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Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies
Vol. 4 • Issue 3 • March 2016

Jacob HackerFrom Jacob Hacker

I am very happy to announce the publication of my new book with Paul Pierson, “American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper.” As the title suggests, it’s a vigorous fact-based explication of government’s essential role in our “mixed economy,” why our leaders so often denigrate that role today, and how it can be revived. (If you are interested, you can hear me talk about the book on WNPR.) Meanwhile, our graduate policy fellows are offering their own contributions to public discussion: Torey McMurdo writes a fascinating piece on America’s growing cyberlobby and the long standing feud between Silicon Valley and the federal government; and Tom Lyttelton suggests ways to close the inequality gap that is being exacerbated by educated women delaying childbirth while poorer women do not. Finally, there is still time to register for ISPS’s Center for the Study of Inequality conference on "Police Actions and Citizen Mobilization in Democratic Societies,” an all-day event on April 22.


APR 7 @12:00 BSW
James Andreoni (San Diego)

APR 13 @12:00 CSAP
Vivekinan Ashok (Yale)

APR 14 @12:00 BSW
Judd Kessler (UPenn)

APR 20 @4:30 Bioethics
Jack Horgan (Stevens Inst.)

APR 21 @12:00 Methods
Jasjeet Sekhon (Berkeley)

APR 21 @1:30 Day of Data
Eitan Hersh (Yale)

APR 28 @12:00 CSAP
Michael Barber (BYU)

APR 28 @12:00 Methods
Maya Sen (Harvard)


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New Book: American Amnesia 


Jacob Hacker and co-author Paul Pierson's new book, “American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us To Forget What Made America Prosper,” has just been released by Simon and Schuster. Their book is a vigorous defense of government's essential role in advancing our health, wealth, and well-being. To get and keep prosperity, the authors argue, you need strong effective government as well as dynamic competitive markets. You need, in a phrase, a "mixed economy” in which the strong thumb of government and nimble fingers of the market each play a vital role. They show that Adam Smith and all of the leading Founders - Hamilton, Madison, even Jefferson - understood how vital effective public authority is. And they show that it was precisely because the United States created a mixed economy roughly a century ago that we escaped the widespread poverty, bad health, and limited education of our ancestors. For more on the book, see the publisher's promo video here; watch the launch of the book at New America Foundation; and read the authors' related articles here.

Lux et Data Blogging Corner


Torey McMurdo, an ISPS Graduate Policy Fellow, writes about the long standing feud between the federal government and Silicon Valley on issues such as cybercrime, cybersecurity, and the powerful cyberlobbyists, in "Hello World: The FBI, Apple, and the Emergence of America's Cyber Industrial Complex."
Tom Lyttelton, an ISPS Graduate Policy Fellow, looks at "diverging destinies," the gap between educated women who delay childbirth and the difficulties for poorer women who do not, in "Relationships Matter for Poverty, But Not in Isolation."

I-CSI All-Day Conference on Police Actions


On April 22 an all-day conference, "Police Actions and Citizen Mobilization in Democratic Societies," will bring together a group of social science faculty and scholars of the U.S. and around the world to address these and related questions. The conference will feature a series of workshops in which scholars will present their work-in-progress organized around various themes. The central purposes of the conference are to engage in an informed discussion of topics of pressing public concern, as well as to forge a dialogue between scholars who study police violence and citizen mobilization in the United States and those who study these same issues in other countries. The workshops will be geared mainly toward faculty and graduate students at Yale, and mostly in the social sciences. Advance registration is required.

Publications, Media, and Mentions


Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson publish an op-ed in the New York Times on "Clinton's Bold Vision, Hidden in Plain Sight," and publish a piece in The Atlantic, "The Real Cause of the Flint Crisis," and also publish an article in Foreign Affairs, "Making America Great Again: The Case for the Mixed Economy." Their new book, American Amnesia, is mentioned in Nicholas Kristof's op-ed on what a real lack of government looks like.
Vesla Weaver's research on how crime became a political issue is cited in an article in FiveThirtyEight on the evolution of law and order; and Weaver's book, "Arresting Citizenship," is included in an article in American Prospect on mass incarceration. 
Greg Huber's research from a  forthcoming paper about ex-felon voter turnout is cited in International Business TImes.
Andrew Papachristos and Michael Sierra-Arevalo's forthcoming paper on using New Haven's model of reining in gang violence is discussed in Cleveland Plain Dealer.
And Zack Cooper's research on hospital pricing rattles a response from hospital executives, in an article in the Hartford Courant.

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