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JPAM Awards 2014 Vernon Memorial Prize

October 15, 2014 09:00 AM

The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM) is pleased to announce that the winners of this year’s Vernon Memorial Award are Tal Gross, Columbia University; Jeanne Lafortune, Instituto de Economía, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; and Corinne Low, Columbia University for their paper What Happens the Morning After? The Costs and Benefits of Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception. The paper was first published in the Winter 2014 issue of JPAM.

The Vernon Memorial Award, created by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), seeks to annually recognized excellence in research through the selection of a paper published in the current volume of JPAM. This year’s committee, appointed by Kenneth Couch, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, included; Jacob Vigdor (chair), University of Washington; along with Diane Schanzenback, Northwestern University; Ingrid Gould Ellen, New York University; and Daniel T. Lichter, Cornell University.

In their paper, the authors study how a series of changes in state and federal policy over the last fifteen years has expanded access to emergency contraception capable of preventing pregnancy after sex. The study examines the impact on birth rates, abortion rates, method of obtaining emergency contraception, and reported sexual assault. “The analysis, motivated by a helpful theoretical framework, is comprehensive, nuanced, transparent, and carefully executed,” says Couch. “The authors overcame significant challenges in assembling a national dataset.”

While the analysis shows no significant impact on birth or abortion rates – consistent with the ambiguous theoretical predictions – it reveals a potentially important, policy-relevant, and unintended consequence of expanded access on the reporting of sexual assault.  “This article credibly and convincingly expands our understanding of both social scientific models of sexual behavior and the implications of an important national policy change,” commented Couch.

 

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