Research In Progress

PPA Director Deborah Balser is part of a team studying the effects of the school transfer program set in motion by a Missouri Supreme Court decision affirming that students who attend unaccredited schools have the option to transfer to an accredited school. Balser is studying the effects of the transfer program on teachers’ work-related attitudes. Other aspects of the program will be studied by Mark Tranel, Director of the Public Policy Research Center and a PPA adjunct; Terry Jones, Professor of PPA and Political Science; Sharon Johnson, Associate Professor of Social Work; and Kathleen Brown, Associate Professor of Education. Jones is also working on two other projects – “Early Childhood Education in St. Charles County, St. Louis County, and the City of St. Louis:  A Report for the Regional Early Childhood Council” and “Regionalism by Networking:  The St. Louis Graduates Initiative.”

Todd Swanstrom, E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy, is working with Hank Webber at Washington University on neighborhood change in the St. Louis metro area. They are examining “rebound” neighborhoods that experienced a comeback decades after declining and attempting to identify factors in the comeback that neighborhood residents can influence.

Anne Winkler, Professor of PPA and Economics, is working with William Rogers, Associate Professor of Economics, on a project that looks at the effect of the recent housing and labor market crises on doubling up - multiple generations sharing one home. In a first study, they found that the timing of these crises differed across MSAs. They also found that the association between these crises and doubling up was surprisingly weak at the metropolitan level. Their follow-up study will be a causal analysis of how these crises (and their timing) affected individuals’ decisions to double up.

Nancy Kinney, Associate Professor of PPA and Political Science, is studying the effects that changes in religious ecology ‑ the number and certain other characteristics of religious groups with a place of worship in a particular area ‑ can have on a neighborhood. Specifically, she is looking at the effects of changes in religious ecology on factors such as property values and educational levels.