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Politics, Institutions, and Public Policy

This broad multidisciplinary program traces how social, political, and institutional dynamics shape and constrain national policymaking in the United States and in comparison with other countries. Experts in political identity, public opinion, inequality, political parties, media, gender, and many others come together to debate and study political processes and institutions and their participants.

A Message From Daniel Galvin, Program Chair

Daniel Galvin

From the partisan divide on COVID-19 to systemic racial injustices to impediments to democratic participation, political institutions are being tested like never before. IPR faculty examine how political, social, and economic dynamics affect institutional operations and decision-making processes in the United States. Researchers analyze the interplay between political institutions, political behavior, and public policies.

Working Papers

Recently published articles and working papers in this program area include:

Vladimir Atanasov, Natalia Barreto Cham, Jeffrey Whittle, John Meurer, Benjamin Weston, Qian (Eric) Luo, Andy Yuan, Lorenzo Franchi, Ruohao Zhang, and Bernard Black. 2023. Selection Effects and COVID-19 Mortality Risk After Pfizer vs. Moderna Vaccination: Evidence from Linked Mortality and Vaccination Records (WP-23-02).

Mary McGrath. 2023. Collaboration Induces Debt-Motivated Altruism (WP-23-01).

Susan Athey, Dean Karlan, Emil Palikot, and Yuan Yuan. 2022. Smiles in Profiles: Improving Fairness and Efficiency Using Estimates of User Preferences in Online Marketplaces (WP-22-53).

All Papers

Faculty Experts

Representing the fields of political science, economics, social policy, psychology, and sociology, faculty delve into the worlds of politics, institutions, and policymaking.

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The Patina of Distrust: Misinformation in a Context of Generalized Skepticism

Pablo Boczkowski, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication Studies and IPR Associate; Founder and Director of the Center for Latinx Digital Media

IPR Winter 2023 Distinguished Lecture: Creating Equality of Opportunity in America: New Insights from Big Data

Raj Chetty, the William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics and Director of Opportunity Insights at Harvard University


Policy Brief: Discrimination in the Housing Market

Are government housing practices fair? After WWII, millions of Americans bought homes for the first time thanks to the standardization of 30-year mortgages. IPR political scientist Chloe Thurston explains how many minorities and women were shut out of the housing market due to discriminatory government policies and how they fought for homeownership through advocacy groups like the NAACP and NOW.

Download the brief