Text/Mobile Version | View in Browser January 2013

IPR enews

From left: Panelists William Gale of Brookings, Charles Varner of Princeton, and IPR's Monica Prasad discuss "sharing the burden," millionaire tax migration, and the public's views on taxes at a research briefing that took place during congressional negotiations over raising taxes on America's wealthiest households.

Taxing the Wealthy: What Does the Research Show?

In the recently concluded negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff, a higher tax rate for top earners was one of the biggest sticking points between Republicans and Democrats. A December 7 IPR policy research briefing on Capitol Hill brought together three national experts to cut through some of the verbal sparring on the topic. Panelists were IPR sociologist Monica Prasad, economist William Gale of the Brookings Institution, and rising scholar Charles Varner of Princeton University. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors 
IPR psychologist Alice Eagly (center) was presented with an honorary doctorate from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands on November 8. She also received the Women with Vision Award from the Women's Bar Association of Illinois on November 15 in Chicago.

IPR associate Daniel Diermeier, professor of managerial economics and decision sciences, co-founded and currently serves as chair of the Northwestern Global Health Foundation, which was honored as a 2012 “Up-and-Comer” Chicago Innovation Award winner.
MORE faculty awards & honors.

Faculty in the Media
The Washington Post
Cash incentives for students
A study conducted by IPR economist Kirabo Jackson assessing the impact of the Texas Advanced Placement (AP) Incentive Program found that the introduction of cash incentives produced meaningful increases in AP program participation and improvements in standardized test scores, particularly for low-income and minority students.

Fox News
Kids' tantrums as disorder concern doctors
There is debate over the inclusion of "disruptive mood dysregulation disorder" in the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Its defenders say it offers a unifying answer, but even proponents of the new diagnosis, such as IPR clinical and developmental psychologist Lauren Wakschlag, say more research on the disorder is needed.

Employers hire potential drinking buddies ahead of top candidates
A new study by management and strategy assistant professor and IPR associate Lauren Rivera finds that when it comes to choosing job candidates, employers place a heavy emphasis on finding people similar to them and whose company they enjoy.

The benefits of the safety net
A new working paper co-authored by IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach examines the effects of in utero and childhood access to the social safety net, specifically food stamps, with findings indicating that the Food Stamp Program has effects decades after initial exposure.

Geronotologists urge caution in Social Security changes
The complexity of Social Security should remove it from the budget debate until 2013, according to IPR social policy professor Fay Lomax Cook. She and others argue that the approach to reform should be thoughtful, taking into account a looming retirement crisis created by the recession and the erosion of pension benefits.

Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research
Deterrence and the Death Penalty
The main finding from "Deterrence and the Death Penalty: Report of the National Research Council," released in April 2012, was that "research to date on the effect of the death penalty on homicides is not informative about whether capital punishment decreases, increases, or has no effect on homicide rates." Carnegie Mellon criminologist Daniel Nagin, chair of the committee that released the report, will discuss it on January 9 and 10 at Northwestern. The January 9 panel will include IPR economist Charles F. Manski, who also served on the NRC committee, as well as law professor Max Schanzenbach. MORE

Using Mentors to Prevent Dropouts
IPR economist Jonathan Guryan and his team of researchers are implementing a new program called Check & Connect that matches students with adult mentors in an effort to increase school attendance and student engagement at 24 public elementary and middle schools in Chicago. Dropping out is not something that happens when kids are 15 to 17, Guryan points out, but is the end point of a developmental process that starts earlier and presents itself as truancy or chronic school absences. MORE

Fathers' Work and Child Well-Being
Despite more mothers going to work, what a father earns still remains crucial to a child’s well-being. A new report, co-authored by IPR social demographer Christine Percheski, examines how becoming a father affects their employment and outlines how public policies could help fathers in various kinds of family situations better support their children. MORE

Faculty Spotlight: Thomas McDade
Using biomarkers from finger-stick blood spot samples and data from around the globe, IPR biological anthropologist Thomas McDade is revolutionizing the way population-based biological data is collected and studied. Specifically, he looks at how social and physical environments contribute to variation in human health and affect immune function and inflammation, which contribute to disease risk. MORE

Ending the AIDS Epidemic
IPR sociologist and African American studies researcher Celeste Watkins-Hayes explains how AIDS has become “increasingly a disease of economic inequality.” Efforts to end the epidemic, she said, should target low-income populations, with better socioeconomic data collection needed to ensure their success. Additionally, prevention strategies need to address larger issues such as healthcare, drug, and criminal justice policies. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find the complete list of new IPR working papers HERE.

“Do Job Networks Disadvantage Women? Evidence from a Recruitment Experiment in Malawi” (WP-12-19)
Lori Beaman, Niall Keleher, and Jeremy Magruder

Using a field experiment in Malawi where men and women apply for future surveyor positions with a local firm, IPR economist Lori Beaman and her co-authors find that highly skilled women are systematically disadvantaged through the use of referrals. Developing and testing a theoretical model of referral choice, they find that both men's and women's biases result from social incentives rather than expectations of performance, suggesting that the use of social networks in hiring is an additional channel through which women are disadvantaged in the labor market.

“Non-Cognitive Ability, Test Scores, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from 9th Grade Teachers in North Carolina”
Kirabo Jackson

IPR economist Kirabo Jackson develops a new model to measure long-term outcomes that combines student cognitive and non-cognitive ability and teacher effects to evaluate students’ long-term outcomes. The calculations show that teacher effects based on test scores alone fail to identify many excellent teachers—and might greatly understate the importance of teachers on adult outcomes.

“Long-Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net” (WP-12-17)
Hilary Hoynes, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and Douglas Almond

IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and her colleagues assembled unique data linking family background and county of residence in early childhood to adult health and economic outcomes. Studying county-by-county introductions of food stamps between 1961 and 1975, the researchers find that the program has positive effects decades after exposure in utero and in childhood, in particular on health outcomes such as reducing the likelihood of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes in adults who had been exposed during childhood. For women, they show an increase in economic self-sufficiency.

“Choosing Size of Government Under Ambiguity: Infrastructure Spending and Income Taxation” (WP-12-16)
Charles F. Manski

IPR economist Charles F. Manski continues his investigation of decision making under ambiguity in the realm of income-tax-financed public spending for infrastructure that aims to enhance productivity. Analyzing various scenarios, he shows that policymakers and the public can rationalize having a small or large government. He encourages researchers to improve current knowledge of population preferences and the productivity of public spending.

Upcoming Events
1/7/13 - "Long-Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net" by Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach (IPR/SESP)
1/9/13 - IPR/Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth Special Event on "Deterrence and the Death Penalty: Report of the National Research Council" by Daniel Nagin (Carnegie Mellon)
1/10/13 - "Deterrence and the Death Penalty: Report of the National Research Council" by Daniel Nagin (Carnegie Mellon)
1/14/13 - "Grandfathers Matter(ed): Occupational Mobility Across Three Generations in the United States and Britain, 1850-1910" by Joseph Ferrie (IPR/Economics)
1/18/13 - "Epigenetic Variation in Human Health and Disease" by Michael Kobor (University of British Columbia)

Find the complete calendar HERE.

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

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