Data Points

By Zachary Block '99 / May / June 2004
June 15th, 2007

It’s the campaign, stupid!

Everyone knows a bad economy can derail a president’s reelection, but a presidential campaign can also move money. During the 2000 race, jumps in George W. Bush’s poll numbers coincided with rises in the stock price of businesses favored by his policy platform and dips in the value of firms aligned with Al Gore’s policy guidelines, assistant professor of economics Brian G. Knight contends in the March National Bureau of Economic Research. The opposite was also true, he found. “Policies may be reflected in equity prices during the electoral process, which occurs long before the legislative enactment of [those] policies,” he says. By the time of Bush’s victory, Knight contends, more than $100 billion shifted from Gore-favored firms to Bush-favored outfits.


The marrying type

Not so long ago, a man’s job determined when he married: the better his position and the rosier his future, the quicker he found a spouse. But as men’s role as the main breadwinner has declined, their values have become more important in deciding when they marry, sociology professor Frances Goldscheider and a colleague write in the March Journal of Family Issues. “Attitudes matter more than they ever have before,” she says. Indeed, Goldscheider found that men with conservative beliefs about gender roles and those who frown on unwed couples living together tend to marry earlier than their more liberal contemporaries.


Looped hole

Drunk drivers who land in the hospital get off easier than those who are pulled over by the police, a new study by Brown doctors finds. “It seems that trauma centers provide a safe haven for drunk drivers,” says associate professor of surgery Walter Biffl, lead author of the article in the January Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection, and Critical Care. Ironically, he says, many states prohibit doctors from releasing blood-test results without a patient’s permission to the police, but require physicians to report evidence of certain medical conditions that cause a car crash. “If you don’t report them you get in trouble,” Biffl says.

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May / June 2004