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The courts are a co-equal branch of government and the decision of judges must be guided by the Constitution.

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Richard Stern

Richard Stern is acting director of the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budg...

Center for Data Analysis

Quantitative Research and Simulation Modeling of Public Policies

The Center for Data Analysis specializes in quantitative research and simulation modeling of public policies for the Heritage Foundation. The CDA specializes in modeling the effects of federal fiscal policy, trade policy, federal social policy, and energy and environmental policy. Policymakers rely on CDA’s independent policy research in each of these areas to inform their decisions. 

This page lists research by CDA staff and documentation of the methodology behind CDA models, as well as notable results. It should be a useful reference for practitioners in the field of public policy. It will be updated as new publications become available. 


Featured Backgrounders and Reports

Public Finance

Taxes Will Go Up in Every Congressional District if the TCJA Is Repealed
Adam Michel, Kevin Dayaratna, and Parker Sheppard | October 17, 2018

Tax Cuts in Every Congressional District in Every State
Kevin Dayaratna, Parker Sheppard, and Adam Michel | July 23, 2018

  • Heritage Foundation Individual Income Tax Model
  • Augmented Solow Growth Model

The Personal and Fiscal Impact of the Social Security 2100 Act
Rachel Greszler and Drew Gonshorowski | June 11, 2019

Is Social Security Worth Its Cost?
Kevin Dayaratna, Rachel Greszler, and Patrick Tyrrell | July 10, 2018

  • Heritage Foundation Social Security Model

Energy and Environment

Assessing the Costs and Benefits of the Green New Deal’s Energy Policies
Kevin Dayaratna and Nicolas Loris | July 24, 2019

  • Heritage Energy Model

Turning America’s Energy Abundance into Energy Dominance
Kevin Dayaratna, and Nicolas Loris | November 3, 2017

Time to Unlock America’s Vast Oil and Gas Resources
Kevin Dayaratna, David Kreutzer, and Nicolas Loris | September 1, 2016

Consequences of Paris Protocol: Devastating Economic Costs, Essentially Zero Environmental Benefits
Kevin Dayaratna, Nicolas Loris, and David Kreutzer | April 13, 2016

Unfounded FUND: Yet Another EPA Model Not Ready for the Big Game
Kevin Dayaratna and David Kreutzer | April 29, 2014

Loaded DICE: An EPA Model Not Ready for the Big Game 
Kevin Dayaratna and David Kreutzer | November 32, 2013

Public Health

COVID-19: A Statistical Analysis of Data from Throughout the Pandemic and Recommendations for Moving On
Kevin Dayaratna and Doug Badger | February 24, 2022 

A Statistical Analysis of COVID-19 Breakthrough Infections and Deaths
Kevin Dayaratna and Norbert Michel | August 12, 2021 

A Statistical Analysis of COVID-19 and Government Protection Measures in the U.S. 
Kevin Dayaratna and Andrew Vanderplas | March 18, 2021

A Comparative Analysis of Policy Approaches to COVID-19 Around the World, with Recommendations for U.S. Lawmakers
Kevin Dayaratna, Patrick Tyrell, and Andrew Vanderplas | July 20, 2020

The Challenges of Forecasting the Spread and Mortality of COVID-19
Kevin Dayaratna and Norbert Michel | April 15, 2020


Peer-Reviewed Publications of CDA Staff

A New Benford Test for Clustered Data with Applications to American Elections.
Katherine M. Anderson, Kevin Dayaratna, Drew Gonshorowski, and Steven J. Miller.
Stats. 2022, 5(3), 841-855; https://doi.org/10.3390/stats5030049 | 2022

Hierarchical Bayesian spatio-temporal modeling of COVID-19 in the United States.
Kevin D. Dayaratna, Drew Gonshorowski & Mary Kolesar
Journal of Applied Statistics | DOI: 10.1080/02664763.2022.2069232.| 2022

Climate sensitivity, agricultural productivity and the social cost of carbon in FUND
Kevin Dayaratna, Ross McKitrick, and Patrick Michaels
Environmental Economics and Policy Studies 22, 433-448 | 2020

Empirically Constrained Climate Sensitivity and the Social Cost of Carbon
Kevin Dayaratna, Ross McKitrick, and David Kreutzer
Climate Change Economics. Vol. 8, No. 2 | 2017

Bayesian semiparametric density ratio modelling with applications to medical malpractice reform
Kevin Dayaratna and Benjamen Kedem
Statistical Modelling. Vol. 16, Issue 4 | 2016


Speeches and Congressional Testimony

Cost/Benefit Analysis of the Green New Deal
Kevin Dayaratna
International Conference on Climate Change | 2019

Healthy Oceans and Healthy Economies: The State of Our Oceans in the 21st Century
Kevin Dayaratna | Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, Committee on Natural Resources, U.S. House of Representatives | February 7, 2018

Methods and Parameters Used to Establish the Social Cost of Carbon
Kevin Dayaratna | Testimony before the Subcommittee on Environment and Oversight, Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives | February 24, 2017

Defining Conservatism

A podcast from the Center for American Studies

American Freedom and Its Enemies
Sam Gregg discusses his new paper for The Heritage Foundation “American Individualism, Rightly Understood” which considers how Individualism in America is rooted in Biblical, Classical, and Scottish Enlightenment sources. All of these provide a foundation for freedom and virtue rooted in God and human nature. But they have been challenged now by egalitarianism, and also by expressive individualism. These ideologies locate individualism in either sameness of result or moral anarchy. Sam Gregg urges us to return to the sturdy ground of freedom and virtue that supports individual flourishing.

Love, Loyalty, and Patriotism
Susan Hanssen, Associate Professor of History at the University of Dallas, joins the Defining Conservatism podcast to discuss what American patriots must love and be loyal to as we try to uphold our nation against the anticulture of the left and the forgetfulness bred by social media and our mediocre educational system.

The Common Good and the Constitution
Steven Hayward, Joseph Postell, and Emina Melonic join Richard Reinsch for a discussion of how the common good should shape political debate in a constitution of divided and limited powers.

Memory and American Patriotism
In this new edition of Defining Conservatism, Richard Reinsch interviews Bill McClay at the 2022 National Conservatism Conference about the meaning of American patriotism.

Why the American Founding Matters for American Conservatism 
Richard Reinsch and Simon Center Visiting Fellow Sam Gregg discuss the three features of the American Founding that especially matter for American conservatism today.

  1. The idea of natural rights and natural law;
  2. The particular political order of American constitutionalism, especially the separation of powers and the distinct idea of federalism; and
  3. The political economy associated with the idea of a commercial republic.

The Statesmen We Need
In this Defining Conservatism podcast, Richard Reinsch interviews Daniel Mahoney about his new book, The Statesman as Thinker, to understand the unbroken line of political leadership stretching from Cicero to George Washington to Winston Churchill. These statesmen could lead their people through turbulent times with prudence and courage, which drew from their learning in classical philosophy and histories of other great leaders and episodes in classic and modern times. If we find ourselves wondering where our statesman have gone, we should read deeply this work to understand the criteria for excellence in political leadership and how we might recover it.