chapter  1
24 Pages

Exploring the Disconnect Between Research and Policy

R on Haskins, formerly a respected Republican committee staffer and now a Brookings Institution scholar, once was asked by several academics about the role research played in what was, at the time, a contentious congressional debate about welfare reform. Without missing a beat, he responded that, based on his personal experience, the best research might exert 5% of the total influence on the policy debate, with an upside potential of 10%. Personal values and political power, Haskins went on to say to his now silent and disappointed audience, were what really mattered in Congress.