News


May


How Culture Can Affect Disease Treatment
One out of 10 individuals of Mexican descent living in the United States will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes—twice the rate of the general American population. While previous research has focused on causal factors, from genetics to diet and lifestyle, IPR anthropologist Rebecca Seligman and her colleagues examine the issue of “self-care,” or how Mexican Americans manage their own illness.

IPR to Co-Host Global Inequality Workshop
The Institute for Policy Research is co-hosting the Global Inequality Workshop with the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies on May 12-13, bringing together some of the world’s leading social scientists for in-depth, interdisciplinary discussions on key issues and new forms of inequality. 

April


Major Awards Recognize Innovative Research of Two IPR Fellows
Two fellows at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research (IPR) received competitive awards this April from two of the country’s leading foundations in recognition of their achievements and promise as researchers: IPR labor economist Kirabo Jackson was named as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow and IPR social psychologist Mesmin Destin as a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar.

Faculty Spotlight: Bruce Spencer
As one of the world's leading experts on statistical accuracy, IPR statistician Bruce Spencer is empowering policymakers and governmental agencies around the world to make better policy decisions on issues ranging from census data to earthquake hazard predictions.

Can Chicago Restore Public Trust in Police?
IPR political scientist Wesley G. Skogan was one of 46 experts on the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force, which released a hard-hitting report on the CPD earlier this month. The 190-page report documents widespread racial disparities, excessive use of force, accountability failures, and inadequate recruitment and training. It also makes more than 100 recommendations to address the current ills facing the CPD.

Back-of-the-Envelope Estimates for Better Policy
What do earthquakes and water heaters, and bathtub spills and terrorist attacks, have in common? They both concern policy issues that can be evaluated with a Fermi estimate, according to geophysicist and IPR associate Seth Stein and IPR graduate research assistant Edward Brooks, who used Fermi estimates to examine earthquakes in Chicago.

Women, Work, and Worship in Lincoln's Midwest
IPR faculty emeritus John Heinz's new book draws on a trove of letters from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to provide an unusual glimpse into the lives of ordinary women in mid-19th century, rural America. "Letters written by women who lack wealth or position seldom survive," he explains. The book was co-edited with Anne Heinz, a former assistant dean at the University of Chicago.

March


White House Report to Congress Cites IPR Faculty Researchers
The White House Council of Economic Advisers' 2016 economic report to Congress last month emphasized the need to reduce inequality in America, starting from an early age. The report included evidence to support policies aiming to do just that from some of the nation’s leading academics, including six IPR experts.

IPR Experts Present National Education Policy Proposals in D.C.
On March 28, IPR economist Jonathan Guryan and professor of entrepreneurship and IPR associate Benjamin Jones presented two new proposals for national policies to help to strengthen U.S. student learning—one involves an intensive tutoring program for at-risk students and the other an online platform for rigorous evaluation of technology for use in K–12 classrooms. Both were vetted through rigorous research projects and were presented at The Hamilton Project in Washington, D.C.

Faculty Spotlight: Matthew Notowidigdo
IPR labor economist Matthew Notowidigdo examines "overlooked" niches in economics, examining how different policies might affect a host of employment, health, and financial outcomes.

Ending Mass Incarceration in the United States
California’s prison downsizing experiment is the nation's largest. But Republican states are the ones leading the way, according to sociologist and IPR associate Heather Schoenfeld, who is investigating why states are seeking reform and how these efforts might help the U.S. reverse mass incarceration.

New Northwestern Institute Committs to Improving LGBT Health
Northwestern University has launched the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, the first research institute in the United States established university-wide that is focused exclusively on LGBT health. The new institute will be directed by IPR associate Brian Mustanski.

Infographic: For Hispanic and Latino Adults, Chronic Stress Linked to Obesity
More than 40 percent of Latino men and women in the United States are obese, compared with 32 percent of non-Hispanic, white Americans. Professor of medical social sciences and IPR associate Frank Penedo seeks to understand what might be driving the racial and ethnic disparities in obesity rates.

 

February


The Long-Term Effects of Lead: Flint and Beyond
Long before news of Flint's water crisis broke, economist and IPR associate Joseph Ferrie was examining how lead affects human cognition and outcomes. "There is no safe level of lead exposure," especially when it comes to kids, he explains.

Faculty Spotlight: Christine Percheski
From research on health insurance and economic inequality, to studies of family formation and the demographic effects of the Great Recession, IPR sociologist Christine Percheski is applying a sociological lens to some of the most timely health and social issues.

How Childcare Affects Dads' Testosterone
Using data from Cebu, Philippines, IPR biological anthropologist Christopher Kuzawa is tracking men's testosterone levels to determine how major life events like marriage, fatherhood, and divorce affect health, well-being, and educational outcomes.

"Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent?"

On January 4, IPR statistician and education researcher Larry Hedges spoke about his time serving on an American Psychological Association (APA) task force assembled to review the organization’s 2005 resolution on violence and video games. Readers can find the task force's report and the adopted 2015 resolution, along with the organization's press release, here.

How Early Is Infants' Attention Affected By Culture?
Research led by IPR psychologist Sandra Waxman suggests that by 24 months, infants’ attention may already be shaped subtly by the attentional patterns characteristic of adults in their cultural communities. 

For Women in India, Friendship Can Improve Business Success
In India, women face difficulty in entering the workforce, in part due to the country’s stifling social restrictions. In a recent IPR working paper, IPR associate Seema Jayachandran focuses on female micro-entrepreneurs in India, examining if peer support in training might increase their success as entrepreneurs.

Infographic: For First-Generation College Students, Backgrounds Matter
Understanding the importance of personal backgrounds can help students thrive in stressful college situations, finds IPR social psychologist Mesmin Destin.

January


Beyond College Access to Success for Low-Income Students
Only 20 percent of those who enroll in community college manage to get a bachelor's degree. But these students have options beyond traditional bachelor's programs, such as certificate and associate's degree programs, noted IPR education researcher James Rosenbaum and project coordinator Caitlin Ahearn.

Government's Public Policy Iceberg
When public policies are administered indirectly, citizens might not realize they are being excluded from them, says political scientist and IPR associate Chloe Thurston. This is where citizens' advocacy groups come in.

Online Privacy? Beware of Posts Made from Your Home Computer
IPR associate and communication studies researcher Eszter Hargittai investigates how a person’s privacy might be affected by the device they use for a Facebook post and the location from which they make the post. 

Infographic: Can Stricter State Penalties Reduce Underpayment of Employees?
IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin conducted a state-by-state analysis of policies surrounding wage theft—when employers pay their employees below the minimum wage—finding that stricter policies could play a role in enforcing state and federal minimum wages.

Why Do So Few Women Hold Positions of Power?
At a December 4 IPR policy research briefing in Chicago, IPR psychologist Alice Eagly, IPR economist Lori Beaman, and Brigham Young political scientist Christopher Karpowitz dove into an interdisciplinary discussion of what might be possible to ensure that more women attain—and maintain—positions of power.

For 2015 news, visit: www.ipr.northwestern.edu/about/news/2015/html