Past Events

April 16, 2014
We implement a novel approach for the detection of publication bias in the social sciences. We leverage TESS (Timeshare Experiments in the Social Sciences), a National Science Foundation sponsored program where researchers propose survey-based experiments to be run on a nationally representative sample. This allows us to analyze a known population of conducted studies, and we therefore have a full accounting of what is published and unpublished. We find substantial evidence of publication bias in the social sciences. The published literature is much more likely to contain significant findings than insignificant findings.
April 14, 2014

While an economic dimension of partisan conflict over taxation and redistribution has been at the heart of democratic politics at least since the rise of mass suffrage in most industrial democracies, policy disagreements related to religion and moral values have continued to provide structure to political conflict in many societies around the world. Among advanced industrial democracies, a cleavage related to religion and morality is the only division that has consistently rivaled social class over the last century (Caramani 2004; Dalton 2008). In the United States, a large literature tracks the recent revival of this dimension and its replacement of race as the clear second dimension in U.S.

April 11, 2014



A J Julius teaches philosophy at UCLA. He is writing a short book about rationality and freedom


April 9, 2014

A persistent puzzle in contemporary American politics is the polarization of political officeholders. One possible cause is the two-stage electoral process in the United States, which requires candidates to secure a nomination from their party prior to contesting a general election. We offer a theory of the costs that candidates incur when they change their positions on policy issues over time, and consider how these costs will influence the strategic choices of candidates who enter the second stage of a two-stage election with divergent policy positions. We test our theory using a conjoint experimental design that presents subjects with a choice between two candidates who have a set of randomly assigned characteristics.

April 7, 2014

On a number of occasions during the financial crisis, the world's most "central" central banks made their policy decisions in unison to provide much needed liquidity and stability to financial markets. Despite the unprecedented nature of this policy coordination, the immediate implications of such actions remain largely unknown. I attempt to change this by answering a straightforward question: who gained when central banks coordinated their policies?

March 31, 2014

Existing literature comparing open list and closed list PR has highlighted the way in which ballot type affects candidates' electoral strategies.  We depart from this literature by emphasizing that in certain circumstances giving voters choice over candidates via open-list PR can also affect their choice over parties.  When voters have strong opinions about an issue on which major parties are internally divided, open-list ballots give those voters an opportunity to express their preference without supporting a niche party.  We provide experimental evidence of this phenomenon from the UK, where we show in hypothetical European Parliament elections that using an open-list ballot would shift support from UKIP (the niche Eurosceptic party) to Eurosceptic candidates of both La

March 19, 2014

The 2012 United States presidential election was a contest between two candidates perceived as non-Christians by much of the voting population, despite the fact that both men claim a Christian identity. Barely half of all survey respondents identify Barack Obama as a Christian, and more than a quarter identify him as a Muslim. Similarly, only about half accept Mormonism (Mitt Romney’s religion) as a Christian religion. Using new questions devised for the 2012 American National Election Study, this paper shows that both candidates were hurt in 2012 by perceptions that they are not Christians.