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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Nutritious in More Ways Than One? School Lunch and Student Performance

Justin Gallagher Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Economics at Case Western Reserve University
Friday September 29, 2017
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Once upon a time, school lunches were a poverty program: a way to improve nutrition for children deprived due to their families’ low income. They were also an agricultural program: a way to distribute (and so maintain the price of) commodities such as cheese and milk. And perhaps students who were not hungry would do better in their classes.

In recent years, however, school lunches have also been defined as a public health issue. Rising rates of childhood obesity have fed a focus on the nutritional content of school meals, with attendant concerns about excess butterfat or French fries. Medical literature has also suggested better (not just more) nutrition could lead to better academic performance. So some districts have sought to provide healthier meals, though that has led to worries about both costs and whether the kids would eat the stuff.

What, then, has been the effect of such policies? In work that was covered in both the New York Times and The Atlantic, Justin Gallagher and colleagues studied differences between California school districts contracting with “healthy school lunch vendors” and those that did not. He will discuss their results about both obesity and academic performance.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Justin Gallagher's research focuses on environmental economics and applied microeconomics, investigating how individuals evaluate and respond to environmental risks. Recently, Gallagher and his co-author studied the local welfare impact of the cleanup of large hazardous waste land sites in the U.S., using the housing market in neighboring communities to measure housing price changes before and after Superfund-sponsored cleanups. The study looks at waste sites of comparable severity, some of which have been slated for cleanup as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program, and some of which have not.

In his current research, Gallagher examines the learning process that individuals use to update their expectation of an uncertain and infrequently observed event, specifically, in this case, flooding. He has presented on these topics at several universities and also at the American Economic Association. Gallagher’s research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Economics, and American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Since joining the Weatherhead School of Management faculty, he has taught Advanced Econometrics, Econometrics, and Environmental Economics. Gallagher received his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, his master’s degree in public policy from the Harris School at the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Berkeley.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library.

* Kelvin Smith Library requires all entrants to show identification when entering the building, unless they have a university i.d. that they can magnetically scan. We are sorry if that seems like a hassle, but it has been Library policy for a while in response to security concerns. Please do not complain to the library staff at the entrance, who are just doing their jobs.

The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Schedule of Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

October 6: The Budget Mess: Debt Ceilings, Shutdowns, and Health Care, Oh My! With Joseph White Ph.D., Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies. ***Alternate Location: Mather House, Room 100, 11201 Euclid Ave***

October 13: Public Health Lessons From the Ebola Outbreak. With Ronald Blanton M.D./M.Sc., Professor of International Health.

October 20: Students, Stress, and Sickness: Are There More Problems and, If So, Why? With Judith Olson-Hammer MS, Director of Educational Services for Students, and Richard B. Pazol Psy.D., Director of Counseling and Coordinator of Assessment Services, University Health and Counseling Services.

October 27: Patenting Pot. With Craig A. Nard J.D., L.L. M., J.S.D., Galen A. Roush Professor of Law and Director, Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology and the Arts.

November 3: Cleveland's Muslim Community: History and Challenges. With Ramez Islambouli, Lecturer of Arabic and Islam; Adjunct Professor of Islamic Law; and President, Uqbah Mosque Foundation.

November 10: Lead Poisoning in Cleveland: Why, After All These Years? With Dorr Dearborn MD, Ph.D., Mary Ann Swetland Professor Emeritus and Department Chair Emeritus, Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

November 17: Digging Into Football and Voting With Data. With Andrew Healy Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Loyola Marymount University and Senior Strategist for Player Personnel, Cleveland Browns.

November 24: Thanksgiving Break

December 1: TBA

December 8: Environmental Policy in the Pruitt EPA. With Catherine J. LaCroix J.D., Adjunct Professor of Law.

September 25, 2017

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

China and America in an Age of Turmoil

A Discussion with David M. Lampton, Ph.D., Hyman Professor and Director of SAIS-China and China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 4:45 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., Clark Hall-Room 309, 11130 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. This program is made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin and sponsored by the CWRU Center for Policy Studies.

Relationships between the governments of the United States and China, always subject to tensions, appear to have become less stable in recent years.

The Obama administration proclaimed a "pivot to Asia" in U.S. foreign policy. But perhaps its signature initiative, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is now dead. The Trump administration has inherited one "problem from hell," in North Korea, while raising the profile of other problems, such as the U.S. trade deficit with China. Economic tensions are based on real issues, such as Chinese businesses' behavior in regard to intellectual property. Military tensions also derive from basic disagreements on issues such as Taiwan and the South China Sea. The current Chinese leadership has pursued a more assertive foreign policy than its predecessors, while President Trump at a minimum uses a lot of assertive rhetoric.

What, then, are the prospects for relationships between the two nations going forward? How will turmoil in the world influence U.S. - China relations - or, will U.S. China relations add to the world's troubles? Join us for lecture and discussion with one of the world's leading scholars of both Chinese politics and China's international relations.

We are very pleased to welcome eminent China scholar David M. "Mike" Lampton to discuss current and future relationships between the two nations. As former President of the National Committee on U.S. - China Relations; current Chairman of the Board of the Asia Foundation; Professor and program Director at SAIS: and author or editor of many books and articles on China's leadership and foreign policy, he is one of the leading experts on the field. In fact, in 2015 the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing declared Professor Lampton was the "Most Influential China Watcher" in the United States.

September 2017






































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