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National Science Foundation

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Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Reference Dependence and Option Adjustable Rate Mortgages

This awards funds data expenses for dissertation research. The project focuses on how homeowners who hold 'Option ARM' mortgages make financial decisions. The goal is to determine whether or not these homeowners are using so-called reference points in making their decisions about how to pay down credit card debt while also making mortgage payments.

Matching Theory and College Admissions

This award funds research in the economic theory of matching methods.

RIDIR: Collaborative Research: Computational and Historical Resources on Nations and Organizations for the Social Sciences (CHRONOS)

This project will collect, process, and analyze millions of U.S. government records concerning international relations, develop tools to explore these records, and make all of them available on a single website with an Application Programming Interface. The project will demonstrate how computational techniques can aid both qualitative and quantitative social science research on a range of areas of major public interest, expanding knowledge about terrorism, intelligence, international trade and aid.

DHB: Decentralization and Local Public Goods: How Does Allocation of Decision-Making Authority Affect Provision?

Access to services such as sanitation, health care and education remains inadequate for much of the world's population. As much as 20 percent of the world's population lack safe drinking water and sanitation. The objective of this study is to determine under what conditions decentralization of decision-making authority improves access to services. The project focuses on safe drinking water, though the analysis applies to all services and more broadly to other types of organizations. Decentralization and its benefits have been popular topics in academic and policy literatures.

Doctoral Dissertation Research in DRMS: Does participation in project decision-making affect how intended beneficiaries report project outcomes?

Improving access to social services such as safe water and sanitation, education and health care depends on being able to learn what approaches work better than others, when and why. Household surveys of intended beneficiaries are an essential source of information about program effectiveness. Recent evidence, however, suggests that these survey data may be unreliable because program beneficiaries may change the way they report their behavior as a result of the program.

HSD: Collaborative Research: Social Networks as Agents of Change in Climate Change Policy Making

Whereas all nations are exposed to the same dominant scientific consensus established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, their reactions to this knowledge are highly variable. National stances toward global climate change cannot be explained by levels of prosperity or immediate vulnerability to disaster. This interdisciplinary research project will examine the key sociopolitical variables that affect how national polities react to scientific knowledge. Multiple constituencies form networks of action that effect national policies.

Understanding the Dynamic Connections Among Stewardship, Land Cover, and Ecosystem Services in New York City's Urban Forest

This project will integrate recent advances into an interdisciplinary human ecosystem framework to advance understanding of urban social and ecological systems, focusing specifically on the dynamic factors that cross social and ecological boundaries. The project will test hypotheses regarding the relationships between actions of managers and stewards who maintain the urban forest in New York City, the ecological processes that govern its abundance, diversity and suitability as habitat, and a key societal service it provides, temperature regulation of the urban microclimate.

Education Production and Peer Networks Among Out-of-School Children in India

The PI proposes investigating the education production function in the context of an informal community based model of instruction targeted at out-of-school children in India. Using the planned expansion of the program, the PI will conduct a three part randomization that will allow us to distinguish the effects of student, teacher, classmate, and non-class peers on student achievement while also generally evaluating the effectiveness of community based class model. The evaluation design comprises three randomizations.

Measuring Ethnic and Regional Group Differences

Ethnically heterogeneous societies are widely held to be more difficult to govern than homogeneous ones. Theoretical arguments often attribute the problems to the fact that ethnic divisions result in divergent group preferences. However, the core measure in empirical research on the problems with heterogeneous societies is ethno-linguistic fractionalization (ELF), which contains no information about the likelihood of particular groups holding divergent preferences.

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