June 2016

Tackling Global Inequality Through Research

In describing inequality across the globe, many often use GINI coefficients—statistics generated by the dispersion of a country's income data; however, an income-only measure can miss important elements of this critical issue. Thanks to a unique effort by two of Northwestern's premier research institutes, the 50 participants who took part in the two-day Global Workshop on Inequality added to a more nuanced and interdisciplinary understanding of inequality in the world by the time it ended. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Rachel Beatty Riedl

From providing expertise to help facilitate a peaceful democratic transition in Burkina Faso to conducting field research on religion and politics in sub-Saharan Africa, IPR political scientist Rachel Beatty Riedl takes a hands-on, comparative approach to studying African politics. MORE

Late-Term Births May Offer Future Cognitive Benefits

New research in JAMA Pediatrics by IPR researchers David FiglioJonathan Guryan, Krzysztof Karbownik, and their co-author suggests that babies born to mothers who deliver late term (in the 41st week) are more likely to see cognitive benefits down the road, as well as run a higher risk for a physical disability. MORE

How Culture Can Affect Disease Treatment

One out of 10 individuals of Mexican descent living in the United States will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes—twice the rate of the general American population. This might partially be due to Mexican Americans' conceptions of "self-care" differing in important ways from those of doctors and health practitioners, according to IPR anthropologist Rebecca Seligman and her colleagues. MORE

Where Are the Women on Wikipedia?

Though millions of Internet users edit one or more pages of Wikipedia each month, only 16 percent of the site's editors are women. This gender gap reflects a "matter of public concern," IPR communications researchers Eszter Hargittai and Aaron Shaw write in a recent article. They investigate the causes of Wikipedia's gender disparities, paying particular attention to interactions between a contributor's gender and her or his Internet skills.  MORE

Government Old-Age Support and the Labor Supply

As more and more baby boomers retire, having a good sense of how government programs affect the labor supply is becoming more important than ever, according to economist and IPR associate Lee Lockwood. In an IPR working paper, he and Daniel Fetter of Wellesley College look back at the Old Age Assistance Program and analyze how it affected employment. MORE

IPR Working Papers

The Price Effects of Cross-Market Hospital Mergers (WP-16-05)

Leemore Dafny, Kate Ho, and Robin Lee

"Horizontal mergers" of hospitals in the same geographic market have garnered significant attention from researchers and regulators alike, but much of the recent hospital industry consolidation spans multiple markets serving distinct patient populations. Dafny, Ho, and Lee find that cross-market hospital mergers can reduce competition, leading to higher prices. They show that hospitals gaining system members in-state, but not in the same geographic market, experience price increases of 6-10 percent relative to control hospitals, while hospitals gaining system members out-of-state exhibit no statistically significant changes in price.

School Finance Reform and the Distribution of Student Achievement (WP-16-04)

Julien Lafortune, Jesse Rothstein, and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Finance reforms are key for promoting equality of educational opportunity, according to Lafortune, Rothstein, and Schanzenbach. They study the impact of post-1990 school finance reforms on gaps in spending and achievement between high-income and low-income school districts. They observe that court orders, legislative reforms, and other reform events led to increases in spending in low-income school districts, eventually yielding gradual increases in low-income students' achievement.

What Do Test Scores Miss? The Importance of Teacher Effects on Non-Test Score Outcomes (WP-16-03)

C. Kirabo Jackson

A quality teacher is one who teaches students the skills necessary to be productive adults, but how can we measure this? Jackson examines teacher effects on measures of noncognitive skills by looking at suspensions, absences, course grades, and on-time grade progression. He finds these outcomes go beyond test scores to help identify those teachers who improve students' longer-term outcomes—even though they do not raise students' test scores.

Read more IPR working papers

Gender-Science Stereotypes in 66 Nations


Why has the number of women pursuing science majors increased dramatically in some countries but not in others? An international experiment led by Northwestern graduate student David Miller, with IPR psychologist Alice Eagly and Marcia Linn of UC-Berkeley, finds that female representation in science varies according to implicit, or unconscious, gender-science stereotypes.  MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR social psychologist Jennifer Richeson was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences on April 30.

IPR associates Elizabeth Gerber, a mechanical engineer, and Daniel O'Keefe, a communication studies researcher, received 2016 Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence Awards from Northwestern University.

IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin won the Best Paper on Public Policy award from the American Political Science Association for his working paper on wage theft.

IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay Chase-Lansdale was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media


Why dads are important

Pediatrician and IPR associate Craig Garfield discovers the way fathers speak and interact with their children has a life-long effect on their physical, mental, and emotional development.


Here's what living near a toxic waste site can do to kids' grades

Education economist and IPR Director David Figlio and graduate research assistant Claudia Persico show how living near Superfund sites—toxic waste sites identified by the EPA—negatively affects children's cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

WTTW's Chicago Tonight

Heated marital spats linked to heart problems

Findings from developmental psychologist and IPR associate Claudia Haase reveal the way someone reacts during a conflict with their partner can have long-term health effects.

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