Campus & Community

IQSS, HSPH welcome four visiting scholars

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Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) and the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have announced the arrival of four new visiting scholars as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Program. This is a two-year postdoctoral fellowship program for outstanding new Ph.D.s in economics, political science, and sociology who wish to advance their understanding of health policy research. Katherine Swartz, professor of health policy and management at HSPH, directs the program. The core faculty for the program is drawn from throughout the University. During the next several years, Harvard will host up to eight scholars per year.Jin (left), MullenThe new Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research are as follows:Jake Bowers earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently an assistant professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Michigan. He is also a faculty associate in the Center for Political Studies and a faculty affiliate in the Quantitative Methodology Program at the Institute for Social Research. Bowers’ research focuses on methodology and on the behavior of individual people. Bowers is currently working on (1) applications of randomization inference and matching to political science problems – particularly those involving small, nonrandom samples and clustered or multilevel data – and (2) a framework for studying what precipitates episodes of political participation in the lives of ordinary citizens. He will continue to pursue these interests in methodology and behavior as a scholar in the program. Bowers plans to study research designs and statistical methods that allow simple yet confident determinations of the causal effects of policy manipulations or changes in institutional context on individual political and health behavior.Jeremy Freese is currently on leave from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is an associate professor of sociology. He completed his Ph.D. in sociology at Indiana University in 2000. His primary research interests are in social psychology, technology, and the relationship between biological and social processes. Freese has published articles in the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, the Annual Review of Sociology, and the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. He is also co-author of a book on using statistical software for a range of common social and health science applications.  Lei Jin received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 2005. Her research interests include the sociology of professions, the sociology of scientific knowledge, and medical sociology. Her dissertation examines the implications of the evidence-based medicine movement, often advocated as a new paradigm in the practice of scientific medicine, in physicians’ work and physicians’ attitude toward this movement. As a scholar, Jin will study how the proliferation of medical knowledge in the lay public influences the patterns of medical practice, patient-doctor interaction, and unequal access to medical treatments. Kathleen Mullen received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 2005. Her primary field of interest is applied microeconometrics. In her dissertation she focused on modeling the food consumption behavior of food stamp participants. In her previous work she examined determinants of educational attainment and the effect of schooling on achievement test scores. While in the program, she plans to study factors influencing physical activity and to explore feedback effects of fitness and overall physical health on outcomes such as cognitive ability, mental health, and productivity.