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Recent News Items

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.

Two KU Professors Named as William T. Grant Foundation Scholars Program Finalists

Terri Friedline Ph.D., School of Social Welfare, and Emily Rauscher, Ph.D., Department of Sociology have both been named among only 11 finalists for the William T. Grant Foundation Scholars Program. Friedline's proposed project, How Does Exclusion from the Financial System Impact Young People's Economic Well-Being?, examines how differences in exposure and access to financial products and services may contribute to marginalization of youth. Rauscher's proposed project, Intergenerational Inequality of Health: Variation by Socioeconomic Status, Sensitive Alleles, and Medicaid Access, studies how genetic and environmental factors interact to create health inequity among children. All finalists will travel to New York for an interview, which will be used to determine the William T. Grant Scholars for 2017. The full announcement is available at the following link.

Information regarding executive order on immigration

On January 29th, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little issued a statement on the recent executive order suspending immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Read the statement at the link below.

Study recommends changes to postdoctoral science positions

Federal research agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, tout postdoctoral positions as valuable training for those pursuing scientific careers. However, a new study by Boston University and University of Kansas researchers has found that postdoc jobs don't yield a positive return in the labor market and that these positions likely cost graduates roughly three years' worth of salary in their first 15 years of their careers. "Biomedical scientists require postdocs in order to do the work of science. However, the postdoc only prepares students for academic careers - jobs that are very difficult to come by," said Donna Ginther, KU professor of economics. "Ours is the first study to document the opportunity cost of taking a postdoc on the subsequent career outcomes of former postdocs. We show that the cost in terms of foregone earnings is very high. Most postdocs would be better off if they took jobs when they completed their degrees."

Federal aversion to climate protection policies could energize some cities, researcher says

In one of his first actions as president, Donald Trump rolled back previous federal policies on climate protection, energy efficiency and sustainability. But don't expect some local governments to slow down their own efforts, said a University of Kansas scholar of urban sustainability. "Hostility to climate protection on the federal level could even energize some cities because they may view their efforts more important now than ever," said Rachel Krause, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Read the Q&A with Krause at the link below.

Economist to testify before presidential commission on 'big data,' policy decisions

A University of Kansas economist will testify this week before a presidential panel examining how to increase the availability and use of government data to build evidence and inform program design. Donna Ginther, professor of economics and director of the KU Center for Science, Technology & Economic Policy, will address the importance of evidence-based policy. The public hearing before the Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Making is scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago. Read more at link below.

Bailey, IPSR Center Director, Discusses Impact of Pearl Harbor Attacks

Beth Bailey, Director of the Center for Military, War, and Society Studies at IPSR, talks with the Lawrence Journal-World about the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.