February 2018

Examining Discrimination to Understand Its Impact

The #metoo, Black Lives Matter, and LGBTQIA movements, among others, have raised awareness about the stubborn persistence of various kinds of discrimination that people from all walks of life, racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations face every day. IPR researchers are providing multidisciplinary insights to help address these issues. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Cynthia Kinnan

As a college student gathering evidence for her debate team on development assistance in Africa, IPR economist Cynthia Kinnan found fraught claims about what did and did not work. That led Kinnan to the study of development economics, and ever since, she has sought to bring scientific tools to the conversation surrounding poverty's consequences and causes in the developing world. MORE

Crime in Chicago: Research Briefing

Join four IPR policy experts for an examination of "Crime in Chicago: What Does the Research Tell Us?" on March 9 in Chicago, hosted by IPR and the Union League Club of Chicago's Public Affairs Committee. The event is free of charge, but space is limited. RSVP is required. MORE

Democracy in America

Political scientist and IPR associate Benjamin Page and Princeton?s Martin Gilens argue in their book, "Democracy in America? What Has Gone Wrong and What We Can Do About It," that ordinary citizens have little or no independent influence on government policy. MORE

Infants Can Learn Abstract Rules

Three-month-old babies cannot sit up or roll over, yet they are already capable of learning patterns from simply looking at the world around them, according to a recent study from IPR developmental psychologist Sandra Waxman and her colleagues. MORE

Lack of Sleep Tied to Racial/Ethnic Differences in Disease Risk

Northwestern sleep researcher and IPR associate Kristen Knutson examines how differences in sleep between racial and ethnic groups could potentially explain higher rates of obesity and diabetes among African Americans and Latinos. MORE

Visualizing Success Can Ease Student Anxiety

Visualizing a successful future can help anxious college students manage challenges and stress, according to a Northwestern University-led study co-authored by IPR social psychologist Mesmin Destin. MORE

IPR Working Papers

School Starting Age and Cognitive Development (WP-17-16)

Elizabeth Dhuey, David Figlio, Krzysztof Karbownik, and Jeffrey Roth

The researchers present evidence of a positive relationship between the age that children start school and their cognitive development. Using a dataset of matched administrative records for more than 900,000 Florida schoolchildren, they find that older children born in September benefit developmentally over the younger children in their same grade born in August. Being older at the start of school also increases the older children's chances of graduating from college and reduces their likelihood of being incarcerated for juvenile crime.

What Does (Formal) Health Insurance Do, and For Whom? (WP-17-15)

Amy Finkelstein, Neale Mahoney, and Matthew Notowidigdo

The 2010 Affordable Care Act greatly increased health insurance rates for low-income Americans. When provided to the previously uninsured, health insurance yields better health, lower out-of-pocket spending, and reduced medical debt. Beyond those it insures, subsidized health insurance also substantially benefits healthcare providers who typically "foot the bill" for most of the uninsureds' care. According to the researchers, since low-income adults have access to a great amount of uncompensated care for which they pay little, they are less willing to pay the higher cost of acquiring an insurer's health plan, indicating why take-up of heavily subsidized insurance programs is so low.

Read more IPR working papers

Infographic: How Exposure to Crime Affects Sleep and Cortisol


Jennifer Heissel (SESP PhD 17) and IPR psychobiologist Emma Adam found that adolescents got less sleep and were more stressed following a nearby violent crime. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR education sociologist Simone Ispa-Landa received the Gender Equity in Action Faculty Award from the Northwestern Women's Center.

Robert Porter, an economist and IPR associate, received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Economics, Finance, and Management category for founding and shaping the field of empirical industrial organization.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

The Takeaway

Counting America: A Warning For the 2020 Census

IPR director and economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach appeared on The Takeaway to discuss key issues related to the 2020 census, including concerns about its funding and leadership.

Chicago Magazine

Inside the Marriage Lab

According to social psychologist and IPR associate Eli Finkel, it is possible to bring intimacy back into a marriage that is 10, 20, or 40 years old.


Sex, Drugs, and Singing Ovaries

Oncofertility specialist and IPR associate Teresa Woodruff discussed her reproductive health video for kids, as well as her efforts to get equal representation of women in clinical trials, on WBEZ's Nerdette podcast.

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