Current News

Schleicher Research Cited in Slate, NYTimes

Writers in two major publications cited research by Professor David Schleicher in making their cases.

Writing in Slate's Moneybox, Matthew Yglesias relies heavily on research by Schleicher in offering the premise that American cities suffer from a lack of partisan competition that undermines democratic accountability. 

"My view of this is heavily based on the work of George Mason University's David Schleicher, and I really encourage you to look at his research for a long version of the story," writes Yglesias. "But the short version is that ordinary voters rely heavily on party affiliation as a heuristic when deciding who to vote for."

In the New York Times Room for Debate, Yale Law's Professor Heather K. Gerken writes, "Those offering starry-eyed odes to the value of local participation underestimate how closely state politics are tied to national politics. As the important work of David Schleicher and others has shown, elections for state offices are as much referendums on the national politics as they are about anything else. Most people don’t pay much attention to state politics. When they vote for a state legislator, they are voting based on something they know about: national politics. That’s why we see a remarkably close connection between votes in most state races and votes in national ones."

Why Almost All Cities Are Poorly Governed, Slate, July 19, 2013. By Matthew Yglesias.

Excerpt:
"Since any given city has a bunch of different suburbs, you can switch from one to the other in much the same way that you patronize the stores you like and not the stores you dislike. But central cities are essentially monopolists—there's usually just one, so insofar as some large minority of the metro area's population has an active preference for central city living, they'll be forced to put up with a lower quality of governance than suburbanites would tolerate. Of course even a monopolist has strong incentives to avoid total collapse, which is why Detroit's sad fate is both unusual and noteworthy. The typical large American city just trundles forward with a baseline level of misgovernment that, though unfortunate, doesn't reach crippling levels."

Read the article

States Get Things Done, Affecting National Policy, The New York Times, July 16, 2013. By Heather K. Gerken.

Excerpt:
"Ambitious members of both parties may not be able to get anything passed in Washington, but they can in the states. That means state officials can change national policy – or protest its absence – by passing laws at home. By making policy rather than merely debating it, groups on both sides of the aisle can seize the national agenda and shift the burden of inertia in Congress. Usually all opponents of a policy need to do is kill the bill. When a state passes the policy, however, that strategy doesn’t work anymore. Opponents and proponents, then, suddenly agree on one thing – Congress should do something – and they will unite in pushing Congress to act. When national politics are the problem, then, state politics can be the solution."

Read the article