Forty Years of Social Policy and Policy Research

Brief

Forty Years of Social Policy and Policy Research

November 19, 2008

Abstract

Nobel Laureate Robert M. Solow, vice chairman of the Urban Institute Board of Trustees, sums up the Institute's 40 years of achievements by exploring the interaction between policy research and policy action. While social policy is sold as "leaps and bounds" research uncovers the true slow and incremental steps toward success. Yet research is indispensible for action because it weeds out bad ideas and gives policymakers objective evaluations. Solow concludes that it is in this complex but crucial interaction where the Institute's real work is done, citing several of the Institute's key accomplishments.

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