January 2018

IPR's Top Articles Reflect Policy Debates

Last year saw a new administration settle into office, with policy debates spilling over from Capitol Hill and the White House into state legislatures, courts, town halls, and the streets. Many of IPR's top-read articles from 2017 reflect such wider policy concerns—from research on boycotts to partisan polarization to the benefits of safety-net programs. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Mary Pattillo

Chicago is IPR associate Mary Pattillo's home and also her research subject. A sociologist and African American studies researcher, she has delved into "race in the city" in Chicago and beyond throughout her research career. Her pioneering work covers the black middle class, urban housing, public education, and the criminal justice system. MORE

Northwestern Honors IPR Health Psychologists

Internationally renowned IPR health psychologists Edith Chen and Greg Miller, partners in both research and life, traced the influences on their respective and overlapping career paths at the investiture ceremony for their endowed chairs on November 28 at Northwestern University. MORE

The 51 Percent

The U.S. economy will only reach its full potential if women are able to fully participate in the labor market, according to a new book co-edited by economist and IPR Director Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach. In The 51 Percent: Driving Growth Through Women's Economic Participation, researchers propose evidence-based public policy reforms aimed at addressing the structural problems in the economy that are holding women back. MORE

Food or Water?

While in Kenya studying food insecurity during the first 1,000 days of life—or roughly the time between conception and a child's second birthday—IPR anthropologist Sera Young stumbled upon an equally severe problem facing new mothers and their children: access to water. MORE

Promoting Unhealthy Foods to Kids Online

In Health Communication, communication studies researcher and IPR associate Ellen Wartella and her colleagues report on a first-of-its-kind study that zeroes in on how food companies are marketing to kids online, and what this might mean for children's nutrition and eating habits in a country where 1 in 3 children is either overweight or obese. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Passing the Buck in Congress: The Extent and Effectiveness of Blaming Others for Inaction (WP-17-14)

David Doherty and Laurel Harbridge-Yong

The researchers leverage three survey experiments to examine how people respond when legislators "pass the buck," or blame the opposing party or those in other government institutions when popular policies are not enacted. Their findings suggest that blaming has few benefits, but might be an appealing rhetorical strategy for some legislators, as the backlash from such a strategy will come from citizens who support the opposing party, who are unlikely to vote for them in any case. However, their evidence also suggests that such blaming rhetoric could also exacerbate public dissatisfaction with parties and legislative institutions.

Gender Policy Feedback: Perceptions of Sex Equity, Title IX, and Political Mobilization Among College Athletes (WP-17-13)

James Druckman, Jacob Rothschild, and Elizabeth Sharrow

The researchers study college student-athletes' reactions to one of the most celebrated anti-discriminatory gender policies in U.S. history: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Using a novel survey, they show that one of the policy's core constituencies perceives substantial sex-based discrimination. This finding stands in stark contrast to the popular narrative of policy success over the four decades since the policy's initial implementation. Moreover, these perceptions are particularly salient for women and those who see persistent gender discrimination in society.

Unwelcome Guests? The Effects of Refugees on the Educational Outcomes of Incumbent Students (WP-17-12)

David Figlio and Umut Özek

The world is experiencing its second largest refugee crisis in a century. One of the major points of contention involves possible adverse effects of incoming refugees on their host communities. The researchers examine the effects of an influx of 4,000 refugee students into Florida public schools following the Haitian earthquake of 2010 using a unique set of matched birth and schooling records. They find the sizeable influx of refugees (38,000 in all to Florida alone) had zero estimated effects on the educational outcomes of existing students across schools in the same year as the earthquake—or even in the two years that follow. Their finding holds across the existing students' socioeconomic status, grade level, and ethnicity.

Read more IPR working papers

Infographic: Racial Diversity Among Coaches Drives Diversity of Beliefs


Since NFL player Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the national anthem in the 2016 season, political protests have become a major topic of discussion in sports. A new study by IPR political scientist James Druckman examines beliefs about athlete protests within one institution, the NCAA, finding that coaches' race can affect their views. MORE

In Memoriam: CC DuBois


Cynthia (CC) DuBois (PhD ’17), an emerging scholar in Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) and a former IPR graduate research assistant, died as a result of brain cancer on Jan. 2 in Chicago. She was 32. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR developmental psychologist Onnie Rogers was named an emerging scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Oncofertility specialist and IPR associate Teresa Woodruff was named a 2018 fellow of the American Academy of Inventors.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

The Economist

How political leaders shape public opinion

Partisanship wins out over other factors when people form political opinions, as shown by IPR political scientist James Druckman in a survey experiment about undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

The Mercury News

Trump administration's attacks on science are taking a grim toll

In an op-ed, IPR economist Charles F. Manski and two fellow National Academy of Sciences members argue that scientists, citizens, and scientific institutions need to advocate for the use of sound science in public policymaking.

Crain's Chicago Business

Illinois should follow New York's example on paid family leave

Illinois should enact a paid family leave policy to combat poverty and improve children's health, IPR sociologist Christine Percheski argues in an opinion piece.

Education Week

In schools, classroom proximity breeds teacher collaboration

Education researcher and IPR associate James Spillane shows that by placing classrooms of master teachers next to new teachers, schools can increase their odds of collaboration.

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