Heinz College Policy Impact
From Washington, D.C. to Silicon Valley, Heinz College experts create and inform policies that will shape the future of our nation, society, and world.
Whether it's driving groundbreaking research, speaking on expert panels, testifying before Congress and other government bodies, elevating the use of technology in the public policy sphere, testing new ideas and programs, or sharing perspectives in the media, Heinz College's cross-disciplinary thought leaders are out in front on the most pressing issues of our time.
From health care and trade to criminal justice and national security, there is no shortage of consequential policy debates in the United States and abroad. Heinz College confronts such complex problems with novel approaches and innovative methodologies guided by evidence.
Heinz College doesn't just participate in these conversations. We lead them, shift them, and shape them.
Jump to a Policy Area:
CRIME & DRUG POLICY
Heinz College is leading research in criminal justice including recidivism, policing, and the use of algorithms in sentencing; drug policy research includes studies of new cannabis markets, substance abuse, and the reduction/prevention of opioid deaths.
- Prisoners, Police, and the Pandemic: Professor Nagin on COVID-19 and the Justice System
- The Trouble With Crime Statistics [New Yorker]
- Congressional Briefing on Countering Mass Shootings in the U.S. (see video)
- With Opioids, Death is a Symptom, and Unity is the Cure [The Hill]
- Reduce prison populations by reforming the life sentence [Washington Post]
- National Academies Study on Modernizing Crime Statistics
- NSF workshop "An Evidence-Based Approach to Understanding and Countering Mass Violence in America"
- Heinz College Students work with Deloitte to predict problematic opioid use
- Outcomes associated with scheduling or up-scheduling controlled substances, International Journal of Drug Policy
- Firearm Availability and Fatal Police Shootings, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
- Evaluation of Machine-Learning Algorithms for Predicting Opioid Overdose Risk Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Opioid Prescriptions, JAMA Network
- New Studies on Mass Shootings Assess Trends, Gauge Effectiveness, and Offer Policy Recommendations, Criminology & Public Policy
- Trajectories of prescription opioids filled over time, PLOS One
- Triangulating web & general population surveys: Do results match legal cannabis market sales?, International Journal of Drug Policy
- Supervised consumption sites: a nuanced assessment of the causal evidence, Addiction
- Confrontational Proactive Policing: Benefits, Costs, and Disparate Racial Impacts, Cambridge University Press
CYBERSECURITY & DATA PRIVACY
As the world becomes more connected and data is both generated and collected at unprecedented rates, the need for policy solutions in cybersecurity and privacy have grown tremendously. Key areas of research and influence include risk management, election security, and privacy economics.
- NSA and Carnegie Mellon University: Partnering on Cybersecurity Research for 20+ Years
- Job Seekers Face More Discrimination in Republican Areas, Finds a New Study [Forbes]
- Why Don't We Just Ban Targeted Advertising? [WIRED]
- Facial Recognition’s Many Controversies, From Stadium Surveillance to Racist Software [New York Times]
- New privacy rules could spell the end of legalese - or create a lot more fine print (GDPR) [Washington Post]
- Acquisti delivers keynote address to U.S. senators and representatives at the annual Privacy Papers for Policymakers meeting on Capitol Hill
- National Academy of Engineering Holds Cybersecurity Symposium at CMU
- Should Credit Card Issuers Reissue Cards in Response to a Data Breach?, ACM
- Choice architecture, framing, and cascaded privacy choices, Management Science
- Internet, Big Data & Algorithms: Gateway to a new future or a threat to privacy and freedom?, Aspen Institute Program
- An empirical analysis of data deletion and opt-out choices on 150 websites, Usenix
- Perception Versus Punishment in Cybercrime, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology
DIGITAL CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
Many industries have been turned upside down by technology and big data, which has caused the rise of new business models as well as complex consumer behaviors and legal concerns. Our experts inform policymakers and industry leaders alike on how 21st century innovations like social media and digital streaming impact economics, politics, and culture.
- How Academia Is Preparing for the Influencer Workforce [Forbes]
- How Marketers Are Increasingly Using AI to Persuade You to Buy [Fortune]
- American Express Case Could Shield Tech Giants From Antitrust Scrutiny [Bloomberg Politics]
- Netflix's Race-Based Marketing Shows Potential For Anticompetitive Data Abuses [Forbes]
- How Much Money Facebook Gets From Selling Your Data [Popular Mechanics]
- Telang speaks to FTC Microeconomics Conference on the Privacy and Security panel
- How Piracy Can Hurt Consumers [Technology Policy Institute]
- The Effect of Piracy Website Blocking on Consumer Behavior, MIS Quarterly
- The Impact of Time Shifting on TV Consumption and Ad Viewership, Management Science
- Target the Ego or Target the Group: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Proactive Churn Management, Marketing Science
- The Impact of Early International Digital Release of Films on U.S. Box Office Revenues, AIS
- Effect of Friends’ Churn on Consumer Behavior in Mobile Networks, Journal of Management Information Systems
- Mobile Targeting Using Customer Trajectory Patterns, Management Science
- I Want You Back: The Interplay Between Legal Availability and Movie Piracy, International Journal of the Economics of Business
Energy, Environment & SUSTAINABILITY
Rapid social and political changes have placed increasing demands on institutions to be agents of equity. Our energy experts, environmental economists, and sustainability leaders dig deep into the effects of climate change, regulations, and adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals on crucial areas like health; clean air, water and soil; child development; equality and justice; and the global economy.
- New Thinking On Democracy At Home and Abroad [American Amassadors Live]
- If You Build It, They Will Come: Summit for Democracy [American Purpose]
- Professor Karen Clay was cited across major outlets for her recent work on rising levels of air pollution, including NPR, NBC, ABC, CBS, New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Vox
- The #1 Thing Preventing Nuclear Development Is Still Public Fear [Popular Mechanics]
- As The Costs Of Germany’s Nuclear Phase Out Mount, Little Appetite For A Rethink [Forbes]
- Building Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies Amid a World on Fire, United States Institute of Peace (see video)
- Young People, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Liberal World Order: What is to Be Done?
- Lead's Other Toxic Toll: Fertility [CityLab]
- Warmer temperatures linked to rise in Lyme disease [Earth]
- We need an updated approach to combat human trafficking [The Hill]
- Reversing the Tide: Towards a New US Strategy to Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism, Freedom House, CSIS, and McCain Institute
- Considering the Nuclear Option: Hidden Benefits and Social Costs of Nuclear Power in the U.S. Since 1970, Resource and Energy Economics
- Recent Increases in Air Pollution: Evidence and Implications for Mortality, NBER
- The Unintended Impact of Ecosystem Preservation on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Evidence from Environmental Constraints on Hydropower Development in the United States, PLOS One
- Ticking Bomb: The Impact of Climate Change on the Incidence of Lyme Disease, Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
- How to Get Beyond the Doom and Gloom: Align OGP with the Sustainable Development Goals, OpenGov Partnership
- The legacy lead deposition in soils and its impact on cognitive function in preschool-aged children in the United States, Economics & Human Biology
- Does Environmental Policy Affect Income Inequality? Evidence from the Clean Air Act, AEA
- Seasonal effects of climate change on intra-day electricity demand patterns, Climate Change
Our faculty push the boundaries of what's possible in health care, whether its groundbreaking analysis of existing and emerging health care markets and models, or opening new frontiers in health care powered by technology.
- As We Respond to the Novel Coronavirus, What Can We Learn From the 1918 Flu?
- What to do about health-care markets? Policies to make health-care markets work [Brookings]
- This is What Doctor Visits Would Look Like Under 'Medicare for All' [Salon]
- America's Rural Hospitals are Dangerously Fragile [The Atlantic]
- House Judiciary Hearing on Exploring the Effects of Consolidation and Anticompetitive Conduct in Health Care Markets
- Gaining Medicaid Access May Shift Emergency Department Use To Be for More Severe Cases
- House Energy and Commerce hearing on healthcare consolidation
- Go to YouTube and Call Me in the Morning: Use of Social Media for Chronic Conditions, MIS Quarterly
- Trajectories of Repeated Readmissions of Chronic Disease Patients: Risk Stratification, Profiling, and Prediction, MIS Quarterly
- Derivation, Validation, and Potential Treatment Implications of Novel Clinical Phenotypes for Sepsis, JAMA
- The Effect of Medicaid Expansion on the Nature of New Enrollees’ Emergency Department Use, Medical Care Research and Review
- Machine Learning Assisted Discovery of Novel Predictive Lab Tests Using Electronic Health Record Data, Proceedings
- Medicare Beneficiaries With a Specialist as Their Personal Doctor Report Better Experiences With Care, Medical Care
- Evaluation of Machine-Learning Algorithms for Predicting Opioid Overdose Risk Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Opioid Prescriptions, JAMA Network
LABOR Economics, Trade & Immigration
Photo: Peterson Institute/Jeremey Tripp
At the intersection of technology and society, the areas of economics, trade, and immigration face complex and evolving questions. Topics of research include the future of work—including economic disruption and labor displacement fueled by automation and AI—the effects of immigration on local economies, the rise of China as an economic power, and the impact of trade wars, past and current.
- The new coronavirus economy: A gigantic experiment reshaping how we work and live [Washington Post]
- As coronavirus spreads in the US, employers gear up for massive work-from-home experiment [ABC]
- Pandemics and the Labor Market—Then and Now
- The ‘SDG Effect’: The emerging Pittsburgh platform to deliver the global goals locally [Brookings]
- What the United States can learn from Europe on fighting cyberattacks and disinformation [Atlantic Council]
- Economists warn Trump's policies will start a 1930s-era trade war [Public Radio International]
- Hearing on U.S. Tools to Address Chinese Market Distortions [Congressional Hearing]
- How many Americans live on $2 a day? The biggest debate in poverty research, explained [Vox]
- How Do. U.S. Visa Policies Affect Unauthorized Immigration?, NBER
- The Labor Market Effects of Offshoring by U.S. Multinational Firms, The Review of Economics and Statistics
- Association Between Childhood Behaviors and Adult Employment Earnings in Canada, JAMA Psychiatry
- Why Has China Overinvested in Coal Power?, NBER
- Margins of labor market adjustment to trade, Journal of International Economics
- The Rise of Global Innovation by US Multinationals Poses Risks and Opportunities, Peterson Institute for International Economics
- The International Transmission of Local Economic Shocks Through Migrant Networks, NBER
- The China Shock and Employment in Portuguese Firms, NBER
Photo: Brookings Institution/Paul Morigi
One of the most profound changes in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be the coming online of smart cities and communities across the globe, which will create new possibilities for citizen engagement, public safety, economic growth, and quality of life. Heinz College is a global leader in advancing smart cities research and policy.
- In response to COVID-19 - and shift to remote work, school - tech services firms change policies [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- COVID-19 Is Creating the Largest Ever Telecommunity, But Not for Everyone
- Urban-rural partnerships spread resources beyond city centers [Axios]
- How The 5G Era Could Help Build A More Sustainable Future [Forbes]
- Ride-sharing and AVs will prompt cities to rethink the curb [Axios]
- How AVs could help respond to disasters [Axios]
- Disrupting Food Waste and Hunger
- The City of the Future Has Fewer Fires, Thanks to CMU
- Fractional GPUs: Software-Based Compute and Memory Bandwidth Reservation for GPUs, IEEE
- Thin-Plate Spline-based Adaptive 3D Surround View, IEEE
- The Impact of Ride-hailing Services on Congestion: Evidence from Indian Cities, SSN
- Truck traffic monitoring with satellite images, ACM
- CSIP: A Synchronous Protocol for Automated Vehicles at Road Intersections, ACM
SOCIETAL IMPACTS OF TECHNOLOGY
Policy and technology have historically been separate domains, but more and more the lines between the two—and the demands they place on each other—are blurring. From the future of work to algorithmic bias, technology has the potential to reshape our society, and our experts are visionaries who advise policymakers and craft solutions that will ensure technology has broad and inclusive social benefits.
- Consequential, a podcast from the Block Center for Technology and Society
- Public Trust in Data Could Have Helped China Contain the Novel Coronavirus [The Hill]
- The Daily Impact of AI [INFORMS]
- Krishnan speaks to National Governor's Association on the topic of Future Workforce
- Can an Algorithm Tell When Kids are in Danger? [New York Times]
- Bias detectives: the researchers striving to make algorithms fair [Nature]
- Bias in Bios: A Case Study of Semantic Representation Bias in a High-Stakes Setting, Proceedings
- What's in a Name? Reducing Bias in Bios without Access to Protected Attributes, ARXIV
- A Qualitative Study of Affected Community Perspectives on Algorithmic Decision-making in Child Welfare Services, Proceedings
- Bot Detection: Will Focusing on Recall Cause Overall Performance Deterioration?, Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Modeling
- Counterfactual Risk Assessments, Evaluation, and Fairness, ARXIV
- The IT Revolution and the Globalization of R&D, NBER
POLICY PROPOSALS AND WHITE PAPERS FROM STUDENTS
Our students work alongside leading faculty researchers to explore critical policy questions and devise evidence-based, implementable solutions. Research projects are completed via independent study or in courses designed to promote policy analysis and research. Students are also encouraged to participate in student-run policy publications and initiatives, including the Heinz Journal and Heinz Radio.
Papers and Policy Proposals:
- Analyze the Police: Reimagining Public Safety through Data Collection in Pennsylvania
- CLEAR: Commission for Law Enforcement’s Assessment of Recruits
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Source of Income Law
- Industrial Redevelopment of PA’s Mill Towns
- Outlawing Snatch-And-Stash
- The Case for Raising the Minimum Wage in Pennsylvania
- A Dime on the Dollar: Linking Economic Markets with Racial Oppression of Black Americans
- COVID-19’s Ever-Growing Impact on Our Health
- Racial and Economic Disparities in Social Security Retirement Benefits
- Reducing Recidivism with Machine Learning
- Minimum Wage in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Recommendations
ENGAGING WITH LEADERS AT EVERY LEVEL
Our students and faculty regularly have meaningful engagements with leaders from the City of Pittsburgh, local and county agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, national politicians including U.S. Representatives Mike Doyle (PA-18) and Conor Lamb (PA-17), and distinguished guest speakers and lecturers.
LEADING PUBLIC DISCOURSE
Heinz College has hosted several high-profile primary debates, as well as speaker series events with elected leaders.
REPRESENTING INTELLIGENT ACTION
U.S. Rep Susie Lee (HNZ '90) recently won election to Congress from Nevada's 3rd district. She met with our policy students in DC to discuss how CMU shaped her approach to leadership.
A PRESENCE ON CAPITOL HILL
Our faculty and alumni are frequently called to testify before Congress. Recent appearances include:
Prof. Rayid Ghani speaks to the House Financial Services Committee as part of the Task Force on Artificial Intelligence.
Decoding Health Care Markets
Prof. Martin Gaynor testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on the Effects of Consolidation and Anticompetitive Conduct in Health Care Markets
China and Technology
Prof. Lee Branstetter testifies before the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission on how to address China’s alleged misappropriation of foreign technology without stirring up a...
Overcoming Pharmaceutical Barriers
Alumna Tara O'Neill Hayes (MSPPM 2014) of the American Action Forum testified before the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.