Author Archives: corymaks

Weathering the Storm: Social Policy and the Great Recession

Maks‐Solomon, Cory, and Robert P. Stoker. 2019. “Weathering the Storm: Social Policy and the Great Recession.” Policy Studies Journal 47 (S1): S119–37.

This review discusses recent challenges to the welfare state arising from the Great Recession (GR). The GR was a significant event for social policy analysts, as it tested the responsiveness of welfare systems in the midst of a recent trend toward austerity politics in advanced economies. Social policy changes were part of the toolkit advanced democracies used to respond to the GR, and the welfare state mitigated the consequences of the GR. However, a stark limitation of the social safety net in the United States was the failure to assist immigrant households. The nexus of immigration and social policy is likely to be a significant controversy as we consider the meaning of social citizenship.

From Tim Cook to Howard Schultz: Why CEOs Engage Firms in Social Activism

Maks-Solomon, Cory. 2019. “Cosmopolitan CEOs and Corporate Political Activity on Social Issues.” Working paper.

The median S&P 500 CEO is slightly conservative on social issues. Half of CEOs are conservative on social issues; half of CEOs are moderate or liberal on social issues.

The manuscript presents evidence that this variation in CEO social issues liberalism can explain variation in corporate political activity on social issues: Companies with socially-liberal CEOs at the helm engage more with the liberal side of social issues.

Why Do Corporations Engage in LGBT Rights Activism?

Maks-Solomon, Cory, and Josiah Drewry. 2018. “Corporate Activism on LGBT Rights.” In American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Boston, MA.
  • A version of this research project received a Best Paper award at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting.
  • Most recent draft of the paper is available here. And the appendix is available here.
Companies with LGBT employee groups made more public statements in support of LGBT rights–but only in highly-educated (high-skilled) workforces, where they have bargaining power with their employers.

The featured image shows the number of statements made by large corporations in support of LGBT rights by employee education (the percentage of non-management employees with a bachelor’s degree). Companies in the left panel had no LGBT employee group (ERG) while companies in the right panel did have an LGBT employee group.

Are Democrats Really the Party of the Poor?: Partisanship, Class, and Representation in the U.S. Senate

SPSA: Rigby, Elizabeth, and Cory Maks-Solomon. 2018. “Who Represents the Rich? Who Represents the Poor?” In Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA.

APSA: Rigby, Elizabeth, and Cory Maks-Solomon. 2017. “Are the Rich Always Better Represented than the Poor?” In American Political Science Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA.

  • Comments on the draft are welcome. Most recent draft can be found here. (And the Online Appendix is available here.)
  • This research received media coverage at Vox.
Rich and poor Republicans are more in agreement on social issues than they are on economic issues; meanwhile, rich and poor Democrats are in absolute agreement on economic issues but rich Democrats are more liberal than poor Democrats on social issues.

For each quintile (1 = poor; 5 = rich), the average ideology is plotted with a normally-distributed confidence interval surrounding it. The x-axis represents the percentage of issues that the respondent took a conservative stance, ranging from 0% to 80% of the issues.

Direct Election and Economic Policy Voting in the U.S. Senate: Responsiveness to States, Voters, and Special Interests


Maks-Solomon, Cory. 2018. “Direct Election and Economic Policy Voting in the U.S. Senate.” In Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL.

  • Roll call votes codebook available here.
  • Replication data and Stata do-file available here.
  • The featured image shows all Oregon Plan states that adopted a form of de facto direct election before the implementation of the 17th Amendment. (Source: Kenny and Rush 1990)