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Journal Article

School Reopenings and the Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, David Studdert, Michelle Mello
JAMA Network , 2020

Few issues in the policy response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have inspired as impassioned debate as school reopening. There is broad agreement that school closures involve heavy burdens on students, parents, and the economy, with profound equity implications, but also that the risk of outbreaks cannot be eliminated even in a partial reopening scenario with in-school precautions. Consensus largely ends there, however: the approaches states and localities have taken to integrating these concerns into school reopening plans are highly variable.

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Journal Article

Examining Mode Effects for an Adapted Chinese Critical Thinking Assessment

Lin Gu, Guangming Ling, Ou Lydia Liu, Zhitong Yang, Guirong Li, Elena Kardanova, Prashant Loyalka
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education , 2020
We examine the effects of computer-based versus paper-based assessment of critical thinking skills, adapted from English (in the U.S.) to Chinese. Using data collected based on a random assignment between the two modes in multiple Chinese colleges, we investigate mode effects from multiple perspectives: mean scores, measurement precision, item functioning (i.e. item difficulty and discrimination), response behavior (i.e. test completion and item omission), and user perceptions. Our findings shed light on assessment and item properties that could be the sources of mode effects. At the test level, we find that the computer-based test is more difficult and more speeded than the paper-based test. We speculate that these differences are attributable to the test’s structure, its high demands on reading, and test-taking flexibility afforded under the paper testing mode. Item-level evaluation allows us to identify item characteristics that are prone to mode effects, including targeted cognitive skill, response type, and the amount of adaptation between modes. Implications for test design are discussed, and actionable design suggestions are offered with the goal of minimizing mode effect.
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Policy Brief

Election 2020: Political Advertising and Social Media

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

VOTERS ARE BEING INUNDATED WITH POLITICAL ADVERTISING on social media and online platforms during the 2020 election season. Campaigns, PACs and third parties have added new tools and tactics for gathering data on voters and targeting them with advertising, and now they can pinpoint niches of potential voters on social media in ways unknown in prior election cycles.

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Journal Article

High-Resolution Soybean Yield Mapping Across the US Midwest Using Subfield Harvester Data

Walter Dado, Jillian Deines, David Lobell
Remote Sensing , 2020

Cloud computing and freely available, high-resolution satellite data have enabled recent progress in crop yield mapping at fine scales. However, extensive validation data at a matching resolution remain uncommon or infeasible due to data availability. This has limited the ability to evaluate different yield estimation models and improve understanding of key features useful for yield estimation in both data-rich and data-poor contexts.

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Journal Article

The Missing Piece -- SARS-CoV-2 Testing and School Reopening

Yasmin Rafiei, Michelle Mello
New England Journal of Medicine , 2020

On August 17, 2020, the Los Angeles Unified School District launched a program to test more than 700,000 students and staff for SARS-CoV-2. The district is paying a private contractor to provide next-day, early-morning results for as many as 40,000 tests daily. As of October 4, a total of 34,833 people had been tested at 42 sites. The program is notable not only because it’s ambitious, but also because it’s unusual: testing is conspicuously absent from school reopening plans in many other districts.

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Journal Article

The Missing Piece -- SARS-CoV-2 Testing and School Reopening

Yasmin Rafiei, Michelle Mello
New England Journal of Medicine , 2020

On August 17, 2020, the Los Angeles Unified School District launched a program to test more than 700,000 students and staff for SARS-CoV-2. The district is paying a private contractor to provide next-day, early-morning results for as many as 40,000 tests daily. As of October 4, a total of 34,833 people had been tested at 42 sites. The program is notable not only because it’s ambitious, but also because it’s unusual: testing is conspicuously absent from school reopening plans in many other districts.

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Journal Article

Moving Beyond Lewis: Employment and Wage Trends in China’s High- and Low-Skilled Industries and the Emergence of an Era of Polarization

Scott Rozelle, Yiran Xia, Dimitris Friesen, Bronson Vanderjack, Nourya Cohen
Comparative Economic Studies , 2020
One of the defining features of China’s economy over the two decades between 1995 and 2015 was the persistent rise of wages for workers and professionals in nearly every segment of the economy—with wage rates for labor-intensive jobs in manufacturing, construction, and the informal service sector rising the fastest. Recently, however, the economic environment in China has begun to change, including changes in both employment and wages. We identify recent employment/wage trends throughout China’s economy and postulate the sources of these trends as well as possible future consequences if they continue. We use official, nationally aggregated data to examine employment and wages in multiple sectors and industries. Our findings indicate that China may have entered a new phase of economic development in the mid-2010s. According to the data, in recent years, wage growth has begun to polarize: Rising for professionals employed in formal skill-intensive industries; and falling for workers in the informal labor-intensive service sector. We attribute this increase in skill-intensive wages to an increase in demand for skill-intensive employment, due to the emergence of a large middle class in China, for whom the demand for high technology, finance, banking, health, and higher education industries is increasing while, at least in the recent short term, the supply of experienced, high-skilled professionals has not kept up. The employment/wage trend in the informal (low-wage) service sector, however, is following a different pattern. While there is a rising demand for services in China’s economy, the growth, due to a number of factors (e.g., large shares of GDP targeted by policymakers to investment; high rates of savings by consumers), is relatively slow. In contrast, due to a number of economic forces, including globalization and automation, the supply of labor into the service sector of the informal economy is being fueled by the flow of labor out of manufacturing and construction (two industries that that have experienced employment declines since 2013). These supply and demand trends, in turn, are leading to the fall in the growth rate of wages in the informal service sector. We conclude by discussing the possible longer-term consequences of these emerging polarization trends based on an examination of recent experience with wage polarization occurring in both middle- and high-income countries, as well as its consequences. We also present policy recommendations for greater investment in education and human capital, as well as for the development of a more comprehensive set of social safety nets for different segments of China’s population.
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Policy Brief

Election 2020: Content Moderation and Accountability

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

AS WE APPROACH THE 2020 ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES, content moderation on social media platforms is taking center stage. From speech issues on Facebook and Twitter to YouTube videos and TikTok brigands, the current election season is being reshaped by curation concerns about what’s allowed online, what’s not, upranking and downranking, and who’s deciding.

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Journal Article

Initial Economic Damage From the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States Is More Widespread Across Ages and Geographies Than Initial Mortality Impacts

Maria Polyakova, Geoffrey Kocks, Victoria Udalova, Amy Finkelstein
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 2020
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Journal Article

Video Consultations in Primary and Specialist Care During COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Josip Car, Gerald Choon-Huat Koh, Pin Sim Foong, C. Jason Wang
The British Medical Journal , 2020

Even before the covid-19 pandemic, virtual consultations (also called telemedicine consultations) were on the rise, with many healthcare systems advocating a digital-first approach. At the start of the pandemic, many GPs and specialists turned to video consultations to reduce patient flow through healthcare facilities and limit infectious exposures. Video and telephone consultations also enable clinicians who are well but have to self-isolate, or who fall into high risk groups and require shielding, to continue providing medical care. The scope for video consultations for long term conditio

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Journal Article

Putin, Putinism, and the Domestic Determinants of Russian Foreign Policy

Michael A. McFaul
International Security , 2020

Why did Russia's relations with the West shift from cooperation a few decades ago to a new era of confrontation today? Some explanations focus narrowly on changes in the balance of power in the international system, or trace historic parallels and cultural continuities in Russian international behavior. For a complete understanding of Russian foreign policy today, individuals, ideas, and institutions—President Vladimir Putin, Putinism, and autocracy—must be added to the analysis.

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Journal Article

Does the Noncombatant Immunity Norm Have Stopping Power? A Debate

Scott D. Sagan, Scott D. Sagan, Benjamin A. Valentino, Charli Carpenter, Alexander H. Montgomery
International Security , 2020

Our 2015 survey experiment—reported in the 2017 International Security article “Revisiting Hiroshima in Iran”—asked a representative sample of Americans to choose between continuing a ground invasion of Iran that would kill an estimated 20,000 U.S. soldiers or launching a nuclear attack on an Iranian city that would kill an estimated 100,000 civilians.1 Fifty-six percent of the respondents preferred the nuclear strike.

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Working Paper

Off the Epicenter: COVID-19 Quarantine Controls and Employment, Education, and Health Impacts in Rural Communities

Huan Wang, Sarah-Eve Dill, Huan Zhou, Yue Ma, Hao Xue, Prashant Loyalka, Sean Sylvia, Matthew Boswell, Jason Lin, Scott Rozelle
2020

In late January 2020, China’s government initiated its first aggressive measures to combat COVID-19 by forbidding individuals from leaving their homes, radically limiting public transportation, cancelling or postponing large public events, and closing schools across the country. The rollout of these measures coincided with China’s Lunar New Year holiday, during which more than 280 million people had returned from their places of work to their home villages in rural areas. The disease control policies remained in place until late February and early March, when they were gradually loosened to

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Journal Article

Retaining VA Women’s Health Primary Care Providers: Work Setting Matters

Rachel Schwartz, Susan M. Frayne, Sarah Friedman, Yasmin Romodan, Eric Berg, Sally Haskell, Jonathan Shaw
Journal of General Internal Medicine , 2020

When an experienced provider opts to leave a healthcare workforce (attrition), there are significant costs, both direct and indirect. Turnover of healthcare providers is underreported and understudied, despite evidence that it negatively impacts care delivery and negatively impacts working conditions for remaining providers. In the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, attrition of women’s health primary care providers (WH-PCPs) threatens a specially trained workforce; it is unknown what factors contribute to, or protect against, their attrition.

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Policy Brief

Election 2020: Social Media and Political Polarization

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

THE EMERGENCE OF A DIGITAL SPHERE where public debate takes place raises profound questions about the connection between online information and polarization, echo chambers, and filter bubbles. Does the information ecosystem created by social media companies support the conditions necessary for a healthy democracy? Is it different from other media? These are particularly urgent questions as the United States approaches a contentious 2020 election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Journal Article

Visual Impairment in Rural and Migrant Chinese School-Going Children: Prevalence, Severity, Correction and Association

Yue Ma, Xinwu Zhang, Fei He, Xiaochen Ma, Hongmei Yi, Nathan Rose, Alexis Medina, Scott Rozelle, Nathan Congdon
BMJ Ophthalmology , 2020
Purpose To describe changes in the prevalence of visual impairment and glasses ownership with age and as associated with income and population density for visual impairment among rural and urban migrant Chinese students. Design Meta-analysis of 12 cross-sectional, school-based studies conducted between 2012 and 2017. Setting Rural and urban migrant schools in seven Chinese provinces. Participants A total of 83 273 rural and urban migrant Chinese students aged 6–17 years. Results Prevalence of visual impairment (uncorrected visual acuity ≤6/12 in either eye) rose from 19.0% at age 6 to 66.9% at 17, with the overall age-adjusted prevalence higher for girls (35.8%) than for boys (30.1%, p
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White Paper

Cheerleading Without Fans: A Low-Impact Domestic Information Operation by the Royal Thai Army

Josh A. Goldstein, Aim Sinpeng, Daniel Bush, Ross Ewald, Jennifer John, David Thiel
2020
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White Paper

#ZakzakyLifeMatters: An Investigation into a Facebook Operation Linked to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria

Shelby Grossman, Sean Gallagher, Ada Johnson-Kanu, Nicole Wilson, David Thiel
2020
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Policy Brief

Election 2020: Technology’s Role in Administering Democratic Elections

Marietje Schaake, Rob Reich
2020

THE 2020 ELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES will take place on November 3 in the midst of a global pandemic, economic downturn, social unrest, political polarization, and a sudden shift in the balance of power in the U.S Supreme Court. On top of these issues, the technological layer impacting the public debate, as well as the electoral process itself, may well determine the election outcome.

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Journal Article

Health Care Claims Data May Be Useful For COVID-19 Research Despite Significant Limitations

Maimuna S. Majumder, Sherri Rose
Health Affairs , 2020

Although health care billing claims data have been widely used to study health care use, spending, and policy changes, their use in the study of infectious disease has been limited. Other data sources, including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have provided timelier reporting to outbreak experts.

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Journal Article

Health Care Claims Data May Be Useful For COVID-19 Research Despite Significant Limitations

Maimuna S. Majumder, Sherri Rose
Health Affairs , 2020

Although health care billing claims data have been widely used to study health care use, spending, and policy changes, their use in the study of infectious disease has been limited. Other data sources, including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have provided timelier reporting to outbreak experts.

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Journal Article

Who Is My Neighbor? The Spatial Efficiency of Partisanship

Nicholas Eubank, Jonathan Rodden
Statistics and Public Policy , 2020
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