The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research is an extremely conservative, corporate-funded, New York-based policy group.
The Manhattan Institute was founded by former CIA director William J. Casey in 1978. It was originally called the International Center for Economic Policy Studies, renamed the Manhattan Institute in 1980.
The Manhattan Institute is funded largely by major corporations and conservative foundations. According to the group's 10-year review, published in 1990, "by 1989, total contributions had grown to $2,113,000, 41 percent of which came from conservative and/or corporate foundations. Thirty-three percent came from Fortune 500 corporations, chiefly insurance companies and pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers including $50,000-plus each from Aetna and State From Insurance and $15,000-plus each from Prudential, Exxon, RJR Nabisco, Philip Morris, Bristol-Myers and Pfizer. Total revenue has grown to about $6 million, according to the 1997 edition of The Right Guide. See, Chesebro, "Galileo's Retort: Peter Huber's Junk Scholarship," 42 Am. U.L.Rev. 1637 (1993).
Some Manhattan Institute research on the civil justice system has been heavily criticized in law journals. In 1993, attorney Kenneth J. Chesebro wrote a lengthy and scathing attack on Manhattan Institute fellow Peter Huber's book, Galelio's Revenge. After meticulous research, Chesebro found Huber's book to rely "almost exclusively on anecdotal information and inflated rhetoric, misrepresent[ing] numerous aspects of its subject matter, and present[ing] no considered, objective or empirically-based measure of the extent of the 'junk science' problem." He called Galelio's Revenge, "perfectly described with Huber's own words as a 'catalog of every conceivable kind of error: data dredging, wishful thinking, truculent, dogmatism and, now and again, outright fraud'.… Galileo would quickly become exasperated at the unsupported thesis of Huber's book, its numerous material misrepresentations and omission, and its manipulative and evasive method of argument." Chesebro, "Galileo's Retort: Peter Huber's Junk Scholarship," 42 Am. U.L.Rev. 1637 (1993). See also, Hager, "Civil Compensation and its Discontents: A Response to Huber," 42 Stan. L. Rev. 539 (1990)