Category Archives: Policy

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.

“Why OSHA was created”

Graph of the Day

The effect of debt ceiling strategizing on policy uncertainty:

Source: Econbrower.

It is hard to destroy nerve gas

That, too, is a slow process, said Kuhlman. Construction on an incinerator at Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah, which held 45 percent of the nation’s chemical weapons stockpile, started in 1989. Testing began in 1994, and it became operational in 1996, he said. It took two years to destroy a supply of nerve-agent weapons that was similar to the size of Syria’s estimated stockpile. The entire Utah project took 15 years.

Source: Bloomberg.

Dangerous neighborhoods in the US

Starting at #25

Rank Neighborhood Violent Crime Rate
(per 1,000)
My Chances of Becoming a Victim Here
(in one year)
Chicago, IL

(S Indiana Ave / E 60th St)

65.77 1 in 15
Tulsa, OK

(E Apache St / N Quaker Ave)

66.88 1 in 15
Memphis, TN

(Saint Paul Ave / Walnut St)

67.26 1 in 15
St. Louis, MO

(Cass Ave / N 9th St)

67.75 1 in 15
West Memphis, AR

(E Broadway St / Stuart Ave)

68.9 1 in 15
Indianapolis, IN

(North Indianapolis)

69.02 1 in 14
Flint, MI

(Chambers St / Stonegate Dr)

70.05 1 in 14
Nashville, TN

(8th Ave S / Wedgewood Ave)

70.59 1 in 14
Indianapolis, IN

(N Meridian St / E 34th St)

72.71 1 in 14
Chicago, IL

(S Ashland Ave / W 76th St)

73.05 1 in 14
Houston, TX

(Sauer St / Mcgowen St)

75.89 1 in 13
Rockford, IL

(Kishwaukee St / Grove St)

77.6 1 in 13
Chicago, IL

(S Homan Ave / W Roosevelt Rd)

80.17 1 in 12
St. Louis, MO

(Delmar Blvd / N Euclid Ave)

82.76 1 in 12
Memphis, TN

(E Eh Crump Blvd / S 4th St)

82.91 1 in 12

Check out the rest here along with the methodology.


Intergenerational argument starter

Just add water …