January | February| March


The Road to Higher Education
College affordability and accessibility have been in the news lately with articles that discuss a variety of issues from rising levels of student debt to various initiatives, such as President Obama's recent launch of a program to increase college access for low-income students. IPR faculty examine these and other issues related to college access, affordability, and persistence and outcomes.

Cook to Lead National Science Foundation Directorate
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected Fay Lomax Cook, IPR social policy expert and the Institute’s former director, as an NSF Assistant Director to head its Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), effective in September.  Cook will become a key member of NSF’s senior management and policy team, while leading SBE and its staff of 119 and managing a budget of approximately $250 million.

A Successful Summer
Last summer, 34 Northwestern undergraduate students eschewed more traditional summer jobs of lifeguarding or waiting tables in favor of developing surveys and running regressions. As participants in IPR’s Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant (RA) Program, they worked on a social science research project, mentored by one of 23 IPR faculty members. Summer 2014 will mark the program's 17th year, making it one of the oldest and longest-running undergraduate research opportunities at Northwestern.

Faculty Spotlight: Lincoln Quillian
IPR sociologist Lincoln Quillian's research examines the complex issues of race, ethnicity, social stratification, and segregation, with a distinct emphasis on looking at how these often intertwined matters can influence people’s perceptions and prejudices. Along the way, his work has begun to shed new light on how we think about race and segregation.

Partisan Bias and Policy Outcomes
A recent analysis of U.S. budgetary changes by IPR political scientist Laurel Harbridge explores how and why party control, congressional turnover, and budgetary constraints affect spending, including the start or elimination of programs and year-to-year funding changes. Her research reveals that Democrats actually make larger spending cuts than Republicans, and this occurs even when they have unified control of government. This puzzling pattern can be explained by what Harbridge refers to as “motivated information processing," causing the parties to make corrective actions after pursuing their partisan goals. 


The Great Recession: Over But Not Gone
Though the Great Recession officially ended more than four years ago, how has the biggest U.S. downturn since the Great Depression affected—and continued to affect—Americans' lives? Several IPR faculty are mining data from this period (roughly December 2007 to June 2009) in a variety of areas, including food insecurity, unemployment, housing, and income inequality. They are detailing its short- and longer-term effects, with an eye towards policy prescriptions.

Two Generations, One Future
On April 16, IPR will hold a policy research briefing to examine evidence supporting two-generation programs. These provide workforce development training to parents while their children are engaged in quality education programs. Panelists are Northwestern/IPR researchers Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Teresa Eckrich Sommer, and Mesmin Destin, with Sara Goldrick-Rab of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


Targeted Tutoring Can Reduce 'Achievement Gap' for CPS Students
High school students at risk for dropping out greatly improved their math scores and school attendance with the help of intensive tutoring and mentoring, according to a randomized study. It was conducted by the Urban Education Lab at the University of Chicago and co-authored by IPR economist Jonathan Guryan.

Comparing French and U.S. Socioeconomic Segregation
IPR sociologist Lincoln Quillian and Hugues Lagrange of Sciences Po find that socioeconomic segregation in large U.S. cities is much higher than in large French ones. The researchers also reveal that half or more of the difference between the two could be due to greater levels of U.S. income inequality.

Can Upward Mobility Cost You Your Health?
In a New York Times opinion piece, IPR clinical psychologists Greg Miller, Edith Chen, and their co-author discuss how pursuit of the American Dream can come at the cost of good health for low-income Americans who manage to climb the ladder to success.

Faculty Spotlight: Christopher Kuzawa
“You are what you eat,” the old adage goes. But IPR biological anthropologist Christopher Kuzawa shows that it is not just about what you eat, but what your mother ate, and what your mother’s mother ate, that more completely defines your weight at birth, your development as a child, and your health as an adult.