View in Browser/Mobile November 2014

IPR enews

President Obama spoke to a crowd of faculty and students at Northwestern's Cahn Auditorium on October 2, 2014.


Obama Gives Major Policy Talk at Northwestern

In a major policy speech at Northwestern University before the upcoming midterm elections, President Barack Obama hit on themes of progress over the past six years that he said the country can and should be proud of—touching on many topics that are also the subject of IPR faculty research, from education and healthcare to innovation and opportunity. MORE

Impact of Food Stamps on Long-Term Health

IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach has conducted extensive research on the evolution and impact of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—better known as the food stamp program. This figure illustrates one of her core findings: Being in a food-stamp county made the biggest long-term difference for babies in utero and children up to age five.

See the figure HERE.

Faculty Awards & Honors 

The Academy of Management’s Network of Leadership Scholars awarded IPR psychologist Alice Eagly the Eminent Leadership Scholar Award on August 3 at its annual conference.

Professor and founding chair of medical social sciences and IPR associate David Cella was awarded the John Ware and Alvin Tarlov Career Achievement Prize on October 6.

IPR social psychologist Thomas Cook gave the 2014 Annual Sidney Ball Memorial Lecture at Oxford University on October 20.

At its August 2014 conference, the American Sociological Association presented sociologist and IPR associate Heather Schoenfeld and Michael Campbell of the University of Missouri with the 2014 Distinguished Article Award from the Sociology of Law section.

Find these and other awards HERE.

Faculty in the Media
The New York Times
Heavier babies do better in school
Work by IPR director and education economist David Figlio, IPR economist Jonathan Guryan, postdoctoral fellow Krzysztof Karbownik, and Jeffrey Roth of the University of Florida on the connection between birth weight and school success was featured in The New York Times’ The Upshot.

The next culture war
An article discussing the potential cultural conflicts that will gain greater attention as same-sex marriage becomes less controversial highlighted research by IPR sociologist Jeremy Freese and Northwestern graduate student Alex Kevern on differential fertility and attitudes about abortion.

Chicago Sun-Times
Young people make up greatest percentage of homicide victims
IPR political scientist Wesley Skogan explained how Chicago's particular gang structure and culture contributes to high homicide rates among 17- to 25-year-olds in an investigation of the ages of murder victims in Chicago since 1991.

Washington Post

Why Kenya's president came to the International Criminal Court Sociologist, legal scholar, and IPR associate John Hagan discussed the appearance of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at The Hague and what it could mean for the future power of the International Criminal Court.

Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research

Faculty Spotlight:
Quincy Thomas Stewart
While demographic data might not be the stuff of most people’s dreams, for IPR fellow Quincy Thomas Stewart, it is—and applying advanced mathematics to social science issues is what led him to become a social demographer. “I was always interested in understanding racial inequality and how it emerged, how it was maintained, and how it was sustained,” he said. MORE


Do Political Parties Influence Participation?
Current research on political engagement tends to focus on citizens—their age, gender, socioeconomic status, or ethnicity. But in a working paper that is forthcoming in Comparative Political Studies, IPR political scientist Georgia Kernell turns her attention to political institutions themselves. MORE

Becoming—and Staying—Rich Requires More than Winning the Lottery
When thinking about how to address the persistence of poverty, one of the big questions is: How do family traits shape wealth and well-being from one generation to the next? In two recent working papers, economist and IPR associate Joseph Ferrie is evaluating a 182-year-old experiment, Georgia’s Cherokee Land Lottery of 1832, to analyze how a sudden influx of wealth affects families over time.

Possessing Spirits and Healing Selves: Embodiment and Transformation in an Afro-Brazilian Religion
Deep religious engagement can have a positive impact on a person’s physical and mental health, IPR anthropologist Rebecca Seligman demonstrates in her new book, Possessing Spirits and Healing Selves: Embodiment and Transformation in an Afro-Brazilian Religion.

Playing Against Nature: Integrating Science and Economics to Mitigate Natural Hazards in an Uncertain World
In Playing Against Nature: Integrating Science and Economics to Mitigate Natural Hazards in an Uncertain World, geophysicist and IPR associate Seth Stein and his father, economist Jerome Stein, explore our often-flawed approach to natural hazard policies. The authors suggest that current policies do not take into account the many ways that science, economics, and risk analysis play into each situation of hazard.

Rethinking Measures of Socially Sensitive Issues
Drug and alcohol use among U.S. college students, particularly student-athletes, is often the source of much attention. Yet the measures researchers typically use to estimate the issue might be biased. An IPR working paper, coauthored by IPR political scientist James Druckman and forthcoming in Social Science Quarterly, suggests that survey methods using self-reports—in which participants take a survey without any subsequent verification as to the authenticity of their responses—might fail to provide accurate measures of socially sensitive issues, such as using banned substances. MORE

SREE Makes Strides with Journal Impact Factor, Fall Conference
The Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness (JREE) recently received its first impact factor in Thomson Reuters Web of Science. JREE—the journal of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness—garnered the third-highest ranking of 219 journals in the education and educational research category for 2013. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find all IPR working papers HERE.

“Metrics for Assessing Earthquake Hazard Map Performance” (WP-14-13)

Seth Stein, Bruce Spencer, and Edward Brooks

Recent large earthquakes that did great damage in areas predicted to be relatively safe illustrate the importance of criteria to assess how well earthquake hazard maps are actually performing. At present, there is no agreed way of assessing how well a map performed and thus whether one map performed better than another. The researchers explore some possible metrics that better measure the effects of overprediction and underprediction and that can be weighted to reflect the two differently and to reflect differences in the populations and property at risk.

“Investment Subsidies and the Adoption of Electronic Medical Records in Hospitals” (WP-14-12)

David Dranove, Craig Garthwaite, Christopher Ody,
and Bingyang Li

In February 2009 the U.S. Congress unexpectedly passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). HITECH provides up to $27 billion to promote adoption and appropriate use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) by hospitals. Dranove, Garthwaite, Ody, and Li measure the extent to which HITECH incentive payments spurred EMR adoption by independent hospitals. They find that HITECH did spur EMR adoption, but that the nature of the incentive payments also prevented it from being cost-effective.

“Measuring Drug and Alcohol Use Among College Student-Athletes” (WP-14-10)

James Druckman, Mauro Gilli, Samara Klar, and Joshua Robison

Few issues in college athletics today receive more attention than drug and alcohol usage. Using a 2012 dataset, the authors employed an experimental measurement technique to correctly address self-report biases related to banned drug usage and heavy drinking. Their results suggest that an overwhelmingly greater percentage of student-athletes from a major conference knowingly engage in these two behaviors than self-reports indicate. The evidence demonstrates that the commonly used self-report method for estimating drug and alcohol use found in existing studies immensely understates usage, and the authors point to a need for more research on the topic.

Upcoming Events

11/3/14 - "Coalition or Derogation? Intergroup Relations Among Disadvantaged Groups in the 21st Century” by Jennifer Richeson (IPR/Psychology)

11/5/14 - "Noncognitive Ability, Test Scores, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from 9th Grade Teachers in North Carolina" by Kirabo Jackson (IPR/SESP)

11/6/14 - "Bargaining, Sorting, and the Gender Wage Gap: Quantifying the Impact of Firms on the Relative Pay of Women" by Patrick Kline (Berkeley)

11/10/14 - “2014 Midterms: Post-Election Analysis” with Daniel Galvin (IPR/Political Science), Laurel Harbridge (IPR/Political Science), and Rachel Davis Mersey (IPR/Medill)

11/13/14 - “The Market Impacts of Pharmaceutical Product Patents in Developing Countries: Evidence from India” by Craig Garthwaite (Kellogg)

11/17/14 - “The Bright Side of Aging” by Claudia Haase (IPR/SESP)

11/24/14 - “Measurement of Maternal Stress in Pregnancy” by Ann Borders (IPR/Feinberg)

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