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2020 Colloquia

Upcoming Events

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IPR 2020 Post-Election Panel

November 9, 2020


Martin Eichenbaum, Charles Moskos Professor Professor of Economics

Laurel Harbridge-Yong, Associate Professor of Political Science and IPR Fellow

Erik Nisbet, Owen L. Coon Endowed Professor of Policy Analysis & Communication,  Director of the Center for Communication & Public Policy, and IPR Associate

Chloe Thurston, Assistant Professor of Political Science and IPR Fellow

Moderator: Daniel Galvin, Associate Professor of Political Science and IPR Fellow

See a video of the panel. 






The Economic Consequences of Bankruptcy Reform

March 9, 2020

"The Economic Consequences of Bankruptcy Reform"

by Matthew Notowidigdo, Associate Professor of Economics and IPR Faculty Fellow

Abstract: A more generous consumer bankruptcy system provides greater insurance against financial risks, but it may also raise the cost of credit to consumers. We study this trade-off using the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), which raised the costs of filing for bankruptcy. We identify the effects of BAPCPA on borrowing costs by exploiting variation in the effects of the reform on bankruptcy risk across credit-score segments. Using a combination of administrative records, credit reports, and proprietary market-research data, we find that the reform reduced bankruptcy filings, and reduced the likelihood that an uninsured hospitalization received bankruptcy relief by 70 percent. BAPCPA led to a decrease in credit card interest rates, with an implied pass-through rate of 60–75 percent. Overall, BAPCPA decreased the gap in offered interest rates between prime and subprime consumers by roughly 10 percent.


Operationalizing Research to Improve Health Inequities: The Collective Power of One Northwestern

March 2, 2020

Operationalizing Research to Improve Health Inequities: The Collective Power of One Northwestern

by Melissa Simon, George H. Gardner, MD, Professor of Clinical Gynecology, Vice Chair for Clinical Research, and
IPR Associate

In this talk, Simon will discuss some basics on the current state of health equity and pull in her own body of work in Chicago that intersects scientific rigor with policy creation and community partnership and action. Simon will discuss how we as an entire University can leverage the depth and breadth of talent to scale impact on improving health equity via better integrating and operationalizing our collective scholarship.



Measuring the World’s Experiences with Water: Implications for Science, Policy and... Northwestern

February 24, 2020

Sera Young, Associate Professor of Anthropology and IPR Fellow

Abstract: Problems with water quality and quantity are increasing in frequency and severity throughout the world, including in the United States. High-resolution, globally comparable data have been extremely helpful for understanding the human health impact of other health issues, e.g., food insecurity, but have not existed for water. To fill this gap, Young led the development of the Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) scale, the first cross-culturally equivalent way of measuring water access and use ( The HWISE Scale can be used to estimate prevalence of household water insecurity and to investigate its causes and consequences. The HWISE Scale is currently being implemented globally, including by the Gallup World Poll, to benchmark water access and use. Her presentation will conclude by discussing the policy implications of these data for both Northwestern University and the global community.

Gerrymandering: What Is It, How Can We Measure It, and What Can We Do About It?

February 21, 2020

Jeanne Clelland, Professor of Mathematics, University of Colorado-Boulder

Abstract: Gerrymandering refers to the practice of drawing legislative districts so that one political party wins a disproportionate number of seats relative to their share of the electorate. But how can we tell whether or not districts have been drawn fairly? This is a legal question and, increasingly, a mathematical one, but the mathematical tools used to measure gerrymandering are relatively new and are still evolving rapidly. One promising approach involves using computational and statistical tools to compare a specific districting plan to an “ensemble” consisting of a large number of potential districting plans. This approach, referred to as “outlier analysis,” has the advantage of taking into account the inherent political geography of a region in a way that simpler measures cannot, and it has already begun to play a role in major court cases regarding redistricting in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. In this talk, Clelland will describe how gerrymandering works and some of the mathematical tools that are being developed to detect it, with a focus on outlier analysis. She will also talk about an ongoing effort to collect data and perform this type of analysis for as many states as possible in advance of the next round of congressional redistricting in 2021.

What’s Anger Got to Do with It? Limits to Consumer and Employee Mobilization

February 17, 2020

Brayden King, Max McGraw Chair of Management and the Environment, Professor of Management and Organizations, Kellogg, and IPR Associate

 Abstract: Theories about social movements assert that the mobilization of “reference publics”—such as consumers or employees—is a necessary condition for generating movement-led social change. These publics are thought to be activated by emotional triggers, such as anger. The studies in this presentation question this assumption. One set of studies examines whether boycotts actually change consumers’ behavior, and another set of studies assesses whether anger motivates employees to support movements in their workplace. King and his co-authors conclude that the mechanisms that explain the mass mobilization of movements may be ineffective in generating the support of reference publics such as consumers and employees.