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Manhattan Institute


Manhattan Institute

Manhattan Institute
for Policy Research
Motto Turning Intellect into Influence
Formation 1978
Type Public policy think tank
Headquarters 52 Vanderbilt Avenue
Location New York, NY
President Lawrence J. Mone

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (renamed in 1981 from the International Center for Economic Policy Studies) is a libertarian 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.


The Institute is arranged into the following divisions

  • Center for the American University
  • Center for State and Local Leadership
  • Center for Civic Innovation
  • Center for Legal Policy
  • Center for Medical Progress
  • Center for Energy Policy and the Environment

Policy positions

Law enforcement

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 "

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.[2][3] Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker has been lauded for his Broken Windows-based approach to crime since taking office in 2006.[4][5]

Senior fellow Heather Mac Donald argues that successful crime prevention statistics from the 2008–2009 recession were 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.[6] She contends the decline of American cities, beginning during the 1960s, was a result of crime "spiraling out of control".[7]

Welfare reform

The Manhattan Institute was one of the key institutions that pressed for reform of the welfare system in the mid-1990s.[8] 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.[9]

School choice

Former senior fellow Jay P. Greene’s empirical research on the efficacy of school choice helped to convince the Supreme Court of the United States to affirm the constitutionality of school vouchers in its landmark Zelman v. Simmons-Harris decision. His research was cited four times, including three times by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who court-watchers had identified as the “swing vote” on the case.


The Institute's Center for Medical Progress opposes allowing the federal government to negotiate prices in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program [10] and believes that drug price negotiating has adverse effects in the Veterans Administration.[11]

Hydraulic fracturing

The Manhattan Institute is a proponent of the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of extracting natural gas and oil from underground deposits. Opponents have been critical of the method owing to concerns that the chemicals involved in it lead to water contamination. 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 dollars into the state economy".[12]


The institute holds several annual events including

  • The Wriston Lecture series
  • William E. Simon Lectures on Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship
  • The Hayek Prize and Lectures
  • The Alexander Hamilton Award

People currently affiliated with the Manhattan Institute

Funding sources

The Manhattan Institute received over $31 million in grants from 1985 to 2012, from foundations such as the Koch Family Foundations, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, the Scaife Foundations, and the Smith Richardson Foundation.[13] The Manhattan Institute does not disclose its corporate funding, but the Capital Research Center listed its contributors as Bristol-Myers Squibb, ExxonMobil, Chase Manhattan, Cigna, Sprint Nextel, Reliant Energy, Lincoln Financial Group Foundation, and Merrill Lynch. Throughout the 1990s the Tobacco industry was a major funding source for the institute. [14]


  • Fred Kaplan, Conservatives plant a seed in NYC Boston Sunday Globe, Sunday February 22, 1998
  • Janny Scott, "Turning Intellect Into Influence: Promoting Its Ideas, the Manhattan Institute Has Nudged New York Rightward", New York Times, Monday May 12, 1997
  • Jennifer Medina, "A Reversal on School Vouchers, Then a Tempest", New York Times, Feb. 13, 2008.
  • "SourceWatch – Manhattan Institute for Policy Research"


External links

  • Official site
  • The Center for the American University
  • Minding the Campus

Coordinates: 40°45′15″N 73°58′39″W / 40.754275°N 73.97747°W / 40.754275; -73.97747

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