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America's Poor Performance on Infant Health: Is the Health Care System to Blame?

Heather Royer, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Economics, Weatherhead School of Management

Friday August 31, 2007
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Inamori Center
Room 9 Crawford Hall

Dear Colleagues:

Welcome back for academic year 2007-08. I hope you will be interested in receiving weekly announcements of the Friday Public Affairs Lunch and other Center for Policy Studies events. Each week during the academic semester we will have a discussion of some issue related to public affairs or, occasionally, university affairs. We will be gathering in the same location as in Spring '07: Room 9 of Crawford Hall, in the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence. And the same time: 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. on every week during which classes are in session.

The Friday Lunch is entering its 19th year. We've tentatively scheduled the discussions for the first half of the Fall, and are glad to hear of other suggestions about topics and speakers. We hope the Lunch will continue to both educate about public affairs issues and showcase some of the work being done in the university and our community.

On this coming Friday, August 31, we will lead off with a topic that should be of interdisciplinary interest. Heather Royer, Assistant Professor of Economics, will discuss, "America's Poor Performance on Infant Health: Is the Health Care System to Blame?" Dr. Royer joined our faculty in 2005 after earning her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2004. She has investigated a variety of aspects of the question, and has been supported by both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She also is an accomplished long-distance swimmer, having crossed both the English Channel and Straits of Gibraltar.

The lunch is brown bag, but cookies and some beverages are provided. Thank you to Dr. Greg Eastwood, Inamori Center Director, for making the space available. Thank you to Lara Kalafatis and the Office of Alumni Relations, Development and Events for initial funding for the costs of beverages and cookies. We are also collecting contributions from generous souls towards the remaining costs of refreshments; please contact Joe White (; 368-2426) if you can help out!

The remainder of this e-mail reports what we know about the schedule for the rest of the semester. We will be sending out announcements each week. If you would prefer not to receive the announcements, please inform Dr. Andrew Lucker, Associate Director of the Center for Policy Studies, by e-mail (

About Our Guest

Research Interests: Health, Labor Economics, Public Finance, and Applied Econometrics

Heather Royer  has served as a Health Policy Research Fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars program at the School of Public Health, University of Michigan (2004-2006). She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley (2004) and her B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Pomona College (1996). The title of her dissertation is: "The Causes of Poor Infant Health in the United States." Heather has received the George Break Prize for Coursework in Public Finance from U.C. Berkeley (2003); Social Science Research Council Applied Economics Fellowship (2002-'03); Leland Backstrand Memorial Prize in Economics, Pomona College (1996); and she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Pomona College (1996).

Friday Lunch and Other Public Affairs Upcoming Topics and Speakers: (as of August 27)

Sept 7: "Finding a Cure: The Case for Regulation and Oversight of Electronic Health Record Systems." Sharona Hoffman, Professor of Law and Bioethics, and Andy Podgurski, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.

Sept 14: The Euclid Corridor Project. Joe Calabrese, General Manager, Greater Cleveland Regionial Transit Authority

Sept 17 University Event: Religion and the Constitution. In Ford Auditorium, 4:30 - 6:00. Moderated by Laura Tartakoff, Adjunct Associate Professor of Political Science. Speakers will be George W. Dent Jr., Professor of Law; Gary Simson, Professor and Dean of Law; and Joseph White, Professor of Political Science

Sept 21: Attitudes Towards Terrorism Within Muslim Nations. Karl Kaltenthaler, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, Center for Policy Studies, University of Akron

Sept 28: The Roberts Court. Jonathan Adler, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Business Law and Regulation; and Jonathan Entin, Professor of Law and Political Science

Oct 5: Women in Corporate Leadership. Diana Bilimoria, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior.

Oct 12: Clean, Lean and Green? The Great Lakes Institute for Energy Research at Case Western Reserve University. J. Iwan D. Alexander, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director, National Center for Space Exploration and Research; and Norman Tien, Dean, Case School of Engineering.

Oct 19: The Peanut Allergy Puzzles. Dr. Alton Melton, Section Head, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

Other Friday Lunch topics and speakers TBA.

Also coming to campus:

October 25, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m., Ford Auditorium. Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University (and Dean of Graduate Studies 2005-2007). A former President of both the American Political Science Association and of the Social Science History Association, among many other contributions, Dr. Skocpol is one of the most distinguished political scientists in the country.

November 12, 4:15 - 5:45 p.m., Ford Auditorium. Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, will speak on "The Invisible Primary: Money, Media and Polls in the 2008 Presidential Race."

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

August 28, 2007

A weekly newsletter published by the Center for Policy Studies, Case Western Reserve University. Submit items for inclusion to:

Upcoming Events

Third Annual Constitution Day Forum: Religion and the Constitution

Monday September 17, 2007
4:30 p.m.6:00 p.m.
Ford Auditorium,
Allen Medical Library
Adelbert and Euclid Avenue
Case Western Reserve University

One of the most widely-disputed issues about the American Constitution involves the relationship it might create between church and state.  In the world of the late 18th century, this was normally viewed as involving the relationship between distinct secular and religious institutions, particularly whether any individual church would be "established" with the support of the state.  In the United States of the 21st century, it involves a host of controversies involving public policy and public displays of religious belief.  Those controversies are debated within a context in which religious beliefs and intensity of religious practice are widely described as one of the divisions driving American partisan politics.

For Constitution Day, 2007, faculty of Case Western Reserve University's School of Law and Department of Political Science will address issues of religion and the Constitution.  Joseph White, Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy, will talk about the boundaries of the issue: how religious beliefs have always been central to American politics and religious institutions are currently part of public policy, regardless of the questions that might be raised about what the First Amendment allows or requires.  Then George W. Dent Jr., the Schott - van den Eyden Professor of Law, and Gary J. Simson, the Joseph C. Hostetler - Baker & Hostetler Professor and Dean of the School of Law, will address issues of constitutional interpretation, including the effects of the First Amendment prohibition that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

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Submissions for the Friday Lunch Newsletter may be e-mailed to All submissions must be received at least a week prior to inclusion in the weekly e-mail and will be reviewed for timeliness and relevance to the Center for Policy Studies audience.


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