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IPPSR is MSU’s new hub for public policy information and research. Search our summaries of scientific research with implications for public policy by inputting keywords in the search box or selecting options from the menus below.


Policy Research

Health Related Outcomes among the Poor: Medicaid Expansion vs. Non Expansion States

Xuesong Han, Binh T. Nguyen, Jeffrey Drope, Ahmedin Jemal

December 2015

In nonexpanding Medicaid states, low-income adults were more likely to be black and/or rural residents. They fared much worse than their counterparts in expanding Medicaid states, and had less care utilization as well as fewer prescriptions. While they had lower medical expenditures, they also had higher out of pocket expenditures than their counterparts.

State Takeovers of School Districts and Related Litigation: Michigan as a Case Study

Kristi Bowman

August 2013

The article summarizes emergency manager laws as they pertained to the Michigan Public Schools system over the last 30 years. The article focuses primarily on comparing public act 72 and public act 4 and summarizes major complaints against the later. The article then points out that under public act 4 emergency managers are allowed to take over both fiscal and academic management when a school is in fiscal trouble. It finds this represents a problem as emergency managers are not necessarily well versed in academic policy.

Lead Exposure and Behavior: Effects on Aggression and Risky Behavior among Children and Adolescents

Jessica Reyes

February 2015

The article studies groups of people exposed to lead in childhood and compares them against others who were not. The study finds that exposure to lead in childhood has a number of adverse effects beyond those found in early stages. These effects include teen pregnancy, teen delinquency, increased aggression throughout early adulthood and increased probability of committing a crime.

Exploring the Effect of Right to Work on Private Wages

Anthony Roberts, Robert Habans

September 2015

The authors employed two analytical techniques to determine the economic effect(s) of right to work laws. First, the authors used a multi-level regression analysis to determine right to work law effects on individual hourly earnings and wage differences while controlling for demographics and regulatory characteristics of the state. Next, the authors employed a propensity-score matching technique, i.e. they took a sample of workers in right to work states and constructed a sample of workers that are similar on a number of levels in a non-right to work state, and compared the two groups. From the regression model, the authors determined that private workers in non-rtw states earn around 1% more than workers in right to work states. From their matching technique the authors estimated that workers in non-right to work states earned around 6% more than their counterparts in right to work states.

The Flint Fiscal Playbook: An Assessment of the Emergency Manager Years (2011-2015)

Mary Doidge, Eric Scorsone, Traci Taylor, Josh Sapotichne, Erika Rosebrook, Danielle Kaminski

July 2015

The authors assess the actions taken by the State appointed Emergency Managers in the City of Flint, Michigan. Of particular note, the authors look at the external constraints faced by the City of Flint, for example, rising unemployment, industry relocation, demographic shifts (massive population loss), as well as housing & economic trends. After highlighting these trends, the authors systematically observed the actions taken by the Emergency Manager. These actions include wage & salary freezes, reduction in non-essential personnel, restricting of pension and health care obligations, as well as increases in water and sewage fees.

Impacts of Child Development Accounts on maternal depressive symptoms: Evidence from a randomized statewide policy experiment

Jin Huang, Michael Sherraden, Jason Q. Purnell

November 2013

This randomized trial analyzes the effect Child Development Accounts (long-term investment accounts) have on mother’s depression. Primary caregivers of children in Oklahoma were randomly selected to be offered a Child Development Account as part of the College Savings Plan. Those parents whose children had Development accounts were highly correlated with higher levels of savings and statistically significant lower levels of depression. Children with accounts exhibited higher levels of social-motional development. These results were stronger in families with lower levels of income and education.

The second green revolution: Innovative urban agriculture's contribution to food security and sustainability – A review

Dian T. Armanda, Jeroen B. Guinee, Arnold Tukker

September 2019

Since 2010 urban agriculture has been changing into more innovative urban agriculture, starting what many call the Second Green Revolution. This could be a way of meeting growing demand for food and contributing to food security and environmental sustainability. These innovations are defined in the study by involving at least one technological innovation, including things such as indoor agriculture, vertical agriculture, and soilless agriculture. This practice of urban agriculture contributes to food security by stabilizing local food production and are more sustainable in the sense that it will reduce the miles traveled by food, however all of this innovation may be more about bells and whistles than it is increasing desired outcomes.

Sustainability assemblages: From metrics development to metrics implementation in United States agriculture

Jason Konefal, Maki Hatanaka, Johann Strube, Leland Glenna, David Conner

October 2019

With a growing focus on the effects agriculture can have on the environment there have been increasing questions on how improvements in sustainability could be measured. Two metrics being used in the US include Field to Market and the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC), both including similar processes to reduce energy and waste. Field to Market metrics apply to commodity crops and SISC is for specialty crops like fruits and vegetables. In order to get these metrics implemented, it requires the cooperation of growers, processors, aggregators, and other supply chain actors. All of these actors may have interests that go against sustainability thus making these metrics hard to put into place.

Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions

Alan S. Gerber, Dean Karlan, Daniel Bergan

April 2009

This article is centered around the first natural field experiment aimed to see the impact of political news content on political behavior and attitudes. To conduct this test, Prince William, a Virginia county, was used to discover which households do not receive the newspapers, the Post or the Times. Individuals were sampled from a list of registered voters and a consumer database list. They were then randomly assigned subscriptions to these papers for 10 weeks, or to neither for the control group. The Post is known to lean left, while the Times leans right. However, receiving either paper led to more Democratic support, which indicated that media slant did not matter as much as simply exposure. The Post estimated increasing probability of choosing the Democrat by 11.2 percentage points among voters, and by 7.2 across all respondents. This experiment also found an increased turnout of citizens in 2006 that was barely significant, but no significant increase in self- reported or administratively measured turnout in 2005. This study found three problems with noncompliance in terms of treatment administration that are worth noting. The first is that six percent of people chose not to receive the free newspaper subscriptions. The second is some of the home addresses were said to be undeliverable. The final issue is that a number of the households were already subscribing to either of the papers before the study was conducted. It also found a few limitations that are important. One is the relatively small sample size, and another is that although houses receive papers, it cannot be proven if the individuals read them.

Renewable energy consumption in EU-28 countries: Policy toward pollution mitigation and economic sustainability

Seyi Saint Akadiri, Andrew Adewale Alola, Ada Chigozie Akadiri, Uju Violet Alola

November 2019

It has become increasingly clear that the issue of climate change is one that will need to be addressed by changes in policy that reflect the severity of the issue. The EU has shown that it is possible to find a balance between reducing environmental degradation and sustainable economic growth. This article shows a long-term positive relationship between energy consumption and economic growth for 28 EU countries, proving that they likely have a sound idea of effective environmental policy. Some of the changes they have made are subsidies and tax credits for companies that make the switch to more renewable energy, this often offsetting the initial cost to the company for making the change.