View in Browser/Mobile September 2013

IPR enews

Evanston Township High School
IPR faculty are conducting an ongoing evaluation of programs at Evanston Township High School (above) that seek to enroll a more racially and economically diverse mix of students in its honors and Advanced Placement courses.

Hometown Solutions for National Issues

While IPR faculty lead and conduct policy-relevant research in sites throughout the United States and abroad, they also work on innovative projects that test and evaluate important social policies in their home community of Evanston, Illinois. MORE

Faculty Awards & Honors 
Lindsay Chase-Lansdale
IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay Chase-Lansdale has been named Associate Provost for Faculty at Northwestern and Frances Willard Professor. MORE

Lori Beaman
IPR developmental economist Lori Beaman received a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her research on social networks in Mali and Malawi. MORE

Celeste Watkins-Hayes
Celeste Watkins-Hayes, an IPR sociologist and African American studies scholar, received the inaugural Jacquelyne Johnson Jackson Early Career Award. MORE

MORE faculty awards & honors.

Faculty in the Media
The New York Times
Study sees benefit in courses with nontenured instructors
A new working paper co-authored by IPR education economists Morton Schapiro, Northwestern University president and professor, and David Figlio, IPR director, shows that being taught by nontenure track faculty in introductory courses leads to better learning outcomes for college freshmen, especially those who are weaker academically.

Pacific Standard
When political polarization doesn't happen
IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin's work shows that in an era when political parties are running hard to their extremes, there are still electoral opportunities for parties that allow their candidates to move toward the center.

The New York Times
Why men need women
Studies led by IPR psychologist Alice Eagly finding women tend to do more giving and helping in close relationships than men are referenced in an article on how female family members make men more generous.

The Wall Street Journal
Study finds prizes put people in mood to save
A recent study co-authored by IPR economist Jonathan Guryan shows that nontraditional savings accounts offering a chance to win cash prizes by saving money are more effective at helping people save than standard interest-bearing savings accounts.

How cuts to food stamps threaten children's health
The push to cut federal funding for food stamps could lead to long-term costs in children's health, likely outweighing short-term savings, according to research by IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach.

Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research
Faculty Spotlight: Kirabo Jackson
Combining quantitative tools and the use of experiments, IPR labor economist Kirabo Jackson drills down into the complex interactions between schoolchildren, parents, workers, and policymakers to examine how certain policies affect their actions, interactions, and eventually individual education and job outcomes. MORE
Kirabo Jackson

Can Rating Pre-K Programs Predict Children's Learning?
Publicly funded pre-kindergarten classrooms with the highest marks in quality rating systems are no better at fostering children’s school readiness than classrooms with lower ratings, according to a study led by IPR postdoctoral fellow Terri Sabol. The findings, which appeared in Science, isolated one factor that made a positive difference—the quality of teacher-student interactions. MORE

Mom's Voice, Lemur Calls, and Baby's Cognition
A new study, co-authored by IPR cognitive psychologist Sandra Waxman, compared how 3-, 4-, and 6-month-olds reacted to human and nonhuman primate (lemur) vocalizations. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the results provide evidence of a crucial link between human language and core cognitive capacities. MORE

The Enduring Neighborhood Effect
Harvard University’s Robert Sampson presented an in-depth study of the social transformations that have occurred across the city of Chicago over the past 40 years. The May 17 event included a panel discussion featuring IPR economist Jonathan Guryan, IPR political scientist Wesley G. Skogan, and sociologist and African American studies scholar Mary Pattillo, an IPR associate. MORE

A "Know" Vote: What Voters Know and Believe
More than 100 social scientists and graduate students gathered for the seventh annual Chicago Area Political and Social Behavior Workshop on May 10. Organized by IPR Associate Director and political scientist James Druckman, the event welcomed some of the nation’s leading scholars in the areas of politics and public opinion, including the University of Michigan's Arthur Lupia and IPR sociologist Leslie McCall. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find all IPR working papers HERE.

“Do Lottery Payments Induce Savings Behavior? Evidence from the Lab” (WP-13-17)
Emel Filiz-Ozbay, Jonathan Guryan, Kyle Hyndman, Melissa Kearney, and Erkut Ozbay

Would people save more for retirement if offered a lottery-like savings program that provides cash or in-kind prizes to participants? IPR economist Jonathan Guryan and his colleagues conducted an experiment with 96 participants. They used different scenarios to determine whether participants were more willing to take a deferred payment when that payment was a guaranteed amount versus a payment of the same expected value—but with some chance of a lower payment and some chance of a higher payment. Their results are the first to indicate that individuals would save at a higher rate if offered a prize-linked lottery savings plan as compared with a standard interest-bearing account with the same expected return.

“Using Elicited Choice Probabilities in Hypothetical Elections to Study Decisions to Vote” (WP-13-16)
Adeline Delavande and Charles F. Manski

How can researchers effectively study voting decisions given the lack of a unifying theory and the limitations of current large-scale surveys and real-time data? IPR economist Charles F. Manski and Adeline Delavande continue to study whether “probabilistic” polling could improve research on voting decisions. In this study, they described several hypothetical presidential election scenarios to a sample of more than 4,000 participants, asking them to use percentages when responding about their likelihood to vote and for whom they would vote. They validated the results with voter behavior data from the 2012 election.

“The Scope of the Partisan 'Perceptual Screen' ”
Georgia Kernell and Kevin Mullinix

IPR political scientist Georgia Kernell and IPR graduate research assistant Kevin Mullinix explore the effects of partisanship on voters’ attitudes toward election miscounting. Using a nationally representative sample, they find that partisan winners are more likely to think votes are accurately counted than partisan losers. But when told that a nonpartisan body finds no evidence of miscounting, both winners and losers amend their beliefs about electoral fairness in a similar fashion. They find no evidence of an "anti-party" bias among Independent voters, but they do find that nonpartisans tend to exhibit "anti-system" attitudes—that is, they are skeptical of election counting regardless of the outcome.

“How Party Experience and Consistency Shape Partisanship and Vote Choice” (WP-13-14)
Georgia Kernell

Examining the organization and record of political parties, Kernell proposes that political parties’ electoral consistency and longevity could be critical factors that shape the ways in which citizens form party identification and make voting decisions. Drawing on a model of partisan updating that incorporates these two features, she tests her hypotheses with survey data for 66 political parties in 20 parliamentary democracies. The results suggest that a voter’s response to party longevity depends on how closely the party’s electoral consistency matches the voter’s political views. Kernell also considers the findings' implications for party strategy.

Upcoming Events
10/7/13 - "Are Tenure-Track Professors Better Teachers?" by David Figlio (IPR/SESP) and Morton
10/8/13 - "Technology Growth and Expenditure Growth in Healthcare" by Jonathan Skinner
10/14/13 - "Birth Weight, Breast-Feeding, and Chronic Inflammation: Early Origins of Health Disparities
                  Among Young Adults in the United States" by Thomas McDade (IPR/Anthropology)
10/21/13 - TBA by Abhijit Banerjee (MIT)
10/28/13 - IPR Distinguished Public Policy Lecture with Katherine Baicker (Harvard)
                 Registration required.
11/4/13 - "Foreign Aid and Social Development" by Monica Prasad (IPR/Sociology)

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