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Vol 4
9  | November 2016


In an era of political upheaval, ISPS’s mission—to examine American politics and public policy through the lens of the social sciences—is more important than ever. Case in point: ISPS Health Director Zack Cooper’s blockbuster new paper on the "surprise billing" of ER costs, co-written with ISPS affiliate Fiona Scott Morton. Another example: ISPS’s contribution to Yale's "Day of Data”—a December 1 talk with “open science” pioneer Brian Nosek, moderated by our own Allan Dafoe (who also offers a stimulating take on the future of artificial intelligence on our blog). Meanwhile, our Graduate Policy Fellows are providing their own informed perspectives. Molly Offer-Westort writes on how we can’t grasp policies’ consequences without understanding their "spillover effects” because in randomized experiments we don’t just “treat” the target of a policy, but everyone in their social networks. Conor Walsh offers a much-needed reminder of the significant entrepreneurial role of immigrants. And Adam Chekroud looks to the future of personalized treatment for mental illness in light of the changing environment of FDA review. Last but not least: Visiting graduate student Richard Johnson reprises a forgotten yet timely chapter in American racial history—the KKK’s surprising endorsement of a liberal, black Democrat over a quarter century ago.



December 1 @ 12:00 Policy Lab Workshop: Kristin Turney (UC Irvine)
“Beyond Incarceration: Criminal Justice Contact and Mental Health”

December 1 @ 2:30 A Talk with Brian Nosek on Reproducibility, moderated by Allan Dafoe

December 6 @ 12:00 Center for the Study of Inequality: Richard Johnson (Oxford)
"Vote Your Aspirations: African American Candidates’ Racial Appeals in Majority-White Elections"

December 7 @ 12:00 CSAP Workshop: Marc Hetherington (Vanderbilt)
"The Politics of Strange Bedfellows: Enlisting the Military as Environmental Protector” 

December 7 @12:15 ISPS Health Seminar: Anupam Jena (Harvard) "Marathons & Mortality"

December 13 @ 12:00 Behavioral Sciences Workshop: Devin Pope (U Chicago)
"What Motivates Effort? Evidence and Expert Forecasts”


The Yale Day of Data is an annual event, created to bring researchers together from a variety of different disciplines to discuss finding, analyzing and managing data. The event draws from the experiences of researchers exploring common themes, such as the challenges posed by the ever-increasing complexity of data, increasing expectations from funders, and heightened attention to data as a research product. ISPS is a co-sponsor of this event. This year’s conference on December 1 & 2 will focus on open data, reproducibility, and research transparency in disciplines across Yale. Keynote speakers are Brian Nosek, Co-founder and Director, Center for Open Science; Erin McKiernan, Professor of Physics, Biomedical Physics Program, National Autonomous University of Mexico and Founder of “Why Open Research?”; and Harlan Krumholz, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). ISPS will be hosting Brian Nosek on December 1 for a talk about the practicalities of open science and research transparency.


Molly Offer-Westort, Graduate Policy Fellow, writes on the 'spillover' effect in "Contagious Treatments: The Policy Relevance of Social Networks."
Richard Johnson, a visiting graduate student from Oxford, writes "When the Ku Klux Klan Endorsed a Black, Liberal Democrat for Senate."
Allan Dafoe (and Stuart Russell) review the book Superintelligence in
"Yes, We Are Worried About the Existential Risk of Artificial Intelligence." Originally published in MIT Technology Review.
Conor Walsh, Graduate Policy Fellow, reminds us that immigrants start businesses at a much higher rate than natives in "Who Creates Jobs? Immigrants as Entrepreneurs."


A new study by Zack Cooper and Fiona Scott Morton finds that 'surprise billing' accounts for a large part of Emergency room costs, and that part falls on the patient to pay even when they are covered by insurance.
The authors’ paper, ”Out-of-Network Emergency-Physician Bills -- An Unwelcome Surprise” published in New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed 2.2 million emergency room visits and found that 22% of patients who went to ERs within their health-insurance networks were treated by an out-of-network doctor and expected to pay the extra, much larger cost.


Amanda Kowalski was awarded the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication in the natural or social sciences for her paper published in American Economic Review, “Adverse Selection and an Individual Mandate: When Theory Meets Practice."


Someday Soon: Personalized Medicine for Mental Illness. Adam Chekroud, Graduate Policy Fellow, writes the op-ed "Does Psychiatry Need to Join the Personalized Medicine Party?" Stat News
What Happened?! A Q&A with Eitan Hersh in "Understanding Trump's Triumph." Yale News
On the Cognitive Level: Altruism, Selfishness and Cooperation.  A Conversation with David Rand in "The Cost of Cooperating." Edge
Campaigns and Their Supporters Believe in Their Own Victory. Eitan Hersh (with Ryan Enos) in "Everyone Is Sure Their Side Is Going to Win, Even Big Losers." Monkey Cage 


"Unions are probably the most consistent voice for the broad middle class of any organization today, yet the voice of the middle class was seen as an important part of Donald Trump’s victory." Jacob Hacker in "What Unions Got Wrong About Trump." New York Times
In a funny way, the most likely way in which to destroy the Republican Party is to give it what it wants.” Jacob Hacker in "Trump Win Will Also Roil Republican Party." USA Today
“[Newspapers, media has] no effect on political knowledge, stated opinions, or turnout in post election survey and voter data.” Alan Gerber work cited in "If Fake News Wasn’t on Facebook, People Would Find It Somewhere Else." Washington Post
“What is going to happen is unclear, but what Paul Ryan will want to do is quite clear.” Jacob Hacker on the ACA  in Eduardo Porter's "Trump Campaign’s Easy Answers Confront Hard Reality." New York Times
"[But] it is important to emphasize that Democrats and elites in general have really failed over a long time to focus on issues that are a priority to working-class voters.” Eitan Hersh in "Faculty, Admins Process Trump Victory." Yale Daily News
“Where Trump over performed was not surprising. But that he did was a surprise to everyone — including, it appears, the Trump campaign.” Gregory Huber in "Faculty, Admins Process Trump Victory." Yale Daily News
“The GOP's chief peril is possible low party turnout, but the Democrats may be facing that peril too now.”  David Mayhew in "Congressional Roulette: Senate and House Races Too Close to Call." Fox Business
"[Project Longevity is not] stop and frisk style policing, but a focused approach that concentrates on those men that are engaging in violence.” Michael Sierra-Arévalo in "Arms (and Minds) in America’s Arsenal." Yale Herald