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Researchers and citizens alike question the long-term impacts of the shale oil boom on local communities. Studies have considered the boom’s effects on employment, income, mobility, and human capital acquisition. This research specifically builds on research considering shale effects on secondary schooling. Using county-level data from Texas, we investigate two questions: (1) Has the latest oil boom led to a reduction in local high school graduation? (2) Is this effect different for immigrants, a group potentially vulnerable to local wage effects? Findings indicate insignificant overall effects; however, local oil drilling increases immigrant high school dropout rates.
The killing of Cecil the Lion in July 2015 generated considerable media attention worldwide. We measured public interest in Cecil's death to examine the degree to which this high-profile incident represented the type of focusing event that public policy scholars often emphasize as being important for triggering policy change. Finding that public interest in lion conservation spiked in the weeks immediately following the incident, we then analysed whether this focusing event led to policy changes to restrict trophy hunting in eight countries (USA, Spain, France, Russia, Canada, South Africa, Germany and Mexico) that most frequently import lion Panthera leo trophies. The surge in public attention seems to have had only a limited impact on the adoption of significant new policy, although it may have hastened changes in some countries.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Middle ear volume (MEV) is a clinically relevant parameter in the treatment of many common conditions including otitis media, tinnitus, and conductive hearing loss. A growing number of studies have shifted from using tympanometry to 3-dimensional volume reconstruction (3DVR) to calculate MEV; however, MEV values between these methodologies have never before been directly compared. Here, our objective is to characterize agreement between MEV measurement methods across disease states and middle ear sizes. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Middle ears were identified from 36 patients ranging 18–89 years of age who underwent tympanometry testing during preoperative workup for tympanic membrane (TM) perforation, up to 1 month prior to a standard-of-care temporal bone computed tomography (CT) between October 15, 2005 and October 15, 2015. MEV values calculated by both tympanometry and 3DVR were analyzed for agreement using Bland and Altman plots. A correction factor was calculated where ear canal volumes were available for contralateral middle ears without TM perforation (n=12), and was applied to a second Bland and Altman plot in the corresponding patient subgroup. MEV agreement was characterized across MEV quartiles (1=smallest; 4=largest) and across increasing states of middle ear disease using Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon testing with Bonferonni correction. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: A Bland Altman plot demonstrated significant disagreement of MEV differences as compared to a priori clinical thresholds. Absolute MEV difference was significantly greater in the average MEV fourth to first quartile (p=0.0024), fourth to second quartile (p=0.0024), third to first quartile (p=0.0048), and third to second quartile (p=0.048). Absolute MEV difference was not significantly different across varying states of middle ear disease (p=0.44). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Statistically evident and clinically significant disagreement was demonstrated across tympanometric and 3DVR MEV estimates. This lack of agreement was most pronounced at higher average MEV and was persistent yet not appreciably different across varying severities of middle ear disease. These findings may limit the generalizability of studies of the middle ear that differ in MEV estimation methodology, particularly in pathophysiological states where MEV is increased.
Life has been described as information flowing in molecular streams (Dawkins, 1996).Our growing understanding of the impact of horizontal gene transfer on evolutionary dynamics reinforces this fluid-like flow of molecular information (Joyce, 2002). The diversity of nucleic acid sequences, those known and yet to be characterized across Earth's varied environments, along with the vast repertoire of catalytic and structural proteins, presents as more of a dynamic molecular river than a tree of life. These informational biopolymers function as a mutualistic union so universal as to have been termed the Central Dogma (Crick, 1958). It is the distinct folding dynamics-the digital-like base pairing dominating nucleic acids, and the environmentally responsive and diverse range of analog-like interactions dictating protein folding (Goodwin et al., 2012)-that provides the basis for the mutualism. The intertwined functioning of these analog and digital forms of information (Goodwin et al., 2012) unified within diverse chemical networks is heralded as the Darwinian threshold of cellular life (Woese, 2002).
The discovery of prion diseases (Chien et al., 2004; Jablonka and Raz, 2009; Paravastu et al., 2008) introduced the paradigm of protein templates that propagate conformational information, suggesting a new context for Darwinian evolution. When taking both protein and nucleic acid moelcular evolution into consideration (Cairns- Smith, 1966; Joyce, 2002), the conceptual framework for chemical evolution can be generalized into three orthogonal dimensions as shown in Figure 5.1 (Goodwin et al., 2014). The 1st dimension manifests structural order through covalent polymerization reactions and includes chain length, sequence, and linkage chemistry inherent to a dynamic chemical network. The 2nd dimension extends the order in dynamic conformational networks through noncovalent interactions of the polymers. This dimension includes intramolecular and intermolecular forces, from macromolecular folding to supramolecular assembly to multicomponent quaternary structure. Folding in this 2nd dimension certainly depends on the primary polymer sequence, and the folding/assembly diversity yields an additional set of environmentally constrained supramolecular folding codes. For example, double-stranded DNA assemblies are dominated by the rules of complementary base pairing, while the self-propagating conformations of prions are based on additional noncovalent, environmentally-dependent interactions.
How do political actors learn about their environment when the “data” provided by political processes are characterized by rare events and highly discontinuous variation? In such learning environments, what can theory predict about how learning actors will take costly actions that are difficult to reverse (e.g., eliminating programs, approving a risky new product, revising a security policy, firing or recalling an appointed or elected official)? We develop a formal model for this problem and apply it to the termination of bureaucratic agencies. The conventional wisdom that “the older a bureau is, the less likely it is to die” (Downs 1967, Inside Bureaucracy) persists but has never been properly tested. This paper offers a learning-based stochastic optimization model of agency termination that offers two counterintuitive predictions. First, politicians terminate agencies only after learning about them, so the hazard of agencies should be nonmonotonic, contradicting Downs's prediction. Second, if terminating agencies is costly, agencies are least likely to be terminated when politicians are fiscally constrained or when the deficit is high. We assess the model by developing a battery of tests for the shape of the hazard function and estimate these and other duration models using data on U.S. federal government agencies created between 1946 and 1997. Results show that the hazard rate of agency termination is strongly nonmonotonic and that agencies are less likely to be terminated under high deficits and divided government. For the first 50 years of the agency duration distribution, the modal termination hazard occurs at five years after agencies are enabled. Methodologically, our approach ties the functional form of a hazard model tightly to theory and presents an applied “agenda” for testing the shape of an empirical hazard function. With extensions, our model and empirical framework are applicable to a range of political phenomena.
IAU Commission 29 - Stellar Spectra has been one of the IAU commissions from the onset, until its dissolution at the most recent IAU General Assembly in Honolulu in 2015. This commission belonged to IAU Division G (“Stars and Stellar Physics”), the latter committed with fostering research in stellar astrophysics. Within the general field of stellar astrophysics, stellar spectroscopy plays a key role, as stellar spectra are a powerful tool providing a view into the detailed physical properties of stars and the physical processes occuring within them.
Few incidents in the reign of Henry III excited more interest and amazement than the fall of Hubert de Burgh. Between 1215 and 1232, Hubert held the office of chief justiciar. After 1219 he progressively dominated the government of England. “He lacked nothing of royal power,” commented the Waverley annalist, “save the dignity of a royal diadem.” Then suddenly in 1232 “the great judge” was swept from court and stripped of all his lands and offices. He became a hunted fugitive. He was dragged from a chapel in which he had taken sanctuary, and incarcerated in chains in Devizes castle. Historians have been attracted by the drama of these events, but they have never provided a coherent explanation of Hubert's dismissal. The accounts of Roger of Wendover and Matthew Paris are confused. Those of Sir Maurice Powicke, though illuminating, are discursive and inaccurate.
The purpose of this paper is to reexamine the fall of England's last great justiciar. It is hoped to show that Powicke exaggerated the extent to which the justiciar's demise was consciously planned by the king, and that he underestimated the force of Hubert's struggle to stay in office. Powicke also failed to stress the connection between the justiciar's fall and events in the early years of the minority. Although Henry III came fully of age in 1227, the politics of the period 1217-34 must be viewed as a whole. Conflicts that burgeoned between 1217 and 1224, and were in some respects the legacy of the reign of John, cast a malign shadow over the next decade.
The plausible breadth of capture notwithstanding, scholars examining regulation and regulatory institutions face substantial difficulties demonstrating the existence and degree of capture. Several generations of research have adduced quantitative or historical evidence that agency decisions or legislative outcomes have been partially associated or correlated with the wishes of the regulated industry. However, few of these analyses have been able to demonstrate that the associations/correlations in question represent capture rather than other patterns – representation, differential (and rational) weighting of other features of firms and industries, the possible coincidence of public interest and industry interest in some dimensions of regulatory policy, or something else.
In short, the evidentiary standards of the capture literature are rather low, and the first aim of this essay will be to demonstrate this point and to suggest that more circumspection is in order. A second aim of the essay will be to examine possible inferential strategies, all of them involving observational research using both quantitative and qualitative data, with which qualified claims of capture might be made. A third aim is to encourage scholars to point more concretely to different mechanisms by which capture might operate. I elaborate these aims after a brief conceptual discussion of capture.
When markets or regulations fall short of our expectations, observers often point to regulatory capture as a culprit. Critics maintain that regulatory capture stunts competition and innovation, as firms able to capture their regulators effectively wield the regulatory power of the state and can use it as a weapon to block the entry or success of other firms. Some critics even blame regulatory capture for the outbreak of financial crises and other manmade disasters. Recent years provide no exception. In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2007–2009, and following catastrophes ranging from massive oil spills to mine explosions, observers seemed to find capture everywhere.
In explaining the financial crisis, for example, both left and right pounced on the reputed capture of state and federal regulatory agencies. Forbes columnist Daniel Kauffman maintained that “There are multiple causes of the financial crisis. But we cannot ignore the element of ‘capture’ in the systemic failures of oversight, regulation and disclosure in the financial sector.” Chicago economist Gary Becker pointed to an “economically disastrous example of the capture theory,” one “provided by the disgraceful regulation of the two mortgage housing behemoths, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, before and leading up to the financial crisis.” After the Deepwater Horizon explosion and Gulf Oil spill of spring 2010, conservative columnist Gerald P. O’Driscoll wrote in the Wall Street Journal that, “Obviously, regulation failed. By all accounts, MMS operated as a rubber stamp for BP. It is a striking example of regulatory capture: Agencies tasked with protecting the public interest come to identify with the regulated industry and protect its interests against that of the public. The result: Government fails to protect the public.”
In the wake of the global financial crisis of 2007–2009 and the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill of 2010, regulatory capture has become at once a diagnosis and a source of discomfort. The word capture has been used by dozens upon dozens of authors – ranging from pundits and bloggers to journalists and leading scholars – as the telltale characterization of the regulatory failures that permitted these crises. In addition, critics who doubt whether regulatory reforms will be sufficient draw on capture as a source of widespread skepticism (if not despair). Seen this way, capture of regulation appears not only as a significant cause of these crises, but also as a constraint on any realistic solutions. Most of those solutions will, in this view, be watered down or dashed by captured regulators in the future.
Is capture truly as powerful and unpreventable as the informed consensus seems to suggest? When it prevails, does capture pose insurmountable obstacles to regulation, so much so that we ought to give up on regulation altogether? This edited volume brings together seventeen scholars from across disciplines whose contributions together question this logic and suggest that capture may, in fact, be preventable and manageable.
Capture varies in both degree and kind, across regulations and agencies. This simple statement is as important as it is obvious, ultimately setting the stage for a new focus on the prevention of regulatory capture.
In tackling this variation head on, the study of capture is turning a corner. An early focus on models of regulatory decision making is increasingly giving way to fine-grained empirical work on special interest influence in the regulatory process. To be sure, weakness on the evidentiary front has long been an open secret in the field. Already in 1974 Richard Posner observed that “empirical research [on capture] has not been systematic.” As late as 2006, Ernesto Dal Bó declared in a review essay that “empirical evidence on the causes and consequences of regulatory capture is scarce.” Although Dal Bó's observation is still broadly correct today, it is becoming ever less so. A more detailed picture of the phenomenon is beginning to emerge, and many students of capture – including the authors of this volume – are rethinking their approach, asking not just what causes capture and what problems it creates, but what accounts for its relative strength or weakness in real-world situations.
Understanding how regulatory capture occurs is essential for diagnosing capture where it exists, treating it appropriately when found, and designing new regulatory regimes that are resistant to it from the outset. The chapters in this section suggest that regulated entities and their representatives – in most cases, firms and industry organizations – employ a wider variety of mechanisms to influence regulation, and aim for a broader range of outcomes, than has generally been recognized. Achieving a deeper understanding of these mechanisms and outcomes is the first step toward better detection and mitigation of regulatory capture.
When considering mechanisms of capture, analysts frequently focus on crude incentives – such as the so-called revolving door – that provide industry with leverage over policy decisions by appealing to regulators’ personal self-interest. In this section, James Kwak, Nolan McCarty, and Luigi Zingales each explore new mechanisms of capture. These include cultural capture – in which regulators are influenced, even unknowingly, by industry through a combination of social, cultural, and intellectual currents (Kwak,Chapter 4); the provision of expertise by industry – in which, as a result of heightened complexity, regulators come to rely on industry expertise in ways that tilt decision making toward industry interests (McCarty, Chapter 5); and, perhaps most subtly of all, economists’ capture – in which industry influences and incentivizes scholars to favor an industry perspective in their work, thereby indirectly influencing regulators who rely on the scholars’ judgment and expertise in making decisions (Zingales, Chapter 6). Taken together, these chapters suggest that efforts to diagnose and prevent capture must take into account a far wider range of actors and strategies than has been typical in the study of regulation in the past.
Modern government offers few if any agencies more powerful, more watched, or more pressured than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rough estimates suggest that the FDA regulates more than one quarter of U.S. gross domestic product, with primary responsibilities for food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, cosmetics, and, since 2009, tobacco products. Over a wide range of these products – drugs, medical devices, food additives, and certain tobacco products – the FDA has expansive gatekeeping power: the congressionally mandated task of deciding whether the products in question can be marketed at all. Gatekeeping power has many facets. Gatekeeping can be used to protect the public or provide it with false confidence; create market-wide confidence in new products; enhance or stifle innovation (often both); snow and guile consumers into thinking that poor, unsafe products are safer and better than they are; and hone the production, dosage, and information about drugs to help doctors and patients optimize their use.
If ever there were a plausible prima facie case for capture, a gatekeeping regulator like the FDA would seem to provide it. In its governance of pharmaceuticals, the FDA regulates a vast industry, one that supplies a global market approaching $1 trillion in size. Given its size and its historical connections to science and technology, this industry possesses broad economic, political, and cultural power. When Samuel Huntington and Marver Bernstein wrote about the potential capture of regulatory agencies in the 1950s and 1960s, it was with just such an agency-industry relationship in mind (although neither wrote about the FDA). Large industries like these would seem to be primed to limit entry and preserve market access for themselves. And when George Stigler looked for examples of when “regulation is acquired by the industry,” he found his examples among entry-limiting regulation: weight limits for trucks (shaped by the lobbying of railroads and farmers) and occupational licensing (in which those with market power limit the entry of their potential competitors, restraining supply and inflating equilibrium price).