January 26, 2014 |
The nation's airline industry has undergone so many mergers in the last decade that only four airlines and their regional carriers control more than 80% of all domestic air traffic. Despite warnings from consumer advocates, the merger mania is having a positive effect on the industry and is partly responsible for keeping fares low, according to a new study by PwC, the auditing and consulting firm formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers. The latest major airline merger was approved last month when American Airlines agreed to unite with US Airways to create the world's largest carrier.
January 25, 2014 |
Let's first just lay this harsh fact on the table: Research tells us very clearly that a lot of us lie to benefit ourselves. We lie often, about things large and small. And even when we're caught, many of us cling to our mendacious ways: We either double down and stick to our story, or make a partial confession, acknowledging just a bit of the whopper we may have told. Why we humans depart so routinely from the social values we purport to embrace intrigues psychologists, and it's the subject of a provocative study out this week in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
January 23, 2014 |
As the income gap between the richest and poorest has widened, it's become almost accepted as fact that Americans today are finding it harder to move up the economic ladder. But a major new study using millions of anonymous tax records concludes economic mobility has changed little over the last three decades. The research, being published Thursday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, does not contradict other studies that have shown increasing income disparity or that Americans enjoy less upward mobility than their counterparts in other developed Western countries. But the new findings are at odds with statements by President Obama and other politicians suggesting it has become increasingly more difficult for someone in America to move up the income rung.
January 21, 2014 |
A recent study released by Harvard Business School professors says black hosts on Airbnb typically charge lower fees than non-black hosts for similar properties, signaling the black hosts may be facing discrimination through the online service. The study looked at Airbnb members with properties listed in New York City in 2012. On average, non-black hosts charged approximately 12% more than black hosts for similar rentals. Airbnb is a start-up that has risen in popularity for letting users rent spare rooms or vacation homes, among other things, from others for short stays.
January 20, 2014 |
China's export industry is responsible for dirty emissions that are blowing across the Pacific Ocean and contributing to smog in the United States, a new scientific study says. About one-fifth of the pollution China spews into the atmosphere comes from producing goods for export to the United States and other countries, according to the paper by a group of scientists that was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . Winds blow pollutants from Chinese power plants and factories across the Pacific in about six days, where they boost levels of smog in the United States.
January 17, 2014 |
Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants - and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds. The study, slated to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, tackles the “puzzling paradox” of why divorce is more common in religiously conservative “red” states. If religious conservatives believe firmly in the value of marriage, why is divorce especially high in places like Alabama and Arkansas? To figure that out, researchers from the University of Texas and the University of Iowa analyzed county divorce statistics against information from an earlier study of religious congregations.
January 16, 2014 |
Amid growing scrutiny of hospital billing, a new study finds that California hospitals charged mothers $3,296 to $37,227 for a routine delivery. For women having a cesarean section, the UC San Francisco study found patients were billed $8,312 to nearly $71,000. Few of the patients in the study released Thursday had serious health issues, and most were discharged within six days of admission. "Childbirth is the most common reason for hospitalization, and even for an uncomplicated childbirth, we see a staggering difference in what hospitals charge," said lead author Renee Y. Hsia, an associate professor of emergency medicine at UC San Francisco.
January 16, 2014 |
Overweight and obese adults who use diet drinks to help them lose weight need to take another look at the food they eat, according to researchers who reported Thursday that those people ate more food calories than overweight people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages. The scientists writing in the American Journal of Public Health did not say the dieters should give up on no- and low-calorie drinks; rather, they said the dieters should look at what else they're consuming, especially sweet snacks, to find other ways to modify their diets.
January 16, 2014 |
The canopies of kelp undulating in the surges off the coast of California camouflage a complex ecosystem of sharks, rock fish, crabs, urchins and anemones that blossom like colorful flowers on the forest floor. Now, Steven L. Manley, a biology professor at Cal State Long Beach, and Kai Vetter, head of applied nuclear physics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have launched a campaign to monitor those groves for radioactive contaminants due to arrive later this year in ocean currents from Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
January 15, 2014 |
Middle-aged men who consume an average of more than 2½ alcoholic drinks per day accelerate the rate at which their memories decline by almost six years over a 10-year span, says a new study. And while a higher consumption of spirits such as vodka, gin, whiskey or scotch was linked to the fastest rates of mental decline in men, researchers saw little difference between the cognitive loss seen in heavy beer drinkers (who drank more than 2½ 12-ounce beers per day) and that seen in men who quaffed a half-bottle of wine or more per day. Compared with men who drank no more than 1½ drinks per day on average (up to 19.9 grams of alcohol daily)