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.

KU faculty recognized for pivoting research to address COVID-19 pandemic

Two University of Kansas faculty members are being recognized for adjusting their research to better understand the coronavirus pandemic and to provide valuable information to the public and policymakers. The recipients are Folashade Agusto, assistant professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and Donna K. Ginther, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Economics and director of the Institute for Policy & Social Research. Ginther and IPSR staff members Xan Wedel, Lindsay Jorgenson, and Thomas Becker created and maintain a COVID-19 resource center (see link below) to provide information on the virus's economic impact locally and globally.

New Kansas Statistical Abstract offers key data as Kansas weathers pandemic

The 54th edition of the Kansas Statistical Abstract is now available online. In a year that brought the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic turmoil, the KSA shares data on Kansas and the United States in 16 categories that provides context for the challenges Kansans are now facing and offers key information for local and state government leaders seeking the best paths forward for recovery and growth.

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.

Please visit IPSR's News page for more.

Research Spotlight

Resilient Farms. Thriving Communities.
Farming communities across the U.S. are struggling. They face challenges such as low prices for agricultural products, high prices for energy and fertilizer, pollution from runoff and waste, and depleting water supplies. They also have opportunities such as the ability to produce large amounts of energy locally using new technologies and to harvest renewable energy like wind and solar. To maintain local economic vitality and food security for a growing population, and to build a resilient society, pathways to resilient agricultural communities are critical. Yet delayed action is reducing possible alternatives and increasing the eventual cost of adaptation. To craft solutions to this challenge, Mary Hill, University of Kansas professor of geology, and a team of researchers have been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. NSF’s Innovations at the Food, Energy, Water Nexus program and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research are funding the project “FEWtures: Innovation Analysis Framework for Resilient Futures, with Application to the Central Arkansas River Basin.” For more information about this project, 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:
2021 Kansas Economic Policy Conference

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Please check back for additional details.

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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