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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.

SLAPPing Accountability Out of the Public Sphere

Daniel Murphy, Lee Moerman

August 2018

This paper investigated the disruption to civic accountability by strategic corporate action in the form of SLAPP suits. The use of SLAPPs by corporations is dangerous to civic accountability because it has the potential of acquiring full political control over public discourse. This paper showed how corporations utilize these policies to prevent the public from expressing opposition to corporate behavior. Through strategically organized limitations, corporations impose control over public political discussion and protest. This is examined throughout the paper’s use of legal SLAPP cases. Through these investigations, the paper applies Jürgen Habermas’ theory of communicative action and the “public sphere,” to explore how SLAPPs function within a participatory democratic space and how they result in a “crisis of legitimacy” because of the ways in which they are able to exploit the legal system through SLAPP suits.

SLAPPed by RICO: Corporations Punishing Social Activism

Robert Sprague

January 2018

This article traces the development and effect of state Anti-SLAPP laws. It emphasized that state anti-SLAPP suits can be systematically overturned through existing federal law. Because of this, procedures to discourage these meritless lawsuits do not fully exist yet. Until Congress and the President can approve a federal statute that would end these types of lawsuits against social activists, state anti-SLAPP legislation can only do so much. The article discusses these concerns to provide an analysis of how the U.S. federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) can overturn state policy that protects against SLAPP legislation by treating social activism as a crime. It analyzes different legal cases and their effects under federal law and concludes by providing an analysis of the effects of a federal anti-SLAPP statute if it was put into action.

Cosmopolitan Patriotism as a Civic Ideal

Cecile Laborde, Lior Erez

October 2019

This article is about the recent theoretical debates concerning whether there is compatibility between patriotism and political responsibilities. The article details justification and the scope of global justice. The example used by the author posed an inference that Patriotism blocks off and stands in the way of cosmopolitanism. Although this conclusion may be a possible inference, it doesn’t take into account the level of loyalty from an individual of the United States. The attitudes and beliefs of an emotionally effective cosmopolitan patriot are the sense of collective identification and an attitude of critical engagement.

Why Aren’t There More Republican Women in Congress? Gender, Partisanship, and Fundraising Support in the 2010 and 2012 Elections

Karin E. Kitchens , Michele L. Swers

April 2016

This article examines why there is a gap not only just between the number of men and women in Congress, but also between the number of Democratic and Republican women. The researchers find that this is mainly due to fundraising. While Democratic women often outperform their male counterparts in primary fundraising, the same cannot be said for Republican women. In fact, Republican women often receive less primary funding than men. This is because organizations focused on diversity and electing more women are often very left-leaning (if not explicitly only for Democrats). On top of fundraising issues, Republican women are also less likely to run in the first place than Democratic ones (who are additionally less likely than men of either party), further deepening the divide.