Project on Public Options and Governance

About the Project

The Project on Public Options and Governance advances research and policy solutions that expand access, enhance competition, and increase opportunity to critical goods and services for American consumers, families, and communities by promoting state capacity building and good governance practices. Topics of interest include federal procurement practices and public options—publicly-provided goods and services that coexist with the private marketplace. While many people associate the idea with health care, public options have been common throughout American history—public schools coexist with private schools, public golf courses with private ones, the Postal Service with FedEx and UPS. Public options expand choices for consumers, increase competition in the marketplace, and ensure access to important services at a reasonable price.



Public Grocery Stores: A Guide for Policymakers

Authors provide a Guide addressing the problem of food deserts, the benefits of public grocery stores, case studies from around the country, and practical considerations in implementing public grocery stores.

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A Public Option for AI

A close look at the AI tech stack reveals that critical layers are likely to be or already are monopolistic or oligopolistic. Tejas Narechania and Ganesh Sitaraman consider the stakes of this concentration of power and offer policymakers tools for regulation, including public options for AI. They argue that public options in the AI space, such as public cloud infrastructure and public data resources, would boost competition, expand access, and foster innovation.

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Building Public Capacity on Artificial Intelligence

Ganesh Sitaraman and Ramsay Eyre offer two proposals to build public capacity on AI: a new U.S. Artificial Intelligence Service, and a broader U.S. Technology Administration. 

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The Public Option (Harvard Univ. Press, 2019)

In this book, Ganesh Sitaraman and Anne Alstott argue that public options hold the potential to increase opportunity, expand freedom, and transform American civic life if we will only let them.

Politics, Policy, and Public Options (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2021)

This volume, edited by Ganesh Sitaraman and Anne Alstott, delves into the theory of the public option, explores several important case studies, and unites scholars from across several disciplines to show how public options could be a corrective to the trend toward privatization and subsidies.

In The News


How States Can Keep Big Tech from Dominating AI

Ganesh Sitaraman and Natalie Foster address how policymakers can address concentration in the AI "tech stack" in an oped for Politico.

Vanderbilt Law School

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