Faculty Research

Below is a selection of our faculty's recent publications, working papers, and ongoing projects. You can see what else our faculty is up to on their individual Faculty Pages.

"The National Origins of Policy Ideas"

New from Princeton University Press  (April 2014)

"The National Origins of Policy Ideas
Knowledge Regimes in the United States, France, Germany, and Denmark"

by John L. Campbell & Ove K. Pedersen


In politics, ideas matter. They provide the foundation for economic policymaking that in turn shapes what is possible in domestic and international politics. Yet until now, little attention has been paid to how these ideas are produced and disseminated, and how this process varies between countries. The National Origins of Policy Ideas provides the first comparative analysis of how “knowledge regimes”—communities of policy research organizations like think tanks, political party foundations, ad hoc commissions and state research offices, and the institutions that govern them—generate ideas and communicate them to policymakers.

"Mental Health, Suicide and the Foreclosure Crisis"

Health Policy workshop on "Mental Health Suicide, and the Foreclosure Crisis"
Assistant Professor Jason Houle

April 3, 2014
1930s Room, Rockefeller Center

In 2007, following decades of increasingly risky borrowing practices, defaults in the sub-prime mortgage market resulted in the worst economic collapse in the U.S. since the Great Depression. The massive scope of the foreclosure crisis, as well as its disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities, raises questions about its potential impact on the mental health and well-being of the U.S. population. In this talk I will present research from ongoing work that examines how rising foreclosure rates are associated with population mental health and suicide rates. I will especially focus on variation in the impact of rising foreclosure rates on mental health and suicide by race, socioeconomic status, and age.

How We Work: Five Years Later (NHPR)

Kristin Smith is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth, family demographer at the Carsey Institute and Research Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests focus on women's labor force participation and work and family policy.  She contributed to three separate NHPR stories as part of their week-long series, "How we work: five years later."

Workers Vote With Feet, Leave Home-Based Childcare
There's a change underway in New Hampshire daycare. Increasingly childcare centers are opening and family, home-based operations are closing, and some believe the changing demands of the workplace are part of what's driving the shift. Kristin spoke to NHPR about the shift in day care decisions...Read the story


Assistant Professor of Sociology Jason Houle says he was surprised by the results of his research on college loan debt among students from low-, middle-, and high-income families, CNBC reports.

His forthcoming study found that lower-middle-income students carry more debt load than students from either of the other economic groups, according to CNBC.

“Subjects whose families earned $40,000 to $59,000 annually racked up approximately $9,200 more student loan debt than their peers whose families earned between $100,000 and $149,000 per year, and approximately $13,0000 more debt than young adults whose families made more than $150,000 annually,” Houle tells CNBC. “Students from families with incomes of $60,000 to $99,000 also carried more debt than those from higher-income families.

“It didn’t surprise me that kids from affluent backgrounds and whites tended to have less,” he adds. “But I would have thought I’d see a straight-up negative association between debt and income, and that wasn’t the case.”

Read the full story, published 12/11/13 by CNBC.

Faculty Forum: Professor Denise Anthony

Bonnie Barber

Faculty members share their insights on current events with Dartmouth Now in a question-and-answer series called Faculty Forum. This week, Professor Denise Anthony talks about the issues surrounding electronic medical records.

Denise Anthony is an associate professor and past chair in the department of Sociology. She is also research director of the Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS) at Dartmouth, and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Health Policy Research at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Walton Study: Asian American Education Levels Affect Health

Bonnie Barber

If you are Asian American, could living in ethnic neighborhoods with other Asian Americans be better for your health? The answer is yes, according to Dartmouth Assistant Professor of Sociology Emily Walton, who recently published her findings in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Walton examined 256 neighborhoods in large metropolitan areas across the United States and found that Asian Americans living in predominantly Asian neighborhoods reported better health as the overall educational level of their neighbors increased. However, this correlation between individual health and neighborhood education levels did not exist for those living in non-Asian neighborhoods.

“When Asian Americans live in neighborhoods that are not Asian ethnic neighborhoods, the education level of the neighborhood doesn’t affect their health,” says Walton, whose study used a sample of 1,962 Asian Americans located across the United States. The data set for her research was taken from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS, 2003-04).

Stuck in the Middle (VPR)

Dartmouth’s Marc Dixon, an associate professor of sociology, is part of a VPR Vermont Edition in-depth discussion that explores the idea of how the middle class is defined in America.

“It’s a loose term,” Dixon tells VPR. “So often in popular usage we are just talking about a way of life. It is almost a standing category for mainstream mid-America life that might include owning a home, having a more or less stable job, and if you didn’t go to college, you certainly have the aspirations of sending your kids there. It’s become a catch-all category in that way.”

Listen to the story, broadcast 11/5/12 on VPR’s Vermont Edition.