Research in Brief

Partisan Judicial Elections Can Lead to Lower-Quality Judges

When political affiliation is shown on ballots, candidates’ quality has a lower impact on voters' decisions than when it is not; otherwise, voters are more influenced by candidates’ quality and suitability for the job.

How Nudges Can Help Households Internalize Energy Saving Information

A new study proposes a model to estimate the welfare impacts of providing energy saving reports for households. The study shows that this type of nudge overestimates the reports' impact because they do not take into account the overall costs of changing people’s behaviors. However, well-targeted schemes can increase both energy savings and total welfare effects.

Antibiotic Breach: The Fall of Another Powerful Antibiotic Drug

This study presents the first observed case of transmittable antibiotic resistance to colistin, one of the most potent antibiotics available. Colistin belongs to a class of antibiotics of “last resort,” called polymyxin. The study highlights the need for increased regulation of antimicrobial use to avoid a global health crisis.

Climate and Conflict: Why Politicians Should Understand How Climate Change Poses a Threat to Security

The review of 55 scientific articles shows that deviations from moderate climate and precipitation patterns systematically increase the risk of violence and conflict, both on an interpersonal level (assaults, murder, rape) and an intergroup level (political conflicts).

The Impact of Chicago’s Excellence in Teaching Project on Student Performance

After the first year of school, Steinberg and Sartain find that the Excellence in Teaching Project has an impact of 0.10 standard deviations on students' reading scores.

Why the UN Can’t Stop Civilian Slaughter

Though the perceived function of the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations is to protect civilians in conflict, it is often unable to fulfill its role in safeguarding vulnerable lives. What hinders the organization from preventing loss of civilian life, and why? Authors Bellamy and Hunt explore the expectations attached to the organization and why these expectations may not necessarily reflect reality on the ground.

Paving the Way towards Healthier Consumption Habits to Tackle Obesity: The Mexican Soda Tax Case

New evidence on the effects of the Mexican soda tax suggests successful intermediate effects of raising the real prices of sodas and avoiding shifts in consumption towards other caloric beverages.

Are Improved Nutritional Outcomes and a Robust Agricultural Sector Mutually Exclusive? Case Study Findings from the Developing World

Recent East African and South Asian stakeholder research has helped shed light on the thorny relationship between food security and nutritional policymaking in the developing world. Though findings point to a need for action on several fronts, addressing data disconnects in each of the six case study countries remains vital.

The Strategy Behind China’s Rising Influence in Latin America

China’s efforts to foster a partnership with countries in Latin America reflects its strategic goal of enhancing its “hard” and “soft” power to elevate China’s status at the systemic level.

NATO Needs to Rethink Its Enlargement Strategy

NATO should alter its current enlargement policy by infusing it with geopolitical rationales. This means downgrading the transformative and democratization elements of enlargement and, instead, focusing on how candidate countries add to NATO's capabilities and impact overall alliance security.