The Researchers

The Economic Security Index (ESI), developed by political scientist Jacob Hacker and a multi-disciplinary research team with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, is designed to provide a meaningful, succinct measure of Americansl economic security. Professor Hacker is based at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University, which aims to facilitate interdisciplinary inquiry in the social sciences and research into important public policy arenas. Learn more >

Jacob S. Hacker
(Ph.D., Yale University) is the Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Stanley Resor Professor of Political Science at Yale University. An expert on the politics of U.S. health and social policy in cross-national perspective, he is the author of five books, numerous journal articles, and a wide range of popular writings on American politics and public policy, with a focus on health and economic security.
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Gregory A. Huber
(Ph.D., Princeton University) is Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a Resident Fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Center for the Study of American Politics. Prior to coming to Yale, he held the Robert Hartley Fellowship in Governmental Studies at the Brookings Institution. His research, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation, has appeared in the American Political Science Review, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, American Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization. His is also the author of The Craft of Bureaucratic Neutrality (Cambridge University Press, 2007), which examines the conditions under which external political actors are able to influence how bureaucratic agencies enforce the law.
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Austin Nichols 

(Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a Senior Research Associate in The Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Policy Center (and an affiliate of the Tax Policy Center and the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research) who specializes in applied econometrics, labor economics, and public finance. He studies the impact of social insurance, taxes, and family structure on low-income working families with children. His research focuses on the well-being of families with children, child poverty, disability insurance, income volatility, and economic mobility (within and across generations). He also studies education and labor market interventions, food assistance, and determinants of poverty and economic inequality. 


Philipp Rehm
(Ph.D., Duke University) is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University; previous posts include the Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford University. His work is located at the intersection of political economy and political behavior. In particular, he is interested in the causes and consequences of income dynamics (such as income loss, income volatility, and risk exposure). At the micro-level, his research explores how income dynamics shape individual preferences for redistribution, social policies, and parties. At the macro-level, his work analyzes the impact of labor market and income dynamics on polarization, electoral majorities, and coalitions underpinning social policy.
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Mark J. Schlesinger

(Ph.D., University of Wisconsin) is Professor of Health Policy and a Fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University, and the most recent past editor of the Journal of Health Policy, Politics and Law. His research explores the determinants of public opinion about health and social policy, the influence of bounded rationality on medical consumers, and the role of nonprofit organizations in American medicine. He has consulted to a half dozen federal agencies, several dozen state and local governments, and more than a score of nonprofit organizations.
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Rob Valletta

(Ph.D., Harvard University) worked on the Economic Security Index from January 2009 to September 2010. He is a Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where he began working in 1995. His research concerns job security, health insurance, and econometric techniques. His employment history includes 8 years (1987-95) on the economics faculty at the University of California, Irvine and a ten-month consultancy (2000-2001) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France. The views and findings expressed in the report are those of the authors and are in no way attributable to or associated with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or the Federal Reserve System.
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Stuart V. Craig

(B.S., Cornell University) is concurrently a Research Assistant, in the Department of Economics at Yale University, where he assists in assessing the external validity of welfare reform experiments using a structural model of labor supply. A graduate from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell with concentrations in Economics and Statistics, he has conducted independent research on labor market prospects for welfare recipients following the 1996 welfare reforms. His senior honors thesis explored firm incentives for participation in, and the labor market effects of unemployment insurance supported short-time compensation. His research interests include labor economics and social program evaluation, specifically capacity for programs to mitigate risk for participants.