Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

The La Follette School Seminar Series engages participants in discussion of a range of public policy issues and showcases the research of faculty from the La Follette School, other UW-Madison departments, and outside the UW-Madison community. Faculty, students, and visitors take part in lively dialogue about topics such as poverty and welfare, health, education, international affairs, trade and finance, and the environment. For more information, email Assistant Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Unless otherwise noted, all presentations are from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, 1225 Observatory Drive, and there is no cost to attend. Click here for a printable schedule. Please check back periodically for the most current information.

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018
Connecting Stars to People’s Wishes: Using Contingent Valuation to Develop Consumer-Based Weights for Health Report Cards, La Follette School Professor Dave Weimer

Health care report card designers face the challenge of balancing comprehensiveness with comprehensibility. Failure to cover relevant dimensions of quality can lead to dysfunctional responses from providers but coverage of multiple dimensions can overwhelm consumers.

The federal report card on nursing homes, Nursing Home Compare, addresses this tradeoff by applying expert-based weights to multiple quantitative measures to award one to five stars to nursing homes in three categories (quality, staffing, and inspections) as well as for overall performance. Research suggests that these expert-based weights do not match well with consumer preferences.

In this project, we assess the feasibility of deriving consumer-based weights using contingent valuation. To do so, we sample people with familiarity with nursing homes and we elicited their willingness to trade travel time between visitors' homes and nursing homes for quality improvements. We then show how relative travel times can be used to construct consumer-based weights for assigning stars.

Monday, Sept. 24, 2018
Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America, Bill Frey, senior fellow, Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Program, School of Education, Wisconsin Idea Room, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. Co-sponsored with the Center for Demography and Ecology

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018
A Conversation with Public Affairs Journalist in Residence Eric Lipton of The New York Times

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018
Ashoka Mody, visiting professor in international economic policy, Princeton University, Grainger Hall, Room 1310 Plenary Room, 975 University Avenue, noon to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018
Prenatal Substance Use: The Effects of State Policy on Maternal and Infant Outcomes, Christine Durrance, associate professor of public policy, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill 

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018
The Affordable Care Act: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Miscalculations), and Where Does Health Policy Go Next? Wendell Primus, senior policy advisor, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018
Nudging Businesses to Pay their Taxes: Does Timing Matter? Mathias Sinning, associate professor and deputy director, Australian National University, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018
La Follette School Assistant Professor Emilia Tjernström

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018
La Follette School Professor Greg Nemet

Past Seminars