British academy

Public Policy in an Uncertain World

Professor Charles Manski 

On 27 March 2013 cemmap (The Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, an ESRC Centre hosted at the IFS) and the British Academy Policy Centre held a lecture by Professor Charles Manski, Board of Trustees Professor in Economics at Northwestern University and an International Fellow of cemmap. 

Professor Manski discussed his new book Public Policy in an Uncertain World: Analysis and Decisions (Harvard University Press, 2013). In his book, he argues that society should face up to the uncertainties that attend policy formation. He observes that the current practice of policy analysis hides uncertainty, as researchers use untenable assumptions to make exact predictions of policy outcomes. Manski recommends more credible policy analysis that explicitly expresses the limits to knowledge, and he considers how policy makers can reasonably make decisions in an uncertain world.

The lecture was followed by a response from Lord Gus O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary and Visiting Professor at the Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy, UCL.

This event was chaired by Professor Andrew Chesher FBA, Professor of Economics at UCL and Director of cemmap.

The lecture took place between 6pm - 7.30pm, at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH.

For information about this lecture please contact