Goldman School of Public Policy - University of California, Berkeley

Featured Research

The Volatility of Social Influence When Everyone is Your Neighbor

There is little doubt that american political elites have become extremely polarized in recent years. Whether ordinary citizens are similarly polarized is a more contentious question — one that continues to polarize scholars. For example, legal scholar Cass Sunstein has argued that the Internet and other information technologies are helping to foster a “balkanized speech market,” in which people expose themselves to likeminded sources and insulate themselves from alternative points of view. Economists Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro counter this with evidence that ideological segregation in Internet news consumption is low, both in absolute terms and relative to ordinary face-to-face interactions.

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The National Budget Problem

If one believes that the United States’ budget deficit is too large or if one is concerned with the rise in the size of the outstanding U.S. public debt — and if one is unwilling or unable to significantly increase revenues — then one has to control or reduce the rise in health care spending that has driven the expenditure side of the budget over the past decades. In short: to the extent that the United States budget has a spending problem, it has a health care spending problem.

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The Cyber Security Challenge

It is increasingly apparent that cybersecurity is becoming a central feature of the U.S. national security policy debate. The popular and specialized literature is replete with articles analyzing the problem and advocating responses to this challenge. Congress is mobilizing committees and sub-committees to address the myriad of issues that cyber technology has raised. The National Academies have already conducted several major studies looking at the appropriateness of offensive operations, cyber deterrence, and other issues. This is taking place as the executive branch conducts an intensive effort to sort out areas of authority and responsibility so that there is a coherent governmental approach to the challenge.

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