November 2017

Expanding Development Research at Northwestern

While the overall rate of global poverty has fallen to under 10 percent from 35 percent in 1990, the problem of deep and persistent poverty remains. Development economists and IPR associates Dean Karlan and Christopher Udry have founded the Global Poverty Research Lab, housed in the Buffett Institute for Global Studies. The lab will present new opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration across the University—including with IPR faculty already conducting development research—on ways to break the cycle of poverty. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Mary McGrath

"Some of the most important decisions that we make as members of the public are political decisions," IPR political scientist Mary McGrath explained. "I'm interested in decision-making not in terms of who we normally think of as political decision makers—policymakers and political elites—but how do regular people make these decisions they're faced with?" MORE

The Costs of Striving, Arriving

The stress of poverty can last a lifetime, according to work by IPR health psychologists Edith Chen and Greg Miller. Even when people are able to overcome the disadvantages of their youth, many who "make it" face lasting effects from the journey. MORE

Northwestern Strengthens Academic Ties with Cuba

A group of Northwestern faculty members, including IPR anthropologists Thomas McDade and Rebecca Seligman and IPR associate Craig Garfield, traveled to Cuba this summer to explore potential opportunities for health research. MORE

The Power of Social Relationships

The social connections we create throughout life can impact everything from self-esteem and learning to inequality and teacher performance, researchers said during a conference, co-sponsored by IPR, on "Social Relationships Across the Life Span." MORE

IPR Working Papers

Reducing Inequality Through Dynamic Complementarity: Evidence from Head Start and Public School Spending (WP-17-09)

Rucker Johnson and Kirabo Jackson

The researchers compare the adult outcomes of cohorts who were exposed, at different points in their childhoods and depending on where they grew up, to changes in Head Start spending and changes in public K–12 school spending induced by school finance reforms. For poor children, they find that increases in Head Start spending and increases in public K–12 spending each increased educational attainment and earnings, and reduced the likelihood of both poverty and incarceration in adulthood. Benefits were complementary as well: Head Start spending benefits were larger when followed by access to better-funded public K–12 schools, and the increases in K–12 spending were more effective for poor children who were exposed to higher levels of Head Start spending during their preschool years.

Unbiased? Race, Gender, and Sport Effects in University Medical Staff's Perceptions of Injured Student-Athletes (WP-17-06)

James Druckman, Sophie Trawalter, and Ivonne Montes

Previous studies have documented racial and gender disparities in medical care; however, little is known about such disparities in care among college-sports medical staff. The researchers conduct a vignette survey experiment with 717 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I medical staff to explore perceptions of an injured student-athlete—for example, asking respondents to gauge how likely it is that a student-athlete will follow medical recommendations. They find little evidence of bias. The researchers discuss why this population of medical practitioners might differ from others and offer suggestions for future work.

Racial Bias in Sport Medical Staff's Perceptions of Others' Pain (WP-17-08)

James Druckman, Sophie Trawalter, Ivonne Montes, Alexandria Fredendall, Noah Kanter, and Allison Rubenstein

In this related working paper (see "Unbiased?" above), Druckman and his colleagues examine how 651 college-sports medical staff perceive how student-athletes cope with pain. Using vignettes about a student-athlete with a knee injury, the researchers find that a majority of the respondents view African-Americans as having a greater tolerance for pain than white athletes—but only when the African-Americans come from less privileged social backgrounds. The researchers offer this finding as a "starting place for thinking about interventions ... grounded in recognizing that hardship does not make one impervious to physical pain."

Read more IPR working papers

Infographic: How Cash Transfers Help Children in the Long Run

A century ago, a remarkably successful cash transfer program began providing money to mothers in need, increasing their sons' life spans by about a year, according to research by economist and IPR associate Joseph Ferrie. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR sociologist and African-American studies researcher Celeste Watkins-Hayes was named an associate vice president for research at Northwestern.

IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin received a Russell Sage Foundation Presidential Authority award for his research on the changing nature of workers' rights.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

The New York Times

Why public health insurance could help, even if you don't want it

An Indian jobs program and a Mexican food distribution initiative could provide lessons for the U.S. Affordable Care Act, according to IPR economist Seema Jayachandran.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The costly obsession with BAs

IPR education researcher James Rosenbaum explains how community colleges can guide and support students to help them complete their certificates and degrees.


Reading the news on Trump: Are we empty vessels or active filters?

IPR associate Pablo Boczkowski, a media, technology, and society researcher, outlines four key mechanisms for how people make sense of the news.

Inside Higher Ed

But will her husband move?

Management and organizations professor and IPR associate Lauren Rivera finds that university faculty search committees actively consider women's—but not men's—relationship status when selecting hires.

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