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Public Policy

Day-One Advice for President Joe Biden, from Yale Experts

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take on an array of monumental challenges, including controlling COVID-19, making progress on the climate crisis, and confronting racial injustice. We asked faculty members who specialize in these and other subjects what research-based counsel they would give to America’s new leaders.

The empty Oval Office in the White House
  • Is antitrust law keeping up?

    Can laws created to rein in the monopolies of the industrial age still work in the information age? After spending a year as the top antitrust economist at the U.S. Department of Justice, Professor Fiona Scott Morton describes the state of antitrust regulation today.
  • Want to Fix Social Security? Use the Right Wrench

    In a New York Times op-ed, Professor Robert Shiller writes that President Obama’s proposal to change how inflation is measured in Social Security benefit calculations “…solves the wrong problem, and, in doing so, undermines the integrity of the Social Security system.” One alternative, suggests Shiller, is to link retirees’ benefits to GDP per capita, in current dollars, which would align the interests of the retired with those of society as a whole.
  • Yes, We’re Confident, but Who Knows Why

    As housing, unemployment, the stock market, and the overall economy show signs of recovery, Professor Robert Shiller writes in the New York Times that we understand little about how people’s confidence affect these major turning points. "…[P]ublic thinking is inscrutable. We can keep trying to understand it, but we’ll be puzzled again the next time the markets or the economy make major moves."
  • The Language We Speak Predicts Saving and Health Behavior

    Languages differ in how much they distinguish between the present and the future. Professor Keith Chen found that speakers of languages that do not rely on the future tense make more future-oriented choices, including saving more money, retiring with more wealth, and smoking less.

  • What is environmental security?

    A country runs out of drinkable water. What's its next move? And how will its actions affect neighboring countries? The national security community has developed data, expertise, and plans for responding to threats caused by environmental problems.
  • Are our institutions up to the job?

    The massive problems associated with sustainability, from climate change to resource preservation, require coordinated, society-wide responses. Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom argues for the importance of giving local institutions enough power to better manage common resources—though it’s not easy.
  • How do we manage disasters?

    Healthcare is a field known for its complexity and fragmentation. Managing a massive cross-sectoral healthcare project is always a challenge. Coordinating the healthcare response to a disaster puts a strained system under even more pressure. John Piescik ’81 looked into the way the healthcare system responds to disaster for MITRE a not-for-profit company that operates three federally funded research and development centers. His findings may have implications well beyond healthcare, providing a means to manage solutions to some of the complex problems facing society.