• NEW: What Age Hooks Us on a Baseball Team? (notes, New York Times op-ed)

I download age-specific fans for every baseball team from Facebook.  I then study how a team's performance at every year of your childhood influences your probability of supporting them as an adult.  The key years in a boy's life are 8 to 12.  A team's winning a World Series when a boy is 8 increases the probability he supports them as an adult by about 8 percent. 

PREJUDICE

I introduce a new measure of racism in different parts of the United States based on Google searches.  I argue that racism cost Obama far more votes than previously realized. 

Google searches show that parents are more interested in their sons' intelligence and daughters' bodies.  In addition, some countries show strong preferences for conceiving sons. 

I study 6 datasets, including Facebook profiles and Google searches.  I find consistent evidence that roughly 5 percent of American men are gay, with intolerance driving more than half into the closet.

GEOGRAPHY OF SUCCESS

I study the probability of reaching Wikipedia by county of birth for all American Baby Boomers. I find that children of immigrants born in cities or college towns are the most likely to live lives that are deemed notable.

I find, contrary to conventional wisdom, that poor socioeconomic status is a major hindrance to reaching the NBA. 

HEALTH

Google search data suggests climate is a major factor in depression. 

Evidence finds that the Great Recession lowered official child abuse rates.  I argue that actual child abuse rates rose, while reporting rates plummeted.

POLITICS

I find that Google searches for "vote" or "voting" in October can predict election turnout in November.  I discuss how we can use this data to learn more about the determinants of voting.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Encouraging Homeownership Through the Tax Code (w/ Bill Gale & Jon Gruber) (paper)

We propose a tax credit to replace the mortgage interest deduction.  We argue that this would better encourage homeownership while being far more progressive.