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Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies
Vol. 3 • Issue 6 • June/July/August 2015

Jacob HackerFrom Jacob Hacker

As we greet the new semester, we are pleased to announce a new ISPS opportunity for Yale College students: the Dahl Research Scholarship. In the spirit of Yale’s late great Robert Dahl, Dahl Scholars will assist faculty in the analysis of pressing public issues. Spread the word: Applications are now open! Meanwhile, our ISPS Health and CSAP seminars are starting up on Sept 16, and we have a special event hosted by the Center of the Study of Inequality on Immigration and Federalism to be held on September 10 (details coming soon). Speaking of special events, we are kicking off a new seminar series - the Behavioral Sciences Workshop, an interdisciplinary seminar series featuring speakers of broad appeal in the behavioral sciences. Welcome back!


SEPT 16 @ 12 CSAP
Charles Decker (Yale)

SEPT 16 @ 12 ISPS Health
Jonathan Ketcham (ASU)

SEPT 17 @ 12
Quantitative Methods
Devin Caughey (MIT)

SEPT 24 @ 12
Behavioral Sciences Wksp
Michael Norton (Harvard)


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Book: Hacking the Electorate


How do campaigns use the big data they glean from public voting records? And how effective is this information for micro-targeting voters? Eitan Hersh's new book, "Hacking the Electorate: How Campaigns Perceive Voters" (Cambridge University Press, June 2015) looks at all the data and shows how technology and strategy mix, what consumer data provides about potential voting preferences, and also dispels many myths about the usefulness of this information for campaigns. Read the Yale News interview with Hersh on this new book, and read John Sides' Q&A, first published in Monkey Cage.

Announcing the Dahl Research Scholars


ISPS is pleased to announce a new fellowship program for Yale College students. In honor of the late Yale Professor Robert Dahl, widely considered the greatest American political scientist of the 20th Century, the Dahl Research Scholars fellowship is for undergraduates committed to positively influencing public policy through research. The fellowship will select three Yale College students to be matched with one of ISPS’s centers – ISPS Health, the Center for the Study of American Politics (CSAP), and the ISPS Center for the Study of Inequality (I-CSI). Read more about the program here. Applications here. Deadline: Sept. 20.

Lux et Data Blogging Corner


Vesla Weaver writes about the crime distribution by race in "The Missing Lesson of Ferguson: Conduct ≠ Contact," originally published in Balkinization as part of the Symposium: Deconstructing Ferguson One Year Later.
Eitan Hersh writes about campaigns' use of big data in "Data Availability Determines Whether Campaigns Focus On the Middle Or the Base," in a post originally published in FiveThirtyEight.  And Hersh explains what the research tell us about door-to-door canvassing in ""What Makes Field Organizers Effective: People Like the People They Want to Persuade," in a post originally published in Monkey Cage,
Matto Mildenberger writes on how the US has made major strides in climate change due to unprecedented executive actions in "The United States is No Longer a Climate Laggard."
Simone Seiver, a Director's Fellow, writes about the power and influence of DA's in determining the death penalty in "Why Three Counties that Loved the Death Penalty Have Almost Stopped Pursuing It." And in "Cops Shooting at Cars: A Really Bad Idea," Seiver looks at the risks and deaths caused by high-speed cop car chases. Both pieces originally published for The Marshall Project, where she spent the summer interning.
Rebecca McKibbin analyses the cost and effectiveness of Right-to-Try laws in "How Much Should New Drugs Be Regulated."
Michael Sierra-Arevalo looks at the micro-neighborhoods of homicide in "The Shooting Disease: Who You Know, Where You Live," originally published in Hartford Courant.

Jacob Hacker on the Future of the ACA & Medicare


In an article in American Prospect, Jacob Hacker lays out the possible future of the Affordable Care Act in "The ACA Has Survived Yet Again: Now What?" 
And in another article for a special issue on the 50th anniversary of Medicare in Generations: A Journal of the American Society on Aging, Hacker looks at how interest group politics have changed over the decades and how the surge in new medical lobbyists challenges the administration of the program and its efforts to keep health care costs controlled.

Zack Cooper on the Health Insurance Mergers


Health economist Zack Cooper is interviewed on PBS's Nightly Business Report's special segment, "And Then There Were Three" about the Anthem acquisition of Cigna. In the segment, Cooper discusses the complexities of health insurance mergers, and the possibility that the more consolidated the health insurance markets become the more consumers will likely pay.  With Althea Jones as moderator, the episode aired on July 24. In addition, he was featured on WNTH about the mergers and on NPR's Where We Live.

Publications, Media, and Mentions



Vesla Weaver wins the APSA 2014 Best Book in Urban Politics award for her book with Amy Lerman, “Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control.” Watch Maggie Peters' interview on the MacMillan Report about her latest research on the correlation between open trade laws and immigration sentiment.
Deborah Beim and co-authors publish "Signaling and Counter-Signaling in the Judicial Hierarchy: An Empirical Analysis of En Banc Review," in American Journal of Political Science.
Kelly Rader and co-author publish "Bargaining Power in the Supreme Court: Evidence from Opinion Assignment and Vote Switching," in Journal of Politics.
Peter Aronow and co-authors publish "Cluster–Robust Variance Estimation for Dyadic Data," in Political Analysis
John Henderson and co-author's working paper "Seeing Spots: An Experimental Examination of Voter Appetite for Partisan and Negative Campaign Ads," in SSRN.
Mary McGrath, Peter Aronow and co-author's working paper "Chocolate Scents and Product Sales: A Randomized Controlled Trial in a Canadian Bookstore and CafeĢ," in SSRN.
Andy Papachristos and Chris Wildeman's study on homicide clusters cited in a New York Times op-ed by Charles Blow. Also Papachristos is quoted in the Wall Street Journal on the uptick in Chicago's violence.  
David Rand receives the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize award for his research on human cooperative behavior.
And former ISPSers, Dan Butler and Adam Dynes publish "How Politicians Discount the Opinions of Constituents with Whom They Disagree," in American Journal of Political Science. Also in AJPS, Butler, Dynes et al. publish "Ideology, Learning, and Policy Diffusion: Experimental Evidence."

Welcome New ISPSers


Please welcome our new staff, post-docs and visiting faculty:
Danielle Petrafesa, a financial assistant, who is working in the business office;
Nathan Shekita, a research assistant and statistician, who is working with Zack Cooper at ISPS Health;
Albert Fang, a postdoctoral fellow, at CSAP;
Andrew Gooch, a postdoctoral fellow, at CSAP;
And Costas Panagopoulos, formerly a postdoctoral fellow at CSAP, will be a visiting professor this year at CSAP.

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