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Community-Based Research Finds Low Levels of Protective Immunity Following Most COVID-19 Infections

Preliminary findings from an ongoing community-based study of nearly 10,000 Chicago residents, led by an interdisciplinary team of Northwestern scientists including IPR anthropologist Thomas McDade, show that the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild or asymptomatic and do not generate high levels of protective immunity. The study indicates that vaccination is the path to herd immunity, and prior infection will only play a small part. The study also reveals the need for two shots of the current mRNA vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, for those who had cases with mild or no symptoms. This runs counter to the recommendation by some to provide just one dose for everyone with a prior COVID infection.

Mesmin Destin


Mesmin Destin Named a Guggenheim Fellow

IPR social psychologist Mesmin Destin was one of four Northwestern scholars among the 2021 Guggenheim Fellows recently named by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. With a focus on how socioeconomic resources influence life trajectories, he studies how environments shape people’s identities and the impact of these dynamic identities on school experiences and wellbeing. 

Teacher and student looking at documents

Explainer Video

Are Government Housing Programs Fair?

After WWII, millions of Americans bought homes for the first time thanks to the standardization of 30-year mortgages. IPR political scientist Chloe Thurston explains how many minorities and women were shut out due to discriminatory government policies. Watch the two-minute video and read the related policy brief to learn more about her research. 

Downward graph superimposed onto a virus graphic

Research News

Peterson Foundation Grant to Fuel COVID-19 Research

Northwestern University has announced the Peter G. Peterson Foundation Pandemic Response Policy Research Program, a new research initiative to advance the understanding of effective pandemic policy responses. Funded by a $1 million grant from the Peterson Foundation, the gift will help “understand the wide-ranging impacts of COVID and do research to build new capabilities, resilience and productivity going forward,” said IPR Director and economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach.

Recent Faculty Research

Read recent IPR research, including studies that explore wage theft during a recession, the association between fertility and women's employment across the globe, and the spread of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. 
Margo Gordon

In Memoriam: Margo Gordon, IPR's Third Director

Former faculty fellow and director Margaret (Margo) T. Gordon, 81, died on April 1 in Seattle. A groundbreaking scholar and accomplished administrator, Gordon became IPR’s third director in September 1980, when it was known as the Center for Urban Affairs, and served for eight years. 

Faculty Opinion

"Evanston is a small suburb that is trying to take a big first step in the area of reparations, and I think housing is a good place to start."
Working Papers

Mortality Effects and Choice Across Private Health Insurance Plans (WP-20-37)
Jason Abaluck, Mauricio M. Caceres Bravo, Peter Hull, and Amanda Starc

The Role of Race, Religion, and Partisanship in Misinformation About COVID-19 (WP-20-38) 
James Druckman, Katherine Ognyanova, Matthew Baum, David Lazer, Roy Perlis, John Della Volpe, Mauricio Santillana, Hanyu Chwe, Alexi Quintana, and Matthew Simonson

This Time It's Different: The Role of Women's Employment in a Pandemic Recession (WP-20-39)
Titan Alon, Matthias Doepke, Jane Olmstead-Rumsey, and Michèle Tertilt

The Effect of Mentoring on School Attendance and Academic Outcomes: A Randomized Evaluation of the Check & Connect Program (WP-20-40) 
Jonathan Guryan, Sandra Christenson, Ashley Cureton, Ijun Lai, Jens Ludwig, Catherine Schwarz, Emma Shirey, and Mary Clair Turner

Early Origins of Socioeconomic Inequalities in Chronic Inflammation: Evaluating the Contributions of Low Birth Weight and Short Breastfeeding (WP-20-41) 
Thomas McDade and Stephanie Koning
More Working Papers

IPR's events for the spring 2021 quarter will be held online. Registration is required to join. You can always find the latest event information by visiting our online calendar. 

April 26: "What Is a Good School, and Can Parents Tell? Evidence on the Multidimensionality of School Output" by Kirabo Jackson (IPR/SESP)

May 3: "Computational Linguistics for Understanding Police-Community Interaction" by Rob Voigt (Linguistics/IPR) 

May 7: Chicago Area Social and Political Behavior Workshop organized by James Druckman (IPR/Political Science) featuring talks by Mara Ostfeld (University of Michigan), Cindy Kam (Vanderbilt University), Avital Livny (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Mary McGrath (IPR/Political Science)

May 10: "Prenatal Nutrition as an Influence on Future Health and Human Capital: Strategies for Harnessing a Challenging Policy Lever" by Christopher Kuzawa (IPR/Anthro.) 

May 17: TBA by Larry Hedges (IPR/Stats/SESP/Psych.)

May 24: "The Early Childhood Education and Care Enterprise in the 21st Century: Successes, Failures, and Opportunities" by Terri Sabol (IPR/SESP)

More IPR Events
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