July 2016

Ready for School, Ready for Life

Early childhood education is an issue on lawmakers' minds: President Barack Obama has proposed making preschool universal, and House Speaker Paul Ryan's antipoverty plan highlights ways to strengthen early childhood development. At a Washington, D.C., policy research briefing, co-sponsored by U.S. Representatives Bob Dold (R–10th) and Dan Lipinski (D–3rd) of Illinois, four IPR experts addressed important issues of early education before more than 60 researchers, nonprofit leaders, and congressional staffers in May. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Simone Ispa-Landa

From how individuals cope with having a criminal record to how white students and teachers in affluent suburban schools affect the experiences of their black classmates, IPR sociologist Simone Ispa-Landa seeks to uncover how race, gender, and stigma operate in daily life. MORE

Small Venue Offers Big Ideas in Political Behavior

The carefully curated Chicago Area Political and Social Behavior workshop has become a "go-to" event for many in the Midwest political science community over the past decade, encouraging lively debate with leading social scientists. This year's event welcomed keynote speaker Diana Mutz of the University of Pennsylvania, who spoke on how in-group favoritism might explain why Americans prefer to buy "made in the USA." MORE

'Not Too Late' for At-Risk Chicago Teens

In April, the Chicago Tribune announced the city's 1,000th gunshot victim, a 16-year-old male gunned down in a Southside public housing complex. Many wonder what can be done in the face of such ubiquitous violence. One answer might lie in a program for at-risk youth being evaluated by IPR economist Jonathan Guryan. MORE

The Future of Collective Innovation

When mechanical engineer and IPR associate Elizabeth Gerber worked in industry, the development process was typically slow and costly. Today, technological advances have vastly changed the process. But without careful attention to organizational structure, Gerber explains, technology's rapid growth could cripple broad engagement instead. MORE

Who Governs?

How much do presidents' decisions actually reflect the will of the people? A recent book by IPR political scientist James Druckman and his co-author Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota explores how presidents manipulate public opinion to drum up support for their policies. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Insurance and the High Prices of Pharmaceuticals (WP-16-09)

David Besanko, David Dranove, and Craig Garthwaite

While expanded health insurance access, such as the Affordable Care Act and Medicare Part D, can offer treatments that patients might not be able to afford otherwise, such expansions might also have negative effects. The researchers investigate by developing a demand model where customers cannot afford expensive lifesaving treatments without insurance. They predict that in this setting insurance unambiguously increases the prices for these innovative treatments and in many cases decreases consumer surplus. Additionally, they predict that requiring insurers to cover a wide range of treatments in a single insurance bundle allows manufacturers of innovative products to set prices that exceed the value they create. The authors test these predictions using the 2003 passage of Medicare Part D, which substantially expanded the number of seniors receiving drug coverage. They find that this insurance expansion raised prices in the oncology market and increased the probability that new products would be priced above the value they create.

Stop and Frisk and Trust in Police in Chicago (WP-16-08)

Wesley G. Skogan

Stop and frisk—when an officer stops, questions, and then searches an individual—has become the crime-prevention strategy of choice in American policing. Skogan examines some of the collateral consequences of relying on an aggressive stop-and-frisk policy. From the citizen's point of view, these stops can seem unwarranted. Additionally, police stops might be unfairly distributed according to race, age, social class, and gender. Skogan also considers how a policy of stop and frisk might undermine police legitimacy—and could lead to declines in trust in police.

Using Frames to Make Scientific Communication Effective (WP-16-07)

James Druckman and Arthur Lupia

For science to act as a foundation for public policy, sound scientific practice should exist alongside effective communication of scientific findings to individuals, organizations, and institutions. Such communication often involves frames—or the ways in which topics are explained and perceived—that serve to highlight certain aspects of a scientific finding or issue. Druckman and Lupia discuss ways in which frames can be used to facilitate effective scientific communication.

Read more IPR working papers


Do 'Stop-and-Frisk' Policies Affect Chicagoans' Trust in Police?


For police departments across the country, "stop and frisk"—when an officer stops, questions, and then searches an individual—has become the crime prevention strategy of choice. IPR political scientist and policing expert Wesley G. Skogan examines the consequences of such a policy in Chicago, especially focusing on how stop and frisk affects the public's trust in police. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

President Barack Obama reappointed IPR education researcher and statistician Larry Hedges to the National Board for Education Sciences. If confirmed by the Senate, Hedges will again serve as one of 15 voting members of the national board.

Six IPR faculty members were appointed to named professorships by the University: David CellaElizabeth GerberBrayden KingDaniel O'KeefeMichelle Shumate, and Burton Weisbrod. Four IPR faculty were also reappointed to their named professorships.

IPR economist Charles F. Manski was named a fellow of the American Statistical Association.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

The Washington Post

A cheap, simple experiment just found a very effective way to slow deforestation

Does paying tree owners not to cut down their trees constitute a cost-effective way to reduce deforestation? An experiment conducted by IPR development economist Seema Jayachandran and her colleagues in Uganda suggests it could.

The Atlantic

Is middle America due for a huge earthquake?

Geophysicist and IPR associate Seth Stein challenges the alarmist claim that there will be a massive earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone.

The New York Times

The building blocks of learning

IPR labor and education economist Kirabo Jackson studies how teachers who improve student engagement might not be rewarded accordingly.


Google will soon diagnose your illnesses in search results

As Google seeks to make online health searches more accessible, a study by communication studies researcher and IPR associate Ellen Wartella finds that many U.S. teens seek health information online, but few trust that information.

The New Yorker

Racism, stress, and black death

An African-American doctoral student describes his recent experience with a police stop, citing research by IPR's Emma AdamJennifer Richeson, and Jennifer Heissel on how perceived discrimination can affect chronic stress and health.

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