Peter Schuck, Guest-Blogging:

I'm delighted to say that Prof. Peter H. Schuck of Yale Law School will be blogging here this week. Prof. Schuck specializes in torts, immigration law and policy, the management of diversity in America, and administrative law; he is the author of many works, including Targeting in Social Programs: Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples (Brookings Institution Press, 2006) (with Richard J. Zeckhauser), Understanding America (Public Affairs, forthcoming 2008) (co-editor with James Q. Wilson), Meditations of a Militant Moderate: Cool Views on Hot Topics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), Foundations of Administrative Law (2d ed., Foundation Press, 2004), and Diversity in America: Keeping Government at a Safe Distance (Harvard University Press, 2003).

Prof. Schuck will post mostly about Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples, which analyzes two sources of poor targeting in social programs that seek to benefit "bad draws" — people who have drawn a bad hand in life and need government assistance. Two kinds of bad draws are particularly noteworthy -- bad bets and bad apples. Bad bets are people who will not benefit much from the resources compared with other, better bets; health care is a major category of bad bets because, a la Willie Sutton, that's where the money is. Bad apples are people whose illegal, immoral, irresponsible, or chronically disruptive conduct prevents others in the program from enjoying the program's benefits (whether fellow public school classmates, public housing tenants, or homeless shelter residents).