October 2016

Experts Eye Election, Offer Reflection

After three months of intense campaigning following the Republican and Democratic conventions, both of the major-party nominees now find themselves in the final sprint toward the Election Day finish line on November 8. To take stock of some of the election's structural factors, IPR asked 10 of its experts in the fields of political science, economics, social policy, and sociology to share their thoughts: What does their research reveal about five key features of presidential elections—candidate debates, polls, voter blocs, election laws, and political party dynamics? MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Wesley G. Skogan

As a pioneering expert in policing, IPR political scientist Wesley G. Skogan has been on the cutting edge of studies of crime and policing for more than four decades. This affords him a longer-term perspective on what he sees as the most pressing issue facing American policing today, its "legitimacy crisis." MORE

"Masking" the Loss of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

Without the housing boom of the early 2000s, unemployment would have spiked years before the start of the Great Recession, according to a recent study by IPR economist Matthew Notowidigdo and his colleagues. Instead, the housing boom—and the related increase in construction jobs—concealed a substantial loss in manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2007. MORE

Improving Nutrition Interventions

In a chapter of the newly published Good Nutrition: Perspectives for the 21st Century (Karger Publishers, 2016), IPR anthropologist Sera Young and her colleagues illustrate the importance of nutrition interventions that reflect program beneficiaries' desires and environments, rather than what program designers envision.  MORE

Spotting Early Warning Signs of Psychosis

Schizophrenia affects about 1 percent of the population. That might sound like a small number, but to psychologist and IPR associate Vijay Mittal, it isn't small at all—and neither are its consequences. Mittal and his colleagues have identified early warning signs of schizophrenia that can be spotted in young people before they develop into full-blown psychosis. MORE

Identifying Barriers to HIV Prevention for Young Gay Men

While rates of HIV infections have fallen for Americans overall, one demographic group, gay teens and young adults between the ages of 13 and 24, now accounts for more than 70 percent of new cases. IPR associates Brian Mustanski and Gregory Phillips explore awareness and use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a drug that prevents HIV infection, among this at-risk population. MORE

Training Current and Future Researchers

Northwestern's Evanston campus saw an uptick in summer activity for more than 125 current and future researchers. Through three training opportunities, IPR experts helped undergraduates, researchers, and faculty fine tune their understanding of research and use of rigorous methodologies. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Equilibrium Impacts of Credit: Evidence from the Indian Microfinance Crisis (WP-16-13)

Emily Breza and Cynthia Kinnan

In 2010, the government of Andhra Pradesh, India, issued an ordinance bringing microfinance activities in the state to a complete halt, causing a nationwide shock to the liquidity of lenders. Breza and Kinnan use this episode to identify the causal impacts of a reduction in credit supply on consumption, entrepreneurship, and employment. They find that district-level reductions in credit are associated with significant decreases in daily wages, household earnings, and consumption. Their findings suggest that estimates that do not account for equilibrium effects might miss a significant part of the overall impact of microfinance, especially for the poorest households.

Inequality Before Birth: The Developmental Consequences of Environmental Toxicants (WP-16-06)

Claudia Persico, David Figlio, and Jeffrey Roth

Millions of tons of hazardous wastes have been produced in the United States in the last 60 years and dispersed into the air, into water, and on and under the ground. Using population-level data from Florida, this paper examines the short and long-term effects of prenatal exposure to environmental toxicants on children living within 2 miles of a Superfund site—toxic waste sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as being particularly severe. The researchers find that children conceived by mothers living within 2 miles of a Superfund site before it was cleaned have lower test scores and are more likely to repeat a grade and be suspended from school than their siblings who were conceived after the site was cleaned.

Read more IPR working papers

Substance Abuse and Dependence After Juvenile Detention


Abuse of and dependence on "hard drugs" are far less common among delinquent African-American youth than delinquent Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, according to a study co-authored by behavioral scientist and IPR associate Linda Teplin, associate professor Leah Welty, and their colleagues. "We found that African-Americans are less likely than other racial/ethnic groups to abuse hard drugs. Yet African-Americans are disproportionately incarcerated for drug crimes," Teplin said. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR associate David Cella, professor and founding chair of medical social sciences, received the Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the National Academy of Medicine for his work to measure and apply patient-reported outcomes in healthcare.

Geophysicist and IPR associate Seth Stein is president-elect of the American Geophysics Union's Natural Hazards Focus Group.

Two recent studies named education and social policy professor and IPR associate James Spillane as one of the world's most prominent scholars in education leadership.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

Washington Monthly

How do you get ideologues to change their minds?

IPR legal scholar and sociologist Heather Schoenfeld examines the conservative movement to end mass incarceration.

The Atlantic

How the stress of racism affects learning

IPR developmental psychobiologist Emma Adam explains how race-based stress contributes to the achievement gap.

Los Angeles Times

Clashes erupt in Portland, Ore., over new police rules

Law professor and IPR associate Max Schanzenbach discusses how the role of police union contracts has increasingly become the center of efforts to reduce police abuses.

Education Week

Disadvantaged students outnumbered at top public boarding schools

IPR social psychologist Mesmin Destin finds low-income college students' uncertainty about their social status affects their achievement.

The Atlantic

Privilege helps men - but not women - get fancy jobs

IPR associate Lauren Rivera, a management and organizations professor, discovers coming from a high-class background helps men—but hurts women—who apply for jobs in elite law firms.

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