News Archive

Check out the BIP Lab's most recent accomplishments below. 

  • Chicago Harris and the BIP Lab welcomed Maya Shankar, Senior Advisor for the Social and Behavioral Sciences at the White House Office of Science and Technology, who delivered CHPPP's annual Science, Technology and Society Lecture.

    By now, most have heard of "nudges," the tools of behavioral economics that can help parents to overcome biases, inertia and other human foibles to make, and execute, better decisions. Until recently, the field has focused on finance, health and economic decision-making. But scholars at Chicago Harris are now asking if these nudges can be applied to parenting decisions.

  • Brookings Institute released BIP Lab Co-Directors Ariel Kalil and Susan Mayer’s Social Mobility Memo on “Maternal Time with Children: When Weak Social Science Meets an Uncritical Press

    Rather than provoking unnecessary anxiety about “intensive parenting,” we should be worrying about helping convert the “no time investment” parents into “at least some time investment” parents. To send a message that time spent with children is not important does a great disservice to families and ignores a long and respective research tradition that demonstrates precisely the opposite.

  • Professor Ariel Kalil, Co-Director of the BIP Lab, is cited in New York Times.   

    As Ariel Kalil, a development psychologist and professor of public policy at the University of Chicago, told me, “What you did yesterday should not be taken as representative of what you did last year.” This is why most high-quality studies of parenting time focus instead on how often parents read to their children, play with them or help them with homework over a period of a month or longer – long enough to represent their different approaches to parenting.

  • Chicago Tribune cites BIP Lab Co-Director Susan Mayer.

    Susan Mayer, a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, said SMS can be a powerful tool but that tidbits of information are less likely to change behavior than calls to action. She studies the effects of reminder texts on increasing the time low-income parents spend reading to their children. Preliminary results from her study show reminders resulted in a significant increase in reading time, she said.   

  • BIP Lab Co-Directors Ariel Kalil and Susan Mayer are highlighted in New York Times. 

    Researchers at the University of Chicago and University of Toronto are also working on methods to develop literacy. Ariel Kalil, Susan E. Mayer and Philip Oreopoulos sent families texts with tips about how to read with their preschoolers. The result was that parents spent substantially more time reading with their children.

  • Lab Co-Director Ariel Kalil’s work a part of White House Summit on Early Childhood Education.

    Three of Professor Ariel Kalil's published papers have been featured in a new White House report on early childhood education. The report, "The Economics of Early Childhood Investments," was released on December 10, 2014.

  • Chicago Harris Magazine features the BIP Lab in its premiere issue.

    Kalil and Mayer started BIP Lab in order to take a bold new approach to the study of parenting. It’s a space for testing gutsy policies that don’t conform to outdated models of human behavior. “We’ve discovered that cognition and decision-making are more complex than we thought,” Mayer reflects. In other words, helping parents do their jobs has proven trickier than it sounds. But that doesn’t mean the solution can’t be as simple as a little nudge.

  • Brookings Institute releases Lab Co-Director Ariel Kalil’s Social Mobility Memo on “Behavioral Insights and Family Planning

    In the U.S., 60% of all births to young, single women are “unplanned.” Given the potential economic, social and personal costs of unwed early childbearing, this mismatch between intentions and behaviors presents a puzzle whose solution could yield significantly public and private benefits.

  • Ariel Kalil, BIP Lab Co-Director, attends White House event on Federal, state, and local efforts to bridge the word gap.

    Earlier this year, President Obama highlighted the importance of supporting learning in our youngest children to bridge the “word gap” and improve their chances for success in school and in life, and he called for an all-hands-on-deck effort to make progress on this issue.   

  • BIP Lab Co-Director Ariel Kalil’s work on the “parenting gap” cited in the Economist.    

    When it comes to education, the best returns will come not from pumping yet more money into schools but from investing in the earliest years of life. And that includes lending a helping hand to parents who struggle.   

  • Professor Ariel Kalil, Lab Co-Director, invited to speak at The White House Summit on Working Families

    “We need to be very mindful of our ability to support parents to do the job they want to do at home”    
    Read more about the White House Summit on Working Families. 

  • Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab makes UChicagoNews headlines.

    “We know that the gaps in children’s achievement and behavior are due at least in part to the substantial differences in parenting in rich and poor families,” Kalil said. “Work at the lab will enable us to identify and remedy ‘behavioral bottlenecks’ that stifle optimal parental engagement and long-term behavior change among economically disadvantaged parents.”    

  • Ariel Kalil, BIP Lab Co-Director, writes on economic inequality and parenting, Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

    To break the cycle of economic disadvantage, we must consider the evidence on inequality and parenting. When we talk about economic inequality, we should remember how current conditions are likely to exacerbate inequality for future generations given the key role family plays in the intergeneration transmission of economic status. Few people believe that there should be complete independence between parents’ and children’s economic success, but in the race to the top, new research shows highly-educated families are at an ever-greater advantage.