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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.

Make Them Hear You: Participatory Defense and the Struggle for Criminal Justice Reform

Janet Moore, Marla Sandys, Raj Jayadev

March 2015

The authors of this article argue for a new approach to offering public defense for accused citizens as a new way to challenge mass incarceration. Participatory defense involves a grassroots movements made up of minority communities, those who face charges, and their families who speak out for greater accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system. The authors review empirical, theoretical, and doctrinal perspectives in this article to back their argument of participatory defense. They explain how involving members from communities most effected by mass incarceration is important to lobbying for reform litigation and policies

Uber and Metropolitan Traffic Fatalities in the United States

Noli Brazil, David S. Kirk

July 2016

Since its introduction the ride-sharing application known as “Uber” has grown immensely. Popular among urban dwellers, Uber provides an easy and relatively cheap way for people to get around town. With Uber’s growth the authors of this article set out to study whether or not Uber has reduced the nearly 121 million cases of drunk driving in the United States. Using the one hundred most populated counties the authors compared the availability of Uber with the total, drunk driving related, weekend, and holiday traffic deaths. They used negative binomial and Poisson regression models to measure the outcome. Ultimately they found that the availability of Uber services did not correlate with a decrease in traffic fatalities due to drunk driving.

Increasing incidence of metastatic prostate cancer in the United States

A.B. Weiner, R.S. Matulewicz, S.E. Eggener, E.M Schaeffer

June 2016

The authors of this study examine data from the National Cancer Data Base between 2004 and 2013 to determine if cases of advanced or metastatic prostate cancer increased or decreased. Gathering data on men from 1089 health care facilities in the United States, the authors modeled the information to see if current screening practices were too relaxed. What they found was that the cases of metastatic prostate cancer increased in the United States. These cases increased in men in the age range that could benefit the most from advanced screenings and treatment.

Cost and benefit estimates of partially automated vehicle collision avoidance technologies

Corey D. Harper, Chris T. Henderickson, Constantine Samaras

June 2016

With the introduction of autonomous features in vehicles that can detect and prevent crashes, monitor blind spots, and detect lane drifting, some advocate that these technologies can reduce the amount of crashes that occur each year. The authors of this paper evaluate the benefits of equipping all light duty vehicles with these technologies. Using data from insurance companies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and various research articles, the authors estimate that these technologies can prevent nearly 1.3 million accidents each year and $18 billion dollars in savings. The paper suggests that advancements in these technologies can have even greater overall benefits if all vehicles are equipped with these technologies.