice system, violent delinquency, and school failure. A key finding of an analysis of factors distinguishing trajectory group membership was that boys born to mothers who were poorly educated and who began childbearing as teenagers were at greatly elevated risk of following the chronic trajectory. This result was key to convincing the provincial government of Quebec to initiate a multi-faceted program to support such mothers. Specific objectives of the program are to improve their parenting skills and to increase their use of prenatal services. At full scale, the program will be funded at the level of $70 million annually.

Observational Studies

Paul R. Rosenbaum
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Program

An observational study is an empiric investigation of the effects caused by a treatment, program or policy when it is not possible to perform an experiment, such as a controlled clinical trial, in which subjects would be randomly assigned to either treatment or control. Observational studies are common in most fields which study the effects of treatments on people, because harmful or unwanted treatments cannot be given to people for experimental purposes.

In the absence of random assignment, treated and control subjects may differ prior to treatment, so differences in outcomes after treatment may reflect these pretreatment differences rather than effects actually caused by the treatment. Pretreatment differences that have been accurately measured are controlled by adjustments, such as matching, whereas differences that have not been measured must be addressed by other means, such as sensitivity analyses or devices built into the design intended to detect hidden biases.

The second edition of Observational Studies by Paul Rosenbaum of the University of Pennsylvania appeared in early 2002, and this substantial revision was partially supported by the current and previous NSF grants, as well as a sabbatical at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, CA. Articles published in 2001 supported by the grant discussed three observational studies: a study of the effects of the National media campaign against drug abuse, a study of the causes of death following surgery in the Medicare population in Pennsylvania, and a study of a surgical procedure, cystoscopy and hydrodistention, as a treatment for interstitial cystitis. Methodological articles addressed: (i) optimal matching with doses using an extension of the propensity score, (ii) matching with time-varying treatments, (iii) measuring the magnitude of treatment effects using attributable effects, (iv) replicating observational studies, with particular reference to studies of treatments for substance abuse, and (v) using matching to combine quantitative studies with thick description.

An informal survey of statistical concepts for observational studies is contained in the first chapter of Observational Studies, and is available without charge in pdf format from the publisher, Springer-Verlag, at:

POWRE: Gender Stereotypes and the Gender Gap: A New Look At Female-Male Negotiations

Laura Kray
University of Arizona (Now at University of California, Berkeley)
Cross-Directorate Activities Program - POWRE Award

How does awareness of gender stereotypes affect the manner in which men and women negotiate with each other? Because many of the traits that are associated with negotiation effectiveness (assertiveness, rationality, control over emotionality) are stereotypically masculine in nature, it was hypothesized that activating these stereotypical traits might lead women to experience stereotype threat, a phenomenon in which anxiety over confirming a negative stereotype about one's social group leads to performance decrements on tasks relevant to the stereotype. This line of research has found that outcomes in mixed-gender dyads are highly influenced by the link between effective and ineffective negotiator behavior on the one hand and stereotypical masculine and feminine traits on the other, thus demonstrating that the context in which stereotypes are activated, rather than any innate differences between the sexes, predicts negotiator performance. For example, the manner in which stereotypes are activated impacts how men and women respond to the content of the stereotype: when the link between stereotypically masculine traits and negotiation effectiveness is activated subtly, women fall prey to stereotype threat and confirm the stereotype that women are less effective negotiators than men by underperforming in negotiations with men. However, when the stereotype is activated blatantly-when women are specifically told that their gender is a liability-women disidentify with the limiting stereotype and exhibit stereotype reactance. In this latter case, women's performance is ironically superior to the performance of men. Women's performance has also been shown to improve when the link between stereotypically feminine traits (empathy, listening skills, verbal communicativeness) and negotiation effectiveness is strengthened, leading to a female advantage at the bargaining table. This process is termed stereotype regeneration. In sum, this line of research suggests that advantages at the bargaining table in mixed gender dyads are determined by which traits-stereotypically masculine or feminine traits-are linked to negotiation effectiveness and that these linkages are malleable. Arming oneself with empowering cognitions before approaching the bargaining table helps both genders to maximize negotiation performance.

Kray, L.J. Galinsky, A., $ Thompson, L., "Reversing the Gender Gap in Negotiations: An Exploration of Stereotype Regeneration", Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, (2002)


REU Site: Cognition and Environmental Decision Making

Douglas Medin
College of the Menominee Nation
Cross-Directorate Activities Program

Working as part of an REU Site team, undergraduate Jennifer Schmidt studied people's beliefs about mercury contamination of fish among Native American (Menominee) and majority culture adults. She found that both groups tended to assume (incorrectly) that the clean waters running through the Menominee reservation would be free of mercury. Adults also believed (again, contrary to fact) that the only way they could reduce the risk of mercury contamination was to not eat fish. (In point of fact some kinds and sizes of fish are much more likely to have mercury than others and removing fat and skin further reduces mercury risk). This research sets the stage for an educational program that not only alerts people to the risks of mercury contamination but also informs them about how the risk can be minimized.

Costs and Benefits of Conversational Survey Interviewing

Michael F. Schober
New School University
Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics

Today's predominant approach to collecting data in survey interviews is strictly standardized interviewing. This method is used for public opinion surveys, political polls, and surveys from which our fundamental economic and demographic indicators are derived. In order to reduce potential bias, interviewers are trained to present exactly the same wording to all respondents and to refuse to clarify question meaning. Michael Schober of New School University and his collaborator, Fred Conrad of the University of Michigan, have compared the practice of leaving the interpretation of questions entirely up to respondents with alternative interviewing methods that try to standardize the meaning of questions rather than the wording. In a series of laboratory and field experiments using fact-based questions from ongoing U.S. government surveys (e.g., "How many bedrooms are there in your house?"), the investigators trained experienced interviewers to implement a range of interviewing techniques. These techniques varied from the most strictly standardized to those that allow clarification if respondents request it to those that also allow interviewers to provide clarification if they sense that respondents may misinterpret the question. In each study, independent indicators allowed the investigators to assess whether the questions had been interpreted as the survey designers had intended.

A major finding of Schober and Conrad's research is that when respondents' circumstances map onto survey concepts in a straightforward way, strictly standardized interviewing leads to accurate comprehension of survey questions. When respondents' circumstances map onto survey concepts in a less straightforward manner, however, (such as when a room originally designed as a den is being used as a bedroom) strictly standardized interviewing leads to very poor comprehension. Alternative interviewing techniques improve comprehension substantially, but at the cost of increasing interview length and thus burden on respondents. To the extent that survey respondents' situations do not map easily onto survey concepts, this research suggests that current standardized methods may be introducing unintended error into our survey measurement process.

How Dangerous Are Drinking Drivers?

SES-9511890 and SES-0112095
Steven D. Levitt and Jack Porter
University of Chicago and Harvard University
Economics Program

Motor vehicle crashes claim over 40,000 lives a year in the United States, approximately the same number of Americans killed over the course of either the Korean or Vietnam wars. The death toll in motor vehicle accidents roughly equals the combined number of suicides and homicides, and motor vehicles deaths are 30 times as frequent as accidental deaths due to firearms. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans aged 6-27. Levitt and Porter present a methodology for measuring the risks posed by drinking drivers that relies solely on readily available data on fatal crashes. The key to their identification strategy is a hidden richness inherent in two-car crashes. Drivers with alcohol in their blood are seven times more likely to cause a fatal crash; legally drunk drivers pose a risk 13 times greater than sober drivers. The externality per mile driven by a drunk driver is at least 30 cents. At current enforcement rates the punishment per arrest for drunk driving that internalizes this externality would be equivalent to a fine of $8,000.

Insuring Consumption Against Illness

Jonathan Gruber
Cross Directorate Activities

One of the most sizable and least predictable shocks to economic opportunities in developing countries is major illness. There are two important economic costs associated with illness: the cost of the medical care used to diagnose and treat the illness, and the loss in income associated with reduced labor supply and productivity. The size and unpredictability of both of these costs suggests that families may not be able to insure their consumption over periods of major illness, especially in developing countries where few individuals are covered by formal health and disability insurance. The possibility that there is less than full consumption insurance suggests a potentially large loss in welfare from an illness shock to the household's resources. Gruber investigates the extend to which families are able to insure consumption against major illness using a unique panel data set from Indonesia that combines excellent measures of health status with consumption information. He finds that there are significant economic costs associated with major illness, and that there is very imperfect insurance of consumption over illness episodes. These estimates suggest that public disability insurance of subsidies for medical care may improve welfare by providing consumption insurance.

Organizational Size and Pollution

SES 9700941
Don Sherman Grant II
University of Arizona
Sociology Program

Who pollutes more? Small firms that can't afford expensive pollution control devices and have less to fear from bad publicity because they tend to be less well known to the public? Or big firms who have enough political clout to deter strict enforcement and whose large bureaucracies are less flexible and less apt to innovate? Don Grant analyzes data from EPA's Toxic Release Inventory of over 2000 chemical plants and finds that larger plants have higher toxic emission rates. Especially dirty are large plants that are branch plants of larger firms. Grant interprets his results to support efforts to concentrate pollution-monitoring efforts on large plants.

Reference: American Sociological Review, June 2002, 67: 389-407.

Representing Genes: Testing Competing Philosophical Analyses of the Gene Concept in Contemporary Molecular Biology

SES 0217567
Paul Griffiths
University of Pittsburgh
Science and Technology Studies Program

This project by a leading philosopher of biology is designed to analyze the different concepts that scientists have developed for the term "gene." Historians and philosophers of biology agree that the gene concept is not merely "vague" or "flexible," but also that biologists in different fields conceive of the term "gene" in different ways that reflect their research practices. The objective of this study is to construct, in cooperation with leading researchers in the history and philosophy of biology and with the help of researchers in other fields with relevant methodological expertise, testable versions of philosophical claims about how groups of contemporary biologists think about genes, and to test those claims. The purpose of the study is not to arrive at one or more correct "definitions" of the gene, but rather to map out the variation in the gene concept and to explore its causes and its effects.

The project leaders will convene a workshop involving both biological scientists and historians and philosopher of science to shape a survey on this issue, which will then be administered to a range of scientists engaged in research related to genes. This is an innovative effort to adopt social science survey techniques to philosophical investigations of scientific practice; a follow-up workshop and then to consider the implications of the survey results. Among the potential impacts that could emerge from this is clarifying for the public a fact that both philosophers and biologists acknowledge -- that the term "gene" means different things in different fields. The outside world usually assumes that different biologists talking about genes are discussing the same thing. In fact, the validity of those statements depends on the specific gene concept held by the individual biologist. Thus, crucial law and policy decisions may be made based on faulty public, lawmaker, and policymaker notions of what import they should attach to these statements. The project can make a significant contribution by highlighting this circumstance.

Undergraduate Research Experiences in Economics

James Alm
Georgia State University
Cross-Directorate Activities - REU Sites Program

The REU Site at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University has the short-term objective of providing undergraduate students the opportunity to actively participate in policy research, and the longer-term objective of attracting qualified and interested students, especially minority and women students, to Ph.D. programs in economics and public policy. The program in Summer 2002 has nine undergraduates from a range of schools: Duke University, Morehouse College, Northern Illinois University, Columbia University, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Ithaca College, Emory University, Michigan State University, and Dartmouth College. The students are staying in the GSU Olympic Village, and they have also had several field trips, including visits to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Carter Center, the Georgia State Legislature, and the Centers for Disease Control.

The participants are working one-on-one with faculty mentors on a wide range of policy research. Topics include such issues as: "Explaining the racial gap in school achievement scores in Georgia", "Foreign investment in Eastern Europe", "The effect of the music industry on Atlanta's economy", "Research and development in pharmaceutical companies", "Fiscal decentralization in Indonesia", and "International comparison of infant mortality rates". The outcomes of these research activities directly inform decision making in Atlanta and Georgia and in places as far as Indonesia and Bulgaria. The students also are receiving formal and systematic training in a weekly seminar that provides basic research skills and that culminates in a presentation and a paper related to the research experience.

Gender Dynamics and Unmarried Fathers' Involvement with Children

SES 0137123
Kathryn Edin, Paula England, Greg Duncan, and P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale
Northwestern University
Sociology Program

Why don't low-income fathers marry the mothers of their children? Is there a crisis of family values in the United States? Public attention has focused on single parent families as an explanation for many current social ills, but Edin has been finding almost the reverse of a decline in family values. Unfortunately, too exalted an image of what families should be also causes problems for low-income parents. Her young couples believe in such an exaggerated, glorified image of marriage (a home of their own with white picket fences) that they remain unmarried so long as they can't live up to that unrealistic ideal. These illusory "family values" may be partly responsible for a general trend in delaying marriage, but for low-income parents their chances of ever matching reality with dreams are especially low. This NSF project will extend Edin's in-depth interviews with 75 mostly unmarried low-income parents to explore the process of family formation and breakup two to three years after the birth of their child. The award is not only an example of policy-relevant research that produces an unexpected result, it is also an example of the rigorous, creative qualitative research that NSF is not widely perceived as funding. The project also brings together a multi-disciplinary team including an economist, psychologist, and a quantitative and a qualitative sociologist to try to build a new set of answers from their different perspectives on this much researched but still poorly understood public issue.

Bayesian Analysis of Sample Surveys

Andrew E. Gelman
Columbia University
Methodology, Measurement and Statistics

Statistics can be fun and exciting, but many students do not see it that way! The book, "Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks", by Andrew Gelman of Columbia University and Deborah Nolan of the University of California-Berkeley, and supported by the National Science Foundation, collects dozens of class-participation demonstrations that get students directly involved in statistics. Whether comparing the sizes of their families or attempting to create sequences that look convincingly "random", students work in groups under the supervision of the instructor. This book, to be published in fall 2002 by Oxford University Press, will make these demonstrations accessible to all teachers of statistics at schools, colleges, and universities.

The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program

SES-9321048 and SES-9709873 (with C. Taber)
James J. Heckman (with Y. Rubinstein)
University of Chicago
Economics Program and Methodology, Methods and Statistics Program

It is common knowledge outside of academic journals that motivation, tenacity, trustworthiness, and perseverance are important traits for success in life. It is thus surprising that academic discussions of skill and skill formation almost exclusively focus on measures of cognitive ability and ignore non-cognitive skills. Heckman and Rubinstein use evidence from the General Educational Development (GED) testing program in the United States to demonstrate the quantitative importance of noncognitive skills in determining earnings and educational attainment. The GED is a mixed signal. Dropouts who take the GED have higher cognitive skills than other high-school dropouts and yet at the same time have lower levels of non-cognitive skills. Both types of skill are valued in the market and affect schooling choices. Their finding challenges the conventional signaling literature, which assumes a single skill. It also demonstrates the folly of a psychometrically oriented educational evaluation policy that assumes cognitive skills to be all that matter.

Human Capital and Growth

Robert J. Barro
Harvard University
Economics Program

Since the late 1980's, much of the attention of macroeconomists has focused on the determinants of long-term economic growth. Barro emphasizes the role of education on growth. His analysis distinguishes the quantity of education, measured by years of school attainment, from the quality, as gauged by scores on internationally comparable examinations. The growth effects of education were analyzed in a panel of around 100 countries observed from 1965 to 1995. Growth is positively related to the starting level of average years of school attainment of adult males at the secondary and higher levels. Since workers with this educational background would be complementary with new technologies, the results suggest an important role for the diffusion of technology. Growth is significantly related to years of school attainment of females at the secondary and higher levels. This result suggests that highly educated women are not well utilized in the labor markets of many countries. Growth is insignificantly related to male schooling at the primary level. However, this schooling is a prerequisite for secondary schooling and would therefore affect growth through this channel. Education of women at the primary level stimulates growth indirectly by inducing a lower fertility rate. Data on students' scores on internationally comparable examinations in science, mathematics, and reading were used to measure the quality of schooling. Scores on science tests have a strong positive relation with growth. Given the quality of education, as represented by the test scores, the quantity of schooling, measured by average years of attainment of adult males at the secondary and higher levels, is still positively related to subsequent growth. However, the effect of school quality is quantitatively much more important.

On the Demographic Composition of Colleges and Universities in Market Equilibrium

SES-9905375 (to Epple), SES-9905321 (to Romano), and SES-0111630 (to Sieg),
Dennis Epple, Richard Romano, and Holger Sieg
Carnegie Mellon University (Epple and Sieg) and University of Florida (Romano)

Economics Program

Achieving diversity in the racial and ethnic makeup of its student body is one of the objectives that a college pursues in making decisions about admission and financial aid. Epple, Romano, and Sieg investigate how colleges' quests for ethnic and racial diversity affect admission and financial aid policies, the college quality hierarchy, and the distribution of white and nonwhite students across colleges of differing qualities. They provide a theoretical framework that embodies preferences for diversity, and augment the theory with results from a parallel computational model that uses actual data from the U.S. The effects of efforts to achieve diversity in colleges depend not only on the weight that colleges give to diversity, but also on the value that prospective student place on diversity. Not surprisingly, colleges will be more diverse if households also value diversity. This current research is part of a larger project on theoretical and empirical research on the nature and consequences of competition in higher education. The authors have studied admission and financial aid policies of colleges, the equilibrium allocation of students of different income and ability across colleges, and tuition net of financial aid paid by students of differing income and ability levels.


SES- 0138961
Brent Yarnal
Penn State
Cross-Directorate Activities Program - REU Sites Program

The Human-Environment Regional Observatory project (HERO) is developing concepts and tools for studying the local dimensions of global environmental change. The goal of the HERO REU Site is to introduce undergraduate students to those methods by helping them carry out local-area, collaborative research in four sites across the United States. Twelve students -- three each from Arizona, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts -- participated in the first HERO REU Site in 2002. The students started their activities with a two-week short course at Penn State. Among the many daily training activities, students conducted interviews, worked with satellite imagery and GIS data, and manipulated, analyzed, and stored complex human-environment information. There were three field trips, including one in which students prepared the itinerary and delivered site presentations to their mentors.

After the short course, the students returned to their home states, where they spent six weeks assessing the vulnerability of their locales to environmental hazards. Critical to their work was the cross-site collaboration made possible by HERO collaboratory tools. For example, students held Web-based videoconferences nearly every day as they worked with their colleagues across the country. In the end, the students showed that remote collaboration could produce excellent research on the local dimensions of global environmental change.

Photo credits: top-Brent Yarnal, Department of Geography, Penn State, 2002; bottom-Rachel Clement, USGS, 2002

GARP for Kids: On the Development of Rational Choice Behavior

SES-9810847 (to Harbaugh and Vesterlund) and SES-9810835 (to Krause)
William T. Harbaugh and Kate Krause (with T. Berry)
University of Oregon and University of New Mexico
Economics Program

Economic behavior starts in childhood. Children live in complex economic environments. They make choices about what to consume and they earn money. Children save, exchange goods, make decisions under uncertainty, and they share and bargain among themselves and with their parents and other adults. While this behavior is interesting enough for its own sake, what makes it important is the simple fact that children grow up to be adults. In every science one of the first steps towards understanding something is understanding its development, and we believe economics is no different. This research is motivated by the belief that many of the economic behaviors seen in adults are rooted in preferences, norms, and habits acquired in childhood. This research has led to interesting results about the development of the ability to make rational choices and to behave strategically - two fundamental requirements for the application of economic models.

They studied 7- and 11-year-old children and, for comparison, college undergraduates. Applying perhaps the simplest possible test of economic rationality - one that requires no ability to forecast choices by others and act strategically, and no ability to think about time or probability in any rigorous way - they ask the children to choose what bundle of juice boxes and potato chips they like best from each of several lists of alternatives. They find that at age 7 children's choices about consumption goods show clear evidence of rationality, though also many inconsistencies. By age 11, choices by children with below-average mathematical ability are as rational as choices by adults with above-average intelligence, although even these adults' choices show many inconsistencies. They conclude that to the extent the assumption that people choose rationally is useful for modeling behavior by adults, it can also be applied to studying children.

Undergraduate Research Experience in Native American Archaeology and Heritage Preservation: A cooperative project of the University of Arizona and the White Mountain Apache Tribe

Barbara Mills
University of Arizona
Cross-Directorate Activities Program

The University of Arizona (UA) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) have established a REU Site that focuses on archaeology and heritage preservation in east-central Arizona. Ten undergraduate students participated in the program for six weeks during the summer of 2002 and lived in the UA field camp in Pinedale, Arizona. The primary goal of the project is to teach students how to combine scientific research and tribal heritage preservation goals through collaborative activities.

Because the field camp was threatened by the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, the students spent an unexpected week in Tucson at the UA archaeology labs where they analyzed materials they had collected from the field and used GIS to map their survey site distributions. Upon their return to the field, they saw firsthand how Forest Service and tribal Heritage Program employees assessed damage to archaeological resources and how they would protect and restore the sites. The students obtained a comprehensive picture of how heritage preservation actively protects sites that complemented their own fieldwork.

Risk Communication and Public Participation During the Investigation of Cancer Clusters

Craig Trumbo
University of Missouri - Columbia
Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Program

Every day in the United States, an average of three communities contact their state health departments for the investigation of a suspected cancer cluster. State health departments investigate about a third of these cases, but find that very few (about 1%) present suspect cancer rates. Suspected cancer clusters present an opportunity to investigate risk perception, risk communication, and public participation in risk analysis.

This project examines the social and psychological circumstances surrounding citizen-initiated cancer cluster investigations, with an emphasis on two aspects: the effects of state health department communications, and the experiences of citizens and officials in public meetings held during these cases. The project will integrate and develop two primary theoretical models, one central to risk perception (the Psychometric model) and one central to information processing and decision-making (the Heuristic-Systematic model).

Previous work in this effort has examined a series of five such cases. This expansion will use mail and phone survey methods to look at a larger and more diverse set of cluster investigations (about 50), enabling a comparison across cases. Overall, the project is expected to provide a detailed examination of how information is conveyed in these cases, and how citizens make use of information to reach, or modify, their orientation toward concerns about cancer rates.

One of the most interesting aspects of this investigation is the fact that cluster cases almost always present a circumstance in which the scientific evidence indicates little or no risk, yet that evaluation is couched in the probabilistic language of cancer epidemiology. The analysis will illuminate the more effective means of communicating the results of epidemiological studies and as such will provide important and useful feed-back for those who are charged with that work. The project's ultimate goal is that this kind of information will be communicated more effectively and the communities involved in such cases will be better served.

Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?

M. Scott Taylor
University of Wisconsin
Economics Program

M. Scott Taylor, Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin Madison, with W. Antweiler, and B. Copeland (University of British Columbia), has reached the conclusion that freer trade is good for the environment. The debate over the role that international trade plays in determining environmental outcomes has at times generated more heat than light. Theoretical work has identified a series of hypothesis linking openness to trade and environmental quality, but the empirical verification of these hypotheses has seriously lagged. One common theory is that relatively low-income developing countries will be made dirtier with trade. An alternate theory predicts that dirty capital-intensive processes will relocate to the relatively capital-abundant and high-income developed countries with trade. Professor Taylor estimates indicate that increases in a country's exposure to international markets create small but measurable changes in the pollution intensity of national output. Estimates of how trade changes the pollution intensity of national output are shown in the figure below. An important feature of this scatter plot is that the estimates for low-income countries (those on the left hand side) tend to be negative, while those for high-income countries tend to be positive. This evidence supports the alternative theory where dirty capital-intensive production is drawn to high-income countries with trade, while relatively clean production expands in low-income countries. In addition to changing the pollution intensity of national output, trade also raises the scale of output and national income. Their estimates of the scale and technique effects of trade suggest that if openness to international markets raises both output and income by 1 percent, pollution concentrations will fall by approximately 1 percent. By putting all of this evidence together this study yields a somewhat surprising conclusion - free trade is after all good for the environment.

Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry

Austan Goolsbee (with Jeffrey R. Brown)
University of Chicago
Economics Program

The Internet may significantly reduce search costs by enabling price comparisons on-line. Goolsbee, professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, and Brown, professor of Economics at the Harvard University, provide empirical evidence on how Internet comparison shopping sites affected the prices of life insurance in the 1990s. With micro data on individual insurance policies and with individual and policy characteristics controlled for, hedonic-type regressions show that increases in Internet use significantly reduced the price of term life insurance. Further evidence shows that prices did not fall with rising Internet usage in the period before the sites began, nor for insurance types that were not covered on the sites. The results suggest that the growth of the Internet has reduced term life prices by 8-15 percent. The results also show that the initial introduction of the Internet search sites is initially associated with an increase in price dispersion within demographic groups, but as use spreads, the dispersion falls.

Why is Internet Car Prices Lower?

Fiona Scott-Morton
(with Florian Zettelmeyer and Jorge Silva-Risso)
National Bureau of Economic Research
Economics Program

This study addresses the question of how much the Internet lowers prices for new cars and why. Using a large dataset of transaction prices for new automobiles and referral data from, the investigators find that online consumers pay on average 1.2% less than do offline consumers. After controlling for selection, they find that using reduces the price a consumer pays by approximately 2.2%. This suggests that consumers who use an Internet referral service are not those who would have obtained a low price even in the absence of the Internet. Instead, the finding is consistent with consumers choosing to use because they know that they would do poorly in the traditional channel, perhaps because they have a high personal cost to collecting information and bargaining. This group disproportionately uses because its members are the ones with the most to gain. The project estimates that savings to consumers who use alone are at least $240 million per year. Since there are other referral and informational sites that may also help consumers bargain more effectively with dealers, the study concludes that the Internet is facilitating a large transfer of surplus to Internet consumers in the retail auto industry.

A Longitudinal Analysis of Internet-Based Research Communication in Developing Areas

SES- 0113545
Wesley Shrum
Louisiana State University
ITR Program (SES/SBE)

Sociology Program

With an international team of scholars, sociologist Wesley Shrum is examining the effects of new information technology on scientific communities in developing nations. The five-year study will document the impact of the Internet on research communication by analyzing the conditions associated with interpersonal networking and information search behavior. The study population consists of 360 scientists in three different parts of the developing world, each at different levels of research capacity (Ghana, Kenya, and the Indian state of Kerala). Each region was the subject of a comprehensive study of research communication in 1994, just prior to the rapid expansion of the Internet. The scientists to be studied work at twelve organizational sites: two universities and two government research institutes in each of the three areas, with about 120 scientists in each country. The project team, which includes graduate students from each country, gathers several kinds of data for each scientist (conventional survey, network survey, Internet usage data, and email data). The project has begun assessing the professional relationships, information search behavior, and changes in research practice. It has also started to train faculty and graduate students in the social analysis of science and technology

Molecular nanotechnology will mean the ability to build things from the atom up, to rearrange matter with precision, and to control its very structure. Nanotechnology promises to radically alter not just the physical, but the social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of human life

Ethics and Belief Inside the Development of Nanotechnology
Rosalyn W. Berne
University of Virginia
Societal Dimensions of Engineering Program

Professor Rosalyn Berne is studying engineers and scientists who are working at the nanoscale to answer the questions: What do scientists and engineers define as the ethical issues connected to the development of nanotechnology? How, if at all, do scientists and engineers imagine confronting or addressing those ethical issues as they are defined? In what ways might religious perspectives and personal beliefs be a factor in the ethical framework of developing nanotechnology? The same scientists and engineers will be interviewed twice a year for the next five years to track the development of their personal ideas, ambitions, thoughts and beliefs as the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology continue to evolve. These interviews will shed light on how scientists values and beliefs are informed by their scientific work and on the implications these values and beliefs can have for the work they do.

Collaborative Research on Probabilistic Models of Social Choice

Bernard Grofman
University of California, Irvine

SES-9730076, SES-0296019
Michel Regenwetter
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Methodology, Measurement and Statistics Program

A long theoretical tradition has focused on the importance of 'voting paradoxes' for understanding democratic decision-making. For example, under conditions that produce a paradox known as the majority rule cycle, voting by majority rule fails to produce an election outcome because no candidate has majority support. Political scientist Bernard Grofman of the University of California-Irvine and mathematical psychologist Michel Regenwetter of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign draw a new and different picture of social choice processes. Working with multiple collaborators, Grofman and Regenwetter use probabilities to capture two major facets of voting behavior: (1) individuals may experience uncertainty about their own preferences, and (2) preferences vary within and among persons. For instance, one can model voter uncertainty by interpreting election ballots as a probabilistic sample from an underlying (ideal, theoretical, unobservable) population of voter preferences. An election outcome may be incorrect because randomness in the vote casting or ballot counting process has made that outcome accidentally deviate from the outcome one would have obtained at the level of the underlying population (i.e., in a 'perfect world' without randomness). Using various national survey data, the team has shown how decision making under majority rule is much more prone to yield an incorrect election outcome than a majority rule cycle. They conjecture that similar patterns will emerge for a broad range of voting methods and paradoxes, when applied to realistic data.

Based on their research, Grofman and Regenwetter argue that voting paradoxes appear to be so rare in practice that they may be of limited practical relevance. They contend that voting specialists should shift their attention to finding election methods that are easy to use and that are likely to elect the `correct winner' if the ballot casting or counting process contains probabilistic components.

This work earned Regenwetter the 1999 New Investigator Award of the Society for Mathematical Psychology.

Bayesian Analysis of Chronometric Data

Trisha Van Zandt
Mario Peruggia
Ohio State University
Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Program and Human Cognition and Perception Program

This research, conducted by mathematical psychologist Trisha Van Zandt and statistician Mario Peruggia of Ohio State University, will develop Bayesian models for chronometric data, particularly human response time data. Pragmatically, response times are important for evaluating human performance in many areas. They assist machine interface design decisions, such as the optimal way to present information to a pilot or the best location for a turn-signal indicator. They also are used in medicine; diagnoses of some organic brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be informed by a patient's response times on certain kinds of tests. Theoretically, response times are used to test hypotheses about cognitive structure, the ways in which people se and process information, and how changes in the environment influence human behavior.

Although Bayesian techniques are well established in other fields, social and behavioral scientists rarely use them because they require a considerable investment in computational resources as well as additional statistical training. This project will develop a number of strategies that will improve the analysis of response time data, including analyses that consider theories about how response times are produced and new procedures that can help untrained practitioners use Bayesian methods with relatively little additional effort. The study also undertakes a program of education and dissemination to improve the overall quality of statistical analyses of response time data. Van Zandt and Peruggia plan to incorporate the results of this research into their classes, involve undergraduates in the research process, and provide tutorials and workshops for basic training of Bayesian methods to social and behavioral science researchers. Thus, this project will result in more accurate characterization of response time data and therefore improved decision making about human capabilities and disease.

CAREER: Gangs, Underground Economies and, the African- American Urban Community Sociology Program

SES 9876098
Steven Levitt
University of Chicago
CAREER: The Economics of Gangs

Career award SES 9984082
Sudhir Venkatesh
Columbia University
Economics Program

The unusual research partnership of an urban ethnographer, Sudhir Venkatesh, and an economist, Steven Levitt, has led to a very different type of research than has previously been done. Through years of relationship building, Venkatesh earned the trust of a drug?selling gang to the point where they provided the researchers with detailed financial data on their illegal activities over a four?year period. Venkatesh and Levitt have found that almost all the profits go to the higher?ups in the gang. Street?level sellers are paid roughly the minimum wage. The dispersion of income is just as great in the gang as in corporate America. Economics predicts quite accurately many aspects of gang behavior: Wages rise during gang wars, supporting the economic concept of compensating differentials. As the gang expands, its market power rises, and so do prices. Low skilled workers are paid low wages. Participation in gangs is not well explained by purely economic reasons (because gang wages are quite low), or by standard arguments about the peer?based rewards of participation. Rather, gang participation is best viewed as a way of "making it," that is, an inner?city version of the American dream. This desire for upward mobility, closed off in more traditional channels, appears to be critical to the allure of the gang. Policies that attempt to fight gangs must take this into account.

Reference: "Growing up in the Projects: The Economic Lives of a Cohort of Men Who Came of Age in Chicago Public Housing." American Economic Review 91(May): 79-84.


REU Site in Political Science-Ralph Bunche Summer Institute

Paula McClain
Duke University
Political Science Program and Cross-Directorate Activities Program

The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute is designed to expand opportunities for students of color by preparing them to enroll in doctoral programs and become political science college and university professors. Blacks, Latinos, and American Indian undergraduates are immersed in a five-week intensive program that includes graduate level course work, and the design, analysis, written documentation, and presentation of original research papers. The program simulates the graduate school experience and focuses on scientific analysis by introducing the students to research methods and statistics, and the research enterprise that is the lifeline of professional political scientists. Two ethics seminars are included in the program - ethics in survey research, and ethical choices in international relations.

Of 20 students who participated in the Ralph Bunche Institute during summer 2000, a total of 12 students from that group enrolled in graduate school. Ten of them did so in the same year and two entered graduate school in fall 2002. For the year 2001, nine students applied to graduate or law school. Six (four black and two Latino) have applied to political science doctoral programs for fall 2002 admission.

Students at the Summer 2001 Ralph Bunche Institute:

CAREER: Structural Dependence in Graphical-Temporal Data with Applications to Neuroscience and Finance

Christopher R. Genovese
Carnegie Mellon University
Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Program

Christopher Genovese of Carnegie Mellon University is interested in a class of statistical problems that arise frequently in areas as diverse as finance, observational cosmology, traffic flow, evolutionary biology, growth curve analysis, and neuroimaging. In each case, the observational units have a complicated interdependence that influences how they evolve in time. The statistical challenge is to capture that dependence for making effective inferences. For example, in finance, the observational units are securities; here the task is to predict future returns. In functional neuroimaging, the units are brain locations, and the task is to identify clusters of neural activity. New statistical models are being developed for such data that give broad flexibility in capturing dependence relationships. The models are easily interpretable, widely applicable, and can be made computationally efficient. Notable successes thus far include outperforming standard financial methods for portfolio selection (e.g., 150% greater return on investment over multi-year horizons) and a technique for quantifying the uncertainty in clusters of activation estimated from functional neuroimaging data.

As part of his CAREER award, Dr. Genovese also has developed a statistical methods course structured around the theme of "developing models". The comprehensive case studies, extended class examples, and detailed notes that he developed for this course are available as a self-contained package and are being used successfully by other instructors.

Figure 1. Mihir Arjunwadkar (left), Christopher R. Genovese (center), and Fang Chen (right).
No copyrights or permissions required

Figure 2. Comparison of cumulative returns from three methods for portfolio balancing: the standard method, based on linear regression; the refined method produced as part of this project, based on a more flexible model; and the capitalization-weighted average over a universe of 1000 liquid, large-cap, US stocks. The dates are listed YYMM, year (1998-2000) and month (1-12).

Figure 3. Axial slice of a magnetic resonance anatomical image of the brain with identified clusters of activity. This is a portion of a figure in a paper by the PI in the journal, NeuroImage.



Effects of Legal Involvement on Child Victims: A 10-Year Follow-Up

SES-9602125 (SES-0129777)
Gail Goodman
University of California, Davis
Law and Social Science Program -- Research Experiences for Graduates Supplement

With a supplement to this award, the long-term consequences of criminal justice involvement for victims of child sexual abuse are explored. The supplemental funds, requested under the Law and Social Science Research Experiences for Graduates program (NSF 02-014), allows the principal investigator to work with three graduate students as they work on related, but independent research projects. Under the principal investigator's direction, three graduate students from underrepresented groups will conduct experiments related to memory retention in the criminal justice process.

Laboratory in Comparative Ethnic Processes (LiCEP): Formal and Empirical
Approaches to Ethnic Mobilization -- series of workshops

David Laitin, James Fearon
Stanford University
Political Science Program

The Laboratory in Comparative Ethnic Processes (LiCEP) is conducting four biannual workshops on the theme of ethnic mobilization, nationalism and civil war. LiCEP is an inter-university research group that seeks to improve their understanding of the causes and consequences of ethnic mobilization through the systematic cross examination of formal theoretical models and empirical evidence.

The substantive questions that LiCEP explores include: What are the conditions under which individuals participate in ethnic as opposed to non-ethnic collective action? What are the conditions that lead to large-scale rebellions against the state? When and why do inter-ethnic riots occur? How are inter-ethnic relations renegotiated in the aftermath of civil violence? What are the conditions under which ethnic mobilization takes the more "routine" forms in the form of ethnic voting and party formation? What is the impact that different forms of ethnic mobilization have on policy-making and processes of state consolidation? And how does ethnic mobilization interact with the process of identity formations itself?

The principle goals of the workshops are to evaluate lab-generated datasets, reverse engineer statistical, formal and agent-based models, and bring formal models into more direct interaction.

REU Site: Research on Riots, Protest, and Activism

SES 0139296
Dan Myers
University of Notre Dame
Cross-Directorate Activities Program

The Notre Dame Research Workshop on Riots and Protest will be investigating the dynamics of collective violence with a special focus on racial rioting in the United States during the 1960s. Via this 3-year research project, 24 undergraduate students will explore the causes, processes, and outcomes of rioting and protest using an archive of materials collected during the 1960s by the Lemberg Center for the Study of Violence. Students will use the extensive archive which includes thousands of newspaper articles, hundreds of interviews with citizens, governmental officials and activists, a survey of six-thousand respondents, and archived material from several city governments to investigate such topics as: the role of police in riots, the impact of media coverage, how citizens attempted to reduce rioting, how rioting spread from city to city, how rioting affected schools, and how rioting was related to protests on college and university campuses. Through this program, student participants will have the opportunity to actively engage all aspects of the research process from generating the research idea to compiling and analyzing the data. They will also write and present a professional research report.

The Development of Stereotyping in White Children's Judgments of Black Students' Academic Ability

SES- 0001332
Jason Lawrence
New York University
Cross-Directorate Activities - Minority Post-Doc Program

The goal of the proposed research and training is to determine the developmental processes involved in White children's knowledge and use of the stereotype that alleges Black children have low academic ability. Under the research mentorship of Diane Ruble, the researcher was trained to prepare individual research protocol - which he did, including an extensive human subjects approval process. As a result, this research is still in process in a continuation grant awarded the third year. During the first two years of this post-doctoral fellowship, the fellow has collaborated with his research mentors on data sets that they have on race-related rejection-sensitivity and its role in student's engagement with college during their first year. In addition, he attended and presented his research findings at weekly developmental and social research seminars. Under this fellowship, the grantee has received the training necessary to become a first rate researcher. He has prepared five manuscripts and given four presentations on his research.

STS Support for Graduate Education and Research

SES 9522049, 0112914
Keith R. Benson, Robert J. Malone, History of Science Society
Travel Grants for Graduate Students and Independent Scholars

SES 0137255
Robert Cummins, University of California, Davis
Epistemology and the Diversity of Cognitive Systems: An SGTR Proposal

Sample Dissertations:
David Hounshell/Asif Siddiqi
Carnegie-Mellon University
Dissertation Research: The Rockets Red Glare: State, Society and Technological Innovation in the Soviet Union, 1917-1957

SES 0135473
Angela Creager/Suman Seth
Princeton University
Dissertation Research: Between Politics and Pedagogy: Constructions of Theoretical Physics in Imperial Germany

SES 0218007
Richard Burkhardt/James Nelligan
University of Illinois at Urbana
Dissertation Research: Reimagining Anthrax: Constructing the Threat and Science of Biological Warfare at Fort Detrick, 1943-1969

SES 0217479
Steven Feierman/Eve Buckley
University of Pennsylvania
Dissertation Research: Drought and Development: Technocratic visions for progress in Brazil's Northeast, 1900-1950

SES 0216981
Peter Machamer/Gualtiero Piccinini
University of Pittsburgh
Dissertation Research: Computations and Computers in the Sciences of Mind and Brain

Through a variety of awards, the STS program is the major supporter of graduate research and education in the fields of history, philosophy, and social studies of science and technology. Since 1995, the program has provided support to enable graduate students to attend the annual meetings of the primary professional organizations in this scholarly arena -- the History of Science Society, the Society for the History of Technology, the Philosophy of Science Association, and the Society for the Social Studies of Science. The payoff from allowing students to interact with the leading scholars of their chosen fields of study is evident in the extensive participation of those students in those annual meetings. More than 100 students and junior faculty have received travel grants each year.

The STS Program also supports a significant number of dissertation improvement awards, covering the full spectrum of academic fields under the STS umbrella, normally funding about twenty projects each year. The Program also makes Small Grants for Training and Research (SGTR) that provide support for graduate students and a postdoctoral fellow to enable an academic department or program to focus for three years on a research and education project. On-going projects are focusing on gender in science and technology, STS and design within engineering education, and public policy and STS. The newest SGTR is underway at the University of California, Davis; it is focusing on the philosophy of science, with specific attention to some of the newest developments in the cognitive science and psychology. The most exciting dimension of this project, however, is the effort of PI Robert Cummins to adopt the group-oriented laboratory instruction and research efforts of the sciences to training and conducting research with graduate students in philosophy of science. Thus he treats the core group of students as a team engaged in a common pursuit, meeting frequently to discuss the specific research of individual students, authoring joint papers, and in general operating in a style that is quite different from the usual style of individualistic research in the humanities.

The Consequences of Incarceration on Individuals and Communities

SES- 0208185
Kecia Johnson
North Carolina State University
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Cross-Directorate Activities - Minority Post-Doc Program

This proposal will focus on the effect of incarceration on individuals and communities. For the impact on the individual level, the PI will use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979-1998. For the neighborhood level, the PI will use the Ohio offender database maintained by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. This project brings scientific attention to a critically important social issue with significant policy implications. Mass imprisonment is a major phenomenon of our time, but the impact of imprisonment on individuals and communities is understudied. The PI will work with leading criminologists at Ohio State University, which will have a significant impact on her development as a minority researcher and scientist.

Programs for Women in Science and Engineering: Types, Characteristics, and Outcomes

Mary Frank Fox
Georgia Institute of Technology
Cross-Directorate Activities Program

Efforts to open pathways for women (and other under-represented groups) in science and engineering frequently take the form of programs or sets of activities thought to affect the targeted group. Programs represent a critical site for analysis because they embody conceptions of both what is "wrong" or at issue, and what can be done to improve outcomes for women in science and engineering. With a method involving survey questionnaires to university administrators and to program directors, and site visits to programs for undergraduate women in science and engineering, this study is a systematic and empirical assessment of: 1) the range and complexity of programs' definitions of the issues; 2) patterns of solutions posed; 3) extent that solutions posed reflect definitions of the problem; and 4) the relationship between various types and characteristics of programs and outcomes, including degrees awarded to women in science and engineering within their institutions. Institutions with programs and without programs are included in the study.

The study informs practice and policy in science and engineering, providing understanding of both the potential for and limits of programs in relationship to the institutions in which they exist. The results will improve theory and knowledge of what is at issue for the condition of under-represented groups in science and engineering, and what can be done to plan future programs that will effectively support students' participation and performance in science and engineering.

CAREER: Expanding the Applicability, Utility, and Popularity of Item Response Theory
Models for Unfolding

James S. Roberts
University of Maryland, College Park
Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Program

CAREER awardee James Roberts of the University of Maryland will develop and extend unfolding item response theory models for the measurement of human constructs such as attitudes, preferences, and individual locations within certain developmental processes that occur in stages. An unfolding item response theory model is a probabilistic model that simultaneously estimates each respondent's latent trait along with the characteristics of each item using the responses to a test or questionnaire. In addition to the development of new measurement methodology, Roberts will conduct a series of introductory and intensive workshops on the application and benefits of this approach to applied measurement practitioners across the U.S. and Europe. The refinement and subsequent distribution of free, user-friendly computer software will complement these educational activities. The combination of fundamental research and education and dissemination activities should result in more valid measurement of important human characteristics.


Indicator P4. Contributions to development of a diverse workforce through participation of underrepresented groups (women, underrepresented minorities, and/or persons with disabilities) in NSF activities (This P4 indicator is followed by eight retrospective and two prospective examples as {a - j} furnished by 10 Principal Investigators.)

REU Site: Increasing Science Education Through the Study of Scientific Psychology

SES- 0097643
Melanie Page
Oklahoma State University
Cross-Directorate Activities Program

The Psychology Department at Oklahoma State University was presented with a "Partners in Excellence Award" by the University of Texas Pan-American for their mentoring of two University of Texas students this past summer in their Research Experience for Undergraduates program, funded by the National Science Foundation. Brenda Morales and Noe Ramos worked with both the PI Melanie C. Page and co-PI Charles A. Abramson. In their work with Dr. Page they studied young children's social development, and will present their research at the Psi Chi National conference in August 2002. With Dr. Abramson, they worked on a project investigating the effect of pesticides on learning in bees, which was presented at the Oklahoma Psychological Society meeting in April 2002. These students subsequently nominated Dr. Abramson for the OPS outstanding faculty award, which he won.

Summer Minority Program

Susan Collins
American Economic Association
CDA and Economics Programs

African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans together make up more than 20% of the U.S. population but only 5% of economics Ph.D.'s awarded each year to American citizens. On average, fewer than 20 new economics Ph.D.'s per year were awarded to minorities during 1981-1995. Although this figure is somewhat greater than the 1976-1980 annual average of only 13, the number of new Ph.D.'s remains very low. Consequently, the pool of minority scholars in the economics profession continues to be extremely slow. To address this problem, the Committee on the Status of Minorities in the Economics Profession has initiated a mentorship program for students accepted or enrolled in a Ph.D. program in economics. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Current program participants are enrolled in Ph.D. Programs at Brown University, University of Florida, George Washington University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, Washington University, University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Michigan.

The mentor assisted the student through the critical junctures of their graduate program, the core theory exams, the choice of fields, and the transition from course work to research. The mentor supported students by discussing research ideas, provide contacts with other scholars in relevant fields, prod students when necessary to insure they join a study group, attend seminars, make progress on their dissertation, etc., and provide general advice about "how to play the game." Mentors are intended as complements (not substitutes) for advisers in students' own departments. The mentor-protégée relationship is comprehensive, including, at some point, opportunities for collaborative research.

The program also facilitated contacts among minority students in different schools and at different stages in the pipeline. Each summer, all participants are invited to the Pipeline Workshop, to be held at the AEA Summer Training program. (The program covers travel expenses.) The workshop features research presentations by professional economists and advanced graduate students and professional development programs (e.g., grant writing workshops; advice on how to get a paper published).


REU Site: Reviving the Past : Undergraduate Research Program in Bio-cultural Anthropology

Susan Sheridan
University of Notre Dame
Cross-Directorate Activities Program

The Summer Program in Bio-cultural Anthropology engages undergraduates in an experiential learning environment. Using a large skeletal collection from Jerusalem, historical and archaeological information is synthesized with the biological record stored in the bones of the inhabitants of a Byzantine monastery for a bio-cultural reconstruction of ancient life. Ten students from the University of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago, New Mexico State University, Lycoming College, Emory University, Lethbridge University, the University of Missouri, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and Concordia University participated in the 6 week intensive Summer 2002 program. This year's course focused on childhood health and adaptability. Intensive training in human osteology and evolutionary biology prepared the students for their collaborative research projects studying aspects of subadult growth and development, genetic affinity, demography, and disease patterns. In addition, there were 6 field trips to research institutions, 22 guest speakers, several professional development modules, and a 5-part evening ethics component conducted with faculty from a variety of disciplines.

The data is currently being compiled for a joint publication with the students in a leading anthropology journal. In addition, two of the research teams will submit their projects for presentation at national professional meetings, and one student is applying for research funding to continue her project for an Honors thesis.

EA Quinn [Emory University] and Caroline Tse [University of Chicago] measuring long bones for a study of childhood growth and development:

Students, faculty and graduate assistant with Dr. Theodore Hesburgh (back row, center), President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame:


Advance Fellows: Marine-Protected Areas, Geographic Information Science, and Civil Society

Barbara Louise Endemaño Walker
University of California, Santa Barbara
Cross-Directorate Activities Program - ADVANCE Award

Dr. Barbara Louise Endemaño Walker, University of California at Santa Barbara, was recently awarded an ADVANCE Fellows Award to study the convergence of two relatively new and increasingly popular trends in state-led environmental resource management: marine protected areas (MPAs) and Geographic Information Science (GIS). In a comparative study of two sites - Moorea, French Polynesia and the Channel Islands, California - Dr. Walker will examine how MPAs have fostered political struggles and organized resistance among stakeholders (including fishers, environmentalists, and the state) unlike any previous marine resource regulations. In particular, Dr. Walker will pose questions about how social and environmental movements surrounding marine protected areas are linked to the social and economic histories of each research site (chiefly related to economic development based on tourism), as well as the spatial relationships between the stakeholder groups and the resources that they perceive to be at stake. This project has important policy implications for environmental decision- and policy-making in the United States and internationally, specifically related to co-management, common property resource issues, and environmental justice.


Conference to Encourage U.S. Participation in European Research Training Network on the Political Economy of Financial Markets

SES - 0224479
Howard Rosenthal
Princeton University
Economics and Political Science Programs

Politics structures the regulatory and legal institutions that delimit the operation of financial markets. The political outcomes have major impacts on such important matters as the openness of financial markets, the balance between investor protection and managerial prerogatives, and the tradeoff between creditor and debtor rights. The need for a research agenda in this area led to the organization of a research network in Europe "Understanding Financial Architecture: Legal and Political Frameworks and Economic Efficiency." The network was funded by the European Union. This grant supports a small conference on the Political Economy of Financial Markets at Princeton University. The purpose of the conference is to explore the development of an international and interdisciplinary community in this area. The potential topics include financial development, corporate governance, bankruptcy, debt forgiveness, and credit markets for the poor. Invitations to participate in the conference are extended to scholars, particularly junior scholars, from a broad cross-section of Universities in the United States. The conference brings together potential American partners to the European network on the political economy of financial institutions.

China's Economic Transition: Origins, Mechanism, and Prospects

Thomas Rawski
University of Pittsburgh
Economics Program, China Program, Innovation and Organizational Change

China's protracted boom is a major episode in world economic history. Beginning in the late 1970s, China experienced two decades of extraordinary growth that raised every indicator of material welfare, lifted several hundred million from absolute poverty, and rocketed China from near autarchy into unprecedented global prominence. Current research, however, leaves fundamental questions about the economic, political and social dimensions of this growth process and its future prospects unanswered. To address these issues, this project initiates a major interdisciplinary effort focused on China's long boom of the past two decades. It seeks a comprehensive and integrated analysis of the underpinnings and dynamics of China's protracted growth spurt that will be both path breaking and policy relevant.

This project builds on two earlier efforts: one directed by Hugh Patrick and Henry Rosovsky that produced the path-breaking volume Asia's New Giant: How the Japanese Economy Works. A second, organized by Thomas Rawski, inspired a series of volumes that have contributed to deepening the economic content of Chinese historical studies and integrating Chinese experience into the study of global economic history. The project's plan includes two conferences scheduled for summer 2002 and summer 2003. The conferences consider three groups of papers: five overviews that lay out themes, issues, and methods from several interdisciplinary perspectives; fifteen thematic papers that focus on specific dimensions of China's recent economic experience, e.g. openness, international trade and foreign direct investment, agriculture, fiscal policy, and industrial organization and enterprise governance; and three interpretative studies that consider the implications of China's twenty-year boom for China's future evolution, for China-oriented economics research, and for broader studies in economics and social science. The first conference will apply key results from the overviews to enrich and integrate the prospectuses for the thematic studies. The second conference will review the completed thematic studies and apply their results to expand and deepen the initial drafts of the interpretive essays. These papers will result in substantial publications, including a book, tentatively entitled The Transition That Worked, and at least one special journal issue, that will appear in Chinese as well as English. The results of this project will provide a springboard for future China-focused economic inquiry, expand the information base underpinning China-related policy discussions, and stimulate the integration of recent Chinese experience into research on development, transition, and social change.

Network of Databases and Research Centers to provide and Analyze Data on Transition Economies

SES- 0120376
Jan Svejnar
University of Michigan

Economics Program and Eastern and Central Europe Program

This grant establishes the Davidson Data Center and Network (DDCN), a center and an international network of institutions to make widely available micro and macroeconomic data on transition economies (those moving from central planning to a market system). The DDCN has been discussed and formulated with the leading institutions in the field of transition and emerging markets. Providing access to these data is important for many reasons. In addition to providing valuable information on the unprecedented process of reform in transition economies, data from these economies allow better tests of basic economic theories since mature market economies rarely display sizable variation in key variables and since transition economies provide opportunities to analyze the emergence of phenomena that have been long established in market economies. Research based on these data will also have considerable policy impact. The transition economies comprise over one-third of the world's population and a better understanding of how public policy can improve the functioning of these economies will have a tremendous impact on the welfare of the poor. Moreover, major reforms in transition economies have so far been made largely on the basis of the experience of advanced economies, and at times they have generated undesirable outcomes. The DDCN will have a significant beneficial impact on graduate education and academic as well as non-academic research in several respects. First, it will promote research on transition economies by significantly lowering both the costs of and the risks associated with such research. Second, it will increase collaboration among researchers already studying the transition economies, helping to eliminate wasteful duplication of effort in collecting data. Third, the DDCN will have a particularly great benefit for graduate students, many of whom depend on readily obtainable data for the success of their dissertation research.

Game Theory and Social Interactions: A Virtual Collaboratory for Teaching and Research

Charles A. Holt and Jacob K. Goeree-University of Virginia
Thomas R. Palfrey and Jean E. Ensminger - Cal Tech
Lisa R. Anderson - College of William and Mary
Susan K. Laury - Georgia State University
Alvin E Roth - Harvard University
David Lucking-Reiley - University of Arizona
Catherine C. Eckel - Virginia Tech
Economics Program

Game theory is one of the prime contenders for becoming the central theory in economics and related social sciences. Broadly speaking, a game is an interactive situation in which everyone's incentives depend on their own and others' actions. Games have been used to model a wide variety of environments, such as collective action problems, market pricing, auctions, committee voting, family decisions, organizational behavior, and contract law negotiations. The Nash equilibrium, which has been the central solution concept in game theory since its introduction about fifty years ago, is one of the most commonly used constructs in economics. Game theory is increasingly being applied in political science and management science. Its relevance in many non-market interactions, however, is limited by the extreme rationality assumptions that underlie standard solution concepts. Although game theory has been successfully applied in some settings (for example, the design of the FCC spectrum auctions), the inclusion of behavioral elements and limited rationality is essential to ensure a major impact on the study of a wide array of social interactions.

This project has brought together a group of social scientists that incorporate behavioral and cultural factors into the analysis of strategic interactions. Cross-cultural studies of non-economic motivations have been naturally supplemented with controlled experiments. To make experiments easily available, a portable wireless laboratory and web-based software to connect participants at different locations have been developed. The advent of standardized communication on the World Wide Web has made it possible to develop programs that are independent on the specific computer platforms and local network architectures.

Veconlab software for about 30 web-based experiments run on any PCs that are connected to the Internet. The administrator's setup menu is available at: here for a brief introduction and instructions on obtaining a password. The main objective of the virtual collaboration is to create a database of programs and experimental results that will make it easier for new investigators to integrate experiments in their teaching and research.

A series of annual workshops on classroom experiments has been held at different locations to facilitate the dissemination of teaching and research insights across disciplinary boundaries.

Wireless Class Web Games on the UVA lawn

Summer Minority Program

SES - 0139528
Charles M. Becker
University of Colorado - Denver
Cross-Directorate Activities and Economics Program

This grant provides funding for the American Economic Association Summer Training Program, hosted by the University of Colorado - Denver in affiliation with North Carolina A&T State University. The goal of the program is to prepare underrepresented minorities for entry into doctoral programs in economics. The intensive nine-week summer program provides a curriculum to approximately 30 (mostly minority) undergraduate students that attempt to strengthen the quantitative, analytical and research skills of participants. Students are selected into the program at two levels: A Foundations Program for those with insufficient quantitative preparation, and an Advanced Program for those with adequate preparation. Hands-on empirical research is a central feature of the program. Undergraduate students selected to participate in the program work in small groups, and receive the requisite analytic and computer skills for pursuing research through four interrelated courses taught at both foundation and advanced levels. Advanced Program participants structure the research experience to facilitate completion within the nine-week period, while students with less experience and preparation utilize the tools of the Foundation Program. Close work with the Summer Program faculty provides further enrichment of the research experience. It is envisioned that all students participating in the Foundations Program will become Advanced Program participants in subsequent years.

The Summer Training Program is combined with a Scholarship Program that recruits, selects and funds underrepresented Minority students (Black, Hispanic, and Native American) who are U.S. Citizens or permanent residents. While the primary objective of the Scholarship Program is to increase the number of minorities in the economics profession, the Training Program is now also available to non-minority participants.

CAREER: Sibling, Cousin and Neighbor Differences in Child Development

SES 9983636
Dalton Conley
New York University
Sociology Program

Sociologist Dalton Conley, a 1999 Career award winner and authority on wealth effects on educational outcomes, mixes social science insight with an engaging memoir of his own childhood in New York's Lower East Side. As a middle-class white boy growing up in a predominantly African American and Puerto Rican housing project, Conley slowly learned the privileges of whiteness. The memoir reveals those privileges to readers who might not be inclined to make it through his more academic analyses of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth, and Social Policy in America.

Emotional and Cognitive Carry Over from the September 11 Attacks

SES - 0201525
Jennifer Lerner
Carnegie Mellon University
Decision, Risk and Management Sciences

This study looks at the effect of gender and emotion on people's responses to September 11. Recent research in the psychology of decision-making has demonstrated that race and gender influence the way that people think about risks. For example work by Slovic (1997) has shown that while males tend to give lower estimates of the riskiness of various activities than other groups. Work by Damasio (1994) and others suggest that effective decision-making requires an integration of logical and emotional information.

Lerner and Fischhoff found that men and women differed in their emotional response to the events of September 11 and that this difference was related to a difference in their preferences for policy related to those events. Specifically, men were likely to respond with anger, which led to optimism about the future and a preference for retaliation. In contrast, women were more likely to respond with fear, which led to pessimism about the future and a preference for precautionary measures.

This SGER award has led to an academic publication (Emotion and perceived risks of terrorism: A national field experiment; Lerner, J., Gonzalez, R.M., Small, D.A. & Fischhoff, B. Psychological Science, in press). It also led to a presentation at an international conference sponsored by NATO.

POWRE: In Mixed Company: Psychological Responses to Mediated Representations of Oppositional Political Views

Diana Mutz
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
(PI now at Ohio State University)
Cross-Directorate Activities Program -- POWRE program

According to a spate of recent research and popular commentary, a large part of the explanation for why contemporary Americans are so negative toward their politicians and political institutions is that political actors seem to be perpetually involved in bitter conflict. An increasing number of scholars suggest that such conflict is perceived as distasteful and unnecessary to American citizens. Although political debate is often argued to be central to the democratic process, many have argued that it is the way that political debate is carried out in the contemporary United States that produces adverse consequences. Televised portrayals of political conflict have received a particularly severe beating. In fact, many argue that it is not conflict per se, but rather the hostile, "in your face" way programs such as political talk shows present political conflict that has led to undesirably negative attitudes toward politics and politicians.

This grant was used to conduct three experiments on public reactions to televised political conflict. Experimental manipulations of the civility of political conflict were embedded in a television talk show produced expressly for this purpose. Two congressional candidates expressed conflicting viewpoints on four different issues in either a civil or uncivil manner, filmed from a close up or medium camera angle. The experiments demonstrated that the uncivil, close-up version of the program was most arousing to viewers. The violation of interpersonal norms for handling conflict in the uncivil versions through interruptions, raised voices, and other subtle nonverbal cues encouraged more negative attitudes toward Congress, toward politicians and toward the political system, though it did not make subjects any less supportive of the idea that political conflict is an important part of our system of government. The adults who took part in these studies were systematically more likely to recall arguments on the opposing side of the issue controversy in the civil, as opposed to the uncivil condition. Most importantly, arguments on the opposing side of issue controversies also were perceived as stronger, more legitimate arguments when viewed in the context of a civil exchange. These findings suggest that the kind of programs that attract viewer attention are unfortunately those most likely to undermine Americans' sense that there are legitimate differences of political opinion.

Communicating Values Across Generations of Haitian Immigrants

Fabienne Doucet
Harvard University

Cross-Directorate Activities Program

Fabienne Doucet's post-doctoral research represents a pioneering effort to better understand immigrant student's educational experiences and to apply her findings in service to immigrant communities. She has been investigating two aspects of Haitian immigrant experience 1) ways in which values about education and educational achievement are communicated across generations of Haitian immigrants; and 2) how the acculturation of children and older family members to American society influences the process. She is pursuing her research as part of the larger Longitudinal Immigrant Student Adaptation study at Harvard University School of Education Immigration Projects. This study is following close to 400 children who were between the ages of 9 and 14 at the beginning of the study, and are from five different regions - Central America, China, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Mexico. Recently arrived immigrant children, their parents, and teachers are being systematically interviewed and observed over a five-year period. Under the umbrella of the Project, Dr. Doucet has undertaken a study of U.S. born Haitian youth, in which she is collecting parallel data on approximately 40 adolescents and their parents. She is also researching younger pre-school children, where research findings suggest that children of color are at a disadvantage from the very beginning of their academic careers. Dr. Doucet is currently undertaking several writing projects, including a paper entitled Transnationalism of the Heart (with Carola Suárez-Orozco and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco) that examines the relationships immigrant youth maintain with loved ones in their countries of origin. Her NSF sponsored research is described in more detail in a Keynote address she presented at the New York WYCA sponsored conference on "Child Care: Bridging the Cultural Gap," (March 21, 2002). It is entitled "Understanding Those We Serve: Toward an Agenda for Culturally -Sensitive Childcare Services."

POWRE: Black Women in the Academy II: Service and Leadership

Florence Bonner
Howard University
Cross-Directorate Activities Program in SBE and EEC Division of Engineering
Directorate - POWRE Award

NSF (along with the Ford Foundation and Howard University) provided support for the organization and activities of a conference, "Black Women in the Academy II: Service and Leadership," that took place June 24-26, 1999. The aim of the conference was to increase the number of African American women participating in all of the sciences (including the social and behavioral sciences) and engineering. The goals were to (1) enhance science participation in the target population by enlisting a broad coalition of African American scholars and others to identify and make available teaching and training models and resources to change science-related participation by African American women; (2) to promote dissemination of information and adoption of models and strategies through communities of scholars and networks of women that were linked to the conference participants; and (3) to modify institutional norms and practices in the direction of interdisciplinary work that is supportive of women and the development of science and research orientation.
Outcomes of the conference include a compilation of abstracts of conference presentations, curriculum transformation projects at Howard and Towson universities which served as models for other minority-serving institutions, and a special issue of the Journal of Negro Education (2002, Howard University) devoted to the "Black Women in the Academy: Challenges and Opportunities." The journal highlighted many of the issues discussed at the conference such as institutional climate, support systems and networks, role ambiguity and overload, the connections between racism and sexism, and other systemic barriers facing Black women faculty in the academy.

A Multi-Site Ethnoastronomical Study of African Stellar Navigators and Their Communities

Jarita Holbrook
University of California, Los Angeles

ross-Directorate Activities Program


During the period of this post-doctoral fellowship, the PI was active in developing an undergraduate curriculum based on her research findings, outreaching on the k-12 level, and supporting the research experience among minority undergraduates. The PI secured a tenure track position in an interdisciplinary program at the University of Arizona (Fall, 2001) as well as further NSF funding to continue research and support minority undergraduate research experiences.

Social and Behavioral Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships Program

The goal of the Social and Behavioral Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships program is to prepare minority scientists for positions of scientific leadership in academia and industry. This is achieved by providing targeted students opportunities to obtain additional training occasions to gain research experience under sponsorship of established scientists. Also to broaden their scientific horizons beyond the research experiences received during undergraduate or graduate training. SBE is supporting six minority fellows in FY 2002:

The Consequences of Incarceration for Individuals and Communities

Award No. 0208185
Kecia Johnson
North Carolina State University
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

This proposal seeks to investigate the impact of incarceration on individuals and communities. Does incarceration influence labor market outcomes for different racial and ethnic groups across contexts that vary in levels of segregation and social disadvantage? How does the distribution of incarceration affect community organization and structure?

The Relationship Between Information Structure and Prosodic Structure in Language

Award No. 0208484
Duane Watson
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Cognitive and Brain Sciences

This research and training grant focuses on the relationship between information structure and prosodic structure in language. There are two objectives: one, to understand how the information status of words influences intonational phrasing in language production, and two, to understand how listeners interpret intonational phrase boundaries and pitch accents in one-line language comprehension.

Enriching Literacy Through Culturally Responsive Instruction and Computer Technology

SES - 0208117
Juanita Cole
University of California, San Diego
Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition

This research and training grant will evaluate whether the basic literacy skills in African American children are enhanced through culture-specific instruction and computer technology. The study will investigate whether the expected learning enhancement in the culturally congruent learning context for African American children occurs with another minority group, Latino, and Anglo children.

Rationales of Tailored Medicine: African-American Hypertension in the Post-genomic Age

Duana Fulwilley
New York University

This research and training grant queries the emergence of "tailored medicine" as rationales of population-specific biological differences are varyingly taken up by professionals in the medical sciences, researchers in biotechnology, strategists in pharmaceutical planning, and lay publics. The researcher will conduct an ethnographic, multi-sited study on the appearance of, and justification for, the first ethnically ("African-American") marked pharmaceutical drug called BiDil.

The Development of Stereotyping in White Children's Judgments of Black Students' Academic Ability

SES- 0211313
Jason Lawrence
New York University

The goal of the proposed research and training is to determine the developmental processes involved in White children's knowledge and use of the stereotype that alleges Black children have low academic ability. Four experiments will be conducted to determine how the stereotype influences White children's perceptions and attributions of their Black peer's academic ability.

Indigenous Navigation, Technology, and the Stars

Jarita Holbrook
University of Arizona, Tucson

This "starter" equipment grant supports further research for the PI at the institution in which she secured a tenure track appointment following the two-year NSF Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship. The infrastructural project supports research experience for undergraduate minority students and the development of undergraduate courses focusing on non-Western scientific traditions.

CAREER: Public-Sector Decision Modeling for Facility Location and Service Delivery

Michael Johnson
Carnegie Mellon University
Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Program

This project will develop prescriptive planning models to address two important problems: provision of subsidized housing for low-income families and social services for the elderly. These application areas are important because services are delivered with little or no use of quantitative planning methodologies that have become common in other domains, such as transportation, medicine, emergency and police services and the environment. Dr. Johnson, a minority scholar himself, is demonstrating the applicability of new analytic tools through decision processes that involve the participation of low-income families that are often minorities and the elderly.

This project uses analytical tools such as optimization-based planning models from operations research/management science to generate policy alternatives given limited resources and specific objectives; urban economic models to characterize housing and labor markets and to identify impacts of potential configurations of subsidized housing; forecasting models based on statistics and geographic information systems to estimate demands for senior services, and group negotiations and decisionmaking to identify the most-preferred policies to implement. This work will enable the comprehensive evaluation of benefits and costs, and will provide a framework for the design and implementation of multiple-stakeholder decision support systems for subsidized housing location and elderly service provision. This research will enable students of public policy and public administration to more readily avail themselves of quantitative planning and implementation tools that business school graduates have used for years to improve the efficiency of private-sector organizations.

Historic Supreme Court Briefs and Arguments Web Site

Blair Kauffman
Yale University
Law and Social Science Program

This is an infrastructure-building award designed to enhance access to research and teaching materials in constitutional law and constitutional history. The PIs provide a free, searchable, internet-accessible web site containing major Supreme Court briefs, oral arguments, and related materials over the course of the Court's history. Copies of the briefs, oral arguments, and related materials have been transferred to electronic format by a data conversion service. The web site has several significant advantages over current printed and electronic versions, including full searchability, easy accessibility, and easy citability. Cases were selected in accordance with their historical importance by criteria that can be evaluated at the web site.

Designing Programs for Heterogeneous Populations: The Value of Covariate Information

Charles F. Manski
Northwestern University
Economics Program and MMS Programs

Normative judgments embodied in the American legal system mandate that, in certain respects, public policy should treat all members of the population uniformly. Nevertheless, the legal system permits many forms of disparate treatment of the population. In settings where legal constraints do not preclude disparate treatment, society may choose among many alternative treatment rules. A program could mandate uniform treatment of the population or require that treatment vary in particular ways with observable covariates of the persons treated, or permit agents of society to make their own treatment choices, subject to specified constraints. Research on program evaluation can help to inform public policy through efforts to learn the consequences of alternative treatment rules. In particular, evaluation research should seek to characterize how treatment response varies across the population. Regrettably, evaluation research has had little to say about how treatment response varies with observable covariates of the persons treated. A common practice, especially in observational studies, has been to assume that all persons respond to treatment in the same manner. Studies that are sensitive to possible variation in treatment response may report findings by race or gender or age, but they rarely disaggregate the population more finely. As a consequence, policymakers seeking to design programs for heterogeneous populations have to speculate on the consequences of alternative treatment rules. Manski argues that increased attention to observable variation in treatment response would enhance the value of evaluation research.


Collaborative Research: Fitting More Pieces in the Puzzle of Judicial Behavior: A Multi-Country Data Base and Program of Research

C. Neal Tate
University of North Texas

Donald R. Songer
University of South Carolina

Stacia L. Haynie
Louisiana State University

Reginald S. Sheehan
Michigan State University
Law and Social Science Program

This project creates a multi-country data base of judicial decisions to encourage the expansion of systematic comparative analyses of courts, judges and their behavior based on replicable data. This multi-country data base (1) focuses on the top courts from a [manageable most different] systems sample of nations, (2) selects annual samples of their formal or reported decisions over a half century, (3) codes the manifest content of the opinions accompanying the sampled decisions according to a master codebook, measure a set of common variables that are relevant to various analytical interests and that can be equivalently measured across all included nations, and (4) supplements the common variables by coding a set of system-specific variables that might not be measured across all nations. These data will allow scholars to analyze important research questions, including (1) do these and other courts regularly decide cases with apparently important policy consequences, or do most of them spend most of their time resolving legal disputes of only narrow policy significance?, (2) Do "the haves in fact always come out ahead"? (3) Do judicial independence, functional performance, and support of incumbent regimes by national courts vary with political transitions, proclaimed national crises or with executive appointments of sympathetic judges?

Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS)

Diana C. Mutz
Ohio State University
Political Science Program

Time-sharing experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS) is a new project that is designed to increase the speed and efficiency with which scientific advances can be applied to social problems. TESS accomplishes these goals by providing social scientists with two new opportunities for original data collection. First, TESS runs an ongoing national telephone survey to which researchers can add their own original questions. Second, TESS allows researchers to run their own studies on random samples of the population that are interviewed via the Internet.

Technologically, TESS combines the proven power of computer-assisted telephone interviewing with the new possibilities of computer-assisted Internet interviewing. Each approach allows researchers to capture the internal validity of traditional experiments while realizing the benefits of contact with large, diverse subject populations. With these technologies, TESS gives a greater number of social scientists opportunities to collect original data tailored to their own hypotheses, and to increase the precision with which fundamental social, political and economic dynamics are measured and understood.


EITM Summer Training Institute(Political Science Program: EITM Competition IIIa)

James M. Alt
Harvard University
Political Science Program

The scientific study of politics requires empirical testing of theoretical models, but theories are often produced without adequate testing and empirical work too frequently uses sketchy and oversimplified theory. Gaps have appeared between theory and empirical method, and these gaps impair scientific progress. The goal of the Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) program is to train a new generation of scholars who can better link theory and empirical work.

Four annual four-week summer institutes, to be held from 2002-2005 at Harvard, Michigan, Duke, and UC Berkeley, respectively, are directed toward training students to better link theory and empirical work. The institutes are concentrating on areas where research integrating both theory and methods already exists. Each institute will accommodate 25 students and a team of up to 15-research faculty will conduct each institute. Training offered will include teaching and research components, providing students a high degree of individualized interaction with a far wider and deeper array of mentors than is available at any individual institution.

Participants at an EITM workshop:


A Feasible Uniform Standard for Deep Citation of Social Science Data

James Alt, Gary King
Harvard University
Political Science Program

This Political Science Infrastructure project creates a uniform citation standard for social science data sources. Analogous to the impact of standards for citing textural sources, this facilitates connections between research and researchers. It thereby improves the scientific process and advances the accumulation of knowledge. The use of standard data source citations expands replication efforts and eases these efforts, increasing researcher productivity and allowing more resources to be devoted to new research. Science progresses as scientists create more links with other scientists. Text references are done so often that they are taken for granted for how fundamentally important they have become. In the last 50 years, quantitative work has become roughly half of what journals publish and yet there is no comparable citation standard for data. This project promises to build a simple yet critical piece of infrastructure, a uniform standard for deep citation of data. It offers startling and significant savings of time and resources and consequent gains in research productivity.

Deep citation of text means that one text source can unambiguously reference another source or any portion of that source in a manner such that the source can be retrieved by another reader years or decades hence. For books, the author, title, publisher, and page number is enough to retrieve any specific phrase reference. Deep citation of data means the same, but involves new technological issues, issues that are addressed in this project. Readers need to be able to retrieve the original data set, in the same version, identify the same variables, use the same recodes, and in some instances be able to conduct the same analysis. To facilitate this process, the investigators develop uniform citation standards for social science publishing and create a test-bed or prototype tools for electronic linkage of data citations and source data.

Expanded Measures of Price and Quantity Structures Over Space and Time

Alan Heston and Robert Summers
University of Pennsylvania
Economics and MMS Programs

Its expenditure entries are denominated in a common set of prices in a common currency so that real quantity comparisons can be made, both between countries and over time. It also provides information about relative prices within and between countries, as well as demographic data and capital stock estimates.

The standard System of National Accounts (SNA) contains invaluable country time series of quantities and prices that make possible a variety of intertemporal comparisons within countries. However except in very special cases, the SNA entries cannot effectively be used in making comparisons across countries. The inadequacy of SNA entries for quantity comparisons between countries -- that is interspatial comparisons - is apparent immediately when it is seen that quantities, represented by expenditure outlays, are expressed in different currency units in different countries. The interspatial comparison difficulty is not simply a matter of differences in currency units. Price parities, at the heart of an STSNA, are needed to make the expenditures commensurable across countries. Even comparisons of descriptive ratios that are units-free are likely to depend on relative price ratios in the countries. For example, a country's Investment to GDP ratio derived from the SNA will reflect not only relative quantities but also the price of its investment goods relative to the prices of all other goods. Even here, price parties -- absent from the SNA -- are needed to make comparisons of the real descriptive ratio, Investment /GDP. The Penn World Table is an integration of the entries of the SNA and the prices that have been collected in many countries every five years in the benchmark studies of the International Comparison Programme. The general methodology for combining these quite different data sets is reasonably well established, but the implementation requires constant attention. From the standpoint of the researchers and policymakers who draw on the Penn World Table, the constant updating and revising is routine but essential. The development of estimates of interesting new variables is critical, and improving the accessibility of the Table's data is important. Past National Science Foundation support made possible the expansion of the scope of the PWT from the 1980 Mark 1 version of PWT (119 countries, 10 variables, and the years 1950 and 1960-77) to the most recent Mark 5.6 version (152 countries, 29 variables and years 1950-92). This expansion of scope probably accounts for the widespread use of PWT, but primary emphasis has been put on improving the quality of the estimates. Dissemination of the Penn World Table and the full output of the 197O, 1975, 1980, 1985, and 1990 benchmark studies is at the state of the art through the Penn web site. The Table can also be extracted from a number of other web sites, one of which provides significant graphical support. Now quantity and price estimates are also available for over 900 sub-national units (states, provinces, etc.) for about 30 major countries in 1990.

URL for data request form for penn tables


Research Data Centers (in partnership with the Census Bureau)

James Davis

Ritch Milby

Michelle Danis
Economics, MMS, Sociology, DRMS, and Law and Social Science Programs

The RDC provide researchers access to source data on individuals and firms collected by the Census Bureau and other agencies. These confidential data are placed within a secure facility at the Survey Research Center. To gain access to these data, researchers with approved projects would obtain special sworn status within the Census Bureau. Researchers can publish results of analysis carried out within the RDC subject to a rigorous protocol for protecting the confidentiality of the underlying data.

The purpose of this access is to conduct academic research using data on individuals and firms. The ability to analyze the source data has enormous scientific benefits. These include the ability to make full use of the information collected by government agencies; to analyze the behavior of individuals and firms taking into account the heterogeneity of behavior and characteristics; and to combine sources of data at the individual level to study relationships obscured by more aggregate data. This RDC promotes productive interaction between the data collection agencies and the research community. Typically, researchers using government statistics are passive consumers of the data, which is usually collected for a purpose other than academic research. By providing a vehicle for working with the source data in collaboration with the Census Bureau, the RDC allows the research community to participate effectively in improving Census data.

See the following URLS for additional pictures of access sites


Edition of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin

SES-9020874, 9616619, SES-0135528
Duncan M. Porter
Frederick Burkhardt
American Council of Learned Society
Science and Technology Studies

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin project is approaching its twentieth anniversary. This joint British/American editorial project is making available full, authoritative texts of all the extant letters written and received by Charles Darwin. Following a comprehensive worldwide search, about 14,500 letters have been located. Both sides of the correspondence are being published in order to provide as much information as possible. Prior support has come from the NSF's Science and Technology Studies, Biological Research Collections, and Population Biology Programs, as well as from the Wellcome Institute (in England) and from the Mellon and Sloan Foundations, the Pew Charitable Trust, the NEH, and a number of others agencies. The project has so far published two editions of "A Calendar of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, 1821- 1882" (1985, 1994), twelve volumes of "The Correspondence of Charles Darwin" (1985, 1986, 1987, l988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001), and "Charles Darwin's Letters: A Selection, 1825-1859" (1996). The most recent volumes of the letters cover the year 1864.

The Correspondence has a wide audience, including historians of science, philosophy, and sociology, biological and geological scientists, scholars of the 19th century, and general readers, for whom are brought together materials now dispersed among widely scattered repositories. Readers are instructed by the expository letters and entertained by the social life of the English country gentry, besides becoming better acquainted than was ever before possible with the life and mind of Charles Darwin. But the letters also provide a detailed insight into the scientific activities of this eminent biologist. They cover his early life and most importantly the years during which he prepared and then published his path-breaking work on evolution. At the same time, this extensive material allows the study of the transformation of biological science during the nineteenth century

The next volumes slated for publication cover a period of Darwin's work and career that has been comparatively unexplored and overshadowed by the publication of the "Origin of Species" in 1859. The letters now being edited describe Darwin's continuing botanical studies of the mid 1860s, the gathering of information for "Variation under Domestication" (1868), "The Descent of Man" (1871), and "The Expression of the Emotions" (1872), and the preparation of the fifth edition of the "Origin" (1869) are of great importance for the understanding of Darwin's evolutionary thinking during this important period of his life. By the period 1869 to 1871, Darwin was undertaking his most significant investigations of heredity in humans, animals, and plants, so this correspondence yields an understanding of Darwin as an experimenter and innovator in plant physiology, psychology, and other fields.

NBER Web-Based Archive of International Trade Data

Robert Feenstra U Cal Davis
Robert Lipsey New York University
Economics and MMS Programs

This project established a Web-based archive of international trade data. The archive will be of use to economic policy makers needing both recent data on international trade, and comparable data for past years. While the U.S. federal government now distributes current data through the National Trade Databank (NTDB), this data can be difficult to use and does not provide the comparable data for previous years; thus, the NTDB does not allow policy makers to make decisions based on longer-term trends. Our archive will provide data on both U.S. and worldwide trade, and also on trade barriers, over a wide range of years. In addition to its usefulness for policy, the archive is of particular help to dissertation writers and other young scholars doing empirical research in international economics. The principal investigators work in conjunction with a number of other researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER, Cambridge, MA and New York). At the heart of this archive is a comprehensive database of U.S. import/export data. In addition, the archive will include: Historical data, U.S. exports and imports: prices, quantities, and values, quarterly for 1879-1913; values, matched with U.S. production, at ten year intervals from 1869-1947; State-level agricultural exports and imports for the United States; Detailed annual export and domestic price data for manufactures from the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, France, Sweden, Taiwan, Korea, and Singapore; Outward foreign direct investment data for the U.S., Japan, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and some developing countries, as well as inward foreign direct investment data for many countries; World trade data, as available from the United Nations and Statistics Canada; Trade flows to and from China, computed from several sources; Data on congressional voting in the U.S. on trade issues, related to characteristics of the congressional districts; Data on U.S. antidumping cases; U.S. and worldwide tariff data.

This data are useful for addressing a wide range of issues, such as: the impact of international trade on domestic employment and wages; the responsiveness of trade flows to exchange rate fluctuations; how international trade flows change as production moves to lower-wage countries; and how growing exports from newly-industrialized countries has impacted specific industries.



U.S. Participation in the Development of a Transnational Database Used to Study Inequality and Poverty

SES- 0112101
Timothy Smeeding
Syracuse University
Economics, MMS, Sociology and Western Europe Programs

The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) database project consists of comparable cross?sectional micro-data on the composition of households and the structure of their respective incomes for 25 industrialized economies as of January 2001. It has also added labor force survey data for 16 nations under another subtitle, the Luxembourg Employment Study (LES). LIS is one of the (if not the) leading examples of an interdisciplinary, cross?national, cooperative data infrastructure which supports research that leads to important policy relevant insights. The plans for the next three years include several improvements in database management (more sophisticated electronic access system; better on?line documentation; fifth wave of data for 2000; new surveys of the labor force); in research (inequality, poverty, gender studies); in training (annual LIS workshops in the United States, in Europe and elsewhere); in continuing to set new international standards for income distribution statistics; and in developing purchasing power parities for income distribution studies; and in providing US users with more direct access to the other nations' LIS surveys. Over the past 17 years, the LIS project has demonstrated its feasibility and usefulness as an internationally sponsored and researcher?lead database infrastructure project. An international consortium of 16 nations and 22 funders such as the U.S. National Science Foundation funds the vast majority of its support, and all of its "core" operations. Because electronic access to LIS is, by design and intent, free once a privacy pledge is signed, users treat it as a "public good" which provides benefits at little or no direct cost to them. Hence, "core" funding is always a crucial issue. And so this proposal for core funding from the United States, like the proposals to the other 15 nations, is vital to the continued future of the LIS project.

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics

Frank Stafford
University of Michigan
Economics, Sociology and MMS Programs

The PSID meets NSF's strategic performance goal for tools because it provides broadly accessible, state-of-the-art databases, shared research platforms and education tools. With thirty-plus years of data on the same families, the PSID can justly be considered a cornerstone of the infrastructure support for empirically based social science research. The PSID is a longitudinal survey initiated in 1968 of a nationally representative sample for U.S. individuals and the family units in which they reside. The major objective of the panel is to provide shared-use databases, research platforms and educational tools on cyclical, intergenerational and life-course measures of economic and social behavior.

The PSID's innovative design and long-term panel have been central to the fundamental understanding of key social science issues with substantial broad impacts on society: income, poverty and wealth; cyclical behavior of wages, labor supply and consumption; savings, wealth accumulation and transfers; demographic events (teen childbearing, marriage, divorce, living arrangements, mortality); labor market behavior; and the effects of neighborhoods. PSID data transformed research on poverty from a static view of poor and rich to a dynamic one in which families experience episodes of poverty or affluence. PSID data are being used to assess current government policies such as the impact of welfare reform on low-income, African-American and Hispanic families. PSID results have been replicated and validated. The PSID has become an important educational resource as shown by the large and growing number of dissertations based on PSID data; undergraduate courses at a number of Universities and publicly available online learning resources that rely on the PSID; and participation by students and faculty in the courses on the PSID each year in the Institute for Social Research's world-famous summer institute. The enormous usefulness of decades of data on the sample families has made the PSID one of the most widely used social science data sets in the world. The project currently delivers more than 10,000 customized data sets a year to researchers via its Internet Data Center. Since 1968, over 2,000 journal articles, books and chapters, dissertations and other works have been based on PSID data. A consortium of government agencies supports the PSID, including NSF, NIA, HHS, HUD and USDA.


International Integrated Microdata Access System

Steven Ruggles
Robert McCaa
Deborah Levison
Miriam King
Matthew Sobek
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
SBE Infrastructure Program

Directed by Steven Ruggles of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, this project will create and disseminate an integrated international census database composed of high-precision, high-density samples of individuals and households from seven countries. It will be the world's largest public-use demographic database, with multiple samples from each country enabling analyses across time and space. The project entails two complementary tasks: (1) the collection and preservation of data that will support broad-based investigations in the social and behavioral sciences; and (2) the creation of an innovative system for worldwide web-based access to both metadata and microdata.

Significant progress has been made in achieving the major goals of this project. In May 2002, the team released a beta version of the harmonized data series. Included in this release are the harmonized microdata of Columbia, France, Kenya, Mexico, and Vietnam, as well as the United States. They also launched a new website that provides documentation on the data series, including variable descriptions and sample designs. The website further provides access to scans of enumeration forms for 180 countries from the United Nations Division archives.

In terms of data preservation, the team continues its collaboration with CELADE and the East-West Center to catalogue, recover, and transfer to stable media the largest collections of census microdata from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. The team also has scanned census enumeration forms, instructions, and ancillary documentation for virtually every country in the world spanning the period 1940 through 2000, and made these available on their web site.

Handbook of International Historical Microdata for Population Research (edited by Patricia Kelly Hall, Robert McCaa, and Gunnar Thorvaldsen) won the Best Book award for 2001 from the American Association for History and Computing.

Linked Dynamic Employer-Household and Social Data

SES - 9978093
John Abowd
Cornell University
Julia Lane Urban Institute and John Halitwanger
University of Maryland
Infrastructure Award

The maturation of the information age has created new challenges. Governments, faced with rapidly changing economies and societies are forced to make far-reaching economic and social policy decisions. These decisions, however, are based on limited static, and expensive survey data. At the same time, large administrative data sets are available that are derived from data collected from households, business establishments and governmental entities. These data, which could describe the dynamic interactions of workers, businesses, government and society, are not fully used in the United States, not simply because the unique advantages of these data have not been clear, but also because key issues of confidentiality and access have not been fully addressed. This outcome has come at substantial cost. Linked data, if used wisely, have a great deal of scientific importance and can enhance our basic social data infrastructure in a number of ways. They can also be used to reduce respondent burden, increase data quality, and enhance the information available to the federal, state and local agencies that rely on Census Bureau data for decision-making. In addition, these data can provide a valuable tool to the research community. This research proposal will create three prototype data sets based upon the Census Bureau's demographic and economic products and using link information that permits the data sets to be longitudinal in both the household/individual and firm/establishment dimensions. The Principal Investigators, the Census Bureau, and other external researchers will use these data to examine the value of the claims made above. These data sets, while of immense use in their own right, will also advance knowledge in two additional ways. First, by creating the data and developing the access modality, the research team will explicitly address a series of confidentiality and access/availability issues, using internal Census Bureau expertise and that of external researchers at Comell University, the Urban Institute, the University of Maryland and NCSA. Second, the project will advance the knowledge of both linkage technology and the statistical properties of linked data so that researchers in all disciplines can use these techniques. The proposal delineates an extensive collaboration with the Census Bureau, which is indeed a major sponsor of the project, in addition to three European statistical agencies. The infrastructure project expects to involve additional government and private sector partners, particularly as the confidentiality issues are more fully addressed.

An innovative set of access support tools that combine a complete simulated environment (at the Comell University support site) with the latest in web-based collaboration tools (from the NCSA at the University of Illinois) will be developed. These tools will be integrated with videoJcomputer teleconferencing access to the Census Bureau and Cornell sites. Under carefully specified access rules that encompass established confidentiality and disclosure review procedures, the Census Bureau will support external research access to the linked data, using the web-based support tools and the video teleconferencing facilities. This external research access will go beyond "state of the art" and its enhancement is another major activity covered in the proposal.

The Cornell University component also includes the support of a restricted-access data site that will house confidential linked data from the national statistical agencies of other countries. Linked French data from INSEE have already been approved for this site. Statistics Sweden has expressed a willingness to complete an agreement that would allow linked Swedish data. The DIW in Germany will release a linked version of the GSOEP to the site, if it is funded. Efforts continue to negotiate restricted access agreements with other national agencies. The restricted access data site provides linked data analysis tools and a supercomputer facility for use with these data.

The new knowledge that can be generated from these data is potentially far reaching. The prototype American data sets provide the capacity to address fundamental questions in social and economic behavior. The restricted-access data from other countries provides a laboratory in which to test the generality of results found for a particular country. All of the data advances in the proposal provide the opportunity to discover technological advances in confidentiality protection while enabling new partnerships to be formed across disciplines that focus on understanding social and economic systems, organizations and institutions.

Study of Multi-Institutional Collaborations

SES 8722085
SES 9044670
SES 9311121

Joan Warnow-Blewett
Spencer Weart
American Institute of Physics
Science and Technology Studies Program

This long-running investigation at the American Institute of Physics asked how can we insure future generations will know what happened in the large-scale research projects that dominate many fields of science. How were they paid for? Managed? What did they accomplish, not in terms of the work of individuals or teams, but as a project? What do such efforts tell us about the production of knowledge?

One key, argues the research team, is to preserve the basic records about these large science for future use by historians and science studies scholars. So the AIUP group set out to examine the state of such record-keeping efforts, focusing on High-Energy Physics (Phase I, 1992); Space Science and Geophysics (Phase II, 1995); and Ground-Based Astronomy, Materials Science, Heavy-Ion and Nuclear Physics, Medical Physics, and Computer -Mediated Collaborations (Phase III, 1999). In their final report (2001), the team reported that the results varied widely from agency to agency, but the Department of Energy had an approach to insuring the availability of records from the projects it supported that other agencies might copy -- especially those that paid no attention to archival record keeping. The essence of the project's recommendations was the need to recognize the types of records that were most important, and the need to involve archivists at an early stage to insure then preservation of essential information is preserved. The report also suggested that granting agencies consider requiring multi-institutional project sponsors and managers to devote small fraction of total project costs to archival record keeping, especially for the most important path-breaking projects. As a writer in Physics World (November 2001, p. 16) commented, "...[I]f science is important, so is making sure that its records are around at the end."


Public Use Microdata Samples of the 1850 Slave Population

SES 0214300
Russell Menard
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Sociology and Methodology, Measurement & and Statistics Programs

A nationally representative dataset from the 1850 Census of Slave Inhabitants will greatly expand opportunities to study slavery and slaveholding in the United States. The samples of the 1850 slave population will provide the earliest representative individual?level data on U.S. slaves and slaveholders. These samples will complement similar samples of the 1860 slave population and allow the analysis of changes in the critical decade preceding the Civil War. The data will be added to the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), a census database spanning the period from 1850 through 2000 (see ).

A Proposal to Continue 'A National Data Program for the Social Sciences'

SES 0094979
Michael Hout and Claude Fischer
University of California, Berkeley
Sociology Program

Michael Hout and Claude Fischer find a sudden recent rise in the percentage of Americans who report no religious preference in the NSF supported General Social Survey. "American adults who claimed no religious preference doubled from 7 percent in 1991, its level for almost 20 years, to an unprecedented 14 percent" in 2000. This is not a result of a rise in secularization since beliefs in God remained at high levels and beliefs in an afterlife actually increased during the same period. Moreover, the increase in adults giving no religious preference was stronger among believers (see figure). Hout and Fischer interpret the trend in the 1990s as mostly a reaction by moderates and liberals against organized religion which became identified with the religious right in the last part of the century.

Reference: "Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Politics and Generations." American Sociological Review, April 2002, 66: 165-190.


Electronic Publishing in Science Seizing the Moment: Scientists' Authorship Rights in the Digital Age

Mark Frankel
American Association for the Advancement of Science
SDEST Program

The emergence of electronic journals in scientific publication has the potential to transform the management and communication of scientific information. Electronic publication is not likely to reach its full potential without a stable legal framework that balances the protection of researchers' intellectual property with the open dissemination and exchange of scientific information. This project describes the challenges that advances in information technology pose for intellectual property law, and identifies a set of "core values" that should be embedded in a system of scientific publishing. Those core values can serve as a basis for defining a common ground on which all stakeholders can build new publishing systems and legal frameworks. The report recommends new patterns of licensing that will enable scientists and scientific publishers to build a publishing system that will promote broad access to and use of scientific information, all within existing copyright law. Guidelines for authors and publishers are offered for preparing licensing agreements.
The emergence of new norms of copyright licensing in scientific publishing will gradually create a foundation for change, but this process will take time. In the interim, scientists and scientific publishers have an opportunity to take a leading role in the creative use of licensing or copyright transfer to build a new publishing system, operating within existing copyright law, that will embody the core values that should shape scientific publishing. The developments of licensing recommended in this report rest on a simple, yet compelling, rationale. The control of rights in scientific intellectual property should be guided by a developing consensus (not legislation or editorial coercion) toward new patterns of licensing. This shift in licensing arrangements will reinforce the goal of access that fundamentally motivates scientists, and that benefits society as a whole.

Back to Top

The Division of Social and Economic Sciences
Suite 995, National Science Foundation,
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230 USA
Tel: 703-292-8760
Last Updated 04.27.04
Contact SES Webmaster