News


May


The Vital Role of Government Statistics
According to a recent bipartisan report between the American Enterprise Institute and the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, government data are critical not only to policy, but to businesses and families—even your local weather anchor—and should not be a partisan issue.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
Pairing early childhood education for low-income children with career training for their parents in a single program has the potential to break the cycle of poverty, according to IPR researchers studying the CareerAdvance program.

April


A Moment of 'Democratic Imperative'?
When and why do governments become less authoritarian? Why have some countries moved from authoritarianism toward instability, while others have become more democratic? Are democracies in the United States and Western Europe headed for breakdown? At an April workshop led by IPR political scientist Rachel Beatty Riedl, an international group of scholars discussed how past cases of democratic change can inform the contemporary moment.

Faculty Spotlight: Heather Schoenfeld
From a forthcoming book on the rise of mass incarceration to studies of state prison reforms, IPR sociologist and legal scholar Heather Schoenfeld applies a historical-sociological lens to understanding how the United States became the world's biggest jailer, and what policies might do to change it.

Creating Order Out of War
"Civil war" usually conjures up images of "anarchy and a collapse of order," according to political scientist and IPR associate Ana Arjona. But are civil wars always chaotic? According to Arjona's new book, Rebelocracy: Social Order in the Colombian Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2016), not necessarily.

Research Suggests Divide in How Millennials Value News
The way young adults consume news varies by socioeconomic background, according to a study by assistant professor of journalism and IPR associate Stephanie Edgerly. The research also highlights that millennials today are highly skeptical of news in general and do not believe everything they read.

IPR Economist Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Charles F. Manski has been named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association. He was recognized for the far-reaching impact of his research, his exceptional service to the economics and statistics professions, and the exemplary role he has played in advising the nation on research and public policy.

Food Security and Women's Empowerment
The 61st session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women was dedicated to examining women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. In a panel organized by the Women’s U.N. Report Network, two Northwestern professors described some of the causes and consequences of women’s food insecurity, as well as how it holds women back.

March


Expanding the Evanston-Northwestern Education Partnership
Evanston’s educational research-practice partnership will expand thanks to $1 million in combined support from the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation and the Spencer Foundation. The partnership, which brings together Evanston schools, their administrators, and Northwestern University researchers from the University’s Institute for Policy Research, seeks to improve the lives of Evanston students through the implementation of practical research findings.

Northwestern Leaders Join National Academy of Education
IPR Director David Figlio, an education economist, and Northwestern University President and IPR economist Morton Schapiro have been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Education, an honor society that advances high-quality research to inform and improve education policy and practice.

Living on Less than $2 a Day
In her IPR Distinguished Public Policy Lecture, Johns Hopkins sociology Kathryn Edin zeroed in on extreme poverty, recounting the day-to-day struggles of those who live on less than $2 a day and dissecting national data on the trend. Edin also highlighted possible solutions and offered a litmus test for any proposed reform.

Faculty Spotlight: Burton Weisbrod
From his early studies in chemical engineering, IPR economist Burton Weisbrod found the "blanks" between elements in the periodic table intriguing. This idea of blanks stuck with him when he switched over to studying economics in college, and he has spent his career filling in the blank between private enterprise and government with studies of a third sector—nonprofits.

Infographic: School Shootings Linked to Increased Unemployment
Many researchers have tried to understand why school shootings are a uniquely American phenomenon, but past studies have presented fragmented and even contradictory findings. A new Northwestern study takes a novel approach to the data and reveals a surprising predictor of increases in U.S. school shootings—times of economic hardship. 

Do Boycotts Work?
Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Uber, L.L. Bean. In recent months, a number of high-profile companies have been the targets of boycotts, many of which have taken on a distinct political tone. IPR associate Brayden King explains his research on boycotts, which finds that media attention, more than petition signatures, make boycotts effective.

A Contemporary Understanding of Human Trafficking
For most, human trafficking is sex trafficking, including forced prostitution. However, federal trafficking legislation also covers labor trafficking, including debt bondage, forced labor, and involuntary child labor. But do media and public opinion reflect this broader definition? Tabitha Bonilla, an IPR research assistant professor, discussed her examination of the topic at a February 6 IPR colloquium.

February


David Figlio Named Dean of Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy
David Figlio, the Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy in the School of Education and Social Policy, and director and faculty fellow of the Institute for Policy Research, has been appointed dean of the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) at Northwestern University, effective Sept. 1.

Faculty Spotlight: Seema Jayachandran
IPR economist Seema Jayachandran set out to study engineering and physics, but two years into her PhD program in theoretical physics at Harvard, she realized it wasn’t the right fit. Today, instead of studying theories behind the mass of quarks or leptons, she now studies gender differences in the mass of humanity—as well as other developmental issues with practical policy applications in countries such as India and Uganda.

Infographic: The Affordable Care Act and Emergency Room Access
As Senate Republicans begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), IPR economist Matthew Notowidigdo and IPR associate Craig Garthwaite, a strategy professor, find that Medicaid expansion led to more Medicaid patients in the emergency room and lower travel times to the hospital than before states expanded the program.

No White House Access, No Problem?
Since taking over the White House briefing room, the Trump administration has floated several ideas that would make radical changes to how the press covers the White House and potentially restrict press access.  This means “the media will need to think about how to cover the White House in a whole new way,” said IPR mass communication scholar Rachel Davis Mersey at Northwestern University’s Science Café event on January 18.

Undergraduates Tackle Research, Prepare for 'Knowledge Society'
Students in IPR's Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants (SURA) program learned how a research project gets off the ground and discovered more about what they want to do after graduation. The application period for the 2017 SURA program closes February 27.

IPR Anthropologist Receives Grant to Measure Water Insecurity
Under a new £250,000 (approximately $310,000) grant from the U.K.-funded Innovative Metrics and Methods for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) research initiative, IPR anthropologist Sera Young and an international team of researchers seek to develop a cross-cultural scale of perceived household water insecurity.

January


Are Great Teachers Poor Scholars?
Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and Professor David Figlio, both IPR economists, have published research asking the question that has challenged elite universities and liberal arts colleges alike in recent times: “Are Great Teachers Poor Scholars?” Their answer is that there is no relationship between the teaching quality and research quality of tenured Northwestern faculty.

Faculty Spotlight: Claudia Haase
Growing up in East Germany, "We had no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, we lived behind a wall," recalled Claudia Haase, a developmental psychologist and IPR associate. "But there were some people who showed remarkable resilience in the face of this adversity." Today, Haase draws on that observation to study how different factors—from social to biological—affect humans across their lives.

Communicating Science in a Politicized Era
IPR political scientist James Druckman has been studying public opinion on climate change to understand the hurdles and antidotes to effectively communicating information on seemingly controversial scientific topics. In doing so, he seeks to answer key questions of how researchers and policymakers can help the public to better understand science and related policies. 

Two-Gen Researchers Receive $1.4 Million Grant
Northwestern University’s Two Generation Research Initiative has received a four-year, $1.4 million grant to study the expansion of CareerAdvance, an innovative education program that combines quality early learning for preschoolers with career training in the healthcare field for their low-income parents.

Op-Ed: Be 'Color-Brave' With Your Kids
IPR's Sandra WaxmanOnnie Rogers, and Jennifer Richeson argue that instead of shielding children, we should be 'color-brave'—bold, intentional, and deliberate when discussing race with them.

Infographic: Does School Spending Matter?
study by IPR labor and education economist Kirabo Jackson finds strong ties between school spending and long-term student outcomes. Published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, the study tracks large spending increases that resulted from court cases in 28 states between 1971 and 2010.

For 2016 news, visit: www.ipr.northwestern.edu/about/news/2016/html