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 its 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.
- 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 poulations 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
- 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
- Behavior and adaptation in long-term prison inmates: Descriptive longitudinal results, Psychology and Crime
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.
- 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.
- 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]
- Modeling social learning on consumers’ long-term usage of a mobile technology, Electronic Commerce Research
- I Want You Back: The Interplay Between Legal Availability and Movie Piracy, International Journal of the Economics of Business
- Mobile Targeting Using Customer Trajectory Patterns, Management Science
- Effect of Friends’ Churn on Consumer Behavior in Mobile Networks, Journal of Management Information Systems
- The Impact of Early International Digital Release of Films on U.S. Box Office Revenues, AIS
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.
- 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]
- Will U.S. Energy Sector be Casualty of Trade War with China? [Investors Business Daily]
- We need an updated approach to combat human trafficking [The Hill]
- 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
- Can Financial Participants Improve Price Discovery and Efficiency in Multi-Settlement Markets with Trading Costs?, NBER
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Using machine learning to predict risk of opioid overdose in Medicare, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
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.
- 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]
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.