University of Pittsburgh
Department of Economics
4901 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|October 2017||Advertising Spending and Media Bias: Evidence from News Coverage of Car Safety Recalls|
with Ruben Durante, Brian Knight, Ananya Sen: w23940
Do news media bias content in favor of advertisers? We examine the relationship between advertising by auto manufacturers in U.S. newspapers and news coverage of car safety recalls. This context allows us to separate the influence of advertisers, who prefer less coverage, from that of readers, who demand more. Consistent with theoretical predictions, we find that newspapers provide less coverage of recalls by their advertisers, especially the more severe ones. Competition for readers from other newspapers mitigates bias, while competition for advertising by online platforms exacerbates it. Finally, we present suggestive evidence that lower coverage increases auto fatalities.
|July 2017||What Sets College Thrivers and Divers Apart? A Contrast in Study Habits, Attitudes, and Mental Health|
with Jean-William P. Laliberté, Catherine Michaud-Leclerc, Philip Oreopoulos: w23588
Students from 4-year colleges often arrive having already done very well in high school, but by the end of first term, a wide dispersion of performance emerges, with an especially large lower tail. Students that do well in first year (we call the top 10 percent Thrivers) tend to continue to do well throughout the rest of their time in university. Students that do poorly (we call the bottom 10 percent Divers) greatly struggle and are at risk of not completing their degree. In this paper we use a mandatory survey with open ended questions asking students about their first-year experience. This allows us to explore more closely what sets Thrivers and Divers apart, in terms of study habits, attitudes, and personal experiences. We find that poor time management and lack of study hours are most ...
|September 2016||Thrivers and Divers: Using Non-Academic Measures to Predict College Success and Failure|
with Jean-William P. Laliberté, Philip Oreopoulos: w22629
We collect a comprehensive set of non-academic characteristics for a representative sample of incoming freshman to explore which measures best predict the wide variance in first-year college performance unaccounted for by past grades. We focus our attention on student outliers. Students whose first-year college average is far below expectations (divers) have a high propensity for procrastination – they self-report cramming for exams and wait longer before starting assignments. They are also considerably less conscientious than their peers. Divers are more likely to express superficial goals, hoping to 'get rich' quickly. In contrast, students who exceed expectations (thrivers) express more philanthropic goals, are purpose-driven, and are willing to study more hours per week to obtain the ...