May 2018

The Future of Work

With the rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robots, and other technologies, how will workplaces and workers adapt? Fay Lomax Cook, assistant director at the National Science Foundation and head of its Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, addressed this question while discussing the foundation's "10 Big Ideas" to spark innovation in science and engineering research. MORE

Research and Working Papers

Faculty Spotlight: Ofer Malamud

A global outlook on decision making comes naturally to IPR economist Ofer Malamud. Born in Israel, his family moved to Japan when he was 6 years old, and then three years later to Hong Kong, where he attended a British secondary school. Drawing from his experience in trying to pin down his own major, Malamud decided to study the impact of specializing earlier versus later in a student's college trajectory. MORE

From Online Town Halls to One-on-One Discussions

Scholars and graduate students from the Midwest and beyond gathered for the 12th annual Chicago Area Political and Social Behavior Workshop. It featured presentations on representative democracy, identity, immigration, and youth engagement by four prominent and rising political scientists and offered graduate students opportunities for mentoring. MORE

Research Demonstrates Effects of Inequality on Health

The latest issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, co-edited by IPR biological anthropologist Thomas McDade, offers insights into how social and biological factors interact to shape individuals' health outcomes and life chances. MORE

More Students Report Carrying Guns in Chicago than New York or Los Angeles

According to a Northwestern Medicine study by IPR associate and Feinberg researcher Joe Feinglass, 9 percent of Chicago freshmen and sophomores self-reported carrying a gun between 2007–13. MORE

Do Politicians Understand Public Opinion?

Do politicians really know what their constituents want? In an ongoing study presented at the inaugural "Practical Policies: Real-World Applications of Policy Theories" talk, data scientist Christopher Skovron, an IPR postdoctoral fellow, and his collaborators seek to understand what politicians believe about public opinion. MORE

IPR Working Papers

Reasonable Patient Care Under Uncertainty (WP-17-21)

Charles F. Manski

When making decisions about patient care, physicians have strong incentives to rely on clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), which are often required by health insurers, over their individual patient assessments. Manski notes that while medical literature strongly supports physicians' use of CPGs, welfare analysis does not. He points to the flaws in the methodological research behind CPGs and argues that it would be better to formally acknowledge the uncertainty inherent in medical decision making. To improve patient care and health outcomes, Manski recommends using basic decision theory to develop rational criteria that can inform clinical judgment on treatment options.

The Economics of Scale-Up (WP-17-22)

Jonathan Davis, Jonathan Guryan, Kelly Hallberg, and Jens Ludwig

When researchers conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of social programs, the hope is that programs that appear promising in small trials can then be implemented at a larger scale. But how do we know whether a social program will be successful at scale without testing it at scale? Guryan and his colleagues propose a model to measure the economics of scaling up by focusing on the challenge of finding the necessary inputs to the program as the program grows. As programs are scaled, if any inputs are limited in supply, either the average cost of the input must go up, or the quality of the program will decline holding average costs constant. While acknowledging that exact costs of scale-up cannot necessarily be known, by using random sampling of inputs, the authors show that it is possible to create and test a program at a smaller scale while still learning about the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the program at a much larger scale.

Read more IPR working papers

Infographic: LGBTQ Youth and Healthcare Providers

In a new study, professor of medical social sciences and IPR associate Brian Mustanski and his co-authors find that, of those asked, only 40 percent of adolescent males who have sex with males feel comfortable answering a doctor's questions about their sexual attractions. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR anthropologist Christopher Kuzawa has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Read more about Kuzawa's honor

Faculty in the Media

The New York Times

Why the wealth gap hits families the hardest

In a Sunday New York Times op-ed, IPR social demographer Christine Percheski and her co-author wrote that wealth inequality is much greater among families with children, and the gap has grown over the last 20 years.

NBC Nightly News

Is college worth it?

NBC Nightly News interviewed IPR education researcher James Rosenbaum about the value of four-year college degrees.

Chicago Tribune

Waffle House shooting, other incidents show burden of dealing with family member with mental illness

Following recent shootings, behavioral scientist and IPR associate Linda Teplin said, "It is tempting to examine the background of a shooter and say, 'We should have known'.... In reality, predicting violence is neither simple nor straightforward."

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