About News Coronavirus policies spread quickly across the U.S. Are cities and states learning — or just copying? Apr 17, 2020 Craig Volden and Charles R. Shipan Coronavirus policies spread quickly across the U.S. Are cities and states learning — or just copying? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) briefs the media inside a nearly completed makeshift hospital at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan on March 27. Cuomo said the state wants to build four more temporary hospitals in New York City within weeks. (Darren McGee/Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo/AP)As the novel coronavirus has spread across U.S. cities and states, so have public policies aimed at stopping the pandemic. Sometimes, states learn from others’ policy successes. Other times, they simply copy neighbors or even compete against them. So far, state and local government policy choices to stem the tide of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, look more like simple imitation and harmful competition than thoughtful learning and innovation. But we see opportunities for learning going forward. Here’s why. READ FULL ARTICLE IN THE WASHINGTON POST MONKEY CAGE Craig Volden Craig Volden is a professor of public policy and politics, with appointments in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics. He studies legislative politics and the interaction among political institutions, including within American federalism. Read full bio Related Content Craig Volden Spatial Models of Legislative Effectiveness Research Spatial models of policymaking have evolved from the median voter theorem through the inclusion of institutional considerations such as political parties, committees, and various voting and amendment rules. Such models, however, implicitly assume that no policy is more effective than another at solving public policy problems and that all proposers are equally capable of advancing proposals. Party Calls and Reelection in the US Senate Research Minozzi and Volden advance the idea that a substantial portion of partisan voting activity in Congress is a simple call to unity that is especially easily embraced by ideological extremists. If correct, Minozzi and Volden’s findings should extend from the House to the Senate, despite differences in institutional structures and in tools at the disposal of party leaders across the two chambers. Members of Congress are Specializing Less Often. Volden and Wiseman Say That Makes Them Less Effective. News Batten’s Craig Volden and Vanderbilt’s Alan Wiseman, co-directors of the Center for Effective Lawmaking, find that members of Congress are becoming less specialized and in turn, less effective. How do we encourage more expertise and reverse the trend? Scoring Effectiveness in Congress News What makes someone an effective lawmaker? Surprisingly, until Batten’s Craig Volden and Vanderbilt’s Alan Wiseman began discussing that question a little over a decade ago, we didn’t have a clear answer.