Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

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Manhattan Institute
for Policy Research
Motto Turning Intellect into Influence
Formation 1978
Founder Antony Fisher and William J. Casey
Type Public policy think tank
Headquarters 52 Vanderbilt Avenue
Lawrence J. Mone
Revenue: $17,210,753
Expenses: $13,949,343
(FYE September 2014)[1]
Formerly called
International Center for Economic Policy Studies

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (renamed in 1981 from the International Center for Economic Policy Studies) is a conservative American think tank established in New York City in 1978 by Antony Fisher and William J. Casey. The organization describes its mission as to "develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility". Its message is communicated through books, articles, interviews, speeches, op-eds, and through the institute's quarterly publication City Journal. According to the 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report and Policy Advice (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), the Institute is number 39 of the "Top 60 United States Think Tanks".[2]


The Institute's divisions include the Center for the American University,[3] Center for State and Local Leadership,[4] Center for Legal Policy,[5] Center for Medical Progress,[6] Center for Energy Policy and the Environment,[7] and Economics21.[8]

President Bush addresses a meeting of the Manhattan Institute at Federal Hall on November 13, 2008

The Center for the American University publishes a web magazine titled Minding the Campus. John Leo, former U.S. News & World Report columnist is the magazine's editor.[9]

The Manhattan Institute sponsors the Adam Smith Society, a nationwide group of business school students.[10]

Created in 2006, the Institute's Veritas Fund for Higher Education is a donor advised fund that invests in universities and professors who are committed to bringing intellectual pluralism to their institutions. The fund invests in courses related to western civilization, the American founding, and political economy.[3][11]

Policy positions

Legal Reform

The Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy[12] authors policy papers on various aspects of legal reform. The Center for Legal Policy regularly writes on corporate governance developments, overcriminalization, and reform of the lawsuit industry. Corporate governance reports usually focus on proxy voting records.[13] Overcriminalization[14] issue briefs typically study the growth of the criminal law in state penal codes. Proposed reforms to America's lawsuit practice are published under the center's ongoing publication of Trial Lawyers, Inc.[15]

Law enforcement

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani with New York City's former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, former Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen and former Director of the Office of Emergency Management Richard Sheirer at a press briefing in 2002.

The Manhattan Institute is perhaps best known for its influence on law enforcement methods. In particular, the Institute is widely credited with pioneering community policing methods and more specifically quality-of-life policing, also known as "broken windows theory" after the landmark 1982 Atlantic Monthly article "Broken Windows" by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling. Broken Windows posits that dealing more effectively and comprehensively with low-level quality of life crime would reduce more high-profile violent crime. Broken Windows policing was put to its first major large-scale test in the mid-1990s after the election of Rudolph Giuliani as mayor of New York City. Giuliani was an outspoken advocate of community policing, frequently citing the influence "Broken Windows" had on his thinking as mayor.[citation needed] Giuliani appointed Kelling’s intellectual collaborator William J. Bratton as New York City Police Commissioner in 1994, saying, "I chose Bill Bratton because he agreed with the Broken Windows theory."[16]

A follow-up book by Kelling and Catherine Coles published by the Manhattan Institute in 1996 led to further interest in community policing methods, leading some municipalities to adopt quality-of-life and community policing as official policy. Giuliani-era New York City Police Commissioner Bratton took these methods to Los Angeles on being appointed Los Angeles Police Department chief of police.[17][18] Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker has been lauded for his Broken Windows-based approach to crime since taking office in 2006.[19][20]

Senior fellow Heather Mac Donald argues that crime prevention statistics from the 2008–2009 recession improved as a result of efficient policing, high incarceration rates, more police officers working, data-driven approaches such as CompStat which helps commanders target high-crime areas, and a policy of holding precinct commanders accountable for results.[21] She contends the decline of American cities, beginning during the 1960s, was a result of crime "spiraling out of control".[22]

Welfare reform

The Manhattan Institute was one of the key institutions that pressed for reform of the welfare system in the mid-1990s.[23] Charles Murray's Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950–1980 (1984) argued that the welfare state had fostered a culture and cycle of dependency that was to the detriment of both welfare recipients and the United States as a whole.[24]

Charter schools and vouchers

Former senior fellow Jay P. Greene’s research on school choice was cited four times in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, which affirmed the constitutionality of school vouchers.[25]


The Institute's Center for Medical Progress[26] opposes allowing the federal government to negotiate prices in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program [27] and believes that drug price negotiating has adverse effects in the Veterans Administration.[28]

Hydraulic fracturing

The Manhattan Institute is a proponent of the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of extracting natural gas and oil from underground deposits. In response to calls to ban fracking in parts of New York, the Manhattan Institute released a report in 2011 projecting that allowing fracking could "inject over $11 billion into the state economy".[29]

Funding sources

Foundations which have contributed over $1 million to the Manhattan Institute include the John M. Olin Foundation, Bradley Foundation, Sarah Scaife Foundation, Searle Freedom Trust, Smith Richardson Foundation, William E. Simon Foundation, the Claude Lambe Foundation, the Gilder Foundation, the Curry Foundation, and the Jaquelin Hume Foundation.[30][unreliable source?]

In 2013, hedge fund managers Cliff Asness, Henry Kravis and Thomas McWilliams all cut ties with the Manhattan Institute due to the group's support of the abolition of defined benefit public pensions.[31]

Associated individuals

See also


  1. "Manhattan Institute for Policy Research" (PDF). Foundation Center. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  2. James G. McGann (Director) (February 4, 2015). "The Global Go To Think Tank Report, 2014". Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shapiro, Gary (November 27, 2006). "Manhattan Institute Aims At Academia". New York Sun. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  4. Eide, Stephen (January 21, 2015). "Wrong fix for Albany: Why ‘public financing’ fails". New York Post. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  5. Lee, Timothy (August 6, 2013). "Conservatives want patent reform. That’s new.". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  6. Howard, Paul (October 17, 2014). "Rob Klain is impressive, but Obama should have picked 'Ebola czar' with public-health experience: medical think tank director". New York Daily News. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  7. "China and the US". The Economist. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  8. Furchtgott-Roth, Diana (February 6, 2015). "MANHATTAN MOMENT: Franchise owners deserve a break today from the Labor Board". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  9. "Minding the Campus". Manhattan Institute. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  10. Choi, Amy (March 4, 2014). "Defying Skeptics, Some Business Schools Double Down on Capitalism". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  11. Cohen, Patricia (September 22, 2008). "Conservatives Try New Tack on Campuses". New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  12. "Legal Reform". Manhattan Institute. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  13. "Proxy Monitor". Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  14. "Overcriminalizing America | Manhattan Institute". Manhattan Institute. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  15. "Trial Lawyers, Inc.: Class Actions and Mass Torts | Manhattan Institute". Manhattan Institute. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  16. ",9171,983960-2,00.html
  17. Blankstein, Andrew; Therolf, Garrett (2006-12-27). "L.A. crime decreases for 5th year – Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  18. "Los Angeles Police Chief Faces a Huge Challenge". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  19. Jacobs, Andrew (2007-05-27). "Newark Battles Murder and Its Accomplice, Silence". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  20. Steven Malanga (2007-04-26). "Cory Booker’s Battle for Newark by Steven Malanga, City Journal Spring 2007". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  21. A transcript of the weekend's program on FOX News channel – Paul Gigot, Heather Mac Donald (February 8, 2010). "Hey, Big Spender". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-11-04. Mac Donald: It is extraordinary. And I credit the spread, ultimately, of efficient policing and incarceration. But this is exactly the opposite of what criminologists were hoping for—really gleefully hoping for—that the crime drop began in the '90s nationally would finally reverse itself ... 
  22. Heather Mac Donald (July 15, 2008). "Cities You Can Believe In". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-11-04. Many American cities began their decades-long decline in the 1960s, when crime started spiraling out of control. 
  23. Institute articles on welfare
  24. "Losing Ground by Charles Murray", Conservative Monitor
  25. Miller, John (June 28, 2002). "What's Next for School Choice? Lots of possibilities, but also plenty of problems". National Review. 
  26. "Health Policy". Manhattan Institute. Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  27. One-Size-Fits-All Rules Will Hurt Drug Quality, Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2007
  28. [1] Older Drugs, Shorter Lives?: An Examination of the Health Effects of the Veterans Health Administration Formulary
  29. Hargreaves, Steve (1 July 2011). "New York set to lift fracking ban". CNN Money. New York. Retrieved 5 July 2011. A report last week from the conservative Manhattan Institute said allowing drilling in New York could inject over $11 billion into the state economy in the years ahead. 
  30. "Top Supporters of Manhattan Institute for Policy Research". Conservative Transparency. American Bridge 21st Century Foundation. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  31. Celarier, Michelle (June 11, 2013). "Hedgies cut ties with think tank". New York Post. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 

Further reading

External links

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