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Journal: Social science research


The aim of this study is to determine the temporal variation of ethnic segregation in the city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. We employ data on mobile-phone use to compare variations in segregation indices during the day, the week, and the year. The results indicate that the locations of people are more segregated at night, with considerably less segregation during the daytime. The segregation is significantly lower on workdays compared to weekends. Segregation is also lower during summer holidays compared to the winter working period. The results show that although places of residence are segregated, different ethnic groups use the city together during the day, which increases the potential for interethnic contacts. The results demonstrate also that temporal segregation indices based on mobile-phone use are considerably lower than segregation indices of places of residence that are derived from the census.

Concepts: Estonia, Tallinn, Estonian language, Mobile phone, Racial segregation, Helsinki, Annapolis, Maryland, Pirita


A growing body of evidence supports the contention of scholarly culture theory that immersing children in book-oriented environments benefits their later educational achievement, attainment and occupational standing. These findings have been interpreted as suggesting that book-oriented socialization, indicated by home library size, equips youth with life-long tastes, skills and knowledge. However, to date, this has not been directly assessed. Here, we document advantageous effects of scholarly culture for adult literacy, adult numeracy, and adult technological problem solving. Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in these areas beyond the benefits accrued from parental education or own educational or occupational attainment. The effects are loglinear, with greatest returns to the growth in smaller libraries. Our evidence comes from regressions with balanced repeated replicate weights estimated on data from 31 societies which participated in the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) between 2011 and 2015.


Past research yields mixed evidence regarding whether ethnoracial minorities trust physicians less than Whites. Using the 2002 and 2006 General Social Surveys, variegated ethnoracial differences in trust in physicians are identified by disaggregating a multidimensional physician trust scale. Compared to Whites, Blacks are less likely to trust the technical judgment and interpersonal competence of doctors. Latinos are less likely than Whites to trust the fiduciary ethic, technical judgment, and interpersonal competence of doctors. Black-Latino differences in physician trust are a function of ethnoracial differences in parental nativity. The ways ethnoracial hierarchies are inscribed into power-imbalanced clinical exchanges are discussed.

Concepts: Medicine, Sociology, Physician, Fiduciary


The theory of status characteristics and expectation states (SCT) explains how macro-level dimensions of stratification and specific abilities come to organize small group processes. The theory argues that people generate expectation states for each other based on relative standings on dimensions of stratification such that people with the more culturally valued states of the characteristics have higher expectations. Subsequently social influence, participation rates and evaluations of participation are purported to be directly related to expectation states. The result of this process is that large-scale inequalities are perpetuated in small group interactions, and individuals higher on abilities receive systematic advantages in small groups. SCT has received substantial experimental support for over 40years. However, the theory assumes that only states of relatively high and relatively low matter. That is, the theory and its applications assume that the magnitude of difference separating individuals on a dimension of stratification or ability is irrelevant. Recently, though, extensions to both the theory and its mathematics have been introduced that allow the magnitude of difference to be incorporated into the theory’s predictions, supposedly yielding more precise predictions. This paper offers an experimental test of these procedures, showing that including the magnitude of difference into the theoretical predictions yields more precise estimates that explain more status-based inequalities.

Concepts: Scientific method, Physics, Vector space, Experiment, Hypothesis, Theory, Explanation, String theory


This paper empirically assesses how immigration affects international inequality by testing the relationship between immigration and national economic development across countries in different world income groups. A series of cross-national, longitudinal analyses demonstrate that, on average, immigration has a rather small, but positive long-term effect on development levels. However, the findings also indicate that immigration has a Matthew Effect (Merton, 1968) in the world-economy: immigration disproportionately benefits higher-income countries. Moreover, the wealthiest countries reap the largest gains from immigration. Thus, from the perspective of destination countries, immigration does not appear to be a panacea for international inequality. Instead, the results indicate that immigration actually reproduces, and even exacerbates, international inequality.

Concepts: Poverty, Sociology, Economics, Mathematical analysis, Human migration, Economic inequality, Economic growth, Economic development


In the last decades value research has produced a vast number of theoretical concepts. However, it is unclear how the different value theories relate to each other. This study makes a first step toward a systematic comparison of value theories. It focuses on the individual level of the two approaches that are, at present, probably the most prominent in international research - the theory of basic human values of Shalom Schwartz and the postmodernization theory of Ronald Inglehart. Using data from the World Value Survey and the European Social Survey for West Germany we assess both the internal and the external validity of the two accounts. The results indicate that both value theories have different strengths and weaknesses. Whereas the Inglehart account has lower internal and weaker construct validity, the Schwartz account is somewhat less consistent in its predications. Nevertheless, both value conceptions are able to explain a substantial share of variation in specific attitudes and behavior.

Concepts: Scientific method, Sociology, Science, Psychometrics, Value, Theory, Explanation


Does ethnic diversity increase or reduce white threat perceptions? Meta-analyses help orient a field and communicate findings to policymakers. We report the results of a meta-analysis of studies measuring the relationship between ethnic context and both opposition to immigration and support for anti-immigration parties. Our analysis attempts to be exhaustive, and is based on 171 post-1995 studies averaging 25,000 observations each, a knowledge base of over 4 million data points. We find a linear association between ethnic change and elevated threat. However, for diversity levels, the relationship between ethnic context and threat is nonlinear. This takes the form of a ‘wave’, with higher diversity predicting threat responses at the smallest and largest scales, whereas in units of 5000-10,000 people (such as tracts or neighbourhoods), diversity is associated with reduced threat.


Religious disaffiliation-leaving the religious tradition in which one was raised for no religious affiliation in adulthood-has become more common in recent years, though few studies have examined its consequences for the health and well-being of individuals. We use an innovative approach, comparing the health and subjective well-being of religious disaffiliates to those who remain affiliated using pooled General Social Survey samples from 1973 through 2012. We find that religious disaffiliates experience poorer health and lower well-being than those consistently affiliated and those who are consistently unaffiliated. We also demonstrate that the disadvantage for those who leave religious traditions is completely mediated by the frequency of church attendance, as disaffiliates attend church less often. Our results point to the importance of the social processes surrounding religious disaffiliation and emphasize the role of dynamics in the relationship between religious affiliation and health.

Concepts: Human, Faith, Sociology, Religion, Religious pluralism


The radius of trust - the width of one’s cooperation circle - has been widely cited by scholars from various disciplines as a key factor in the production and maintenance of public good. However, the vagueness in its conceptualization, measurement, and analysis obstructs efficient communication between empirical works, impeding the accumulation of scientific knowledge. This study develops a conceptualization of trust radius as the gradient in the level of trust in specific individuals across social ties of differing strengths. Along with this conceptualization, a new measurement scheme is constructed, which, relative to previous measures, is empirically easy-to-implement and theoretically valid in displaying individual-level variations in trust radius, highlighting trust radius' distinction from generalized trust and affinity with specific trust, and accommodating the differing tie strengths within one’s trust network. Finally, this measurement scheme is well integrated in a multilevel modeling framework to study the determinants of trust radius, which is illustrated by two examples.

Concepts: Scientific method, Epistemology, Sociology, Economics, Science, Empiricism, Empirical, TiE


Compared to girls, boys are more at risk of early school leaving. However, it is unclear whether gender differences are driven by push factors, which alienate students from the school system, or pull factors, which attract them out of it. This paper examines gender differences in early school leaving, assessing the role of previous scholastic performance, parental education, and differential employment opportunities. By analyzing two nationally representative datasets, we focus on Italy, a country with high rates of early school leaving and pronounced gender inequalities in the labor market. Our results show that gender effects are partially mediated by scholastic performance, a crucial push factor, and are stronger among low-achieving students, pointing to a higher resilience of girls to academic failure; parental education is highly protective, especially for boys. Yet, boys' higher propensity to drop out is also, at least partly, explained by better employment opportunities in the formal and informal labor market.

Concepts: Education, Gender role, High school, Employment, Woman, Labour economics