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Recent News Items

KU researcher wins grant to study link between school funding, achievement gap

University of Kansas researcher, Emily Rauscher, Assistant Professor of Sociology, has received a grant from the William T. Grant Foundation to look at the relationship between school funding and academic achievement gaps by socioeconomic status. The study will identify types of funding or contexts in which funding might hold the most potential to improve socioeconomic equality of educational achievement. Armed with a more complete understanding of when funding matters, policymakers will be better equipped to fight the chronic inequality that haunts our educational system and society. The research seeks to understand and counteract intergenerational inequality. Read more in the KU press release below.

Andrea Gomez Cervantes, Sociology Doctoral Student, awarded NSF Dissertation Funding

Andrea Gomez Cervantes received a dissertation award from the National Science Foundation for doctoral students in Sociology. Gomez Cervantes' project examines the challenges that mixed-status families (those with a variety of legal statuses in the same family, such as undocumented, semi-legal or citizens) face in Kansas. She will conduct a qualitative study of sixty in-depth interviews with indigenous (Mixteco and Tlapaneco) and non-indigenous Latino mixed-status family members in Kansas. Her advisor, Cecilia Menjívar Chavez, serves as PI. Dr. Menjívar Chavez is Co-Director of the Center for Migration Research at IPSR. IPSR provided research and grant development assistance and will administer the award. See link below for more information.

Jacob Lipsman, Sociology Doctoral Student, receives NSF Dissertation Funding

Jacob Lipsman will receive dissertation funding from the National Science Foundation for doctoral students in Sociology. His project focuses on the central questions of how residents in southeast Louisiana interpret the relationship between environmental security and economic prosperity in their community, and how the negotiation of these two social priorities plays out in local political processes. The project will analyze the role of climate change attitudes in these political processes, examining how climate change is interpreted in this community that exhibits high levels of environmental awareness at the same time as high levels of climate change denial. His advisor, Eric Hanley, serves at PI. IPSR provided research and grant development assistance and will administer the award. More information available at link below.

Professor receives Carnegie Fellowship for research on immigrants, legal status

Cecilia Menjívar, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Sociology, is one of 35 scholars to receive the award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The fellowship supports research in social sciences and humanities with up to $200,000 awarded to each fellow. It is the most generous stipend of its kind. Menjívar is co-director of the Center for Migration Research at KU with Victor Agadjanian, also Foundation Distinguished Professor of Sociology. Her research explores U.S.-bound migration from Central America from a variety of perspectives, including its legal, social and economic dynamics. The fellowship will allow Menjívar to expand research on immigrants living in between legal statuses.

Sensitive genotypes yield disadvantage in poor families, but advantage in wealthier ones

The same genotypes yield better or worse economic outcomes compared to one's sibling, depending on parental income, according to a new study by a University of Kansas researcher. The study's results suggest that children with sensitive genotypes who come from low-income homes will be less financially successful than their same-sex sibling without those genotypes. But children with those same genotypes from a high-income home would actually fare better economically as young adults than their brother or sister, said Emily Rauscher, a KU assistant professor of sociology. Continue reading at link below.

Story Map Recounts 50 Years of Kansas Statistical Abstract

New story map features the Kansas Statistical Abstract (KSA). IPSR released the 50th edition of the KSA in September 2016.

Medicaid expansion possibly reduced 'medical divorces,' KU economists find

States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act possibly saw a reduction in the number of "medical divorces," in which a couple separates its assets when one partner is diagnosed with a degenerative disease, according to a working paper by two University of Kansas economists. In the paper distributed this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, David Slusky, assistant professor of economics, and Donna Ginther, professor of economics, found states that did expand Medicaid under the 2010 Affordable Care Act experienced a 5.6 percent decrease in the prevalence of divorce among people ages 50-64, compared with those states that did not expand. Read the full article from KU News at the link below.

Leadership And Management, Women In Economics

Kansas City's NPR station, KCUR, featured Donna Ginther, Professor of Economics and director of IPSR's Center for Science, Technology, & Economic Policy. Listen for yourself at the link below.

Brewer, IPSR Affiliate, Receives NSF EAGER Grant

Joseph Brewer, KU Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, and Larry Kaplan, University of Alaska Professor of Linguistics, received an Arctic Social Sciences NSF EAGER award toinvestigates what Gwich'in Athabascans can teach the world, through their language, about boreal forest management in interior Alaska. The study will be the first to document Gwich'in forestry practices in a collaborative social and linguistic science investigation.

Locations of banks, credit unions important to lower-income families' financial health, professors say

Having banks and credit unions available in one's community can make a difference in a family's financial health, according to new studies from University of Kansas and Michigan researchers. The influence is greatest on lower-income households. Terri Friedline, assistant professor of social welfare and director of financial inclusion in the Center on Assets, Education and Inclusion in the School of Social Welfare, has published several reports on the center's website as part of the Mapping Financial Opportunity project. The project is building an interactive map using GIS software to show the availability of a range of financial services by ZIP code. Among the early findings, Friedline and project co-director Mathieu Despard of the University of Michigan report that every additional bank or credit union branch per 1,000 population is associated with a 5 percent higher probability that lower-income households will be able to pay their monthly bills and a 2 percent lower probability for every alternative financial services provider such as a payday lender. Read more at the link below.