January 2017

Are Great Teachers Poor Scholars?

In a new Brookings Institution report, Northwestern professors and IPR economists David Figlio and Morton Schapiro examine whether a tradeoff exists between teaching quality and research quality when it comes to tenured faculty. Studying Northwestern University professors, they find no relationship between the two, suggesting that being an excellent teacher does not come at the cost of conducting quality research, or vice versa. Figlio directs IPR and Schapiro is Northwestern University president. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Claudia Haase

Growing up in East Germany, "We had no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, we lived behind a wall," recalled Claudia Haase, a developmental psychologist and IPR associate. "But there were some people who showed remarkable resilience in the face of this adversity." Today, Haase draws on that observation to study how different factors affect humans across their lives. MORE

Grant to Support Study of Two-Gen Expansion in Tulsa

Northwestern University’s Two-Generation Research Initiative—led by IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and IPR research associate professor Teresa Eckrich Sommer— received $1.4 million to study the expansion of CareerAdvance, a program that combines quality early learning for preschoolers with career training for their low-income parents in Tulsa, Okla. MORE

Communicating Science in a Politicized Era

How can researchers and policymakers help the public to better understand science and related policies? IPR political scientist James Druckman is studying public opinion on climate change to understand how to effectively communicate information on seemingly controversial scientific topics. MORE

Be 'Color-Brave' With Your Kids

Psychological research suggests that parents and educators should not shy away from discussing race with children, write IPR faculty Sandra Waxman and Onnie Rogers, with Yale University professor Jennifer Richeson in U.S. News & World Report. MORE

Earthquake Faults Are Smarter Than We Think

Geophysicist and IPR associate Seth Stein, IPR statistician Bruce Spencer, and IPR graduate research assistant Edward Brooks have discovered that earthquake faults are smarter—in the sense of having better memory—than seismologists have long assumed. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Long-Run Consequences of Exposure to Natural Disasters (WP-16-17)

Krzysztof Karbownik and Anthony Wray

The researchers match individual-level World War I Draft Registration Cards to late-19th century hurricane paths and the 1940 U.S. Census to explore whether fetal and early childhood exposure to stress caused by hurricanes affects human capital development and labor market outcomes in adulthood. Difference-in-differences estimates indicate that white males who were born in the South and experienced a hurricane either in utero or as infants had lower income at ages 42–53. The estimates are robust to alternate specifications of either the treatment or outcome variables, as well as changes in the tolerance for imperfectly matched historical data.

Do Disagreeable Political Discussion Networks Undermine Attitude Strength? (WP-16-16)

Joshua Robison, Thomas Leeper, and James Druckman

How attitudes change and affect behavior depends, in large part, on attitude strength. Strong attitudes are more resistant to persuasion and are more likely to produce attitude-consistent behavior. But what influences attitude strength? The researchers explore a widely discussed, but rarely investigated, factor: an individual’s political discussion network. Existing research offers a somewhat mixed picture, sometimes finding that disagreeable networks weaken attitudes and other times that they strengthen attitudes. The researchers use a novel national representative dataset to explore the relationship between disagreeable networks and attitude strength. They find, perhaps surprisingly, no evidence that disagreements in networks affect political attitude strength. They conclude by discussing likely reasons for the findings, which provide a research agenda for the study of networks and attitude strength.

Read more IPR working papers

Does School Spending Matter?


Whether or not money matters in education has been debated for years. A new study coauthored by IPR labor and education economist Kirabo Jackson finds strong ties between school spending and long-term student outcomes. Published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, the study tracks large spending increases that resulted from court cases in 28 states between 1971 and 2010. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR education researcher and statistician Larry Hedges gave the keynote address at the U.S. Institute of Education Sciences Principal Investigators meeting on December 15.

Six IPR faculty were named to Northwestern University's Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll for 2016–17.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

Chicago Tribune

Youth struggle after incarceration: NU study

Research by behavioral scientist and IPR associate Linda Teplin shows a stark contrast between how racial/ethnic minority delinquents and middle-class delinquents fare later in life.

The American Prospect

Combating wage theft under Donald Trump

Under the new administration, protecting workers' rights and pay will likely be left to states and cities, writes IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin.

PBS NewsHour

Trans patients, looking for fertility options, turn to cancer research

Building on her research on fertility options for cancer patients, oncofertility specialist and IPR associate Teresa Woodruff looks to apply the work to trans individuals, too.


It's the drug industry's turn to tremble before Trump

IPR associate Craig Garthwaite, a strategy professor, explains how higher drug prices make the U.S. a hub for innovation.

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