Joshua R. Bruce

Papers in Progress

“Public Contracting for Private Innovation: Government Capabilities, Decision Rights, and Performance Outcomes.” (with Brian S. Silverman and John M. de Figueiredo; first revise and resubmit)

Abstract: We examine how the U.S. Federal Government selects governance structures for R&D contracts with private-sector firms. The government chooses between two contractual forms – grants and cooperative agreements – where the latter provides the government with substantially greater discretion over, and monitoring of, project progress. Using novel data both on R&D contracts and on the technical expertise available in specific government bureau locations, we test implications from the organizational economics and capabilities literature. We find that cooperative agreements are more likely to be used for early-stage projects and when the local government bureau personnel have relevant technical expertise; in turn, cooperative agreements yield greater innovative output as measured by patents and citations, controlling for the endogeneity of contract form. The results are consistent with multi-task agency and transaction cost approaches that emphasize decision rights and monitoring.


“When Times Get Tough: Subjective Well-Being and Support for the US Welfare State.” (first revise and resubmit)

Abstract: Scholars have long studied public support for the welfare state, which took on renewed urgency following the Great Recession. This paper uses multiple panel and cross-sectional data sets to assess how Americans responded to economic conditions before, during, and following the Great Recession. Contrary to recent research, this analysis consistently finds a strong link between individual-level economic circumstances, especially subjective evaluations of economic well-being, and welfare state preferences. Political ideology, racial biases, the party of the President, and macro-economic conditions are also found to be important factors. The paper concludes by discussing underlying shifts in the economic makeup of American political affiliation, which have combined with other factors to suppress aggregate support for the welfare state in a period of severe economic loss.

Published Papers

Joshua R. Bruce. 2015. “Power, Economic Inequality, and Moral Psychology.” Psychology & Society 7(1): 12-28.

Joshua R. Bruce. 2014. “Risky Business: How Social Psychology Can Help Improve Corporate Risk Management.” Business Horizons 57(4): 551-557.

Joshua R. Bruce. 2013. “Uniting Theories of Morality, Religion, and Social Interaction: Grid-Group Cultural Theory, the “Big Three” Ethics, and Moral Foundations Theory.” Psychology & Society 5(1): 37-50.

Timothy A. Lemper and Joshua R. Bruce. 2011. “The Dilution Defense Congress Never Meant to Create (and Needs to Fix).” Trademark Reporter 101(5): 1580-1598.

Timothy A. Lemper and Joshua R. Bruce. 2011. “Beware the Scrivener's Error: Curing the Drafting Error in the Federal Registration Defense to Trademark Dilution Claims.” Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal 19(2): 169-192.