Policy Research

Working across the United States and around the globe, Mathematica conducts research, analyzes programs, and develops solutions to help federal agencies, state and local governments, foundations, universities, professional associations, and businesses further evidence-based decision making and develop effective policies that benefit individuals, families and communities, and society as a whole.

As an architect of social policy research, we conducted the first social policy experiment in the United States, the New Jersey Negative Income Tax Experiment, to test ways of encouraging low-income people to work. Our work has expanded and evolved over time, using rigorous analysis as its foundation, to provide decision makers with policy-relevant evidence and recommendations.

Featured Work
  • Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration. This study included random assignment and an implementation study to determine whether care coordination programs reduced hospitalizations and Medicare expenditures and improved quality of care for chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries. By weaving together what we learned during the implementation study, we showed that viable care coordination programs without a strong transitional care component were unlikely to yield net Medicare savings.

  • School Nutrition Dietary Assessment (SNDA) Series of Studies. Since 1993, we have conducted a series of studies that have furthered policy discussions about how to improve the nutritional quality of school meals. Our first SNDA study, showing that the fat and sodium content of school lunch were well above the USDA Dietary Guidelines, led to major changes in the program.The Institute of Medicine used SNDA-III data to develop new school nutrition requirements for 2012–2013, and many improvements in the meals, school food environments, and meal service operations have been based on findings from this body of research.