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Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Jacob HackerFrom Jacob Hacker

We began the month hosting a much-discussed conference, Purchasing Power: Money, Politics and Inequality, which brought together a variety of views about campaign finance reform from academics, policy makers, experts working on the ground, and journalists. We end the month hosting a conference to honor the hugely influential work of David Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science, and long time colleague at ISPS. David embodies ISPS's highest ideals, and we all celebrate his much-deserved recognition. Stay tuned for updates on our website about this event.


Public conferences and workshops are on summer break. Check back with our events page for important updates.


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Raph Graybill on Viable Proposals for Campaign Finance Reform 

Erin Thomas on Thinking Socially about Campaign Finance

Raph Graybill on Clean State Elections

Money in Politics: 2012 Elections


At our May 6th event, "Purchasing Power: Money, Politics and Inequality," we brought together an array of thinkers to tackle the issues of campaign finance. With opening remarks from Our CT Senator Chris Murphy, a keynote given by Larry Lessig, and three panels on 1) How much did money matter in 2012 Elections? 2) How did money affect governance, and 3) How to move forward, it was a lively discussion.  See Chris Murphy video, view slides of the presentations, and the media attention the conference has been receiving. Read three new Lux et Data blogs on the conference: Erin Thomas on the psychology of persuasion and Raph Graybill on proposals for reform and Montana reform. 

Closely following up on the conference, was a sister event on May 7 in New York, "Everyone's Fight: The New Plan to Defeat Big Money in Politics, sponsored by Democracy Journal, the Brennan Center for Justice, Demos, Fund for the Republic, and Yale's ISPS.

David Mayhew Elected to Nat'l Academy of Sciences


David Mayhew, Sterling Professor of Political Science, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences on April 30 at its 150th anniversary celebration. Professor Mayhew has taught at Yale for over 40 years and is the author of eight books on American party politics. NAS members are chosen in “recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.” The NAS was established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Scientists are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. 

Q & A with Zack Cooper on Medicare Reform


Health economist, Zack Cooper (Assistant Professor at School of Public Health and Economics), argues for Medicare reform now rather than later. Medicare is a large part of our current debt problem, he says, and even though there is bipartisan agreement that Medicare is unsustainable, the solutions have become highly politicized and distorted. A private system could work, he notes, but only if it were well regulated by the government. Read the Q & A here.

Publications, Media, and Mentions


Greg Huber and Celia Paris on Why Americans Like Assistance to the Poor More than Welfare in Public Opinion Quarterly.

Eitan Hersh on Targeted Election Appeals in Journal of Politics.

View all media of the May 6th conference on Purchasing Power.

On June 12 in London, Jacob Hacker will present a paper, Predistribution and the Living Standards Crisis, as part of the Institute for Government's "Big Thinkers" series.  Immediately following, a BBC Radio 4 program "Analysis" hosted by Edward Stourton will interview Jacob to explain the concept on predistribution.

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