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  • Landes study on signature authority, cause of death accuracy published

    "Assessing state level variation in signature authority and cause of death accuracy, 2005–2017," co-authored by Associate Professor of Sociology Scott Landes, was published in Preventive Medicine Reports. The authors examined whether variation in death certificate certifier type predicts the accuracy of cause of death reporting in the U.S. Their findings suggest that state-level differences in statutory signature authority may contribute to inaccuracies in U.S. mortality data, especially when considering myriad professional groups that can certify the cause of death.


    Thompson shares her thoughts on Biden, Harris with LocalSYR

    "President Biden served eight years as Vice President, so he was very much involved in the Obama Presidency," says Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history and political science. "He saw things from the inside. But I think one of the things that’s going to make a big difference is his respect for and I think a reliance on expertise in a variety of fields." Thompson also believes Vice President Harris will play a big role over the next four years, especially because the Senate is so narrowly divided at this time. Watch the full interview via


    Steinberg quoted in China Daily piece on improving US-China relations

    University Professor James B. Steinberg says there are opportunities for cooperation, but if the deep diagnosis is that China is challenging the U.S., it would be very hard to sustain and insulate areas of cooperation from the deeper conflict. "I think we have got to find a way to deal with these deeper challenges, and to come to some understanding about whether we really do have a way,… can we coexist in a way that is not threatening to each other, and can we convince each other that we're serious about that," he says. Read more in the China Daily article, "Cooperation can immediately improve China-US relations, ex-diplomat says."


    Reeher talks to CNY Central about local benefits of a Biden presidency

    Professor Grant Reeher thinks a Biden presidency will be good for Central New York. "It might make it a little bit easier for John Katko to get the ear of the President if there's a major piece of legislation being negotiated," Reeher says. "We may be on his radar when he's thinking about the problems of small to mid-size cities. Are they getting the help from the federal government that they need? I think that is going to be a good thing for this area." Reeher was interviewed for the CNY Central story, "How CNY could benefit from Biden presidency."


    McDowell examines the yuan's potential to challenge the dollar in WPR

    In his latest piece, "Dollar Doomsayers Are Wrong—Again," published in World Politics Review, Associate Professor of Political Science Daniel McDowell explains why the Chinese yuan does not pose a threat to the dollar's reserve currency status. "Chinese financial reforms have undoubtedly boosted the yuan’s economic appeal over the past 10 years. Yet, at the same time, concerns about the Chinese political system are a major impediment to the yuan’s global competitiveness," says McDowell. "In the long run, the dollar is likely to outlive predictions of its demise not because of its inherent attractiveness, but because of its competitors’ flaws."


    Schwartz study on special education, academic performance published

    "The Effects of Special Education on the Academic Performance of Students with Learning Disabilities," co-authored by Amy Ellen Schwartz, was published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. In the 40‐plus years since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, special education has grown in the number of students and amount spent on services. Despite this growth, academic performance of students with disabilities remains troublingly low compared to general education students. The authors looked at students with specific learning disabilities (LDs), using rich New York City public school data and found that academic outcomes improve for LDs following classification into special education and impacts are largest for those entering special education in earlier grades.


    Reeher discusses Trump's legacies in The Hill

    Professor Grant Reeher says that, in terms of policy, one of Trump’s most enduring legacies could be the tax cuts he enacted in 2017. Reeher makes clear he's not asserting that the tax cuts were good or bad, simply that they would be hard to reverse, since the political disincentive to raise taxes is so strong. By contrast, he notes, Biden has promised to instantly reverse or otherwise erase signature Trump policies pertaining to the Paris climate agreement and the infamous travel ban. Read more in The Hill article, "The Memo: Trump leaves changed nation in his wake."


    McDowell reviews Biden's agenda to revitalize US manufacturing in WPR

    Existing U.S. trade agreements may constrain Biden’s ability to deliver on his promise to spend $400 billion over four years on American-made goods, says Daniel McDowell. "Many of these deals include 'national treatment' measures that the U.S. is obligated to honor. Ignoring such commitments could lead to trade disputes with key allies and complicate Biden’s efforts to rebuild relations with those countries after Trump soured them," he says. Read McDowell's full article, "'Made in America' Is a Familiar Presidential Promise. Can Biden Deliver?," published in World Politics Review.


    Sharp op-ed on survival of democracy published on

    "For democracy to survive, there has to be public confidence in the rule of law and regular and fair elections," writes James Roger Sharp, professor emeritus of history. "That is how democracies govern themselves, and efforts to destroy public faith in the system threatens that democracy." Sharp's op-ed, "Democracy on trial: Can we save it?," was published on


    Banks quoted in China Daily article on the inauguration

    Professor Emeritus William C. Banks says that only once in U.S. history, just after the Civil War, has a departing president not attended the inauguration. "The ceremony will also be dramatically affected by the pandemic, and by the extraordinary security necessitated by the attack on the Capitol on Jan 6," he says. Banks was quoted in the China Daily article, "Capital prepared, tense for inauguration."


    Reeher comments on Rep. Stefanik's career trajectory in Times Union

    Rep. Elise Stefanik’s career trajectory has always followed two paths, says Professor Grant Reeher: astute and methodical political operative and ideological warrior. "I think those two are at a crossroads right now," Reeher says. "What will be the reckoning for her? It depends on what Trump does from here on out, and what she does from here on out." Reeher was quoted in the Albany Times Union article, "Cracks emerge in Stefanik's North Country GOP power base."


    Popp discusses Biden's green jobs agenda in Forbes article

    "Wages in solar and wind could increase if demand increased, at least initially," says Professor David Popp, who wrote about the impact of fiscal policy on green jobs in a working paper in June 2020. "But higher wages would also attract more workers to develop the skills to work in wind and solar, so the increase need not be permanent." Read more in the Forbes article, "The Challenge Facing Biden’s Green Jobs Agenda? Green Jobs."


    New study explores effect of preemption laws on infant mortality rate

    "Effects of US state preemption laws on infant mortality," co-authored by Maxwell professors Douglas Wolf, Shannon Monnat and Jennifer Karas Montez, was published in Preventive Medicine. States are increasingly preempting city and county governments from enacting policies that benefit workers, such as raising the minimum wage. The authors found that each additional dollar of minimum wage reduces infant deaths by up to 1.8% annually in large U.S. cities. Additionally, in the 25 states that preempted minimum wage increases since 2001, over 600 infants could have been saved annually if localities had been allowed to raise their wage to $9.99.


    Landes, London study on self-reported ADHD and adult health published

    "Self-Reported ADHD and Adult Health in the United States," co-authored by sociologists Scott Landes and Andrew London, was published in the Journal of Attention Disorders. Landes and London investigated the relationship between self-reported ADHD diagnosis status and adult health, and whether observed associations are attenuated by biomedical and socioeconomic factors. They concluded that research on adult health outcomes for those with ADHD should include consideration of the mechanisms by which a diagnosis of ADHD leads to cumulative social disadvantages that independently contribute to poorer health outcomes.


    McCormick speaks to AP about Mexico dropping case against Cienfuegos

    Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office announced it was dropping the drug trafficking case against its former defense secretary, retired Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos. Gladys McCormick says the only surprise was that Mexico didn’t make a better show of looking into Cienfuegos. "One would think that they would have at least followed through on some semblance of an investigation, even if it was just to put some window dressing on the illusion that the rule of law exists," McCormick says. Read more in the Associated Press article, "Mexico president accuses DEA of fabricating general’s case."


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