View in Browser/Mobile January 2016

IPR enews

IPR psychologist Alice Eagly (center) discusses the obstacles women leaders must overcome as part of a panel with Brigham Young political scientist Christopher Karpowitz and IPR economist Lori Beaman.

Why Do So Few Women Hold Positions of Power?

Only 19 percent of U.S. congressional members, less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, and only two out of the current crop of U.S. presidential candidates are women. Clearly, “women are profoundly underrepresented in the United States in truly high-powered roles,” said IPR psychologist Alice Eagly at a recent IPR policy research briefing in Chicago. Before nearly 90 attendees, Eagly, IPR economist Lori Beaman, and Brigham Young political scientist Christopher Karpowitz dove into an interdisciplinary discussion of this issue and what might be possible to ensure that more women attain—and maintain—positions of power. MORE

Can Stricter State Penalties Lower Theft of Wages?

While the debate over raising the minimum wage continues across the United States, there has been little discussion about wage theft—when employers pay their employees below the minimum wage. In a recent IPR working paper, IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin conducts a state-by-state analysis of policies surrounding wage theft. MORE

IPR Economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach Discusses Food Stamps at White House Event

On January 27, IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach spoke at the White House about her research on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (previously known as the Food Stamp Program), and its large and enduring impact on children. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

Seven IPR faculty were named to Northwestern's 2015–16 Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll: psychologist Eli Finkel, social policy professors Carol Lee and Dan Lewis, economist Lee Lockwood
political scientist Wesley Skogan, statistician Bruce Spencer, and journalism professor Charles Whitaker.

Communication studies researcher and IPR associate Eszter Hargittai’s “Digital Na(t)ives?” was one of the American Sociological Association’s top-cited journal articles between 2010 and 2014.

Find other faculty awards HERE

Faculty in the Media
The New York Times
Even insured can face crushing medical debt, study finds
The Upshot highlights research by healthcare economist and IPR associate David Dranove in an article about healthcare costs, and why even those with health insurance are not immune from financial troubles after receiving medical care.
Powerball jackpot soars to $800 million
As the Powerball jackpot rose to $800 million, WGN Radio interviewed IPR economist Matthew Notowidigdo about his finding that lottery winners in Sweden do not retire after winning, but rather just work a bit less.
Chicago Tribune
Chicago's neighborhood schools hurting as choice abounds
How does the rise of charter schools in Chicago impact the city�s neighborhoods? In the Chicago Tribune, sociologist and IPR associate Mary Pattillo discusses dwindling neighborhood school enrollment—and what it means for the city’s communities.
The Washington Post
Public sector unions are under threat. Police unions may be a different story.
In a Wonkblog article about the fate of unions under a current Supreme Court case, law professor and IPR associate Max Schanzenbach explains the unique incentives police unions offer police officers, relative to other public unions.
Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research

Faculty Spotlight: John Heinz
IPR legal scholar and social scientist John Heinz's decision to pursue law led to a half century-long career of research, teaching, and institutional service, encompassing groundbreaking studies on the legal profession’s structure and networks, directing the American Bar Foundation, and his latest project—analyzing letters written by ordinary mid-19th century women. “One of the nice things about being an interdisciplinary scholar,” Heinz said, “is that you can charge off in all kinds of different directions.” MORE


Government's Public Policy Iceberg
Citizens are often unaware of “public-private” programs, even if they benefit from them, such as by receiving a government-sponsored home loan. They are also unaware of when they are being excluded from these programs, which is where citizens’ advocacy groups come in. In a recent journal article, political scientist and IPR associate Chloe Thurston examines the role that citizens’ advocacy groups—nongovernmental organizations that represent different groups of Americans, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or the American Legion—played in alerting their members to shortcomings of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 and the early GI Bill in 1944. MORE

Beyond College Access to Success for Low-Income Students
In the United States, the unofficial education policy of “college-for-all” has succeeded in enrolling more students than ever in college. But only 20 percent of those who enroll in community college manage to get a bachelor’s degree, and low-income students with low test scores are even less likely to do so. Yet these students have options beyond traditional bachelor’s programs, said IPR education researcher James Rosenbaum in a recent colloquium. Rosenbaum and project coordinator Caitlin Ahearn have studied the benefits of “sub-baccalaureate” programs. MORE

Online Privacy? Beware of Posts Made from Your Home Computer
In 2015, 85 percent of Facebook users had accessed the social media site at some point from a mobile device. As mobile devices become more pervasive, the sheer amount of personal information that people share online is also skyrocketing. However, little is known about what this might mean for a person’s online privacy. IPR associate and communication studies researcher Eszter Hargittai and her co-author Jennifer Jiyoung Suh of the University of California, Santa Barbara address this gap in the research by investigating how a person’s privacy might be affected by the device they use for a Facebook post and the location from which they make the post. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find all IPR working papers HERE.

“U.S. Food and Nutrition Program” (WP-15-21)

Hilary Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Concerns about adequate nutrition figure prominently in discussions of the health and wellbeing of America’s disadvantaged populations. At the same time, Americans’ diet quality has been persistently low and unchanging over time and more than a third of adults and 17 percent of children are obese. To address these problems, a range of U.S. food and nutrition programs are provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In this survey, the researchers focus on the four largest of these programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (previously known as Food Stamps), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP).

“Why Are Indian Children So Short? The Role of Birth Order and Son Preference” (WP-15-20)

Seema Jayachandran and Rohini Pande

Stunting due to malnutrition is widespread in India, such that Indian children are shorter than their counterparts in poorer regions like Sub-Saharan Africa. Using data on more than 174,000 children from demographic and health surveys, the researchers show that Indian firstborns are actually taller than African firstborns, and that the Indian height disadvantage emerges with the second child and then increases with birth order. Several factors suggest that the culture of eldest son preference underlies India's high rate of stunting: The Indian firstborn height advantage only exists for sons, and the drop-off varies with siblings' gender—as well as by religion and region within India—in ways consistent with the hope for a male heir determining Indian parents' fertility decisions and their allocation of resources among their children.

“The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reform” (WP-15-19)

Kirabo Jackson, Rucker Johnson, and Claudia Persico

The researchers link data on school spending and school finance reforms to detailed, nationally representative data on children born between 1955 and 1985 and followed through 2011, to see if children who were exposed to the reforms were more educated and more highly paid later in life. They find that a 10-percent increase in per-pupil spending each year for all 12 years of a child’s public school career leads to .27 more completed years of education, 7.25 percent higher wages, and a 3.67 percentage-point reduction in the annual incidence for adult poverty. These effects were much stronger for children from low-income families. They also find that increased school spending was associated with improvements in school quality, including reduced student-to-teacher ratios, increases in teacher salaries, and longer school years.

“;The Effect of Wealth on Individual and Household Labor Supply: Evidence from Swedish Lotteries” (WP-15-18)

David Cesarini, Erik Linqvist, Matthew Notowidigdo, and Robert Östling

The researchers study a large sample of lottery players in Sweden and find that many of the lottery winners “spend” their winnings by working a little less. Interestingly, the winners reduce their work hours much more than their spouses, regardless of the winners’ gender. It seems like "who wins" in the household determines who gets to take it easier at their job. The researchers see very little evidence of early retirement upon winning, even for those who won large prizes.

Upcoming Events

2/1/16 - "How Do Right-to-Carry Laws Affect Crime Rates? Coping with Ambiguity Using Bounded-Variation Assumptions" by Charles F. Manski (IPR/Economics)

2/8/16 - "Debunking the Mythical Relationship Between Nonprofit Networking and Organizational Capacity" by Michelle Shumate (Communication Studies/IPR)

2/15/16 - "The Long Reach of History: Intergenerational Pathways to Plasticity in Health and Human Capital" by Christopher Kuzawa (IPR/Anthropology)

Find the complete calendar HERE.

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