September 2016

IPR Welcomes Eight New Fellows

This September, IPR welcomes eight new fellows, one of its biggest incoming faculty cohorts ever. With research interests ranging from the economics and politics of developing countries to identity development and social inequality, these eight experts represent five disciplines, with six housed in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and two in the University's School of Education and Social Policy. "Our new fellows are bolstering IPR in subjects that are at the heart of social policy research," said IPR Director David Figlio. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: James Druckman

Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in his early 40s, IPR political scientist James Druckman is a leader in his field. But he believes his most significant achievement to date is not a high-profile, highly cited study, but his work with students. MORE

Reports of Childhood Abuse and Risk of Adult Death

Childhood abuse has been linked to a variety of adult psychiatric problems, but its association with risk of death as an adult is not well understood. A study by IPR health psychologists Edith ChenGreg Miller, with psychologist and IPR associate Dan Mroczek, uncovers a link between self-reported childhood abuse and an increased risk of premature death in women. MORE

Involving Fathers in Their Child's Care

From "deadbeat" to "stay-at-home" dads, the public's perception of fathers' roles has shifted from more negative to more positive portrayals. Though moms still shoulder the bulk of care, a recent clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, led by pediatrician and IPR associate Craig Garfield, shows that fathers are now more involved in their children's lives than before. MORE

A Sample Size of One?

Can a randomized clinical trial be informative with a sample size of one per treatment? Yes, according to new research by IPR economist Charles F. Manski and Aleksey Tetenov, a former IPR graduate research assistant. The two challenge the use of hypothesis tests in medical decision making, suggesting a way to reduce sample size in clinical trials and better inform treatment choice. MORE

What Does Research Say About Female Leaders?

"Is feminine leadership style a real phenomenon?" writes IPR psychologist Alice Eagly in The Conversation. In her op-ed, she lays out the evidence on male and female leaders, as well as the potential consequences of having a female president in the United States. MORE

Is Stress Contributing to the Achievement Gap?

Schools, teacher quality, and family income all play a role in student success, but they do not fully explain academic differences between whites and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States, according to research led by IPR developmental psychologist Emma Adam and co-authored by Northwestern postdoctoral student Dorainne Levy, IPR graduate research assistant Jennifer Heissel, and Jennifer Richeson, an IPR faculty adjunct. Their findings suggest that stress associated with perceptions of discrimination and stereotype threat—and the body's response to that stress—might help explain the achievement gap. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Long-Term Orientation and Educational Performance (WP-16-12)

David Figlio, Paola Guiliano, Umut Ozek, and Paola Sapienza

Parents pass on a variety of traits related to their education, wealth, and income that help their children succeed in school and life. The researchers find yet another passed-on trait that aids in success: culture. They use population-level administrative education and birth records from Florida to show that when parents pass along a culture that values self-control and an ability to delay gratification, their children and future generations do better in school. These students score higher on third grade reading and math tests, have fewer absences and disciplinary incidents, and are more likely to graduate from high school in four years.

Simplifying Teaching: A Field Experiment with 'Off-the-Shelf' Lessons (WP-16-11)

Kirabo Jackson and Alexey Makarin

The researchers analyze an experiment in which middle-school math teachers were randomly given "off-the-shelf" lessons to help develop students' deep understanding. The researchers consider the lessons in the context of two teaching tasks: imparting knowledge and developing understanding. According to their model, lessons that develop understanding can replace teacher effort on this task so that teachers who only excel at imparting knowledge can still be effective overall. They find that giving teachers access to the lessons and supports to promote their use increased students' math achievement by about 0.08 of a standard deviation, and that weaker teachers benefited the most. The intervention is highly scalable and more cost effective than most policies aimed at improving teacher quality.

Cross-Generational Differences in Educational Outcomes in the Second Great Wave of Immigration (WP-16-10)

Umut Ozek and David Figlio

Using a new data source—matched birth records and longitudinal student records in Florida—the researchers study how student outcomes differ across successive immigrant generations. Specifically, they look at whether first-, second-, and third-generation Asian and Hispanic immigrants in Florida perform differently on reading and math tests, and whether they are differentially likely to get into trouble in school, to be truant from school, to graduate from high school, or to be ready for college. Their findings suggest that early arriving first-generation immigrants perform better than second-generation immigrants, and second-generation immigrants perform better than third-generation immigrants.

Read more IPR working papers

Infographic: Cultural Values Affect Educational Outcomes

In addition to genes, research has shown that our parents pass along socioeconomic traits related to their education, wealth, and income that help us succeed in school and life. A recently published working paper by IPR experts David Figlio and Paola Sapienza, with their colleagues, finds yet another passed-on trait that aids in success: culture. MORE

Andrew Cherlin: IPR Distinguished Lecturer

On October 26, Andrew Cherlin, who holds the Griswold Chair at Johns Hopkins University, will discuss "The Economy, the Family, and Working-Class Discontent" as IPR's 2016 Distinguished Public Policy Lecturer. RSVP by October 20. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

Thomson Reuters recently designated IPR faculty experts Greg Miller and David Cella as highly cited researchers.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

Chicago Reader

The rise and fall of community policing in Chicago

A study of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy by political scientist and policing expert Wesley G. Skogan shows that the program decreased crime.

The Wall Street Journal

Why China trade hit U.S. workers unexpectedly hard

Matthew Notowidigdo, an IPR economist, and his colleagues find that the housing boom of the early 2000s masked a decline in U.S. manufacturing.


Doctor launching new ways to educate young men about HIV

Medical social sciences associate professor Brian Mustanski, an IPR associate, is launching a new initiative to inform young gay and bisexual men, a group at risk for HIV, about the virus.

Associated Press

Divided America: In recovery, many poor schools left behind

Increased school funding improves outcomes, while spending cuts hurt schools, says IPR economist Kirabo Jackson.

The Wall Street Journal

Presidential debates don't get no respect. They should.

Journalism professor Craig LaMay, an IPR associate, outlines the value of presidential debates, and how the U.S. has taken the lead on enacting debates between leaders.

PBS NewsHour

Could a Hillary Clinton presidency spark a preschool revolution?

IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach finds that Head Start preschoolers experienced better outcomes, such as higher rates of high school graduation, as they grew up.

Find these and other articles
View more events
Institute for Policy Research
2040 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847.491.3395