May 2017

Dissecting Key Aspects of the Political Landscape

The 11th annual Chicago Area Political and Social Behavior Workshop (CAB) focused on key aspects shaping the current political landscape, "highlighting the reach of politics in topics such as wealth, geography, homes, and journalism," said James Druckman, IPR political scientist and associate director, in opening the May 5 workshop on Northwestern's Evanston Campus. Political scientist and IPR associate Chloe Thurston (above) presented her work on the politics of homeownership. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Combating Medical Students' Racial Bias

Many medical schools include diversity training in their curriculum, but racial disparities in quality of care persist. Research shows these disparities sometimes stem from physician attitudes. Psychologist and IPR associate Sylvia Perry and her colleagues identify one possible cause of biased attitudes and propose possible solutions. MORE

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

A two-generation approach that pairs early childhood education for low-income children with career training for their parents has the potential to break the cycle of poverty, according to IPR researchers Lindsay Chase-LansdaleTeresa Eckrich Sommer, and Terri Sabol, who are studying the CareerAdvance program in Oklahoma. MORE

Start High School Later for Better Academic Outcomes

In a new Brookings report, IPR Director and economist David Figlio explains why starting middle and high school later in the day can improve student achievement, citing research by IPR graduate research assistant Jennifer Heissel and others. MORE

The Vital Role of Government Statistics

Government data are critical not only to policy, but to businesses and families, too, according to a bipartisan report from the American Enterprise Institute and the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. IPR economist and Hamilton Project Director Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach coauthored the report. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Cash for Carbon: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Deforestation (WP-16-25)

Seema Jayachandran, Joost de Laat, Eric Lambin, and Charlotte Stanton

This working paper evaluates a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program in western Uganda that offered forest-owning households cash payments if they conserved their forest. The program was implemented as a randomized trial in 121 villages, 60 of which received the program for two years. The PES program reduced deforestation and forest degradation: Tree cover, measured using high-resolution satellite imagery, declined by 2–5 percent in treatment villages compared to 7–10 percent in control villages during the study period. The researchers find no evidence of shifting of tree-cutting to nearby land. They then use the estimated effect size and the "social cost of carbon" to value the delayed carbon dioxide emissions, and compare this benefit to the program's cost.

The Economic Consequences of Hospital Admissions (WP-16-24)

Carlos Dobkin, Amy Finkelstein, Raymond Kluender, and Matthew Notowidigdo

The researchers examine some economic impacts of hospital admissions using an event study approach in two datasets: survey data from the Health and Retirement Study and hospital admissions data linked to consumer credit reports. They report estimates of the impact of hospital admissions on out-of-pocket medical spending, unpaid medical bills, bankruptcy, earnings, income (and its components), access to credit, and consumer borrowing. The results point to three primary conclusions: Non-elderly adults with health insurance still face considerable exposure to uninsured earnings risk; a large share of the incremental risk exposure for uninsured non-elderly adults is borne by third parties who absorb their unpaid medical bills; and the elderly face very little economic risk from adverse health shocks.

Read more IPR working papers

Infographic: Segregation in French and U.S. Cities

Large U.S. cities are more socioeconomically segregated than French metropolises of the same size, according to research by IPR sociologist Lincoln Quillian and Hugues Lagrange of Sciences Po. They compared cities with more than 1 million inhabitants in France and the United States. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

John and Anne Heinz received a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for their book, Women, Work, and Worship in Lincoln's Country: The Dumville Family Letters. He is IPR faculty emeritus.

Read about other faculty awards

Faculty in the Media

The New York Times

Health act repeal could threaten U.S. job engine

Research by IPR faculty and economists Matthew Notowidigdo and Craig Garthwaite illustrates how repealing the Affordable Care Act might create financial problems for consumers.

The Wall Street Journal

Why Northwestern President Morton Schapiro favors safe spaces

Morton Schapiro, Northwestern president, professor, and IPR economist, explains how safe spaces help students voluntarily engage in uncomfortable learning.

Chicago Magazine

The real problem with Chicago's shrinking population

Sociologist, African-American studies researcher, and IPR associate Mary Pattillo discusses why African-Americans are moving away from the city of Chicago.

The Atlantic

Now that we can read genomes, can we write them?

Bioethicist and IPR associate Laurie Zoloth urges caution and transparency as researchers seek to write entire genomes from scratch.

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