CSI Affiliated Faculty Publications

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    The Public’s Increasing Punitiveness and Its Influence on Mass Incarceration in the United States
    Enns, Peter K. (American Journal of Political Science, 2014)
    Following more than 30 years of rising incarceration rates, the United States now imprisons a higher proportion of its population than any country in the world. Building on theories of representation and organized interest group behavior, this article argues that an increasingly punitive public has been a primary reason for this prolific expansion. To test this hypothesis, I generate a new over-time measure of the public’s support for being tough on crime. The analysis suggests that, controlling for the crime rate, illegal drug use, inequality, and the party in power, since 1953 public opinion has been a fundamental determinant of changes in the incarceration rate. If the public’s punitiveness had stopped rising in the mid-1970s, the results imply that there would have been approximately 20% fewer incarcerations. Additionally, an analysis of congressional attention to criminal justice issues supports the argument that the public’s attitudes have led, not followed, political elites.
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    Comment on ‘Support for Redistribution in an Age of Rising Inequality’
    Enns, Peter K. (Brookings, 2015)
    Despite decades of widening income inequality in the United States, public demand for redistribution has remained flat and perhaps even declined. This result, which Vivekinan Ashok, Ilyana Kuziemko, and Ebonya Washington demonstrate convincingly, stands in stark contrast to the expectations of standard political economy models, which predict that as inequality rises a greater proportion of the public will support increased redistribution (Meltzer and Richard 1981).1 This absence of an over-time relationship (or negative relationship) between inequality and public support for redistribution holds major implications for political and economic outcomes. If the public’s policy preferences are disconnected from changes in income inequality, then when inequality rises, policymakers will face no direct electoral incentive to shift taxes and spending in a more redistributive direction.
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    The Great Recession and State Criminal Justice Policy: Do Economic Hard Times Matter
    Enns, Peter K.; Shanks-Booth, Delphia (Russell Sage Foundation, 2015)
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    Conditional Status Quo Bias and Top Income Shares: How U.S. Political Institutions Have Benefited the Rich
    Enns, Peter K.; Kelly, Nate; Morgan, Jana; Volscho, Thomas; Witko, Chris (Southern Political Science Association, 2014)
    This article develops and tests a model of conditional status quo bias and American inequality. We find that institutional features that bias policy outcomes toward the status quo have played a central role in the path of inequality. Using time-series analysis of top income shares during the post-Depression period, we identify the Senate as a key actor in the politics of income inequality. Our findings suggest that the supermajoritarian nature of the Senate and policy stagnation, when coupled with economic and social factors that produce rising inequality, create a situation in which inequality becomes difficult to reverse.
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    Feeding the pipeline: Gender, occupational plans, and college major selection
    Morgan, Stephen, L.; Gelbgiser, Dafna; Weeden, Kim, A. (Social Science Research, 2013-07)
    In this article, we analyze gender differences in college major selection for respondents to the Education Longitudinal Study (2002-2006), focusing on educational pathways through college that lead to science, engineering, or doctoral-track medicine occupations and to non-doctoral track clinical and health sciences occupations. We show that gender differences in college major selection remain substantial, even for a cohort in which rates of enrollment in postsecondary education are more than ten percent higher for young women than for young men. Consistent with other recent research, we demonstrate that neither gender differences in work-family goals nor in academic preparation explain a substantial portion of these differences. However, the occupational plans of high school seniors are strong predictors of initial college major selection, a finding that is revealed only when occupational plans are measured with sufficient detail, here by using the verbatim responses of students. We also find that the association between occupational plans and college major selection is not attributable to work-family orientation or academic preparation. Finally, we find gender differences in the associations between occupational plans and college major selection that are consistent with prior research on STEM attrition, as well as with the claim that attrition also affects the selection of majors that are gateways into doctoral-track medicine. We discuss the implications of the predictive power of occupational plans formed in adolescence for understanding sex segregation and for policies intended to create a gender-balanced STEM and doctoral-level medical workforce.
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    Stutter-Step Models of Performance in School
    Morgan, Stephen L.; Todd, Jennifer J.; Weeden, Kim A.; Leenman, Theodore S. (Social Forces, 2013)
    To evaluate a stutter-step model of academic performance in high school, this article adopts a unique measure of the beliefs of 12,591 high school sophomores from the Education Longitudinal Study, 2002-2006. Verbatim responses to questions on occupational plans are coded to capture specific job titles, the listing of multiple jobs, and the listing of multiple jobs with divergent characteristics. The educational requirements of detailed jobs, as specified in the Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network database, are then matched to all jobs that students list within their plans. Students with uncertain beliefs about their occupational futures are then shown to have lower levels of commitment to and performance in school. These results support the conjecture that uncertainty about the future has consequences for the short-run behavior that determines important educational outcomes, beyond the effects that are commonly attributed to existing models of performance.
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    Occupational Plans, Beliefs about Educational Requirements, and Patterns of College Entry
    Morgan, Stephen L.; Leenman, Theodore S.; Todd, Jennifer J.; Weeden, Kim A. (Sociology of Education, 2013)
    In this article, a measure of students’ beliefs is constructed from three sources of information on 12,509 high school seniors from the Education Longitudinal Study (2002 to 2006). First, verbatim responses to questions on occupational plans, drawn from restricted-access data records, are coded into 1,220 categories to capture detailed information (specific job titles), extended information (the listing of multiple jobs), and contradictory information (the listing of multiple jobs with divergent characteristics). Second, the educational requirements of detailed jobs, as specified in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network database, are matched to all jobs that students list within their verbatim occupational plans. Third, student perceptions of the educational requirements of their planned jobs, which were revealed in response to a follow-up question posed immediately after they provided their verbatim occupational plans, are used to identify students with puzzling beliefs about their educational and occupational trajectories. The authors then show that (1) students who are categorized as having uncertain and/or inaccurate beliefs about the educational requirements of their expected jobs have lower rates of college entry than those with certain and accurate beliefs, and (2) among entrants, these same students have lower rates of immediate college enrollment and lower attendance at four-year colleges.
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    Degrees of Difference: Gender Segregation of US Doctorates by Field and Program Prestige
    Weeden, Kim; Sarah, Thébaud; Dafna, Gelbgiser (Sociological Science, 2017-02-06)
    Women earn nearly half of doctoral degrees in research fields, yet doctoral education in the United States remains deeply segregated by gender. We argue that in addition to the oft-noted segregation of men and women by field of study, men and women may also be segregated across programs that differ in their prestige. Using data on all doctorates awarded in the United States from 2003 to 2014, field-specific program rankings, and field-level measures of math and verbal skills, we show that (1) "net" field segregation is very high and strongly associated with field-level math skills; (2) "net" prestige segregation is weaker than field segregation but still a nontrivial form of segregation in doctoral education; (3) women are underrepresented among graduates of the highest-and to a lesser extent, the lowest-prestige programs; and (4) the strength and pattern of prestige segregation varies substantially across fields, but little of this variation is associated with field skills.