Vaguely interesting (Jan 29)

(1)  “Individuals whose ideological stances are reflected well by the incumbent government are less favorable to the idea that governments should be responsive to the preferences of the majority, while one’s proximity to the ideological location of the median citizen increases the odds of support for majority responsiveness.”

(2)  “By putting ISIS at the center of their immigration rhetoric, Republican candidates make immigration seem more threatening and less ambiguous. It’s one thing to depict immigrants as people who depress wages and crowd schools. It’s another to depict them as potential killers.”

(3)  “For Republicans, white identity politics is a political style. A Republican presidential candidate might run on Willie Horton and opposing same-sex marriage, but after being elected, he was expected to turn to reducing the top tax rate and deregulating business. Cultural appeal was the means, and economics the ends. What conservatives fear is that Trump might upend that delicate, unstated system by turning the means into the ends.”

(4)  Educated folks have long been pro-free-trade, brushing aside the effects on less-educated folks and viewing their complaints as misinformed. But maybe there’s a point there.

(5)  As Europe’s racial diversity grows, so does its American-style backlash.

Vaguely interesting (Jan 26)

(1)  While the focus has been on the trouble Trump is having with elite business Republicans, he might end up having even more with religious lifestyle Republicans.

(2)  “50,000 American died of AIDS in the peak year of 1995. In 2014, just over 47,000 people of [drug] overdose.”

(3)  How racial bias affects both the creation of and response to the opioid/heroin epidemic: Whites are more likely to get hooked, because doctors are more likely to trust them with opioid prescriptions; and then a drug crisis rooted in white communities leads to a more compassionate response from law enforcement.

(4)  “[A]bsolute income isn’t the only way money makes you happy. How much people were making in relation to others, or relative income, matters too.”

(5)  The percentage of middle-aged, college-educated people who are millionaires? Around 22% of whites and Asians, but less than 7% of African Americans and Latinos.

Vaguely interesting (Jan 22)

(1) “We show that variation in behavior in the public-goods game is better explained by variation in understanding and that misunderstanding leads to cooperation.”

(2) “Remember that increasing death rate among middle-aged non-Hispanic whites? It’s all about women in the south (and, to a lesser extent, women in the midwest).”

(3) “[T]he global one percent controlled as much wealth as the bottom 99 percent in 2015.”

(4) The share of eligible voters who are Latino, by state.

(5) “By sheer demographic calculation, you can’t plausibly predict which party will capture Washington over the next decade or two.”

Vaguely interesting (Jan 13)

(1)  At some level, people usually understand their own reproductive strategies better than you do. E.g.: The types of people who tend to have lower levels of problematic consequences from teen pregnancy also tend to be the people with the higher rates of teen pregnancy.

(2)  A major new volume on “the evolution of cooperation based on direct fitness benefits.”

(3)  The betting markets are starting to take seriously the idea of a Trump nomination.

(4)  Negative polarization: “Views of the president among members of the opposing party have steadily become more negative over time.”

(5)  Why do higher ranked journals have higher rates of retractions?

Vaguely interesting (Jan 4)

(1)  Louisiana tried a voucher program for disadvantaged students, and it significantly lowered the test scores of those who “won” lottery scholarships to private schools. The reason, apparently, is that mostly the crappier private schools accepted the vouchers.

(2)  The drinking behavior of college students is influenced by the drinking behavior of their randomly assigned college roommates, but only among those with middle levels of genetic propensity for drinking; those with either a low or high genetic propensity are not influenced by their roommates.

(3)  “Very rich people really, really wanted Obama to lose in 2012 because his reelection led to them paying drastically higher effective tax rates.”

(4)  “[Trump’s] voters are not animated by abstractions like small government and low taxes, or by party loyalty. They are animated by demographic interests.”

(5)  “In 2014, just 14% of children younger than 18 lived with a stay-at-home mother and a working father who were in their first marriage.”