September 30, 2010
The Institute for Policy Research (IPR) is an interdisciplinary public policy research institute founded in 1968-69 at Northwestern University. Our mission is to stimulate and support excellent social science research on significant public policy issues and to disseminate the findings widely—
to students, scholars, policymakers, and the public. www.northwestern.edu/ipr
>> Upcoming Events
> IPR Fall Colloquia, Oct. 4 - Dec. 9, 2010
IPR's colloquia and events get underway on October 4. Speakers will cover dual-generation education interventions, achievement gaps, genetics and the social sciences, endowments, not-for-profit insurers, test score impacts, and more. Keep abreast of IPR events by accessing our online calendar and subscribing to our Twitter feed.
> Hollister Lecture with Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher
Dr. David Satcher, U.S. Surgeon General from 1998 to 2002, will deliver the 2010 Hollister Lecture on "Leadership in Reducing Disparities in Health" on October 28 at 4 p.m. in Chicago. IPR's Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health is co-sponsoring the lecture with the Program in Public Health in Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.
>> News and Research
> IPR Welcomes Six New Faculty Fellows
This fall, IPR welcomes three economists, two sociologists, and a mass communication scholar to its interdisciplinary roster. These six new faculty fellows will strengthen the Institute in several key research areas—in particular, its programs on education policy and social disparities and health.
> Better Male Outcomes Tied to Better Nutrition as Babies
Widely reported research by IPR biological anthropologist Christopher Kuzawa shows the "very strong hand" that the environment plays in later-life outcomes. Based on a study of 800 males in the Philippines from birth to ages 20 to 22, Kuzawa and his colleagues, including IPR anthropologist Thomas McDade, find that male infants who were better fed in the first six months of life became taller, stronger, and reached puberty more quickly.
Media release: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2010/09/nature-nurture-kuzawa.html
Journal article: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/09/02/1006008107.abstract
> Proposed Rule Change Regarding For-Profit Colleges Could Discriminate
A proposed rule change regarding student debt and federal funding could lead some for-profit colleges to turn away students with high debts, according to a study by IPR economist Jonathan Guryan. Since lower-income, minority students attend for-profits at higher rates, the study suggests that many of them could be locked out from higher education if the rule takes effect.
New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/business/05metrics.html?src=busln
Public comment: http://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/publications/papers/Guryan-rulecomment.pdf
> Mixed Results for Online Education
Comparing grades for students enrolled in a regular economics class with those who watched videos of the class online, IPR education economist David Figlio and his colleagues find that certain types of students—including Hispanics, male students, and low-achievers—seem to fare worse when receiving traditional instruction in an online setting.
New York Times article: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/second-thoughts-on-online-education/
> Quality Preschool Programs Could Improve Children’s Behavior
Using longitudinal data from the Three-City Study, led by IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, a new study shows that high-quality preschool programs are linked to a reduction in problem behavior for young children, particularly for boys and African Americans.
BusinessWeek article: http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/healthday/643045.html
> Long-Lasting Impact of Kindergarten Teachers
IPR education economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and her colleagues examined the life paths of 12,000 students who were randomly assigned to kindergarten classrooms in the 1980s. More than two decades later, the researchers find that the students with better kindergarten teachers were more likely to be college graduates and employed.
New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/business/economy/28leonhardt.html
> Obama Economic Adviser Talks Recession and Research
Austan Goolsbee, one of President Obama’s top economic advisers, regaled a full-capacity crowd at Northwestern with accounts from the front lines of U.S. economic policymaking as IPR’s Distinguished Public Policy Lecturer on April 26.
> Workshop Tackles Political Ideology, Voter Turnout, and Election Reform
Topics in the 2010 Chicago Area Political and Social Behavior Workshop covered the origins of liberal-conservative ideology, public opinion and election reform, and how both voting laws and community incarceration rates affect voter turnout. IPR political scientist James Druckman organized the workshop.
>> New Publications
> Four New IPR Working Papers
The latest additions to IPR's working paper series examine school accountability and teacher mobility, lawyers involved in national policymaking, school finance and state taxes, and regression discontinuity designs.
> Book: Living with the Dragon
China recently surpassed Japan to become the world's second largest economy, right behind the United States. Given China's rapid economic rise and growing military and geopolitical influence, how do Americans really feel about the country? In their recent book, IPR associate Benjamin Page and fellow political scientist Tao Xie find that contrary to conventional wisdom, most Americans favor peaceful engagement with China.
> Book: Can Journalism Be Saved?
U.S. newspapers are facing challenging times, with declining circulations and ad revenues, staff cutbacks, and in some cases, outright closure, IPR mass communication scholar Rachel Davis Mersey traces the history of print journalism from its 19th-century origins to current-day 24/7 blogs and Twitter feeds. She posits that newspapers can save themselves by placing readers' needs at the center of their efforts.
> Book: News at Work
Media, technology, and society researcher Pablo Boczkowski, an IPR associate, takes an inside look at the collision of print journalism and electronic media. Instant access to news has led to an increase in "ink" and headlines but a decrease in the diversity of news. Boczkowski traces news production from the journalist's cubicle and distribution centers to its arrival on readers' media devices.
> Book: The Thinking Student’s Guide to College
Based on his experiences as a student and a professor, political scientist and IPR associate Andrew Roberts offers 75 tips for incoming undergraduates "who want to leave college a better person than when they entered it." Roberts shows how students can successfully navigate their way through university to arrive on graduation day with a more satisfying educational experience under their mortarboards.
>> Faculty Awards and Recent Grants
> One Book, Four Awards; Two Elected to Academy
IPR sociologist Anthony Chen recently won four awards for his book The Fifth Freedom: Jobs, Politics, and Civil Rights in the United States, 1941–1972 (Princeton University Press, 2009). Two IPR faculty, Northwestern president Morton Schapiro and sociolegal scholar John Hagan, were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
For more information on these and other faculty awards, presentations, and recent grants,
>> Keep Up with IPR!
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