View in Browser/Mobile March 2013

IPR enews

Jennifer Richeson

IPR social psychologist Jennifer Richeson (center) celebrates her investiture with Dean and IPR associate Sarah Mangelsdorf of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and IPR Director David Figlio on February 15.

Faculty Spotlight: Jennifer Richeson

IPR social psychologist Jennifer Richeson celebrated her investiture as the MacArthur Chair on February 15 at Northwestern Universityfitting for this 2006 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, popularly known as a "genius grant." Richeson studies how group memberships such as race and gender affect how people think, feel, and behave. MORE

New IPR Website 
IPR recently redesigned and relaunched its website. It sports some new features, such as a working paper search function and a mobile version. See for yourself at, and let us know what you think!

Cecilia Rouse
Princeton economist Cecilia Rouse, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, will deliver IPR's 2013 Distinguished Public Policy Lecture on April 8. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors 
Lindsay Chase-Lansdale
IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay Chase-Lansdale was one of 12 scholars recently elected to the National Academy of Education. MORE

Lindsay Till Hoyt
Lindsay Till Hoyt, an IPR graduate research assistant, was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar.

MORE faculty awards & honors.

Faculty in the Media
Chicago Tribune
Fact and fiction about getting a college education
In an opinion piece, Northwestern University President and Professor Morton Schapiro and his co-authors separate myths from reality when it comes to the value of higher education.

The New York Times
Land of plenty (of government)
In her new book, IPR sociologist Monica Prasad outlines how the U.S. government developed a consumer economy based on government-subsidized mortgage credit after World War II, creating distributional consequences that have worked against the interests of the poor in the long run.

Changing neighborhoods can change your life
IPR sociologist James Rosenbaum followed families in the Gautreaux residential mobility program for decades. Down the line, he found large improvements for the children who moved, compared with their peers who stayed in poor city neighborhoods.

Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research
Deterrence and the Death Penalty
Carnegie Mellon criminologist Daniel Nagin, chair of the National Research Council's (NRC) Committee on Deterrence and the Death Penalty, discussed its recent report on January 9 at Northwestern. Speakers included IPR economist Charles F. Manski, who also served on the NRC committee, as well as law professor and IPR associate Max Schanzenbach. MORE

TESS: Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences
With renewed support from the National Science Foundation, this "lean, mean, experimental-data collection machine" is now under the leadership of two IPR fellows, sociologist Jeremy Freese and political scientist James Druckman. TESS continues to offer its free online survey services and is launching several new programs, including one to increase the number of the nation’s emerging scholars who use it. MORE

Harnessing Big Data for Policy Research
Supported by the National Science Foundation, this new project will launch a national network of scholars, policymakers, and administrators to encourage successful cooperation in establishing big data sets for education research. IPR Director and education economist David Figlio is leading the project. MORE

The Land of Too Much
IPR sociologist Monica Prasad's latest book, The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty, explores the puzzle of why the United States has the most progressive tax system of the advanced industrial world, yet one of the world’s smallest public welfare states. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find the complete list of IPR working papers HERE.

“Compromise vs. Compromises: Conceptions
of Bipartisanship in the American Electorate”
Laurel Harbridge, Neil Malhotra, and Brian Harrison

IPR political scientist Laurel Harbridge and her co-authors conduct three experiments to test how people respond to parties coming together to achieve popular public policy goals. They find that voters don't actually favor bipartisan coalitions over those dominated by their party and that they show less support for bipartisan action if their party holds the majority in Congress. This suggests that when having to choose between a bipartisan deal or a win for their side, voters prefer the partisan deal.

“The Policy Consequences of Motivated Information Processing Among the Partisan Elite” (WP-13-02)
Sarah Anderson and Laurel Harbridge

Laurel Harbridge and her co-author argue that rather than facing a scarcity of information, political elites are bombarded with too much information. Thus, they must engage in what the authors call "motivated information processing," implying that policymaking by elected officials reflects partisan biases. This paper offers evidence that political elites also combine partisan reasoning with goals to reach accurate decisions and that political parties play a crucial role in producing policy—sometimes through counterintuitive ways.

“Political Participation by Wealthy Americans” (WP-13-03)
Fay Lomax Cook, Benjamin Page, and Rachel Moskowitz

IPR social policy professor Fay Lomax Cook, political scientist and IPR associate Benjamin Page, and IPR graduate research assistant Rachel Moskowitz use data from a pilot study of the top 1 percent of U.S. wealth holders to compare their political activity with that of the public. They show that the wealthiest Americans are far more active in politics than the average citizen, or even the "merely affluent." The researchers conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for democratic policymaking.

“Resilience in the Rust Belt: Michigan Democrats and
the UAW”
Daniel Galvin

Strong ties between political parties and industrial labor unions are often presumed to inhibit party adaptation and lead to its electoral decline. IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin examines the case of the Michigan Democratic Party, which has long been dominated by the UAW. He argues that deep party-union integration actually led union officials to internalize the party’s strategic considerations and support adaptation. This case suggests that past a certain point of integration, strong party-union linkages might help foster electoral resilience.

“Novice School Principals' Sense of Ultimate Responsibility: Problems of Practice in Transitioning to the Principal's Office” (WP-13-05)
James Spillane and Linda Lee

Education professor and IPR associate James Spillane and Northwestern lecturer Linda Lee systematically examine the “reality shocks” encountered by principals upon entering their new occupation. Their analysis shows that the problems experienced are not simply about volume but also about the diversity and unpredictability of the work. They suggest that local school systems can help ease the transition by minimizing the abrupt departures of existing principals and by providing incoming principals with more adequate opportunities to learn about their new school.

Upcoming Events
4/8/13 - IPR Distinguished Public Policy Lecture with Cecilia Rouse (Princeton), RSVP required
4/15/13 - "How the Politicization of Science Shapes Public Opinion" by James Druckman
                (IPR/Political Science)
4/18/13 - "Ratio-of-Mediator-Probability Weighting for Causal Mediation Analysis" by Guanglei Hong
                (U. Chicago)
4/22/13 - "Non-Cognitive Ability, Test Scores, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from 9th Grade Teachers
                 in North Carolina" by Kirabo Jackson (IPR/SESP)

Find the complete calendar HERE.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?
Please e-mail

IPR Home IPR Facebook IPR Twitter

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Institute for Policy Research • 2040 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208 • Phone: 847.491.3395 • Fax: 847.491.9916