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IPR enews

Examining the Power of Place—Housing, Desegregation, and Opportunity

At a recent IPR policy research briefing in Chicago, four national experts explored the pernicious persistence of segregation on socioeconomic outcomes, improving residential choice voucher programs to better serve their holders, and the complex relationship between tearing down public housing, voucher relocatees, and crime rates. MORE

Faculty in the Media
The New York Times
Public money finds back door to private schools
According to IPR education economist David Figlio, who has extensively studied Florida’s Tax-Credit Scholarship Program, school vouchers are an important alternative to public schools for some families. However, programs differ from state to state, with varying tax benefits for donors and varying rules on who may receive the scholarships.
Older dads have healthier kids than you think
New research co-authored by IPR anthropologist Christopher Kuzawa suggests that children of older fathers and grandfathers might inherit longer telomeres the structures at the tips of chromosomesthat could protect against aging and disease.
Crain's Chicago Business
On crime: Bulking up the thin blue line
IPR political scientist Wesley G. Skogan evaluates the Chicago Police Department's effectiveness since the arrival of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the new chief of police, Garry McCarthy.
(Subscription required.)
Los Angeles Times
Blood test looks promising in diagnosing depression
A recent study led by professor of psychiatry and IPR associate Eva Redei takes a significant, though preliminary, step in reliably identifying patients with depression by demonstrating that there are certain biological markers in the blood of teens with depression that are absent in healthy counterparts.
The Wall Street Journal
Is 'you' a good investment?
The hordes of Facebook users-turned-investors might view the site differently once they own a piece of the company, according to
Brian Uzzi, a management and strategy professor and IPR associate.
Some of these people, many of whom may never have owned a stock before, might realize that the firm's enormous value is derived from the information about them that it resells, he said.
Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research
White House, AAAS, and Others Honor Faculty
Ten IPR faculty have received distinguished awards and honors recently, including three new faculty members who were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and two who were recognized by President Barack Obama. MORE

Faculty Spotlight: David Figlio, A Voice on Vouchers
Although the first school voucher program was launched more than 20 years ago, researchers are only now beginning to garner solid, quantifiable evidence on the effects of these programs. IPR education economist David Figlio has amassed an important body of evidence on one of the nation’s largest and most expansive school voucher programs, the Florida Tax-Credit Scholarship Program. MORE

New IPR Working Papers
Find the complete list of 2012 IPR working papers HERE.
Motivating Action on Energy in the U.S.” (WP-12-10)
Toby Bolsen, James Druckman, and Fay Lomax Cook

There has been a lot of talk about a national energy policy of late, including by the two presidential contenders discussing, for example, domestic drilling and clean energy initiatives. However, a key component of a national policy also involves getting Americans to conserve energy through their personal decisions, such as buying more fuel efficient cars and insulating their homes. So what can governments do to motivate individuals to conserve energy? A new working paper by Toby Bolsen of Georgia State University and IPR fellows James Druckman and
Fay Lomax Cook investigates this very issue using an online survey experiment. The researchers framed energy conservation in different ways, finding that rhetoric plays a crucial role in shaping behavior. When the government was portrayed as being responsible for dealing with energy problems, participants declared themselves less willing to act personally. On the other hand, emphasizing individual responsibility had the opposite effect. Given that the media most often finger the government as the main enforcer of energy efficiency, this signals that framing issues are particularly crucial in devising policies to promote indviduals' energy efficient behavior.
Educational 'Goodwill': Measuring the Intangible Assets at Highly Selective Private Colleges and Universities (WP-12-11)
Peter Nurnberg, Morton Schapiro, and David Zimmerman

How does a prospective college student value attending one university over a similar one during the college admissions process? Northwestern University President and education economist Morton Schapiro and his colleagues propose that the difference might be due to educational “goodwill.” Universities, much like businesses, have built up their goodwill over the years through a variety of intangible assets, such as institutional identity and branding, faculty accomplishments, alumni loyalty, etc. Using admissions data from their benchmark institution, Williams College, the researchers test their conceptual framework by examining students who were admitted to Williams College, but chose instead to attend another similar school. By using objective criteria to make “head-to-head” comparisons, they can examine whether a school does better than it “should” based on a range of indicators, thus providing a quantitative measure of educational goodwill. Their analysis does not seek to provide a definitive ranking in terms of universities’ goodwill. Rather, it aims to tease out the intangibles of these institutions’ attractiveness to potential undergraduates, thus accounting for a school’s greater success—or failure—in the market for prospective students relative to other institutions.

Upcoming Events
5/31/12 - “Teacher Quality Policy When Supply Matters” by Jesse Rothstein (Berkeley)
6/5/12 - “The Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) for Engineering Better Behavioral Interventions” by Linda Collins (Penn State)
7/15 - 7/26/12 - 2012 IES/NCER Summer Research Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials (registration closed)
8/6 - 8/10/12 - 2012 IES/NCER Summer Research Training Institute on the Design and Analysis of Practical Quasi-Experiments for Use in Education (registration open until 6/1/12)
8/13 - 8/17/12 - 2012 IES/NCER Summer Research Training Institute on the Design, Implementation, and Analysis of Within-Study Comparisons (registration closed)

Find the complete calendar HERE.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?
Please e-mail ipr@northwestern.edu.

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