Social Science Scholar: Lex Legal Fellowship 2019 in Madrid, Spain

This past summer, I worked on two different projects through Social Science Scholars. During the initial part of the summer, I worked on my Honors Thesis and IDEA grant research project in the region of Catalonia focused on the region’s declaration of independence. On the latter half of the summer, I became a Lex fellow…

Social Science Scholar: Michigan Department of State

My internship and broader experience within the Social Science Scholars program helped me gain a clearer focus on my plans post-graduation. I have decided to use my fourth and final year as an undergraduate at Florida State to fulfill requirements for dual degrees in Political Science and Spanish. I already intended to pursue a graduate degree, but some of my conversations with executive staff during my internship led me to reconsider my program of study, and to shift away from political science and toward data science. My ultimate goal is to work in either state or federal government, or as a researcher at a think tank, and to be able to use both my political science background and my data science skills to craft robust, empirically-derived public policy.

The Measurement and Importance of Economic Freedom

Since the initial publication of the Economic Freedom of the World report in 1996, numerous scholarly studies have used the data to examine the impact of economic freedom on investment, economic growth, income levels, and poverty rates. Virtually without exception, these studies have found that countries with institutions and policies more consistent with economic freedom have higher investment rates, more rapid economic growth, higher income levels, and a more rapid reduction in poverty rates.

Policy Pub: Get Ready for more Sweaty!

Dr. James Elsner participated in the Policy Pub in September 2019. To listen to his pub navigate here. Summer is here and it’s hot. I love it. I loved summer in Milwaukee as a kid but it was always way too short. Not here. Summer starts in May and runs through most of September. Perfect….

Survey Research and the Politics of Old Age Welfare

A recent paper appearing in Theory in Action, co-authored by William R. Earnest and FSU Sociology Professor Irene Padavic and supported by FSU’s Pepper Center on Aging, tackles a flawed proposal from Robert Binstock about minimizing intergeneration conflict over elderly benefits and uses it to analyze how assumptions grounded in interest group liberalism inform current…

Are Gun Owners Cowards?

Many Americans are under the impression that gun owners are overcome by fear. This idea is everywhere, in news articles and editorials, scientific research, social media, blockbuster films, and other forms of popular culture.

Credible Leadership: Insights from Experimental Economics

We are certainly not the first to show that managers must keep their workers happy, but this is often discussed as a compromise or deviation from what is best for the organization. We show that such behavior is in fact directly in line with an organization’s best interest in a large number of cases. It is rational to prioritize a leader’s social credibility, and such abilities deserve equal recognition in evaluating a manager’s effectiveness. A government leader’s knowledge of economic conditions will prove meaningless if they cannot convince independent firms to invest locally. Similarly, an executive’s analytical brilliance or creative insight into consumer markets may not lead to business success unless they are able to maintain followership among employees in many areas of their firm.

From the Classroom: Engaging Statistics Students Who (Think They) Hate Math

Frankly speaking, most students don’t want to take math classes. I’m sure most of my students can recall vowing to never take another math class again after their Algebra 2 finals in high school. Imagine their disappointment when they learned that my Social Statistics course was a requirement needed to earn their undergraduate sociology degree….

Entrepreneurship Programs Can Help Ex-offenders Stay out of Prison

This piece first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. Struggling to re-enter society with nothing but lost time and the additional burden of a criminal record, ex-offenders have a 76.6% chance of being rearrested within five years. This is dramatic evidence of the failure of the so-called “punishment” or “retributive” approach to criminal justice, which promises…