Tom Church

Research Fellow
Research Team: 

Tom Church is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. He studies entitlement reform, health care policy, income inequality, poverty, the federal budget, and immigration reform. He also contributes to PolicyEd, the Hoover Institution’s initiative to educate Americans about public policy.

He has conducted research on developing supplemental statistics to better measure income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. In 2015 he edited the book Inequality & Economic Policy: Essays in Memory of Gary Becker with John B. Taylor and Chris Miller. He also contributes to the Hoover Institution’s immigration reform initiative.

Church received his master’s degree in public policy with honors from Pepperdine University, specializing in economics and international relations. He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and political science from the University of Michigan.

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Recent Commentary

Policy InsightsFeatured

A Better Way To Fix Infrastructure

by Joshua D. Rauh, Lee Ohanian, Daniel Heil, Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

American infrastructure is need of an overhaul. But, as we learned in the last edition of Policy Insights, government-funded projects often fail to live up to their lofty goals. The problem isn’t that dollars aren’t being spent on infrastructure. Instead, it is that the money is being spent poorly.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Health CareAnalysis and Commentary

Area 45: Tom Church: The Fiscal Effects Of A Public Option

interview with Tom Churchvia Area 45
Friday, January 31, 2020

The enormous fiscal impact on government and taxpayers should a politically feasible public option become law.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedHealth Care

The Fiscal Effects Of The Public Option

by Lanhee J. Chen, Tom Church, Daniel Heilvia Analysis
Monday, January 27, 2020

Supporters of a federal public option contend that a government-run health plan will reduce federal deficits. These projected deficit savings are predicated on two major, but unrealistic, assumptions. First, public option proposals assume that the government will reimburse hospitals and providers at rates lower than paid by private insurers. Second, the proposals require plan premiums to fully cover plan costs. 

Policy InsightsFeaturedPolitics

Political And Electoral Instability

featuring David Brady, Morris P. Fiorina, Russell Roberts, Bill Whalen, Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Thursday, October 17, 2019

American politics feels more divided than ever. Are we at an unprecedented point in history? Are there lessons to be learned from prior periods in American politics?


A Budget Road MAP

by Tom Churchvia Budget Matters, America Off Balance
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The recent budget deal makes it clear yet again that neither major political party in Congress is serious about controlling government spending. While the official score of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 shows only a small effect on long-term government spending, this effect represents a permanent increase. What looked like small, temporary budget increases will in fact add $1.5 trillion to 10-year spending levels.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Single-Payer Health Care

by Scott W. Atlas, Richard A. Epstein, Lee Ohanian, Lanhee J. Chen, Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Single-payer health care is when the government acts as the only payer of health care costs in the economy. Rather than individuals purchasing insurance for payment of medical expenses through their employer or on the open market, the federal government typically covers all such costs.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Public Pensions

featuring Joshua D. Rauh, Russell Roberts, Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Public pension funds around the country have failed to set aside sufficient money to honor the pension promises they’ve made to workers in the public sector.

Policy InsightsFeatured


featuring Eric Hanushek, Margaret (Macke) Raymond, Russell Roberts, Paul E. Peterson, Chester E. Finn Jr., Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Education policy is complicated in the United States because of our federalist system. The federal government’s role in education is more advisory than operational. It provides a lot of guidance on the standards and goals for students, but allows states and local governments the flexibility to achieve them with varying methods. The federal government is in a position to know what we need in order to be competitive internationally. It can also be valuable in compensating students who need extra help. 

Policy InsightsFeatured

Policy Insights: Immigration Reform

featuring Edward Paul Lazear, Timothy Kane, David R. Henderson, Tom Church, John H. Cochrane, Lanhee J. Chen, Clint Bolick, Richard A. Epsteinvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Immigration is a contentious topic. To complicate it further, immigration should often be broken down into several distinct topics. It can mean legal or illegal immigration, it can mean permanent or temporary visas, and it can mean preventing future flows or managing existing stocks.