Fall 2020 IPRC Event Calendar

Research Webinars Series

IPRC Research Webinars are bi-weekly meeting of faculty and graduate students, featuring leading researchers in political science and connecting CGU emerging scholars to networks.

Location: Online – Zoom
Time: 11:00 – 1:30 pm

1. February 19 (FRIDAY) at 10am to 11am
Jessamyn Schaller, Claremont McKenna College, Assistant Professor of Economics

Chloe N. East, University of Colorado Denver
Elira Kuka, George Washington University
Mariana Zerpa, University of Leuven

Children’s health insurance coverage and health expenses after parental job loss: Are families landing in or falling through the safety net?


Job losses cause a negative shock to family income and loss of access to employer-sponsored health insurance, placing families at risk of gaps in health insurance coverage, negative health consequences and high out-of-pocket health costs. Safety net programs have the potential to help maintain health insurance coverage and smooth health expenditures during periods of unemployment by replacing lost income and offering access to health insurance. In this paper, we use multiple panels of two nationally representative longitudinal surveys, spanning over 20 years of data, to produce event studies of the impacts of involuntary job losses on families’ health insurance coverage, health care utilization, and health expenditures, along the income distribution. We find that parental job loss leads to large decreases in families’ private health insurance coverage, especially in the middle of the income distribution. While this leads to large gaps in insurance coverage for adults, child public health insurance programs (Medicaid/CHIP) mitigate the effects on child health insurance through two channels: reduced exposure before job loss–especially in low-income families–and increased take up after job loss–especially in mid-income families. Then, we study to what extent two large social insurance programs–public health insurance and unemployment insurance- contribute to heterogeneity in the effects of job loss on parents and children. To this end, we interact job loss with plausibly exogenous measures of program generosity, exploiting variation across US states, time, and family types in the eligibility criteria and generosity of two types of policies for adults and children. We explore the effects of these programs separately for each type of policy and for parents and kids, as well as the interaction between the programs and the presence of spillover effects within families.

2. March 4 (Thursday) at 11:30 am to 12:30pm
Dean Robinson, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Associate Professor of Political Science
Topic: Health Disparities by Race and Class: Why Both Matter

This talks revisits and extends an article Dean Robinson co-authored with Ichiro Kawachi and Norman Daniels, “Health Disparities by Race and Class: Why Both Matter.” Since publishing it in 2005, the main points remain relevant. First, there is still too much attention given to the notion of “race” as a genetically discrete category as opposed to a “lived experience.” Second, racism functions as an ideology that obfuscates class as a shared political identity. And finally, both racial and class inequality need to be addressed if we are to address the sources of health inequalities in the United States. The last point has been fully evident over the course of the current pandemic.

3. March 25 (Thursday), 11am to noon
Kristin Lunz Trujillo, Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Carleton College

Decoupling Rural from White Working Class: The Role of Class and Local Economy in Rural Residency, Rural Identity, and Right-Wing Support

Scholarly work and popular narratives have strongly linked the white working class to rural identity and to rural support for Republicans such as Trump. I test this link using ANES and original survey data of self-identified American adults, and find that: 1) rural residents who support Trump tend to be higher in education level, household income level, and self-identified working class membership compared to those who do not support Trump, and 2) rural residents who more strongly socially identify with rurality are more likely to support Trump, and are more likely to be higher in education level, household income level, and self-identified working class membership, compared to weaker rural identifiers. This tendency does not differ between non-Hispanic white and non-white respondents. How, then, do such findings square with the existing narratives of rural identity and rural Trump support being linked to economic working-class decline? By merging the original survey data with a county-level data set, I argue that stronger rural identifiers in areas that have been doing relatively poorly, economically speaking, since the Great Recession were more likely to support Trump. Conversely, stronger rural identifiers in areas that have been doing well were less supportive of Trump. In other words, Trump-supporting rural identifiers tend to be middle to upper class in areas of local economic decline. Such findings suggest that we need to rethink how we conceptualize rural conservative political tendencies given the potentially specious link between white working class membership and rurality.

4. April 8 (Thursday), 11am to noon
Jiin Jung, Department of Psychology, University of Kansas
Aaron Bramson, Lab of Symbolic Cognitive Development, RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research
William D. Crano, Department of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University
Scott E. Page, Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan
John H. Miller, Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University

Cultural Drift, Indirect Minority Influence, Network Structure and Their Impacts on Cultural Change and Diversity

The present research investigates how different patterns of cultural change and diversity
are generated by psychological mechanisms and various social network structures. The two psychological mechanisms studied here are cultural drift and indirect minority influence; the former is parameterized by an error rate and the latter by a leniency threshold.

The patterns of cultural change are examined in terms of magnitude (small vs. large),
speed (gradual vs. rapid), and frequency (frequent vs. rare). Diversity and polarization in
a society are examined in terms of global cultural variation (inverse Simpson index) and
local neighborhood difference (Hamming distance). Key findings are that cultural drift
produces a rapid, large, and rare pattern of cultural change (punctuated equilibrium) in
networks with high connectivity or local community structures (complete, scale-free,
random, and modular networks) but a gradual and large change pattern in regular or small world networks.

Indirect minority influence robustly produces a gradual, small, and
frequent pattern of cultural change (gradualism) across various network structures. When
cultural change occurs in social networks that have a modular community structure,
indirect minority influence generates a regime of cultural diversity whereas cultural drift
generates a polarized regime. Other network effects are discussed. Tipping points are
observed in both cultural drift and indirect minority influence where prediction of cultural
change is particularly difficult.
5. April 22 (Thursday), 11am to noon
Emilie Mitescu Reagan – SES Educational studies, CGU
Topic: TBD

6. April 29 (Thursday), 11am to noon
Robert Klitgaard – DPE, CGU

Overcoming Ethnic Inequalities: Some Lessons from Developing Countries

A surprising and often overlooked fact is the extent of ethnic inequalities within developing countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Three case studies exhibit quite different approaches: assimilation (Peru), preferential treatment (Malaysia), and pretending the inequalities aren’t there (Brazil). From these and other experiences a checklist for policy analysis is proposed. Its purpose is to help people in inevitably unique contexts to rethink the problems, objectives, strategic alternatives, and practical steps forward.

You can find our previous events at this link: