View in Browser/Mobile September 2015

IPR enews

Education researchers collaborate on a mock grant proposal at the ninth annual Summer Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials.

Improving Education Research through Summer Training

More than 60 education researchers from around the nation were hard at work this summer, refining their use of cutting-edge education research methodologies as part of two training workshops. Sponsored by the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) and its National Center for Education Research (NCER), both were led by IPR faculty experts and their colleagues. NCER Commissioner Thomas Brock was also present to congratulate the participants in one workshop and encourage them all to engage in “high-quality" research efforts. MORE

Discrimination and Health

How does racial discrimination affect long-term health? IPR health psychologists Edith Chen and Greg Miller and their colleagues examine how discrimination faced by African American teens impacts their levels of inflammation—which can forecast health conditions later in life.

IPR Distinguished Lecturer

The Honorable Andrew Leigh, a Labor member of the Australian Parliament and former professor of economics at Australian National University, will deliver IPR's Distinguished Public Policy Lecture on October 27. More information here.

Faculty Awards & Honors

IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach has been appointed director of The Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution. Her appointment began August 3. MORE

Ellen Wartella, communications studies scholar and IPR associate, won the B. Aubrey Fisher Mentorship Award from the International Communication Association.

IPR economist Charles F. Manski gave the keynote address at the 2015 Southampton Conference on the Credibility of Empirical Research on July 4 at the University of Southampton (UK).

The Institute for Education Sciences awarded IPR postdoctoral fellow Nathan VanHoudnos its Outstanding Predoctoral Fellow Award.

Find other faculty awards HERE

Faculty in the Media
The Atlantic
The paradox of effort
The Atlantic covers a study co-authored by IPR health psychologists Edith
and Greg Miller, which finds health costs associated with upward mobility.

The Washington Post
Yes, men gain weight when they become dads, study confirms
The Washington Post interviews IPR associate Craig Garfield about his study, co-authored by IPR researchers Emma Adam, Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Craig Garfield, and Thomas McDade. The researchers discovered that men gain weight when they become fathers.

Where are Chicago's poor white neighborhoods?
WBEZ’s Curious City talks to IPR associate Mary Pattillo about the causes of concentrated black poverty in Chicago.

Find these and other clips HERE.
News & Research

Faculty Spotlight: Jonathan Guryan
From the moment he stepped into his first classroom, IPR economist Jonathan Guryan loved school, loved math, and loved solving problems. His focused, problem-solving approach to research has yielded many surprising findings—from showing how newly desegregated Southern hospitals in the 1960s helped to whittle down the black/white achievement gap to revealing how lotteries and prize-linked savings accounts might propel poorer Americans to save more for retirement. MORE


SURA Gives Students Hands-On Research Experience
Now in its 17th year, IPR's Summer Undergraduate Research Assistants Program brought 46 Northwestern undergraduates together with 39 IPR faculty members to collaborate on policy-relevant research projects over the summer. From conducting lab work in Louisiana to studying election data in Chicago, SURA participants had the "invaluable" experience of seeing how research is conducted, said IPR education researcher and SURA director James Rosenbaum. MORE

Gender Gap in Teen Depression
Rates of depression rise sharply during adolescence, around age 13, with girls especially likely to suffer from more pronounced depressive symptoms, such as sad moods and low self-esteem. Though this gender gap is well documented, researchers have paid little attention to how depressive symptoms affect adolescents’ day-to-day emotional lives, and how the daily experiences of depression differ between girls and boys. IPR developmental psychobiologist Emma Adam and her co-authors investigate these questions in a recent Journal of Adolescence article. MORE

Breaking Through the "Class Ceiling"
The "American Dream" might be little more than a pipe dream for children born to less-privileged circumstances, according to recent research from management and organizations professor and IPR associate Lauren Rivera. Through interviewing and observing hiring professionals at elite investment banks, consulting firms, and law firms, she found that these firms overwhelmingly favor white, upper-class applicants during the hiring process. “[T]hese employers end up systematically excluding smart, driven, and socially skilled students from less-privileged socioeconomic backgrounds from the highest-paying entry-level jobs in the United States,” she writes. MORE

Internal Migration Betters Rural Lives in China
How does sending a migrant to the city affect rural households? Recent research from IPR economist Cynthia Kinnan uses two natural experiments to examine whether internal migration between rural and urban locations has benefited rural households in China. She and her co-authors discover that, on the whole, internal migration has helped rural households, as households with access to migration eat better and more consistently over time and invest in “riskier” and more profitable agricultural endeavors. MORE

Data and Decisions in an Uncertain World
In an interview with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, IPR economist Charles F. Manski explains how the statistics often used by government officials, business leaders, and citizens are treated as static—when, in reality, they are uncertain and often revised for months after their first release. Manski urges researchers, statistical agencies, and the media to communicate uncertainty to the public. "Instead of saying the GDP growth is 2 percent, try to measure the uncertainty and say the GDP growth seems to be between 1 and 3 percent. Similarly for the unemployment rate, instead of saying it's 5.5 percent, say it's between 5.3 percent and 5.7 percent," Manski explained. MORE

New IPR Working Papers

Find all IPR working papers HERE.

“Hospitals as Insurers of Last Resort” (WP-15-07)

Craig Garthwaite, Tal Gross, and Matthew Notowidigdo

The researchers use previously confidential hospital financial data to study what happens when American hospitals must provide emergency medical care to the uninsured, for which no payment is received. Their results suggest that each additional uninsured person costs local hospitals $900 each year in uncompensated care, and the closure of a nearby hospital increases the uncompensated care costs of remaining hospitals.

“Cost-Benefit Analysis for a Quinquennial Census: The 2016 Population Census of South Africa” (WP-15-06)

Bruce Spencer, Julian May, Steven Kenyon, and Zachary Seeskin

The question of whether to carry out a quinquennial census (one that is held every five years) is being faced by national statistical offices in increasingly many countries, including Canada, Nigeria, Ireland, Australia, and South Africa. The authors describe uses, and limitations, of cost-benefit analysis for this decision problem in the case of the 2016 census of South Africa.

“Effects of Census Accuracy on Apportionment of Congress and Allocations of Federal Funds” (WP-15-05)

Zachary Seeskin and Bruce Spencer

How much accuracy is needed in the 2020 census depends on the cost of attaining accuracy and on the consequences of imperfect accuracy. To assess the consequences of imperfect census accuracy, Seeskin and Spencer consider alternative profiles of accuracy for states and assess their implications for apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives and for allocation of federal funds.

Upcoming Events

9/30/15 - "Is It a Computing Algorithm or a Statistical Procedure: Can You Tell or Do You Care?" by Xiao-Li Meng (Harvard University)

10/5/15 - "Psychological Approaches to Reducing Socioeconomic Disparities in Educational Outcomes” by Mesmin Destin (IPR/Psychology/HDSP)

10/12/15 - "Legislative Holdouts" by Laurel Harbridge (IPR/Political Science)

10/19/15 - "Preschoolers Are Not Delinquent! A Science of When to Worry in Early Childhood" by Lauren Wakschlag (IPR/Medical Social Sciences)

10/31/15 - "LGBTQ Health and Wellness Conference," co-sponsored by IPR, featuring Gregorio Millett, Vice President and Director of Public Policy, American Foundation for AIDS Research

Find the complete calendar HERE.

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