Giving an outlet helps everybody

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/06/the-effect-of-adult-entertainment-establishments-on-sex-crime.html

Tay Tay linked to an interesting paper. It’s on sex work and whether adult establishments increase crime.

From the paper:

We find that these businesses decrease sex crime by 13% per police precinct one week after the opening, and have no effect on other types of crimes. The results imply that the reduction is mostly driven by potential sex offenders frequenting these establishments rather than committing crimes.

It seems that giving a legal outlet cuts down on crime. Don’t have negative externalities other than our values. Can’t help but see a link to legalized weed.

They also write in the abstract:

We also rule out the possibility that other mechanisms are driving our results, such as an increase in the number of police officers, a reduction in the number of street prostitutes and a possible reduction in the number of potential victims in areas where these businesses opened. The effects are robust to using alternative measures of sex crimes.

What accounts for an adult establishment I hear you ask?

The New York State Department of State classifies adult entertainment establishments as businesses that regularly feature movies, photographs, or live performances that emphasize ”specified anatomical areas” or ”specified sexual activities” and excludes minors by reason of age. We define such businesses more narrowly, only considering four types – strip clubs, gentleman’s clubs, adult entertainers and escort girl services.

The italics are mine because it’s a funny sentence.

Sniffing Out New Friends: Similarity in Body-Odor Predicts the Quality of Same-Sex None-Romantic Dyadic Interactions

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.14.448352v1

Abstract

Most are familiar with the notion of socially “clicking” with someone, namely sensing an immediate bond that can lead to strong and often long-lasting friendships. The mechanisms underlying such rapid bonding remain unclear. Given that body-odor similarity is a critical cue for social interaction in non-human mammals, we tested the hypothesis that body-odor similarly contributes to bonding in same-sex non-romantic human dyads. We observed that objective ratings obtained with an electronic nose, and subjective ratings obtained from human smellers, converged to suggest that click-friends smell more similar to each other than random dyads. Remarkably, we then found that we could use the electronic nose to predict which strangers would later form better dyadic interactions. Thus, humans may literally sniff-out new friends based on similarities in body-odor.

May I please sniff you? It’s for compatibility, I promise…

Urbanisation and the Onset of Modern Economic Growth | The Economic Journal | Oxford Academic

A large literature characterizes urbanisation as resulting from productivity growth attracting rural workers to cities. Incorporating economic geography elements into a growth model, we suggest that causation runs the other way: when rural workers move to cities, the resulting urbanisation produces technological change and productivity growth. Urban density leads to knowledge exchange and innovation, thus creating a positive feedback loop between city size and productivity that initiates sustained economic growth.

This jives with the Steven Johnson book that says how much more innovatition increases in big cities. People together is a powerful thing.

Good reads of the week #5

We’re not the good guys: Osaka shows up problems of press conferences

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2021/may/31/were-not-the-good-guys-osaka-shows-up-problems-of-press-conferences

[…]the world No 2 Naomi Osaka announced that she would be boycotting press conferences at the French Open in order to preserve her mental health.

On Monday night, after being fined and threatened with expulsion, Osaka quit the tournament altogether.

And so the modern press conference is no longer a meaningful exchange but really a lowest‑common‑denominator transaction: a cynical and often predatory game in which the object is to mine as much content from the subject as possible. Gossip: good. Anger: good. Feuds: good. Tears: good. Personal tragedy: good. Meanwhile the young athlete, often still caught up in the emotions of victory or defeat, is expected to answer the most intimate questions in the least intimate setting, in front of an array of strangers and backed by a piece of sponsored cardboard.

There’s an odd ritualistic quality to all this: the same characters sitting in the same seats, the same cliches, all these millions of wasted words, the unopened bottles of mineral water. Is there not a better way of doing this?

This dynamic is only exacerbated in women’s tennis, a highly visible enterprise that takes place not just in a largely white male space, but a white‑male‑with‑free‑food space. That sense of voracious, engorged entitlement often manifests itself in exceptionally creepy ways. Question: “I noticed you tweeted a picture. Are you prepared that if you go on a long run you may be held up as a sex symbol, given you’re very good looking?” (Genie Bouchard, Wimbledon 2013.) Question: “You’re a pin-up now, especially in England. Is that good? Do you enjoy that?” (A 17-year-old Maria Sharapova, Wimbledon 2004.) And of course there are plenty of decent, curious journalists out there doing decent, curious things. In a way, this is what makes the chronic lack of self‑awareness so utterly self-defeating. Read the room. We are not the good guys here. We are no longer the power. And one of the world’s best athletes would literally rather quit a grand slam tournament than have to talk to the press. Rather than scrutinising what that says about her, it might be worth asking what that says about us.


https://www.notboring.co/p/the-cooperation-economy-

If Power to the Person was about technology empowering individuals, and The Great Online Game was about how the internet blurs the line between work and play, this essay is about how we play the game as teams of individuals or small groups


The 2021 AI Index provides insight into jobs, publications, diversity, and more

https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/artificial-intelligence/machine-learning/the-state-of-ai-in-15-graphs

Number of AI Journal publications, 2000-20
Number of newly funded AI companies in the world, 2015-20
Global corporate investment in AI by investment activity, 2015-20

Can Exposure to Celebrities Reduce Prejudice? The Effect of Mohamed Salah on Islamophobic Behaviors and Attitudes

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-political-science-review/article/can-exposure-to-celebrities-reduce-prejudice-the-effect-of-mohamed-salah-on-islamophobic-behaviors-and-attitudes/A1DA34F9F5BCE905850AC8FBAC78BE58

Abstract

Can exposure to celebrities from stigmatized groups reduce prejudice? To address this question, we study the case of Mohamed Salah, a visibly Muslim, elite soccer player. Using data on hate crime reports throughout England and 15 million tweets from British soccer fans, we find that after Salah joined Liverpool F.C., hate crimes in the Liverpool area dropped by 16% compared with a synthetic control, and Liverpool F.C. fans halved their rates of posting anti-Muslim tweets relative to fans of other top-flight clubs. An original survey experiment suggests that the salience of Salah’s Muslim identity enabled positive feelings toward Salah to generalize to Muslims more broadly. Our findings provide support for the parasocial contact hypothesis—indicating that positive exposure to out-group celebrities can spark real-world behavioral changes in prejudice.


Evidence of brain damage after high-altitude climbing by means of magnetic resonance imaging

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16443427/

Results: Only 1 in 13 of the Everest climbers had a normal MRI […]

Conclusions: We conclude that there is enough evidence of brain damage after high altitude climbing; the amateur climbers seem to be at higher risk of suffering brain damage than professional climbers.

Performance pay and substance abuse

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/05/does-performance-pay-increase-alcohol-and-drug-use.html

Using US panel data on young workers, we demonstrate that those who receive performance pay are more likely to consume alcohol and illicit drugs. Recognizing that this likely reflects worker sorting, we first control for risk, ability, and personality proxies. We further mitigate sorting concerns by introducing worker fixed effects, worker-employer match fixed effects, and worker-employer-occupation match fixed effects. Finally, we present fixed effect IV estimates. All of these estimates continue to indicate a greater likelihood of substance use when a worker receives performance pay. The results support conjectures that stress and effort increase with performance pay and that alcohol and drug use is a coping mechanism for workers.