The hottest Public Policy Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Education Topics
Points And Figures • 453 implied HN points • 13 Mar 24
  1. College athletics is undergoing a major transformation due to changes like the transfer portal and name, image, likeness (NIL) rules.
  2. Coaches like Nick Saban are important figures in guiding the future of college sports amid these changes.
  3. The author questions the need for government intervention in the evolving college athletic marketplace and advocates for letting the free market and NCAA adapt on their own.
Singal-Minded • 576 implied HN points • 04 Mar 24
  1. Criminal justice reform is important, but it needs to be approached with common sense and moderation to be effective.
  2. Addressing inequality and reducing the impact of luck in determining outcomes is a crucial step in shaping public policy.
  3. There has been bipartisan recognition that the U.S. criminal justice system is flawed and needs reform, particularly in its treatment of nonviolent offenders.
Get a weekly roundup of the best Substack posts, by hacker news affinity:
Glenn Loury • 4068 implied HN points • 25 Jun 23
  1. A controversy at Brown University surrounding systemic racism sparked a debate on freedom of expression.
  2. Glenn Loury, a black conservative economist, argues against claims of systemic racism at Brown and presents his scholarly contributions.
  3. Loury emphasizes the need to address racial inequality without undermining academic freedom.
COVID Reason • 1768 implied HN points • 28 Aug 23
  1. Over $10 trillion was spent on the COVID-19 pandemic, with $6 trillion from CARES Act and $4 trillion from Biden's administration.
  2. Money was stolen through fraud and embezzlement during COVID relief, with the effects leading to inflation and societal wealth disparity.
  3. The spending spree due to the pandemic led to significant financial losses, missed opportunities, and wealth redistribution, impacting many aspects of people's lives.
The Pillar • 137 implied HN points • 23 Jan 24
  1. A group of Catholics celebrated a Mass at the U.S. Capitol, following a controversial FBI memo on Catholicism.
  2. The FBI memo raised concerns of targeting traditionalist Catholics for their beliefs, linking them with extremist views like white nationalism.
  3. Lawmakers are still investigating the origins and impact of the FBI memo on Catholic Americans, with ongoing concerns about religious liberty.
Knowledge Problem • 314 implied HN points • 10 Aug 23
  1. Market failure is often casually used to criticize outcomes not liked, but in economics, it has specific technical meanings like external costs or benefits.
  2. The concept of market failure is misused and misunderstood in policy analysis, leading to inaccurate criticisms of market outcomes.
  3. Critiques of market failure should consider the imperfections of government interventions as well, and focus on reducing transactions costs to enhance resource allocation.
Scholar's Stage Updates • 4 HN points • 28 Mar 24
  1. Tocqueville and Wang Huning both observed American self-confidence but attributed it to different sources - Tocqueville to individual and collective action, Wang to faith in science and technology.
  2. Tocqueville expressed concerns about the potentially isolating effects of American individualism and equality, while Wang Huning worried about the societal fragmentation caused by technological advancement.
  3. Wang Huning's analysis suggests that modern American society is largely managed by technology and disregards traditional democratic values, leading to potential alienation and loss of human agency.
Silent Lunch, The David Zweig Newsletter • 15 implied HN points • 18 Feb 24
  1. Dave is pausing the Silent Lunch newsletter to focus on finishing his book and external research work.
  2. During the pause, paid subscribers will not lose any money, with payments suspended for monthly subscribers and subscriptions extended for annual subscribers.
  3. Dave assures readers that once the newsletter resumes, they can expect more content they love, including investigative pieces like those mentioned in the post.
Sex and the State • 6 implied HN points • 07 Mar 24
  1. Life for bottom-half Americans has been worsening over the years due to factors like market concentration, stagnant wages, rising costs, and increasing inequality.
  2. These hardships could be contributing to the rise of Trumpism, affecting mobility, mental health, and overall well-being.
  3. Factors like reduced economic mobility, increasing precarity, and societal challenges like teen depression are linked to the decline in conditions for many Americans.
Exasperated Infrastructures • 12 implied HN points • 11 Dec 23
  1. Andrew Lynch, known as vanshnookenraggen, got into mapping and transportation history out of pure curiosity and interest in urban planning.
  2. His work focuses on creating maps that visualize transportation systems and history to make complex information easier to understand.
  3. There's a need to connect land use policy with transportation policy, understand the political realities of planning, and engage communities effectively in urban planning decisions.
Urben Field Notes • 27 implied HN points • 11 Aug 23
  1. The decisions made now by San Francisco and California about robotaxis will have a significant impact.
  2. Implementing specific regulations for robotaxis can help in managing traffic congestion and improving city transportation.
  3. There is a need for regulations like congestion pricing, robotaxi-free corridors, and designated pickup spots to enhance the integration of robotaxis in city transportation systems.
Hypertext • 0 implied HN points • 27 Mar 24
  1. Researchers should expand beyond randomized trials in social science evaluations due to the complexity of the social world and challenges in replicating findings.
  2. The 'hubris of social scientists' refers to the overconfidence and limitations in assuming new ideas will succeed, highlighting the commonality of failures in various fields, not just social policy.
  3. Identifying small effects in social science research is difficult due to the high variability across contexts, limitations in sample sizes, and challenges in replicating studies, necessitating a more systematic approach to data collection and policy evaluation.
Hypertext • 0 implied HN points • 27 Mar 24
  1. Understanding the effects of policies on people's lives is crucial, and causal research can provide valuable information to guide decision-making.
  2. Critiques of causal social science highlight the need for improvement in research publishing practices, such as publishing null studies and ensuring clarity on statistically significant but small results.
  3. Replication studies in policy-making, especially with experimental interventions like RCTs, can offer valuable insights to refine policies before widespread implementation, and continuous use of evidence can help in making incremental progress.
Hypertext • 0 implied HN points • 27 Mar 24
  1. Transformational change is difficult in various aspects of life, and most attempts do not lead to significant outcomes, but persistence is key to progress.
  2. Research and evaluation play a crucial role in understanding the effectiveness of interventions and innovations, although measuring programmatic effectiveness can be challenging.
  3. Randomized experiments, while powerful, are not the only form of high-quality evidence; various types of evidence contribute to building knowledge and understanding incremental changes over time.
Hypertext • 0 implied HN points • 27 Mar 24
  1. Econometrics helps to reveal truths in small-scale matters, but applying them to large societal issues requires many assumptions. Democratizing knowledge generation can be a social game-changer by putting economic tools in the hands of more people.
  2. Academics often focus on big questions about human nature, but the implementation of policies by governmental and social organizations could benefit from more hands-on and practical application of econometric tools to measure the impact of these policies.
  3. Government and social institutions should embrace a more incremental approach, like carpenters, making gradual improvements as opposed to sweeping changes. There's potential for significant social change when institutions start questioning and measuring the effectiveness of their own operations.
Joshua Gans' Newsletter • 0 implied HN points • 17 Feb 21
  1. At-home screening for Covid-19 can be efficient and effective, according to evidence from studies.
  2. Trust issues regarding reporting test results and ensuring people follow safety measures can be addressed through penalties or verification processes.
  3. Regular at-home screening, even if not perfect, can help minimize the risk of transmission and improve our ability to measure and manage risks during the pandemic.
Perambulations • 0 implied HN points • 08 Mar 24
  1. Policy should be designed to be adaptive and respond to changes in behavior to encourage better outcomes.
  2. Creating new equilibria through adaptive policies can lead to more sustainable changes in collective behavior rather than just individual actions.
  3. Adaptive policies, like those seen in traffic management or public health initiatives, can help promote common goals and shared norms to achieve lasting change in society.