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…

How Labor Unions Increase Political Knowledge: Evidence from the United States

This work has important implications. Organized labor has declined dramatically over the past several decades, due in part to economic globalization, but also by the policy decisions made by the federal and state governments. Of all the factors that are correlated with political knowledge, such as: age, education, gender, race, income, and interest in politics, union membership is the only one that can feasibly be influenced by politicians. Policies that weaken labor unions may end up depriving people, particularly those with less formal education, not only of a source of political mobilization, but also an important source of political information.

New Abortion Laws Contribute to Sexist Environments that Harm Everyone’s Health

This piece first appeared in The Conversation. Nine states have passed laws in 2019 alone that restrict abortion at the earliest stages of pregnancy. Those of us who study public health are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for negative health consequences of these kinds of policies on women. That’s because research has shown that laws limiting reproductive rights and services…

Are E-Scooter Services Good for Cities?

In short, we don’t have enough information to make a judgement on whether e-scooters make a net positive contribution to the Tallahassee community (or other similar places). Hopefully, the city of Tallahassee can use their current pilot program to carefully evaluate the safety and management issues and develop an understanding of who is using the scooter services and whether it is leading to a reduction in auto use.

BetterWorldBooks Promotes Literacy Through Enterprise

etterWordBooks is an example of a growing trend within the US and across the globe to define their businesses in terms of improving the welfare and prospects for marginalized people and communities. Using a sustainable business model where profits also serve their social mission, children, families, and the planet benefit.