View in Browser/Mobile October 2015

IPR enews

IPR experts Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and David Figlio (r.) listen to Kirabo Jackson (standing) present his research on how school spending can benefit students, especially low-income ones.

Unpacking the Narrative of Poverty in Education

For reporters on the education beat, teasing out the full implications of the latest in education reforms on children’s learning is already a tall order. So how can a reporter—who wants to paint a broader picture of the systemic factors behind an issue for readers—attempt to relay how living in a blighted neighborhood, going to bed hungry, or coming from a poor family could affect a child’s classroom performance? On October 22, five IPR experts offered reporters shorthand versions of some of their recent research findings and advice on how to enrich reporting at an Education Writers Association seminar in Chicago. MORE

IPR Performance
Measurement Special Lecture

Michael McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation and a nationally recognized economist, will lecture on "What Constitutes 'Good Performance' for the President of an Education Research Foundation?" on November 10. Register here.

How Political
Campaigns Use the Web

How do political campaigns use websites? In a recent IPR working paper, IPR political scientist James Druckman and his colleagues examine the motivations of campaign websites—in what the researchers believe is the first study to examine how campaigns interpret and use websites.

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR education researcher and statistician Larry Hedges, who received last year’s Sells Award for lifetime achievement from the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP), presented on ”Recent Developments in Multivariate Meta-Analysis” at SMEP's annual meeting on October 17.

Liz GerberOn October 15, mechanical engineering professor and IPR associate Elizabeth Gerber received the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award from the Wells Fargo Foundation, an award that honors professors who inspired former students to make a difference in their communities.

IPR anthropologist Thomas McDade was named Carlos Montezuma Professor of Anthropology on October 12.

IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and IPR associate Terese Eckrich Sommer presented at the 2015 Aspen ThinkXChange National Forum on Two-Generation Solutions on October 8. The nonprofit CAP Tulsa just received a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its Two-Gen program that Chase-Lansdale and her team are evaluating.

Find other faculty awards HERE

Faculty in the Media
The New York Times
A disadvantaged start hurts boys more than girls
The New York Times covers a study co-authored by education economist and IPR Director David Figlio and MIT researchers, which shows boys are more sensitive to disadvantage than girls.
Fox News Chicago
CPS' 'high-intensity tutoring' tremendously successful
Fox News Chicago interviews IPR economist Jonathan Guryan about a high-intensity math-tutoring program that he is evaluating with his colleagues at the University of Chicago.
Chicago Reader
Mary Pattillo's charter school research shows south-side students don't really have a choice
The Chicago Reader talks to sociologist and African American studies researcher and IPR associate Mary Pattillo about her research on charter schools and school choice in Chicago.
Startups cater to Muslim millennials with dating apps and vegan halal soup
Professor of entrepreneurship and IPR associate Benjamin Jones speaks to NPR about the recent growth in startups serving tech-savvy Muslims.
Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research

Faculty Spotlight: Lori Beaman
As a Northwestern freshman, IPR economist Lori Beaman intended to be an engineer, but a pivotal seminar on Africa’s economies taught by former Northwestern professor Christopher Udry led Beaman to change her major, and ultimately, her career. After time in the Peace Corps and earning her PhD, Beaman returned to her alma mater, where she uses her skills to evaluate programs seeking to empower marginalized people in developing countries. MORE


Combatting the Credibility Crisis in Research
Recently, the journal Science retracted a widely reported study on attitudes towards same-sex marriages when it came to light that its dataset and findings might have been fabricated. In response to this crisis, a new scientific movement, “forensic objectivity,” has arisen. IPR sociologist Jeremy Freese and IPR graduate research assistant David Peterson chronicle this movement and its future in their recent IPR working paper. MORE

Studying Economic Inequality Among American Children
While much research has been devoted to income inequality, researchers have paid less attention to wealth inequality, or the gap in net worth between families—though wealth disparities could affect families just as much as those in income, according to IPR social demographer Christine Percheski. “There are a lot of reasons to suspect that wealth really affects kids’ access to resources and families’ ability to buffer economic downturns, as well as to finance higher education,” Percheski said. MORE

How Do Stereotypes Form and Can They Be Altered?
Picture a high-school dropout. Now, think about what occupation that person is likely to hold. If “fast-food worker” came to mind, you would be correct: High-school dropouts are overrepresented in the fast-food industry. Recent research from IPR social psychologist Alice Eagly and the University of San Diego’s Anne Koenig, a former IPR graduate research assistant, investigates how people come to form stereotypes based on these types of inferences about social roles. MORE

Mass Incarceration's Enduring Consequences
Between 1986 and 2000, the number of children with incarcerated parents increased nearly threefold. Sociologist, legal scholar, and IPR associate John Hagan and Texas A&M’s Holly Foster showcase how mandatory minimums led to the 1980s “prison boom” and more prison time for parents. They are also among the first to document the cascading effects of parental jail time on young adults who came of age during the Great Recession. MORE

How Venture Capital Firms Compete
When we store our files in Dropbox, stay in an apartment we found on Airbnb, or listen to a song on Spotify, we are engaging with companies that relied on venture capital (VC) firms to become successful. But how do VC firms choose which startups to fund, and how does that affect their own success in the marketplace? In a recent article in the Review of Industrial Organization, associate professor of strategy and IPR associate Michael Mazzeo and his colleagues investigate VCs’ investment choices. MORE

Australian Parliamentarian Discusses Robotic Future in IPR Lecture
"We need to intertwine our understanding of technology with recognizing its impact on inequality," Australian parliamentarian Andrew Leigh told a crowd of nearly 80 academics, students, and community members at IPR's Distinguished Public Policy Lecture on October 27. Leigh discussed the effects of rapid advances in automation on economic inequality worldwide. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find all IPR working papers HERE.

“Relaxing Migration Constraints for Rural Households”

Cynthia Kinnan, Shing-Yi Wang, and Yongxiang Wang

This paper exploits two unique features of China's history to study the effects of access to internal migration: reforms to the household registration (hukou) system, and historical migration flows. The researchers show that temporary migration due to a government policy called the “sent-down youth” (SDY) program created lasting inter-province links, so that decades later, hukou reforms in cities which sent SDY increased migration in provinces where those SDY temporarily resided. Using this variation, the researchers find that improved access to migration leads to higher consumption levels and lower consumption volatility for rural households. Furthermore, household production shifts into high-risk, high-return activities. 

“The Emergence of Forensic Objectivity” (WP-15-10)

Jeremy Freese and David Peterson

Recently, various scientific fields have confronted growing mistrust about the replicability of findings. In response to this crisis, a new scientific movement, “forensic objectivity,” has arisen. Freese and Peterson chronicle this movement and its future. Forensic objectivity assesses the integrity of research literatures in the results observed in collections of studies rather than in the methodological details of individual studies and, thus, positions meta-analysis as the ultimate arbiter of scientific objectivity.

“Limits and Opportunities of Campaigning on the Web”

James Druckman, Martin Kifer, and Michael Parkin

The researchers examine how U.S. congressional candidate websites view new media. They argue that campaigns face clear limits since they cannot control who visits their sites, yet campaigns can control the content posted. They expect homogeneity across campaigns in terms of target and anticipated audiences and the portrayal of overall campaign strategy, but variation in content. These results offer the first definitive portrait of how campaigns view and use websites.

“Wage Theft, Public Policy, and the Politics of Workers' Rights” (WP-15-08)

Daniel Galvin

Is wage theft exclusively an economic phenomenon or is there a political dimension to it as well? A long tradition of scholarship has focused on the federal-level regulatory regime, ignoring the penalty schemes that operate in tandem at the state level. Using an original dataset of state-level wage-and-hour laws, new estimates of minimum wage violations, and difference-in-differences analyses of ten recent wage theft laws, Galvin finds that stronger penalties can serve as an effective deterrent against wage theft, but the structure of the policy matters a great deal, as does its enforcement.

Upcoming Events

11/02/15 - "Acknowledging Gender Inequality in the Academy: A Network Analysis" by Quincy Thomas Stewart (IPR/Sociology)

11/04/15 - "Sensitivity Analysis with Relaxed Parametric Assumptions” by Jennifer Hill (New York University)

11/05/15 - "Tourism and Economic Development: Evidence from Mexico's Coastline" by Benjamin Faber (University of California, Berkeley)

11/09/15 - "Wage Theft, Public Policy, and the Politics of Workers' Rights" by Daniel Galvin (IPR/Political Science)

11/10/15 - "What Constitutes 'Good Performance' for the President of an Education Research Foundation?", by Michael McPherson (Spencer Foundation)

Find the complete calendar HERE.

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