Martin investigates why some countries seem to have it all, balancing efficiency and equality, economic growth and social security. In particular, she explores how employers make up their minds about public policy and how some governments convince employers that social investments will better their bottom line. She served as chair of the Council for European Studies, and as co-chair (with Jane Mansbridge) of the American Political Science Association presidential task force on Negotiating Agreement in Politics. She is a member of the strategic advisory board of the Danish National Institute for Social Science Research, and has held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Russell Sage Foundation, among others.
Stuck in Neutral: Business and the Politics of Human Capital Investment Policy (Princeton University Press, 2000).
Challenges the view that big business wields enormous influence over America’s political agenda and is responsible for the relatively limited scale of the country’s social policies, arguing that in fact big business has limited involvement in social policy and in many instances desires broader social interventions.
"Does the Organization of Capital Matter?" (with ). American Political Science Review 98, no. 4 (November 2004): 593-611.
Argues that the representational power of business, coordination across business interest units, and integration of associations in corporatist policy-making forums – or what we call the social corporatist organization of business – should result in greater support and participation by employers in social policy formation and implementation.
"The State and Coordinated Capitalism: Contributions of the Public Sector to Social Solidarity in Post-industrial Societies" (with ). World Politics 60, no. 1 (October 2007): 1-36.
Investigates the politics of change in coordinated market economies, and explores why some countries (well known for their highly cooperative arrangements) manage to sustain coordination when adjusting to economic transformation, while others fail.
The Political Construction of Business Interests: Coordination, Growth and Equality (with ) (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Builds on original archival data, interviews, and cross-national quantitative analyses to investigate employers' struggles to define their collective social identities at turning points in capitalist development. Winner of the J. David Greenstone prize for the best book in politics and history from the American Political Science Association.
"Negotiating Agreement in Politics," (with ), American Political Science Association Presidential Task Force Report, November 30, 2013.
Explores the problems of political negotiation in the United States, provides lessons from success stories in political negotiation, and offers practical advice for how diverse interests might overcome their narrow disagreements to negotiate win-win solutions.
"Labor Market Coordination and the Evolution of Tax Regimes" Socio-Economic Review (online-first article, April 2014).
Investigates the political coalitions giving rise to diverse types of interactions between revenue systems and welfare states, and evaluates the role of employers and industrial coordination in the architecture of tax regimes in Denmark and the United States in the early 1900s and 1960s.
In the News
"How Sweden Fights Inequality: Not by Taxing the Rich," Cathie Jo Martin (with ), Vox, October 8, 2014.
"Would the U.S. be Better Off with a Parliament?," Cathie Jo Martin, Interview with Ari Shapiro, NPR’s Weekend Edition, October 12, 2013.
Cathie Jo Martin's research on political negotiation and the convening of an APSA task force discussed in . Cathie Jo Martin, "What We Know and Don’t Know about our Polarized Politics," The Washington Post, January 8, 2014.