Category Archives: Academia

Josh Zingher on social group membership and the evolution of political parties

Josh Zingher has posted his paper “An Analysis of the Changing Social Bases of American Political Parties: 1952-2008” on SSRN. Josh is is a Doctoral Candidate in Political Science at Binghamton University.  His research focuses on several aspects of American politics, including mass political behavior, minority and immigrant politics and Congressional elections.  He can be reached at . Here is the abstract for the paper:

In this article I assess how the social bases of the American political parties have evolved over time. To accomplish this task, I first determine which social group memberships significantly influence individual vote choice with a multivariate analysis of ANES data. I then measure how many votes each politically relevant social group contributed to the party coalitions in each presidential election from 1952-2008. I discuss how group contributions have changed over time and establish the demographic and behavioral causes of group contribution change. I find that the party coalitions have been restructured as a result of groups’ changing voting behavior and the changing ratio of groups in the electorate.

Do Policy Messengers Matter?

If you download this paper, it will change your life — I mean, it will if you believe in the whole ‘Butterfly Effect’ phenomenon …. My co-author, Scott Boddery, recently posted our paper “Do Policy Messengers Matter? Majority Opinion Writers as Policy Ques in Public ‘Buy In’ of Supreme Court Decisions “ on SSRN. Here’s the abstract:

To what degree does the identity of the majority opinion writer affect a citizen’s level of agreement with a U.S. Supreme Court decision? Using a survey experiment, we manipulate the majority opinion authors of two Supreme Court cases between two randomly populated groups. By investigating ideological incongruence between a case’s policy output and the majority opinion author we are able to empirically test the extent to which individuals are willing to agree with a Court opinion that is authored by an ideologically similar justice even though the decision cuts against their self-identified ideological policy preferences. Our study provides insight on the extent to which policy “buy in” by citizens is affected by policy cues represented by the policy messenger of a political institution. We find that, although individuals generally give deference to the Supreme Court’s decisions, a messenger effect indeed augments the specific level of support a given case receives.

The new Behavioral Science & Policy Association

The new Behavioral Science & Policy Association (BSPA) is hosting a membership drive.

Can The “Six Million Dollar Man” Be Too Far Behind?

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on university presidents who have passed the million dollar mark in compensation. But wait, there’s more:

Many presidents have a substantial portion of their overall pay tied up in deferred compensation, which they receive only if they stay on the job for a specified number of years. Trustees say they prefer such arrangements because deferred-compensation plans help retain presidents. But the prevalence of such benefits also means that the public can learn relatively little about those presidents’ overall earnings by looking at base salary alone.

The ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ of Losing in Court

Ben Depoorter (UC Hastings Law) has recently posted “The Upside of Losing” on SSRN (forthcoming in Columbia Law Review) — arguing that not all losses in court are necessarily a loss, politically. Here’s the abstract: Continue reading

The 2012-13 law faculty salaries

H/T and for more information on such matters see TaxProf Blog. For additional information on how SALT salary surveys are done go here.

U.S. News Law School Assistant




Summer             Stipend
26 Iowa n/a 184,800 15,000
31 North Carolina 115,826 174,417 15,000
33 Georgia 121,400 180,765 27,500
36 Ohio State 118,320 159,216 12,500
46 Florida 111,240 158,000 26,757
48 UC-Hastings 112,942 187,221 10,000
58 Kentucky 107,134 123,221 12,000
61 Nebraska 101,178 150,720 11,000
61 Tennessee n/a 122,316 17,000
64 Denver 107,620 140,922 9,000
64 New Mexico 87,159 121,909 16,250
68 Arkansas-Fay. 89,100 139,300 17,500
68 Loyola-L.A. 114,268 174,673 15,000
68 Oklahoma 95,000 126,080 10,000
68 San Diego n/a 173,400 15,000
68 UNLV n/a 147,002 17,000
76 LSU 104,000 145,170 18,000
80 Michigan State 115,825 146,832 12,000
86 Kansas 112,560 143,250 12,000
86 Northeastern 109,306 179,362 7,500
86 Rutgers-Newark 133,599 186,000 10,000
91 Rutgers-Camden 121,251 171,508 10,187
91 West Virginia n/a 139,629 10,000
94 Oregon 105,000 135,578 5,832
98 Indiana-Indy n/a 127,047 14,000
98 South Carolina 114,860 140,080 20,250
102 Mississippi 105,000 141,359 9,000
102 St. Louis 96,600 128,000 13,000

Just for fun – What journals do courts cite?

With academics increasingly coming under pressure to demonstrate that scholarship has real world impact, citation to government decisions seems informative. I took a few minutes to assemble some statistics on court citation to various journals. If you are not familiar with this resource, Washington & Lee Law Library offers an online tool to assess journals’ impact – both in academic writing and in court citation (i.e. how often has a journal’s articles been cited by a state or federal court). The tool provides information on a wide variety of legal journals and some from other disciplines. I’ve assembled below cumulative number of times various journals that might be familiar to political scientists are cited by state and federal courts from 2003-20011. As might be expected, most of the journals are law oriented. If you’re interested in this sort of information, then you can conduct your own analysis on their website. It even allows you to download your findings into an excel spreadsheet. I do not portray this analysis as being perfect- just my quick take. So, as the picture above suggests – take it all with a grain of salt. For comparison, Harvard Law Review has 2500+ for the time period. Continue reading