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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.

When love meets hate: The relationship between state policies on gay and lesbian rights and hate crime incidence

Brian L. Levy, Denise L. Levy

January 2017

Legislation regarding sexual orientation has proven to be correlated with the number of reported hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation in those states which enforce them as well as states nearby. Constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage, state-wide partnership recognition policies, and the immediate years following pro-equality policies saw an increase in hate crimes. Decreases in reported hate crimes were found in areas with anti-discrimination and pro-equality policies dealing with sexual orientation over time. There was no statistical significance after the first pro-equality legislation was passed but benefits of this policy were seen after the second policy was passed. This study did not control for all state-related effects being that it took place over a span of 13 years, not taking into account policies passed prior.

State-level climate, anti-discrimination law, and sexual minority health status: An ecological study

Alexa Solazzo, Tony N. Brown, Bridget K. Gorman

January 2018

This article outlines one of the first studies done to find that there is a positive relationship between sexual-minority friendly climates and state-level anti-discrimination law on LGB health. This study emphasizes that the context in which individuals live is pertinent in understanding population health. In states with anti-discrimination laws and sexually minority friendly climates, the health of LGB adults is significantly greater than those LGB adults living in states without such laws or friendly climates. The LGB Climate Index was used in this study, though there was however, a distinction to be made between bisexual adults and gay or lesbian adults. For bisexual adults, there were no significant findings to suggest that anti-discrimination laws and sexual-minority friendly climates had a positive effect on health, just as there was not any data found to suggest such a relationship between heterosexual adults

Does Perception of Gas Tax Paid Influence Support for Funding Highway Improvements

Ronald C. Fisher, Robert W. Wassmer

August 2016

The article asserts the claim that the amount of fuel taxes paid by an individual, influences his or her support for funding highway improvements The magnitude of state fuel taxes affects their views for supporting the funding of roads and infrastructure. The article makes the argument that there will most likely be more support for roads if accompanied by a campaign identifying the existing rate of the state’s gasoline excise tax. This article compares the excise tax of Michigan and California to analyze the different issues of perception concerning the public finance of roads

Michigan Reading Law would hold back almost 5,000 third graders if took into effect today

Zara Phillips

July 2019

As referenced in the article, Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative, when reviewing the 2017-18 M-STEP results, it is estimated that between 2% and 5% of third-graders are not skilled in reading. Specifically discussing that if Michigan’s Read by Grade 3 retention law were to go into effect sometime this fall, almost 5,000 third graders would have to be held back. The number of African American students that would have to repeat the third grade is between 7% and 11% while the percent of special education students that would have to repeat are at 10%.