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Sacerdote, Bruce

Works: 49 works in 318 publications in 1 language and 1,718 library holdings
Genres: Cross-cultural studies 
Roles: Author
Classifications: HB1, 330
Publication Timeline
Publications about Bruce Sacerdote
Publications by Bruce Sacerdote
Most widely held works by Bruce Sacerdote
The determinants of punishment : deterrence, incapacitation and vengeance by Edward L Glaeser( Book )
18 editions published between 2000 and 2003 in English and held by 75 libraries worldwide
Does the economic model of optimal punishment explain the variation in the sentencing of murderers? As the model predicts, we find that murderers with a high expected probability of recidivism receive longer sentences. Sentences are longest in murder types where apprehension rates are low, and where deterrence elasticities appear to be high. However, sentences respond to victim characteristics in a way that is hard to reconcile with optimal punishment. In particular, victim characteristics are important determinants of sentencing among vehicular homicides, where victims are basically random and where the optimal punishment model predicts that victim characteristics should be ignored. Among vehicular homicides, drivers who kill women get 56 percent longer sentences. Drivers who kill blacks get 53 percent shorter sentences
Estimating the effect of unearned income on labor supply, earnings, savings, and consumption : evidence from a survey of lottery players by Guido Imbens( Book )
16 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 74 libraries worldwide
Knowledge of the effect of unearned income on economic behavior of individuals in general, and on labor supply in particular, is of great importance to policy makers. Estimation of income effects, however, is a difficult problem because income is not randomly assigned and exogenous changes in income are difficult to identify. Here we exploit the randomized assignment of large amounts of money over long periods of time through lotteries. We carried out a survey of people who played the lottery in the mid-eighties and estimate the effect of lottery winnings on their subsequent earnings, labor supply, consumption, and savings. We find that winning a modest prize ($15,000 per year for twenty years) does not affect labor supply or earnings substantially. Winning such a prize does not considerably reduce savings. Winning a much larger prize ($80,000 rather than $15,000 per year) reduces labor supply as measured by hours, as well as participation and social security earnings; elasticities for hours and earnings are around -0.20 and for participation around -0.14. Winning a large versus modest amount also leads to increased expenditures on cars and larger home values, although mortgages values appear to increase by approximately the same amount. Winning $80,000 increases overall savings, although savings in retirement accounts are not significantly affected. The results do not vary much by gender, age, or prior employment status. There is some evidence that for those with zero earnings prior to winning the lottery there is a positive effect of winning a small prize on subsequent labor market participation
Why is there more crime in cities? by Edward L Glaeser( Book )
14 editions published between 1995 and 1996 in English and held by 71 libraries worldwide
Crime rates are much higher in big cities than in either small cities or rural areas, and this situation has been relatively pervasive for several centuries. This paper attempts to explain this connection by using victimization data, evidence from the NLSY on criminal behavior and the Uniform Crime Reports. Higher pecuniary benefits for crime in large cities can explain approximately 27% of the effect for overall crime, though obviously much less of the urban- crime connection for non-pecuniary crimes such as rape or assault. Lower arrest probabilities, and lower probability of recognition, are a feature of urban life, but these factors seem to explain at most 20% of the urban crime effect. The remaining 45-60% of the effect can be related to observable characteristics of individuals and cities. The characteristics that seem most important are those that reflect tastes, social influences and family structure. Ultimately, we can say that the urban crime premium is associated with these characteristics, but we are left trying to explain why these characteristics are connected with urban living
Crime and social interactions by Edward L Glaeser( Book )
16 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 62 libraries worldwide
The high degree of variance of crime rates across space (and across time) is one of the oldest puzzles in the social sciences (see Quetelet (1835)). Our empirical work strongly suggests that this variance is not the result of observed or unobserved geographic attributes. This paper presents a model where social interactions create enough covariance across individuals to explain the high cross- city variance of crime rates. This model provides a natural index of social interactions which can compare the degree of social interaction across crimes, across geographic 1units and across time. Our index gives similar results for different data samples and suggests that the amount of social interactions are highest in petty crimes (such as larceny and auto theft), moderate in more serious crimes (assault, burglary and robbery) and almost negligible in murder and rape. The index of social interactions is also applied to non-criminal choices and we find that there is substantial interaction in schooling choice
The economic approach to social capital by Edward L Glaeser( Book )
16 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 58 libraries worldwide
To identify the determinants of social capital formation, it is necessary to understand the social capital investment decision of individuals. Individual social capital should then be aggregated to measure the social capital of a community. This paper assembles the evidence that supports the individual-based model of social capital formation, including seven facts: (1) the relationship between social capital and age is first increasing and then decreasing, (2) social capital declines with expected mobility, (3) social capital investment is higher in occupations with greater returns to social skills, (4) social capital is higher among homeowners, (5) social connections fall sharply with physical distance, (6) people who invest in human capital also invest in social capital, and (7) social capital appears to have interpersonal complementarities
The social consequences of housing by Edward L Glaeser( Book )
15 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 56 libraries worldwide
The Social capital literature documents a connection between social connection and economic outcomes of interest ranging from government quality to economic growth. Popular authors suggest that housing and architecture are important determinants of social connection. This paper examines the connection between housing structure and social connection. We find that residents of large apartment buildings are more likely to be socially connected with their neighbors, perhaps because the distance between neighbors is lower in apartment buildings. Apartment residents are less involved in local politics, presumably because they are less connected with the public infrastructure and space that surrounds them. Street crime (robbery, auto theft) is also more common around big apartment buildings and we believe that this also occurs because of there is less connection between people in apartments and the streets that surround them
The nature and nurture of economic outcomes by Bruce Sacerdote( Book )
13 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 54 libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper uses data on adopted children to examine the relative importance of biology and environment in determining educational and labor market outcomes. I employ three long-term panel data sets which contain information on adopted children, their adoptive parents, and their biological parents. In at least two of the three data sets, the mechanism for assigning children to adoptive parents is fairly random and does not match children to adoptive parents based on health, race, or ability. I find that adoptive parents' education and income have a modest impact on child test scores but a large impact on college attendance, marital status, and earnings. In contrast with existing work on IQ scores, I do not find that the influence of adoptive parents declines with child age
Peer effects with random assignment : results for Dartmouth roommates by Bruce Sacerdote( Book )
13 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and Undetermined and held by 53 libraries worldwide
This paper uses a unique data set to measure peer effects among college age roommates. Freshman year roommates and dormmates are randomly assigned at Dartmouth College. I find that in this group, peer effects are very important in determining levels of academic effort and in decisions to join social groups such as fraternities. Residential peer effects are markedly absent in other major life decisions such as choice of college major. Several forms of peer effects are considered. The data support a model in which peer effects are driven by roommate behavior after the freshmen arrive. Social learning based on a roommate's observable pre-Dartmouth information or skills appears to be less important. Peer effects in GPA occur at the individual room level whereas peer effects in fraternity membership occur both at the room level and the entire dorm level. I also find that a freshman with high social ability is likely to remain with his or her roommates in sophomore year, but high academic ability actually decreases roommate retention
Why doesn't the US have a European-style welfare system? by Alberto Alesina( Book )
15 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 51 libraries worldwide
European countries are much more generous to the poor relative to the US level of generosity. Economic models suggest that redistribution is a function of the variance and skewness of the pre-tax income distribution, the volatility of income (perhaps because of trade shocks), the social costs of taxation and the expected income mobility of the median voter. None of these factors appear to explain the differences between the US and Europe. Instead, the differences appear to be the result of racial heterogeneity in the US and American political institutions. Racial animosity in the US makes redistribution to the poor, who are disproportionately black, unappealing to many voters. American political institutions limited the growth of a socialist party, and more generally limited the political power of the poor
The social multiplier by Edward L Glaeser( Book )
13 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 51 libraries worldwide
In many cases, aggregate data is used to make inferences about individual level behavior. If there are social interactions in which one person's actions influence his neighbor's incentives or information, then these inferences are inappropriate. The presence of positive social interactions, or strategic complementarities, implies the existence of a social multiplier where aggregate relationships will overstate individual elasticities. We present a brief model and then estimate the size of the social multiplier in three areas: the impact of education on wages, the impact of demographics on crime and group membership among Dartmouth roommates. In all three areas there appears to be a significant social multiplier
Work and leisure in the U.S. and Europe : why so different? by Alberto Alesina( Book )
18 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 48 libraries worldwide
"Americans average 25.1 working hours per person in working age per week, but the Germans average 18.6 hours. The average American works 46.2 weeks per year, while the French average 40 weeks per year. Why do western Europeans work so much less than Americans? Recent work argues that these differences result from higher European tax rates, but the vast empirical labor supply literature suggests that tax rates can explain only a small amount of the differences in hours between the U.S. and Europe. Another popular view is that these differences are explained by long-standing European "culture," but Europeans worked more than Americans as late as the 1960s. In this paper, we argue that European labor market regulations, advocated by unions in declining European industries who argued "work less, work all" explain the bulk of the difference between the U.S. and Europe. These policies do not seem to have increased employment, but they may have had a more society-wide influence on leisure patterns because of a social multiplier where the returns to leisure increase as more people are taking longer vacations"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
Education and religion by Bruce Sacerdote( Book )
16 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 46 libraries worldwide
In the United States, religious attendance rises sharply with education across individuals, but religious attendance declines sharply with education across denominations. This puzzle is explained if education both increases the returns to social connection and reduces the extent of religious belief. The positive effect of education on sociability explains the positive education-religion relationship. The negative effect of education on religious belief causes more educated individuals to sort into less fervent religions, which explains the negative relationship between education and religion across denominations. Cross-country differences in the impact of education on religious belief can explain the large cross-country variation in the education-religion connection. These cross-country differences in the education-belief relationship can be explained by political factors (such as communism) which lead some countries to use state-controlled education to discredit religion
Slavery and the intergenerational transmission of human capital by Bruce Sacerdote( Book )
10 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 44 libraries worldwide
How much do sins visited upon one generation harm that generation's future sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters? I study this question by comparing outcomes for former slaves and their children and grandchildren to outcomes for free blacks (pre-1865), and their children and grandchildren. The outcome measures include literacy, whether a child attends school, whether a child lives in a female headed household, and two measures of adult occupation. Using a variety of different comparisons, (e.g. within versus across regions) I find that it took roughly two generations for the descendants of slaves to catch up' to the descendants of free black men and women. This finding is consistent with modern estimates and interpretations of father-son correlations in income and socioeconomic status. The data used are from the 1880 and 1920 1 percent (IPUMS) samples, a 100 percent sample of the 1880 Census and a smaller data set in which I link families in the 1920 IPUMS back to the father's family in a 100% sample of the 1880 Census. These latter data sets are derived from an electronic version of the 1880 Census recently compiled and released by the Mormon Church with assistance from the Minnesota Population Center
The response to fines and probability of detection in a series of experiments by Avner Bar-Ilan( Book )
12 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 43 libraries worldwide
We use traffic data from a series of experiments in the United States and Israel to examine how illegal behavior is deterred by various penalty schemes and whether deterrence varies with age, income, driving record and criminal record. We find that red light running decreases sharply in response to an increase in the fine or an increase in the probability of being caught. The elasticity of violations with respect to the fine is larger for younger drivers and drivers with older cars. Drivers convicted of violent offenses or property offenses run more red lights on average but have the same elasticity as drivers without a criminal record. Within Israel, members of ethnic minority groups have the smallest elasticity with respect to a fine increase
Katrina's children evidence on the structure of peer effects from hurricane evacuees by Scott A Imberman( Book )
8 editions published between 2009 and 2010 in English and held by 37 libraries worldwide
In 2005, hurricanes Katrina and Rita forced many children to relocate across the Southeast. While schools quickly enrolled evacuees, receiving families worried about the impact of evacuees on non-evacuee students. Data from Houston and Louisiana show that, on average, the influx of evacuees moderately reduced elementary math test scores in Houston. We reject linear-in-means models of peer effects and find evidence of a highly non-linear but monotonic model - student achievement improves with high ability and worsens with low ability peers. Moreover, exposure to undisciplined evacuees increased native absenteeism and disciplinary problems, supporting a "bad apple" model in behavior
What happens when we randomly assign children to families? by Bruce Sacerdote( Book )
10 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 36 libraries worldwide
I use a new data set of Korean-American adoptees who, as infants, were randomly assigned to families in the U.S. I examine the treatment effects from being assigned to a high income family, a high education family or a family with four or more children. I calculate the transmission of income, education and health characteristics from adoptive parents to adoptees. I then compare these coefficients of transmission to the analogous coefficients for biological children in the same families, and to children raised by their biological parents in other data sets. Having a college educated mother increases an adoptee's probability of graduating from college by 7 percentage points, but raises a biological child's probability of graduating from college by 26 percentage points. In contrast, transmission of drinking and smoking behavior from parents to children is as strong for adoptees as for non-adoptees. For height, obesity, and income, transmission coefficients are significantly higher for non-adoptees than for adoptees. In this sample, sibling gender composition does not appear to affect adoptee outcomes nor does the mix of adoptee siblings versus biological siblings
How do friendships form? by Bruce Sacerdote( Book )
11 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 30 libraries worldwide
We examine how people form social networks among their peers. We use a unique dataset that tells us the volume of email between any two people in the sample. The data are from students and recent graduates of Dartmouth College. First year students interact with peers in their immediate proximity and form long term friendships with a subset of these people. This result is consistent with a model in which the expected value of interacting with an unknown person is low (making traveling solely to meet new people unlikely), while the benefits from interacting with the same person repeatedly are high. Geographic proximity and race are greater determinants of social interaction than are common interests, majors, or family background. Two randomly chosen white students interact three times more often than do a black student and a white student. However, placing the black and white student in the same freshman dorm increases their frequency of interaction by a factor of three. A traditional "linear in group means" model of peer ability is only a reasonable approximation to the ability of actual peers chosen when we form the groups around all key factors including distance, race and cohort
Aggregation reversals and the social formation of beliefs by Edward L Glaeser( Book )
10 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 22 libraries worldwide
In the past two elections, richer people were more likely to vote Republican while richer states were more likely to vote Democratic. This switch is an aggregation reversal, where an individual relationship, like income and Republicanism, is reversed at some level of aggregation. Aggregation reversals can occur when an independent variable impacts an outcome both directly and indirectly through a correlation with beliefs. For example, income increases the desire for low taxes but decreases belief in Republican social causes. If beliefs are learned socially, then aggregation can magnify the connection between the independent variable and beliefs, which can cause an aggregation reversal. We estimate the model's parameters for three examples of aggregation reversals, and show with these parameters that the model predicts the observed reversals
Colonialism and modern income : islands as natural experiments by James Donald Feyrer( Book )
8 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 19 libraries worldwide
Using a new database of islands throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans we examine whether colonial origins affect modern economic outcomes. We argue that the nature of discovery and colonization of islands provides random variation in the length and type of colonial experience. We instrument for length of colonization using wind direction and wind speed. Wind patterns which mattered a great deal during the age of sail do not have a direct effect on GDP today, but do affect GDP via their historical impact on colonization. The number of years spent as a European colony is strongly positively related to the island's GDP per capita and negatively related to infant mortality. This basic relationship is also found to hold for a standard dataset of developing countries. We test whether this link is directly related to democratic institutions, trade, and the identity of the colonizing nation. While there is substantial variation in the history of democratic institutions across the islands, such variation does not predict income. Islands with significant export products during the colonial period are wealthier today, but this does not diminish the importance of colonial tenure. The timing of the colonial experience seems to matter. Time spent as a colony after 1700 is more beneficial to modern income than years before 1700, consistent with a change in the nature of colonial relationships over time
From natural variation to optimal policy? : the Lucas critique meets peer effects by Scott E Carrell( Book )
10 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 7 libraries worldwide
We take cohorts of entering freshmen at the United States Air Force Academy and assign half to peer groups with the goal of maximizing the academic performance of the lowest ability students. Our assignment algorithm uses peer effects estimates from the observational data. We find a negative and significant treatment effect for the students we intended to help. We show that within our "optimal" peer groups, students self-selected into bifurcated sub-groups with social dynamics entirely different from those in the observational data. Our results suggest that using reduced-form estimates to make out-of-sample policy predictions can lead to unanticipated outcomes
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Alternative Names
Sacerdote, B.
Sacerdote, Bruce I.
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