Jacob S. Hacker

Yale University
Political scientist; Public health and policy expert; Educator
Leadership, Policy, and Communications
Public Affairs and Public Policy

Hacker has made major contributions to the study of U.S. health and social policy, as well as of contemporary American politics. Early work explained why the American welfare state was so reliant on publicly encouraged private benefits, especially in health care. Subsequent scholarship focused on the “privatization of risk”; the political, as distinct from economic, causes of increased inequality; asymmetric partisan polarization; the influence of business and lobbyists; and government’s role in making prosperity possible. Hacker's influence is underscored by the almost 10,000 citations to his work on Google Scholar and his regular appearances before Congress and in journalistic outlets.


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