Using research in journalism

How easy it is to fall prey to journalists falling prey to simple one-liners ripped out of context…

Prof Chris Daly's Blog

By Christopher B. Daly

This column by James B. Stewart in today’s Times is a good example of the power of using research. When journalists avail themselves of expertise and data, they can get past myths, slogans, and he-said/she said. In the column, Stewart examines the claim that rich people move to avoid income taxes. That claim, a favorite of tax-cutters, is an assertion that should be testable by facts. Turns out, it has been tested — multiple times — by social scientists. What did they find?

Here’s Stewart’s take-away:

It turns out that a large majority of people move for far more compelling reasons, like jobs, the cost of housing, family ties or a warmer climate. At least three recent academic studies have demonstrated that the number of people who move for tax reasons is negligible, even among the wealthy.

Cristobal Young, an assistant professor of sociology at Stanford…

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