Jacob Hacker

Jacob S. Hacker

Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science & Director of the Institute for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University
Chapter Leader: Connecticut SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Jacob

Hacker is known for his research and writings regarding inequality and health policy, especially his development of the so-called public option. A regular policy advisor and expert commentator, he is the author or co-author of six books, numerous journal articles, and a wide range of popular writings on American politics and public policy. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Hacker's recent honors include election to the American Academy of Political and Social Science and the 2020 Robert Ball Award of the National Academy of Social Insurance.


The Two Electorates

Building an Economy for All

  • Nathaniel Loewentheil

The Ryan Republican Budget: A Blueprint for Permanent Austerity

  • Jacob S. Hacker

How Washington Has Made the Rich Richer – And Abandoned the Middle Class

  • Jacob S. Hacker

In the News

Opinion: "The New Blue Divide," Jacob S. Hacker (with Paul Pierson), Boston Review, February 28, 2024.
Opinion: "401(k)s Will be Considered Unthinkable 50 Years from Now," Jacob S. Hacker, Vox, April 3, 2019.
Opinion: "The Lost Opportunity of Trump's Tax Cuts," Jacob S. Hacker, Washington Post, January 30, 2018.
Quoted by Chris Woodward in "Single Payer: No Choice, No Competition, No Freedom," OneNewsNow, January 9, 2018.
Research discussed by Leslie Small, in "Democrats Mull ‘Next Big Idea’ for Healthcare Policy," FierceHealthcare, January 8, 2018.
Quoted by Michael Hiltzik in "Here's How Expanding Medicare Could Set Us on the Path to Universal Health Coverage," Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2017.
Quoted by Ezra Klein in "Republicans are about to Make Medicare-for-All Much More Likely," Vox, June 16, 2017.
Opinion: "There's a Simple Fix for ObamaCare's Current Woes: The Public Option," Jacob S. Hacker, Vox, August 18, 2016.
Opinion: "Don't Dismantle Government - Fix It," Jacob S. Hacker (with Paul Pierson), The American Prospect, April 1, 2016.
Opinion: "Clinton’s Bold Vision, Hidden in Plain Sight?," Jacob S. Hacker (with Paul Pierson), New York Times, March 17, 2016.
Opinion: "The Real Cause of the Flint Crisis," Jacob S. Hacker (with Paul Pierson), The Atlantic, March 7, 2016.
Quoted by David Roberts in "Tech Nerds are Smart. But They Can't Seem to Get Their Heads around Politics.," Vox, August 27, 2015.
Opinion: "The ACA Has Survived Yet Again. Now What?," Jacob S. Hacker, American Prospect, June 29, 2015.
Quoted by Jonathan Oberlander and Eric M. Patashnik in "Conservatives Worry that ObamaCare is a ‘Super-Statute.’ It Isn’t Quite One Yet.," The Washington Post, June 28, 2015.
Quoted by Thomas B. Edsall in "Why Don’t the Poor Rise Up?," New York Times, June 24, 2015.
Quoted by Lee Drutman in "Can Unlimited Contributions to Political Parties Really Reduce Polarization?," The Washington Post, June 23, 2015.
Opinion: "Miliband’s Not Talking about “Predistribution” but He Has Embraced My Big Idea," Jacob S. Hacker, New Statesman, April 29, 2015.
Opinion: "No Cost for Extremism: Why the GOP Hasn't (Yet) Paid for Its March to the Right," Jacob S. Hacker (with Paul Pierson), The American Prospect, Spring 2015.
Quoted by Thomas B. Edsall in "Obamacare, Hands off My Medicare," New York Times, April 22, 2015.
Quoted by Thomas B. Edsall in "Has Obamacare Turned Voters against Sharing the Wealth?," New York Times, April 15, 2015.
Quoted by Eric Patashnik in "Five Key Lessons about the Welfare State," The Washington Post, April 6, 2015.
Quoted by in "Business Losing Clout in a GOP Moving Right," New York Times, September 3, 2013.
Research discussed by Michael Tomasky, in "The ObamaCare Delay," The Daily Beast, July 3, 2013.
Opinion: "How Big Money Corrupts the Economy," Jacob S. Hacker (with Nathaniel Loewentheil), Democracy, Winter 2013.
Opinion: "What Obama Needs to Do Now," Jacob S. Hacker (with Nathaniel Loewentheil), Salon, November 8, 2012.
Opinion: "U.S. Growth in 'Prosperity Economics'," Jacob S. Hacker (with Nathaniel Loewentheil), Politico, August 2, 2012.
Opinion: "Romney is the Right Man for America. George Romney, That Is," Jacob S. Hacker (with Paul Pierson), Washington Post, February 10, 2012.
Interviewed in "Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on Engineered Inequality," Moyers and Company, January 13, 2012.
Opinion: "Unbalanced Democracy," Jacob S. Hacker (with Oona Hathaway), New York Times, July 31, 2011.
Interviewed in "Washington’s Revolving Wall Street Door," On Point, April 13, 2011.
Opinion: "Unions and the Middle Class," Jacob S. Hacker, The Agenda, March 23, 2011.
Opinion: "The Wisconsin Union Fight isn’t about Benefits. It’s about Labor’s Influence," Jacob S. Hacker (with Paul Pierson), Washington Post, March 6, 2011.


"American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper" (with Jacob S. Hacker) (Simon and Schuster, 2016).

Explains how political elites have enabled and propelled plutocracy. Traces the economic and political history of the United States over the last century and show how a viable mixed economy has long been the dominant engine of America’s prosperity.

"Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All," (with Nate Loewentheil), Prosperity for America, 2012.
Provides a comprehensive blueprint to grow our nation’s economy, strengthen our economic security, and rescue our democracy from powerful special interests. Argues that the only way to achieve sustainable, long‐term growth is to build an economy in which the benefits of growth are broadly shared. Challenges “austerity economics" and presents a bold alternative to the status quo to rebuild a strong, secure middle class and grow our economy now and for future generations.
"Drift and Democracy: The Neglected Politics of Policy Inaction," Working Group for Institutional Change, February 2011.
Looks at America’s failure to update many areas public policy in the face of societal changes that shift the needs the policies are suppose to address.
"Economic Security at Risk: Findings from the Economic Security Index," (with Gregory A. Huber, Phillip Rehm, Mark Schlesinger, and Rob Valetta), Rockefeller Foundation, July 2010.
Measures the share of Americans who, from one year to the next, have experienced at least a twenty-five percent decline in income, without adequate wealth or savings to buffer the effects.
"Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class " (Simon-Schuster, 2010).
Investigates the political and financial forces that have undermined the economic well-being of the middle class over the last three decades.
"The Great Risk Shift: The New Economic Insecurity and the Decline of the American Dream " (Oxford University Press, 2006).
Looks underneath the so-called healthy economy (as it seemed before the recent recession) and reveals how ordinary American families are suffering from the weakening of safety nets and the institutions that once kept them financially secure.