Working Paper
Esteban F. Klor, Sebastian Saiegh, and Shanker Satyanath. Working Paper. “Cronyism in State Violence: Evidence from Labor Repression During Argentina's Last Dictatorship”.Abstract

This paper studies whether crony governance affects the logic behind governments’ targeting of violence, and how the deployment of violence allows politically connected firms to benefit from crony governance.  We address these issues in the context of the Argentine military junta that took power on March 24, 1976.  Specifically, we examine the logic driving the choice of firm level union representatives who were subjected to violence following the coup.  Using an original dataset assembled and digitized by us, we find that political, business and social connections to the regime are associated with an increase of 2 to 3 times in the number of firm level union representatives arrested and/or disappeared.  This is the case even after controlling for a battery of firms’ characteristics that capture alternative explanations for the targeting of violence.  The effect is particularly pronounced in privately owned (as opposed to state-owned) firms, suggesting that the correlation is driven by cronyism for financial gain rather than ideology or information transmission.  We also show that connected firms benefited from violence against union representatives by subsequently having less strikes and a higher market valuation.  Our findings highlight the pervasiveness of ties to the government, even in cases where one of the main stated goals of the regime is to curb cronyism.

Full Text
Eric D. Gould and Esteban F. Klor. Working Paper. “Party Hacks and True Believers: The Effect of Party Affiliation on Political Preferences”.Abstract

This paper examines the effect of party affiliation on an individual’s political views.  To do this, we exploit the party realignment that occurred in the U.S. due to abortion becoming a more prominent and highly partisan issue over time.  We show that abortion was not a highly partisan issue in 1982, but a person’s abortion views in 1982 led many to switch parties over time as the two main parties diverged in their stances on this issue.  We find that voting for a given political party in 1996, due to the individual’s initial views on abortion in 1982, has a substantial effect on a person’s political, social, and economic attitudes in 1997.  These findings are stronger for highly partisan political issues, and are robust to controlling for a host of personal views and characteristics in 1982 and 1997.  As individuals realigned their party affiliation in accordance with their initial abortion views, their other political views followed suit.

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Yaniv Dover and Scott Neslin. Working Paper. “Amplifying the Impact of Digital Advertising: The Role of Published Sales Rankings”.
Yaniv Dover and Leif Brandes. Working Paper. “Are Online Reviewers Susceptible to Unrelated, Random Events?”.
Kristoffer A. Hansen, Rasmus Ibsen-Jensen, and Abraham Neyman. Working Paper. “The Big Match with a Clock and a Bit of Memory”.Abstract


The Big Match is a multi-stage two-player game. In each stage Player 1 hides one or two pebbles in his hand, and his opponent has to guess that number; Player 1 loses a point if Player~2 is correct, and otherwise he wins a point. As soon as Player 1 hides one pebble, the players cannot change their choices in any future stage.

Blackwell and Ferguson (1968) give an epsilon-optimal strategy for Player 1 that hides, in each stage, one pebble with a probability that depends on the entire past history. Any strategy that depends just on the clock  or on a finite memory is worthless.

The long-standing natural open problem has been whether every strategy that depends just on the clock and a finite memory is worthless.

The present paper proves that there is such a strategy that is epsilon-optimal.

In fact, we show that just two states of memory are sufficient. 


Kedar Orit and Folke Olle. Working Paper. “Coalition Formation and Portfolio Allocation as Two Simultaneous Processes”.
Kedar Orit. Working Paper. “Electoral Systems and District Magnitude: Beyond the Median”.
Yaniv Dover and Guy Kelman. Working Paper. “Emergence of Online Communities: Empirical Evidence and Theory”.
Alexei Abrahams, Eli Berman, Prabin Khadka, Esteban F. Klor, and John Powell. Working Paper. “Not a Cycle of Violence: An Episodic Analysis of the Israeli-Gaza Conflict”.Abstract

Does violent retaliation of state and non-state actors to violent attacks lead to deterrence or, on the contrary, to counter-retaliation and an increase in violence? This paper studies this issue focusing on the Gaza-Israeli conflict between 2007 and 2014 using original security reports from the United Nations. The data include all Palestinian projectile launches (over 16,000) and Israeli airstrikes (over 8,800) during the period at issue down to the five-minute interval at which the action occurred. Our findings argue against the importance of cyclical counter-retaliation as driving this persistent conflict. First, this conflict is characterized by short-lived episodes of violence separated by quiet interludes. Violent episodes tend to last less than one day and are followed by three and a half days without attacks. Second, 61% of violent episodes include an initial attack that doesn't induce a retaliation, and among the ones that do, the median number of successive counter-retaliations is only 3. Third, violent episodes are not themselves cyclically related: 91% of violent episodes are initiated by Gazan militants attacks and 84.9% of violent episodes end with a Gazan militant attack. Finally, we find no evidence that episodes with counter-retaliations (i.e., cycles of violence) induce or deter subsequent violence. The median number of days without attacks after cycles of violence (3.1) is almost the same to the median number of days without attacks for all episodes (3.4). Moreover, the type of projectile launched by Gazan militants does not seem to be affected by Israeli retaliation or the lack thereof. 

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Kedar Orit, Harsgor Liran, and Tuttnauer Or. Working Paper. “Permissibility of Electoral Systems: A New Look at an Old Question”. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Permissibility of electoral systems and in particular the translation of plethora of voices in the electorate to the legislature is broadly considered to depend on the number of seats per district (district magnitude) in a country. Yet the most prevalent electoral system in the democratic world, proportional representation with districts, is often characterized by an almost entirely overlooked variation: within the same country districts vary in their magnitude, sometimes by a factor of twenty. How does such variation affect permissibility of electoral systems? Drawing on a broad cross-section of democracies, we demonstrate that contrary to what the literature implicitly assumes, other things equal, a combination of large and small districts results in greater permissibility than a set of districts of similar magnitude. We find that where districts are of similar (different) magnitude the degree of permissibility produced is lower (higher) than that found by current literature.

Andrew Stephen, Yaniv Dover, Lev Muchnik, and Jacob Goldenberg. Working Paper. “Pump it Out! The Effect of Transmitter Activity on Content Propagation in Social Media”.
Yaniv Dover, Jacob Goldenberg, and Daniel Shapira. Working Paper. “Sustainable Online Communities Exhibit Distinct Hierarchical Structures Across Scales of Size”.
In Press
Aamer Abu-Qan, Muhammad Asali, and Michael Beenstock. In Press. “The cycle of violence in the second Intifada: nonlinear vector autoregressions.” Journal of Applied Econometrics.
Rubinstein O., Korem N., Perry A., and Shamay-Tsoory S. In Press. “Different neural activations for an approaching friend versus stranger: Linking personal space to numerical cognition in developmental dyscalculia.” Brain & Behavior.
C. S. C. Asterhan and A. Dotan. In Press. “Feedback that corrects and contrasts students' erroneous solutions with expert ones improves expository instruction for conceptual change.” Instructional Science. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In the present study, we examined the effects of feedback that corrects and contrasts a

student's own erroneous solutions with the canonical, correct one (CEC&C feedback)

on learning in a conceptual change task. Sixty undergraduate students received

expository instruction about natural selection, which presented the canonical,

scientifically accepted account in detail. Two-third of these received CEC&C feedback on their self-generated solutions to open-ended test items. Students either received this feedback on their pretest solutions (prior to instruction), or on their immediate post-test solutions (following instruction). Students in the control condition only received the correct canonical answers to the immediate post-test items and compared these with their own solutions autonomously. Conceptual understanding on transfer items was assessed after one week. Results showed that students in the CEC&C feedback conditions outperformed control students. Timing of feedback did not affect learning, however. These findings add to accumulating evidence from different lines of research on the importance of instructional support that explicitly compares and contrasts between erroneous student models and canonical models in conceptual change tasks.


Y. Ganot, R. Holtzman, N. Weisbrod, A. Russak, Y. Katz, and D. Kurtzman. In Press. “Geochemical processes during managed aquifer recharge with desalinated seawater.” Water Resources Research.
Joseph Yellin, Matthew Boulanger, Michael D. Glascock, and Samuel Wolff. In Press. “Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis On Collared-Rim Pithoi from En Haggit.” Atiqot.
Igor Schapiro and Oliver Weingart. In Press. “Introduction, Festschrift in Honor of Prof. Volker Buβ.” Photochemistry and Photobiology, n/a - n/a. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We are very pleased to present this Festschrift in honor of our colleague, mentor and friend Prof. Volker Buß, which was initiated to celebrate his 75th birthday. The aim of this special issue is to recollect his substantial contributions and achievements of his career in the field of Theoretical/Computational Photochemistry. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Zulma Gazit, Gadi Pelled, Dmitriy Sheyn, Doron Cohn Yakubovich, and Dan Gazit. In Press. “Mesenchymal Stem Cells.” In Principles of Regenerative Medicine, 3rd ed. Elsevier.
H. Brice, W. E. Mencl, S. J. Frost, A. S. Bick, J. G. Rueckl, K. R. Pugh, and R. Frost. In Press. “Neurobiological signatures of L2 proficiency: Evidence from a bi-directional cross-linguistic study ..” Journal of Neurolinguistics.Abstract

Recent evidence has shown that convergence of print and speech processing across a network of primarily left-hemisphere regions of the brain is a predictor of future reading skills in children, and a marker of fluent reading ability in adults. The present study extends these findings into the domain of second-language (L2) literacy, through brain imaging data of English and Hebrew L2 learners. Participants received an fMRI brain scan, while performing a semantic judgement task on spoken and written words and pseudowords in both their L1 and L2, alongside a battery of L1 and L2 behavioural measures. Imaging results show, overall, show a similar network of activation for reading across the two languages, alongside significant convergence of print and speech processing across a network of lefthemisphere regions in both L1 and L2 and in both cohorts. Importantly, convergence is greater for L1 in occipito-temporal regions tied to automatic skilled reading processes including the visual word-form area, but greater for L2 in frontal regions of the reading network, tied to more effortful, active processing. The main groupwise brain effects tell a similar story, with greater L2 than L1 activation across frontal, temporal and parietal regions, but greater L1 than L2 activation in parieto-occipital regions tied to automatic mapping processes in skilled reading. These results provide evidence for the shifting of the reading networks towards more automatic processing as reading proficiency rises and the mappings and statistics of the new orthography are learned and incorporated into the reading system. 

neurobiological signatures_final.pdf