The Institute for Policy & Social Research is a faculty-driven research center supporting social scientists who focus on social problems and policy-relevant questions. IPSR fosters independent researchers and collaborative teams within our network of faculty affiliates and seven interdisciplinary research centers.

What's New

COVID-19 Research & Resources

The Institute for Policy & Social Research has been tracking the impact of COVID-19 on the state of Kansas and, as a public service, IPSR has created a website that provides resources for people to see how COVID-19 is affecting the state and its economy. This website includes research presentations by economics professor Donna Ginther (and director of IPSR) that explain how policy has an economic impact on the state. Other links provide background data on demographics and healthcare and broadband access. Please visit for regular updates as new information becomes available.

Doctoral student Morgan Farnworth selected for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership program

Morgan Farnworth, doctoral student in public affairs & admimnistration at the University of Kansas, has been selected to participate in one of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's leadership programs. Specifically, Farnworth was selected for Health Policy Research Scholars, which helps researchers from all fields apply their work to policies that advance equity and health while building a diverse field of leaders who reflect our changing national demographics. As a member of the program's newest cohort, Farnworth will focus on the role of government in advancing health equity.

Kansas counties with mask mandates had half the rate of new infections

A new study by Donna K. Ginther and Carlos Zambrana has found that counties in Kansas where residents are obliged to wear masks in public have seen about half as many new coronavirus infections as counties that do not have a mask mandate in force. The study is part of a countrywide trend, experts said. Localities that impose mask mandates often see fewer cases, fewer hospitalizations, fewer deaths or lower test-positive rates than nearby localities that do not.

The third coronavirus surge is here and masks are still optional

The US has entered an ominous new surge in the coronavirus pandemic, with more cases reported on Friday than any other day since the crisis began in March. And yet, in many areas of the country where infections are spiking, wearing a mask in public is still completely optional. Researchers Donna K. Ginther and Carlos Zambrana at the University of Kansas found that counties thaht opted out of a statewide mask order saw a surge in coronavirus infection rates, while counties with a mask mandate saw cases flatline. Read more from the Huffington Post, and view the original research, at the links below.

Please visit IPSR's News page for more.

Research Spotlight

Technology Education for Women Post-Incarceration
Over the past 40 years, the population of women in state prisons across the United States has increased by 834 percent. While men continue to be the vast majority of the prison population, the rate of incarceration of women is growing. Of the 1 million women under some type of criminal justice supervision on any given day, 60 percent have a child under the age of 18, so it is especially important that women leaving incarceration have the knowledge and skills to find jobs or continue education. An interdisciplinary research team led by Hyunjin Seo, associate professor of digital/emerging media, secured a $1.4 million National Science Foundation grant to support research that will address this challenge. The project will offer evidence-based technology education for women who have been recently released from incarceration. For more information, visit:

Kansas Statistical Abstract 2019   
The 54th Edition of the Kansas Statistical Abstract is now available! The abstract is available EXCLUSIVELY online as a PDF file with individual pages available in Microsoft Excel and PDF. For more information and access to the data, please visit

The Kansas Statistical Abstract was featured in a radio spot on the Jayhawk Radio Network, tune in or click the button below to play the clip now:
2020 Kansas Economic Policy Conference

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The 2020 conference will be virtual! Visit the conference site for more information.

Recent Publications

Ginther, Donna K, Nancy Cayton Myers, Thomas Becker, Lindsay Elliot Jorgenson, "Growing New Ventures and Jobs in Kansas: An in-depth Review of Entrepreneurship Activities and Policies in Kansas and How We Compare." Institute for Policy & Social Research, The University of Kansas (January 2020).

Maynard-Moody, Steven with Charles Epp and Donald Haider-Markel,“Beyond Profiling: The Institutional Sources of Racial Disparities in Policing,” Public Administration Review (forthcoming).

Maynard-Moody, Steven, “Punishing the Poor.” Book review essay, Social Service Review, vol. 90, no. 4 (Dec 2016).

Maynard-Moody, Steven with Michael Musheno, “'Playing the Rules’: Discretion Social and Policy Context”. In Peter Hupe, Michael Hill, and Aurélien Buffat, eds., Understanding Street-Level Bureaucrats (Bristol, UK: The Policy Press, 2016).

Schwarz, Corinne, Erik Unruh, Katie Cronin, Sarah Evans-Simpson, Hannah Britton, and Megha Ramaswamy. “Human Trafficking Identification and Service Provision in the Medical and Social Service Sectors.” 2016. Health and Human Rights Journal 18(1): 181-191.

Ginther, Donna K., Pat Oslund, Genna Hurd, and Xan Wedel. The Status of Women in Kansas and the Bi-State Region, sponsored by The Women's Foundation, February 2016.

Schwarz, Corinne and Hannah Britton. “Queering the Support for Trafficked Persons: LGBTQ Communities and Human Trafficking in the Heartland.” 2015. Social Inclusion 3(1): 63-75.

Weller, Travis and Allison C. Reeve. "Empirical Legal Research Support Services: A Survey of Academic Law Libraries", Law Library Journal, 107:3, 2015

Weller, Travis and Amalia Monroe-Gulick. "Differences in the Data Practices, Challenges, and Future Needs of Graduate Students and Faculty Members", Journal of eScience Librarianship, 4:1, 2015, DOI: 10.7191/jeslib.2015.1070

For other publications please visit our Publications Page.

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