Soci 10: quiz questions

Lane Kenworthy
Winter 2018-19

POVERTY

1. In “A Decent and Rising Income Floor,” I say the average yearly income of American households in the bottom 20% is approximately

a. Zero
b. $20,000
c. $45,000

2. True or false: In “A Decent and Rising Income Floor,” I say that some poor families own their home and have a car, a television, and air conditioning.

a. True
b. False

3. True or false: In “A Decent and Rising Income Floor,” I say low-income households in the United States tend to have lower incomes than their counterparts in many other rich nations, yet fewer Americans suffer actual material hardship.

a. True
b. False

4. In “A Decent and Rising Income Floor,” I say that since the late 1970s the main source of rising income for low-income households in most affluent nations has been increases in

a. Wages
b. Employment
c. Government benefits

5. In “A Decent and Rising Income Floor,” I say that since the late 1970s the United Kingdom has

a. Done no more to increase government transfers to the poor than the US has
b. Experienced little or no increase in the incomes of the poor, like the US
c. Neither A nor B

LIFE AND DEATH

1. In “Longevity,” I show that life expectancy in the United States

a. Increased steadily since 1900
b. Increased from 1900 to 1980, but has decreased since then

2. True or false: In “Longevity,” I say America’s slow rate of increase in life expectancy is chiefly a result of the fact that we spend so little money on health care.

a. True
b. False

3. In “Longevity,” I show that since 1980 the gap in life expectancy has widened between

a. Blacks and whites
b. Persons with low income and those with high income

4. In “Longevity,” I show that since 1999 the death rate for middle-aged whites in the United States has

a. Decreased, but less rapidly than among other groups in the US and in other rich nations
b. Increased

5. In “Longevity,” I argue that the most likely cause of the rise in the middle-aged white death rate since 1999 is

a. Economic insecurity
b. Reference group comparisons
c. Opioid pain relievers

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

1. In “Marijuana,” I show that which of the following approaches is used in more states?

a. Decriminalization or medical marijuana
b. Legalization

2. True or false: In “Marijuana,” I say the share of Americans who say they favor marijuana legalization is

a. Smaller than it was in the 1970s
b. About the same as it has been for the past generation
c. Larger than in recent decades

3. True or false: In “Marijuana,” I say the evidence indicates that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to very large increases in use and abuse of cocaine and heroin.

a. True
b. False

4. In “Marijuana,” I say the evidence suggests that decriminalization of marijuana probably would result in

a. A large increase in marijuana use and abuse
b. Little or no increase in marijuana use and abuse
c. We have too little evidence to draw an informed conclusion

5. In “Marijuana,” I say the evidence suggests that legalization of marijuana probably would result in

a. A large increase in marijuana use and abuse
b. Little or no increase in marijuana use and abuse
c. We have too little evidence to draw an informed conclusion

INCOME INEQUALITY

1. In “Is Income Inequality Harmful?,” I say that in assessing the effect of income inequality it’s helpful to compare changes across countries because

a. Doing so is closer to an experimental design
b. We have good income inequality data for only five countries

2. True or false: In “Is Income Inequality Harmful?,” I show that since the late 1970s income inequality has increased more in the United States than in most other rich democratic nations.

a. True
b. False

3. In “Is Income Inequality Harmful?,” I conclude from the experience of the rich democracies that a country with more income inequality is likely to do worse in its average level of

a. Education, health, and family
b. Happiness
c. Both A and B
d. Neither A nor B

4. True or false: In “Is Income Inequality Harmful?,” I say there is solid evidence that rising income inequality has increased the political influence of the rich in the United States.

a. True
b. False

5. True or false: In “Is Income Inequality Harmful?,” I conclude that because many of the inequality-is-harmful hypotheses aren’t supported by the evidence, we shouldn’t worry about America’s high and rising income inequality.

a. True
b. False

CITIES

1. In “How Skyscrapers Can Save the City,” Edward Glaeser says it would be ________ if more Americans lived in large cities.

a. Better
b. Worse

2. In “How Skyscrapers Can Save the City,” Edward Glaeser says the main reason why more Americans don’t live in large cities is

a. Housing is very expensive
b. Too much crime

3. True or false: In “How Skyscrapers Can Save the City,” Edward Glaeser says the main determinant of the price of housing in big cities is the supply of housing units.

a. True
b. False

4. In “How Skyscrapers Can Save the City,” Edward Glaeser says the chief barrier to increasing the supply of housing in America’s large cities is

a. High taxes
b. Zoning rules, height restrictions, and historical preservation designations

5. True or false: In “How Skyscrapers Can Save the City,” Edward Glaeser says increasing the supply of housing in large cities by building more skyscrapers will increase the number of ________ living in such cities.

a. Affluent persons
b. Low- and middle-income persons
c. Both A and B

EDUCATION

1. True or false: In “College Education,” I say that in a typical cohort of Americans these days, about one-third will never enter college, about one-third will do some college but not get a four-year degree, and about one-third will get a four-year degree or more.

a. True
b. False

2. In “College Education,” I show that the share of Americans with a four-year college degree

a. Has increased steadily since 1950
b. Increased in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, but has held constant since then

3. In “College Education,” I show that the share of 25-to-34-year-olds with a four-year college degree in the United States _______ among rich democratic nations.

a. Is one of the highest
b. Was one of the highest two decades ago, but now is in the middle of the pack

4. In “College Education,” I show that the published (“sticker”) price of college (for an in-state student at a public college) has increased _______ since 2000.

a. A lot
b. Only a little

5. In “College Education,” I show that the net price (published price minus financial aid and grants) of college (for an in-state student at a public college) for a student from a low-income family has increased _______ since 2000.

a. A lot
b. Only a little

GUNS

1. True or false: In “Guns,” I show that when we look over time in the United States, the number of guns in private hands correlates very strongly with the rate of gun homicides.

a. True
b. False

2. True or false: In “Guns,” I show that across countries there is a strong positive correlation between the number of guns per person and the rate of gun homicides, but when the United States is excluded there is little or no correlation

a. True
b. False

3. True or false: In “Guns,” I show that states with stricter regulations on gun ownership tend to have lower rates of gun deaths

a. True
b. False

4. In “Guns,” I show that the most common type of gun death in the US is

a. Homicide
b. Suicide

5. True or false: In “Guns,” I show that more than half of Americans favor background checks and police permits for purchasing a gun.

a. True
b. False

OBESITY

1. In “Weight Moderation,” I show that the share of American adults who are obese is approximately

a. 20%
b. 40%
c. 60%
d. 80%

2. In “Weight Moderation,” I say the main cause of rising obesity in the United States is

a. Increased eating
b. Less exercise
c. Less smoking

3. True or false: In “Weight Moderation,” I say the main cause of increased eating in the US is an increase in the supply of cheap, tasty, high-calorie food.

a. True
b. False

4. In “Weight Moderation,” I say the hypothesis that rising income inequality is a key cause of rising obesity is strongly supported by what evidence?

a. The cross-country pattern of change over time
b. The cross-state pattern of change over time
c. Neither A nor B

5. In “Weight Moderation,” I say the hypothesis that rising economic insecurity is a key cause of rising obesity is strongly supported by what evidence?

a. Over-time developments in Canada
b. The pattern among more and less affluent women after the mid-1990s welfare reform
c. Neither A nor B

GOVERNMENT

1. In “Is Big Government Bad for the Economy?,” I say

a. There surely is a tipping point beyond which government taxing and spending hurts the economy
b. There probably isn’t a tipping point

2. True or false: In “Is Big Government Bad for the Economy?,” I show that rich democratic nations with higher government spending tend to have a larger government debt.

a. True
b. False

3. In “Is Big Government Bad for the Economy?,” I say critics of big government worry that when government taxes and spends a lot of money, private firms will lobby harder to get government to pass regulations that

a. Increase competition
b. Reduce competition

4. True or false: In “Is Big Government Bad for the Economy?,” I show that rich democratic nations with higher taxes tend to have lower employment rates, but that taxes aren’t the real cause of those lower employment rates.

a. True
b. False

5. True or false: In “Is Big Government Bad for the Economy?,” I find that one area in which countries with bigger governments clearly do worse than those with smaller governments is economic growth.

a. True
b. False

POLITICS

1. True or false: In “Is America Too Polarized?,” I show that since the 1970s Americans have moved away from the center and toward the extremes in their general political views (liberal, conservative).

a. True
b. False

2. In “Is America Too Polarized?,” I show that elected representatives in the Senate and House have

a. Sorted more cleanly by political party, with conservatives almost always Republicans and liberals almost always Democrats
b. Moved away from the center in their voting
c. Both A and B

3. True or false: In “Is America Too Polarized?,” I say that Americans’ political views (liberal, conservative) have become more closely aligned with those of their preferred political party (Democrat, Republican).

a. True
b. False

4. In “Is America Too Polarized?,” I say gridlock (difficulty in passing new laws or adjusting existing laws) is

a. An automatic consequence of polarized political parties
b. A consequence of polarized parties in a political system with many “veto points”

5. In “Is America Too Polarized?,” I say one route to escaping gridlock is

a. Republican leaders abandon their oppositional stance
b. One of the two parities begins to consistently win elections and control multiple decision making branches of government
c. State and local governments become more active in implementing policy change
d. All of the above