Alexander Hertel-Fernandez

hertel-fernandez.alexander's picture

PhD Candidate in Government and Social Policy, and Fellow in Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy, Harvard University

CGIS Knafel Building, Rm. K154
1737 Cambridge St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
(765) 430-2063

Expertise & Civic Involvements

Hertel-Fernandez’s research currently focuses on the Democratic Party and the politics of federal tax policy; the sustainability of social insurance programs, with an emphasis on unemployment insurance and Social Security; and mobilization of business interests in state politics. Hertel-Fernandez is a member of the Roosevelt Institute Pipeline’s Boston Chapter, and is a former Board Member of the National New Deal Preservation Association.

Key Publications

  • "Funding the State Policy Battleground: The Role of Foundations and Firms," Duke University Symposium on Philanthropy, Politics, and Democracy, January, 2015.
    Investigates interactions between funders, policy advocates, and political entrepreneurs on the left and the right to explore how the two major parties coordinate policy action at the state level.
  • "The Erosion of American Unemployment Insurance: The Politics of Financing Social Insurance in the United States," working paper presented to the Tobin Project’s Group on Democracy and Markets, October, 2011.
    Examines why financing of the American unemployment insurance system has eroded over the past forty years and argues that the original design of the policy has undermined future efforts to fund the system in a sustainable manner.
  • "Death by Taxes: Why Democrats Struggle with the Politics of Revenue," working paper presented to the History, Institutions, and Politics Workshop at Harvard, September, 2011.
    Explores why Democrats were unable to end the high-income Bush tax cuts in 2010 and hypothesizes why Democrats might struggle with the politics of revenue.
  • A Young Person’s Guide to Social Security (with Anna Turner and Kathryn Edwards) (Economic Policy Institute, 2011).
    Presents a comprehensive guide to Social Security, written by young authors for young people.
  • "A New Deal for Young Adults: Social Security Benefits for Post-Secondary School Students," National Academy of Social Insurance Policy Brief, May, 2010.
    Makes the case for restoring Social Security benefits for post-secondary school students whose parents have died or become disabled.

Media Contributions

Talks and Briefings

  • "A New Deal for Young Adults," National Academy of Social Insurance Capitol Hill Briefing on Social Security Student Benefits, May 14, 2010.