Hicks’ academic work has focused on safety net and “redistributive” policy – for example, social insurance, tax, and anti-unemployment policy in the United States and in the rich democracies of North America, Europe and Australia and New Zealand more generally. Some of his published work has been descriptive of such policies (e.g., the redistributive impact of taxing and spending in the U.S at the federal and state levels as well as across the EU nations), some has attempted to identify the causes of such policy – especially policies related to the party composition of governments and the strength of labor unions and business associations. He has canvassed for progressive candidates running for national and state offices, participated in Emory campus events around elections (most notably as a debater for the Emory Young Democrats in 1996), and written articles for limited publication in small venues on public issues (e.g. a critique of U.S. policy for the Emory Wheel in 2005). He is currently working on U.S. income inequality with a focus on the sources of the income shares of the richest 1% and 0.1 % of U.S. households and on key limiting and enabling characteristics of partisan politics for U.S. socioeconomics when partisan power is viewed in the context of U.S. legislative and executive institutions and, over the longer term, the regional migrations and ideological transformations of the Democratic and Republican parties.