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Show Me the Evidence


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About the Author

Ron Haskins is the codirector of the Center on Children and Families, a senior fellow at Brookings, and a senior consultant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. A former adviser to the president for welfare policy, he spent fourteen years on the staff of the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, including six years as the Republican subcommittee staff director. He is the author of Work over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law (Brookings, 2006) and coauthor, with Isabel Sawhill, of Creating an Opportunity Society (Brookings, 2009). Greg Margolis is a research analyst in the Center on Children and Families at Brookings.


Scholars of public policy often complain that government decides what to do on political grounds rather than "on the merits." In Show Me the Evidence, however, Haskins and Margolis describe the Obama administration's remarkable initiatives in "evidence-based policymaking." In these cases, programs have been funded based on hard evidence about "what works." The authors tell the story masterfully, based on exhaustive research. Their conclusions are cautious but hopeful: making policy on the merits has not yet triumphed, but it is advancing.--Larry Mead, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, New York University

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