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Posts Tagged ‘fabio

murder clearance rates

murderratechart

The Marshall Project has an intriguing article on how often homicides are “cleared” – meaning that the police have closed the case by identifying a likely killer. The big fact is that American murder clearance rates have gone down. As the chart above shows, homicide clearance has dropped by about a third.

Why? The authors offer a few reasons. For example, gaps in clearance rates for Whites and Blacks have grown a little, explaining some of the decrease over time. Another reason is that police departments now often use DNA evidence and other tools that require testing, which leads to delays and dropped cases. There has also been a massive shift in resources from homicide investigation to drug enforcement.

Here’s my guess: Before, there was a remarkably low barrier for getting a murder conviction. One reads cases of juries convicting people based on a single witness. In modern times, we simply have higher standards, which means that fewer cases will be cleared.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street

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Written by fabiorojas

September 30, 2015 at 12:01 am

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jerry davis on the importance of management research

Harvard Business Review has run a version of Jerry Davis’ essay on the merits of modern management research. A few clips:

Is management research a folly? If not, whose interests does it serve? And whose interests should it serve?

The questions of good for what and good for whom are worth revisiting. There is reason to worry that the reward system in our field, particularly in the publication process, is misaligned with the goals of good science.

There can be little doubt that a lot of activity goes into management research: according to the Web of Knowledge, over 8,000 articles are published every year in the 170+ journals in the field of “Management,” adding more and more new rooms. But how do we evaluate this research? How do we know what a contribution is or how individual articles add up? In some sciences, progress can be measured by finding answers to questions, not merely reporting significant effects. In many social sciences, however, including organization studies, progress is harder to judge, and the kinds of questions we ask may not yield firm answers (e.g., do nice guys finish last?). Instead we seek to measure the contribution of research by its impact.

And:

Management of humans by other humans may be increasingly anachronistic. If managers are not our primary constituency, then who is? Perhaps it is each other. But this might lead us back into the Winchester Mystery House, where novelty rules. Alternatively, if our ultimate constituency is the broader public that is meant to benefit from the activities of business, then this suggests a different set of standards for evaluation.

Businesses and governments are making decisions now that will shape the life chances of workers, consumers, and citizens for decades to come. If we want to shape those decisions for public benefit, on the basis of rigorous research, we need to make sure we know the constituency that research is serving.

Required reading.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street

Written by fabiorojas

June 2, 2015 at 12:01 am

Posted in ethics, fabio, guest bloggers, management, research

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the paragon of a well constructed bebop trumpet solo

Fats!

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street

Written by fabiorojas

May 31, 2015 at 12:01 am

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signaling theory and credentialing theory in sociology

A loyal reader asks me to comment on a recent exchange between Econlog’s Bryan Caplan and economics professor and blogger Noah Smith. Specifically, Noah Smith attacks Bryan for his strong defense of the signaling model of education. The theory asserts that the main reason that education correlates with income is that is a signal of intelligence and work ethic, not learned skills. I.e., employers like college graduates because they are good workers, not because they have useful skills.

Smith calls signaling theory a “fad,” even though the main papers were written by Arrow and Spence decades ago!! He also offers arguments in favor of human capital theory, which deserve their own response and have been debated in the literature. For example, he offers the argument that education provides networks. On this blog, MIT’s Ezra Zuckerman has argued that the overall explanatory power of social networks is weak. UNC’s Ted Muow is also a bit skeptical about the value of networks in labor markets.

But I want to step back – what do sociologists think about human capital and signalling? Well, it’s safe to say that opposition to human capital is not a fad. A core theory in the sociology of education is Randall Collins’ credentialing theory. And it’s been around for decades. On this blog, we had a discussion of signaling and it was split – about half the readership (which is mainly soc and management PhD students and faculty) thought that the education/income correlation is due to signalling. Furthermore, sociologists such as Richard Arum and Josipa Roska have documented the lack of learning in college, which strongly supports signalling.

So it’s not a fad, Critiques of human capital are an important part of economics and sociology. The debate will continue.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street!!

Written by fabiorojas

May 1, 2015 at 3:39 am

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situationist archive

From Public Collectors:

This collection grew out of a fortuitous encounter with Guy Debord, the leader of the Internationale Situationniste. Oneday in late 2001, as I recall it, I stumbled upon a small volume with a most intriguing title: La Société du Spectacle(the Society of the Spectacle). The front cover, which featured a yellowed map of the world, also piqued my curiosity. What could this book possibly be about? Hoping for some clarification, I turned to the back cover (what the French call quatrième de couverture). Its content could be translated as follows: “Throughout his life, and in the way in which he took his own life, Guy Debord (1931-1994) followed only one rule. He summarizes this very rule in his Foreword to the Third French Edition of the Society of the Spectacle: ‘It is necessary to read this book with the idea in mind that it was intentionally written to harm spectacular society. There was never anything outrageous, however, about what it had to say.’ ”

Influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach, Guy Debord posits that, “in modern societies… everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.” In a sense, the opening sentence of the Society of the Spectacle (Paris: Buchet-Chastel, 1967)sums up the French theorist’s view of the world. According to Debord, alienation does not lie in workers’ lack of agency (as Marx believed) but – and this is a gross simplification – in the fact that, in modern societies, social interactions are mediated by images.

Having read much of Debord’s works, I then turned to the writings of Internationale Situationniste members. In the meantime, I also developed an appetite for scholarship on Guy Debord, and the Internationale Situationniste, as well as for Situationist-inspired movements of the late 1960s onwards. My collection grew from this appreciation of theInternationale Situationniste and its ideas.

Debord insisted that his written works be made available to all free of charge. By sharing my own collection of Situationist and Situationist-influenced  material, both via my blog (www.situationnisteblog.wordpress.com) and here on Public Collectors, I hope to play a (very) small part in fulfilling Debord’s legacy and that of the Internationale Situationniste.

Check out the collection here.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street!!

Written by fabiorojas

March 18, 2015 at 12:01 am