Current Projects

Economic Development



This semester, the Education Center will continue our investigation of state measures of school quality. At least in the beginning, we will resume our partnership with the Institute for Research and Reform in Education. There are two tracks we may take this semester:

A.   We will write policy proposals for each of the three states (NY, NJ, DC) using our data from last semester and then start a short-term literature review for the rest of the semester

B.   We will write a comprehensive review incorporating the data we mined into our final product

The route we will take, along with the specific research question, will be determined by the team as a whole, but some possible topics include: school evaluations and closures, standardization / standardized testing, funding systems, and school choice. I also think there are exciting opportunities this semester to engage with current politics, such as exploring one of Betsy DeVos’s controversial education reform ideas and engaging in the debate.

Energy & Environment

The New Haven Climate and Sustainability Framework has six areas of focus: food, transportation, electric power generation, materials management, buildings, and land and infrastructure. In city-community meetings elaborating the possible actions in each of these focus areas, brownfields (lands previously used for industrial or commercial purposes and in many cases contaminated from such activity) and other underutilized spaces have been consistently identified as areas ripe with possibility for sustainable development.

The Center for Energy and Environment will be diving into this myriad of possibilities, and, using case studies of other cities' sustainable brownfield development, identify strategies for New Haven's brownfields and underutilized spaces. This set of recommendations will take into account the factors of cost, environmental net benefit, necessary actors, benefit to neighborhood, as well as factors which are conducive to some types of development as opposed to others. Working closely with the City of New Haven Department of Engineering, we will be able to pinpoint effective strategies for selected sites around New Haven.

Whether they be used for solar energy, composting, food hubs, parks, or urban agriculture, brownfields  will be a key part of the effort to make New Haven a more green and healthy place.

Equal Justice

Current scholarship about the Elm City Resident Card suggests that it is not widely accepted as a legitimate form of identification. In 2007, it was issued by the city of New Haven as a solution for the high crime rates facing undocumented immigrants who were targeted as “walking ATMS” because of their inabilities to open bank accounts. This card sought to serve as: an identification card, a debit card with a $150 limit, a discount card at local businesses, and an access card to public services. However, the main issue that this card was supposed to address -- opening bank accounts -- was not solved; major banks deemed the card an illegitimate form of identification and failed to accept it. Additionally, local businesses within New Haven and especially beyond the outskirts of the city, failed to accept the card as legal. Because of its perceived ineffectiveness, the card’s demand has waned over the years. Rather than address and solve the issues associated with the Elm City Resident Card, however, New Haven has looked to other forms of identification, largely dismissing the needs of the undocumented population. While New Haven has displayed its indifference towards improving this card, cities like San Francisco and Oakland have used the Elm City Resident card as a model to implement similar policies in their areas. Drawing on the Elm Card’s shortcomings, they have successfully created effective forms of identification to serve members of their respective communities. What makes a municipal identification card legitimate and what can New Haven’s Community Services Administration do to improve the Elm City Resident Card to make it more beneficial to the residents, particularly the undocumented immigrants, of New Haven?

Collaboration with: Community Service Administration, Unidad Latina en Accion

International Development

This semester in the International Development Center of the Roosevelt Institute, members will be researching the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Widely seen as the Asian counterpart to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), signing members of RCEP hope to create an increasingly free and unified trade zone in Asia and in surrounding regions. Center members will research the political origins of this deal, its economic consequences for specific nations, and assess whether it is a model for future international trade deals.

Public Health

Although many scholars identify race as a social construct determined by geopolitical history, genetic variation strongly correlates to the way in which individuals racially identify. Thus, because genetic differences account for variable responses to drugs, race too plays a crucial role in how drugs ought to be prescribed and developed. People across various racial groups react to the same treatments dissimilarly, rendering racial diversity in clinical drug testing crucial in ensuring that all members of society consume drugs appropriately.

Despite this scientific basis for heterogeneity in clinical research, “most physicians and scientists are informed by research extrapolated from a largely homogenous population, usually white and male,” according to UC San Francisco professor Sam Oh’s paper “Diversity in Clinical and Biomedical Research: A Promise Yet to Be Fulfilled.” Drug prescriptions and side effects consequently skew towards those of white individuals while racial minority groups’ reactions to drugs go neglected.

To ameliorate this issue plaguing the pharmaceutical industry, the Yale Roosevelt Institute’s Public Health Center hopes to investigate the clinical trial recruitment protocols of major drug companies to determine ways in which pharmaceutical giants can render their tests more diverse.

Security and Foreign Policy

This semester, the Center for Security and Foreign Policy will be conducting research of nuclear terrorism. Our project will focus on two specific case studies: Kashmir Province in India and Chechnya in Russia. We will be collecting background information on the nuclear capabilities of each country, as well as the tools and procedures implemented to secure these weapons. We will be evaluating the effectiveness of these policies and using this assessment to create a policy recommendation on nuclear security and terrorism for the international community.