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Kits & Cats
High school students visit Northwestern's campus.

The Road to Higher Education

Despite rising college costs and student-debt burdens, research continues to show that a four-year college degree is still one of the most viable ways to climb the ladder of success in the United States—especially for those students from traditionally underrepresented groups. IPR faculty are known for their studies of various issues related to college access, affordability, and outcomes. Their work is helping to inform policymakers and the public on ways to break through barriers that might prevent low-income students from applying to and attending college—and how to help them succeed once they get there. MORE

Fay Lomax Cook to Lead NSF Directorate

FLC
The National Science Foundation 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 the federal agency’s senior management and policy team, while leading SBE and its staff of 119 and managing a budget of approximately $250 million. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors 
IPR economist Jonathan Guryan was named to the Purpose Economy 100 for his research on prize-linked savings accounts. Celebrating new economy "pioneers," the list also includes Melinda Gates, Al Gore, and Arianna Huffington.

MORE faculty awards & honors.

Faculty in the Media
CNN
Why half of urban kids drop out
IPR economist Jonathan Guryan co-authored an opinion piece detailing the research on small-group tutoring programs for Chicago Public School students and highlighting the need for an academic safety net.

Washington Post
Class size matters a lot, research shows
A research review on class size, conducted by IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, indicates that increasing class sizes will harm student outcomes and smaller classes will improve them, especially for low-income and minority students.

Sydney Morning Herald
You are what your grandmother ate, scientists say
IPR biological anthropologist Christopher Kuzawa's research shows what maternal grandmothers ate during their pregnancies might have an effect on the health and birth weight of their grandchildren.

The New York Times
The all-or-nothing marriage
IPR associate Eli Finkel wrote an opinion piece about his recent research on marriage. He observes that expectations for marriage have increased significantly in the last half century, leading to a concept of an ideal marriage that requires a great deal of time and investment to achieve.

NPR
Bill Clinton, party-builder in chief
An article on Bill Clinton's ongoing popularity references IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin's book Presidential Party Building: From Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush, which explains how Clinton's party-building strengths made him an anomaly among recent Democratic presidents.

Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research
Lincoln Quillian
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. MORE

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. MORE

Attend Research Briefing: Two Generations, One Future
On April 16, I
PR will hold a policy research briefing in Evanston to examine evidence on two-generation programs, which provide workforce development training to parents while their children are engaged in high-quality education programs. Panelists are IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, IPR senior research scientist Teresa Eckrich Sommer, social psychologist and IPR associate Mesmin Destin, and sociologist Sara Goldrick-Rab of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. MORE

IPR Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants
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. The RA program will embark upon its 17th year this summer. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find all IPR working papers HERE.

“The (Surprising) Efficacy of Academic and Behavioral Intervention with Disadvantaged Youth from a Randomized Experiment in Chicago” (WP-14-03)

Philip J. Cook, Kenneth Dodge, George Farkas, Roland Fryer, Jr., Jonathan Guryan, Jens Ludwig, Susan Mayer, Harold Pollack, and Laurence Steinberg

There is growing concern that improving the academic skills of disadvantaged youth is too difficult and costly, so policymakers should instead focus either on vocationally oriented instruction for teens or else on early childhood education. Yet this conclusion might be premature, given that so few previous interventions have targeted a potential fundamental barrier to school success: “mismatch” between what schools deliver and the needs of disadvantaged youth who have fallen behind in their academic or non-academic development.

This working paper reports on a randomized-controlled trial of a two-pronged intervention: It provides disadvantaged youth with nonacademic supports that try to teach youth social-cognitive skills based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and intensive individualized academic remediation. The study sample consists of 106 male ninth and tenth graders in a public high school on Chicago's South Side, who are mostly black and eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. The intervention increased their math test scores and math grades, and it seems to have increased expected graduation rates by 14 percentage points. While some questions remain about the intervention, given these effects and a cost per participant of around $4,400 (with a range of $3,000-$6,000), this intervention seems to yield larger gains in adolescent outcomes per dollar spent than many other types of interventions.

“Party Nomination Rules and Campaign Participation”
(WP-14-02)

Georgia Kernell

Kernell examines how political party organizations shape campaign participation in advanced industrialized parliamentary democracies. In some parties, members directly nominate candidates for their party's nomination. In others, selection is the sole responsibility of the party elite. Two countervailing arguments are presented: one stating that member participation will increase incentives to get involved in campaigns, and the other contending that democratic nominations expose internal party divisions and depress participation. The paper also argues that a party's ideology, size, incumbency, and heterogeneity might influence participation. The hypotheses are tested using cross-national election surveys and original candidate selection data. Participation is measured by campaign activity and political persuasion. The results suggest that partisans are more likely to participate when elites, rather than members, select candidates. In addition, small and left-leaning parties are found to be more successful at mobilizing their core supporters, as are those parties currently in government.

Upcoming Events
3/31/14 - "Linking Language and Cognition in Infants" by Sandra Waxman (IPR/Psychology)
4/7/14 - "Glass Ceilings, Labyrinths, and Jungle Gyms: Has Anything Changed for Women as Leaders?" by Alice Eagly (IPR/Psychology)
4/14/14 - "Labeling Social Interventions and the Way Social Science Evidence Is Used in Public Policy: The Case of Bail Bonds in Cook County" by Thomas Cook (IPR/Sociology/Psychology/SESP), Yang (Tanya) Tang (IPR/Statistics), and Shari Seidman Diamond (Law/Psychology/IPR)
4/16/14 - "Two Generations, One Future: Advancing the Education and Income of Parents and Children Simultaneously," an IPR Policy Research Briefing at Evanston Township High School
4/21/14 - "Race, Class and Location in Neighborhood Migration" by Lincoln Quillian (IPR/Sociology)

Find the complete calendar HERE.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?
Please e-mail ipr@northwestern.edu.

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Institute for Policy Research • 2040 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208 • Phone: 847.491.3395 • Fax: 847.491.9916