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Vol 5

April 2017


April showers bring May flowers, according to the old saying. But at ISPS, social science research is in bloom year-round, and the showers of praise are always falling. Take David Mayhew’s new book, The Imprint of Congress, the ninth from this prolific ISPS professor. Planted in his 2015 Henry L. Stimson Lectures, it is certain to be long in flower, reminding readers that no political scientist has done more to help us understand Congress. Somewhat less colorful, Mark Schlesinger’s new paper on patients’ awareness of low-value medical care is likely to blossom into a debate about unnecessary testing and treatment. And Celene Reynolds offers her own intellectual bouquet in a new podcast on Title IX’s unexpectedly central place in the fight against campus sexual assault. Having run out of floral metaphors, I will close by simply noting that I am deeply honored to have been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. April showers indeed. 



Behavioral Science Workshop
May 2 @ 12:00  “Creating Exercise Habits Using Incentives: The Trade-off between Flexibility and Routinization” with Katherine L. Milkman (University of Pennsylvania)

Center for the Study of American Politics
May 3 @ 12:00  “Who Should Pay? Who Should Provide? American Childcare Preferences in Comparative Perspective” with Sophie Jacobson (Yale)


Congratulations to ISPS DIrector Jacob Hacker for being newly elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Hacker was nominated to the Public Affairs and Public Policy section of the Academy for his well-known research and expertise on income inequality, the decline of the middle-class, and health care reform. Other ISPS affiliates who were elected this year are Nicholas Christakis, Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science, the Director of the Human Nature Lab, and co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science; and Heather Gerken, J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law, who will be the next Dean of Yale Law, effective July 1. Read the stories in Yale News and Yale Daily News.


Sterling Professor of Political Science, David Mayhew, has just published his 9th book, "The Imprint of Congress" (Yale University Press). The book is based on “The Henry L. Stimson Lecture Series” that Professor Mayhew gave in the Fall of 2015, which provided an historical analysis of Congress’s performance from the late 18th century to today. Mayhew suggests that Congress has balanced the presidency in a surprising variety of ways, and in doing so, it has contributed to the legitimacy of a governing system faced by an often fractious public.


Gina Roussos, an ISPS Graduate Policy Fellow studying social psychology, reveals the findings of a survey on free speech in "Hate Speech is in the Eye of the Beholder."
Celene Reynolds writes on how Title IX went from fostering gender parity in sports, math and science to handling sexual harassment cases on campus in "What We Know - and Need to Learn - about Progress against Sex Discrimination in Higher Education."


Mark Schlesinger (and co-author Rachel Grob) recently published a paper in Milbank Quarterly, "Treating, Fast and Slow: Americans’ Understanding of and Responses to Low-Value Care." By using a mixed-method design incorporating focus groups, patient interviews and national surveys, the authors examine patients' awareness of low-value care, that is, the overuse of testing and treatment with little to no health gains, which currently costs approximately $750 billion per year.  Read more on the study in Yale Daily News and Yale News.


Kelly Rader publishes "Much Ado About Nothing: RDD and the Incumbency Advantage" (with Robert Erikson) in Political Analysis.
Gregory Huber
publishes "Representativeness and Motivations of the Contemporary Donorate: Results from Merged Survey and Administrative Records" (with Seth Hill) in Political Behavior.
Kelly Rader
publishes "The Federal Spending Paradox: Economic Self Interest and Symbolic Racism in Contemporary Fiscal Politics” (with Katherine Krimmel) in American Politics Research.
Allan Dafoe publishes "Nonparametric Combination (NPC): A Framework for Testing Elaborate Theories," (with Devin Caughey, Jason Seawright) in Journal of Politics.
Margaret Peter's data is now available for her book, "Trading Barriers: Immigration and the Remaking of Globalization" (Princeton University Press).


Why legislative binges in first 100 days are rare. David Mayhew writes the op-ed, "Two Factors Help a President Get a Lot Done in 100 Days. Trump Has Only One." Monkey Cage
The loner-as-leader presidents have never been able to reorder national affairs.
Stephen Skowronek writes the op-ed, "Is Donald Trump the Great Disrupter? Probably Not." Washington Post
A timely reminder of what ails health care
. Jacob Hacker reviews Elisabeth Rosenthal's new book in "Why an Open Market Won’t Repair American Health Care." New York Times Book Review 
How Title IX landed at the center of a movement against campus sexual assault. Celene Reynolds discusses her latest research in the podcast, "Unequal Play to Unequal Contact." SSN's No Jargon


“Our health care system is way more expensive than any other health care system in the world. And a big chunk of that is forms of testing and treatment that have very little benefit.” Mark Schlesinger in "Survey Analyzes Wasteful Health Care Spending." Yale Daily News Related Paper: Milbank Quarterly
"The thing about the ROE (rules of engagement) is that they’re living documents. They’re not just black and white.”
Jason Lyall in "After Reports of Civilian Deaths, US Military Struggles to Defend Air Operations in War against Militants." Washington Post
“We would want to triage who is at immediate risk. What do they need in that moment?” Andrew Papachristos in "Treating Gun Violence as an Epidemic Could Help Us Stanch It." Slate Related: JAMA