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Andrea Louise Campbell

2014 Conference Co-Chair

Andrea Louise Campbell is Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is serving as co-chair of NASI’s 26th annual policy conference, “Strengthening the Web of Financial and Retirement Security for Today's Working Americans” on January 29 – 30, 2014.

"Andrea Campbell has enormously advanced our understanding of the political forces shaping America's biggest policy commitments, including social insurance,” said friend and colleague Jacob S. Hacker, Stanley Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University. “Her groundbreaking work on the politics of Social Security shows that the program improves not just older Americans' standard of living, but also their civic participation. In recent years, she has reshaped scholarship on Medicare, explaining, with NASI member Kimberly Morgan, how the program has become a distinctive hybrid of public and private insurance. And she has unpacked Americans' views of taxation to make clear that social insurance is shaped at least as much by how Americans think about taxes as how they think about benefits. Her work represents top-level social science with important implications for understanding social insurance's past development and important lessons for those seeking to ensure its healthy future." 

Professor Campbell's interests include American politics, political behavior, public opinion, and political inequality, particularly their intersection with social welfare policy, health policy, and tax policy.

Campbell is the author of How Policies Make Citizens: Senior Citizen Activism and the American Welfare State, a book that explains the effects of Social Security on senior citizens’ civic and political involvement (Princeton University Press, 2003); The Delegated Welfare State: Medicare, Markets, and the Governance of Social Policy, with Kimberly J. Morgan (Oxford University Press, 2011); and How Americans Think about Taxes (Princeton, forthcoming). A prolific academic, Campbell is also the author of many other journal articles and book chapters that discuss the relationship between aging, social policies and political behavior.

Currently, Campbell is completing a book for the University of Chicago Press titled Trapped in the Safety Net, which uses her family’s experience to explore how American means-tested programs work on the ground. This manuscript grows out of a New York Times op-ed that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg cited in her concurring opinion on NFIB v. Sibelius, the Affordable Care Act case.  She is also pursuing a project for the Russell Sage Foundation titled Dire States: Fiscal Effects and Policy Choices during the Great Recession. This project examines the fiscal experiences of American states during the Great Recession regarding the policy choices states made during and after the economic downturn, as well the degree of variation in fiscal shock that states faced. Her research attempts to describe how this variation is related to differences in fiscal and political institutions across states.  

"Political scientist Andrea Campbell is a leader in the study of social insurance and tax policies in the United States," said friend and colleague Theda Skocpol, Director of Scholars Strategy Network and Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. "She has pioneered a powerful approach that combines nuanced data on public opinion and voter behavior with exploration of the roots and evolution of public policies and debates about them. She shows how policies like Social Security influence not just citizen wellbeing, but also citizen participation and attitudes towards government. Her newest work focuses on elite and popular ideas about taxes. When her new book appears, it will change debates about the past and future of the federal budget."

Campbell holds an A.B. from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She served on the Committee on the Fiscal Future of the United States. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Campbell has been a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2008. During her spare time she competes in triathlons and plays in the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra.