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Category Archives: Social Policy

The Hollowing Out of US Democracy

In this post, Peter Levine summarizes the discussion during his recent brown bag at CESR on “The Hollowing Out of Democracy,” including concerns about Civic Deserts and the need for more organizations with SPUD (Scale, Pluralism, Unity, Depth).


The More the Heavier? Family Size and Childhood Obesity in the US

Are siblings good for you? This blog post presents findings from a study showing that having more siblings is associated with lower BMI and decreased likelihood of obesity.


Are We All Snobs? How Personal Tastes Affect Our Judgment of Others

Do stereotypes of “high-brow” and “low-brow” tastes affect how Americans judge one another?  This post examines whether we respond more positively to people who display high status tastes.


Are We Asking Too Much of Older Participants in National Surveys?

This post discusses the challenges of designing surveys targeted to elderly people and proposes one way to improve the quality of survey data from older respondents.


Education Improves Some Aspects Of Health But May Worsen Others

We study how secondary education affects different dimensions of health in middle age. A policy change in England, Wales, and Scotland that increased the minimum school-leaving age from 15 to 16 years old improved health by reducing body fat and lung conditions, but it also increased blood pressure. (more…)

Do Mothers From Different Cultures Vary in How They Portray Baby Bath Time and Baby Bedtime on Instagram?

How do mothers portray their babies’ bath time and bedtime through images in social media? This post compares imagery about certain baby routines in the US, Brazil and the UK, using social media imagery to explore mothers’ communicative behavior.


Exploring Mothers’ and Fathers’ Motivations to Participate in Parenting Programs

Programs to strengthen parenting skills aim to improve children’s wellbeing. Here we look at results from Sweden showing what motivates parents to participate in these programs.


The Woes of Collecting Public Opinion: Lessons from an Outlier Election Poll.

Life lessons when academia meets the press:  What we learned from our experience moonlighting as an outlier poll during a contested election.


Encouraging Healthy Eating Among Children: It Turns Out We Just Have to Ask.

An RCT found that verbal prompts in the school lunch-line are an effective way to improve child food choice and consumption. Schools, teachers and cafeteria workers could adopt such strategies to improve children’s food choice and health.


Could “Shy” Trump Voters’ Discomfort With Disclosing Candidate Choice Have Skewed Telephone Polls? Evidence from the USC Election Poll

We analysed data from the USC Dornsife/ LA Time 2016 Election Daybreak Poll on respondents’ comfort levels with disclosing presidential candidate choice to friends, family, acquaintances, and pollsters. Results are consistent with a “shy” or “hidden” voter effect. (more…)

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