Alan S. Gerber Ph.D.

Charles C. & Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of Political Science
Director, Center for the Study of American Politics
Yale University
Email: Discipline: Political Science, Economics

Investigator Award
Inadequate Medical Evidence: Political Incentives and the Prospects for Sustainable Reform
Award Year: 2008 The effectiveness of many medical treatments and procedures remains unknown, despite concerns that the United States spends too much on ineffective care. Why has the federal government invested so very little in rigorous effectiveness research up to now? Co-PIs Alan S. Gerber, Ph.D. and Eric M. Patashnik, Ph.D., M.P.P. believe that the answer lies in the incentives built into our political system. Their project, Inadequate Medical Evidence: Political Incentives and the Prospects for Sustainable Reform, explores the lack of a strong policy response to the need for medical evidence. Drs. Gerber and Patashnik consider a range of factors, including the influence of health care providers and other special interests, lack of policy initiative, insufficient federal agency capacity, the limits of patient advocacy, and the silence of the wealthy and powerful. Results should provide fresh insights into the opportunities and challenges that emerge as the Obama Administration adopts comparative effectiveness research as a strategy for controlling U.S. health care spending by reducing ineffective care.


Alan S. Gerber is George C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of Political Science, Director of the Yale Center for the Study of American Politics, resident fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University, and faculty research fellow in political economy at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on the application of experimental methods and statistical analysis to the study of American politics. Gerber's research has been published in the leading journals in political science including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics, as well as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. An editor of the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Gerber has also received various academic honors and awards, including the Heinz Eulau Award and was selected to be a fellow-in-residence at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (2004-2005). Gerber, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, graduated from Yale University and holds a Ph.D. in economics from MIT.