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Jacob S. Hacker

Affiliations
Member of SSN Steering Committee and Co-Director of the New Haven SSN Regional Network; Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University
Areas of Expertise:
  • American Democracy
  • Revitalizing U.S. Democracy
  • Economic Security
  • Inequality & the Middle Class
  • Social Security
  • Health Care
  • Health Care Reform
  • Medicare & Medicaid
  • Economy & Public Budgets
  • Public Budgets & Taxes

Connect with Jacob

About Jacob

Jacob S. Hacker is Stanley Resor Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. A regular media commentator and policy adviser, he is the author or co-author of five books, numerous journal articles, and a wide range of popular writings on American politics and public policy. His most recent book, written with Paul Pierson, is American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper—a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and a best business book of 2016 according to the management magazine Strategy+Business. Previously, the two wrote the New York Times bestseller Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Professor Hacker is known for his research and writings regarding health policy, especially his development of the so-called public option. He is also a member of the OECD’s High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. He was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.   

Briefs

Building an Economy for All

  • Nathaniel Loewentheil

The Ryan Republican Budget: A Blueprint for Permanent Austerity

  • Jacob S. Hacker

Publications

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.
"Standing on Shaking Ground: Americans’ Experiences with Economic Insecurity," (with Philipp Rehm and Mark Schlesinger), Rockefeller Foundation, December 2010.
Based on the Panel Survey of the American National Election Studies, this report gauges Americans’ worries about changes in employment, medical care, wealth, and family arrangements.
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.
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.

In the News

"The Lost Opportunity of Trump's Tax Cuts," Jacob S. Hacker, Washington Post, January 30, 2018.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted in Chris Woodward, "Single Payer: No Choice, No Competition, No Freedom" OneNewsNow, January 9, 2018.
Jacob S. Hacker's research on Leslie Small. Jacob S. Hacker, "Democrats Mull ‘Next Big Idea’ for Healthcare Policy," FierceHealthcare, January 8, 2018.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on universal healthcare in Michael Hiltzik, "Here's How Expanding Medicare Could Set Us on the Path to Universal Health Coverage" Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2017.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on public-option strategy in Ezra Klein, "Republicans are about to Make Medicare-for-All Much More Likely" Vox, June 16, 2017.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on the state of the Democratic Party, "The Split: 19 Reasons the Democrats Will Remain Divided - and What It Means for the Party's Future" The New Republic, June 14, 2016.
"Don't Dismantle Government - Fix It," Paul Pierson (with Jacob S. Hacker), The American Prospect, April 1, 2016.
"Clinton’s Bold Vision, Hidden in Plain Sight?," Paul Pierson (with Jacob S. Hacker), New York Times, March 17, 2016.
"The Real Cause of the Flint Crisis," Paul Pierson (with Jacob S. Hacker), The Atlantic, March 7, 2016.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on money in elections in Sean McElwee, "The Democratic Primary’s Ugly Truth: Hillary vs. Bernie Doesn’t Matter until We Change Our Electoral System" Salon, October 19, 2015.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on America's extreme right in David Roberts, "Tech Nerds are Smart. But They Can't Seem to Get Their Heads around Politics." Vox, August 27, 2015.
"The ACA Has Survived Yet Again. Now What?," Jacob S. Hacker, American Prospect, June 29, 2015.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on Republican opposition to the ACA in Jonathan Oberlander and Eric M. Patashnik, "Conservatives Worry that ObamaCare is a ‘Super-Statute.’ It Isn’t Quite One Yet." The Washington Post, June 28, 2015.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on median voter theorem in Lee Drutman, "Can Unlimited Contributions to Political Parties Really Reduce Polarization?" The Washington Post, June 23, 2015.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on economic pressures on individuals resulting from the widespread erosion of social insurance. in Thomas B. Edsall, "Why Don’t the Poor Rise Up?" New York Times, June 24, 2015.
"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.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on support for the G.O.P. in an era of runaway inequality in Thomas B. Edsall, "Obamacare, Hands off My Medicare" New York Times, April 22, 2015.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on comparing public attitudes with inequality trends in Thomas B. Edsall, "Has Obamacare Turned Voters against Sharing the Wealth?" New York Times, April 15, 2015.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on the failure to revise a policy to keep its effects constant in the face of environmental change in Eric Patashnik, "Five Key Lessons about the Welfare State" The Washington Post, April 6, 2015.
"States Taking Medicaid Opt-Out Option Leave 'Larger Impact than Expected'," Jacob S. Hacker, Interview with Jeffrey Brown, PBS Newshour, October 7, 2013.
Jacob S. Hacker quoted on the relationship between corporations and the Republican Party, "Business Losing Clout in a GOP Moving Right" New York Times, September 3, 2013.
Jacob S. Hacker's research on the challenges of implementing ObamaCare for mid-sized employers discussed in Michael Tomasky. Jacob S. Hacker, "The ObamaCare Delay," The Daily Beast, July 3, 2013.
"How Big Money Corrupts the Economy," Jacob S. Hacker (with Nathaniel Loewentheil), Democracy, Winter 2013.
"What Obama Needs to Do Now," Jacob S. Hacker (with Nathaniel Loewentheil), Salon, November 8, 2012.
"U.S. Growth in 'Prosperity Economics'," Jacob S. Hacker (with Nathaniel Loewentheil), Politico, August 2, 2012.
Guest to discuss Why the Rich Keep Getting Richer on Public Media's Where We Live, Jacob S. Hacker, October 6, 2010.
"Millen, Georgia: The Town that Jobs Forgot," Jacob S. Hacker, Interview with Leslie Holt, NBC Dateline, August 14, 2011.
"A Discussion about the Middle Class," Jacob S. Hacker (with Arianna Huffington, Steven Pearlstein, and Kenneth Rogoff), Charlie Rose Show, October 25, 2010.
"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.
"Unions and the Middle Class," Jacob S. Hacker, The Agenda, March 23, 2011.
"Washington’s Revolving Wall Street Door," Jacob S. Hacker, Interview with Tom Ashbrook, On Point, April 13, 2011.
"Unbalanced Democracy," Jacob S. Hacker (with Oona Hathaway), New York Times, July 31, 2011.
"Foreign Affairs Focus on Economic Inequality," Jacob S. Hacker, Interview with Gideon Rose, Foreign Affairs, December 15, 2011.
Guest to discuss income inequality on Wisconsin Public Radio's "To the Best of Our Knowledge", Jacob S. Hacker, December 16, 2011.
"Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on Engineered Inequality," Jacob S. Hacker, Interview with Bill Moyers, Moyers and Company, January 13, 2012.
"Where We Live: Income Inequality and Economic Growth," Jacob S. Hacker, WNPR, January 30, 2012.
"Romney is the Right Man for America. George Romney, That Is," Jacob S. Hacker (with Paul Pierson), Washington Post, February 10, 2012.