• May, 2021
  • 01-05-2021
  • Convicts in private prisons serve 90 days longer than public prisons

    This is about 5% longer.

    In private prisons, the company's contract has it that they are payed a per diem for each occupied bed.

    "The delayed release erodes half of the cost savings offered by private contracting and is linked to the greater likelihood of conduct violations in private prisons. The additional days served do not lead to apparent changes in inmate recidivism," according to the author.*

    Mukherjee, Anita. "Impacts of Private Prison Contracting on Inmate Time Served and Recidivism."

     
  • How much is a dollar difference?

    A lot more than a dollar, according to research that concluded that Americans pay an average $33 more on auto loans, after analyzing a data set of 35m such loans.

    People perceive the difference between prices that end in 9 and one number higher that ends in 0 as being more different that just one dollar. This is especially true with numbers ending in 99 and 00.

    *An Empirical Bargaining Model with Left-Digit Bias: A Study on Auto Loan Monthly Payments. Zhenling Jiang

  • Conversations don't end when we want them to

    In fact, on average they last twice as long as desired, according to some new research at Harvard, which concluded that the reason for this is a 'coordination problem': conversants have no idea when their partner wants to end and think their partner wants to keep going.

    The reason for this 'unsolvable' problem is that conversants require information they usually keep from each other to know when to end a discussion.

    We usually end conversations through highly routine practices, they noted, such as re-stating the reason they started the conversation ("Well, I just wanted to see you you were doing") or making arrangements ("So let's sort out what time on Monday").

    *Do conversations end when people want them to? Adam M. Mastroianni et al.

  • Wasp benefits

    UC London and U East Anglia researchers studying wasps ave found that while people generally hate them, that hate is in large part due to ignorance about the benefits they bring.

    Their recent study points out that wasps are effective pest controllers. There are 33,000 wasp species. Some are specialized in which aphids, caterpillars or other insects they hunt as food, and can be used as pest control for crops that have to deal with those specific insects. Other wasps hunt insects more generally and can be used for multi-crop farms.

    They're also important pollinators, and some plant species are completely dependent on wasps for reproduction.

    There is also some evidence, although not much as yet, about various values of wasps for making medicine and as a food source.

    *Ryan E. Brock, Alessandro Cini, Seirian Sumner. Ecosystem services provided by aculeate wasps.

     

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